He weeps, he cries. Hear him blubber
as he fumbles to expose,
through a lyric superior to prose,
the myths, the mystery of his people.
Hyra-Khan, High Priest of the Sun
in Argos -- city that knows neither
north nor south, but floats in the ether --
opens his mouth to speak it,
THE CREATION, as writ
by Jaf-El, the great prophet
of Rao before the Flood:
-- Darkness was, at beginning time
and a molten mountain,
Eternity's Rock, was its core.
The Voice in the Rock spoke
saying, "Let Light be once more,"
and Darkness cringed and broke
shattering outward in ripples.
Shards of Light rained down,
swirled into clouds of gas and dust
and danced on for millennia
before gleaming stars cooled
and formed the galaxies to be
by gathering matter to them.
Planets circled suns, reaching
as a babe for its mother's nipples.
To each world the Voice called,
echoing over still waters
wafting over green pastures;
and, at the floors of many oceans,
Life heard and crawled upward
grasping for the land.
And from the Light
the Voice forged itself a Hand,
that it might help its creatures stand.
They stood, and seek the stars --
Nothing too high, Nothing too far.
From behind a grounded pillar
of salt and sand,
a starving, stained girl
sees the priest stand,
tear off a stalactite clod,
and toss it into a ravine.
He is mad; raving, even.
"No sign to guide me?," shrieks he:
-- No word from the Son?!
What have we done
to be deemed so unworthy?
We made war, true,
but we took the colony for you,
Lord Rao, for you.
We won the fight, detained
the Council's surrogate
(Kara's heart surged to a deadly rate;
what has been her father's fate?),
and so ended the reign of Science,
yet still there is this awful silence!?
As he spoke, his hands shook
with grief; but (to changes tenses),
he will not brook
the tinge of disbelief
moving to amend his faith.
Not when he can rearm himself
with the oldest of all defenses
-- By Krypton's Fire Falls,
I've had enough of pouting.
This, your vault, still sparkles,
slivers of your brilliance
bounce off these briny walls.
You will call again
when we have purged the sin
of this generation's rulers.
Proper schooling for all
will soon begin:
I'll see your way
of old will start afresh
the day I find me a disciple
who has not tasted flesh.
He stops. The silence makes
for a decisive moment:
Hunger urges her from hiding,
drives her to clutch his knees
and moan in supplication.
Groaning under the impact,
he steadies himself, hides his face
which, veiled in every place but this,
has been a mystery to all Krypton.
Gathering his composure, he sees
he'll soon get what he's been lacking --
a student he can groom to lead
the masses down the proper track,
a kid to mold and wean
and teach the things unseen
as they were taught in days of old.
The sage drops his hands to say,
"Tell me your age, my son, and family name.
I will pledge you fame, and much gold,
and land enough to raise
progeny who will praise you
and carry on that name."
Through grinding teeth, she gets out,
"I'm only nine," then he:
"Child, you are mine. This is no game."
He kneels and tilts her chin
into the light, revealing to him...
his challenge. A female's not quite
what he'd expected; still, he must not spite
his Lord. The rules will have to change.
For her the gods have arranged
a curious dilemma:
follow pride and maybe be hanged,
or lie to avoid that danger.
She succumbs to the former.
With an eyeful of hate, she grits
those teeth. When they part, she spits
-- I am Kara
daughter of Alura
who is spouse to Zor-El
the second son of Jor the First
of the once royal house
For the first time in a long while
Hyra-Khan's cracked lips
lift his beard in a smile.
The irony is double:
that his rival's spawn should seek him,
and that she's destined to help him
rebuild their temple up from rubble.
Rao has a sense of humor. Stunning.