1/ Exterior, street-shot of Metropolis Presbyterian Hospital
Caption (loud): I don’t understand!
2/ Interior of doctor’s office. Perspective is from behind a physician (Dr. Perry White) seated at his desk and looking into the panel. He faces an expensively dressed, thirtyish, married couple (the Kent’s). The husband (Jonathan), irate and standing, looms angrily above Dr. White while the wife (Martha) perched on the edge of one of two chairs across from the physician, wears a worried, pensive look.
Jonathan: I thought Metro Pres claimed to have the best fertility program in the country.
Dr. White: A claim that’s well deserved, I assure you.
Jonathan: Well what’s the problem then White? Is it money? Do you know how much the Kent family has contributed to this hospital… to this city, in the past century?
Jonathan: What will it take… a donation… a new wing…. What?
3/ The doctor motions Jonathan toward the unoccupied chair next to his wife.
Dr. White: It’s not as simple as all that. Please Jonathan… sit.
4/ Profile waist-up shot of the doctor leaning forward, elbows on desk with his fingers interlaced as he addresses the would-be parents seated across from him. Martha appears tearful.
Dr. White: Yours and Martha’s combined medical histories Jonathan create an almost perfect storm of incompatibility for successful fertilization and implantation of an ovum.
Dr. White: This last trial was your third attempt at IVF and I’m sorry to say we again failed to achieve the result you were obviously hoping for.
Martha: So… so, what do we do now?
5/ Jonathan and Martha’s perspective looking at the doctor who contemplatively lowers his forehead atop the thumbs of his interlaced fingers.
6/ Same as previous panel. The doctor raises his head and addresses the couple ruefully.
Dr. White: Have you considered adoption?
1/ The Kent’s palatial bedroom. Martha lies on her back in bed, under the covers, propped from the waist up by pillows. Jonathan paces back and forth in front of her, still in his suit shirt, tie loosened at the neck, waving one hand in exasperation while carrying a drink in the other.
Jonathan: Adoption… Adoption!
Jonathan: Can you believe the gall of that quack?
2/ Martha replies from her reclined position.
Martha: May… maybe we should consider…
3/ Jonathan whirls on his wife. His wife responds nervously.
Jonathan: I can trace my lineage back for nearly nine-hundred-years. Do you really think I want some bastard to carry on the Kent name?
Martha: No… of course not… It’s just…
Martha: Please dear… Come to bed.
4/ Jonathan storms out.
Jonathan: I’m too angry to sleep. I’ll be in the study.
5/ Darkened study. Jonathan is front-lit by the glow coming off of his computer screen. He wears a scowl and continues to nurse his drink. Far off a doorbell chimes.
SFX (doorbell): ding-dong
6/ Same as previous panel. A maid (Lois) appears at the study doorway in silhouette. Jonathan growls
Jonathan: What is it Lois?
Lois: A man to see you Mr. Kent.
Jonathan: At this hour…? Who is it?
Lois: He wouldn’t say Sir. Only that it’s important and he would speak just to you.
1/ Jonathan descends a flight of stairs. At its bottom is man in a long overcoat and hat with his back to the reader. Jonathan speaks to him.
Jonathan: May I help you Mister…?
2/ The individual at the bottom of the stairs (Lex Luthor) turns while simultaneously removing his hat to reveal a baldpate with one hand and extending his other in greeting.
Lex: Doctor actually… Doctor Lex Luthor and it’s I that may be able to help you.
Jonathan: …how is that exactly?
Lex: I’m a colleague of Perry White’s. It’s come to my attention; the …difficulties that you and your wife have experienced while try to conceive under Doctor White’s care.
Lex: I believe I can succeed where he’s failed. All I ask is ten minutes of your time to explain.
3/ Jonathan’s face remains impassive.
Jonathan: Perry White is supposed to be the best.
Luthor: I’m better.
Jonathan: I’ll give you five minutes.
4/ Luthor breaks into a smile.
5/ Profile shot. Jonathan and Lex are sitting across from one another at the Kent’s kitchen table. Jonathan’s face is visibly excited as he gazes at an open folder that’s contents remain hidden.
Jonathan: Is… Is this possible?
Lex: More than. We’ve already done it, albeit to a degree that can be vastly improved on.
Jonathan: But why me? Why us?
Lex: May I be frank Mr. Kent?
6/ Shot from behind Jonathan looking at Lex. The kitchen table discussion continues.
Lex: I am a realist not an altruist.
Lex: I can deliver what I propose. The methods I’ll employ however, stem from research that while sound remains unorthodox and therefore quite costly.
Lex: For reasons too myriad and inconsequential to elaborate, my original backer has …lost faith. The Kent fortune would undoubtedly rectify that, allowing me to complete my work… The kind of work that results in what you see in those photos before you.
Lex: It’s very simple Mr. Kent. Quid pro quo, you provide me a check…
Lex: I’ll provide you an heir.
7/ Shot from behind Lex looking at Jonathan.
Jonathan: Where do we go from here?
1/ Title Page. Shot of a black, stretch limo rolling onto Smallville’s Main St. A sign on a corner post reads “Smallville Kansas est. 1885”. A sports banner stretches high across the street from one side to the other and reads “Welcome to Smallville, Home of the State Champion Sentinels, Go Red & Blue!” A small picture of a Sentinels’ football helmet accompanies the banner (blue helmet with red faceguard and chinstrap. A black outline of an “S” in the familiar Superman configuration adorns the helmet’s side). Overtop of the banner is the story’s title “K.A.L.”
Caption (Lex): Kansas
2/ The limo pulls onto an unpaved driveway leading up to a small farmhouse with a large barn situated nearby. A mailbox sits on a post at the drive’s entrance with wooden letters spelling out the name “LANG” fastened to it.
Lex: Here we are.
Martha: Who are the Lang’s?
Lex: The property’s original owners… Not to worry, they were adequately compensated for its use.
3/ Lex has exited the limo with the Kent’s in tow. He goes to push on the high double doors of the Lang’s barn.
Lex: Mr. and Mrs. Kent… Allow me to introduce my assistants and co-creators of the process that is going to make you parents.
4/ The doors are wide open. An attractive, young, male and female couple stand inside wearing long, white, coats surrounded by a sterile-looking lab setup filled with strange, exotic machinery, test equipment, and patient exam tables. On one of the tables sits a ring-box.
Lex: …Jorel and Lara Kandor
5/ Jonathan appears confused.
Jonathan: but why are we here?
6/ Lex turns to Jonathan and Martha, the ring box open in his hand. Inside is a brilliant green crystal (pointed at the ends, wider at the middle, like a top).
Lex: because of this.
1/ Past image of men in Hazmat suits hold Geiger-counters over a small smoldering, meteorite embedded in a cornfield.
Caption (Lex): Nine months ago crystalline fragments were chipped from the remains of a small meteorite that crashed on this farm. Early spectrographical scans determined they were formed from an element not found on the periodic table.
Jonathan: Where’s it from?
2/ Lex shrugs.
Lex: Remnants of a star or world, perhaps millennia gone.
Lex: Our attempts to analyze the crystals proved futile for quite some time.
3/ Past image of Jorel and Lara in protective goggles hugging joyously in the lab. A laser in the panel’s foreground shows a beam of coherent red light impacting the crystal on one side and producing a yellow field of light that fans out in a wedge formation on the other.
Caption (Lex): That is until the Doctors, Kandor stumbled across the answers for us by way of a simple Krypton gas laser. This stellar material that heretofore had resisted all manner of investigation, finally revealed it’s secret.
4/ Past image of Jorel breaking a baseball bat over an apple sitting on a table bathed in the crystal’s yellow glow.
Caption (Lex): …and what a secret it was.
Caption (Lex): We discovered organic matter exposed to the crystal’s emitted yellow field is altered at the atomic level. Covalent bonds transform into ionic ones causing their strength and molecular kinetics to increase exponentially.
5/ Martha turns to Lara looking confused.
Lara: He means your child will be hardy and grow fast, very fast.
6/ Jonathan quizzes Luthor.
Jonathan: Can’t we do this in a hospital?
Lex: No. For a reason we have yet to discern, the transformative ability of the crystal becomes inert four hundred meters from the impact’s epicenter. The procedure must be performed here.
7/ Close-up on Jonathan’s hand holding the crystal.
Jorel (off-panel): We’re calling it Kryptonite.
Lex (off-panel): What do you say Jonathan?
Lex (off-panel): …ready to become a father?
1/ Jonathan lies nude and supine across the table. The yellow energy field emitted by the crystal radiates and obscures his mid-section.
Caption (Lex): Your Celiac disease stymies the production of testosterone, which limits the vigor of your swimmers. Using the process however, we can briefly increase their durability and velocity, make them “faster than a speeding bullet” if you will.
2/ POV through the eye-lens of a microscope. Martha’s ovum glows under the same yellow field while a needle is retracted.
Caption (Lex): Your Endometriosis Martha, results in a thickened, uterine wall generally unsuitable for a normal fertilized ovum to adhere to. What’s required in this case is something denser than it is to ensure viability… an “egg of steel” in a sense.
3/ Perspective is above and behind Jonathan and Martha gazing down into a glass enclosure with the yellow, Kryptonite field shining on what appears to be a large, basinet-sized, empty Petri dish. Luther is gazing at it through the lens of a large oculus headset.
Lex: Ah… there we are.
Jonathan: What now Dr. Luthor?
Lex: We wait. Your embryo is undergoing meiosis at a nearly incalculable rate. Your baby will reach a maturation equal to one year very rapidly.
Jonathan: How soon?
4/ Perspective is from the baby enclosure looking upwards. The child is hid from view. Jonathan and Martha beam with happiness. She clutches Jonathan’s arm, tears streaming down her face.
Caption (Lex): twenty-four hours
Martha: Oh Jonathan… It’s a boy… We have a son.
Jonathan: I suppose we’ll have to name him.
Martha: If… it’s all right with you, I’d like to name him after my father.
Jonathan: That would be fine my love… Clark it is.
5/ Profile shot, Jonathan turns to Lex to shake his hand. Martha stands behind them (further in panel) cooing to baby Clark behind his enclosure, still hidden from the reader.
Martha: I’m your Mama Clark… That’s right… Can you say Mama?
Jonathan: I can’t thank you enough. When can we take him home?
Lex: I… I’ll need some time to wean the field affect. Clark is still growing rapidly. I would wait another day to be safe. It will put his age around two but his development should return to normal after that.
6/ Jonathan turns to Jorel on his opposite side to also to shake his hand. The men share a hesitant, uncertain look at the moment of the handshake. Further into the panel, Lara has encircled her arm around Martha’s shoulder leading her away.
Lara: Come Martha… Let us find something for little Clark to wear.
Jonathan: and thank you too …Doctor Kandor.
1/ Night-time shot of the front of the Smallville Motor Lodge.
2/ Close-up on Jorel’s hand knocking on a room’s door. Jonathan’s voice is heard from within.
Jonathan: Come in
3/ Jorel opens the door and we see a tense and wistful Jonathan and Martha sitting on the edge of their motel bed facing him. Jonathan holds up a triangular slip of paper between his fingers (inset picture of Jorel passing the note to Jonathan when shaking hands earlier).
Jonathan: Mind explaining this…
Jorel: It’s as I wrote… I believe Dr. Luthor plans to abduct your son now that his procedure has proved successful.
Jonathan: That’s irrational. He already proved it once. I saw the pictures.
Jorel: The early ones I assume.
4/ Jorel hands the folder to Jonathan.
Jorel: I seriously doubt you saw these.
5/ Jonathan and Martha’s stunned perspective. The left side of the folder shows the rapid development of a baby boy similar to Clark, the right shows what appears to be a monstrous, baby Doomsday creature.
Jonathan: my God
Jorel: K-A-L, Kryptonite Augmented Life-form
6/ Jorel’s memory of Luthor in the Lang barn shaking hands with an army general wearing the nametag Zod.
Caption (Jorel): Luthor’s research began as a D.O.D. mission… An attempt to grow the perfect soldier in the Kryptonite field.
7/ Jorel’s memory of dead army soldiers strewn around the barn. Zod is pointing/giving an order to fire. A squad of sodiers are firing energy weapons at the baby creature.
Caption (Jorel): When K.A.L. mutated he went berserk, became an enraged animal. It took experimental weapons to finally put him out of his misery.
8/ Zod’s men are removing the meteorite from Luthor’s lab (in the panel rear ground). Luthor (in panel foreground) shakes one fist at Zod’s departure while hiding the ring box behind his back with the other.
Caption (Jorel): The military labeled the operation a failure, took the meteorite and left Luthor high and dry.
Caption (Jonathan) but you didn’t
Caption (Jorel): Lara and I knew Luthor would try again… and we owed it to K.A.L. to stay.
Caption (Jonathan): Why?
1/ Night-time profile shot of Jorel, Jonathan and Martha stealthily creeping along the edge the Lang’s barn and lit only by the moon. Jonathan whispers to Martha who whispers back.
Caption (Jorel): because he was our son.
Jonathan: I wish you had remained at the inn.
Martha: He’s our child Jonathan… “We’re” bringing him home.
2/ Jorel at the head of the procession turns and addresses the others.
Jorel: Luthor will be asleep in the house. Lara’s waiting for us inside the lab. We take Clark, we go and we don’t look back… Agreed?
3/ Black panel. Perspective is from inside the darkened barn looking out. The moonlight outside and the stars in the night sky frame the open barn door. Jorel’s silhouette whispers his wife’s name.
4/ The lab’s lights click on. The trio views Luthor (facing reader) flipping the wall switch with the barrel of a gun. He stands behind Lara with his other arm bent around her neck, his free hand covers her mouth.
Jonathan: Luthor, you maniac… Give us our son.
5/ Luthor nods to his side. The Kent’s turn to see Clark’s enclosure is still illuminated by the Kryptonite’s emitted, yellow field. Clark remains hidden from view.
Lex: I’m afraid that won’t be possible
Jonathan: The process… It’s still running… Why?
Lex: Because I’m fairly certain General Zod would prefer an adult weapon to an infant one.
Jonathan: Lex please… I can offer more money.
Lex: No offense Jonathan but I think Uncle Sam’s pockets run a bit deeper.
6/ Lex trains his gun at the trio.
Lex: You know, I have your’s and Martha’s poor genetics to thank for this. It was your illnesses that attenuated Clark’s embryonic development as I theorized it might… weakened it enough so that the Kryptonite matrix had time to stabilize and not mutate as it did with poor, little K.A.L.
1/ Luthor stands further into the panel. His posturing is interrupted and he turns his head as he hears and sees Clark’s glass incubator (panel foreground) start to crack.
Lex: Ironic if you think about… It seems it’s rather the “weak” that will inherit the ea—
SFX (glass cracking): krik
2/ Lara seizes upon the distraction and bites down on Lex’s hand causing him to cry out in pain.
3/ Jorel closest launches for the gun, grabbing Lex by the wrist. They fight in profile in the panel foreground. In the panel background stands tall, oblong gas tanks with diamond shaped “FLAMMABLE” warning signs.
4/ Close-up up on the men’s hands struggling for the gun as it fires.
SFX (gun shot): BLAM!
5/ Exterior shot of the darkened barn. A second and final gunshot is heard from within, its report interrupted by a tremendous explosion to follow.
SFX (gun shot): BLA-!
6/ Same as previous panel only now the barn explodes in a ball of fire and debris as a bullet strikes the gas tank inside.
SFX (tank exploding): KABOOOOM!!
1/ Jonathan is on his hands and knees. Burning barn debris is all around him. He calls out to his wife who responds weakly.
Jonathan: Mar-- Martha!
Martha (off-panel): Here Jonathan… I’m here…
2/ Jonathan staggers towards Martha. She is pinned under a burning section of barn wall.
3/ Tearfully, Jonathan grasps a corner of the flaming wood and attempts to lift it. Martha accepts her fate and attempts to calm him.
Jonathan: Ungh… I can’t… I—
Martha: shhh Darling… it’s okay just… just hold my hand.
4/ Close-up on Martha’s legs as the huge section of debris lifts itself away. A tiny voice is heard off-panel.
Clark (off-panel): Muh-- Muh—
5/ Clark’s POV looking at his parents as the shadow of him hoisting the burning section of barn plays over their bewildered forms.
1/ Splash page, Baby Clark, two-years-old, stands atop a pile of flaming rubble holding the barn section high above his tiny head with his parents gaping in amazement from their positions on the ground. The fire backlights him and we see that he is clothed (facing reader) in a tiny Smallville Sentinels onesie with a blue top, red bottom and his one-day-to-be trademark “S” embroidered across his chest.
Caption: The Beginning…