A Conversation With Jor-El
Clark tossed and turned in his sleep struggling against whatever it was that he was dreaming. Finally he sat up and spent a moment gasping for air. He had been dreaming of Jor-El talking about the price that he would have to pay for his disobedience. Clark had really thought of little else since that day. The possibility that someone he loved would have to die was terrifying to him and he thought about it non-stop especially since it was his fault. Even the talk that he had with his dad had done little to reassure him that everything would be all right. And if he wasn't tortured enough during his waking hours now his dreams were invaded as well. He started to lie back down when he heard it.
"Kal-El the time has come and if you wish to protect all those that you say you love you will come to me."
Clark realized that the voice hadn't been a dream and it was indeed his real father speaking to him. He debated just closing his eyes and staying exactly where he was, not wanting to deal with Jor-El any further.
"Now Kal-El I grow increasingly impatient with your disobedience." Pushing away the covers he stood up and looked towards the room where his parents peacefully slept unaware of the danger that his real father presented. Not wanting to but knowing he needed to Clark used his super speed to dress and go to the caves and start the sequence which he knew would result in his ending up in the fortress of solitude.
Once there he walked around a bit calling out to Jor-El wondering why he had been summoned here. As he came to the center of a spectacularly beautiful formation of ice he saw something. Walking toward the figure he realized that it was a man. Slightly taller than even he was and possessing a full head of black hair threaded with gray. And with a start he realized that he was looking into the face of his real father. Amazed at how much he looked like Jor-El and knowing that like every adopted child that ever lived he had wanted to know this he still didn't trust what he saw.
?" He saw Jor-El shake his head and detected not a small amount of arrogance.
"How my son is un-important, but what is to come is of great importance and I want for you to remember it well for the rest of all time."
Clark felt a surge of anger. "There is nothing that you could teach me. You are nothing to me."
Much to his surprise he heard his real father chuckle. "And you my son are so much the impertinent child refusing to do as he is told. Showing me nothing but an absolute unwillingness to accept what is your birthright. And ultimately forcing me to use punitive actions to assure that you do as I have told you. How disgustingly human you have become Kal-El."
Clark could feel the venom that he had for his father rise to the surface. "You are not my father and will never be. You gave up that right and I won't listen to you now and you can't force me too either."
Jor-El stepped closer to his son and again Clark felt his breath catch in his throat as it was much like looking at an older version of himself in a mirror. "Oh my son but I can. I could take the lives of any of the humans that you love so completely and there would be nothing that you or anyone could do to stop me."
Again Clark felt anger but this time it was mixed with a healthy dose of fear. "They have never done anything to hurt you. If anything they have taken care of me and loved me and if I am truly your son that should matter to you. Even if I haven't accepted my destiny they have kept me safe. That should mean something even to you."
Clark watched as Jor-El walked to a flat plane of ice and looked down. "It does mean something to me and for that reason and that reason only I have been re-evaluating how I should deal with you and your obvious stubborn resistance to my plans. I have decided that while taking the life of someone that you love will most certainly punish you, it will also destroy something within you that I realize you cannot exist without."
For the first time in a long time Clark began to feel the faint stirrings of hope about the situation. "And I have been looking into the human condition seeing as how you have regretfully been raised among them. And I have decided that perhaps therein lies my solution Kal-El"
Clark couldn't help but bristle at the use of his "chosen name". "My name is not Kal-El it's Clark Kent."
He saw his father grimace in distaste. "Even upon that you refuse to give me the respect that is due to me."
Clark fought to regain control of his temper realizing that the life of someone that he loved could well hinge upon this very conversation. "Fine then Kal-El or whatever. What do you think you are going to do about my decision now?"
Jor-El looked at his son long and hard. "Tell me son what would your earth father do if you refused time upon time to obey him and give him the respect that you owe him."
Clark didn't have to think long or hard because he knew and knew well the answer to that question. His mind went directly to the memory of when he had been twelve and hadn't wanted to come home from Pete's and had been brave enough to tell his father no in front of the Ross family and walk away from him. His dad had all but drug him to the truck and when they got home he had given Clark the worst spanking that he had ever gotten. He had even used his belt. Very quickly Clark had learned that not giving his father the proper respect was something that he never wanted to be stupid enough to do again. He winced at the memory and realized that Jor- El was waiting for an answer to his question.
"I have never disrespected my father. He has earned my respect and love."
Clark was somewhat nervous as the Kryptonian got within touching distance. "Do you take me for a fool boy? Do you not realize that I can even read your thoughts and that I know all about the last time you showed him no respect?"
Clark paled at the news he had just heard. "And I also know that you have been far from a perfect son to him either. And if you hadn't become impervious to pain shortly after that perhaps you would have had many more encounters like the one you just remembered. And considering how quickly his actions pulled you back into line I would say it was quite an effective tool."
Now Clark was in a panic and he didn't like the way this conversation was progressing at all. "But I am not like your human father Kal-El. I am not worried that punishment will scar you, I realize that it is often needed to teach and guide you and even on Krypton the same type of thing was often utilized."
Now Clark was sick to his stomach. "You spank your kids on Krypton?"
He was very relieved when Jor-El shook his head no. "Not that particular device but many other punitive measures were employed when necessary. Born perhaps of the necessity of having a child who will not do as he is told and refuses to show respect to his elders, even his own father. Such is the curse of free will Kal-El. A curse which you are about to feel the punishment for."
Walking over to the flat ice plane Jor-El sat down and motioned for Clark to come to him. Clark took several steps away from his biological father. "While I hold no great respect for the human condition I think perhaps Jonathon Kent knows more about being a father than I may have given him credit for. I think that his methods may merit some serious consideration. Now come to me."
Clark stood feet rooted to the floor shaking his head. "There is no way that I'm gonna allow you to do that to me. And in case you haven't noticed I am both strong and fast."
While Clark made this pronouncement with serious conviction, his heart was pounding and he didn't feel nearly as confident as he appeared and the situation was only made worse when Jor-El laughed. "Your abilities may be great among the human race but by the standards of the Kryptonian race you are but a mere boy and your abilities still have not reached completion. So while you may think that you are strong and fast compared to an elder such as myself you are a mere child."
He had barely finished the sentence when Clark felt a gust of wind and then found himself draped across Jor-El's rather unyielding lap. Realizing just what his biological father planned to do Clark struggled with all that he had. And for the first time in his life he was frustrated beyond belief to find that it got him exactly no where. "It surprises me Kal-El that with all the pitiful complaining you have done about my decision to punish you by taking a life that when presented with this alternative it still does not satisfy you. If anything that again shows me how immature you still are."
Clark resumed struggling against the strong arm across his lower back holding him in place and heard Jor-El say a word in Kryptonian that he had never heard before. He looked over his shoulder and saw what looked a lot like his father's belt appear in Jor-El's hand. And even though he knew what Jor-El had said should be true there was no way he wanted what he knew was about to happen. "I am way too old for this." The only response he got was the belt being brought down on his rather vulnerable behind.
The sting was so intense that Clark felt as if he couldn't breathe for a moment and immediately he felt tears come to his eyes and before he had even started to recover he felt the belt land again. Struggling as hard as he could intent on stopping what was happening he tried to focus on freeing himself. But Jor-El had easily outmatched his strength and apparently was determined to administer this lesson. Clark refused to cry, if this had to happen then he would not give Jor-El the satisfaction. But the honest truth was that as much as he tried not too the tears came un-invited.
There were tears of shame and tears of sorrow but mostly tears of pain at the unrelenting spanking that was being given to him. He felt as if everything from the waist down to his knees was on fire and he wondered if the ice behind him was actually melting. Very soon he became exhausted from both the struggle and the crying and felt himself just give in and submit to the punishment.
And if Jor-El knew that he had he stopped at that precise moment. "Remember Kal-El I am not Jonathon Kent, there will be no touching exchange between us where I tell you all is forgiven. Emotions are for the weak and the human. What I will tell you is that you are not yet ready to begin that training that I had hoped you could begin. You are far too immature. And unlike your earth father I am not sorry that I punished you in this fashion. It was rather satisfying to see you receive what you have so richly asked for."
Clark felt the restraining arm relax, and he scrambled to his feet unable to resist the urge to attempt to rub the sting out. "I hate you and you are not my father!"
The teen was further enraged when his biological father merely chuckled. "Does it not bother you son to be acting out the same drama that fathers and sons for generations have played out? How very common and human."
Not waiting for an answer he continued. "The thing that I need for you to remember Kal-El is that your poor choices and bad behavior will not go unpunished any longer."
He saw Jor-El stand also and step towards him and he took another step backward. "Honestly Kal-El stop behaving like a coward. I only wanted to give you this."
The Kryptonian reached out and handed Clark the belt that he had punished him with and Clark accepted it with a grimace. "That my son is a gift for Jonathon Kent. With it he will be able to punish you as I just have and clearly such an act would have a positive effect on you. Tell him to use it often and it will help."
Clark looked horrified at the object in his hand and thought that there was no way he was ever gonna give this to his dad. "I will know Kal-El if that is the choice that you make and you will regret it. Do you understand me completely?"
Clark could do nothing but nod that he did and feel sick about it. "Then that completes our discussion then. Just remember my son that I am watching and there will be a price to be paid for foolish rebellion."
As quickly as he had come the figure of Jor-El was gone and Clark too made his way home. He felt equally chastised and angry but he had to admit that there had been some truth in some of the things that Jor-El had said. He wanted nothing more than to go back
to the home that and people that he loved and be comforted. He felt like a little boy again who just wanted to be taken care of. And the honest truth was that even when his dad had spanked him it had never hurt like the punishment he had just received. And what was he going to do about Jor-El's present for his dad? He didn't think his father would ever use it but why take that chance? And on the other hand he didn't really want to disobey Jor-El either at least not right now.
He came into the kitchen where both of his parents were sitting at the kitchen table looking frantic. "Clark where in the hell have you been, your mother and I were frantic when we woke up and you were no where to be found?"
Clark looked into the faces of both of the people who had raised him from a small child and did the one thing he didn't want to do. He put his head down and sobbed. Before he knew it both parents were standing in front of him. "Clark honey whatever it is Dad and I will listen. Let's just sit down now at the table and we will talk about it."
Now his father was looking at him with confusion evident on his face. "You don't want to talk about it Clark?"
Clark just shook his head. "No I don't want to sit down."
Now both parents exchanged another worried look. "Okay then."
"Something happened and it was awful."
He felt his fathers reassuring hand rubbing small circles on his back. "Go on son you can tell us anything."
Clark didn't look so sure. "It was Jor-El he punished me instead of taking the life of someone that I loved cause he said that I was too immature."
Martha looked to Clark horror evident on her lovely face. "What did he do honey?" She asked tears of her own filling her eyes.
Jonathon felt as if he couldn't take a deep breath, fear filling every fiber of his being. "C'mon sweetheart you can tell us what he did."
Clark dropped his head again. "He spanked me."
Two pairs of eyes connected with his and the moment hung in the air. "He spanked you Clark?"
Jonathon had a thought that maybe he hadn't heard correctly but Clark repeated it.
"Did he abuse you son?"
Clark looked like his father had lost his mind. "I told you he spanked me and it hurt so bad. I don't think I'm even going to be able to sit down tomorrow."
Neither of Clark's parents knew exactly what to say. "Is that something they do on Krypton Clark?"
He answered his mother's question and told them both all that had happened. They were both relieved that Jor-El's plan for Clark to begin his training was put aside for now due to the Kryptonian's perception that Clark was too immature. Even with all their son had told them they still got the feeling that he was holding something back. "What else son?"
Clark looked to his father realizing that he should have known that he could never just tell him half of anything it was as if he had some sort of radar. "Well he sort of sent you a present I guess."
"What are you talking about Clark?"
The boy handed the object to his father that he had been hiding behind his back. Looking at it Jonathon was still puzzled. "It looks like a belt of some kind Clark why would he send this to me?"
Now Clark felt a flush come across his face and neck. "Cause he said that if you ever needed to well you know
.if you used that you could. But I'm way too old for that now so really it's just worthless."
Clark was dismayed to see Jonathon looking curious. "So you mean I could spank you with this and you would feel it?"
Clark looked for any way out of this situation. "He wasn't really clear and maybe that's not what he meant at all?"
Jonathon knew that Clark was not telling him the entire truth and he knew that could only mean that Jor-El had meant exactly that. "Bend over the table Clark and let's see if that's what he meant."
Martha now had Clark wrapped in a protective embrace. "Jonathon hasn't he been through enough today?"
"I don't intend to spank him Martha I just want to see if it works. Clark lean across the table please."
Looking both horrified and betrayed Clark did as he was told. "Please Dad, not on my butt it still hurts from this morning."
Jonathon rubbed Clark's back to re-assure him. "I'm not trying to punish you Clark I just want to see if this works."
And having said that he laid a very light swat on the back of the boy's thighs and was amazed to see him immediately stand up and rub. "Owwww dad that really hurt."
Both Jonathon and Martha exchanged a look of amazement. "Well son that sort of levels the playing field now doesn't it?"
Clark frowned at both his father and at the comment. "What is that supposed to mean dad?"
Jonathon sat back down at the table and placed Jor-El's gift in front of him. "It means that I have the ability to use this as punishment again if the situation calls for it. And while I certainly don't like the fact that he took it upon himself to punish you, you are not entirely without fault here. And in fact if I had this little present before there have been several occasions in the last three or even four years that I would have used it."
Clark dropped his head again having had a serious feeling that this was exactly what his dad would have said. "Did he have any other advice for me Clark?"
Rubbing the spot on his thigh where the swat had been placed Clark looked down at his feet again. "Clark"
Knowing better than to ignore that parental request he sighed. "He said to use it often, that it would help."
He noticed his parents again exchanging a look and he lost his temper. "What is going on here suddenly you are taking parenting tips from Jor-El? What happened to him being all evil and your hating him? I think that the right thing to do here is just to get rid of that thing."
Looking towards his father he was surprised to see him smile. "Oh I'm sure you do think that Clark and while my feeling towards Jor-El remain the same I think I'll just hang onto this anyway. Now go on upstairs and go back to bed for alittle while. You will feel better after some rest."
Clark just stared at both of his parents as if they had lost their minds and went up to his room. Martha and Jonathon remained quiet as they watched their unhappy son climb the stairs to his room. Martha noted with worry that he was continuing to rub his behind as he went. "Well I have to say that this is something even with our strange life that I never thought that I would see."
Martha nodded in agreement. "Oh Jon Jor-El could have really hurt him."
"But he didn't Martha he did what any father at the end of his rope would have done. He spanked him, and while I sure as hell don't like it at least it was something that I understood. And did you hear Clark one time say he didn't deserve it?"
Martha looked at the present from Jor-El lying on the table. "And what of this Jon is he telling us how to raise our son now?"
Jonathon thought long and hard about the question. "I'm not sure sweetheart maybe in his own way he is giving me the power to be a stronger father to Clark. Just knowing I have this will make him think long and hard when he makes those decisions that he never consults us on. Like the summer he ran away or when he went off and got married to Alicia or when he got on a plane and went to China or
Martha held her hands up in surrender. "Okay, okay so maybe this one time Jor-El might have been on our team. But Clark still is ours and no one else's right?"
Jonathon stood up and pulled her into a warm embrace. "Of course he is and always will be and I think Jor-El sending this signifies that even he knows that on some level. Now help me find a place to put this and hopefully we can forget about it."
Martha smiled at her husband fondly. "You have met our son Clark haven't you?"
And smiling back he had to admit that she had a point.
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