[A cut-scene that would occur during Supergirl & the Legion of Super-Heroes #25.]
The devastating conflict between the two super-powered titans had finally ended, and the team looked around at the destruction.
"He'll be weakened for a moment while his system acclimates." Brainy announced matter-of-factly, "But be prepared in case he starts thrashing about again."
Shooting a glare at the indifferent Coluan, Rokk approached Kara, "You okay?"
"I'm invulnerable, silly. I'll heal." Kara said with a hesitant smile, rubbing her head. "Besides, I have to live long enough to… *chat* with Brainy about the concept of fair warning," she added, matching Rokk's look of annoyance at her teammate, who had turned his attention to the displays on a scanner.
"What about it pal?" Gim said, crouching at full size behind the disoriented Daxamite, "You gonna behave yourself?"
"I… I will," came the hesitant reply, "Head pounding… I don't know where I am." He looked around squinting, "I don't know *who* I am…"
Turning to Kara, he shook his head, "El. Something about 'el?' Is that my name?"
"No," Supergirl said, "That's *my* name. Kara Zor-El. It's a Kryptonian name."
"Kryptonian?" the Daxamite said, still confused. "But I'm not Kryptonian…" He closed his eyes, and leaned his head back for a moment, saying softly, "'Lar… Lar, come away from the water…'" then his head snapped forward and his eyes opened, "My name is Lar. My mother called me Lar. My father's name…" his voice trailed off as his mind whirled through the centuries, "Gand! Lar Gand!" Looking up at the Legionnaires staring at him, as if realizing that he had an audience, "Is me," he finished weakly pointing at his chest.
"Nice to meet you, Lar." Kara said, stepping forward and taking his hand.
Hesitating, he shook her hand, pointing at the bruising already fading from her skin, "Sorry about the… uh…"
Kara cut him off, "Don't mention it," and then she smiled and stage-whispered, "Please."
Turning to Brainiac, Lar asked the question consuming him. "How long. How long was I… stuck there."
"Approximately, a thousand earth years, by my estimation." Brainiac Five said without looking up from his scans.
Lar stepped back involuntarily, shocked at this information.
"Way to sugar-coat it, Brainy," Rokk growled. Turning to the half-dozen Legionnaires who had crowded into the destroyed lab, "Okay, show's over. Give the man some space…"
Muttering among themselves, people started filing out, leaving Brainiac, Kara, Rokk and their new guest, as well as another figure, who didn't leave with the others.
"Jan?" Rokk prompted, but Jan shook his head.
"Someone is going to have to tell him, and it should be me," Jan said softly.
"That's a cosmically bad idea," Rokk began as Kara said, "Tell him what?" and Lar echoed, "Tell me what?"
A quiet hum drew their attention, and they turned to see that Brainiac Five had reactivated his force field. "Just this once, I have to agree with Cosmic Boy. This is a bad idea."
"Tell. Me. What…" Lar demanded, stepping in front of Jan.
Rokk stepped back and nodded to get Kara's attention. She looked confused, but got the signal to be ready.
"About Daxam." Jan said, slowly.
"What, about everyone I've ever known or loved being a thousand years dead?" Lar said bitterly, "I already figured that out."
"It's not just the ones you knew Lar, it's everyone. Daxam is dead. Until today, there were no living Daxamites, anywhere." Jan said, nearly whispering as he stood, his face mere inches from Lar's.
"That's… no… it's not possible." Lar said, grabbing Jan by the shoulders and pushing him back effortlessly. "What could destroy an entire world? What *would* destroy an entire world…"
Jan didn't bother to struggle, knowing that he couldn't escape the Daxamites grasp in any event, and just stood still, "There was a war, between your world and a world named Trom."
"A war." Lar repeated. "You're saying that my people, my race, my *world* was *killed!*"
"Yes," Jan said with a nod. "A Daxamite scout ship encountered a Tromnian ship in the Trom system. Both ships were destroyed in the initial encounter, so nobody knows who fired the first shot, or if it was some stupid mistake. Because of Trom's yellow sun, the Daxamites survived the destruction of their ship, and a dozen Tromnian ships arrived to 'repel the attackers.' Most of them were destroyed, but Tromnian ships used transmutation-based weaponry, and after probably dozens of different attacks, one Daxamites clothing was transformed into lead."
Lar released his grip on Jan's shoulders and Jan reached up to rub a forming bruise. "The Daxamite started convulsing, and the other two grabbed him and sped out of the system faster than the Tromnian ships could follow. The Tromnians realized that lead hurt them somehow, but other than that, they could individually tear ships apart with their bare hands. In an emergency session, the admiralty assembled every freighter and scout vessel they could, equipped them all with transmutation weapons and took off on the same vector as the fleeing Daxamites, fearing that they would recover their strength and return to lay waste to the planet."
"They had no idea about the red sun / yellow sun factor, that the Daxamites likely died of lead exposure before they even reached Daxam's system, and even if they had made it home, they would have lost their powers in space and died anyway."
"They found Daxam, a whole planet full of these people, over two billion of them, and fearing that the Daxamites were even now preparing for war, unaware that the scout-ship crew had never made it home to report, the Admiral chose to attempt to coerce Daxam into surrendering without a shot fired. She ordered the ships to open fire on the planet's atmosphere, converting less than one percent of the nitrogen into lead, and then, landed her ship in the capital city."
"She met no resistance, and stood before the leader of Daxam, hauling him up and forcing him to sign a surrender document, 'so that there would be peace.' The leader of your world laughed and said that there would be peace, but the Admiral didn't know what he meant. She ordered the ships in orbit to reverse the effect, and removed all of the lead from the atmosphere, but your people kept on dying. The Admiral demanded that the leader tell them where the cure was, so that they could administer it, and the leader told them that there wasn't a cure, and that lead poisoning was always fatal…"
"Within an hour, there wasn't a living soul left on Daxam."
"The Admiral returned to Trom, handed over the surrender document, resigned her commission and then went home and killed herself. The government of Trom collapsed, and the new government sent delegations of thousands to Daxam, a religious faction that had sprung up overnight, calling themselves the Caretakers, and they spent the next hundred years locating each of the two billion dead and crafting memorials for them, with every scrap of data they could find on the lives of the fallen."
Lars fists clenched and unclenched, tears streaming down his face. "Are you going to say it?"
Jan looked up, raising his hand and causing the air hovering over his palm to shimmer and transform, "You already know it. I'm from Trom. My people destroyed your world."
Lar's face contorted with fury and his eyes burst into flame. Intense blasts of heat lashed out, to be met by a wall of carbon transmuted from the air in front of Jan, as he retreated backwards, the wall of carbon increasing as he stepped backwards, only to be seared away as Lar advanced.
Kara stepped forward and pulled Lar away, covering his face with her hand and crying out at the intensity of the heat, finally drawing Lar down unresisting into her lap, as he broke down crying.
Rokk had stepped forward to try and pull Jan to safety, to see that the transmuter had survived. The front of the wall of carbon had been fused into diamond, and then melted away, and the radiated heat coming through the wall had burnt both of his hands to the bone until it was impossible to see what was cloth and what was flesh, as it was all black and unrecognizable, only the glistening Legion Flight Ring sitting unharmed on one finger.
The wall of carbon evaporated back into nitrogen, expelling a rush of trapped heat that pushed him back, and Jan was staggering against the wall, slipping into shock.
Brainiac Five's infuriatingly calm voice could be heard, "Triplicate Girl, bring a medical kit to the laboratory immediately. And a burn-stabilizer."
Jan's eyes came back into focus and he lurched forward past Rokk. Standing over the sobbing Daxamite, he reached down with his seared hand and with a wince of pain, lifted Lar's face to look into his own, "Look at me, Lar," he insisted.
"Three hundred years ago, my people destroyed your world, and they've been punishing themselves for it ever since. We outlawed the use of transmutation-based weaponry. Every single Tromnian must spent a year in service on Daxam as a caretaker, maintaining the memorials and continuing the genealogical research, to try and find the names of those dead who were never identified, to try and remember their lives."
"And none of it makes a difference. They're still dead." Jan pulls back as Luornu ran into the room with a medical kit, gasping at the sight of Jan's scorched hands. "I left Trom to try and get away from the guilt, to try and spend more time thinking about the *living,* about the things I *can* change, while the rest of my people waste their lives frozen in that moment of guilt, thinking only about the *dead.*"
Turning to Luornu, who had begun administering soothing anaesthetic sprays
to his hands, Jan looked back to the Daxamite, "You could fly to Trom
and destroy our entire world. Some of my people would even welcome that, and
call it long-delayed justice. But it wouldn't be justice. It wouldn't even
be vengeance. All you would accomplish was to finish the job we started, destroying
the only Daxamite left."