Supergirl (Kara of Rokyn):

    Kal & Lyla

    part 13

    by DarkMark

Excerpt from interview with Van-Ol, HoloPLUS, 38 Belyuth:

...The holo all rides on the climactic scene.  Doesn’t matter how good you’ve been up to then.  If the climax doesn’t pay off, the audience will come out thinking it’s the lousiest, most disappointing picture they’ve ever been to.  You can do retake after retake, but unless you’ve got the bedrock performance there, it won’t make a frabbing bit of difference.  Kara was nerved.  I was nerved.  Gro-Nas, who can tell about him?  Nah, he was nerved, too.  Van-Zee we were all worried about.  

I just prayed that Rao would give us a great scene.  You know all prayers are answered, even if you get “No” or “Held up in transit” for an answer.  This time, it had to work.  It really had to work...


(SCENE: Ex-Tor, aka Captain Varm, and Kal-El, as First Mate Andor, by the rocket ship.  Kal has his hand on the ladder to the entry hatch. [We’re reproducing the last scene Kal was in of the original picture.  Accuracy, people.  –Van])

KAL-EL: Aren’t you coming, sir?

EX-TOR: Give me a second, Andor.  Give me a long, long second.  

(Ex-Tor’s gaze roves over the planet where he found love, which he must leave.  He floods his mind with memories of Rena, the native girl who won his heart.  Finally, sighing, he looks down and turns toward the ship.  He takes a few steps.  Then we hear a huffing of female breath and a crunching of soil underfoot.  Ex-Tor stiffens.  Closeup on his astonished face.  Cut to: Andor looking towards an unseen point, with some surprise.  

(Cut to: Lyla, as Rena, coming up the path towards the men and the ship.  She looks bedraggled, as if she’s come a long way, but she’s still beautiful.  Ex-Tor and Kal-El are also in the scene.  Ex breaks his paralysis and heads for Rena, breaking into a run.)

EX-TOR: Father Sun and Mother Moon...Rena.  Rena!

(He runs to her and embraces her, almost holding her up.  Kal-El looks on, breaking character for an instant to show his pleasure, then reverts to his Andor character.)

RENA: I hoped...I thought...oh, by all the gods of’d still be here.  You’d still be here.

EX-TOR: You said your tribe forbade us.  You said you’d be exiled.

RENA: I will.

EX-TOR: Rena.  We can’t take you back to Krypton.  The weight, your would be too much.

RENA: I know, Varm-man.  But how can a woman not go to see the man she loves, even one last time?  Even if she must spend the rest of her life in exile?

(Kal-El looks on as Ex-Tor and Rena embrace.  He has a curious expression, as if getting some sort of premonition.  Cut to: a short shot of the Flame Dog, straining against his leash.  The trainer slaps him on the rear.  The dog growls, briefly.  The director gives them both a nasty look.  Cut back to: Kal near the ladder, and Ex-Tor and Rena embracing.)

KAL-EL: Sir.  We don’t have much time before ignition.

EX-TOR: No, Andor.  You don’t have much time.

KAL-EL: What?

(Rena looks at her man in surprise and hope.)

EX-TOR: The ship won’t carry three people, it’s true.  But one can make it.

KAL-EL: One?

EX-TOR: You have the reports inside, man.  Make sure...make sure they get to the right people.

KAL-EL: But, Captain, I don’t understand.

EX-TOR: No, Extor.  No, you don’t understand.  But when you’re my age, boy, I think you will.  I pray you will.  (Pause) What are you standing there for?  Get on the ship.

KAL-EL (Starting to climb ladder, then stops): Sir, what am I supposed to tell them?

(Ex-Tor is still embracing Rena)

EX-TOR: Tell them that...a world isn’t much...when compared to love.

(Kal-El looks upon them for a moment, then climbs up the ladder rungs and into the ship.  He closes the hatch.  We have a POV inside the ship, with Kal-El standing around, waiting for the next cue.)


Excerpt from interview with Gro-Nas, Director, Fall edition:

...I watched The Space Explorers straight through once.  Only once.  Then I broke it down by scenes and studied each one for composition, authenticity, the whole kord of it.  Good picture, even though our technology has lapped it many times over.  And this I will tell you, this I will tell you.  Whenever I watched that climax scene, when Kal-El plays his last scene with Lyla, and knowing what was going to happen, all because that damned director wanted a scene with a Flame Dog breathing fire twice in the background just before the closing credits...a sadness.  That is what I felt.  A great sadness.  I tried to convey some of that in the picture.  Perhaps I succeeded.  But you can only approximate.
    Which is a damnable shame.


(Scene: Lyla and Ex-Tor in embrace.  Pull back to see the director and crew.)

DIRECTOR: Okay.  Cut.  Take about five while we get the Dog ready.  I want him over there when we roll.  You two, be on your marks and liplocked when we do.  Is Kal still up there?

LYLA (smiles, shrugs): Where else would he be?

DIRECTOR: Well, get him down here.  We’ve got five for a bathroom break.

(Cut to: the Flame Dog growling.  The Trainer slaps it on the rump again.  Zoom in on the Dog’s enraged eyes.  It inhales, then makes its most powerful breath-blast yet.  The muzzle holds for a few seconds.  Then...

(Zoom in: the muzzle explodes.

(The Trainer, burned, screams and rolls backward, out of his chair.  The crew and other cast members shout and make improv remarks about the situation.  Everybody’s trying to get the Sheol out of the way.  The Dog shakes off the burning muzzle and leaps into the periphery of the scene.  Everybody runs in all directions from it.

(Cut to: Lyla and Ex-Tor, looking astonished and somewhat scared.

(Cut to: The Director, drop-mouthed, looking from his perch.)

DIRECTOR: The Dog is loose.  The Flame Dog is LOOSE!  Take cover!  Everybody take cover!

(More screams.  Lyla and Ex-Tor have broken their embrace.  The Flame Dog is near them, crouching and growling.  Lyla is paralyzed by fear.  Ex-Tor leaps at her and bears her to the ground, just as the Flame Dog leaps over them.  It snarls, blows a flame-burst, and runs towards the ship.)

LYLA: Kal!

(Cut to: Inside the ship.  Kal feels the shaking as the Flame Dog hits the ground near the craft.  He puts his hands against the wall to steady himself, then looks through the portal.  He sees the Flame Dog leaping towards the ship, and Lyla and Ex-Tor still on the ground.

([Remember, guys, that Jor-El had equipped this ship with a bit of his fuel for an authentic “blast-off” as a favor to Kal.  It wasn’t supposed to go off with him in it, and it wouldn’t have had the potency it did without what soon took place. –Van])

KAL: Lyla.

(Cut to: The Flame Dog, shot from behind, standing near the ship.  Cut to: a Control Officer, shouldering a trank gun and aiming, as we see med-boys bandaging and treating the burned Trainer.  Cut to: Flame Dog belching flame, straight at the bottom of the ship, as hard as he can.  Cut to: the Control Officer firing.  Cut back to: Flame Dog, getting hit, reacting, sagging, falling down.  But the ship’s fuel is igniting, and we can tell it’s about to lift off.

(Cut to: Lyla, on the ground.  She’s looking up, Ex-Tor near her, and then gets up and begins to run frantically towards the ship.  It’s beginning to actually lift off.  Lyla is running towards it, nonetheless.  

(Cut to: Tight shot of Kal, in astonishment and anguish, his face framed in the porthole of the ship, looking out at Lyla.  The noise of liftoff is building.

(Cut to: Lyla, running towards ship in slow-motion, running towards our POV.  She’s screaming.)


(Ex-Tor comes from right side of our POV and tackles Lyla, bringing her down, shielding her.

(Cut to: the ship, lifting off, burning a lot of the set.  Fire-robs are zooming in, foaming down the scene.  The Director, astonished, is off his perch, not far from Ex-Tor and Lyla.  Then all three of them have to get back.  We catch a glimpse of the Control Officer and a few crewmen in back, dragging back the sleeping Flame Dog to its cage.

(Cut to: Sight of the ship climbing for altitude, blasting away from Krypton.  Cut to: interior of the ship.  Kal, shaking along with the craft, is plastered against the floor, his lips peeled away from his teeth, trying to survive the multi-G assault.

(Closeup shot of:   Kal’s face, shaking along with the ship, but still giving us a view of his strain and the terrible realization of what’s happening to him.

(Cut to: the ship rising higher and higher in the sky, becoming lost to sight.  Pull back to see: Lyla, Ex-Tor, the Director, Jor-El, Lara, and various crewmen and actors, all looking up.  Astonishment.  Nobody can make a sound.  Then Lyla, tears beginning to start, says, at first in a whisper:)

LYLA: Kal.  KAL...(crying) KAAAL....KAAAALLL...

(She sinks to her knees, Ex-Tor and the Director trying to comfort her.  We pull back for a big overhead view of the scene, showing the damage and chaos, as she keens for Kal.  Spend some time on this moment, before we...

(Cut to: a view of the ship, already in post-orbital flight, the great sight of Krypton revolving below it, and beyond, the very same space-warp that Kal-El will travel through, three years hence, on his first...or is it his second?...trip to Earth.

(Cut to: Kal, within the ship, holding onto two guide rods near the portal and crying out.)


(His cry seems to fill the universe.  Kal’s face fills the screen, as he screams.  Superimposed over it, we see the ship traveling into the space-warp.  

(Cut to: the ship shooting out of the space-warp, with Earth’s sun, Sol, visible in screen upper right.  We track the ship for a few seconds as it journeys, then it explodes, as Kal-El, now once again Superman, tears it apart.  Sight of rage on his face, as he literally shreds the prop rocket to smithereens.  Long shot of Kal hanging in the void.

(Kal looks back in the direction of the space-warp.  He focuses his super-vision.  We see through his point of view, first the great globe of Krypton, then the scene of the movie set, where he sees, in silence, a crying Lyla near Ex-Tor and the director, and then Jor-El and Lara coming into view to comfort her.

(Cut back to: Kal, his mouth open, raw emotion visible on his face.  He starts towards the space-warp, hesitantly.  Then, reluctantly, he turns.  We see him hanging in space, from the back, Earth visible at screen right.  He waits a long, long moment.  For an instant, he uses his super-vision, and picks out the sight of Jonathan and Martha Kent, working on their farm near Smallville.

(Cut to Kal again, in space.  He must choose.  Long pause.  Then, with a scream we can only hear in his mind, he begins to spin, and spins faster and faster, until he disappears.  Kal has returned to the time he left Earth.  His decision is made.

(We see the emptiness of space, and Sol and Earth, for a few moments.)


Interview with Van-Zee, Kal-El Chronicles, Vol. 51, issue 3:

...Yes, most of that was computerized special effects.  But the emotion, the feeling...those were all real.  I’ve spoken with Kal.  I know what he felt when he had to make the decision.  He could have built himself a spacecraft, gone back to Krypton, maybe spent a few years with the woman he loved.  Rao only knows what would have happened when Lara would have a baby.  But he told me...he couldn’t ignore the responsibilities of Superman.  Not quite.  If he’d been brought back to Sol’s system, he thought it must be Rao telling him that was where he had to be.  So he went back to his own time.  A time when the woman he loved was many years dead.  

How did I play it?  I just imagined what it would be like if I’d lost Sylvia.


(Scene: The movie set that Kal’s rocket has just left.  Everyone is staring upward.  Focus on Lyla, Jor-El, Lara, and the director.)

DIRECTOR: He’s gone.  Holy Rao, he’s gone.

LYLA: Kal-El...

JOR-EL: I can’t believe it. fuel...I never should have let them use it...

LARA: It’s...he’s gone, Jor.  He’ll never be back.

LYLA: NO!  NO!  (Grabs Jor-El) Jor-El, listen to me.  You have to make another rocket.  You have to go after him.  Send me, even!  I’ll go after him!

JOR (gently grasping Lyla’s wrists): It wouldn’t work, Lyla.  He won’t survive out there in space.  Not enough air in the rocket.

LYLA: You don’t know that!  Make another rocket, Jor-El!

JOR: I can’t, Lyla.  Not enough time.  I’m...

(Lyla begins beating him on the chest with her fists.  Lara and the director grab her arms from behind to restrain her.)

LYLA: He’s gone!  This is your fault, Jor-El!  He’s gone!  He’s gone!

JOR-EL (sadly): Yes.  Yes, it is my fault.  A fault I can...never repay.

LARA: Lyla, listen to me.  There’s nothing you can do to help Kal-El.  You can’t die for him.  You have to live for him, now, and for yourself.

LYLA: Live?  Live?  (She begins to laugh hysterically.  In the midst of it, a medic comes up with a sleep-patch and slaps it on her neck.  Lyla becomes groggy, sags in their grasp, and finally goes unconscious.  Screen turns black.

(Title card: ONE YEAR LATER.

(Scene: Lyla Lerrol’s home, interior.  Lyla is within it, in casual clothes, almost letting herself go, dully watching a holo newscast of a quake on another continent.  A holoscreen opens before her, showing Jor-El and Lara at the door.)

COMPUTER VOICE: Visitors.  Identified as Jor-El and Lara Jor-El, known to owner.

LYLA: (Long pause) Let them in.

(Sound of door shushing open.  Jor-El and Lara enter.  Lara has a baby in swaddling clothes.  We don’t see the baby’s face yet.  Lyla doesn’t look up.)

JOR-EL: Lyla.  Lyla, I want to thank you for having us.

LYLA (still not looking up): I’m not having you, Jor.  You just came by.

LARA: Lyla...

JOR-EL: Lara, let me talk.  Please.  (To Lyla) Lyla, I don’t know...I can’t know...anymore that I can say to you.  Yes, I was wrong to lend them fuel for that rocket.  But I never planned on that happening.

LYLA: Nobody ever plans on anything bad happening.  But it does.

JOR-EL (trying to find words, pacing the floor): What do you want me to say?  I’ve done as much penance as I can, Lyla.  I’ve redoubled my efforts at rocketry.  I’ve served on the Justice Council.  I help put criminals in the Phantom Zone.  I invent things for Krypton’s people.

LYLA (angrily): Oh, Jor-El, why don’t you just put yourself in one of your damned rockets and get out of here!

LARA: That’s just what we’re trying to do, Lyla.

(Lyla looks at her.)

LARA (still holding Kal): We’re trying to find a way to build a rocket that will carry us away from here before the Destruction.  Myself, Jor, and...our son.

(Wordlessly, mouth opened, Lyla gets up, comes tentatively to them, and nears Lara and the baby, afraid to touch it.  Jor eyes her warily, but Lara looks on her with trust.)

LARA: Yes, dear.  You can hold him.

(Lyla hesitantly reaches out for the baby as Lara holds him out.  She takes him, and Lara makes sure she won’t drop him before she lets go.  Lyla looks wonderingly at the baby.

(Cut to: a closeup shot of the baby.  We finally see his face.  It’s baby Kal-El.

(Cut back to: Lyla, holding the baby.)

LYLA: What...did you name him?

LARA: We named him Kal-El, Lyla.  In tribute to our friend, and your lover.

(Slowly, Lyla clutches Kal-El to her breast and begins to weep.  Lara comes behind her and embraces her by the shoulders.)

LYLA: You will live, Kal.  You will live.  You will live.

JOR: Lyla.  I know I’ve no right to ask for forgiveness, but...

LYLA (looks up, tears in her eyes): I forgive you, Jor.  I forgive you because of your son.  Make sure...make sure he survives.

JOR (nodding, gravely): I will, Lyla.  Above all else...he will survive.

(Lyla gives Kal-El back to Lara, tenderly.)

LARA: Lyla, we’d like to help you.  You’ve been so...shut-in, lately.

LYLA: I’ fine, Lara.  Better than ever, now.  I’d like to be alone.

JOR: Are you sure, Lyla?  We want to know that you’ll be all right, after all.

LYLA: I have hope.  I’ll be all right.

(Jor-El and Lara reluctantly take their leave, with Kal-El.  After they are gone, Lyla opens a photobook and looks at a picture of herself embracing Kal-El on the set of The Space Explorers.)

LYLA (barely above a whisper): You will live, Kal.  And while you live...we will all live through you.

(Fade to black.  Then: title card: TWO YEARS LATER.  View of Krypton, the day of the Destruction.  Seen from space.  Silent, but we see eruptions of volcanic force and parts of the globe rising up in fire and coming down again.  We will keep this silent, except for background music.

(Pan in on some of Krypton, particularly Kryptonopolis.  We zoom in on Jor-El’s estate.  The dome over his lab parts.  We pan in to see Jor and Lara placing Kal-El in the rocket and locking it, tearfully.  Jor-El activates the rocket.  Kal-El begins his journey to Earth.  Jor and Lara look after it until it is lost to sight.  As they look at each other again, they are shaken to the floor by a quake.

(Pan in on Argo City.  We see ZOR-EL and ALLURA in Zor’s lab, trying to brave the quakes and finally holding onto each other.  Pan out again over the globe, which is cracking with the strain of internal explosion.

(Pan back to Kryptonopolis.  Lyla Lerrol’s home.  It’s been rocked by the quakes.  Lyla runs outside, not knowing what to do, knowing there isn’t anything she can do.  There are others running past her, frantically, trying to run away from something you can’t run away from.  One of them knocks her to her knees, and Lyla plasters herself against a wall of her house, trying to keep from being trampled.  All of this in silence.  We cut to Lyla’s face, as she tries to cope with the horror of what she has known for three years would come.  Then she reacts in surprise as she hears a voice:)

ALTRA (off camera): Mom?  Mom?

(Lyla looks in astonishment towards...

(Cut to: ALTRA REN-TAI, her illegitimate daughter, now 13 years old, pretty but bedraggled, having come a long, long way to find her mother.  She looks at Lyla with nervousness, possibly some terror, but definitely some hope.)

LYLA: (almost whispering) Altra?  (Louder) Altra?

ALTRA: Are you...are you Lyla Lerrol?

LYLA:  Altra!

(Both of them rush towards each other, even with the quaking, the flying dust, and the cacophony about them.  Lyla and Altra collide and embrace, falling to their knees, in tears.  Circle-shot around them to catch their emotions.)

ALTRA: Oh, mother...mother...

LYLA: Altra, you’re...

ALTRA: Mother, why did you abandon me?  Why did you leave me?

LYLA: I didn’t have a choice then.  I didn’t think I had a choice.  And your father...

ALTRA: My father’s dead.  Died in the, in the quake.  But he told me, Mom.  I couldn’t go to you.  He wouldn’t let me. But he told me.

LYLA: Altra.  I, I knew it was you.  I had pictures taken of you.  I sent money.  But I...

ALTRA: But you never tried to get me back.

LYLA: (small voice) No.  No, I didn’t.  I was too busy.  My career...

ALTRA: It doesn’t matter now, Mom.  

LYLA: It matters to me, Altra.  I was wrong.  Can you forgive me?

(Closeup shot on Altra.  For a long time, she is silent.  Cut back to Lyla, expectant, hurt, worried of the wrong response.)

ALTRA: There’s nothing to hate you for, Mom.  We’re going to die, aren’t we?

(Lyla nods her head, seriously.

(Altra embraces her.)

ALTRA: Then this must be the way Rao wants it.

(Lyla breaks down in tears, hugging her daughter.  Then she chances to look up, and sees a rocket trail in the sky.)

LYLA: Rao speed you, Kal-El.  May you never forget Krypton.  May you never forget me.

(Cut to: shot of Krypton.  The Destruction.  The planet explodes.  We see Argo City briefly thrown away.  The screen is filled with hurtling particles that soon turn green.  Then there is only the great red sun, the expanse of space, and some greenness hanging in the void.  Long fade.


(Space, above the globe of Earth.  After a few moments, we see what appears to be a whirligig of color forming.  Soon, it slows, and Superman emerges from his self-made time warp.  He hangs in space for a few more moments.  We pan in on his face, showing the anguish he experiences.  Then he jackknifes his body, heading for Earth.  Catch him from behind as he flies towards the Fortress of Solitude.  

(Cut to: interior of Fortress, door opening with a great creak, Kal entering, and the door closing behind him with a great thud. [We’ve seen the interior of this place enough.  We lived inside it for years.  If any of you make a mistake, I’m going to let the unions know about it.  –Van] He enters, not flying, walking slowly, as if he can’t believe what has happened.  We go past the dinosaur, past the ocean liner suspended on chains, past various exhibits, until we come to the giant statues of Jor-El and Lara, and the globe of Krypton above them.  Close shot on the Krypton globe for a moment.  Then cut to: Kal-El, seen from above, part of the globe visible at screen right, looking at it for a long moment, then shaking his head, tears beginning to come to his eyes.)

KAL: Lyla.  (Bows head for a moment, then clenches his fists, throws back his head and screams.)  LYLAAAAAAAA...

(Kal goes to his knees, sobbing in agony.  Circle shot on him for half a minute.  Then, still in pain, he wipes his eyes, stands, and flies to the Kandor Room. [Do I have to tell you to get this right? –Van] Kal trips the switch on the Shrink Ray, stands beneath its beam, and is shrunk to tiny size.  He flies towards the Bottle.

(Cut to: the home of Nor Kann, a friend of Jor-El’s and Kal’s both.  Kal is lying on a couch in his home.  Nor Kann sits near him, listening.)

KAL: I don’t know why it happened, Nor Kann.  I still cannot fathom in any way, in any form...why.  (Pause) Why did I go back to Krypton again?  Why did I meet my parents?  Why did I meet a woman I loved more than anyone in my life?  (Pause) Why...why...did I lose her?

NOR KANN: Do you want answers from me, Kal-El?

KAL: (somewhat angrily) I don’t know there are any answers, Nor.

NOR KANN: Then, do you want opinions?

KAL: I don’t know what I want!

NOR KANN: Neither did I, when my father died of the wasting disease.  I was ten.  At that time, I did not want to believe in Rao.  But it was too great a thing not to believe in him.  I was still alive.  I could not see the purpose in my father’s death.  Did that mean there was none?  And did that mean I was not supposed to find the purpose in mine?

KAL: Then what...what purpose...

NOR (goes to Kal): If you had stayed there with Lyla, if you had died with her in the Destruction, wouldn’t there be a limit to the time you had with her?

KAL: Stop it, Nor.

NOR: And if there had been no Destruction, if the two of you had lived on for years, would there not be a time when one of you died?  What then?

KAL: I don’t want to hear this.

NOR: And what if that flowering love of yours faded, over the years, and pain replaced the passion you once knew?  What then, Kal?

KAL: It would never have happened like that!

NOR: Then what would have happened?  Can you tell me, Kal?

(Long pause)

KAL: I don’t know.

(Pause.  Kal is sitting up now.  Nor sits beside him, one hand on his shoulder.)

NOR: Then perhaps this was a gift to you, Kal.  Perhaps you were given a few months of love, a few months of reunion with your parents, a few months when you didn’t have to save the universe, as a gift.

KAL: (scoffs) A gift.

NOR: Would you prefer to forget her, Kal?  Would you submit to psychosurgery?  We can do that, you know.

KAL: No!  Never.  I will never forget her, Nor.  I will never forget Lyla.

NOR: Then, if it was a gift...will you give it back?

KAL: (pause) No.  Never.

(Long pause)

NOR: You can stay here, Kal.  You can stay as long as you want.

KAL: No.  I can’t, Nor Kann.  I have a job to get back to.  Two jobs.  Out there...I’m not Kal-El.  I’m Superman, and I’m Clark Kent.  But’s the one place I can be Kal-El.

NOR: And you will always be welcome.  But if you must go...  (He reaches into a pouch in his belt and pulls forth a holodisc.) ...I hope you’ll take this.  As another gift.

(Kal looks at his hand.

(Cut to: the disc in Nor’s hand.  Its title: THE SPACE EXPLORERS.

(Cut back to: Kal’s face.)

KAL: Did you know?  All these years, did you know?

(Nor shakes his head.)

NOR: When we saw you for the first time, when you saved us from Brainiac...we knew you looked like Kal-El, the minor actor in this holo.  But we could not understand how you were connected, if you were connected.  Now we know.

(Kal’s hand takes the disc from Nor’s.  Cut to: Kal, holding the disk.)

KAL: Never let this be lost, Nor.  Never let it go out of print.

NOR: Never, Kal.  For you, and for Lyla.

(Kal embraces his old friend.  Then the two separate.)

KAL: I have to go, Nor.

NOR: Understood, Kal.  Blessings on your house.  And on Lyla’s.

KAL: Thank you, Nor.  Thank you very much.

(Kal leaves.  Nor looks after him for a moment.  Cut to: exterior of the Fortress.  Kal flies away, south towards Metropolis.  As he does, we see the lingering image of Lyla Lerrol superimposed over the scene.  Kal’s form is soon lost in the distance.

(Superimpose credits, and end.)


“Kara?  Kara, can you hear me?”

“Uh.”  She sat in front of the screen, slack-jawed.  It had been a week shooting the climactic scenes.  Now she was watching the final rushes before the last editing.  Kara felt as though an energy tap had been plugged into her brain and turned on full force.

Beside her, Van-Zee, in his regular clothes at last, said, “I think she knows how I felt, Van.  For once.”

Kara shook her head.  “I guess I do, Van.  Sorry for pushing you all that time.”

“I guess it was worth it,” said Van-Zee.  “If this picture is any indication, that is.”

“If we can get the right edit on this thing, Kara,” said Van-Ol, his hands on her shoulders from behind, “we’ve got a classic.”

“Yeah,” she said.  “And when Kal sees it, what will we have?”

The two Vans looked at each other.

“Let’s get to work,” said Kara, at last.

    (next chapter)