Season 8, "Doomsday" and future
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Read Chapter 2 here.
Read the story from the beginning here.
Five years before
"Why have you brought me here?"
Clark stood in the middle of his fortress, practically bellowing with rage. The last time he'd seen the fortress, it had been dim, hardly functioning at all. But its walls glowed with a healthy blue-white glow. Somehow it had returned to normal function.
"You were about to be killed, my son." Jor-El's calm tones spoke. "I removed you from the scene of the explosion."
Clark squared his shoulders and glared upward. "I have to make sure that monster's dead."
"It is not dead. But it is... confined. For a space of years, it will be inert, unable to escape its prison beneath the earth. Were it not for me, you would have been entombed beside it. But unlike it, you would have been dead, beyond any hope of resurrection."
Clark scowled. "I don't mind dying if I have to."
"You should never have had to take the risk. There were other alternatives presented to you. The Phantom Zone, which I myself created."
"Of course you'd be in favor of that. But..."
"But Chloe Sullivan convinced you to give Davis Bloome another chance rather than condemn him to an eternal hell. You wanted to believe Bloome could be saved, not just because you wanted to believe the best of him, but because he mattered to Chloe Sullivan. You have allowed your emotions for this woman to blind you to what needed doing, my son. And as a result, many are dead."
Clark winced. The sound of a little girl's weeping still filled his mind. "I did my best," he said stiffly.
"I understand that. And yet you are allowing yourself to be tugged at by too many humans, my son. They all offer you conflicting advice, and you dither, because you have not yet determined how to make your own decisions. You have much to learn. That is why I have brought you here, to begin your training in earnest."
Clark reared back slightly, staring up at the ceiling. "My training? I can't just walk away from Metropolis. I may not be the world's greatest hero, but I'm all they've got."
"Metropolis will remain safe while you are in training," Jor-El responded. "If something happens, I will release you. But a major threat to the world is brewing."
Clark frowned. "What, exactly?"
"I cannot tell you that. But I can tell you that if you do not take the training, everyone you love will die. Starting with Chloe Sullivan."
Clark glared. "Are you threatening me?"
"I am stating a fact, Kal-El. In order to defeat this threat, you must be strong and decisive. You must be able to keep yourself from being pulled down by human emotions. Otherwise... the woman you love will die."
"I don't love Chloe," Clark muttered. "Not that way."
The AI did not argue the point. "You must divorce yourself from human emotional attachments, my son. That is the only way you can prevail."
Clark closed his eyes. The sound of a little girl's weeping filled his head. He'd screwed up. He knew that. He didn't blame Chloe, but he couldn't deny that he'd been, well, less than decisive.
And his failure had led to death and destruction.
"I have to go back," he said at last. "My friend Lois is missing."
"You will not be able to find her," Jor-El said. "She found the Legion ring, and it sent her into time. She is lost to this time."
Clark closed his eyes against another wave of self-disgust. He and Lois had worked together for a year, and she was his friend. And due to his actions, she was apparently gone, too. Why the hell hadn't he kept that ring with him? God, he was an idiot.
"I need to search for her. Maybe if I contact the Legion..."
"There is no way of knowing where she has gone, my son. I believe she is beyond any hope of recovery."
Clark blew out his breath in an angry sigh. "I can't leave Chloe right now. After everything she's just gone through..."
"You must," Jor-El said implacably. "Or as I told you before, she will die. Emotional trauma will heal. Death does not."
In Chloe's case, that wasn't strictly true, but Clark couldn't be certain that Chloe would always rise from the dead. He hesitated, then nodded.
"All right," he said. "May I see her once more before I go?"
A long silence.
"Yes, my son," Jor-El said at last. "You may tell her goodbye."
Read Chapter 4 here.