• Published 24th Oct 2013
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To be a Hero in changing times - Sparkfire



Superman has lost faith in himself, and now the world of equestria needs him to regain that faith before it's to late to save the bearers harmony.

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The Conversation (part 1- a rough start)

The Conversation (part one)

Superman just stared at the spot the Spectre and the 6 ponies were, just moments ago. He could only hope that they would recover from the trauma of seeing the hellhole known as Apokolips.

Hope, that’s why he was here. Why the Spectre brought him to this place.

His own hope is nearly gone, yet he is suppose to be its embodiment.

His birth parents made him their hope, that he would prevent the people of earth from making the mistakes that were made on krypton.

He became Jonathan and Martha Kents’ hope for a child, when they found him after the ship that brought him to earth crashed on their farm.

And then there are the people of the USA: They now trust him enough that they’re willing to give Clark the authority to kill anyone no matter what crime is committed. To allow him to become judge, jury and executioner. Their hope that he will fix everything wrong, is now the thing that makes Clark question how far is he going to go as Superman.

How far would he go?

Would he become a well meaning, but ultimately tyrannical dictator? Or a complete monster that couldn’t give a damn has to what happened to anyone that got in his way.

Who would stop Superman before he could become like the very monsters he fights, before the the Spectre did.

‘What good am I, if I become like Lord Superman or worse, Prime Minister Superman.’ He thought, bowing his head and rubbing the bridge of his nose.

“Uhmm, Mister Kal? Are you alright?” Asked a soft, yet high-pitched voice.

‘Sweetie Belle, if I recall correctly.’ Clark mused, then proceeded to answer her question. “No, not really. The past few months of my life have just been taxing and stressful. My world depends on me a lot.”

‘More than it should. Maybe I do too much, but if I stop, I’d feel like I’ve abandon them.’

After a pause, and then the Larger of the two princesses spoke.

“You speak as if you have the the power of a god, yet the body of a mortal. And what of the three names we’ve been told you have? What are you exactly?”

“Fair questions. Since the Spectre thinks that me telling you who I am, and my origins, powers and weakness, will allow you to trust me a little more than you currently do. Under normal circumstances, I’d avoid talking about this, but due to who we’ll be facing, It would be safer for you to know about me more than just why I was brought here. I’ll start from the beginning.

“My birth name is Kal-El, but my legal name is Clark Kent. Superman is a name that was given to me when I first appeared in this suit in public. Before you ask how I have a birth name and a legal name, I was born on another planet. My birth parents named me Kal-El.

“However, the planet I was born on was going to be destroyed. So, my birth parents decided to save me by sending me to another planet. It worked, and I was found by a human woman and man named Martha and Jonathan Kent.

“They adopted me, though, it took years for them to tell me how they did.

“Unfortunately, they found out I wasn’t normal. I started getting stronger, faster, more perceptive. I discovered that I could do things humans can’t do. I was able to see for vast distances, survive things that would kill normal humans, and I eventually figured out that I could see through almost anything. That I was able to fire energy from my eyes.

“I had no idea what was happening to me, I just thought I was a freak. As the years past, I grew more powerful, and gain a few new abilities. Like flight, and freezing breath.

“Around what was legally my 18th birthday, I lost Pa to a Tornado that ripped through town. That was a sobering experience. Before that day, I thought I could save everyone. Now, I know better.

“After the funeral, I met the Stranger. Please don’t ask about who or what he is, no one really knows a lot about him. He said I should go to college and study journalism.

“To this day, I have no clue how he knew I was even interested in that. I didn’t want to leave Ma alone, but when I told her I was going to stay with on the farm, she was furious at me. Said I shouldn’t put her above my education.

“For awhile after I got my Masters’ Degree, I was just a freelance reporter. Just wandering, trying to write any story that came my way. I used the time I had to get to know the people that were the subject of the piece, and learned some self-defence or martial arts just to keep my powers in check or learn to focus on a specific power. I did that to make sure I didn’t use the wrong power or hurt or even kill someone unintentionally.

“After nearly three years of that, I found out that my ship had another passenger: Brainiac 5. He had been attached to the ships’ hull in his dormant form, but was separated during the ships’ entry into earths’ atmosphere. It was from him that I learn who I was and where I was from. He also told me what happened to Krypton.

“After that meeting, I gained this combat suit. Then I had a choice: to keep myself a secret, or to reveal myself to the world. I chose the latter. The emblem on my chest is my kryptonian family crest according to Brainy. It’s why people started to call me Superman.

“And that’s why I have three name.

“I guess now I’ll need to tell you my powers and my weaknesses. The reason I am tell you my weaknesses is mainly because of who we’re going to be facing. He is very dangerous and can use mind games and manipulation, as well as illusions to pit us against each other.

“I only have one primary power: Solar energy absorption. From that, I derive all of my other powers. What makes this a double edge sword, is that I can’t control how little or how much I absorb.

“As you can guess, it means that the strength of my powers vary a bit. The last time someone tried to measure my maximum strength, I broke the machine. But not before it clocked me clear lifting just over 1 octillion tons.” Clark paused for a second, letting the reality of what he said sink in.

Then questioning started, but from the one who Clark hadn’t heard anything from. The one that was introduced to him as Granny Smith.

“Sonny, yer saying that yer stronger than an earth pony? Ah don’t believe ya.”

“I don’t expect you to ma’am. I am telling the truth though, I really can’t say how strong I am. That test was a few days before I had to fight a monster that nearly killed me. I was drained, and it took a month to get back to normal. My strength level also means that I really need to be careful when I touch anything.”

“You said you absorb solar energy. Can you explain what that is?” Princess Celestia asked, now convinced that this being was very dangerous.

“Basically, it the energy from the sun. Also, as I said, the ability is passive. That said, it’s not a good idea for me to absorb too much.”

“What happens if you do?”

“I have to release it, because if I don’t, it’ll cause a power overload that overrides my normal level of restraint. It means I won’t be able to gage how much power or force I use when I use my powers. It’s very rare for me to absorb too much under normal conditions. I would have to be about 1 million miles or less from the sun itself for that to happen- why are you backing away from me princess?”

Yes, Celestia was backing away from him. Mostly because of what Clark said. When he called attention to it, she noticed that everypony was looking at her.

“Uhh, well you see I actually raise the sun. My magic is tied into it, and so is my, uh, magic aura. I radiate solar energy constantly. I kept the term out of books out of embarrassment. It sort of like passing gas is for normal ponies.” Celestia said, with a slight blush on her muzzle.

“Ok, I didn’t see that coming. You raise the sun? Not to sound rude, but you wouldn’t happen be able to Red-shift or blue-shift your aura?” Clark asked, mainly just to check if they could defend themselves against him (and hoping that they could), and a little curious if Celestia actually could “raise the sun”.

“Red-Shift? Blue Shift? Why would I want to endanger every living being on the planet? I’d drain myself of all energy, and become as weak as a foal for 10 minutes even if I did either a red or blue shift!! Why on earth would you even ask me if I could do something that dangerous? AND YES, I DO RAISE THE SUN” Celestia asked (and yelled at ) Clark angrily, upset that anyone would even suggest that she try something that would potentially devastate the world.

But, as she looked him in the eyes, she could tell that something was amiss. He seemed to be relieved about the fact she could Red/Blue shift her aura. He even seemed to be smiling at her. Was he actually just faking this entire thing? Was Tirek just a cover for something else? Why would he actually be smiling?

“Princess.” Clark said, still smiling. “I wouldn’t want you to do something like that unless you have no choice. Why I asked you if you could, was to make sure you have a way to stop me. That’s why I’m smiling, because you can stop me. You need to be able to stop me, just in-case something forces me to fight you. Tirek has turned me against my friends and allies through some very nasty mind games just for the sheer hell of it on at least one occasion. Knowing my weaknesses is necessary as a countermeasure against that tactic.” The smile Clark had then slowly dropped.

“However, first I need to explain why I asked you if you could red or blue shift your aura.

“Red Sun light or red solar energy if you prefer, is a weakness of mine. White Stars can double my power, while a Blue Star quadruples it.

“I have three other weaknesses, but one of them is rendered moot since I’m in another universe.

“The other two are a little complicated.

“Magic is the odd one. Transformation and healing magic have little to no affect on me, but offensive and Divine magic can hurt me. Demonic, black, and even necromantic magic, well the effect they have on me depends on the power of the user, the spell, and how it’s channeled. And I have no clue if Chaos magic can do anything to me at all. Passive spells also can affect me. And in-case you need to get me and others somewhere in a hurry, Magical teleportation does work on me, it just has to be really precise or portal based.

“Psionics or psychic powers really are dangerous to me. I can be mind controlled, but I can’t kill or use my powers at full strength unless it’s something I’d actually do in the situation if I was put in that same situation without being mind controlled.

“And I actually do believe you raise the sun, but not that you literally raise it. I’ll explain why, in private with you and your ‘sisters?’, later. Forgive me for saying that, but I don’t know you relationship with the other winged unicorn”

“Only Luna is my sister, the other ALICORN is my student. There is only one other, and she is mine and my sisters’ niece, and my students’ sister in-law.” Celestia seethed, trying to calm down.

“Princess, ah think it’d be best if’un ya and the others go inside. Ah want ta talk ta our guest. Reckon that since Ah’m the owner of the Farm, if’un he needs ta stay here, he better talk ta me. Might seem ‘bit selfish, but ah just think ah might be able to understand him better than ya’ll six.” Big MacIntosh said, mostly because he did think he did understand Clark a bit better than the mares and fillies.

After some arguing from Granny Smith, and Mac simply saying that he thinks that Princess Celestia need some time to calm down, the 6 others did as they were asked. Clark did think he heard the three fillies arguing about something as they, and the three Mares when inside.

“Look, Mister Apple, I didn’t mean to upset them. Seems just trying to assure I can be stopped made her upset. I’ll try to talk to her later, but it might be easier for me to just move a mountain to another planet.

“I probably did make it seem like I was antagonizing her a bit. Unfortunately, I don’t really know how to make it up to them.

“Mister MacIntosh, what do you think of me?”

Few a minute, Mac didn’t answer. Truthfully, unlike the princesses, he could tell that the Strange visitor was being entirely honest with them. Mac just said what he really thought of him.

“Ah think yer being completely honest. Ah have a question though, why tell us about your weaknesses? Seems ta me, you could have held those back till we trusted ya a bit more, and ya trusted us a bit more.”

“True, but right now, if Dar- excuse me, Tirek is targeting your world, I think giving your people as much information on me as possible will at least give you an idea of what he is capable of.” Clark responded, though he nearly slipped up and spoke Darkseids’ name.

‘Almost said his name, for now i’ll have refer to him as Tirek for now. I just don’t think I’m ready to say his real name yet. After what he’s put me through, I’m surprised I haven’t just when to Apokolips every month just to cut loose and beat him to with in an inch of his immortal life.’

“But why tell us yer weaknesses? Don’t make a lick o’ sense to me, seeing as they’re not Tireks’.” MacIntosh responded, noticing the the now sorrowful look on Clark.

“Because, as I said earlier, Tirek uses mind games and mental tactics that could make us see each other as enemies during a battle against him. He made me think a friend of mine was a really dangerous enemy of mine once, and it took the entire Justice League to restrain me. At that point none of them knew my weaknesses except one. He wasn’t there due to some injuries he had at the time. The worst part is, I nearly killed them all.

“After that, I made sure everyone had way to stop me. Tirek is beyond a monster, and this world needs every advantage it can get to stop him. Even if it kills me, I won’t let anyone die under my watch if I can help it.

“Look, I know this up eventually, so I say this now. I’ll admit that I have killed, but I was given no choice both times. And to be truthfully, I really didn’t want to. I don’t like admitting that, but if I don’t say it now, I know it can possibly destroy any trust any of you would have in me.”

His eyes closed, now thinking of the first time he had to kill. Of the universe that was lost to his adopted cousin because he didn’t get there in time and the consequences of his decision to do what he did. Thinking of how that Zod had to be stopped.


Clark was being held down by two kryptonian females, the only followers of Zod to escape the Phantom Zone with him. They were currently holding him down so Zod could beat him to death.

“Once. I. Kill. You. Son. Of. Jor-El. I. Will. Destroy. Every. Damn. Being. In. YOUR.UNIVERSE!!As every blow landed, they punctuated every word Zod spoke. All the while he laughed for no other reason than he thought that he had won.

He was wrong, as Clark was here to stop him. He had be given a weapon, locked in a box made of lead, that would stop them. He chose to not use it, as he thought he could reason with them.

Now, they have given him no choice but to use it.

He struggled to get the three off of him. Using his Strength, he slammed the two women into Zod as fast as he could before he could land another punch, dazing Zod and disorienting the girls. He then kicked Zod 10 meters back, after which, he threw Zods’ two cronies on top of him.

Clark then walked over to where he dropped the lead box, and opened it.

The three Kryptonians had no idea what the glowing green rock was or what it would do to them, until Clark threw it in front of the them. As pain filled them, they heard Clark speak.


“I wish hadn’t come this. General Dru-Zod, Faora and Ursa, the three of you were once prisoners of the Phantom Zone. When you were freed, you had a chance to atone for the crimes you committed on Krypton. Instead, you added to them.” Clark stop talking for a second, tears starting to fall from his eyes as he ready himself. He lowered his head and closed his eyes, tears still streaming down his face.


“For the crime of omnicide: the needless killing-” he paused for second as his voice breaks “of nearly every living being in this universe, the sentence is” Clark raised his head and opened his now glowing red eyes “DEATH!”

The last thing the three saw was a red flash that destroyed their bodies completely and utterly. They barely had time to scream.


“Are ya going ta be ok? Ya seem distraught about something.”, Macs’ voice snapped Clack out of his trance.

“I’m fine, just reflecting on some choices I didn’t want make but had anyway.”

“Ya said Tirek is worse than a Monster. On a scale of 1 ta 10, how bad is he? Ah want ta know just what my sister and her friends have ta face.”

“On that scale, I’d say that he’d break it ten times over.”

“Ah see. Come with me, and grab some of those baskets over by the porch.”

“Actually, do you have a wagon or anything similar? If you do, I’ll carry all of them.”

At that statement, Mac just lifted a hoof and pointed to the barn. He cocked an eyebrow when he saw why he needed to wagon. Clark had grabbed 105 baskets and used to wagon to carry them. Mac figured that the wagon just gave him away to carry the buckets so he wouldn’t drop them.

‘Mmm, Pa always did say that “ya can be the strongest pony alive, yet still be clumsier than yer aunt Apple Jam if you don’t watch what ya do”. Ah reckon, ah’d do the same thing, if’n ah was as strong as he says he is.’ The Red Stallion thought, as he lead Clark to a small field of 21 fully loaded apple trees.

“May I ask why we’re here? I don’t think you brought me here just to pick apples.”

“Yer right, ya ain’t gonna pick’em. Yer gonna buck’em. Jus’ put the baskets under the trees. Five baskets per tree.”

“Buck them? I don’t think I understand what you mean.”

“Ah mean this.” Mac spoke, as he walked right up to the closest tree and bucked it hard.

Clark was stunned that he actually meant to buck the tree like that. “That might be tricky for me to do, but I’ll try. I’ll have to try and hold back as much as I can so as not to damage the trees, but I can do it.”

Clark walked up to one of the remaining trees, closed his eyes, and focused on the image of MacIntosh hitting the trees. Clark wanted to get it right, and use the correct amount of force. When he thought he he had it figured out, he opened his eyes, pulled his right arm back, and punched. He hit every tree at once, and knocked every apple off them.

However, Clark was not happy. The the simultaneous punches left indents of his knuckles in the trees.

“Damn, used too much force. Sorry, I was hoping to save you some trouble. Didn’t want to do any damage to them.”

Big Mac could only respond one way “What the buck jus’ happened? How’d ya do that? Ya hit every single tree at once!”

“That was super-speed. Like I said earlier, I can move very fast. You just saw after-images, which are a side-effect of super-speed.”

MacIntosh said nothing else about it, but he already had his final opinion about what he thought of Clark formed.

‘He may be a powerful being, but he seems ta be ‘fraid of his full power. Control of ‘em seems to be his MO. He’s using them ta help others Fer faust sakes, he used ‘em ta save mah sister and her friends. Despite the fact he’d never met ‘em til today. So why jus’ causally explain his weaknesses like they were nothing?’

It took MacIntosh a minute, but he reasoned it was his upbringing. That he was taught to use his powers to help anyone who needed it, and thus regarded his powers as something must be limited. Seeing him do something that would damage one tree would have been no big deal, since MacIntosh did that sometimes. However, seeing him do it to 20 trees simultaneously was a sight, as it explained to him why the creature called Clark not only told them his weaknesses, but why mentioned that he has killed without needing to be asked.

“Ya want to have some control of the battle if’n everythin’ goes ta tartarus. I want ta know, what has Tirek done ta ya ta make you reluctant ta even say his real name?”

Clark, who had started loading up the now full apple baskets on to the wagon stopped what he was doing, turned to Big Mac, looked him straight in the eye and said seven words that would horrify the Stallion.

“He violated me in every way possible.” After Clark said that, he then finished loading the wagon.

“Ah think we’re all* gonna need a drink of the hard stuff after the girls get back. Come on, let go back ta the house.”

As they walked back, MacIntosh thought about something. Granny was under the impression that nothing could be as strong as an earth pony. How she got that impression, he had no idea. Yet, if this being was strong enough to stop an Alicorn with ease, where did that put them on the totem pole in the grand scheme of things.

Before either could question the other any further, they reached the house. For now, MacIntosh had to inform the princesses, Granny, and three very impressionable fillies about what he thought of Clark. He was not looking forward to this one bit.

‘Jus’ hope Princess Celestia’s Calmed down a bit. This day jus’ keeps gettin’ longer and longer.’

MacIntosh asked Clark to put the wagon down and cover it with a tarp, then wait outside till he talked with everyone in the house.

Inside

As MacIntosh entered the Farmhouse, he could immediately hear arguing coming from the kitchen. He knew what, and who was it was about.

“Sister, I know he seems dangerous, but give him some credit. I doubt he wants to hurt anypony. Maybe he didn’t realize he insulted you, or he honestly does believe you should do everything to stop him should the need arise?

“Fine, I reconsider what he said. Still, I don’t like him. It’s hard to explain, just that he seems to be hiding something. Just be weary of him Luna, and that goes to you four as well as MacIntosh and the girls when we see them again.”

‘Seems she’s calmed down a lot. Well, at least ah know what ta expect’

“Ah’m back” MacIntosh yelled, getting the attention of the girls.

“Well, Sir MacIntosh? What is your opinion of the stranger?”

“Yes, Mister Apple? What do you think of him?”

MacIntosh took a deep breath, he wasn’t sure how they would take this, but both princesses wanted the truth. But how could he tell them that Clark had been completely honest with them all the entire time. ‘Here goes nothing.’

“Yer highnesses, Ah hate to tell ya this, but he’s been completely honest with us the whole time.”

At that exact moment, both Luna and Celestias’ minds shut down. They hadn’t been lied to by the alien? It took them a few seconds to respond, and both of them spoke same thing as though their minds were in sync at that exact moment (in the canterlot voice).

“YOU’VE GOT TO BUCKING KIDDING US?!!”

“Enope.”

“Jonathan MacIntosh Apple, don’t ya lie ta the princesses or ta me. Nothing is as strong as he says he is, and ah mean nothin.” Granny Smith stated, eyeing MacIntosh like he was in trouble for insulting Faust herself.

“Granny, he didn’t lie. Everything he said in front of ya’ll and everything he told me was 100% true. What he said about Tirek was horrifying ta say the least, and explains why he told us his weaknesses. He’s Scared of what Tirek might do to make him attack us.” MacIntosh pause for second, letting this sink in so he could finish telling them his evaluation of Clark.

“If ah didn’t know better, ah’d say he was raised as an Apple. Ya c’n tell something is bothering him, yet he feels like he can’t show it. Like he has to be this ‘Superman’ all the time, or the world will go ta tartarus. It’s like he can’t just be himself.”

“Mr. Apple, how do you know he was telling the truth. If we accept him as an ally, I want to be absolutely one hundred percent sure. What purpose would tell us his weaknesses serve him, why just tell us everything he did like it was a casual conversation?

“Look, after everything that has happened in the past year or two, I’ve realized I’ve let my guard down a lot. I won’t be caught unaware again, and I won’t let something as dangerous as Chrysalis or as powerful as Discord running around with no way to keep him in check. Even with those weaknesses of his, they require immense power or incredible strength of will to preform. There’s also the fact that those weakness might just be lies.

“So, for now I believe you. However, I will talk to him myself. I will not let anypony else deal with something I should be dealing with.

“And Luna, before you yell at me, consider this; You are still learning modern customs. He is an alien, and this is a first contact situation. Technically, since my outburst was partially unfounded, that proved that we’re both ill equipped for this. I still have more experience though, which why I have to do this.

“I sounded like a foal, even though I thought I was being insulted. I need to act like who I am: a ruler who must put the needs of her subject over her own petty grievances.

“Mr. Apple, is there anything else I should know about him?”

“Eeyep, don’t mention anything ‘bout havin’ ta kill anyone. Seems he has a thing against it, though from what he said ’bout Tirek, Ah c’n see why.”

At that statement, everypony in the room just looked at MacIntosh like he had grown a second head.

“Uh Mr. Apple, what does killing have to do with anything?”

“From the way he was talkin’, Ah’d say that he hates to kill. Probably was forced ta kill with no other alternative a few times as well. Ah reckon he sees killing as a last resort.

“‘Fore ya’ll ask, it came up when ah asked him why he told us his weaknesses. Let’s jus’ say Tirek sounds like a very bad combination of Nightmare Moon, Disord, Sombra and has the skills and power ta back up any claim that’s been made about him.”

At that Celestia nodded,and prepared herself as she stood up. Her eyes closed tight, trying to understand the actions of the self-admitted alien. And the other one, who had touted him as the bearer of the Element of Hope in his universe.

‘I guess I’ll have to resort to using a spell that will let me see if he is telling the truth. My own magic might not do anything to him, but Lunas’ might’ Celestia thought to herself, remembering he did say her magic would probably power him up since it is in essence, solar energy.

“Luna, I want you to cast a spell on our visitor- one that show me if he’s lying or not. I will tell him you’re going to cast it on him, so as to show him that it is not an attack against him. Will you do this?”

“As long as he is willing to subject himself to it, yes I will cast it.”

“Good, because it’s time I had a heart to heart with this ‘Clark Kent’. This time, I won’t let anything he says get to me. However, I want you all to remember to be on your guard. Even if he is on the up and up, his ideas of justice might not be inline with ours.

“He may become a threat, one that is well meaning, but ultimately tyrannical. There is no telling what he is willing to do to achieve his goals. Just keep that in mind when talking to him.”

With that, Celestia walked towards the door. Not knowing how to deal with this situation, nor what to expect. Opening the door to go out, one thought crossed her mind.

‘He maybe lying, but I have to hope for the best. There’s that word again. Why is the element of hope needed now, when the ones we have have worked just fine till now?

Mother, Father, if you were here now, what would you do in my place?’

And with that thought, Celestia made her way to Clark, not knowing how this would play out. As Questions raced through her mind, she knew one thing must not happen.

‘I will not fail my subjects again’

Author's Note:

This chapter was the hardest so. It also has possibly the worst flame-bait that will be in the fic.

*Excluding the crusaders of course

I'm going to make this clear, I won't improve if you guys don't criticize on the things I may have done wrong in my writing (like grammar, wording, or characterization) or praise me on what is done right. You can make suggestions. As long as you're civil about it.

Next Time, Celestia and Clark will come to an understanding with each other (since I don't won't her to seem like she took douche lessons from Lex Luthor). And the Girls come back.

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