Superman pulled his fist back, and punched it into the body of the battle mech armor suit that stood at least four feet taller than him. Since he did not want to harm the person inside of the war machine he only applied enough force to dent its titanium plating. Even so it stumbled backwards for a few yards.
Intergang. Superman thought to himself, giving the name of the near terrorist-like organization the same consideration as a particularly unpleasant swear word. He blocked his face with his arms to deflect the energy blasts from the armor’s laser weapons.
Intergang, their purpose unknown, had been mostly quiet in their activities as organized crime, until early last year when Superman put several members behind bars. After that they started to up the ante, and started using never before seen weapons that seemed to let just a few individuals rival an army in power. Finally the man of steel had brought an end to Intergang’s reign of terror on Metropolis, but the cost was a war that tore through the city. Buildings fell, lives were shattered, people died…
And some of Intergang were still out there! For as long as they could hide from Superman. This person in the armor, he was not part of them, but he had some of their tech and he knew where there was more.
A heat vision blast destroyed the armor's laser, and a burst of cold breath froze the hydraulics in its legs. With it immobilized, and its primary weapon disabled, Superman approached the mechanical suit.
The man inside the armor activated its secondary weapons. Panels on either shoulder opened up to reveal miniature rocket launchers, and two rockets fired at Superman.
He caught a rocket in each hand, and contained their explosions by holding them to his body. He kept walking. Before more rockets could be used he destroyed their launchers with his heat vision.
Circular structures in the armor's hips popped out and shot electrified saw blades at Superman.
He kept walking and let the flying disks hit his chest where they shattered.
With the hero now in arm's reach of the armor its operator used its only melee weapon. The massive fists of the armor turned inward, rocket boosters appeared to lock in place opposite them, and the forearms extended to turn the limbs into massive rocket propelled hammers. The weapons swung at Superman, aimed for his head, in a move meant to squash his skull between them…
...and he leaned back, letting them clash harmlessly together. Before the man in the armor could react, Superman grabbed the arms of the mech, held its fists together, and used his heat vision to weld them into a single useless block of metal.
“Are you done?” he asked with a smirk.
The armor opened up, and the man inside pointed a shaking gun at Superman. Faster than the man could blink, Superman reached out and pinched the weapon where the trigger mechanism was causing it to lock up. The man slumped in surrender.
The police moved in to make the arrest. Most people would probably joke about the cavalry being on time as usual, but Superman knew that they just weren't prepared to handle such threats. Two of them, Maggie Sawyer and Daniel Turpin, approached him with the intent of thanking him.
Suddenly he heard the screech of tires, and anguished screams. Superman took to the air as fast as he could…
Lois Lane sat at her desk across from Celestia, or Tia when in her disguise, who sat at Clark's. Tia was dressed up in another of her business outfits, but she had left her fedora at home in favor of getting Lois to fix her hair like her own. Lois had become curious about how the clothes fit so well when they were made for humans and asked about it, Tia had replied that she used her magic to change the length of the threads that made up her clothes.
“Nice trick kid.” Lois rubbed her chin. “Does that work on swimsuits?”
“As long as it's cloth it will work. I tried it on other stuff, but I couldn't figure it out.”
Tia looked around at the many people in the room. Jimmy Olsen was playing one of his hand held games, Perry White was on the phone in his office, everyone else was doing whatever job they did, and her father was still not back from his ‘coffee run’. What was taking so long? She decided to ask Lois.
“How long does he usually take on a ‘coffee run’?” Tia raised her forehooves and made air quotes with them when she said coffee run.
Lois looked at her watch. “Not usually this long, unless something really big happens, but unless it's like a giant robot or something I wouldn't worry about it.”
“...I'm a little hungry, can we go get some cake?”
“Too much cake will make you fat.” Lois smiled teasingly. “And you already snuck Jimmy’s cookies out of his lunchbox.”
Tia, completely unconcerned about Jimmy’s cookies, looked at her belly. “I'm not fat.” she said, frowning.
“What do I pay you people for!?!” Perry White yelled as he burst out of his office and turned on the tv that they used to keep up with their competition. “Something big just happened with Superman, and you're all here NOT reporting on it!”
They all gathered around the tv. Perry finally found the right channel. A brown haired woman in a yellow jumpsuit was reporting, and she looked like this was the very last thing she wanted to do…
...here at the scene of the tragedy that happened earlier today. Behind me is the car that hit, and killed a young boy when its driver lost control. It has been discovered that Superman arrived on the scene too late to prevent this horrible accident, and that when she saw him the mother of the boy asked Superman: Where were you?
Perry White turned off the tv, told everyone to take the rest of the day off, shut himself in his office, and brought out the bottle of Scotch he kept in his desk.
Jimmy Olsen shook his head as he headed for the elevator, and spoke to nobody in particular. “Superman must feel terrible.”
“I'm sure he is.” Lois looked up from her desk. “Come on, Tia. I'll take you home… Tia?” The alicorn was gone.
Celestia sailed through the sky, flying as fast as she could. It was a long flight to the Fortress of Solitude, especially if you flew by wings instead of will power. The cold did not help.
The wind began to pick up, and a storm of ice and snow buffeted her wings. She had not yet learned how to fly in such strong weather, and the struggle to maintain her altitude drained what strength she had left. She fell, slowly at first, and then rapidly as her wings gave out. She landed in a fresh pile of snow, and had to dig her way out.
Celestia called out for her father. She sent a bright beam of magical energy into the sky. If she could just figure out which direction the Fortress was…
She did not know what to do, and so she collapsed in the snow and wept.
The crunching of snow under heavy steps alerted her to someone's approach. She looked up to see an unknown man.
“Well isn't this something? Haven't seen an alicorn in a long time.” The great bearded man picked her up. Somehow she could sense this man's good and gentle nature, and his fierce protective nature, and she knew that he would not harm her. “You are lucky that I decided to take my team out for some exercise. If I had not, I would not have seen your signal. Come now, I will take you where you need to go.”
Celestia walked into the Fortress of Solitude. She knew he was here, he had smashed his way in rather than use the door.
She found him in the room with his rocket. He had stripped off his cape and was looking at it as he sat at the foot of the statue of his Kryptonian parents. She hugged him.
“It wasn't your fault.”
“It doesn't matter.” he mumbled. “I can't do it, not on my own. No matter how fast or strong or smart I am, I still can't be everywhere at once. I can't stop a bank robbery if I'm across the city stopping someone from killing themselves. I can't put out a fire if I'm fighting someone from Intergang. I can't even find a cure for cancer because I'm out saving people.”
Celestia just hugged him tighter. She remembered the man who found her, and his team.
“You are not alone. Your are not the only hero in the world, and just because you are seen as the greatest of them does not mean that you expected to do everything.” she told him. Celestia levitated his cape onto her and made him look her in the eye. “I know how much they mean to you. I see your heart breaking because you cannot save them all, and I feel as if I am reminded of myself having the same heartache. I do not know if in some past life I had to endure this alone, but I know you do not have to.”
Celestia’s horn illuminated the Fortress with her golden magic. Her eyes closed for a moment, and opened again to flood the room with more light as they glew with the brilliant light of her power. She touched her horn to his forehead.
Two lives now intertwine.
Bound by blood of the paternal line.
What was just yours now too is mine.
My love and power now is thine.
Light flowed from Celestia’s and Superman’s chests, and merged together into a swirling double helix before both her own light and his flowed into her.
Apollo pulled out a checklist and marked off the first thing on it. “Prophecy.”
Superman looked in shock at his computer. He stood before it's massive screen as it showed him the most recent scan of Celestia’s DNA. Not feeling like he could stand much longer, he fell back into his chair.
She's my daughter. Not because of some god’s prophecy, or because I took her in. She has my blood. His feelings of dread and despair over not being good enough to protect everyone evaporated, and a new feeling replaced them. A feeling of protective responsibility. No longer was he the young Superboy that went on secret adventures just for fun. No longer was he the grand saviour of the masses. No, he now had something, SOMEONE, that would need him, not because he was a hero, but because he was her father. It's not about me or them anymore. It's not about making the world better because they or I think I should do something. It's about her. It's about making the world better for her.
“But how?” he asked himself. And then he saw her, sleeping under his cape, and he knew that no matter how much he wanted to keep her safe...she was not just his daughter, she was Superman’s daughter, and she would want to be like him. “Ok then. Let's get you ready.”
Several armed fugitives were having a firefight with the Metropolis Police Department in broad daylight and in the middle of the street. The fugitives had force field generators and special high temperature guns that shot bullets that came out of the barrels hot enough to melt steel. The cops had standard issue SWAT gear.
One fugitive lined up a shot with the head of Daniel Turpin, and pulled the trigger.
Dan Turpin glanced at the younger officers next to him and wondered if they had felt that sudden gust of wind.
With a great whooshing of the wind that followed in her wake, Celestia arched up into the air. With a cry from below of “It's Superman!” everyone's attention followed the vapor contrail of something flying at high speed. With a great whoop of excitement she dove downwards, her blue shirt and red skirt making a magenta blur to accompany the light rainbow blur of her mane and tail.
The Kryptonian Alicorn landed in front of the criminals with a powerful dispersal of her momentum that pushed nearby cars back.