This is the story of what happened when Clark Kent and a time-traveling SG-1 met with an assembly of Heroes on Vulcan.
Unknown to Clark and SG-1, an invisible Joker has just exposed Clark to a large dose of red kryptonite.
More mysterious events follow.
A SMALLVILLE/STARGATE/STAR TREK STORY-ADVENTURE
Colonel Jack O'Neill gave Clark a sharp look. “Clark, you okay? The beam-down from the Enterprise go okay?”
“I guess,” Clark grunted.
Not for the first time O'Neill wished Jonathan Kent, or some version of him, was around to guide Clark. You had to give the man credit for the way he raised the super-powered guy. Martha Kent, too. (Maybe Carter could play the role of a replacement Mrs. Kent? Nah.)
O'Neill placed a gentle hand on Clark's shoulder. “Clark?” he said. “Go to your happy place.”
“Right,” Daniel Jackson said as Clark rolled his eyes. “We're all a little tired and stressed out, I guess.”
“Gee, you think, Daniel?” Clark and O'Neill said simultaneously.
“Uh-huh,” Daniel said. “Okay then. Some of the greatest Heroes in the multiple universes are here.”
“Some against their will,” Clark said angrily.
“Yeah.” Daniel lightly clapped his hands. “So, gang, what say we mingle?”
That was when Clark vanished.
Clark rubbed his head, his eyes. He had only a hazy memory of being in a cave with Captain Kirk and Spock. Kirk said something like, “You're got a lot of explaining to do, mister.” Clark remembered feeling dizzy, woozy as he told O'Neill and Daniel about it.
“Probably just a visit to another world,” Clark concluded. “Nothing to worry about.”
“You sure you're all right?” O'Neill asked.
“Yeah,” Clark said. “Go on. Get out of here. Leave me alone.”
A groggy angry Clark watched as SG-1 walked ahead of him.
“Well, that was weird,” Daniel muttered. “Clark disappears. He reappears. Seems perfectly fine. Except, he says, he encountered Captain Kirk and Spock in the Kawatche caves. For that brief time, he's normal.”
“Is anything really normal with Clark?” O'Neill asked.
“And then he's grumpy and angry again,” Beckett whispered.
“He does seem most agitated and unpleasant,” Teal'c noted.
As Clark lagged behind them, the others talked quietly.
“You sure he's okay?” Beckett muttered.
“He's a teenager,” O'Neill said. “That's another thing I don't get about why the Guardian sent him. What do we know about raising a teenager?”
“He's been that way since the Bruce Wayne incident,” Carter said. She referred to a mission in which, in order to stop dictators from ruling Earth for hundreds of years, the team had to change a timeline in which Joe Chill failed to murder Bruce Wayne's parents.
“From time to time he does get like this,” Daniel admitted.
“I remember when we spoke to Jonathan Kent,” Teal'c said. “He said this behavior by Clark was unusual.”
“Everything with Clark is unusual,” O'Neill said. “And we didn't talk to Jonathan Kent from Clark's world. That was Jonathan Kent from another world.”
“Still this behavior does seems out of character for Clark Kent.”
“He'll snap out of it,” O'Neill said. “He always does.”
“In case he does not, he may need correction.” Teal'c gave O'Neill a pointed look.
“Maybe Captain Picard or someone can give him a lecture later,” O'Neill said as he quickly walked on.. “Now is not the time.”
“Greetings, S-G-One,” someone said. A Vulcan youth offered a cordial nod and a slight smile.
“Fred,” O'Neill said with a slight head tilt-back.
“Surnak,” Daniel said. “How have you been?”
“I continue doing what I can,” the Vulcan replied.
“It is good to see you again,” Teal'c said with a slight bow. Surnak returned the gesture.
Surnak (nicknamed “Fred” by O'Neill) was the Vulcan the Joker had thrown into Earth's past to collide with Joe Chill. Because of that, SG-1 had to do a time-change.
A time-change meant taking the time-changer back to the point of the original time alteration. That meant two of the same person briefly co-existing at that point in time. Once a time-wipe was done, only one person remained.
But when O'Neill pressed “wipe” on his Restart Device, which normally erased any evidence of a time-change, the original Surnak from the past remained. Through this experience, SG-1 learned anyone who was Vulcan (or “Vulcanian,” a term used by some) could not simply be wiped.
Surnak had been living out in the wilderness in Vulcan's past, living in isolation so as not to pollute the timeline.
“I have heard of your exploits,” Surnak said quietly.
“It's good to be able to talk to you directly,” Carter said. “Thanks to the universal translator.”
“I wish you well in your future endeavors,” Surnak said with a slight bow. Then he walked away.
“'Future' endeavors?” O'Neill said. “Was that a joke?”
“A joke? From a Vulcan?” Clark said. “Not likely.”
“Don't be prejudiced, Clark,” Daniel said.
“But they're so cold and grim,” Clark said. “And what's the deal with that guy? He left without even saying 'goodbye.'”
“Yeah,” O'Neill said. “Guy still doesn't talk much.”
“Like I told you, Jack, he's eliminating outside distractions so he can open himself up to good, to power,” Daniel said.
“'Good' and 'power' are not always synonymous,” Teal'c said. “Consider the System Lords.”
“There's that,” Daniel said. “But like all of us, Surnak is just trying to do what he can.”
“Surnak is obviously available to be a Hero, sir,” Carter said. “I mean, he has no real timeline he belongs in.”
“Indeed,” Teal'c said. “So as you say, Major Carter, he is most free to join our cause.”
“But what can he really do?” O'Neill asked. “The guy's just a lab assistant.”
Daniel shrugged. “He may be able to do a lot more than we know.”
“Think about it, sir,” Carter said. “It's like when some people say Daniel is 'just' an archaeologist.”
O'Neill nodded. “Good point.”
“And some people think Clark is just a normal guy from Smallville,” Beckett said.
“I'd give anything to be normal,” Clark said angrily. “Better than being here.”
“Like great warriors, Heroes may come in all forms,” Teal'c said.
“'That's definitely true here,” Daniel said as he looked around.
“I don't see it,” O'Neill said.
“Sir, the Gathering includes all kinds of Heroes,” Carter said. “Besides different versions of Captain Kirk and Spock from other worlds, there are different versions of Lana Lang and Chloe Sullivan. Some have powers and some don't.”
“One does not have to possess great powers to be a Hero,” Teal'c noted.
Clark crossed his arms. “I wish my powers would get me home. I'm about ready to find a transporter, go through a Stargate and get on the Flash's cosmic treadmill. ”
O'Neill sighed. “You know, Clark, I really don't want to spend the rest of this trip with a super-powered surly teen. So how about you can the attitude?” O'Neill pointed. “That goes for everybody. Especially you, Beckett.”
“Some of us are here against our will,” Clark said.
“We all are,” O'Neill said. “But we've got an important job to do. So let's do it.”
Daniel turned to Clark. “Aren't you excited about meeting different versions of your friends?”
“I guess,” Clark said. “I just wish I didn't have to be around these Vulcans. They're so cold and unfriendly. And I have to be on a planet with a whole bunch of them.”
“It could be worse,” Beckett said. “In some other dimensions, the Vulcans are actually lizard people. Like the Gorn or the Visitors.”
“Okay, Clark,” O'Neill said. “We get it. We've been at this a long time, and you're a little grumpy.”
“A little?” Daniel said.
O'Neill put a hand on Clark's shoulder. “You just got to try to hang in there, okay?”
“I'm sick of hanging in there,” Clark said. “When do I get to save someone? When do I get to do something?”
“When the time is right,” O'Neill said with emphasis.
“Let me do something and go home,” Clark grumbled. “And get away from these Vulcans.” He waved his hand. “From this whole situation.”
“Easy, Clark,” Daniel said.
“Clark, there are Heroes from all over the multiple universes,” Carter said. “You have all kinds of people you can meet.”
“Just like you already have,” Daniel said.
“Whee,” Clark said.
“You were enjoying it before,” Beckett said with a slight confusion.
“There are still more Heroes to encounter,” Teal'c said.
O'Neill stopped and faced him. “Seriously, Clark, what is going on with you?” Clark crossed his arms as he visibly sulked. “Once this little pow-wow is over, you and I are going to have a long talk about this little attitude of yours.”
“You're not my father,” Clark said in an almost growling voice. “You had a son. You lost him. Remember?”
The others stared. “Clark,” Carter said in a shocked whisper.
O'Neill walked toward him. “If you didn't have powers---”
Clark stepped toward O'Neill. “Go ahead. On Vulcan my powers shut on and off. Go ahead. Take your chances, Jack. Yeah. COME ON!” he roared.
They all just stood there in silence.
“Clark,” Carter said. “There's obviously something very wrong with you.”
That was when Clark did something very strange.
For the unconscious Clark, some strange things happened in his mind.
At first, he found himself looking through the eyes of someone else. He was looking out at his family's farm. There was a woman. She had patches of gray in her dark hair. The woman was talking but it was like Clark was hearing her while submerged in water.
Then he was plunged into darkness.
For a moment, he was alone. Silence. Nothing.
Then out of the darkness appeared a chalk-white figure with a big yellow glowing smile.
“Hey, Clark. How are you doing?”
The purple-suited figure placed a hand on Clark's shoulder. When he looked down, Clark saw he wore a blue “Star Trek” uniform with silver insignia.
Looking up, Clark made a face. “Who are you?”
“I'm a friend, Clark.” The clown-faced man wiggled his fingers as he placed his hand on Clark's back. “In fact---” The figure sprouted a second head. “I, Clark, am your new best friend,” he said in the voice of Sam Phelan. As the second head popped out of sight, the green-haired figure whooped with laughter. “Just kidding! But not about being your friend. I am your friend, Clark.”
Clark shook his head. “No, you're him. You're...the Joker. You're evil. And-and dangerous.”
The Joker pulled out a ventriloquist dummy that looked like Lionel Luthor. “Oh, no, Clark,” it said in Lionel's voice. “You mustn't see things that way. I only want to help you, Clark. I want to help everybody. Yes, I just want to be helpful.” The Joker threw away the dummy and laughed. Then he waved his hands. “How do you like it here, Clark?”
Wincing slightly, Clark looked around. “Where are we?”
“I'm so glad you asked! We're inside the mind of Captain James T. Kirk.” Leaning into Clark, the Joker spoke in an eerie raspy whisper “The deep dark recesses of his mind.”
“I saw....my farm,” Clark said in confusion.
The Joker waved his gloved hands. “That was just a dream Captain Kirk was having.”
Clark stepped back. “Wait. You're that guy. You're the Joker. I'm supposed to stay away from you.” His face twisted up in confusion. “At least I think I am.”
“See? That red K's already messing with your memory.” The Joker put his arm around him. “Oh, it's okay. I just need to show you something.” He waved a gloved hand. A giant screen appeared.
At first the scene unfolded like a giant movie scene. Then it was like Clark was actually inside the movie, and it was happening all around him.
There was a woman. In a bonnet. Dressed kind of like a Salvation Army woman. Or maybe one of those old-fashioned carolers. And a truck was heading right for her. The woman held up her hands.
Clark lunged forward but the Joker pointed his finger and he froze. “Uh uh,” he said. “Not yet, Clark.”
The entire scene froze. There was the black truck with its bright white headlights and the woman holding her hands up as she was about to be hit.
“See that woman about to be hit by the truck?” the Joker said.. “Well, of course you do.” Giant tears squirted out of his eyes. “That is Edith Keeler. The love of Captain Kirk's life.” As he squirted tears, the Joker pressed two gloved hands against a white cheek.
Clark stared. Clasping Clark's shoulder, the Joker directed him to another part of the scene. “Now, Clark, look over here. See this? Hmm? Here is poor Captain Kirk holding back Doctor McCoy who just wants to save poor Edith Keeler.” The Joker sniffed. “And look at Mister Spock. Just standing there watching it all. So cold-hearted. Well, he is a Vulcan after all. Those boys have no heart, NONE! THEY JUST DON'T CARE!”
“Yeah,” Clark said with a slight frown.
With a loud flapping noise, the Joker waved his hands. “Captain Kirk has to let poor Edith Keeler die even though he loves her.” The Joker pulled up his shirt, revealing a giant red beating heart. “HE LOVES HER!”
“I don't get it,” Clark said. “If he loves her, why is he doing this?”
The Joker rolled his eyes. “Oh, some nonsense about how her peace movement stops America from entering World War Two and then Germany rules the world. Or some such nonsense. Blah blah blah blah blah.” With a hugely glum look and his tongue out, the Joker shook his head.
“Well, Clark, you can relate to this, can't you?” As he wrapped a long arm around Clark, the Joker wore an oh-so-sincere look with such a big smile. “What if you had to let Lana die? Just to save some unknown future? Think how awful that would be for you. How unfair!”
“Lana,” Clark whispered.
“Yes, Lana,” the Joker said, clasped hands to his cheek again.
In the darkness, footsteps.
“Why, look,” the Joker said in mock surprise. “Here's Captain Kirk now.”
Kirk stood there in his gold tunic and black pants with black boots. “Gentlemen. How are you?” he said. “I'm Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise.”
“Yes, yes, yes,” the Joker said. “Thank you for the formal introduction.” He put his face right next to Clark's. “Clark, I need a little favor. Be a lamb, won't you?”
“Be a lamb.” Sheldon Cooper stood next to Kirk with a serene plastic grin.
“Yes, be a lamb,” the Joker said. “Tell Captain Kirk he should resign from Starfleet.”
“Be a lamb,” Sheldon said. “Be a lamb....be a lamb...be a lamb....”
“Think what it would be like if a truck headed for Lana.” As Clark winced, the Joker wiggled his fingers against his chin. “Hey, that's not bad. Maybe that could be my 'Plan B.'” Once again, he thrust his face into Clark's face. “Clark. When you see Edith Keeler about to be hit by a truck, you will see Lana. But for now, tell Captain Kirk to resign from Starfleet.”
Clark had the strange sense that something was not right here. But he couldn't really put things together in his mind. Like his brain was all scrambled.
“Be a lamb,” Sheldon said.
“It's the only pr-r-rincipled thing to do,” the Joker declared, one finger lifted high, one hand on his purple lapel.
Looking hypnotized and blank, Clark turned to Kirk. “You need to resign from Starfleet.”
With a solemn look, Kirk nodded.
“Thanks, Clarkie-boy,” the Joker said with a giggle..
“You're a lamb,” Sheldon said with a grin.
This was followed by a great rumbling noise. Clark had an uneasy feeling.
As the Joker walked away, he moved his arm up and down like the leader of a marching band. He even blew a whistle while wearing a tall feathered hat.
“Oh, by the way, Clark,” the Joker said. “Could you do me one more teensy-weensy favor? Should you somehow end up in the past and you see Edith Keeler, would you save her?”
“Be a lamb,” Sheldon said.
“SOMEBODY....SA-A-AVE....ME!” The Joker sang loudly in a screeching voice.
O'Neill placed a hand on Clark's shoulder. “It's the only decent and right thing to do, Clark.”
Jonathan had a hand on his other shoulder. “It's the only right thing to do, Clark.” Sheldon and Kirk both nodded in agreement.
“Yeah, sure,” Clark said with a grin. “No problem.”
The Joker cackled loudly. As he walked away, his voice echoed through the darkness.
“Thanks ever so much, Clarkie-boy!”
Clark opened his eyes. Carter was running her medical tricorder over him.
“What happened?” he asked.
“You fainted,” Daniel said.
“I'm guessing you don't usually do that,” Beckett said.
Clark shook his head. “Where are we?”
“This is Vulcan,” Teal'c said.
“You don't remember?” from O'Neill.
“No,” Clark said. “Last thing I remember I was on the Enterprise with Picard and Data.”
“According to my readings, sir, he's perfectly fine,” Carter said.
“For him,” Daniel said as he and Teal'c helped Clark to his feet.
“Whatever was wrong with him before seems to be gone now, sir,” Carter said.
“What do you mean?” Clark looked at O'Neill. “Is everything all right?”
O'Neill winced slightly. “Yeah. Everything's fine now.”
That was when the ground rumbled.
“What was that?” Daniel asked.
“Something's changed,” Carter said as she pressed buttons on her tricorder.
Beckett consulted his tricorder. “Guys? There's only one Enterprise above us.”
Daniel activated his all-purpose long-range communicator. “Jackson to Enterprise.”
O'Neill's communicator also chirped. “O'Neill to Enterprise.” He made a face. “Can't believe I'm actually saying that.”
They all tried it.
“Kent to Enterprise. Come in, Enterprise. You guys there? Captain Picard? Data? Hello?”
“Enterprise here.” It was the voice of Will Riker.
“Enterprise,” Daniel said. “Can you tell us what happened to the other Enterprise?”
“That's what we've been working on,” Riker said. “The Enterprise from the Prime Universe? It's gone.”
The team members all looked at each other.
Daniel rushed to the center of the stage. A hidden “super-microphone” enabled him to speak at normal
volume while his voice carried across the wilderness.
“Guys? Can I have your attention?” The loud talking by the crowd of Heroes became a low murmur. “Are Captain Picard and Data here?” Several hands went up.
“We are present, Doctor Jackson.”
“We are here.”
“Captain Picard and Data from the Prime Universe,” Daniel clarified. No hands went up. The Heroes looked at each other. Excited murmuring. “Does anyone know where they are? Does anyone know what's happened to them?”
A golden portal opened up, and several figures stepped out.
Worf stepped forward. “We have just come from the Prime Universe. The situation has changed dramatically. It is not good.”
Daniel nodded. He realized this Worf was part of the reconnaissance team that Captain Picard had mentioned, the one that passed through alternate realities to observe and gather information.
Worf took a deep breath before he made his announcement. “Captain Picard and the Enterprise are involved in a war with the Klingons and Romulans.”
A gasp went up from the crowd of Heroes followed by excited chatter.
By now, the rest of SG-1, including Beckett and Clark, had assembled behind Daniel.
“What about Captain Kirk from the Prime Universe?” Daniel asked. “Does anyone know his whereabouts?”
A Data with green skin and red electrodes on his forehead stepped forward. This, Daniel realized, was “Brainiac-Data.”
“According to my historical records from the multiple universes, that Captain Kirk resigned from Starfleet three years into his five-year mission with the Enterprise.”
Daniel looked around at his team members. “Guys, it looks like there's been a major time-change here.”
“How'd it happen?” Clark asked.
“The Joker has all kinds of tricks,” O'Neill said. “Mind control, memory wipe.”
“Indeed, the Joker has many devices and methods at his disposal,” Teal'c said.
Daniel put a fist to his chin. “And knowing the Joker, he's got something even bigger planned.”
“Like maybe a breach of Target Zero,” Carter said.
Clark nodded. “The moment when Edith Keeler dies.” His face scrunched up in a confused look..
“Let's sweep out into the crowd, see what else we can find out,” O'Neill said.
“We can see what's changed in the Heroes,” Beckett said.
“I'll see what the Chloes and Lanas know,” Clark decided.
At the center of the stage, Daniel surveyed the crowd. He could see Doctor Who standing next to Harry Potter. Both wore long maroon and yellow scarves.
Next to Doctor Who was Hawkman. Jack, Sam, and Beckett often joked that Daniel looked a lot like Carter Hall. “I don't see it,” Daniel would say. Jack said the same about MacGyver.
Next to Harry Potter was that vampire guy. Next to him was the werewolf guy. Jacob or Edward. Daniel could never keep the names straight. (With so much vital information ins his mind, how could he?) All he knew was one Chloe (a Goth Chloe) had requested Team Edward. A Goth Lana (with a really grim voice) had requested Team Jacob.
Daniel moved out among the crowd.
“Doctor Jackson,” someone said. He looked like the Romulan commander from the “Star Trek” episode “Balance of Terror.” “Why is this happening? Why are superheroes like Wolverine and Aquaman appearing on Vulcan?”
As he glanced around, Daniel automatically recited from the Background. “Part of it is the war between the Q. Part of it is the way the Joker is manipulating timelines and altering universes. Basically the rogue Q and the Joker are exploiting flaws in the universes.”
“What kind of flaws?” the Romulan asked.
Daniel took in a deep breath before he continued. “Events like the Crisis on Infinite Earths and the Amalgam created tears or rips between universes. The Joker, along with the rogue Q and the one rogue Ancient, are using these tears to move Characters and Heroes around to other universes. It wears down the fabric of each universe. It's also meant to create disruptions and distractions. But usually any displaced Character or Hero returns home after a short time.”
A Spock with long hair stroked his long bushy beard while a Vulcan youth spoke.. “It sounds like a serious disruption in the fabric of time and space.”
“Can't get anything past these Vulcans,” O'Neill muttered as he and the others came up alongside Daniel.
Daniel gave him a look. “You know, Jack, every time we encounter a new culture or a new race of people, you have some wisecrack to make.”
“It's what I do,” O'Neill said.
“Yeah, but it's kind of....disrespectful, don't you think?”
O'Neill sighed. “Daniel, if I didn't make wisecracks when we encounter something or someone new, I'd go insane. I'd end up in Belle Reve.”
“We all might,” Beckett said quietly.
“Not me,” Carter said.
“Nor I,” Teal'c said. “I have heard of this Belle Reve. I would find it most disagreeable to be confined there.”
“I wouldn't want anyone I know to end up there,” Clark said.
“None of us want that,” Daniel said.
“Here's the thing,” O'Neill said. “If I didn't make wisecracks, I'd lose it. I'd snap. Especially during all this.” He gestured to the scene around him, the Heroes talking frantically. “All it's going to take is some Time-Blaster to send me into a weird situation, and I'm gonna go nuts.”
“You and me both,” Clark said with a slight grin..
“Yeah, let's watch out for Time-Blasters,” Daniel said.
“Or whatever else the Joker throws at us,” Carter said as she cautiously glanced around.
“The Joker is most devious,” Teal'c said.
“Hey, guys,” Clark said to two young women.
“Hey, other Clark,” Goth Chloe said. Goth Lana was silent.
Clark shaded his eyes. “You guys sure you haven't seen Captain Picard or Data from the Prime Universe?”
“No,” Goth Lana said. “We saw a Clark wearing a 'Star Trek' uniform, though.”
“Yeah,” Goth Chloe said. “He said something about how Captain Kirk lived in Smallville with his wife Edith.”
Clark nodded. “That might explain why I ran into Kirk and Spock in the cave then. No big deal. Just an alternate world.”
Suddenly, Clark convulsed. Groaning, he held his head and bent over.
“Clark?” Goth Chloe said. “You all right?”
He stood up. “Yeah, I'm fine. Just need to get some air, that's all.”
Goth Chloe and Goth Lana stared as Clark walked away. The Justice Society stepped aside to make a path.
Clark stopped to put on sunglasses. “What was I just thinking?” he muttered.
No one noticed when Clark's eyes briefly turned red.
CLARK AND SG-1 VERSUS THE JOKER