well, it's nearly 5:30, and i'm suffering from a severe csae of insomnia. i think i managed to doze off for a while between 4 and 4:30, but that's about it. so, i figured i'd take a stab at this darkfic challenge. i've never believed in catharsis myself, but it does seem to work for others. anyway, here goes...

warning: this is a darkfic. not a silly tank ending. a genuine blood, death, and pain darkfic.
do not read this if you don't want to read a darkfic. do not read this if you shouldn't be reading a darkfic.

Death of a Kryptonian
by Paul-Gabriel Wiener <pgw@mit.edu>

Clark stared at the weapon in his hands. The secret to its use, he'd been told, was simple. It was driven by his will, so he must put his will fully into it. There could be no doubt, no hesitation.

He looked up at his opponent. Nor was wounded, but so far, Clark had taken the worst of the battle. He couldn't let that continue. He was the only one standing between this power hungry madman and the innocent people of two planets. If he lost now, they would all be in danger. If he lost now, Lois would most likely die. He could not allow that to happen.

He began to spin the staff, gathering his strength, steeling his heart. There could be no mercy. Nothing could be held back. For Lois's sake.

The staff spun faster. No mercy. Nothing held back. For Lois.

The staff began to glow. No mercy. Nothing held back. For Lois.

Nor began to show signs of fear. No mercy. Nothing held back. For Lois.

Clark struck. No mercy. Nothing held back. For Lois.

Nor staggered from the blow. No mercy. Nothing held back. For Lois.

The next shot forced Nor to his knees. No mercy. Nothing held back. For Lois.

A crack across the jaw. Blood flew out of Nor's mouth. No mercy. Nothing held back. For Lois.

Nor begged. No mercy.

Clark hit him again. Nothing held back.

Nor's lifeless body fell. For Lois.

Clark wanted to scream out his triumph, but the reality of the situation finally sank in. What had he done? What had he become?

"Clark!" Lois ran to him, not caring who heard, knowing only that she needed him and that he needed her.

"Stay back."

"What?"

Clark looked at his blood-spattered hands. The hands of a killer. His Kryptonian heart numb with grief and pain, he looked at her, his reason for living, his reason for killing. "You did this to me," he said coldly. Then, he flew off, leaving her in the alley, alone but for the battered corpse.
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"Boba, I am your father. Or, well, a clone of your father, which makes me more of an uncle. Then again, we're the same generation, so maybe more of a brother, or, I guess, half-brother.... Anyway, we're family, so please, don't shoot me!" - Last words of an uncounted number of stormtroopers