Rated PG-13


Jor-El’s eyes opened.  There was nothing but a blinding yellow light in front of him.  He gasped for air and found none … but strangely, he didn’t feel any discomfort.  In fact, he felt great.  He quickly reviewed the dreams he had been having as they faded from his mind.  He saw Kayla growing up into a fine woman and becoming the guardian of her adopted world.  But that was a dream, what was the reality?  Jor-El reached a hand out towards the light and unexpectedly felt something solid.  He realized that he was in the escape capsule with his family.  The ship had made the hatch transparent and he was staring into the face of some star.  He should have been blinded by the intense light but he felt good.  He knew this must be a yellow star.  The radiation from a star like this one couldn’t damage his body -- only strengthen it.  It also explained why he didn’t need air.  Jor-El remembered the explosion of Krypton and the ship being struck by a planetary fragment.  He quickly concluded that the mind controlling the ship had located the closest yellow star in order to save him from suffocation.  Then he reconsidered.  He thought that it might have been Alura’s idea.  He patted the space next to him.  He was shocked to find that Kayla wasn’t there.  He reached over and found Alura’s hand.  He grasped it hard and turned to look at her.  She was so beautiful but so still.  He realized that he couldn’t feel a pulse.  He focused and sent a surge of energy through her.  Alura’s body jumped with a massive contraction.


Alura’s head turned.  Her eye met Jor-El’s and she smiled.  She looked between them and her expression changed to one of terror.  He could hear her shouts despite the lack of air, “Kayla!  Kayla!  Where is my baby girl?!  What happened to her?!”


Jor-El answered her, “I will ask the Mind.  Mind, where is my daughter?  Mind?  Mind!”


The ship answered, “The sentient controller is no longer connected to the capsule.  May I be of assistance?”


Jor-El said, “Where is the missing passenger – my daughter Kayla?”


The ship answered, “Sorry Sir, I do not know.  I can answer questions about the status of the systems aboard this capsule.  Very little remains of non-pertinent data.”


Jor-El asked, “How long have we been unconscious?”


The ship said, “I do not know.  I have no recollection of any mental communication with you.  The last instructions I received were thirty years ago.  I have maintained a close orbit of this star since that time.”


Jor-El asked, “Do you know which star this is?”


The ship answered, “Certainly, Sir.  It is Sol.”


Jor-El asked, “Did my daughter die?”


The ship answered, “That is unknown.”


Jor-El asked, “Did you eject her?”


The ship said, “No, Sir.  But I do seem to recall her screaming at me … trying to learn how to control me.  There was a severe impact with considerable damage and Kayla was thrown clear of the ship before repairs were made.  I recall energy being expended to heal her and a ceremony being performed but those records have been overwritten with data about this star.”


Alura was saying, “No, no, no, no, NO!”


Jor-El asked, “What was so blasted important about this star?”


The ship answered, “I needed to be aware of all solar activity to navigate this orbit safely.  My memory capacity is strictly limited.  I am no Mind.”


Alura said, “It can’t be true!  She grew up and got married.  She had children.  Krypto returned to live with her and so did Kal-El!”


Jor-El said, “It was oxygen deprivation.  I had dreams too – wish fulfillment.  But now, as sad as it is, we have to face this reality.”


Alura said, “But what can we do?”


Jor-El said, “We will survive!  We are all that is left of Krypton now.  We will begin again.  We will land this ship in the most isolated place we can find.  We will not interact in any way with the natives.  We will have many children and raise them in total seclusion so that they will not be influenced by the ways of the people of Earth.  When we are ready, we will announce our presence to the world and seek mates for our children.  It is all we have to live for now.”


Alura said, “Having more children won’t bring Kayla back to us.  They can’t replace her.”


Jor-El said, “There will never be another Kayla for us.  She will always be precious to us.  But through her brothers and sisters, our kind will survive.  Krypton will live again.”