At the shores of Violet Island, where the sound of ocean waves gently brushing along the sandy surface fills the silence, was none other than Metropolis’ very own Superboy. Confused and deep in thought. Standing in place without uttering a word - something that’s been going on for minutes now. He had recently met his hero. THEE hero he was created in the image of, the hero he was meant to replace during the time of his absence. Initially, Connor couldn’t believe he was given an opportunity to see Superman in the flesh. It was exhilarating to lay eyes on his idol. To actually meet and exchange words with him. Initially, it was looking to be one of his better days. Sadly, that moment wasn’t so uplifting in the end. It left him puzzled, hurt, and questioning his own existence. It’s how he ended up returning to this particular island. A place that holds significance in his memory, and serves as a reminder of what he was turning out to be.
At last, he makes a movement. Reaching to pluck his tea shades off his face as his head hangs briefly. Without a filter in the way, he looks out into the range of contrasting colors bleeding into one another. Orange and indigo. The young man’s expression nothing short of contemplative sadness. His mind plays back the mental film of his interaction with the Man of Steel. The disdain on Superman’s face.. Disgust, even. His words did little to betray that look, as well. It was as if his idol thought he was nothing more than an abomination of some sort. A violation of his person. From there, previous memories began interjecting.. All the mistakes he made came raining in like a storm, flooding his core with swelling guilt and frustration. His face, wrinkling in distaste, was showing it, too. A conclusion soon dons on him. Superman’s hostility toward him was perhaps just. He was flawed. Superman didn’t let his emotions get the best of him, he didn’t break the law to appeal to others, nor did he entertain the idea of taking a life. All of which Connor knew he himself had failed to follow in.
As those thoughts circulate and play on on repeat, anxiety eats at him. He shuts his eyes while each of his hands grips a side of the shades, thumbs stroking along the parallel lines in unity. The pain and emotions just keep swelling, devouring him from the inside out. Pain, sorrow, and fear. It gets to the point where he leans his head back and swallows a lump in his throat, hoping to purge the feeling of dread away, but it refuses to end. He sniffles as his crippling point creeps upon him. His eyes open again, revealing watery sockets as the young man looks ahead. The beauty of the scenery is lost to him, not only that, but it begins blurring from the ripples of his tears seeping out. With a trembling exhale, streaks of warm liquid begins dribbling down his cheeks.
Shame overtakes him, and he can’t help but to lower his head. Like a child, he weeps lowly to himself. Brows furrowing and all. It gradually escalates beyond control, turning into outright sobbing as his leaking grief blinds him ever more. Like a boy who’s lost and his parents to be found.. Unsure of what to do, of where to go. Strangers all around. No one was coming to heed his turmoil. He was a clone of a man who seems to be a foreigner of compassion, and of a hero who saw him as nothing more than an eyesore. He could cry into the night for as long as he wanted, but no soul was coming from over the horizon.
When he sobbing simmers in sniffing again, he squeezes around his shades, bending them out of shape. A scowl claims his features as he glares daggers out toward the sinking sun.
“Stupid.” He mutters behind a compulsive gasp. Anger boiling from his very depths, inciting a crimson blaze from his brilliant eyes. A sinister smoky red.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid, STUPID!!” He exclaims to the ocean, rearing back before tossing his shades with all his might into the distance, hoping to strike that massive burning star that blesses him under its kiss. To no avail, he knows his effort amounts to. Just like everything else, or so he convinces himself of. His fists lift at waist height, shaking with unbridled rage. Much like his clenching pearly whites behind snarling lips.
“NNnnnnnn-Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!” He roars out into the glistening sky, beams firing from his sockets the moment he bellows, and persists even after his voice descends. Just for seconds longer. Sucking a sharp intake of air through his teeth, Connors resorts to bawling his eyes out again. No restraint this time, for no amount of pride was going to fix his internal crisis.
Backing away in a stumbling-like motion, he turns away from the ocean and takes off into the sky. Flying with swiftness to his place of solace - his home back in Metropolis City. It’s not long before he reaches civilization, nor before he makes it inside his condo within the Lex Corp building. The front door, he enters his extravagant abode, though doesn’t bother turning on any light other than the one in his bathroom. He’s not sure what posses him to head there, but he does. Gloved palms clasping at the sides of the sink inside, his head hanging as he takes a moment to collect himself. The tears do cease, though it’s left his eyes with a pathetic tint of red.. He sees it in the mirror when he looks up, lifting a hand to wipe at his face.
He stares at himself as his hand lowers to its previous spot, finding himself sadden by what he sees. But... self-loathing plunges into his core in the next instant. Superman’s face and words plague his thoughts, morphing his expression into unreasonable hatred. His grip begins crushing the sink underneath it, forming cracks that extend and spread as the seconds pass. Ugliness. A mistake. A fake. A failure. An absolute abomination... That’s all he sees in his reflection, all his brilliant cyan eyes observes in the mirror. Self-hatred has consumed him.
Without warning, he lashes out. With no thought to it, he literally tears the sink out of place and bashes at the mirror in a tantrum. Striking until the object finally crumbles in his hands, and long after the glass in front of him was shattered to countless pieces. With a mess left in his wake, he steps out of the bathroom with the intent of entering the living room / kitchen. But... he only ends up delaying, wrecking every mirror and object that shows him his own reflection. Though disgust and horror was the driving force this time. He eventually ended up tossing things through his windows, breaking them. Just because he couldn’t stand to look at his own face.
His actions by the end of his fit, gets him thinking again. Looking around, he sees the petty mess he made while under his own emotions. And to think, he wanted to take up the mantle of Superman. He shut his eyes and lowers his head in humiliation, struggling to deal with his emotions.
Out the destroyed tall window he goes, ascending up toward Lex’s office. He enters via tactile-telekinesis, prying open a window before entering and setting down onto the carpet below. With determination across his face, he searches the desk inside, looking for particular items his father liked to keep within convenient reach. He found it in seconds. A drawer containing a specialized gun and a thick chunk of kryptonite, both of which he takes. The radiant rock was inducing a nauseous feeling, but he ignores it and claims a seat within the cushy chair nearby, setting the items upon the desk.
His forearms casually rests along the chair’s armrest right after.
In the dead of night, the moonlight shines upon him from behind and provides just enough light to see all that was necessary. Staring at the loaded gun and space rock that literally saps away at his strength and health, he ponders in silence. His hesitation deriving from fear holding him back. He doesn’t doubt that he’ll be doing the world a favor, but on their hand, that means an abrupt end to his life. Much like the donors of his DNA makeup, two sides at odds with one another within his heart. Logic and Emotion. A part of him wants to pursue redemption, while the other half deems himself irredeemable. He was created to be the new Superman, but he fell short in that department. Both in height and capability. Even after the boost in physical aging and power CADMUS’ machine provided, he was still flawed. Imperfect. His emotions remained the common driving force behind his actions. Transitioning from an apparent “14-year-old” to an “18-year-old” did very little to mature him where it mattered. Regardless, learning and experiencing new things was an upside. He met many people over the two years he spent in the world, gaining a life lesson every other day. Those were the moments he cherished the most.
But then again... Superman didn’t approve of him. As true and heart wrenching as that fact was, Connor didn’t blame him.
Should he honor the Man of Steel by removing stain that was his existence? He wanted to, very much so, but the more he was prepared to oblige that notion, the more the fear grew. His face twitches with a subtle quivering, truly dreading he was considering a fatal end for himself.
“I don’t...” He begins, then that irrational hatred rears its head again. He scoffs and snatches the gun off the desk, pressing the hollow end against his temple. A finger threatening to push against the trigger as his heart races. He could feel the cold metal against his skin, and it sent a dreadful chill down his spine. Just one kryptonite bullet... It was lethal enough to do the job no matter what. All he had to do was squeeze the trigger.
For the love of God, please just...
His unoccupied hand slams down on the desk with a harsh fist, though the glowing rock is at a point of making sure he can’t leave a dent, let alone survive a mortal blow of any kind.
“Please...” He begs softly, though not entirely sure if it’s for the strength to live on, or the strength to do what seems right. His hand trembles uncontrollably, filling his ear with the sound of the firearm rattling about. Pitiful as can be, he shuts his eyes again. Trying so hard to find any decisive answer to the situation. And perhaps it finally finds him.
“I don’t want to die... I don’t wanna’ die.. Please, I can do better.” He practically whimpers, reasoning with himself. That pleading, that fear, it strikes at his subconscious. A sense of pity and guilt rises to the surface, as if he was literally two entities in one body. Was it Lex or Superman who held the gun? Who was pleading, and who took pity? The answer to such wasn’t clear at all. But in the end, Connor makes the decision to lower gun back down onto the desk. Gently so.
With groan of relief and struggle, he rises from the seat and steps from behind the desk, heading toward the exit. Each step feeling like a mild struggle after minutes of being exposed to kryptonite. He eventually makes it to the door, nearly fumbling over when he grips the handle. He looks back while panting softly, letting the realization of what this moment was for him. He was more than just a disposable asset.. He was a person. Nothing close an emotionless machine. Being Superboy meant a whole lot more to him than being a victim of the world’s standards.