By Shayne Terry [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Submitted: February 2011
Summary: Power isn't everything; sometimes it's all about control.
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Staring at the devastation around them, Lord Nor wondered how it had all gone so wrong.
He had an army of beings, all with the power of gods. He had technology a thousand years ahead of anything the primitives of this world had yet to come up with. The world should have been his in the space of hours.
They hadn't gotten out of the landing zone yet.
He winced at the sight of two of his men crashing into each other above him. They fell to earth with a massive crash. They were doing better than others, who were floating above ground, unable to find purchase on the earth below. Some were spinning slowly in place, helpless.
Others were trying to walk. Unused to the effects of the yellow sun and this world's minuscule gravity, they were unable to take a step without leaping high in the air. Many of them were already lost beyond the horizon.
He grimaced and felt his skin burning; one of the younger men in the squad was spinning helplessly in place, heat flowing from his eyes and causing outraged yells from the men around him as he spun and burned everything in a three hundred and sixty degree radius.
It was only by dint of superior will that he himself was able to keep from moving a muscle. He knew that the slightest twitch of his muscles could send him flying across the horizon.
Something happened to his vision, and the men around him suddenly appeared to have no skin. He grimaced as the muted noises all around him suddenly became shockingly loud. Suddenly he could hear everything in a thirty mile radius, and it was all he could do to drop to the ground with his hands over his ears.
The others around him were doing the same.
This place had promised to give them all the powers of gods. Instead it had been a death trap.
"They'll be held for trial on New Krypton," Zara said. "Most of them were happy to go home. The war is over."
Clark stared at her for a moment and then asked, "Why didn't it affect you and Ching like that?"
"It did," Zara said. "We landed in Canada, and there's a bald spot in the forest up there three miles wide from where we made some…mistakes."
"How long did it take you to get things under control?" Clark asked.
"Two months before we were safe to be around humans," Zara said. She hesitated. "I suspect none of us will ever be as good at all of it as you. You've learned how to control your abilities all your life, and it's natural to you. We still have to think about it."
Nodding, Clark waved as they flew unsteadily up toward their ship. They still weren't graceful, even now, but between the three of them, they'd been able to control Nor's entire army.
Nor had made his mistake in banking everything on power.
Sometimes, though, it was all about control. He turned to Lois and smiled, leaning down for a kiss.
His touch was as delicate as a butterfly's wing.