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Topic: Homeopathy (short Superman fanfic) (Read 43 times) previous topic - next topic
Homeopathy (short Superman fanfic)
Finished: January 3, 2019

A story about a depressing possible future for Superman. Don't read unless you want to read something depressing.



Alien.

That word means “foreigner”. It can also refer more specifically to a resident of a country not his own.

Theoretically, being an alien should not have to be a permanent state. After all, in order to be a foreigner, you have to have a country. A land of your own that you could theoretically return to.

Theoretically.

That’s the thing about me. I just am an alien no matter what. An alien to everybody.

The only time that wasn’t true was when I was a tiny, tiny child. That was an extremely brief period. Especially compared to the years that have elapsed since then.

I’m going to be 1,557 in just a few months. A few extremely short months.

I don’t feel old, because I’m not. I’m getting stronger by the year.

Which means I haven’t even reached the prime of my life yet.

That in mind, it’s hard to imagine just how long my life will be. Maybe I won’t even have a “prime of life”. Maybe I’ll just keep going.

I don’t like to think about these things too hard, though. You’ll understand why, soon.

~

I’m a busy man.

I wish I wasn’t, honestly. That wasn’t the point of this whole thing.

I didn’t want to be responsible for the world. I didn’t want the world to need me. I just wanted to lend a helping hand when it was needed. I hoped to help humanity to become better and stronger.

I guess that’s not exactly how it happened.

I had hoped that, in not too long a time, humanity would have grown and developed to the point where I would be unnecessary. Where they could accomplish anything I could, but better.

1,500 years later, that dream hasn’t been fulfilled. In fact, humanity has become more dependent on me.

It all happened so quickly. Suddenly, it wasn’t a scattered invasion here and there. Far beyond the scope of the Earth, multiple interplanetary empires were growing. They sought to be all-consuming empires that touched every part of the galaxy. Primitive societies were actually desirable to them, as they thought they could shape their futures to their own image.

Earth couldn’t develop fast enough to resist them. But I was of a far more advanced race. The empires recognized that fact shortly after I began fighting them. As a result, they decided against flat-out conquest. It wasn’t that I could stop them completely; if they had sent out their strongest forces, I doubt I would’ve stood a chance. But I could still do significant damage, to the point where Earth didn’t seem worth the hassle. But they weren’t content to just leave it alone, either.

Multiple empires wanted to establish diplomatic relations with Earth. But it wasn’t really Earth they were interested in dealing with. It was me. To them, Earth was just a primitive planet populated by animals just beginning their evolution into what they considered “sentience”. But I made things different. They recognized I was of an advanced and powerful race. They considered me dangerous and worthy of respect and considered the opportunity to establish even a tenuous alliance with me to be desirable.

Even if they couldn’t have Earth, they strongly desired to at least keep it from the hands of rival empires. If I accepted their invitation, they would not only keep their hands off the planet I had made my home, but they would actually help to defend it. They didn’t demand much from me, either. All they wanted was for me to not attack them, and to do what I had always done – protect Earth.

I didn’t really want to become their allies in any sense, of course. They were world conquerors. But I knew I couldn’t always be strong enough to defend my adopted planet.

I couldn’t outright repel the alien forces, and there was too much at stake. I entered into a partnership of sorts with several empires who reached out to me.

On the surface, I wanted Earth to be left alone. But I think deep down, I may have realized that wasn’t going to happen. And that inkling was very right.

~

Earth is obviously much more advanced now, but that problem is, because I was the most “advanced” part of it, it grew up around me and involved me in every part of its progress. And since I’ve been growing ever more in terms of power and intellect, it never had a chance to grow out of me. In trying to keep up with other societies, it would be foolish not to leverage me. And out of love for this planet and its people, the only home and race I ever truly knew as something like “my own”, I let myself be leveraged in efforts to protect, preserve, and advance humanity.

It doesn’t sound like a bad thing, and…well, it’s not. Not in and of itself. The issue is the dependence on me that’s being created.

Well…

…I try to tell myself that’s the issue.

But really, the reason why I’m unhappy is not so much because I’m afraid I’m accidentally causing some sort of harm.

It’s for reasons that are basically selfish.

~

I have the most important job in the world, right? Everything would come crashing down without me.

And yet…most of the time, I feel like I don’t matter.

I know that “Superman” matters. I know that these powers and capabilities I have matter. I know that the things I make possible matter. I know that what I represent matters.

But do I, as a person, matter?

Does anyone know me? Does anyone see me as more than the sum of my primarily physical traits that I am in no way responsible for, and the role these traits play in enabling our society to function, and the comforting image of power and protection they create?

No…no.

They never will…and it’s all my fault.

I caused this to happen. I designed this, I created this. And now I’m in too deep.

I can’t show how lonely and vulnerable I really am. The world is dependent on what I have become.

I feel like I have no right to be unhappy and it’s just selfish. I’m still helping the world. Isn’t that always what I wanted most?

Yes, I am helping the world. But I’m still deeply unhappy. That’s just the truth.

Well, I feel almost numb most of the time. Like an automaton, just doing what needs to be done.

The only time I really feel the unhappiness is the rare moments by myself when, well…when “me” emerges.

Most of the time, the person I am is lost even to my own mind. Most of the time…it’s hard to see myself as a person.

But then I remember – I am.

In fact, I’m just as much a person as anyone else. I have my own desires, my own thoughts, my own feelings, my own loves…the capacity to experience all of life. And once upon a time, I did experience it. I had friends, family, a job, hobbies…I liked to experience life…I had my own feelings about the world and my own goals…yes, I wanted good things for the world, but I also wanted good things for myself. Not selfish things, just good things that anyone would want…and I got a lot of them. Most importantly, a wife…a wonderful wife…

But most of the time, no one thinks about that. Not even me.

None of that matters now.

But I have a perfect memory. I still remember what it was like.

I remember that beautiful woman I loved more than anything…I still do. I remember, I used to be like her. I wasn’t as good as her…no, I never was. Never as brave, never as talented, never as daring. She was better than me in every way.

But I was a bit like her. Like her, I was a star reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper. In a way, it’s surreal…the “Man of Tomorrow” once had a primitive job that no longer exists.

And yet, maybe the surreal part is not the past, but the present. I’ve gotten so used to this reality, that I almost forget the fact that once upon a time…that was my life. That was who I was. I was proud to be a reporter. And happy. Very happy.

There were times when I thought, back then, that when I was being Clark Kent, I had to hide who I was. Today I realize that it was only through hiding my powers and my “true” nature that I was able to actually express myself and experience life. It was only then that I could be defined by something other than the traits I was born with. It was only then that people could look past my powers and see…well…me.

I could express who I was. I could make friends with people and have them see me as just another person. I could develop skills and work for accomplishments.

And most of all, I met the woman I love…and eventually, won her heart. Sure, she loved me as Superman…but I wanted her to see me as Clark. I wanted to make sure she didn’t just see me for my powers, my feats, and the “charisma” and “boldness” that I hadn’t exactly earned.

I wanted her to see the person I am. Not just the exciting image of Superman I had created. But the human being that I was…that I am.

That I still am.

I still am that human. I still am Clark Kent…

But…even if I still am a person, I might as well not be.

And that hurts.

~

Writing. That’s what I loved to do, whether it be articles, novels, or private journaling.

I still do it today, sometimes. Maybe that’s the only way in which I still exist as a person. But now, it’s all private. No more articles published to the masses. The pleasure of knowing that other people read what I write and get something out of it is something I will never experience again.

I’m sad about that. I’m not content with the fact that such a wonderful joy has been lost to me for so many countless years and will continue to be lost. But…at least there’s still writing for myself. It’s all I have.

I don’t have friends, a job, or any other hobbies. With what I have become, it’s almost silly to think of such things, now that I have allowed myself to morph into something so foreign to human experience. It shouldn’t be silly to want basic things that everyone wants to have in life…it shouldn’t be. It’s not silly, it really isn’t.

But it doesn’t matter. For practical intents and purposes, I no longer exist. Only “Superman” does…but it’s not a Superman I recognize. It’s not what Superman was supposed to be or what I ever wanted Superman to be. It is not the Superman I originally created.

Superman was to give a helping hand, to give encouragement and hope, to inspire people to do better…to improve people’s existence, but not to be central to it. That Superman no longer exists.

The Clark Kent I was, the Superman I created…practically speaking, both are gone, and have been gone for ages. And yet, here “I” am. Whatever is left of me.

What is left, but little flecks and pieces of what I once was, that to the eyes of practically everyone, are utterly miniscule or altogether nonexistent in comparison with the “me” they see: the powers and capabilities that fuel, protect, and preserve the world and the human way of life

I’m glad that I can be of some good to the world, but…somehow, I feel like I’m doing less.

I am too distant and “big” in people’s minds for them to really be inspired by me.

I am too busy to be able to directly intervene in anything smaller than a global or interplanetary affair - no more stopping criminals or even supervillains, much less saving cats.

I don’t have friends whose lives I can influence and whose hearts I can cheer. Not even other superheroes, since now I am on such a different level from them.

I may be preserving the world, but am I making it better?

~

There’s a bit of poetry wrote, just maybe a couple hundred years ago, maybe a hundred and a half actually…it’s a bit sloppy, poetry was never really my strong suit, but I guess I feel like it expresses my feelings…

“What am I? I am homeopathy.

For in all this vast sea,

There is only one drop, or less, that is me.”

I…think that sums it up.

…I…

I…don’t mean to be a downer, but…

I hope I die soon.

Lois? My love?

Are you there? Are you waiting there for me?

I…I miss you.

We’ll be together again. Soon.

Please…