Chapter 1: – The Crystal

I carefully re-opened the lead box Bruce gave me. I got out the crystal, quickly closing it. I handed it to Kara. I next got out the remains of our vessel from the box it had been in. I put in on our bed, and then Kara placed the crystal on top of it.

Immediately, the whole room turned into an array of multiple rainbows. A single shaft of red light came from the crystal and pointed towards the window of our room. We looked out of the window and saw it pointing straight up towards the sky.

A man's face materialized above the crystal – Jor-El!

"Kal-El and Kara – this is the crystal that points the way. Follow it until you find the where it leads. When you arrive at the end of the crystal's light, a shelter will be found ... an inviolable refuge for you to go and ruminate over the many decisions you have every single day. Visit it with your cousin, or go there alone. It is intended as a Fortress ... of Solitude. It cannot be seen or observed except by the two of you."

"Inside it, you will find more information about your home planet of Krypton. There will exist life-size models of the entire El clan that once lived on Krypton. You will see and meet many relatives whom I have not yet told you of."

"Visitors can only be there, if one of you are also. Guard this fortress. It has been there for as long as you have been on Earth. After you follow the crystal to its destination, you must retrieve the crystal to enter the edifice. It is built of materials from the area around where it exists today."

"It cannot be destroyed, unless you both decide that is necessary."

"Inside you will find a complete medical facility to do whatever you find the need to. There will be a holographic 'zoo' of sorts, to display the animals that once populated Krypton. There is a method for recording your voice, as a sort of 'Diary' if you wish. You will find a rather advanced robot to challenge you in the complicated matters of the brain."

"If you find pieces of Krypton, beware they are likely deadly to you and your cousin. Zor-El concluded that the mineral lead would protect you from the invisible rays of the rocks."

"You will find more of these crystals, much like the kind that initiated this message. There is a limited amount of them – be wise in your usage."

"A device to make duplicates of any living being placed inside it is also included. All the properties of the original will carry forth perfectly to the duplicate. The only way to determine the original from its duplicate is on the genetic level, there is a K chromosome added during the duplication process."

"Lastly, if you must destroy this sanctuary, be sure to keep a crystal available for it's rebuilding anywhere else you may decide to place it. This can only be done once!"

The apparition went away, but the red shaft of light stayed. We were in our outfits, so we followed the beam to the Moon. The red shaft of light stopped on the edge of where the light and dark sides of the moon meet. I asked Kara to go back and get the crystal, so we could continue.

Rather quickly, she returned and handed it to me. We approached the surface, still not seeing anything remotely resembling what Jor-El had explained to us. We were nowhere near any of the landing sites of the 12 men who have set foot on the Moon's surface.

We landed, and the moment both of my feet touched the surface—a stately mansion-like edifice appeared. It was the same color as the surrounding terrain.

When we approached the large door, the crystal glowed in my hand. Kara pointed out a place near the door handles where the crystal would fit. She took it from me and placed the narrow end into the opening.

Soundlessly, the imposing edifice came to life. The door opened for us, and closed behind us after we were inside. The colors were bright and beautiful. We saw the full-size mannequins of all persons we had heard of. As we approached an older Jor-El figure, a voice started, "I am Jor-El the Elder, a respected scientist and the patriarch of the House of El. After the Elders of Kandor dismissed our family's concerns for the planet, my sons Jor-El and Zor-El took an experimental rocket ship and converted it to a vessel capable of holding the precious cargo of my grandson Kal and granddaughter Kara Zor-El."

We stepped away, and it stopped. Another figure, similar but younger looking, "I am Jor-El the Younger, son of Jor-El the Elder and Nimda An-Dor. I was one of twins, born in Kryptonopolis – my twin was Nim-El. He perished mishandling one of the Liquid Sonar Bombs that doomed Krypton."

"Shortly after finishing my primary education, I started my career as a scientist. On the first day, I met one of my mentors, named Jax-Ur and his betrothed Lara Lor-Van. Jax-Ur was later put on trial for crimes against the state. Lara and I fell in love and married. We had two children; one died at birth. Kal was born, and has survived to adulthood."

We walked towards and listened to Lara's biography, as well as the story of Nim. We then walked over to the Zor-El clan and listened to their stories.

We were bedazzled by what we saw all around us—the holographic zoo, the robot Jor-El mentioned and many other elements we encountered perusing this place. There was even a niche for resting if needed.

We happened upon a large screen with a place for the crystal Kara was clutching all this time. She saw it as I had and looked at me before putting it inside.

Videos, moving pictures with no sound appeared. They were of Jor-El and Lara working side by side. We saw the occasional loving touch between the two. Zor-El would enter the scene to discuss something with his brother while Lara moved away, seemingly to distance herself from the men.

The men seemed to argue about something. It was impossible to determine about what. Zor-El left. A new scene started, this time with Lara and Alura, sisters-in-law, with Alura clearly pregnant. There was an argument, with Lara slapping Alura and running away in tears.

Kara pulled the crystal, stopping the video. She fell into my arms sobbing as well. That could have been Alura telling Lara that she was pregnant with Jor-El's daughter. What a miserable thing to witness.

We were through for this visit. We found our way back to the front door. It opened for us closing when we were clear. I gave my wife a kiss, which turned torrid quickly. As easily as it could have been to do something right there, propriety, which our Earth parents gave us, kicked in as we held hands and left the surface of the Moon.

Back on Earth, we traveled along with Ironman to see how the Middle East was handling the new waterway we helped create. It appeared that there still needed to be a reconnection between the two landmasses. Ships of all shapes and sizes were using the new canal, but traveling from the south portion to the north hadn't been reconnected by anyone. With all the money they have making, you'd think they would respect their citizens.

Above the canal, Tony, Kara and I discussed this. There appeared only a few villages of people living this far north, but they were cut off from the rest of the UAE and Oman.

Most of the rock we excavated was still where we left it.

"Tony, we could melt down the rock, and make a bridge of sorts for traveling," I suggested.

"If you could do that," Tony said, "make a walkway, I could connect it to either side of the canal, giving at least a walking path for weary travelers?"

"Great idea Tony!" Kara remarked.

"Not as good an idea as your suit design, my dear!" he flirted.

"Tony!" I said.

"Sorry, Kal – your wife.cousin.sister is quite attractive, you know?" he said.

"Oh," Kara said, "he knows!"

We got a rock of some size, and by using heat vision, cut it down into a pie wedge 12 feet wide and a comfortable incline of 5%. After getting the first one made, we replicated it three more times. Next we made four more starting at the height we had left off at previously. Within the hour, we had our highest point close to the height of the tallest ships going through the 'Stark Canal, ' as Tony had started referring to it by.

With he and Kara working together, I found a good-sized portion of leftover mountaintop, and after creating a crude form in the dirt, I melted the rock letting it reform as a long flat walkway. I was working at this when Tony came by saying, "Ready Chief?"

We all pushed together the multiple ramps. One at the west end ... the other at the east. The slabs of rock were immovable once we had them in place. Tony and Kara took my 500-foot long walkways and set them on the tops of the matching ramps. We waited for the next tall tanker to come by to see if we had gotten high enough.

We had. Tony made the comment that rails were needed, getting me back work on a simple design – 40 minutes later both ramps, and the 500-foot walk-across had hand-holds. We saw an extended family walk up to it.

"هل من الآمن عبر?" (Is it safe to cross?)

"إنه ذو موقع مثالى آمن؟" (It is perfectly safe!) I responded.

A smaller ship passed under them as the oldest son said, "بابا—وخزانة انظر سفينة!" (Papa—It is safe, I see a ship!)

"على سور, ابنى?" (Hold on to the railing, my son)

They all held onto the railing as they traveled to the other side.

When they got to the other side, I went to the father and said, "يرجى إخبار غيره انه لا ضير من السفر حتى تكون محاصرا اكثر طريقة،" (Please tell others that it is safe to travel until a more permanent method is in place?)

"السلام عليكم!" (Peace be upon you) He said to me.

"عليكم السلام!" (Upon you be peace!) I responded. We all flew away.

Crossing the Atlantic, Tony said, "Do you speak all languages, Kal?"

Before I could get in my response, Kara smiled and said, "Tony, he knows all tongues!" She flew on ahead of us.

"Kal, you've got the real thing there – don't fuck it up!" Tony said as I raced up ahead giving my wife a big hug from behind.

Chapter 2 »