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A Year-Long Search (Prologue 1.6)

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“I still find it hard to believe you found the Amazons and talked with their Princess. It sounds like a Fairy Tale. You're going to slay a dragon for her next?”

I chuckle at Bruce's remark as he's fix drinks. It's been a week since the battle with Bizzaro, crashed onto Paradise Island and meet Diana. All this time I've been trying to wrap my head around it all. Gods, Amazons, and her. Are there more like the Amazons, hidden away from the rest of the world? The world is becoming a stranger place every day. I guess next to learn is aliens, logical next step. Though, Amazons seem alien enough.

“It hard to believe, I know.”

Bruce handed me a drink and sat down in front of his computer, super-computer I call it. Probably the most advanced one on Earth. Under Earth is a better a way to say it. Somehow, Bruce paid good money to create a secret base under Wayne's manor. I've asked him how he got away with it, he told me 'money is silence'. It always amazes me what people do for a little extra cash in their pockets, and the fact Bruce is on the law-bidding side, in his own way.

“I wouldn't have believed you three years ago. Our world is changing, Clark. Regular humans like me, we have to accept this or get left behind. Don't forget, you changed it.”

Sometimes I forget Bruce is a regular human. He got an unnatural drive that pushes him, in crime fighting and in running Wayne Corps. I guess that's why we're friends. Two guys who are doing everything they can to make the world a better place with the gifts and our resources we've got. Maybe that's why I asked Diana to come with me? She's like me and Bruce, I could tell it in her eyes. She has that drive too. God, I'm an adult and I feel like a teenager.

“Judging from your quietness, you're thinking about the Princess. I'm right?”

Damn. Right on the nose. No wonder they're calling Batman the world's greatest detective these days.

“I will not deny it. A mild infatuation.”

Bruce raised an eyebrow. The urge to hide my embarrassment is strong, but I'll face it like a grown adult. I just hope I'm not blushing.

“Clark, you hardly groan over Lois Lane anymore. This isn't mild.”

“It's that bad?”

Bruce nodded. Damn. Infatuated with someone I barely know. Maybe this is how Lois feels about Superman? Thinking about it, I owe a lot of apologies. I'll start with Lois. It's got to be the same with Bruce too, wearing becoming the batman is like becoming another person. Night in and night out, Bruce punch and kick some grunt; leaps from building to building. Squaring off with the worst Gotham has produced. Then, he crosses path with Catwoman—all that testosterone, adrenaline is pushing him to lock lips with either of those ladies. I know for me, there's been a few nights where I kissed Lois, after stopping a criminal or saving her, mostly both . That's what it does to us, creates passion. Now, I'm on the receiving in, what do I do from here? I guess asking that question lead me here, to a very experienced man.

“What do I do, Bruce?”

Bruce is contemplating, swiveling in his chair. It's one of his tics he do. Yeah, he's been here before.

“Forget about her, you can't do anything. Weren't you the one who told me that finding the island is going to be hard?”

“Will you give up on Catwoman?”

He stiffens at my words. That's a sour topic to bring up. For nearly a year, he’s been trying to get her to give up her life of crime. I don't think it'll happen. I watched them; she enjoys their game of cat and mouse—or rather bat and cat. And, he won't admit it, so does Bruce. He enjoys the chase, a rarity for him.

“I didn't expect a low-blow coming from you,” Bruce said. He smiles.

Still, Bruce again told me to give up on her. After knowing me for three-and-half years, he should know giving up is the last thing I'll ever do. What am I saying? I don't know how to give up. That's why they call me Superman. I'll find that island again.

***

It's been three weeks since my conversation with Bruce. I've begun my search in the Pacific Ocean. It's the largest on Earth, so they're bound to land there a few times. If the island is transitory as she claimed. Though, I can't imagine Diana would lie about that. So far, I found no Amazons, but I rescued several lost ships and ship-wrecked people. Stopped illegal dumping and poaching. All in a day's work for Superman.

--C.K.

I've started a journal on my search of Paradise Island. It's one of my many journals detailing my exploits. Perhaps to share with the world one day. Who knows, it might inspire people in the far future. It's been a peaceful last three weeks, some petty criminal here and there, but nothing major. No scummy politician either. Metropolis has been at peaceful and I enjoy it. Three blissful weeks. If only it would stay that way, I know other Metropolians thinks that way too. Heels are tapping against the floor, and they're coming fast.

“Smallville, how can you stand this nauseating boredom? I'm about to move to Gotham!”

Well, almost everyone. Lois Lane, Daily Planet's dark-haired beauty ace reporter. Second, ace reporter, if I can brag. She's a go-getter, what they call a mover and shaker. No really, she moves and shakes people to their core. The words: "Talk to my representative" are foreign to her. I think that what makes Lois hard to approach, she exudes confidence, so much you can choke on it. I guess that is why she smitten with Superman, he's a man who matches her. You gotta be confident doing what I do.

“Dammit, if only Superman wasn't handsome and could shatter the bones in my hand, I'd punch him for putting me through this!”

I can't even compete with myself. I want to tell her the truth, but being able to slip away gives me the edge I need. Superman pays the bills. Plus, I like it. Dashing off at a moment's notice, saving the day. Returning with my little secret. How could I get rid of that? Still, it makes having a love life hard. The women notice Superman. Clark Kent is a mild-mannered reporter. I could have any woman I wanted. Actress, politician, singer, even a world leader. I tried that once, but there wasn't any passion between us or the sheets. What's the point of being in a relationship if she's just interested in being with Superman? That's why I'm scared to push things further with Lois, What if she realizes she never loved me, just the idea of being with me? Now I have the issue with Diana. I wonder if she's thinking of—damn.

“Smallville. Earth to Smallville. Come in.”

“Smallville, over.”

She cracks a smile at that one. I really got into deep thought. Enough about my love life. I still got a good friend, that's important—footsteps, the cadence and pattern sounds means Jimmy Olsen. Time to go to work.

“Excuse me for a minute, Lois.”

***

I traversed all the Pacific Ocean, nothing. So, it got me thinking. What if their island is on some pattern? Paradise Island could, perhaps rotate between oceans during the seasons, perhaps? Maybe a weekly rotation? I don't know, for now. I did learn Paradise Island has become nautical lore among sailors, and the few pirates that is still left. They say if you see the island, then you know you've landed in Davy Jones' Locker. It fascinates me such superstition is persistent in this day and age. Sadly, there is no consistency for me to make out any logic. I'll figure it out, there's a pattern to this, there always is. I need to speak to them more, people who live in the sea will know.

--C.K.

Lois really left and went to Gotham. 'Don't miss me too much, Smallville', she said. It's a good thing Gotham isn't far away, a hop away for me. She even got Bruce doing extra work, yeah. Bruce been calling me to get Lois. I mean, I would, if she was my daughter. She's not and once Lois does something, she won't be stopped. I told him, I'll be there in case of an emergency. Nothing so far, and it's been almost two weeks. It's Bruce, he's going to keep Lois safe, regardless if she keeps trying to interview Batman.

Let's get down to business. Yesterday, I traversed over the Atlantic Ocean. Atlantic, Atalanta. Worth the shot. I learned a sailor who heard rumors of an island somewhere out in the Indian Ocean. I'll be going there after work. All this work just to impress a woman who probably forgot about me. What if she's not impressed, just really annoyed? God, I feel like an idiot. Thinking there was a connection between the two of us. It's silly infatuation, that's it. Or, do I want more to be there? Why can't my feelings be simple?

“What's the serious face about, Clark?”

Jimmy? I didn't hear him come in. I need to get it together. Especially now that Lois is gone, Diana has been on my mind lately. Thinking about things like—now's not the time for this. Gotta think of something, but what? That's it! Thanks Lois, you're a big help.

“Just thinking if Lois drove Batman insane by now.”

Jimmy laughs at that. Good old Jimmy, Daily Planet's ace photographer. Always on hand when Lois runs off to the next scoop. I'm curious, why didn't Jimmy leave with Lois?

“Say Jim, why didn't you go with Lois?”

The exasperated look on his face says all I need to know. Adults, sometimes when can be teenagers when it comes to the working relationship of a man and woman, the age difference between the two doesn't make it better. Young intern-turned-photographer running behind the beautiful older woman when she says "let's go, Jimmy"; it practically screams puppy love. I can imagine what they say adding me into the picture. And Superman, can't forget about me. You got it hard Lois.

“You don't have to say anything, I get.”

Jimmy sits on my desk, clearly ready to get to get something off his chest. I think I opened up a stuffed can of worms. Since I did it, no other choice but to listen to what he has to say.

“You're asking me! A guy decides to take it slow and everyone is calling me a lost puppy! And you say I have nothing to say. I've got a lot to say, let's go to lunch!”

Lunch went as expected. Jimmy complained, a lot. The remaining work hours went by smoothly, no trouble at all. That's four weeks now. No robberies, no police standoffs, nothing super-villain. It's blissful, but I'm suspicious. That's why I'm flying across the skyscrapers of Metropolis in uniform, letting whoever is planning something know, I'm vigilant. Like always, they're pointing and in awe of what they see. It's been three years and I'm not used to it. At least they don't fear me. I'm grateful for that.

Looking around, I notice a dark figure in the shadows on top of the building. Bruce, you're going to need a tan one of these days. If it wasn't for my eyesight, that may have not been Bruce. I could've fell into a trap. Well, they have to be strong, if they can take me down or subdue me.

“I don't know how you do it, but please get Lois. I can't work with her constant jumping into action and then having to save her.”

“It helps if you have powers.”

He's glaring at me, oh boy. Dressed as Batman, he can scare folks. But, being my size, my height. Strong as I am. Also, near invulnerable. It doesn't do much for me.

“Fine, fine. I'll talk to her. No promises.”

“You're Superman, just pick her up and fly her back here.”

It's been two weeks, he doesn't get Lois. She's not really someone who'll do as she's told. I learned that lesson the hard way. ‘You maybe Superman, but you're not my father. Never think you have the authority to ever tell me what I can do!’ right in public too. Worst part, she wrote the article. Super-burn they called it for weeks. I learned my lesson that day, and some humility.

“Also, if you're going to look for that island, you shouldn't be doing it as Superman. Rumors are getting around.”

“Good point. But, trying to pay for a boat and all that other stuff is a hassle.”

Bruce shrug at that comment. It's easy having your own private boats and yatchts. He's right too. It looks weird for me to ask about a mythical island. People will start looking for an isle of women.'t Now that I think about it, why didn't I ask Bruce? He'd definitely help me, despite his objection to it. What to do? For now, Lois.

There was no point in talking to Lois. She's gone, found a lead in a case, refused to tell me about it. By the time I reached Gotham, her plane took off. I could've flown there, but Bruce was right. Going as Superman can be troublesome at times. All's well, that ends well, for now.

***

For now was right. Lex Luthor made an abrupt announcement. Right in the middle of my TV show too. Standing alongside General Lane, not good. He's soaking in the attention. Letting the world wait for him. The general doesn't look pleased at that. But, he has an ego the size of Texas, Lex will take all the time he wants. Everyone should know that.

“Three years ago, Superman came into our lives. He showed us the truth we've sought to deny. That we have fallen behind on our true progress, what greatness we can achieve it. I say no more. With my—”

I can't watch that no more. An ego the size of Texas, no. His ego is big as Jupiter. Nothing's else on TV. It's late, I'm heading to sleep. Brushed my teeth and laid down in bed. I don't sleep often, back when I was younger in my old quiet neighborhood, I would often spend my nights reading much as I could, everything from science to Shakespeare to science fiction. Those were fun nights, mostly because Ma and Pa wouldn't let me watch television. Now, in the sleepless city of Metropolis, nighttime for me means lots of thinking. But, I don't feel like thinking. So, I'll induce myself to sleep.

***

I've stopped talking to sailors. Bruce was right, people are talking. I didn—I should've known. If I were to say aliens are real, they'd believe it. I'm walking on eggshells all the time. It's the burden of who I am. I wonder if Diana feels the same way in her home? If she does, why had I asked her to come with me that night?

--C.K.

Flying over the Indian Ocean, I spot a small boat. It could be a trap, I need to remember that. Being invulnerable makes me oblivious to when someone is trying to ensnare me. One of these days, I'll fall into a trap that'll do a number on me. I need to remember that.

Closer to the fisherman, he's an older man. Judging from his dark skin and facial features, he might be from the Southeast Asia regions. I can speak the major languages, I hope it's not a regional one. There are a lot of regional languages in the world. Trips me when I'm overseas helping. Now, to wait. Another hard lesson learned over the years: never wake them up. It's a hassle calming them down. Also, never be floating in the air, that'll really startle them. That's why I'm sitting down, waiting.

Hm, there is a bag here. In a boat like this, he wouldn't survive a day out here. There's something not right here. Looking at the boat, the wood is nothing I've ever seen before… Could it be? Right here in the Indian Ocean? I open the bag. Fruit, I've never seen them before either. Searching the boat, I notice a rune carved into the ground. Is it magic? A rune for what? A man asleep in the middle of the ocean, a bag of fruit, a boat. You don't need the world's greatest detective to figure it out. This boat is carrying him home, the rune offers protection or a guide home? It could be both. The island could be in this ocean, or it could've left. Damn. She's so far out of my reach, yet she feels so close now. I'll find Paradise Island. I know what to look for now.

***

It wasn't in the Indian Ocean; I lost it. But, I followed the boat; it sailed him home. I learned he's from Indonesia. The man awoke the moment the boat touched shore, and he eat the bag of fruit. I helped him get home and learned he's been missing for weeks. He's a husband and father of three. I spent more time in the Indian Ocean. They had boats scattered all around; fisherman, lost sailors, pirates, and women. All with the same boat and rune. I know now; the island isn't constantly moving. It stays in one Ocean at a time. If the Amazons are old as Diana claimed they are, perhaps there might be bits of historical clues scattered around.

--C.K.

Months of online searching, and trips to the library to get books on the subject, I learned some things The Amazons was at one point, fascination for explorers for a while. Men, and some women, looking for the mythical island. None have found it, some claimed they did. What I know of the Amazons, the ones who claimed they were captives of feminine savages is far from the truth. The last two centuries, the popularity has waned, not fully. There is a society dedicated to finding them, now it's more or less a society for anything UFOs, your big foots, and any other cryptozoology. Society of Amazons Finders. It's a website used by a woman named Lisa Sly, she lives in Gateway City. When I contacted her, she told me to come to her place. I'm no prude, but meeting a random woman at her place? I couldn't do it. She insisted though. I hope she's no loon.

Gateway City, not marvelous as Metropolis, but cheerier than Gotham. It's the city of Greek culture, as they call it. Ironic I’m here looking for Amazons. She lives in the downtown area. Saved a bit of time using my speed. Right before I enter the apartment, I check the last text from Lois. It came today; she found herself a friend as she called him. Weird way to describe an informant. I told her: shout, if she needs me. She texted back a laughing emoji, then the Superman emoji. One day, she's going to be in for the shock of her life. Now, back to Lisa.

I walk the halls, filtering out the noise I'm hearing. That's why I avoid small apartments like this one. So much noise, I can hardly think. Apartment 77. I'm at 67, now 70, just passed 74. 75, 76. Here at 77. I knock on the door. A blond woman opens it up. A smirk forms on her lips. She's wearing a housecoat, hardly long at all. Forget a loon, I hope the Amazon Finders Society wasn't some prostitution ring.

“You didn't expect a beautiful blond to answer the door, did you? I get that a lot.”

I didn't know what to expect, because it never crossed my mind. All I thought about was finding clues to the island. I can get pretty obsessed and block out unnecessary details when I'm researching. I should keep that a secret, it might wound her ego from the looks of how she carries herself. She moved aside and gestures me in.

Despite the homely halls, her apartment is rather classy, and color coordinated. Lots of drapes decorate the windows, each a different color. With my x-ray vision, I notice there are chains hidden behind them, that is interesting. A large grey sofas on the right seem to cost quite the penny. Each corner of the room has a Greek bust, a very peculiar design. It's more soft-looking than your regular texture. In a way, the sculpture conveys a sense of nobility and warmth. Walking to the bust in the far left of the room, I realize this one looks familiar. It's a face I haven't forgotten, one that's been on my mind for a while. I think that's Diana. She looks beautiful even sculpted. Looking to the other across the room, she looks like Diana. Could that be her mother? Pictures on the wall depicts Greek-like paintings of women wrestling men. One shows a woman punching a man, he’s wearing loincloth? It might be Heracles. Diana told me about the Amazons. I got a hunch.

“I love you're admiring my apartment, but let's get down to business. Actually, let me welcome you to the Amazon Finders Society.”

She opens her arms up, breast peeking out from the opening. As if I'm supposed to be amazed at what's before me. I'll admit it, her apartment is nice. Except for the chains, those are odd. Still, this is the Amazon's Finders Society. Just someone's apartment, I at least expected someone's junky office with piles of newspaper with headlines like: "My Dog Is The Chupacabra." No, it's just a really nice apartment. I'm tad disappointed, I was hoping for a loon.

“Sorry, you just have a peculiar taste.”

She's sitting on an arm-chair, crossed leg, a glass of wine in hand, I’m staring at her face after noticing her black lace panties. Lisa Sly, the classic blond hair and blue eye beauty, wearing a velvet house robe. I'd be interested if I wasn't here to learn how I could find a blue-eyed, dark-haired beauty.

“Thank you, Mr. Kent. Now, why are you looking for the mythical island of the Amazons? No one has been interested in that for almost two-hundred years.”

“Ah, I was doing my research these last few months. Digging deep as I could. You could say, it aroused the adventurer's spirit in me.”

She nods, smiles a bit. I don't know if my answer sastif—it happened in a flash. Too fast for a normal person to have seen it. Around Lisa Sly's wrist is a silver bracelet. It looks like the same Diana wore. The bust, the paintings. It can only mean one thing.

“That bracelet, You're an Amazon.”

Now she leans back in the chair, flips blond locks back. She twirls the cup of wine around before taking a sip. When done, she savors the taste. 'mmm' she said.

“Wine imported from Paradise Island. Nothing taste better. I do miss my home, my sisters. So, I take it you've been there. That is the only way you'll ever know about our bracelets.”

“I was there, unconscious for most of it.”

I wish I wasn't, would've been fun learning about an isolated culture of women. Being guided by Diana, She was happy talking about her home… I'd love to see that smile again. Wait, no. That's what I need to be focusing on. I just told her I was at Paradise Island. Could she know how I came to Paradise Island? No, she would've mentioned that already. You can't really hold back the discussion of Superman nowadays.

“Hm, who is she? No man would take this much effort finding trying to Paradise Island, if there wasn't a good reason.”

“Yeah, I was there, but I told you why already.”

She placed the wineglass down, and begin to get up, uncrossing her legs. I stare elsewhere out of respect, my parents taught me that. She didn't seem to care, because listening to her footsteps, she's walking towards me. I can feel the space between us enclosing, the smell of peach and strawberries is strong. Almost intoxicating, if I wasn't used to it I don't know what I would've done in this moment. She turns my head to her.

“You're a terrible liar.”

“Okay, you got me. There is a her, and she's going unnamed.”

She seemed pleased, walks back to her seat. The way her hips sway as she walks, I think she's testing me. Why? Perhaps she does know, but why hasn't she mentioned it? Frustrating, but I can't do nothing about it. I'm here to find Paradise Island, not bring up Superman. She sat down, she crosses her legs slowly, like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. I've seen all the tricks in the book, you gotta do better than that Miss.Sly.

“There is always a her. Men never change, not even men like you.”

“Like me?”

“Honest men, Mr.Kent.”

If there is anything Pa taught me, it's honesty. Though I am a bit lying to those closest to me, that I am Superman. Sorry about that one Pa.

“I try my best.”

She pulls a wine bottle from her coat. I won't ask an Amazon how she did it. Pours herself more in her glass. Swirls it around. Takes a sip. She seems happy, and she takes another sip. She does it a few more times. My parents taught me patience is a virtue, but dammit she's leading me on with this. What's the goal? To blurt out I was on Paradise Island? That's not going to happen. Finally she places the half-empty wineglass down on the cup holder. Does she even get drunk? Can Amazons get drunk? I should ask Diana that when we meet again.

“It's good to try, especially in your case.”

“Thanks?”

She knows, there's no way to doubt that now. She probably knew I was going to their little society sooner or later, and planned the whole thing out. Ah, this is embarrassing. That means back at Paradise Island there's an whole gossip about me and Diana. I really hope I'm not blushing right now. Can't believe I'm being tested by Amazons for their Princess. Diana doesn't seem she's the one pulling strings here. I have too much trust in a stranger, but there's something truthful about her. Wait. Lisa Sly twirls the wine around, looking at me. I was lost in thought again. I need to say something, but what? Ah, got it.

“Why is an Amazon running the Amazon Finders Society?”

“Hm, good answer Mr.Kent, though not the one I was expecting. Still, I'll answer it. We Amazons have been running this society for the last two centuries. Helps keep lecherous and seedy types away. I am the hundredth or two hundredth person to run this place.”

Judging from her response, she must've wanted to discuss why I was on the island. Could they be gauging me for a threat? Can't be, women from the men's world live there. They should know I'm not danger to anyone, who doesn't hurt the innocent. Well, she'll never get that answer out of me. It also explains why the interest has waned the last two centuries. Also explains why the society expanded beyond Amazons. These ladies must do a lot to keep their home safe.

“Anyway, I think we should get down to business now,” she said.

We did. She told me the history of the Amazon Finders Society. It was founded by two men—Harry Moulton and Charles Peters. They were the closes to finding Paradise Island. Apparently they were informed by another sister, as she called her, who lived in the men's world at the time about this. Then, an Amazon named Lilith sailed to the men's world and made her way into the society. It was never explained how she did it, but Peters and Charles both left and she took it over, things went downhill. Membership dropped from nearly a thousand, down to a hundred—now only to one. Over the years, Amazons came and took over, furthering spreading misinformation. Eventually, they did it. The world has forgotten about the Amazons for over two centuries. By the time she’s done, giving me extensive notes the sky night had come.

“This took longer than expected, Mr. Kent. But, there you have it. Good luck on your search.”

“Thank you. Miss.Sly.”

“Please, call me Lisa. Also, I could tell you where Paradise Island will be next. Save you the trouble.”

“Thanks for the offer, but I'd rather do it this way. I think she'll like it.”

I left. I got a phone call from Jay Garrick, telling me about Metroplis. He kept my city safe for me, while also protecting his city too. Benefits of being the fastest man alive. I got a lot of work to do. I hope Diana will enjoy it. I sure have been.

***

Soaking in an Amazonian-styled bathtub, the water is hot , the blond Lisa Sly is talking on the phone. Her damp long locks leaves much to the imagination, but reveal the shape of her breast. Slender long legs make ripples in the water when they move. Bubbles cover up nether regions.

“He was more than words could describe, Lilith. If only the Princess hasn't gotten eyes for that man. Oh, Aphrodite, he wouldn't have left my apartment.”

Lisa Sly nods. Finger rubbing the rim of the tub.

“Yes. Yes. I gave him everything, mostly false information. Perhaps he will figure something out. He seems smart as he is handsome. The Princess is a lucky woman to have him.”

***

Through pages of false leads and information, I found Paradise Island transitory pattern. I used super-mathematics to confirm it; I call it super-mathematics for fun, I calculate fast. To basically put it, the island never stays during the winter, or anywhere for longer than three months. It doesn’t have a particular pattern, but it makes a trip around the world, takes a while. Why doesn’t an island like winter time? That’s a mystery to me. Maybe in the waters is a giant turtle? I don’t know. I do know, Paradise Island is in the Atlantic Ocean right now. I’ll be going there soon.

***

I’m fact-checking my latest exploit for an article Lois is writing. She’d do it herself, but she’s knee-deep in several articles about right now. Superman articles are a big payday and I haven’t been able to monopolize them, so the office is hectic right now. Perry’s desk is buried under mountains of first drafts, they’re all trying to beat Lois. She loves it. Even right now she’s typing away, coffee from Jimmy. Working on three articles at once; "ROUND THREE: SUPERMAN KNOCKS OUT ULTRA-HUMANITE", "SUPERMAN STOPS ALIEN MINER FROM DESTROYING ALASKA’S BEAUTIFUL ENVIRONMENT", "MAD SCIENTIST SENT PACKING AFTER SUPER ONE-SHOT DESTROYS ROBOT".

The energy in the room reminds me of my mental wariness. These last three months have been brutal. I’ve been fighting super-powered criminals, mad scientists’, aliens; you name it. I’m the man of steel, I don’t stop; I don’t give up. But, I still need a break every once in a while. Top it off, Perry yelled at me about my performance, that’s been burning at me since last week. How I wanted to rip my shirt open and watch that cigar fall out his mouth. Instead, I kept on the meek Clark Kent facade. I told Perry ‘I’ll do better, I’ve been in a slump.’ He said ‘you better or else the next headline will be on Mrs. Brooker’s cat being kidnapped by aliens.’ Maybe he meant I’ll be fired or stuck doing lesser work, no idea. This is my life, a sacrifice I made.

I don’t know how long I’ll keep it up. I’ve finished Lois’s article, gave it a little Kent Oomph I’m known for. I should relax a bit, unwind from these last three months. Footsteps approach me. As always, Jimmy.

“Why are looking out the window again? Coffee?”

I don’t need coffee, but it’s embarrassing getting caught staring in the direction Paradise Island. It’s happened since I had to turn around three months ago. ‘Forget about her, you can't do anything. Weren't you the one who told me that finding the island is going to be hard?’, remembering that conversation. If only I could Bruce. I saw it, Paradise Island was right there. Now the island left for another warmer climate, winter in the Atlantic is coming. I missed my chance to meet Diana again. I should really give up.

***

 

It’s been a year since I last saw the Amazon beauty named Diana. She’s been on my mind for over a year, I haven’t been able to give up. That’s why Paradise Island is right below me. Some of the Amazons on the beach race off, I guess to get Diana or others. I bet it’s shocking to see a man not unconscious, and flying. Soon they’re crowding the beach and I see Diana? I float down, feet almost touching the ground, until I remember. She seems to follow my movement, studying me.

“Di—Oh, I'm sorry. You must be her mother.”

If Diana was a mature beauty, this is how she’d look. It’s like Diana aged some years since I last saw her, did she? I can’t put anything past an island of women made by the Goddess of Love. Seeing the peevish look on her face, I should stop staring at her.

“If you think those blue eyes of yours will work on me like they’ve done my daughter, think again.”

“My eyes?”

I hope I’m not blushing. Judging from her smirk, I am. Damn.

“I was going to demand what you wanted from my daughter, but seeing your response shows me you mean her no harm.”

She said nothing after that. A concerned mother watching out for her daughter. They’re all looking at me. I can hear their whispers, they’re pointing at me. I’m used to crowds staring, but not like they’re doing it. I guess they don’t see many men like me. I wonder how’d they feel about Captain Marvel? The crowd’s widening, they're moving out the way. She steps out from them. It’s Diana. I hope I'm not smiling too much.

—END Of Prologue 1.6—