Vignette #1:

"Finally, tonight, the solution of a sixteen year-old mystery.

As our viewers may recall, two months ago, the mummified body of an eighty year-old woman was found in a peat bog outside Bourtangerstad in the Netherlands. Preliminary tests indicated that the so-called 'Bourtangerstad Woman'  had lain undisturbed in the bog since approximately 2000 BCE.

However, in a statement released today by UNIT Scientific HQ in Geneva, Switzerland, it was revealed that DNA testing had identified the Bourstangerstad Woman as the remains of Ms. Kimberly Ann Posinki, formerly of Middleton, Illinois. 

Ms. Posinski had disappeared without a trace in May of 2004, one month before her eighteenth birthday.   Posinski, an amateur crime-fighter, was better known by her codename, 'Kim Possible'.  With her classmate, Ronald Stoppard, known as 'Ron Stoppable', she fought several lower-tier super-villains, in particular Doctor Drew Lipsky, alias 'Doctor Drakken', 
-
Despite an exhaustive search, no trace of Ms. Posinski was ever found, and no clue to her disappearance was uncovered. Now, at last, the mystery is solved.

In a parchment message that was found with her body, which has been declassified only today, Ms. Posinski states that during an encounter with the criminal time traveler known as 'The Lord of Time', she was sent back to what she eventually realized was Bronze Age Europe.  While she attempted to leave signals as to her whereabouts for her friends in the present to find, in time she came to accept that no rescue was forthcoming.  Joining a local community, she married and had several children and grandchildren.  She arranged for her remains to be buried in the bog upon her decease, in the hope, now fulfilled, that they would eventually be found.

When asked if it might now be possible to rescue Ms. Posinski using some form of time travel, UNIT Scientific Advisor, Doctor John Disco, said,  'Sorry, no, it would create a temporal paradox. Now, shut up, I'm busy.'

Once final tests have been completed, Ms. Posinki's remains will be returned to her parents, Doctors James and Ann  Posinski, still resident in Middleton.

In a statement given this afternoon, Doctor James Posinski said: 'It's a very sad day for us, we'd never given up hope that we'd find her alive and well.  We do take some small comfort that our dear Kimmie will be coming home to us at last.'

In an additional note, UNIT genetic scientists say that Ms. Posinki's descendants may well number in the millions, and that this may help explain certain hitherto unexplained anomalies that have been found in certain  Western European populations."

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The name was not a deliberate reference.  Just a random name I came up with.

Did not know them about Lois, I'd always thought of her as being a city girl.

Philip Portelli said:

Is Lorraine Potter related to the Potters from the Superman mythos: Professor Potter and Lana Lang's mother?

And in the Silver Age, Lois was a farm girl, as her parents had one in Pittsdale.

From Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #13: When Sam Lane was a farmer, not a general.



The Baron said:

The name was not a deliberate reference.  Just a random name I came up with.

Did not know them about Lois, I'd always thought of her as being a city girl.

Philip Portelli said:

Is Lorraine Potter related to the Potters from the Superman mythos: Professor Potter and Lana Lang's mother?

And in the Silver Age, Lois was a farm girl, as her parents had one in Pittsdale.

Should be Vignette #9

The Baron said:

Vignette #8:

A letter dated December 5, 2033, from retired restaurant owner Harrison Phelps to college student Danielle Cage:

 

“Dear Ms. Cage-

 

Thank you for your letter. Nothing about it bothered me at all. It’s true – if I’m going to tell my story, it had better be sooner rather than later.

 

You asked about the first meeting of the All-Star Squadron. I was there. I was one of the catering staff. At 108, I’m reasonably certain that I’m the last of the staff still alive, and as it happens, I have a story that I’ve never told to anyone before, and that I’ve never seen mentioned in any other source.

Now I’m sure you’ve seen the group photo they took that day, the fifty-seven heroes who were the Squadron’s founding members.  What you don’t know – what no one knows but me – is that there actually sixty heroes there that day. My story is the story of the three heroes that never made it into the group photo.

 

The way that day went was like this:  The heroes arrived at the meeting hall, then there was a brief introductory speech from a Presidential aide, and then a greeting from FDR via closed-circuit TV. After that, there was a longer speech from Captain America – how the Squadron would operate, what would be expected of the members, that sort of thing.  Then they did the group photo.  I wasn’t there for most of that, because after the group photo there was a buffet lunch, and we catering staff were busy getting it ready.

 

A number of heroes left after the photo – the Spectre, the Old Soldier, Doctor Fate – but most of them stayed, certainly enough to keep us busy. I had gone back to get some more Vienna sausages – super-heroes sure do like Vienna sausages, for some reason –  and was on my way back to the dining room when I ran into a hero I’d never seen before.  That was no big deal – I hadn’t heard of most of them back then, even some of the ones who became a big deal later on. 

 

Anyway, the hero I saw was a short, stocky dark-haired guy. He had a stereotypical ‘super-hero’ outfit on – domino mask, cape and tights, all in gray and brown.  The words ‘RUTAN THE MAGNIFICENT’ were written on his shirt. The overall effect was of a costume designed by a man who didn’t know how to sew.  That was also no big deal – lots of those early heroes’ costumes looked like that.

‘Rutan’ brushed on by me.  I asked him if he wanted anything, but he ignored me.

 

Before I could react any further, two more people came up behind me. One was a blonde woman wearing a striped shirt, blue jeans, boots and a long lavender-gray coat. She had a domino mask on and carried a small silver rod in her right hand.  Next to her was a dark-skinned, dark-haired girl. She might have been a Mexican, or maybe an Arab. She wore street clothes supplemented by a domino mask and a cape that was obviously a re-purposed blanket.

 

‘Hello’, said the blonde. She sounded English, sort of.  ‘I’m the Doc – er, that is, I’m Doctor Mysterio, and this is my sidekick, the, um, Jasmine Kid.’

 

‘The what?’, said the Kid.

 

Doctor Mysterio shushed the Kid and said, ‘I was wondering - have you seen a fella calling himself Rutan the Magnificent? We, uh, we wanted to have, um, a hero conference with him.’

 

I pointed down the hall the way Rutan had gone.

 

“Thanks”, she said, taking a sausage off my tray and popping it in her mouth.  “Mmm, I love a nibble. Come on, Yaz!”

 

The two heroines took off down the hall. I went back to work, and didn’t think anything more about it until later when I saw the group photo in the paper, and noticed that there was no sign of Rutan the Magnificent, Doctor Mysterio or the Jasmine Kid in the picture.

 

I asked around to as many as I could of the other folks that were working catering that day, but no one else remembered them.  It occurred to me that they might have been spies or something, so I called the FBI about it.  An agent came and talked to me about it, but it was odd - he was almost casual. He asked me a few questions and then told me not to worry about it, in a way that somehow managed to be genuinely friendly and still a gentle but firm warning to keep quiet about it..

 

So, I kept quiet about it, but over the years, on my own time, I read up on every super-hero I could, and to this day I’ve never found anything about Rutan the Magnificent, Doctor Mysterio or the Jasmine Kid.  Who were they? I guess I’ll never know.

 

Anyway, that’s my story. I hope it’s useful to you. Feel free to write again if you have more questions.  I’ll be happy to answer them if I can, and if I’m still here.

 

Sincerely,

Harry Phelps”

Should be Vignette #10

The Baron said:

Vignette #9:

: The kitchen of the Kent farm, Smallville, KS, September 1960. Clark Kent Sr. and Lorraine Potter, a young reporter for the Daily Planet are sitting at the kitchen table.

 

“Thanks for seeing me, Mr. Kent”, began Lorraine,

 

“Make it ‘Clark””, said Clark.

 

“’Clark’, then”, said Lorraine.  “I hope you aren’t offended by being part of a ‘Where are they now’ column.”

 

“Not at all”, said Clark. “How are things at the Planet these days? I hope Jimmy isn’t running you people ragged.”

 

“’Jimmy’? Oh, you mean Mister Olsen? No, no, not at all.”, replied Lorraine. She looked around the kitchen.  “This is a nice place. So much quieter than Metropolis.  Do you ever miss the bustle of the big city?”

 

“Not really”, said Clark.

 

Especially since I’m up there as Superman just about every day, thought Clark. It would have been much too obvious if Superman left Metropolis at the same time I did.

 

“What made you decide to leave Metropolis, anyway?”, asked Lorraine. 

 

“Well, you must remember that I grew up here, and I never quite cut my ties to the old place. I had any number of offers to buy the property over the years, but I could never bring myself to sell it. Lois and I got married near the end of the War.  We stayed in Metropolis for a few months, but once Clark Jr. came along we decided to bring him up Smallville. Not that Metropolis is a terrible place to raise a child, I just wanted him to grow up where I did.”

 

And once it was obvious that Clark Junior took after me, we knew that the farm would be a much better place to raise a child with super-powers than the city was.  It was also amusing that Lois and I became “Ma and Pa Kent”. 

 

“Still, it must have been quite an adjustment”, said Lorraine.

 

“Moreso for Lois than for me.  She’d been a lifelong city girl, and farm life was a little too ‘quiet’ for her at times.  Still, C.J.  – that’s what we call Clark Junior - kept her busy. Things got a little busier when we adopted our dog Bud five years ago, and our daughter Karen came along around the same time.”

 

C.J. was overjoyed to have a “super-dog” of his own, and a little sister to dote on.

 

“And last year, we took in my Cousin Linda after her family was killed in a fire.

 

I’ll never forget the look of outrage on Lois’ face when I suggested Kara should be put in an orphanage.  Of course, there was nothing for it but that she come and live with us.  As Lois pointed out, it didn’t hurt to have a super-powered live-in babysitter.

 

“Anyway, with C.J. now in high school, Karen in kindergarten and Linda here to help, Lois has gone to work part-time for the local newspaper. If there’s any news to be found in Smallville, Lois will find it.”

 

“So, no regrets?”, asked Lorraine.

 

“No”, said Clark. “In many ways, this is my dream life.”

Vignette #11:

Collinsport, ME, October 1968

 

It was a dark and stormy night. A cliché, but it was true. Barnabas Collins was reading, as he often did when he first rose in the evenings.  Willie Loomis was cleaning up around the Old House. Barnabas set his book aside and was starting to think about how to spend his evening when there was a knock at the door.

 

Willie opened the door and found himself confronted with a short, heavyset man who might have been middle-aged. He had a beak of a nose and graying black hair swept back in a widow’s peak. His face had a ghastly pallor but wore a genial smile. He was dressed like a head waiter at the sort of restaurant Willie had seldom eaten at. An odd medallion hung from a red ribbon around his neck, and he wore a high-necked black cape lined with red. The overall effect might have been comical except that there was something in the man’s eyes that took Willie aback – a sharpness, a penetrating fierceness that somehow reminded him of Barnabas.

 

“Hiya, Sonny”, he said. “I’d like to talk to your Boss.”

 

“Huh?”, said Wille, backing away from the stranger.

 

“It’s alright, Wille”, said Barnabas, waving his servant aside and addressing his visitor.

 

“Good evening, sir.  I am Barnabas Collins. Who are you and what do you want here?”

 

“I’m Count Dracula”, said the stranger. “I’m up here on vacation with my daughter and her family and when I realized there was one of us in the neighborhood, I couldn’t resist stopping by to say hello.”

 

“’One of us’?”, said Barnabas.

 

“One of us vampires, of course”, said the Count.

 

“’Vampires’?”, said Barnabas.

 

“Oh, please”, said the Count, “There’s no need to be coy. Look into my eyes, Barnabas. I’m a vampire, the same as you are.”

 

Barnabas stared into the Count’s eyes and knew that somehow it was all true. He’d heard David Collins mention the name Dracula, and had Willie bring him a copy of Stoker’s book from the Collinsport Public Library It had struck him as having been written by someone with authentic knowledge of vampires.

 

“Are you…Stoker’s Dracula?”, asked Barnabas.

 

“Nah”, said the Count, “Vlad and I were pals back in the old country five hundred years ago. Nice enough kid, kind of intense. Kinda careless, too, letting Stoker find his diary that way. Anyway, I knew he wouldn’t mind me using the name. I’ve had a lot of names over the years.”

 

“How old are you?”, asked Barnabas. “If you don’t mind me asking.”

 

“I’m not exactly sure”, said the Count. “But I’m pretty sure I was born about five thousand years ago in what is now Lithuania.”

 

“So old”, said Barnabas, wonderingly, “And in all that time you never found a cure for our curse?”

 

What curse?”, said the Count.

 

“Why, being a vampire, of course”, said Barnabas.

 

“Barnabas, being a vampire isn’t a curse”, said the Count, “or at least it doesn’t have to be.”

 

The Count sighed, then said, “Barnabas, how long have you been a vampire?”

 

“About two hundred years, although I spent most of that in a coffin”, said Barnabas.

 

“That’s what I thought”, the Count replied, “I had a feeling you were quite young. I was in the local library this afternoon, reading through the back issues of the local newspaper. The reports about your feeding habits are a dead giveaway, ya know. You wanna be careful or you’ll have a super-hero or a Slayer up here after you.”

 

“But what can I do?”, asked Barnabas. “I must feed.”

 

“Sure”, said the Count, “but ya gotta be subtle about it. Find yourself a volunteer. It’s not so hard. I use a young woman who attends a nearby community college back home.  Sweet girl. I pay her tuition and she lets me have a drink now and then.”

 

“Is it really that easy?”, asked Barnabas.

 

“Maybe not easy”, said the count”, but it doesn’t have to be that hard.”

 

The count leaned forward.  “Barnabas, will you give me a few hours of your time? You don’t have to do everything I say, but if you’ll listen to your old Grandpa, I think I can let you in on a few things that could make your life a whole lot easier.”

 

“Please”, said Barnabas, “Won’t you come in and sit down?”

Interesting. For some reason, I never would've pegged Lois as a farm girl.

Philip Portelli said:

From Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #13: When Sam Lane was a farmer, not a general.



The Baron said:

The name was not a deliberate reference.  Just a random name I came up with.

Did not know them about Lois, I'd always thought of her as being a city girl.

Philip Portelli said:

Is Lorraine Potter related to the Potters from the Superman mythos: Professor Potter and Lana Lang's mother?

And in the Silver Age, Lois was a farm girl, as her parents had one in Pittsdale.

Vignette #12:

: Aboard the Battlestar Galactica, somewhere in the vicinity of the Solar System, January 1980:

 

Troy was on the flight deck, checking out his Viper, when the call came. There were maintenance crews to do that sort of thing, but no warrior worthy of the name failed to do their own checking.

 

As it happened, it was one of these selfsame deck crewpersons who alerted Troy that there was a call. Troy thanked her and went to the nearest wall-mounted comm unit.

 

“Troy here”, he said.

 

“Captain Troy, please report to Doctor Zee’s office at once”, replied Colonel Boomer.

 

Dutifully, Troy acknowledged the order and proceeded to obey, although, he was, of course, consumed with curiosity. What could his father want with him? Was it some special mission? Had they at last found Earth?

 

When he entered the Doctor’s office, he saw that his father, Commander Apollo, was there, seated at a conference table, as were his grandfather, Commander Emeritus Adama and Doctor Zee, the mutant boy genius who had produced various technological marvels during his short lifespan.

 

“Please be seated, Captain Troy”, Doctor Zee.

 

Troy looked at his father, who waved him to a seat.

 

“Gentlemen”, said Doctor Zee, “I have requested this meeting today because I have momentous news.  As you know, I have recently devised improvements to our sensors which have increased their effectiveness tenfold.  I have used these new sensors, mounted on our newest stealth probes, to scan the space around us over a greater range than our shipboard sensors – or even long-range Viper missions – could have managed.”

 

“What have your probes found, Doctor Zee?”, asked Apollo.

 

“Gentlemen, I have found Earth.”

 

“What?”, said Adama.  But that’s wonderful news, Doctor Zee! Isn’t it?”

 

“Commanders, Captain”, said Doctor Zee, “One could say that there is good news and bad news about Earth.”

 

“I suppose we should hear the bad news first”, said Apollo.

 

“Very well” said the Doctor. “Earth is at least two hundred yahrens behind us technologically. Also, our Earth brothers do not have a single world government. Instead, they are divided into over one hundred nation-states.  Only now are they learning to cooperate with one another. In my estimation, they are at least one hundred years away from a truly unified world state.”

 

“’Years’?”, asked Troy.

 

“A local measurement of time based on Earth’s orbit around its Sun, somewhat shorter than a yahren”, said Doctor Zee. “We should learn to use local terms. At any rate, Earth’s current technology and political structures are in and of themselves insufficient to defend them the Cylon Empire, even with our assistance.”

 

“The Cylons?”, said Troy. “But we haven’t seen them in over fifteen yahrens.”

 

“Because they haven’t wanted us to see them”, said Doctor Zee. “My new sensors have detected them following us, just outside of what they believed to be our range of detection. In effect, they have been allowing us to lead them to Earth.”

 

“Oh, no!’, said Adama. “What have we done?”

 

“Doctor, you said there was good news about Earth?”, asked Apollo.

 

“Yes”, said Doctor Zee. “From my stealth probes, I have learned that Earth has been invaded several times over the last eighty years by various alien races, including such beings as the Cybermen and Daleks. Additionally, Earth has been visited by Galactus at least once.”

 

“How is that good news?”, asked Troy.

 

“It’s good news because all of the invasions to date have been defeated. Even Galactus was somehow made to leave the Earth ‘uneaten’.”

 

“How can that be, if their technology is so primitive?”, asked Adama.

 

“Earth has a substantial population of superhuman defenders, known as ‘super-heroes’. Some of them are non-humans resident on Earth, and others use anomalous technology, but the vast majority of these heroes are mutants like myself, with a vast array of powers. I am still investigating why our Earth brothers should have produced so many mutants.”

 

“What do you think we should do, Doctor?”, asked Apollo.

 

“My initial plan was to reach out to several of these super-heroes, contacting them with an eye towards consulting them about the best way of settling our people on Earth and of dealing with the Cylons. At the same time, we would move the fleet away from Earth before the Cylons detect it. However, my plans have since been overtaken by events.”

 

“How do you mean?”, asked Apollo.

 

“One of Earth’s heroes has discovered us.”

 

“What? How?”, asked Troy.

 

“I’ll let him explain”, said Doctor Zee. Raising his voice, he continued, “Please come in.”

 

An inner door opened, and a man wearing a strange red-and-blue costume entered.  He was imposing and muscular and had short black hair that was graying at the temples.

 

“Hello”, he said, “I’m Superman.”

 

“Superman”, said Doctor Zee, “This is our leader, Commander Apollo, his father, Commander Emeritus Adama, and Commander Apollo’s son, Captain Troy, leader of our warriors.”

 

After greetings were exchanged, Superman said, “As for how I detected you – I have senses well beyond the normal human range, so it was easy for me to detect your probes, even shielded as they were.  I surreptitiously followed one back to your fleet.  Once I’d determined that you seemed unlikely to be an invasion force, I showed myself to one of the probes. Your Doctor Zee contacted me and invited me to meet with you.  He’s told me about your situation. With your permission, I’d like to consult with some of my colleagues on Earth. Together, I think we can formulate a plan to integrate your people into Earth’s population, and deal with these Cylons.”

Vignette #13:

(Note:  The Sentinel was a character I made up when I was a kid, nothing to do with Alan Scott or the X-Men's robot enemies.  He came about as a result of me asking myself "Even if I was as smart and capable as Batman, how would I fight crime with just my lower middle class resources?"  He's as much of a "Mary Sue" as I will allow myself here.)

Excerpted from the Sentinel’s diary:

 

“Saturday, May 15, 1982, 10:00 a.m.:  Last night I had my first team-up with other heroes. It was cool, but kind of awkward, too. I was down in Southie, checking out some rumors I’d heard about something big going on down there. I hit the jackpot, too.  Some guys calling themselves “Master Man” and “Captain Nazi” – might’ve been the originals for all I know – were riling up a bunch of HYDRA goons in a warehouse. I snuck inside and was scoping out the place, trying to figure out what to do, when suddenly doors on both sides of the room busted in, and in came Wonder Woman – definitely the original – and that Hercules guy that was in the Avengers. Funny thing was – each of them seemed to be surprised to see the other. I guess both of them had been snooping on their own, just like me.  Another thing I noticed – she looked at him like he smelled bad, and he looked kind of resigned, like it was what he expected.

 

Anyway, they both tore into the two Super-Nazis. I knew I wasn’t going to be much help in that fight, so I went after the HYDRA goons, trying to keep them occupied so the first-stringers could deal with their bosses without being distracted. They both noticed me and accepted me as a friendly - Wonder Woman even seemed to have heard of me!

 

After they finished up with the bosses, they came and helped me with the goons, which didn’t take long.  All through this, they never spoke directly to each other, just to me.  When we were done, Hercules clapped me on the shoulder, said “Well done, lad! Keep up the good fight!” and then took off.  Wonder Woman seemed to notice that I was puzzled. She gave me an odd look and said, “My mother’s name is Hippolyta.”  Then she said that she’d handle the cops and I ought to take off, too, so I did.

 

Later, I thought about what she’d said.  I’d always been into mythology, so I knew the story of Hippolyta and Hercules.  Was she saying that her mother was the mythical Hippolyta and Herc was the original Hercules?  I mean, I know she’d always said she was an Amazon, but that’s just her gimmick, right? Those guys are just mutants or aliens or something, like that guy Thor that’s also an Avenger. I mean, he doesn’t even bother to make himself look like the one in the myths! Takes all kinds, I guess.”)

I'm sorry to put this here instead of in my own threads but it's sort of a companion piece to #12.

I will delete it if you like!

October 17, 1997

Soaring through the void of his adopted solar system, SUPERMAN muses over the situation, "I told them to wait until I came back from my mission on the KILAAK home world. I would have been able to stop the Jupiter 2 before it hit deep space! No matter, I'll be bringing her back soon enough."

"Superman, stop!" a telepathic cry echoed in his mind.

"Now what!" he thought as he turned to see a large, glowing bubble materialize several meters beside him. Three colorful young people beckoned him closer. 
"COSMIC BOY, SATURN GIRL and LIGHTNING LAD! What brings the Legion's founders to the 20th century this time?"

"Greetings, Superman. We're here to tell you that you must turn back. The Jupiter 2 must not be returned to Earth. Not now. Not ever! Our future is at stake!"

"Not this time, Cosmic Boy. You said the same thing when JON was kidnapped by aliens and told me I couldn't bring him back but I did!"

"Yes you did but only after solving their problem and ensuring our history. You can't do that now!"

"What? You're dooming six people to fly out of control through uncharted space?"

"Seven and yes and no! They must be allowed to go on this journey. They are in no danger. Well, none they can't get out of!"

"No, no, not this time. I let another future type, STARHAWK, convince me not to recover the Odysseus 1 in 1988, despite the mission's flaws. His reason was worse. Just 'accept the word of One-Who-Knows'. Not this time. I'll take my chances!"

"No Kal-El, you must not interfer!" boomed another telepathic voice.

Suddenly a large bald being with an enormous head and flowing robes appeared.

"THE WATCHER! I'm not listening to you again! It was pure luck that letting those New York heroes deal with GALACTUS didn't get the Earth destroyed! Or not getting involved in that space war!"

"Please, Kal-El, this is beyond you. You are not needed here!"

"NO! I'm done with being manipulated by you space people!"

"Clark, listen to me. We're your friends."

"Irma, I can't do nothing...again."

"We've brought someone else to convince you. Give him a chance, please."

"Who.."

At that moment, beyond all belief and reason, a British police box popped up next to the time bubble. A small, white-haired man opened the door. He wore a fur-lined coat and a dark suit. He seemed at the same time frail and alert.

"Hallo, my boy. It's been a spell, hasn't it?"

"You! I haven't seen you since I was a boy!"

"Yes, about eight years old, I believe. Got into that trouble with the Controllers who wanted to train you. Their way."

"And take me away from Ma and Pa. But you talked them out of it. You freed me from their high-gravity trap."

"And do you remember what I told you?"

"Not to act without thinking. And don't act in anger."

"Yes. You have grown in strength and wisdom. Use both today. Let them go."

"All right. I will. But if I hear things are bad for them, I'll..."

"You won't. Trust us."

After Superman flies back to Earth and the Watcher and the police box vanish, the three Legionnaires return to their own time.

"We should have told him why we were right."

"He might have still went on after them."

"Besides it's a lot to take in. The Robinsons must fulfill their destiny by meeting other races throughout the galaxy. Eventually they'll find their home and won't be lost in space."

"Their descendants will help colonize a dozen worlds, inspired by their deeds."

"Superman would be amazed if he knew that one of their descendants is you, Cosmic Boy!"

I enjoy your stuff, because you think of connections that I don't.

Philip Portelli said:

I'm sorry to put this here instead of in my own threads but it's sort of a companion piece to #12.

I will delete it if you like!

October 17, 1997

Soaring through the void of his adopted solar system, SUPERMAN muses over the situation, "I told them to wait until I came back from my mission on the KILAAK home world. I would have been able to stop the Jupiter 2 before it hit deep space! No matter, I'll be bringing her back soon enough."

"Superman, stop!" a telepathic cry echoed in his mind.

"Now what!" he thought as he turned to see a large, glowing bubble materialize several meters beside him. Three colorful young people beckoned him closer. 
"COSMIC BOY, SATURN GIRL and LIGHTNING LAD! What brings the Legion's founders to the 20th century this time?"

"Greetings, Superman. We're here to tell you that you must turn back. The Jupiter 2 must not be returned to Earth. Not now. Not ever! Our future is at stake!"

"Not this time, Cosmic Boy. You said the same thing when JON was kidnapped by aliens and told me I couldn't bring him back but I did!"

"Yes you did but only after solving their problem and ensuring our history. You can't do that now!"

"What? You're dooming six people to fly out of control through uncharted space?"

"Seven and yes and no! They must be allowed to go on this journey. They are in no danger. Well, none they can't get out of!"

"No, no, not this time. I let another future type, STARHAWK, convince me not to recover the Odysseus 1 in 1988, despite the mission's flaws. His reason was worse. Just 'accept the word of One-Who-Knows'. Not this time. I'll take my chances!"

"No Kal-El, you must not interfer!" boomed another telepathic voice.

Suddenly a large bald being with an enormous head and flowing robes appeared.

"THE WATCHER! I'm not listening to you again! It was pure luck that letting those New York heroes deal with GALACTUS didn't get the Earth destroyed! Or not getting involved in that space war!"

"Please, Kal-El, this is beyond you. You are not needed here!"

"NO! I'm done with being manipulated by you space people!"

"Clark, listen to me. We're your friends."

"Irma, I can't do nothing...again."

"We've brought someone else to convince you. Give him a chance, please."

"Who.."

At that moment, beyond all belief and reason, a British police box popped up next to the time bubble. A small, white-haired man opened the door. He wore a fur-lined coat and a dark suit. He seemed at the same time frail and alert.

"Hallo, my boy. It's been a spell, hasn't it?"

"You! I haven't seen you since I was a boy!"

"Yes, about eight years old, I believe. Got into that trouble with the Controllers who wanted to train you. Their way."

"And take me away from Ma and Pa. But you talked them out of it. You freed me from their high-gravity trap."

"And do you remember what I told you?"

"Not to act without thinking. And don't act in anger."

"Yes. You have grown in strength and wisdom. Use both today. Let them go."

"All right. I will. But if I hear things are bad for them, I'll..."

"You won't. Trust us."

After Superman flies back to Earth and the Watcher and the police box vanish, the three Legionnaires return to their own time.

"We should have told him why we were right."

"He might have still went on after them."

"Besides it's a lot to take in. The Robinsons must fulfill their destiny by meeting other races throughout the galaxy. Eventually they'll find their home and won't be lost in space."

"Their descendants will help colonize a dozen worlds, inspired by their deeds."

"Superman would be amazed if he knew that one of their descendants is you, Cosmic Boy!"

Vignette #14:

Somewhere near New York City, October 23, 1997

 

Mary finally had a moment to relax.  Her brother was managing their father’s public wake, and she was managing his private wake for those of his associates who preferred not to be seen in public, for various reasons of their own.

 

Mary was an attractive woman in her mid-forties, with long, black hair. Her clothing was stylish but businesslike.

 

“Hello, Mary! (Waugh!)”

 

Mary looked up.  A thin, beak-nosed woman in her mid-twenties wearing a tuxedo was pushing a heavyset elderly bald man in a wheelchair towards her.

 

“Oh, hello, Osprey! Hello, Uncle Wil!”  Mary knelt down next to the wheelchair-bound man. “How are you, sir?”

 

“Ah, quite well, my dear”, he said, “If not quite so spry as I once was.  I was sorry to hear about your father. We had our ups and downs, but he was always a man I could respect.”

 

“Yeah (Waugh!)”, said Osprey. “He was one of the last of the classic old-timers. There won’t be another one like him. (Waugh!)”

 

“Indeed, said Uncle Wil. “As one of those ‘classic old-timers’ myself, I agree.”

 

“So, how’s business, Mary (Waugh!)?”, said Osprey.

 

“Alright”, said Mary. “I’ve cleared out the last of the macho men who didn’t like taking orders from a ‘girl’.  How are things in Gotham?”

 

“OK (Waugh!)”, said Osprey. “I’m still learning the ropes (Waugh!), but by the time my Dad is ready to retire (Waugh!), I’ll be in a good position to take over.”

 

“How is your grandfather, these days, Osprey, my dear?”,asked Uncle Wil.

 

“Ahhh, Grandpa Ossie’s not so hot these days (Waugh!)”, said Osprey. “He still has his good days (Waugh!), but not so many. I’m afraid he’s not long for this world (Waugh!).”

 

“Ah. what a shame”, said Uncle Wil. “Still, time catches up with us all.”

 

“That’s right”, said Mary, “Still, I consider myself lucky to have had as much time as I have. If that Martian hadn’t saved me all those years ago, I’d most likely be long dead. I was so grateful, but I’m afraid he doesn’t approve of the way I spent the extra years he gave me.”

 

“Too bad (Waugh!)”, said Osprey. “That’s what he gets for not minding his own business! (Waugh!)”

 

Osprey Cobblepot laughed at what she’d said, and Donna Maria Corleone and Wilson Fisk soon joined in.

Vignette #15:

The Yagami Residence, Tokyo, Japan, January 9, 2004

 

Police Detective Aizawa Shuichi, Cardcaptor Kinomoto Sakura and the consulting detective known only as “L” approached the Yagami residence. The three were casually dressed, although Sakura carried a staff with a stylized bird’s head.

 

“Thank you for coming on such short notice, Kinomoto-san”, said L.

 

“Quite alright”, said Sakura. “I was a little surprised. A lot of detectives don’t like dealing with magic-users.”

 

“I can understand that”, said L. “When you base your life on logic, something like magic that doesn’t operate logically can be…disturbing.  Still, when you’re working on a case like this, it would be foolish to ignore a possibility just because you don’t like it.”

 

“Magic has a logic of sorts, L”, said Sakura.  “but what makes you think that what you’re dealing with is magical in nature?”

 

“The way Kira kills remotely – in my opinion, it could only be done one of three ways:  by technology, by psychic power or by magic. We’ve had scientists and psychics investigate, and they’re convinced that however Kira kills, it’s not done by either of those methods.  That leaves magic.”

 

“I see”, said Sakura.

 

The trio reached the front door of the Yagami residence. Aizawa looked around, checking to see that they were unobserved.

 

“You’re sure that no one’s at home right now?”, asked Sakura.

 

“Yes”, said L. “We checked very carefully beforehand, and we’ve had the house under surveillance all day.”

 

L opened the door using a device that Sakura didn’t recognize, and the trio entered the Yagami home.

 

“Where shall we begin?”, asked Sakura.

 

“Light’s room”, said L.

 

“You’re sure it’s him?”, said Aizawa.

 

“If it’s anyone in this family, it’s him”, said L.  “Unless you think it’s his little sister?”

 

Aizawa said nothing as they went to Light’s room. Once they were inside, Sakura said:

 

“This is it?”, asked Sakura.

 

“Yes”, said L.

 

“Thank you”, she replied. “Quiet, please.”

 

She produced a card as if from nowhere, held it front of her face, composed herself, closed her eyes and seemed to forget that the other two were in the room.

 

After a moment, her eyes snapped open and a look of shock crossed her face.

 

“What?”, said L. “Have you found something?”

 

“Oh, yes”, said Sakura. “It’s…it’s like nothing I’ve ever encountered before. It’s more than just magic – it’s something that transcends normal magical energy.”

 

“Can you tell where it is?”, asked L.

 

“Yes”, said Sakura.  “It’s in the desk.”

 

She walked over and opened the middle drawer of the desk.

 

“It’s in there”, she said.

 

L and Aizawa examined the contents of the drawer and found nothing of interest except a diary, which L immediately dismissed.

 

“It’s not any of this, is it?”, asked L.

 

“No”, said Sakura. “But it’s in there.”

 

“A false bottom?”, said Aizawa.

 

“Certainly”, said L. “But I’d be extremely disappointed in Light if he hadn’t rigged up a trap of some type.

 

“’Disappointed’?”, said Aizawa.

 

Ignoring him, L turned to Sakura and said, “can you enable us to see through that drawer without touching it?”

 

“Yes”, said Sakura.  She produced another card and spoke a few words in a language that L and Aizawa didn’t recognize.  The two men watched in amazement as the drawer became transparent, revealing a black notebook with the English words “Death Note” written on the cover.  Beneath it was a plastic bag filled a liquid.

 

“It can’t be”, said Sakura. “It just can’t be.”

 

“You recognize it?” asked L. “Is it something that could be used to kill people the way Kira does?”

 

“Oh, yes”, said Sakura. “If it’s what it appears to be, it’s one of the most dangerous weapons in existence.”

 

“Hmm”, said L, kneeling to examine the drawer. “I’m sure that’s gasoline in the bag.  He’s got it rigged to start a fire and burn up the notebook if the false bottom is forced, but there must be a way to…Ah!”

 

He took a pen from the desk, removed the ink cartridge and pushed through a small hole in the bottom of the drawer, pushing up the false bottom without breaking the circuit that Light had set up.

 

L removed the Death Note and waved at the bag of gasoline.

 

“You’d better dispose of that”, he said to Aizawa, before beginning to look through the notebook.

 

“This is it”, he said, “Light is Kira.”

 

He tossed the Death Note to Sakura, and then took out a cellphone.

 

“Arrest Light”, he said. “Watch him very carefully and search him very thoroughly as soon as you can. Make sure he doesn’t have anything to write with or write on, not even the tiniest scrap of paper.”

 

L turned to Sakura. “It’s what you think it is?”

 

“Yes”, she said, handing the notebook back to him

 

“Let’s go”, said L.

 

They straightened up the desk and left the Yagami home, returning to the car they had parked a few blocks away. As they walked, Sakura magically stored the plastic bag filled with gasoline in a bag of holding.

 

“Are you really sure that Light is Kira?”, asked Aizawa.

 

“Yes”, said Light handing him the notebook. “Take a look”.

 

Aizawa flipped through the notebook as he walked.  “These are the names of the criminals that were killed, and these rules…can this possibly be real?  You can kill people just by writing their names in this book?”

 

“Yes”, said Sakura.

 

“And Light killed all these people… This will break the chief’s heart.”

 

“It can’t be helped”, said L, as they reached their car.  “We’d better hurry. I want to be there when they bring Light in.”

 

Later, at the “undisclosed location” that served as the Anti-Kira Task Force’s headquarters, L, Sakura and Aizawa met with Chief of Detectives Yagami Soichiro, and Detectives Ide, Matsuda and Mogi

.

Soichiro was examining the Death Note while the others looked on

 

“This is Light’s writing, alright, but I just can’t believe it,” he said. “Can you really kill people with this?”

 

“Yes”, said Sakura. “I’m convinced of it.”

 

“Now that we’ve all touched the notebook”, said L, “There’s something else you need to see that may convince you.”

 

L led the group to the containment cell where Light was being held.  Soichiro gasped in horror when he saw a ghastly spectral figure hovering next to his son.

 

“Chief Yagami”, said L, “Allow me to present the shinigami Ryuk.  Ryuk, this is Chief of Detectives Yagami Soichiro, Light’s father.”

 

Hyuk, pleased to meet you”, said Ryuk.

 

“Dad, what’s going on?”, said Light. Then he noticed that L was holding the Death Note.  “Huh? How?”

 

L nodded at Sakura, who held up her wand.

 

Light glared at Ryuk. “But you said it couldn’t be detected by magic!”

 

I didn’t think it could”, said Ryuk. “Live and learn, I guess.”

 

“Light, why?”, said Soichiro.

 

“Dad, you of all people should understand”, said Light. “I wanted the same thing you’ve worked for your whole life – to rid the world of the bad people, the ones who ruin life for everyone else. With the Death Note, I could make a whole new world!”

 

“Light, if you thought I ever wanted this, then I failed you totally as a father”, said Soichiro. Turning away, he continued, “What am I going to tell your mother and sister?”

 

“What will happen to him?”, asked Matsuda.

 

“I don’t intend to announce publicly that Light was Kira”, said L. “I’ll arrange for him to be locked up secretly.”

 

Actually, I’ll save you the trouble,”, said Ryuk, taking out his own Death Note.

 

“What? Ryuk, no! You can’t!”, said Light, frantically.

 

Sorry, Light”, said Ryuk. “I told you from the start that this moment would come.  It’s too bad, I thought you’d last longer than this.”

 

“What’s happening?”, asked Soichiro.

 

“Don’t you see?”, said Light. “He’s writing my name! I – I’m going to die! I – urrk!”

 

Light collapsed and tell over.

 

“Light! No!”, said Soichiro, rushing to his son’s side.

 

Ryuk turned to L. “I don’t suppose you’ll use that Death Note, will you?”

 

“No”, said L. “It’s too dangerous a thing to keep. I’ll destroy it at my first opportunity”

 

I thought as much. Too bad. Well, see ya!”

 

With that, Ryuk float up through the ceiling and disappeared.  L turned back to Soichiro, who was still cradling his son’s body. 

 

“Matsuda, stay with Chief Yagami, please.  Ms. Kinomoto, I’ll see to it that your consultant’s fee is credited to your account. Ide, will you show her out? Aizawa, Mogi, come with me, please. We still have some work to do.”

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