By B. Huang <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: July 2003
Summary: An unfortunate concubine escapes from her master and tries to adjust to human life. Will she adjust or is her fate to be taken back to New Krypton with her cruel master?
Author's note: Please note that this story of mine overlaps my other story "Everyone Has An Angel," and if some sections do not make sense, you might have to read that one first. You can find it in the Archive. Also, there is a related unposted story called "It Belongs to the Government," available via email.
As usual the characters are not mine, except one, but the story is. The Tazarian culture is similar to a story I read once, "Gender Bender". Please do not be offended as if you think that I have stolen your story. It's just that I don't trust my own memory.
All comments are encouraged and welcomed at the above email address. Story Number 4 of 23.
Story edited by nqoire.
In a galaxy far away, a large fighter jet shuttle was chasing a small two- person shuttle. Al-Dour, a married and currently furious man, was pursuing his concubine, who occupied the smaller shuttle. The concubine was in the shuttle with Amphora, a Tazarian female with the appearance of a human male. Without warning, the concubine occupied shuttle hit a wormhole. As they entered, the wormhole closed behind them, leaving the evil and frustrated master to curse at his poor luck.
"Well, don't just sit there. Tell me where they are heading!" he spat at an unfortunate underling.
"Give me a few minutes." After a few minutes, the servant replied, "They're headed for Earth and going back in time ten years."
Ten years earlier, Earth
At the robbery site, the thieves were already leaving the bank with their load of money and Dark Night following after them in the black suit. All the crooks hopped into the car as two police vehicles pulled over near the entrance of the bank. One went after the bank robbers as it drove off.
As Dark Night tried to stop the first patrol car, one of the sharpshooters aimed his tranquilizer gun at him. He made a bull's eye right into Superman's neck. Superman aka Dark Night dropped the car as he began to feel the Kranite taking effect. Then another one hit him in the shoulder as he tried to catch up to the first patrol car- the one he had tried to stop already. He pulled all the darts out of his neck and shoulder and tried taking off into the air again before two more darts hit him in the back. He pulled those out and dodged aside from another two darts. Dark Night took off after the first vehicle. Two cops took off after Dark Night in their car.
"That's only four," replied one of the officers as he counted the darts on the ground.
By the time the second vehicle caught up to the first two officers, Dark Night had succeeded in stopping the first vehicle from advancing. But just then, the serum-7 was starting to wear off, leaving Dark Night to deal with Clark fighting him. Clark had an urge to take more pills, but he fought it. His hearing picked up Lois' words.
Lois whispers, "Clark, please come back to me. You don't have to do this. Clark suddenly realized through the fog in his head that everything was real and that he has now have some leverage and a decent chance at winning the battle within him. He fought a losing battle with Dark night. He wanted to take more of the pills. He hears Lois whispers of words,clark, fight it please come back to me."
"Clark, please come back to me. You don't have to do this."
Clark suddenly realized through the fog in his head that everything was real. He had some leverage and a decent chance at winning the battle within him. He was fighting a losing battle with Dark Night. He wanted to take more of the pills. He heard Lois whisper, "Clark, fight it; please come back to me."
The first officer took one bad aim at Superman, but the superhero turned menace ducked aside and avoided the dart. Dark Night used his laser vision and melted the tip of the dart gun that was in the hands of the first officer. As the officer was about to signal to his partner that it was up to him to finish the job, another dart gun mysteriously appeared out from nowhere.
"I could have sworn that I had only brought one gun." The officer put the broken gun inside the car and took out the good tranquilizer gun and filled it with one more dart.
But standing nearby was Monica, watching the whole thing. She smiled. She was the one who had put it there.
Just then the second officer took a wild shot at Dark Night even though he knew he would miss. He had seen Superman about to put the pill in his mouth and his hope was that the dart would distract Dark Night/Superman from taking it. It worked, Dark Night had to dodge to miss the dart allowing the other officer to hit him right on the mark. The fifth and wild shot got Clark's head to clear up; he was able to notice that what he was doing was wrong. But he still couldn't fight that urge. Dark Night and Clark began fighting each other. Clark was trying to take back control of the situation, but Dark Night beat him to it and was about to swallow another pill. The mind struggle was interrupted when suddenly he was hit by another dart in his lower back, which made him fall and drop the pills. He had no control over his legs and found it impossible to stand up.
"No!" As the pills rolled towards the manhole and into the sewer, he scooted himself closer to try to get them back before they were lost. Monica made sure he could not get to them. Instead, he fell unconsciousness as his body began a process of recovery mode-with Dark Night fighting every step of the way. His body began to repair some of the damages that the serum-7 had caused.
Thirty Minutes Later, Star Labs
Clark was finally back to his old self after a few minutes of rest, or so he thought. But then suddenly he leaned to one side and started vomiting up brown mush. Dr. Klein waited for the spasm to end before he gave Clark another injection of the antidote that Dr. Katharine Allison had made from the instructions found in the notes from the shuttle.
"Lois, please whisper," Clark said as the Kranite took effect first, and then the antidote started working. It stopped Clark of his urges and left behind a huge migraine. But before Clark could ask Dr. Klein about getting something for his headache, he started remembering everything he had done in the past few days. He started to apologize to Lois for putting the baby's life in danger.
"It's okay, Clark. I'm just glad you're back." She hugged him. Dr. Katharine Allison noticed the way Clark was rubbing his head. She handed Clark a purple drink.
"Here, drink this." As Clark drank, he noticed a foul taste but drank it anyway.
'Sure tastes sour,' he thought. 'At least no more headaches.' Clark then remembered cheating on Lois. 'What was I ever thinking of? I know my mom and dad didn't raise me to be like that.' Guilt was all he could feel or think. Clark's parents soon came in and tried to keep their cool but wound up hugging him.
"Clark, are you okay? You had us worried."
Dr. Allison was the only other person in the room with Dr. Klein, Lois, and Superman when Martha and Jonathan came in. She started wondering what was going on.
"Finish the drink," she instructed Clark, deciding not to ask any questions, but she continued to speculate and question what had been going on. Clark picked the cup up using a bit more effort than usual. He finished it. As he finished, Martha and Jonathan helped their son to the car. Dr. Allison had given Superman a bill of complete health. She took Lois to one side and gave her another bottle to keep in case something else developed.
"Keep this in a fridge. If he doesn't get better by tomorrow, you can heat it up to just about boiling point and serve it like a tea."
"What is it?" Lois wanted to know.
"It's like a vitamin supplement for Superman. I read it in this manual here. It helps the immune system to get back to normal once it's been damaged by direct Kryptonite exposure and serum-7."
Lois thought back to the diagram she had seen once before of a human figure showing the location of all the different parts of a Kryptonian body. She remembered where that surgeon had dug his Kryptonite knife into Clark while he was being experimented on. Lois wondered if the doctor's knife could have made Clark's immune system malfunction a bit. According to the diagram, the organ that the surgeon had dug his knife into directly affected the immune system.
Later that evening in their apartment, Lois was enjoying having her husband back and just wanted to relax. The last thing she wanted to do was share him with anyone else. However, Clark couldn't rest until he made everything right. He insisted on calling Perry to apologize for his rudeness and to ask for his job back.
After Clark got off the phone with Perry, he sat down on the couch next to Lois, hoping all the way there that his wobbly feet would be able to get him there without failing. Clark sat down as Lois put her head on his shoulder and then turned to face him.
"How are you feeling now?"
"Better." Clark paused as he thought for a few more minutes. "I just don't know what made me blow up like that. You know I wouldn't hurt you, Lois, or the baby."
"I know that, Clark. You weren't yourself. I'm just glad I got my husband back. Now stop obsessing and kiss me." Clark did and was glad to be back in his home.
While Lois and Clark were cuddling in their living room, out in space, near Planet Pluto in Earth's Solar System, a wormhole opened up and a shuttle exited the wormhole. It stopped for a few seconds while the pilot got its directions adjusted.
"Where are we?" The completely nude concubine sat down next to the pilot, not even aware of the fact that she wasn't clothed nor aware of the fact that being nude was completely inappropriate.
"Let me check the directional map system." She looked at the map. "Here it is. We're in the Milky Way galaxy. Let me scan for life forms; there it is. There are life forms in this galaxy. The guide system says to go to the third planet from the solar system's sun. The people there called it Earth."
"Earth. I think that name sounds familiar." She thought. "Yes! Kal-El lives on that planet."
But when Amphora finally looked up, she quickly looked down at the map again. "Jor-Del, go put some clothes on if you're going to blend in with the inhabitants of Earth."
"Clothes? What are clothes?" the concubine said, but she had a hint of what they might be. She had never had any chances to get out of bed. She was the concubine of Al- Dour. Being a class 10-concubine, number 49, you don't get the privileges of such a thing. She often spent her time with Al-Dour or his friends to entertain them. Amphora took her to the changing room and told her how to put clothes on.
Meanwhile, Lois and Clark's Apartment
Clark was in his bedroom trying to get his suit off. He tried to pull his shirt off first but found that his arms weren't obeying him. His buttons on his business suit were open but he couldn't get it off. He tried harder only to find that his arms were starting to quiver. Clark knew where he wanted his arms to go but his arms wouldn't move to the position that he wanted them in. He started to get frustrated. It had taken him forever to take his tie off and now he couldn't get his own limbs to obey him. He felt like he was trapped in a body that didn't respond to his wishes. Every little task seemed to be requiring a lot of effort from him. He thought, 'At least there wasn't any severe damages.' Clark was used to being able to do things at super- speed. 'This is definitely not even normal speed. Arguh!'
It was bedtime and he couldn't even get into his own pajamas by himself. Clark was frustrated as he stood next to his bed for what seemed like an eternity. It had taken him forever to get upstairs, taking each step slowly with Lois by his side; now it was going to take him forever to get his shirt off. He hadn't even gotten his Dark Night suit off yet.
"Clark, are you okay?"
"Yes. I am fine." Clark tried not to sound like he was stuttering. He tried to pretend that nothing was wrong and he could do everything by himself.
Martha peeked her head around the corner for a second before coming in, "Clark, you've been standing like that for the past five minutes."
"I'm fine, Mom. I just couldn't remember where I put my pajamas," Clark said, struggling over the words. He became even more frustrated at his inability to form a sentence without pausing. He knew what he wanted to say but he just couldn't get the words to flow.
Martha Kent came and helped Clark to get into his nightgown. "Clark, don't be silly. Let me help you with that shirt." She proceeded to take Clark's tie off and then help him get out of the shirt and black costume.
One Year Later, Earth
Amphora took the name of Jack Steven and told her passenger that while on earth she should introduce herself as Beth Harper. They stayed for four years in the city they had landed in until Beth started developing her superpowers. Everything went fine for a few more months until news got around that Beth Harper could fly like Superman. She, understandably, got no privacy.
So they moved southeast to Metropolis. Jack Stevens received a job as a mail deliveryman for the Daily Planet and Beth Harper worked at the corner coffee shop, assisting customers.
A few days later, Beth Harper met Clark Kent and Lois Lane as they came in for coffee and donuts. As Beth made the coffee, Jimmy walked in to order some coffee-even though he wasn't really a coffee drinker. But instead of ordering, Jimmy was smitten by the beautiful counter lady.
"Clark, are you sure you don't want to rest up a few days more." She handed Clark his coffee and took a sip of her own.
"I'm fine, Lois."
"Klein said that it would take you years to recover completely from it."
"I heard him."
"Are all your powers back yet?"
"Some. But not all."
"Maybe we should go see Klein again," Lois said, the worry evident in her tone.
"Lois, I'm fine. These things take time."
"What's wrong then? You have that look on your face again."
"Cla-ark." She looked at him with concern as Clark was pondering a thought he had. "You heard what Dr. Klein said about that incident you had with Henry Potters. It bothered you for so long that it triggered this reaction to serum- 7."
"Well, that was a bit creepy." He tried to sound like he was not one bit frightened of the scenario. If Lois had super hearing, she would have heard Clark's heartbeat racing at a faster pace than usual at the slightest hint of the Department "X" scene. "It's just that I saw these teens huddled in a corner smoking pot and taking marijuana. It got me feeling sorry for them. I used to try to help them, but I didn't know half of it. Now I know what they're going through."
"It kind of opened your eyes."
They stood around, sipping their coffee until three men entered the store and demanded money. By then, the only ones in the room were Clark, Jimmy, Lois, and Beth.
"I can't give you the money. It doesn't belong to you. It belongs to my boss," Beth said firmly.
Just as Clark was trying to talk to the robber, he saw him open fire. Clark's mouth hung open when he saw the bullets bounce off Beth. Beth looked down at her chest.
"What was that supposed to do?" She'd never seen a gun before and certainly didn't know what it was for. She took the gun from the robber in curiosity. The robber ran off in a panic. Everyone ducked as Beth played with the gun.
"I think you better put that down before you hurt someone." Beth complied willingly. Lois had already realized that Beth was a Kryptonian. Jimmy scrambled off to work before he was late, while Lois and Clark talked to Beth.
"Are you a Kryptonian?"
"Well, Jack Stevens, my girl friend told me that I shouldn't tell anyone this. Yes, I am. I just escaped from my master. I'm a Kryptonian concubine. I've been looking for Kal-El for the longest time, ever since my shuttle had landed on Earth."
"Why are you looking for Superman?"
"I need his help. In about five years, my master will be coming for me. I just don't know what to do if he takes me back to that awful place." She broke down in tears.
Lois took it upon herself to invite Beth and Jack to their house for dinner and to explain the situation.
"We have to be getting to work, but we'll be looking forward to seeing you tonight."
"I don't really need to eat but my girlfriend Jack would love to."
"Sure, tonight at eight."
Eight PM, Lois and Clark's Apartment
Clark and Lois sat at the table eating dinner with Jack and Beth. When Clark and Lois first saw Jack, they were surprised, expecting to see a female, and seeing a male.
"I thought Beth said that she was bringing her girl friend." Lois said inquiringly.
"Yes, I'm a Tazarian female."
"Tazarian? What is it?" Lois never had figured out exactly what that was.
"In human terms, Lois, I am like a human female by definition, but look like a human male. That's what our people are like. Tazarian males look like human females. Our reproduction system works differently. I met Beth when I was on New Krypton visiting a friend. When I saw Al-Dour using a whip on Beth here, I got him off of her using a weapon that can rip through any flesh, even a Kryptonian's. It's made of a hard metal from my home planet." She showed Clark the sword. "Got her up off of the floor and had her talking to me in no time."
"I told him how I was taken from my parents because I was born into a concubine home. My mom was a concubine. My dad was a concubine to Lady Deer. When they got older my parents were allowed to have some freedom to reproduce but they had no choice on what person they could marry. Eventually my parents wound up using their concubine experience to get money to raise three other children besides me. By the age of four, we were taken from our parents. My brother wound up with a better master than me. I was taken to Al-Dour's house. He has a brothel that is available to both men and women of high stature. Reluctant female concubines are forced to cooperate by being drugged or physically restrained. In my case, I had to be tied to my bed."
Lois was quick to express her disgust at the way some women were treated on New Krypton. But in this case she knew it was Kryptonian's value on class.
"Janet and Judy were two classes lower than me. They were constantly beaten and dragged around by their hair." Beth started to become depressed. "Anyhow, I don't know how I am going to get out of this. The only way is if Kal-El would purchase me as his concubine. Otherwise Al-Dour will find me and whip me." Tears started to steam down Beth's cheeks as she showed Clark and Lois the huge scar on her shoulder. "This is what happened to me the last time I disobeyed Al- Dour and defended myself against his advances."
Jack wiped up Beth's tears. "I'm sure Kal-El can help us."
"I'm sure he can," Clark said as he tried to assure Beth that she wouldn't be returning to New Krypton with that horrific man. "And don't worry, I'll tell Superman all about your dilemma."
"I've only been here for a few years and I'm beginning to love this planet. What do you call this country?"
"The full name is the United States of America; we just call it USA for short and the city is Metropolis."
For the rest of the year, Beth lived like any other teen; Jimmy made sure that she had the best time of her life. Jimmy had to teach her that human life is not like a concubine's and the Earth life was not the Kryptonian way of life.
But when the time came, Al-Dour was at the other end of the wormhole waiting for it to open. When the door was large enough, he went through it. This time he made sure that he brought his little gadget with him. Once in the center of the wormhole, Al-Dour gave the orders to the machine to keep the wormhole from closing.
It would take six months to travel from Pluto to earth at top speed.
Six Months Later, Earth
Once on earth, Al-Dour took out a device to track Beth down. He tracked her to Metropolis, New Troy. When Beth saw him, she tried to hide but Al-Dour had his controller with him. Beth was soon dragged out of the shop by her hair and assaulted. In the dark alleyway, Al-Dour beat Beth three times before turning on a torturing device that caused Beth to collapse in pain. He turned the device off and said, "Next time you run away, I'll turn it to five."
Superman suddenly appeared in the alleyway.
"You want her. It will cost you twenty Gillian," Al-Dour sneered.
"We don't have Gillian on this planet. Beth already told me what they are. We go by gold on this planet. If I calculate correctly, by your standards, twenty Gillian are equal to two of these bricks of gold."
"Forty Gillian worth of gold."
"Thirty." Clark pulled out one more half chunk of gold brick. "This is my final offer. Thirty Gillian would equal three years of wages on New Krypton."
"Okay, thirty then. Hand over the gold." Al-Dour's associates came flying out of their aircraft and landed next to Al-Dour. Superman gave the gold to one of Al-Dour's guards. The guard then branded Beth with Kal-El's symbol, causing Beth to let out an agonizing scream. Another man dragged Beth by the ropes, which were tied to her hands, and handed her over to Superman, along with a small device.
"She's yours." Al-Dour and his men soon flew to their space ship and left Earth.
Clark inquired, "Are you okay?" He untied her hands.
"Yes. They just took away their brand and put yours on." Superman saw the 'S' emblem on Beth's right shoulder.
Clark relaxed. "For a minute there, I thought they were torturing you to death."
"No, Al-Dour never destroys his property. If there is anything I can do for you, Superman, just name it. I owe you my happiness."
"No need. I'm just glad that you're not going back with that man." But Clark still didn't know what the device he was given was for. He inquired about it.
"It's a controlling device."
"Well, I'm going to destroy it."
Beth managed to say no and spit out a message. If the device were destroyed, she would die. She was unconscious within seconds.
Superman picked Beth up and took her to see Dr. Klein, putting on as much speed as he could. Dr. Klein examined her to find out that a high level of concentrated liquid Kranite was in Beth's bloodstream, if not treated soon, she would die. To treat Beth, Klein gave her a lethal dose of serum-7 drug to neutralize the Kranite.
"Is she going to be okay?"
"Too soon to tell. We'll know first thing in the morning." But after Jimmy was told what had happened to Beth, he had rushed out and headed towards Dr. Klein's lab.
The next day, Beth woke up to the sound of birds chirping in the tree by the window and a strange feeling in her hand. She turned her head to see that it was her friend, Jimmy Olson, asleep. She smiled as she realized that Jimmy was rapidly becoming a special friend in her life. She also realized that Jimmy did care for her. She knew that for a fact and she knew in her heart that when she first saw Jimmy Olson she had made her decision. She didn't want to leave his side, not ever. She had found her home. Beth raised her other hand and stroked Jimmy's head before trying to get out of bed without waking him.
She went into Jimmy's kitchen to fix herself some tea. She looked into the kitchen and thought about the times she had spent in his kitchen with his other friends.
"Yes," she thought to herself, "Jimmy's the best friend I ever had."
Beth took on the name of Burning Star as her alter ego and saved many lives in China, Africa, and Russia. She comes back to Metropolis occasionally, visiting Jimmy and her friends. She takes Jimmy on rides over Metropolis and New York.