DC Alt Earth 11 Strength and Grace Prologue



On Earth 11 it is Superwoman not Superman who becomes their greatest hero, this is the story of Laurel (Clara Kent) and K'Hym Jonnzz (Kimberly Erdel) and how they become Superwoman (Clara) and the Martian Manhunter (K'Hym)

Strength and Grace
Gotham City, 1966

      Sweet air filled his lungs where once was heat, burning scent of sulfur was replaced by the scent of plants.  The madness of H’ronmeer’s plague was replaced by strange electronic signals and a small humanoid with white hair growing above his lips.  The man spoke something frantically having been started by the sudden appearance and it was then that J’onn J’onzz remembered his daughter he still held in his hands, she breathed very lightly while the curse of fire burned through her mind.  It was all J’onn could do to hold of the plague from burning her mind and body, dealing with another strange humanoid was simply too much.  He placed his daughter on a strange flat surface with legs, didn’t their surfaces float?

      The humanoid spoke more but J’onn still could not understand him.  He risked reaching out with his mind to try to communicate with the humanoid and learned several things.  He was on another planet closer to the sun than Ma’aleca’andra, whom the humanoid thought of as Mars.  He felt the fire burning up within his daughter again and J’onn knew he did not have much longer to act.

      Regret filled him as he thought of the plague that had burned his wife and the people still left on Mars.  He and his daughter were so far from their homeland, maybe this far from his mad brother, Ma’Alefa’ak, he could save his daughter.  When the two had been born so long ago on Ma’aleca’andra it had been seen as a miracle, twins, were unusual to the point where it had been so many solar cycles since they had seen the last, so many generations in fact.  He had been named J’onn J’onnzz, which meant Light to the Light, his twin brother, however, was born in darkness.  This darkness was not an absence of light but the inability to communicate mentally with his fellow people, and his name Ma’alefa’ak reflected this, “Darkness in the heart.”  

      The years did not lessen the bitterness Ma’alefa’ak felt for his people, despite their constant attempts to work around his limitation.  The silence he felt in his mind drove him away from other people and eventually his own family.  While Ma’alefa’ak stewed in his own anger in self-imposed exile life had went on for J’onn J’onnzz.  He meet M’yri’ah while working his first duty as an officer of the peace.  Their minds had melded in ways that he had only heard about in stories of true love.  J’onn had not believed the stories until that moment.  Their love grew from that meeting and they married with K’hym’s birth following.  It was a time of true happiness for J’onn, and then it all burned away.  There were stories of people bursting into flames with no explanation filling the settlements with a fear that only spread, fire, was his people's greatest fear.

      It didn’t take long for the scientist to find out that it was their telepathy running out of control causing the very bodies of his people to heat up from telepathic overload.  People attempted to shut of their own minds while scientists worked frantically for a cure.   A number of people retreated to the country to isolate themselves as much as they could.  His father and M’yri’ah’s father stayed behind to help calm people as much as they could.  J’onn wondered if he would see them again.

      His brother Ma’alefa’ak showed up on his doorstep not long after he had retreated with his family.  He stood on the doorstep telling J’onn of the curse he had released, what he called H’ronmeer’s Plague, named after their god of death.  This greeting was drowned out by M’yri’ah’s screams as flames engulfed her forcing J’onn and his daughter to retreat further into the house. M’yri’ah must have known what was happening as she leapt at her brother in law scorching his skin as he attempted to dodge her advance.  Only his daughter’s scream had brought him back to his senses, his fear of flames fleed as he watched flames dance around her.  With every bit of his might, he attempted to hold back the plague and felt he had grabbed onto it somehow, the flames died down but she collapsed into his arms unable to stand.  He had spared a glance to his wife watching as she vanished in a roar of uncontrollable flames, telepathic energy still lashing out against her brother in law.   This was his last view of mars when light surrounded him blinding him when he next could see he was on Earth.

      He couldn’t speak the language of the humanoid so he did his best to communicate what he planned.  He would absorb the energy threatening his daughter into himself and he was not certain he would be able to survive this.  He plead with the humanoid to take care of his daughter who would be left alone in the world without him and unable to return home.  The technology around him was far too primitive to return them to their home, but maybe someday.  Somehow the humanoid had understood him and then J’onn turned his attention to his daughter seeking out the plague with his mind drawing the energy that threatened to burn her into his own mind and body.  It was all he could do to hold onto the energy and he felt it slipping from his grasp, his mental control.  In that moment he knew his only choice to save his daughter was to get away dragging the plague’s energies with him.  His last scream brought him the energy he needed to launch himself upwards phasing through the walls of the building he had been transported to sailing high into the sky for several minutes before his eyes opened to see the moon, in its reflection he could see his wife, his parents and hers reaching for him as the flames of the plague engulfed him.


      K’hym hurt all over, the burns from her telepathic abilities bursting forth from her left scorch marks all over.  She had watched as her father flew into the sky away from her and she screamed for him as loud as she could.  The strange humanoid held her now whispering something and her mind was filled with the outer thoughts of the humanoid trying to calm her down.  Only pain filled her mind as she struggled with all her strength feeling as if she were pulled under by darkness with only a distant light showing her the way out.  Her mind fought as hard as it could, harder than she ever had in her short life.  The humanoid was saying something in his language and her mind attempted to translate; he was trying to help her but had no clue as to how. In her desperation her mind reached out to his attempting to find some way to save itself, using the mental energy offered by the humanoid to balance itself.  As she struggled she felt herself slipping away into unconsciousness.


      Kimberly sat up in her grandfather’s cot, she had no idea how long she had been out here.  She must have fallen asleep while he worked with his radio.  She wondered if he had reached out to the Mars. He always dreamed he could ever since he read all those old science fiction stories of life on the long dead planet.  Something was nagging at her as she saw that her grandfather had fallen asleep as well.  Visions of mars itself as she dreamed of them filled her head, of a culture in its prime.  She brought a blanket over to her grandfather covering him before she returned to her cot.  She wondered why she dreamed of mars, just as she wondered where her telepathic powers had come from.    She thought perhaps that was the real reason why her grandfather worked so hard to prove there was life on Mars.  He believed her when she said there was a great culture there although he had warned her not to tell anyone else, they wouldn’t believe her.

      As she drifted off to sleep she thought about the parents she had not known and envisioned a story of her father as a police officer protecting everyone around him.  Maybe she should write it one day, she was certain she had the imagination to think of many more stories to come.

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