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Chapter 20

In the Metropolis observatory an instrument began to beep incessantly that Superman had set up there. A technician ran over to make sure the automatic beacon had activated that summoned Superman.
"Whoa!" he gasped. "If I've learned to read this thing right, there's something approaching the Earth at one hundred times the speed of light! This thing's supposed to pick up the waves they emit."
A deep voice behind him remarked, "You've learned to read it very right!" The technician turned to see Superman. Superman checked the readings and then sped away. In the White house Jor-El suddenly came on. "Jason!" he cried, "Come here!"
In an instant Jason and the robot appeared in the room. "Jason," Jor-El continued, "there's something coming towards the Earth at incredible velocity! Your father has gone to intercept it, ut I do not think he can handle it alone. I think it might be a Kryptonian spaceshhip!"
Without a word Jason opened his locket. With incredible speed his costume came out, his clothes went in, and he was redressed and out the window!
"Should I go?" the robot asked.
"You wouldn't be able to help," Jor-El answered. "But be alert in case there's some emergencies in the city."
Far out in space Superman was hurtling towards the oncoming object, when he felt a presence and looked to his side. Superboy was right beside him.
"Can you match this speed?" Superman asked telepathically.
"I don't seem to be having any problem," Jason answered. "Is that it coming?"
Superman looked ahead. Sure enough, a Kryptonian space ship was entering the solar system! "It's not slowing down!" Superman warned. "We've got to slow it down! If it hits the Earth at that velocity it will shatter it! Adjust your speed. Let it come to us. Match its velocity."
After a few moments they made contact. With incredible effort they slowed the vehicle but not enough. Suddenly, someone else was there in a black costume. Darklight came to the side of the spaceship, pulled out a large crystal, sat it aside on the hull, reached inside, pulled out a small one, took a crystal out of his belt and replaced it. Immediately the space ship's engines shut down.
"Wasn't sure that would work!" Darklight sighed. "Sorry I was late! Ran into a slight problem. The ship will land now, on the backside of the moon. Come! I'll lead you there."
He headed off. Superboy and Superman followed. On the backside of the moon Darklight flew into a mountain. Superman and Superboy followed. When they passed through the mountain they realized it was a hologram. Inside was a shimmering bubble and under that bubble Superman's fortress of solititude! Superman and Superboy lighted.
"How?" Superman asked.
"I used its own propulsion systems," Darklight answered. "It already had the ability to create all of this. All I had to do was get rid of the real mountain so it could create this illusion. It will be over one thousand years before anyone ever detects it. Your descendants will use it regularly and when it is known about, no one will ever bother it. By then they'll be permanent residents here. Here's the ship. You'll need these."
Darklight handed Superman a lead foil package, and before he could say any more shot away. "Father," Superboy remarked, "he knows our history. He knows what's going to happen to us. He has to be from the future!" "If he is," Superman remarked, "he's doing a very dangerous thing meddling with the past. But let's see what this ship is about." The ship had settled and was opening. When Superman and Superboy got there they saw a teenage girl lying inside in a Supergirl costume, consisting of a blouse and a short skirt. "Whoa!" Superboy remarked. "The boys are gonna like her!"
Superman looked at him sternly then they both grinned. The girl moaned and opened her eyes. "Kal-El?" she asked, "Superman?"
"Yes," Superman answered, "who are you?"
"I'm your cousin," the girl answered, "Kara, the daughter of Zo-El and Alura. I've been sent to warn you. There is grave danger. They could be no more than a month's Earth time behind me! You've got to get ready for them! You've got to meet then in deep space. You can't fight them on Earth, they'd devastate it!"
"Who?" Superman asked.
"General Nod," Supergirl answered, "and eleven other Kryptonian criminals from The Phantom Zone! Nod stole the ship we were building to come to Earth to begin a Kryptonian colony in the real dimension. He took a Phantom Zone projector, and went back to Krypton."
"There's nothing at Krypton," Superman argued.
"Not in the material existence," Supergirl explained, "but The Phantom Zone where hundreds of Kryptonian criminals have been placed could still be orbiting its sun. The ship will only carry twelve, but Nod intends to use those to take over the Earth, then release the others. Gosh, I'm hungry!" the girl remarked.
"Come!" Superman instructed, "I keep a supply of extra food hidden on Earth. You're going to need a lot to recharge. Then I'd better find a safe place for you, 'til we can figure out a plan. And I think we'd better warn Earth's

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