Chapter 3 - Insight-Vision
Margaret Kent rose to defend the most exasperating man she knew--her husband of less than a year. Wonder Woman was married to Superman, and while it was far from utter wedded bliss, it was also the happiest the oft-brooding pair had ever been. Neither had any intention of letting that happiness pass without a fight. Even against a charge of Murder One brought by their very best friend.
"I could choose to simply flood you with this great man's accomplishments. But like our steamed--"
She smiled at BJ.
"Sorry. I meant esteemed prosecutor, The Green Lantern. Like him, I plan to use only one or two examples to bring home my very obvious point--that this great man -- Superman -- is not a murderer, no matter the circumstances."
Wonder Woman strolled for effect.
"I won't pretend to be unbiased. Lyta wants her father back-so do I. I've always secretly been a bit of a fan. But so has most everyone here. Kal, or Ben, or Hawkeye--he's always been a hero. It could be reasonably said that that he was never more of a hero than that fateful day America's heartbeat came to a halt--the day that Superboy restarted it."
DALLAS, NOVEMBER 22, 1963
Sam didn't like crowds, but Ben loved them. Having been visiting The Alamo anyway, Daniel and Martha Kent decided to head towards Dallas when it was learned who would be there.
Like movement out of a young child's best dream, the procession carrying President Kennedy and The First Lady rounded Elm Street in Dealey Plaza.
Then the shots rang out. In an explosive moment, all the occupants of Limo 1 were dead. Like an angry little wraith, 6-year old Hawkeye Kent rose up out of his mother's arms, and screamed so loudly, the entire planet shook with his rage.
In a stunt that almost used up his built-up solar reserves for a time, the boy began to fly against the Earth's rotation, until he had literally reversed time itself, to just moments before the shootings began.
From the book depository above, and the sewer grating below, a Ben who knew enough to cover and blur his face produced two would-be assassins. He threw one of them down, and quipped about something that fell out of his pocket.
"Cigarettes are bad for your health, mister!"
The head of the Secret Service made sure the President was alright, and looked deeply into the eyes of the lead assasin. The regal, balding man with the Bostonian accent spoke to his subordinates.
"Ge-he-ntlmen, FBI Director Hoover and his CIA counterpart have just resigned. Do be lads, and fly to Washington, to inform them of this fact."
The lead assasin wondered how Secret Service Director Charles Winchester could have known such a thing. But not the President.
"You wish to thank me, Jack? Then lower my damned capital gains rate! Also, we owe a great debt to--helllo, where is the young man?"
The Kents were already on their way back to Maine, aided by surreptitious use of the childrens' powers. Sam smiled at her twin, hoping she could someday be as great a hero as him. She would, but never in her own eyes.
For all that Thanksgiving weekend, amid governmental upheaval, suicides, arrests---and some unsavory allegations released about the President---one headline remained on all papers, all over the world :
MYSTERIOUS SUPER-BOY SAVES PRESIDENT KENNEDY
The Never-Ending Battle was off to one hell of a start.
"Though he vanished for a few more years before beginning his costumed career, Superboy had given the country justice--not vengeance. He could've killed those two gunmen. He was 6, and full of himself. But even then, he showed the advanced trait of mercy--something we'd all do well to learn more fully. Yes, he has killed, when left no other option. He knew it might come to that. Which is why he was forced to make a choice--that broke Daniel Kent's heart."
SMALLCOVE, MAINE, 1974
Barely pulling his arch-nemesis free of the power-enhancing device in time, Superboy shuddered at what had almost become neccesary. So did Lex Luthor.
"Guess I almost blew it this time, huh, Superboy?"
Hawkeye knew it was bad, when Lex was being apologetic.
"Luthor--what were you thinking, and I use that term loosely, when you grabbed an Apokoliptian surprise package? Darkseid doesn't leave freebies, ya know."
The bald, very confused boy looked up at the being who was still, despite everything that had passed between them, his hero.
"I don't know. If I knew, I wouldn't do what I did--and you'd be a lot less famous. Have you--heard from Kellye Lang?"
"Yeah. She and her family are doing fine, now. Out West, no one rides her as badly for being Asian."
Luthor was lead back to the juvenille detention center, half his marvelous brain contemplating vengeance, the other half wondering why he bothered living.
At home, Hawkeye Kent had news for the only father he had ever known.
"Dad--about Medical School---"
"Hey, sport--I told you we'd get the money--somehow. Now if we all take extra jobs----"
He cut Daniel off.
"Dad, I'm not going."
Daniel Webster Kent glared harshly at the baby he had pulled from the fire, and had always not so secretly favored over his sister.
"We discussed this. You're going. You could be the greatest doctor of them all, Ben. You can't let me down on this one. Besides, there's time. First college--or are you ditching that, too?"
Hawkeye had played this scenario out in his head a thousand times. It never went well, even once.
"No, of course not. I'm going for journalism. If I work for a media outlet, I can know where the stories are--and how to prevent them."
"Hell, son--I'll buy you a shortwave and a police-band, if you like. But being an MD is your dream."
The young man knew there was a reason he had remained in costume.
"It was. It still is, in a way."
"Then what's the problem?"
"The problem, Dad, is that, today, Lex almost left me no choice but to kill him. And he's hardly the worst thing out there."
Dan was confused.
"How does your super-career affect your medical one? They're both about saving lives. Cheating that old bast---death."
Hawkeye was light-headed, from anxiety. But his thoughts were coherent.
"One--a doctor must be on emergency call at some times. A surgeon has to be o call at most times. Superman---wow---"
It was the first time he's thought of himself with that name, and it floored him.
"----Superman must be on total call, at all times, sometimes off planet."