NOTE: This story is translated from Kryptonese for the sake of the readers. Any quoted communication was spoken in Kryptonese or is quoted as heard by a non-English speaking Kryptonian.
Kayla screamed and pleaded with the controller, “Let me out! Let me OUT! LET ME OUT!”
The controller ignored any commands made by the young girl. She had no mission authority. Only Jor-El or Alura had the right to over-ride the controller’s judgment. Kayla was just living cargo – to be protected and cared for but not to be obeyed.
The controller knew that Jor-El wanted his daughter to live and wanted the Kryptonian race to continue into future generations. Its remaining mission was to deliver Kayla safely to Earth to serve as breeding stock to allow a rebirth of Kryptonian society and culture. Its immediate objective was achieving the quickest possible delivery of its cargo while maintaining a safe distance from planetary fragments that had been caught in the wake of the spaceship as it escaped the explosions that obliterated Krypton.
The controller spoke to Kayla’s mind asking, “Would you like a food supplement or a beverage at this time?”
Kayla screamed, “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! LET ME OUT LET ME OUT LET ME OUT LET ME OUT LET ME OUT PLEEEEEEEEEEEEASE!”
The controller answered, “I can not comply. There is no atmosphere and you would die.”
Kayla shouted, “THEN LET ME DIE LET ME DIE LET ME DIE LET ME DIE!!!!!”
The controller answered, “It was Jor-El’s wish that you live, find a suitable mate and have many offspring. It is my primary objective that your body survives to procreate.”
Kayla shouted, “LET ME OUT!”
The controller said, “Is it uncomfortable being in close proximity to your deceased parents?”
Kayla cried, “YES!”
The controller said, “Would you like me to make more room for you?”
Kayla cried, “YES!”
The controller said, “I can jettison the bodies of Jor-El and Alura to make more room if you would like.”
Kayla said, “NOOOOOO! Jettison me! LET ME OUT.”
The controller said, “Let me know when you require a food supplement or beverage. We will be at our destination soon. There is a master controller on planet Earth that will see to your sustenance and select a mate or mates for you.”
Kayla shouted, “MY MOTHER IS DEAD! I DON’T WANT A THINKING MACHINE FOR A MOTHER!”
The controller said, “As a six point five cycle female child you have no rights or say in decisions concerning your life.”
Kayla said, “Where will I live?”
The controller said, “The master controller is sheltered in rock below ground. Your body will be kept in a chamber where it can be nourished and where development of first you and then your offspring can be monitored. There are no birthing matrixes available so the fertilized eggs will have to grow inside of you -- as was the practice in ancient times. To be cautious, I will recommend that the output of children be limited to two per 240 day cycle. Your intellectual development will not be required for your function so there will never be reason to risk having you venture outside the facility. Your life will be a simple and peaceful one. You will be remembered as the Mother of New Krypton.”
Kayla asked, “You are going to put me in a box?”
The controller said, “Essentially, yes. It will only be slightly smaller than the compartment you are in now. Your confinement will be the best way to guarantee that the mission objectives will be achieved.”
Kayla said, “NO! I WON’T DO IT! I WON’T I WON’T!!! LET ME OUT!” Kayla released herself from the harness that held her against the flight couch. The hatch which composed the upper half of the small capsule was only 18 inches above her face when she was restrained. She knew that the first step in getting out was to get out of the harness and the second was to somehow get the hatch open.”
The controller said, “Recline and reattach your harness Kayla. We will land soon and we need to guarantee that your body will not be injured in the process.”
Kayla ignored the controller and looked for anything to grab hold of on the hatch, but it was perfectly smooth. She began beating her fists against the hatch as hard as she could. Her hands became bruised and sore but she continued until she had to lie back from exhaustion. She was becoming more and more panicked because every movement caused her to brush up against her dead parents’ bodies. As soon as she was rested enough she began pounding on the hatch again.
The controller said, “Perhaps it would calm you to see your new home. I will make the hatch transparent for you.”
Kayla was greatly relieved to see outside because she no longer felt as enclosed, but as her fists impacted against the hatch, she realized that she was just as trapped as she had been a moment before. Her entire field of view was filled with a gray pock marked mass and planetary fragments from her home world. Many of the fragments collided with the gray world and sent up a spray of green rock and gray powder. But soon a blackness appeared which formed a horizon. Peaking out above it was a blue sphere with swirls of white and beyond that the star that was the center of the system that these planets belonged to. As beautiful as it was to her, what she saw was not to be her new home – it was to be her prison. She increased her efforts to pound her way through the hatch. Suddenly it seemed to Kayla that harder she beat the hatch, the LESS her hands hurt.
The controller said, “Sit back and re-engage your harness. I can not allow you to injure your body. It is not yours to do with as you chose. Your personal freedom must be sacrificed so that Krypton may continue. Sit back now or I will release enough atmosphere to render you unconscious. Sit back now. …. Sit back now.” There was a light hiss as the atmosphere was vented. Kayla took a deep breath and held it. She knew she couldn’t hold her breath long but she would hold it as long as she could. Somehow, holding her breath didn’t seem that difficult.
After a few minutes, the hatch began to bow outward due to Kayla’s increasingly strong blows. The controller said, “STOP AT ONCE!” Startled and used to obeying any command given her, Kayla stopped and the hatch re-formed itself into its original configuration. Kayla resumed hitting the hatch and the ship began to rock violently with each blow. The ship went off course and hit a planetary fragment. Kayla was suddenly ill and she could no longer breathe. She lay back onto the flight couch as the ship went into a spin. The bodies moved about and bumped up against her. She used her last breath to scream in terror. The ship was in Earth’s atmosphere now and a breach in the hatch was forcing air inside. Most of the planetary fragments had either burning up or had spun off at other trajectories. Kayla was feeling better … perhaps better than she ever had before, and she was certainly more scared than she had ever been. Before Kayla knew what was happening, the ship plowed into a field and came to an abrupt stop. Her parents’ bodies were retained by their harnesses but the hatch had shattered and she was thrown outside. She landed over one hundred feet from the downed craft.
Kayla lay on her back and looked up at the open blue skies and the billowing clouds above her. She was out in the open and felt free … but soon she realized that she was also alone. She had always had someone to tell her what to do before and see that she was well taken care of. Now her parents were dead, her world was destroyed, she was the last of her kind and she was stranded on a primitive and hostile planet. Her father had never intended for her to mingle with the natives, so he had not allowed her to learn even one word of any Earth language. She was filled with fear, but she breathed deeply, concentrated and swallowed hard to bury all her negative feelings deep within her. She told herself that she had gotten her wish -- she was out of the box that she had been put into. She decided that she would remember that her situation could have been much worse. She made a conscious decision to save her fears and tears for some other day.
Then she remembered that she might not have gotten her wish at all. The ship would repair itself quickly and then the controller would do whatever was within its considerable power to do to complete its mission. It would contact the master controller buried somewhere nearby and together they would find a way to trap and confine her. She sat up and noticed a glint of sunlight on something reflective in the grass near her. She almost laughed in delight to see that it was a small octagonal disk. It was the controller’s essence. The ship could still repair and maintain itself, but it would be unable to make decisions for itself …or for her, anymore. She also realized that with time and practice, she might be able to make the ship do whatever she might want it to do. She took her fist and pushed it into the ground. She was surprised that the dirt gave way so easily. She dropped the disk into the hole and gathered rocks near where she was seated to push into the hole. The larger rocks felt very light and crushed in her grip. She stood up and dragged a rock that was as big as she was over the place where she had buried the disk. Now that the controller was no longer able to order her around, she made a decision. Since the controller’s main desire was for her to take a mate and have children, she would do neither … just to spite it. She would be the last of her kind.
She turned and started to walk towards the ship and saw two people approaching it – a man and a woman. For a moment, her heart leapt with joy because she thought that some miracle had brought her parents back to life and that they were looking for her. She soon realized that it wasn’t them. She looked in the direction they had come from and saw a vehicle in the field with its wheels in the air. She looked for a place to hide and noticed that there was another vehicle not far from where she was standing. She ran and hid behind it. She nervously held onto the side of an open, boxed in compartment that formed the back of the vehicle. She tried to pull herself up to peak over the edge of the “box” and was looking at the yellow bumpy cylinders in baskets that filled the box. The vehicle went up onto two wheels and tipped towards her and the metal bent in her grip. She quickly released it and hoped that what she just did hadn’t been observed by the humans. She played with the metal a little to get a feel for how much force she should use to hold things without breaking them. She bent down and picked some yellow flowers from the ground near the wheel and practiced handling them a while. She was able to concentrate and adjust her reflexes to limit herself so that she wouldn’t damage anything or anyone.
Then she stood to look through the windows of the vehicle to see if the people had left yet. She was startled to see a man sitting inside behind a wheel used to guide the vehicle. She was even more startled when she noticed that the man was dead. She screamed and ran into the open field, but froze when she noticed that she had been seen by the couple. She was scared of what they might do to her so she stood there and watched them in fear. The shorter one with red hair appeared to be a female. She looked sad as if she was concerned about Kayla. The woman slowly lifted her hands in Kayla’s direction with her palms open and fingers outstretched. Kayla could tell that the woman was inviting her over, but she was afraid that it was a trick of some kind to capture her. She wanted to run, but the woman had some strange power over her and she couldn’t even look away. Kayla couldn’t imagine that someone so beautiful and kind looking would try to do her any harm. She noticed that the woman was getting closer but the woman hadn’t moved a step. Kayla was surprised to find that she had been walking towards the woman without realizing it. She felt a brief panic when the woman’s arms closed around her but almost instantly relaxed into the embrace. She suddenly felt safer than she had since the final eruptions had begun on Krypton. When the woman began stroking Kayla’s long hair, Kayla suddenly felt like she was home.
She didn’t understand the words that they spoke, but the woman indicated that her name was Martha and that the blond haired man with he was Jon-Kent. The woman repeated the words “Martha Clark Kent.” Kayla knew that Martha was the woman and Kent was the man, so she thought that the woman had decided to call her Clark. Adults were to be obeyed so to verify that she was to be named Clark, she pointed at herself and said, “Clark?” The woman looked confused. She stroked Kayla’s hair and face and said, “Clara?” So Kayla pointed at herself and asked, “Clara?” The woman smiled, so Kayla was sure that “Clara” was to be her Earth name.
While Martha held Kayla, the man called Jon-Kent emptied the baskets from the back of the vehicle that she had hidden behind. Then he took the dead man out of it and laid him gently on the ground near a tree. He got into the vehicle and caused it to make an awful noise. The vehicle moved near the ship and backed up to it. When Jon-Kent got out and looked at the ship again, his jaw dropped in surprised that the ship had repaired itself and was now sealed shut. Kayla was glad that he didn’t open it because she didn’t want her parents taken out and laid under the tree with the dead human.
Jon-Kent went to the nose of the vehicle and tried to lift it, but it wouldn’t move. Martha ran to help him try, but together, they could barely move it. Jon-Kent found a tree limb on the ground and tried to use leverage to get it to move but the limb broke. He got under it and put his back to it and, with great effort, lifted it a fraction of an inch for a moment before dropping it again. Kayla ran over to help but Jon-Kent motioned her to stop. Kayla froze mid-step in fear. Jon seemed puzzled by her expression. Then his expression softened and he smiled at her. Kayla’s knees buckled seeing how pretty the man was, but she was still afraid of him. He motioned her over and she understood that she now had permission to help. She ran over and got between them and put both hands above her head to touch the nose of the ship. She heard them both laugh for the first time and she found the sound comforting. She pushed up on the ship and then began to walk forward as she moved one hand after the other down the middle of the ship’s bottom surface. The nose of the ship was raised sixty degrees off the ground when Kayla turned around. She was surprised to see the two humans sitting on the ground with their mouths hanging open instead of helping her lift the ship. She decided that they were showing their faith in her by letting her do the job herself so she smiled at both of them. Kayla leaned forward to drop the ship onto her shoulders. Martha screamed as the ship came down and leveled off above Kayla. Kayla pushed the ship up with her two hands and looked over to see why Martha had screamed. She and Martha just stared at each other a while and Kayla couldn’t figure out what she had missed or what was the matter. She smiled at Martha again, but Martha just sat there expressionless. Then something flew up Kayla’s nose so she balanced the ship on one hand and used the index finger of her free hand to try to fish out whatever had gone into her nose. Martha screamed again. Kayla decided that it must be considered a bad thing to put your finger in your nose … so she took her finger out and blew a quick blast of air through her nose to dislodge the insect. Then she stood holding the ship with one hand waiting until someone indicated what she was supposed to do with it. Finally Jon-Kent pointed at the back of the vehicle and patted the flat boxed in surface that formed the back portion of the vehicle. Kayla gently slid the ship into the compartment where the yellow cylinders had been. When she let go of the ship, the vehicle sunk into the ground due to its cargo’s weight. Jon-Kent quickly pulled a cover over the ship and tied the cover in place.
Martha took Kayla’s hand and led her to the passenger side of the vehicle, opened the door and lifted Kayla to put her inside. Kayla shifted out of her grip, hopped to the ground and was 50 feet away before she stopped running and turned to look back. Martha bent down to be closer to Kayla’s height, put out her arms and started making whining, sad sounding words. Jon-Kent had gotten into the operator side of the vehicle and it was making that loud noise again. He got back out and was talking to Kayla in a soft, soothing voice. Both of them tried to get nearer to Kayla but she kept her distance. Martha was getting upset and Kayla was getting agitated. Finally, Jon-Kent grabbed Martha, lifted her and put her in the vehicle. It was obvious to Kayla that Martha didn’t want to get into that tiny enclosed space either. Then Jon-Kent got into the vehicle and it moved slowly forward. Martha never took her eyes off of Kayla. She frantically motioned to Kayla to come to her. Kayla walked to keep pace with the vehicle but didn’t get any closer to it. When Martha blinked, Kayla was gone. Martha opened the door and jumped out even before Jon-Kent could stop the vehicle. She looked around and started crying. Despite knowing that the woman wouldn’t know what she was saying in Kryptonese, Kayla said, “What’s wrong Mar-tha?” Martha turned and saw Kayla sitting in the back of the cargo-carrying portion of the vehicle. She covered her mouth in surprise, then wiped her tears and smiled. She walked to the side of the vehicle and patted Kayla’s hand before getting back inside. Then they all headed down the road together.
Kayla heard some shouting and stood up to look over the passenger compartment of the vehicle. There was a scary looking man who was hairier than anyone Kayla had ever seen. He was waving his hands and standing in the path of the vehicle. Jon-Kent made the vehicle stop and talked to the man. Then Jon-Kent jumped out of the vehicle and ran into the field with the scary one. Soon Jon came back carrying back another man. To Kayla, he looked like he was barely old enough for pair bonding. He had red hair all over his clothes. He was very pale and trembling badly. Kayla’s heart broke when she saw how scared he looked and wanted to cry for him. She thought he looked beautiful despite whatever problem he was having. Jon-Kent put the young man in the back portion of the passenger compartment. Kayla jumped down in one hop, swallowed her fears and climbed in to sit beside him. She didn’t think much about how tiny the space was until the scary man got in and pushed himself tightly against her. She tried not to think about the scary one by focusing her attention on the young one – which is what she wanted to do anyway. His eyes were darting nervously around but didn’t seem to be seeing anything or anyone. Kayla brushed the red hair off his face, head and clothes then put her hand on the top of his head and ran it gently down the side of his head, behind his ear and then down his throat. He didn’t seem to notice. She smelled her hand to get a better sense of his natural odor. She heard the others repeating a word again and again and wondered if it was the young man’s name. She said, “Leh-kah-sa, Leh-kah-sa, Lex.” His head turned towards her in a jerk. His frightened eyes stared into hers and they kept that eye contact. Her little hand fumbled out to touch him. He grabbed it and pulled in tightly to his chest. She flattened her hand against him and could feel his fast and irregular heartbeat. For her, it suddenly it felt as if time froze. They sat like statues staring at each other. Each time a tear rolled down Lex’s cheek, one rolled down Kayla’s cheek as well.
The trance was broken when they jerked to a stop near many vehicles with flashing lights at an entrance to a large building. Jon-Kent grabbed Lex and carried him inside. Kayla slipped past Martha’s attempt to grab her and followed the men inside. The building was filled with many unhappy people. The scary man was shouting at a man dressed in white and threw strips of paper with green printing on them at the man. The man led Jon-Kent to a room and pointed at a bed with metal rails on it. Jon laid Lex on the bed. The man put a metal-tipped listening device on Lex’s chest and didn’t look at all happy. The man in white said things that made the scary man shout, made Lex look even more scared and made Jon-Kent look sad. The man in white pointed a finger at Kayla and said something in a stern and authoritative voice. Jon-Kent grabbed Kayla’s hand and pulled her in the direction of the door but Kayla grabbed the railing of the bed with her free hand and couldn’t be moved. She pulled her hand free of Jon-Kent’s grip and held it out towards Lex. He grabbed at it like his life depended on it. Their eyes locked again and he said words she didn’t understand. He said, “My little angel!” Through his hand, Kayla could feel how weak he was. It felt like the energy was flowing out when he needed it to flow in. His tremors turned violent but they held tightly on to each other’s hand and never broke eye contact. People tried to pull Kayla away but she was immovable. She had a body temperature that was so high that no one could stand to touch her for long. Not only that, but touching her felt like touching a live electrical wire. She started yelling at Lex, “DON’T GO AWAY TOO! STAY HERE -- STAY HERE WITH ME! STOP SHAKING! STOP IT! I DON’T WANT YOU TO BE SICK! DON’T BE SICK! DON’T DIE LIKE THEY DID!” No one had any idea what she was saying, but the words focused Kayla’s mind on giving Lex whatever he needed to keep him alive and well.
A nurse rushed over with a syringe and tried to stick it into Lex, but the needle broke off. She ran to get another syringe and handed it to the man in white but he couldn’t get it to penetrate Lex’s skin. Lex kept looking into Kayla’s eyes. Slowly he stopped trembling. He sat up and took a deep breath. The scary man and others reached to steady him but he used his free arm to brush them aside. Then Kayla saw Lex’s smile for the first time … and for the first time, she saw no fear in his eyes. The thought crossed Kayla’s mind that she wouldn’t mind having babies at all … if they could be as pretty as he was. Then Kayla felt dizzy. Her eyes fluttered and closed and she fell backwards against something or someone as she lost consciousness.
Clara’s eyes opened and she saw a fire dancing in front of her – not a simulation but the real thing. She moved her fingertips and felt the softness of the blanket that was around her. She saw a bigger hand take hers and lift it. Martha pressed Kayla’s hand against her soft lips and then rubbed it across her cheek. Kayla inhaled deeply so she could fully enjoy Martha’s perfume and then returned the smile that Martha was giving her. Martha said, “Clara” and some other words that sounded sweet but as yet had no meaning to her. Tears started rolling down Martha’s cheeks but she continued to smile.
Kayla reached out and gently wiped Martha’s tears away. She carefully said, “Mar-tha.”
Martha moved her head from side to side and pointed at herself and said a word Kayla didn’t know. Martha took Kayla’s hand and put it flat against her chest so that Kayla could feel her heart beating and said the word again, “Maw-Mee!”
Kayla was confused because she thought that the woman was called Martha, but she repeated the word that the woman obviously wanted her to learn. Kayla said, “Maw-mee” and that seemed to make the woman very happy – and Kayla found joy in making her happy. The woman bent over and kissed Kayla several times about the face and neck and then held her tight for a few minutes. Then the woman got up and went into another room. She came back with a cup of something warm, but Kayla was gone. The woman almost dropped the cup. She somehow managed to put it down gently on a table then tried to stay calm as she looked around the room. She saw part of the blanket that had been wrapped around Kayla caught in the front screen door so she went to the door and looked out. Kayla was curled up with the blanket on the front porch and was fast asleep. The woman sat down on the porch next to her and stroked Kayla's long, silky black hair. Then she lifted the blanket, laid down next to Kayla and gathered the young girl’s body as closely to hers as she could. She pulled the blanket over them both. After many prayers and happy tears, she fell asleep with her daughter cradled in her arms.