Martha Benjamin Kent had also changed her name after The Dies Commitee had ruined her old one.

"Izzat so? Stand back, boys."

They did, and Martha opened her mouth. From it issued a supersonic cry of energy, once known as The Canary Cry.

The stranger opened the pod, and gasped.

"This thing is like a miniature warp nacelle. No telling how far away these two have come from."

Dan shifted back to normal.

"These two--what?"

Martha nearly cried as the stranger scooped the two up.

"Daniel--they're babies!"

Kal and Kara, twin children of Don-El and Salla, had reached Earth and lived because of a man no longer convinced of his own sanity.

"Hey--where'd that fella go? He was okay, when it came down to it."


Captain Richard Hooker stood while Srank attempted to extract what the intruder knew.

"Most Vulcans hate mind-melds. I could never see why."

The intruder grated.

"Nertz to you, Srank!"

Srank started.

"Who taught you that insult?!"

Srank started to shake as he saw the intruder's thoughts.

"Uhhh--Captain Hooker?"

"Dismissed, Srank. Go read about Pooh."

"And Eyore and Piglet?"

"Them too, Srank."

Srank saw the intruder smirking.

"It is--cross-cultural research."

Hooker shook his head.

"Just tell me you're not from Talos IV. Because there is something illusory about your presence. I swear it."

The stranger felt like he was on more familiar ground, this once.

"Captain--I fear I must invoke the Temporal Prime Directive. I'm from the future."

"I'd be willing to accept that, Mister. On one condition."

"What's that, Captain?"

"On just what the hell is the Temporal Prime Directive?"

"Errr...I can't explain.....because..."

Hooker nodded.

"Because of the Temporal Prime Directive, right? Handy little law, that."

"Captain To Bridge! We've got a temporal anomaly outside the ship."

Hooker shrugged.

"Inside, too. We've got wall-to-wall anomalies going. We've got so many anomalies, they should be called normalities."

Hooker and the stranger raced for the viewport. The stranger gasped.

"Not again--this isn't even possible!"

Hooker looked out as the stranger vanished.

"Looks like a meatball universe."


Henry Blake saw the approaching Funnel.

"People--now would be a good time to beam me out!"

But Captain Henry Blake was destined to fall, taking the Doomsday Machine with him.

"Who the hell are you?"

The man with his sister's eyes looked at The Enterprise's doomed Captain, and said only a few tender words before vanishing.

"Its not here yet. I love you, Uncle Henry."

Henry turned from the sight, and refused to scream.

"Abyssinia...in all the old familiar places."


Superman looked around. Working together, some disparate individuals had stopped some desperate individuals from killing Reagan and Gorbachev.

"Look, I'm not saying that we'll all get along famously. But this plot had more levels to it than I like to think about. Maybe we should make this an ongoing concern--an amalgamation of sincerity, uniqueness, and just plain giving a damn."

Green Lantern nodded.

"What he said."

The Martian Manhunter was not as impressed.

"Ahb-so-loute powhar does tend to corrupt absolutely. Wouldn't a group this size be less an historic opportunity than a photo opportunity?"

In the background, the US President bristled.

"He says that like its a bad thing."

Wonder Woman seemed to agree with The Manhunter.

"Maddened by Hera, a group of warriors overwhelmed and rap--harmed many Amazons. They believed that might made right."

Flash spoke up.

"Well, just maybe that kind of thing is something this Little League Superman's proposing can work to prevent."

Hawkman nodded.

"We can use the sattelite I--ah, borrowed, from my old bosses on Thanagar. Be nice to know for once that the good guys were just as organized as the bad guys always seem to be."

Batman shrugged.

"No power can be trusted. But it seems like everybody and their sister has it, nowadays. Hey, you know what? If we organize, so will our enemies! Then we can wipe them out in one fell swoop! HAH!"

Superman shook his head.

"No--way! We're not setting up shop, here. This is not about someone's petty idea of blind vengeance. This is about justice!"

The stranger looked on, sensing the approaching convergence of good.

"Yes! They're the ones. I just have to tell the one called Flash...."

But as he walked towards Barry Blake, a yellow streak blocked him.

"Uncle Barry--I mean Flash--we got us a big-time situation in Keystone!"

"Kid Flash--Keystone dissapeared, years ago."

"That's how-come the situation. Its come back again."

With that, they were gone, and all hope for the stranger's message. Superman looked over.

"You?! How did you get...."


Paul Revere Pierce lay back in his cell, refusing to cry out from all he'd seen.

For today, he was to be released, and remanded into the custody of his Uncle, Captain Hawkeye Pierce. The man who had put Paul away was the only hope for two or more universes. Only two words left his frenzied lips.


End Prologue

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