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YesterYear Fan Fiction offers a new look at the Golden Age. YesterYear characters live in a shared universe of comic books and pulp fiction from all publishers. Golden Age DC Characters can be found sharing adventures alongside Mike Hammer, Doc Savage, the Shadow, etc…

Man Named Kent It was a day like any other. Gray and tan, just like him and his world. The sky hung heavy, sad and just about the gray of his scarred desk. He turned in his rusted swivel chair, the metallic screech shredding the silence, and glanced out the window at the street below. People walking and running in their tan skins through their regular tan lives. Hiding in the wrinkles and struggling with the seams, just like his well worn, past its prime trenchcoat, thrown haphazardly across the corner of his desk. Yeah, a day like any other. Dead-end cases, empty whiskey bottles and empty pockets, and an open door, just waiting for that client that never ever falls out of the sky into his lap to walk right in.

“Slam Bradley.” The voice rolled like a haunting bass beat. “I hear you’re looking for me.”

Instinctively, Bradley’s hand slid under his desk, silently slipping his hidden piece from its holster. Raising his head, a smart remark aimed and ready, he realized that his gun would do little good, if the young, cleanly handsome man filling his doorway was who Bradley thought he was and if everything he’d heard was true.

“Depends,” Bradley said, pushing the gun back in its place, then tipping his fedora a bit further back on his head. “What’d you hear I was looking for?”

“I was told you had some information on…my past.”

“I do,” Bradley smiled, shuffling through the catastrophe on his desk with one hand, coming up with a wrinkled, tattered file, “if you’re a man named Kent.”

YesterYear FanFiction Presents
“Clues”- First of Nine

written by Tommy Hancock
edited by Dan BenZvi

September 1, 1938

“You don’t know him?”

Kent shook his head, handing the stained photograph back across the desk to Bradley. “Looks like a hundred old men I’ve seen across the country. He said he knew me?”

“Never met you,” Bradley slid the picture under the other things in the open file on his desk, “but he was a big fan.” Bradley spread out the newspaper clippings across the clutter on his desk. Kent recognized most of them, having watched his Ma pack copies of them away in cracker boxes.

“Me. Me in elementary, in church singings, me in high school games. This,” Kent said, touching the yellowed shreds of paper, “This is my life.”

“Up until April of this year, anyway.” Bradley nodded once as Kent looked up, surprised. Bradley went on. “That’s when the old man came to me, toward the end of April. Said his name was Smith and he wanted me to find somebody. Nice enough old man, looked a little more ragged than in that picture, so I told him I’d help him find whoever he wanted to. That’s when he told me what he’d spent his life doing.”

“Looks like,” Kent said, a hint of anger in his voice, “he spent most of it following me and my folks around.”

“That was it, all right.” Bradley reached down, opened his left desk drawer to offer Kent a shot, but then remembered the dead soldier he’d kicked across the room earlier. “He was an adventurer, ‘Jack of everything,’ he called himself. Pirated, cowboyed, fought with Roosevelt in Cuba, all of it. Trailed adventure and money wherever he could find it. Just like the story someone told him in a bar in Mexico one night years and years ago. How a great light fell from the sky somewhere in the States and a little baby was found in that light. A baby with great powers and who brought with it all sorts of riches.”

“Yeah,” Kent spat. “I’ve heard that story, too.”

Bradley knew what was going through Kent’s head, but he pressed on. “Smith started working that tale for all he could get, hunting down anyone who’d seen the light crash to the ground, anyone who’d met the baby. He finally made his way to Kansas. Said he first knew he’d found it all when he watched a three year old boy in a Kansas pasture lift a charging bull with one hand.” Bradley shook his head. “Must’ve been something. Anyway, that was when he first saw you.”

“What did he want?”

“At first,” Bradley answered, “What every man for hire wanted then. Fame and money. But Smith said that changed the more he watched you and your family. He’d go off on other jobs, other trips for money, but he’d always come back to Kansas. I figure the older the man got, the more he wished he’d had a family like he saw you in. And a boy like you, maybe. That’s the reason, I think, for all the clippings. And why, after being gone from Kansas for eight years, he came back last April. To give you something for what watching you grow up gave him.”

Kent’s anxious rage fell away. “Where is he now?”

Bradley looked down, his eyes dimming. “When he found out that something had happened to your father in Kansas and you’d left, he asked around to find out who to go to to find you. Some drunk bum threw him my name, so he hiked up here to Metropolis, told me the whole deal, then set out again. Said he had one last thing he had to find for you, one last bit of what he thought was your past. I got it in the mail last month, with a letter. It was from a priest in Canada, said Smith had died up there, but left wishes to send this on to me. And enough money to be sure I kept looking for you.” Bradley leaned back slowly in his chair. “That gets us back here. I sent word out to a few friends ‘round the states, with just enough of a description to fit you to if they saw you. Lucky for both of us, one of them did.”

“Yes,” Kent said. “Mike tracked me down in Tennessee. He told me about a private eye friend of his who said he had some information for me about…well, about me.”

Bradley laughed. “Yeah, Hammer, that kid told some pretty amazing stories about you. I’da told him to go swim in the Atlantic if I’d not already been sold on who..or what you are by Smith.”

Kent took a breath, a nervous quiet rising between the two men. “All right, then,” he said, leaning closer to Bradley’s desk, “what did Smith leave for me?”

“Just three things.” Bradley opened the top drawer at his right, reaching in and pulling out two objects. Kent took them both, one in each hand. The one in his left hand, a circular amulet, made of some heavy metal, about five inches in diameter resembled a bright yellow sun, red flames surrounding its outer edges. The other thing was about three inches across and looked to Kent like a silver L, the ends of it sharpened to points.

“Ringing any bells?” Bradley asked, looking for something in Kent’s face, but seeing nothing.

“Not one,” Kent said, though his eyes lingered on the sun pendant. “This one, though. It’s not that it brings anything back, but it..I don’t know…It has some greater significance than a piece of jewelry or a paperweight.”

“Smith thought both of those things came off whatever brought you here. Apparently your barn back in Kansas has become quite the sacred site for fortune hunters and grave robbers since you left. But that’s where the L and the sun came from.”

Tearing away from the amulet, Kent put both items on the desk, then said, “There were three?”

Bradley reached into the open drawer and pulled out a leather strap. Dangling on the end of the strap was a thin needle like shard of stone. Spinning on the strap, the stone glowed an unusual green color. Holding it up, he said, “This is what Smith had sent back when he died. He didn’t tell me anything about it in the letter, just that it was linked to you somehow, too.”

Kent held his hand out as Bradley gently placed the stone in his hand. The end of the stone grazed Kent’s palm, sending a shock through his arm. “Yaauugh!” Kent shouted, jerking his hand back.

“You all right?”

“That..that…” Kent said, staring at the tiny gash in his hand. “that…cut me.”

“Sure as hell did,” Bradley said, amazed. He knew, from what Hammer said, that bullets, much less little rocks could not phase Kent. Picking the strap and stone up from his desk, Bradley fumbled around in his desk and found a tiny white box. “I’ll put this in here.”

Kent nodded, still staring at the cut on his palm. “I don’t understand any of this. I have no idea where to begin with any of these things. They’re just…” his eyes fell on the white box, “strange curiosities to me.”

“Yeah,” Bradley said, “You and me both. But I know a guy who might be able to help you. He’s here in town, just up 23rd Street. He’s a detective, too, but his cases usually end up sounding more like monster movies than Raymond Chandler stories. He may know something about this stuff.”

“Get out of there, Cliff.” He stood at the edge of the pit, charred remnants of the barn that had once stood over it all around him. “We’re not the first here and it doesn’t seem right.” The sandy haired well built man looked around nervously. “Feels too much like grave robbing.”

“Hell with that, Carver.” Cliff Crosby’s right hand clawed at the air, waiting for Cotton Carver to take it. Letting Carver pull, Crosby climbed the rest of the way up the rope with his left hand. “There’s a story here and I intend to get it. Besides, as much of a world hopper as you are, you’ve probably pilfered a few bones in your time.”

Carver’s roundhouse to Crosby’s chin nearly knocked him back in the hole, but Carver caught his shirt with his right hand. “We’re old friends, Cliff,” Carver seethed, “but I will break your neck if you ever say that again. I’ve fought too much, seen too many die to ever stoop as low..” He looked around again, “as low as I nearly did here.” Sure Crosby was standing, Carver let go of him and turned toward the truck still running out on the road. “I’m leaving.”

“You have desecrated a site of the Last Son.”

Carver shouted, just barely jumping to the left before a crimson blast of light struck where he’d stood, leaving a smoldering hole in the ground. Cliff Crosby looked up, in awe of what he saw, and stood there, his mouth gaping. Just long enough for the figure floating in the air above him to speak the last words he’d ever hear.

“And you, you dare to lay human hands on the vessel that once held the Last Son. For that, there is no reprieve.”

Cotton Carver stood, screaming, “Cliff! Run!!”

Crosby turned his head, his face a twist of terror and amazement as the red energy struck him, shredding his body into errant molecules. Cotton ran for his friend, not caring if he was killed or not, but it was too late. He spun around, both fists up, ready to die fighting this stranger, this woman flying in front of him.

“I seek the Last Son.” Her voice was a cacophony of strength, hatred, and sensuality, thundering quietly from full lips. Carver studied her face, her lily skin, her smooth complexion, surely no more than a girl of sixteen years. She held a long silver staff, made of the same sort of metal as the armor covering her entire body. It glistened like armor, but was flexible and skintight. Some sort of visor hid her eyes behind red lenses, her hair flowing behind her.

“He’s…” Cotton stumbled over his words, his eyes glancing again at where Cliff Crosby no longer stood, “He’s gone…not been here for months.”

Her tone did not change, but she lowered the staff, aiming it at his chest. “Where from this place must I travel to find the Last Son?”

“No one knows,” Carver said, ready to jump at her if he was about to die regardless. “But there’s a rumor that he was with a man. A man of bronze from New York City.”

“Then to this New York I must go.” Dropping just a fraction, she shot skyward suddenly, her staff at her side. Cotton Carver watched her vanish, said silent words for his friend, then, an angry determination on his face, worked his way down the rope Crosby had just climbed up.

“I’ve never seen anything like it.” The voluptuous raven haired woman dangled the leather strap Kent had given her over the desktop so she and her partner could see it. The shard of green stone still cast its own light. Kent stood away from the desk, close to the door, his eyes never leaving the stone.

“That makes two of us, Rose.” The man on the other side of the desk put an open hand under the stone. The woman twirled it around, coiling it into his palm. He bounced the stone in his hand once or twice, then put it back in its white box. He leaned back in his chair, the woman turning again to Kent as she perched on the corner of the desk.

“So you can’t help me?” Kent said, exasperated.

“With the stone,” the man replied, “No.” He raised a finger to his forehead, a gesture meant to tip his fedora back, but the hat hung on the coat rack opposite Kent along with his trenchcoat. He smiled at his own mistake, then sat forward. “But I can offer you some opinions on the other things you brought.”

“Opinions?” Kent asked. “Bradley thought you might have answers for me.”

“No, Mister Kent,” the woman said, “Slam didn’t bring you here for answers. We aren’t in the answer business, just the business of asking the right questions. Of course,” she looked over her shoulder at the man behind her, “Dr. Occult has been known to untangle a few ancient mysteries lately.”

Dr. Richard Occult laughed. “You make it sound like my name’s the only one on the door, Miss Psychic.” Rose Psychic grinned, their eyes locking just for a moment. Dr. Occult noticed Kent’s impatient, but polite frown and nodded to him. “But as I was saying, the two other items may have some significance. This one, for instance,” he picked up the L shaped pendant, “resembles amulets I’ve found all over the world, from Egypt to Colorado. Worn around the neck or on the wrist, it appears to be a symbol.”

“Of what?” Kent asked, stepping closer.

“Of a name,” Occult said. “Royalty in some cultures wore one letter on their bodies to show their family and station.”

Rose Psychic nodded. “In ancient Greece, worshippers of Gods who believed they were descended from a particular god wore a letter representing that deity.”

“But,” Kent said, “I’m not from ancient Greece. I was found in a…a…”

“Spaceship,” Occult assisted. “At least that’s what it appeared to be. Yes, Kent, we know that. Like Slam told you, that is no secret to people of…particular interests. But that really doesn’t matter. Whether you come from another planet or really do come from Kansas, it’s likely that similarities exist between cultures. Now,” he said, dropping the L back on the desk and picking up the sun-like object,” this, this I’ve actually seen before.”

“What?” Kent said, unable to hide the excitement in his voice. “You’ve seen that? Where?”

“In a book.” Occult stood, taking two steps to his right from his desk to the bookshelf. Everything in the office was in close proximity to everything else. The tiny room barely big enough for its occupants’ two desks appeared to double as a storage room for their adventures as well. Shelves of books lined all four walls and trinkets, everything from ancient spears to zebra striped armor, cluttered the floor, walls, and even the ceiling. Occult ran a finger along the spines of the books on the shelf, mumbling to himself. Finally, he hesitated, pulled one out just far enough to see the cover, shook his head, put it back, then went back two books. Tugging at another leather spine, he again checked the cover, nodded to the wall, and pulled it from the shelf. “In this book.”

Turning away from the wall, he opened the book and dropped it on the desk. Rose Psychic stood and moved to stand behind Occult, allowing Kent to lean over the desk to see the page Occult was now studying.

It was a painting of a medieval scene, Kent reckoned from the Renaissance period, of two men in battle. The apparent victor in the fight stood over his opponent, his sword high, his shield above the fallen knight’s head, almost as if the winner were pointing it, aiming it at him. In the center of the shield was a crest, a symbol. Kent looked at it, then at the sun medallion, then back at the picture.

“They’re identical.”

TheYesterYearFan Fiction Group acknowledges that Clark Kent and ALL other non-original characters are the property of respective individuals and corporations not linked to this story. These companies retain complete rights to their characters. These concepts are used WITHOUT permission for NO PROFIT, but rather a strong desire to peer into the potential these characters have in a combined setting. This also acknowledges that original concepts presented here are the intellectual property of the author.

Some characters are ™ DC Comics
This story is © 1999 by Tommy Hancock.