Superman: Serpent in the Sand, Prologue: A Glorious New Era

by Starsky Hutch 76

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On the night of their liberation, it seemed to the people of Kahndaq as if the very heavens were afire. Again and again, the night sky would grow as bright as midday. At the same time, the ground would shake so much that it seemed as if the gods themselves were trying to fling the capital into the sky. To the frightened and confused people of this land, it was debatable if this were the end of the world or the dawning of a new one.

The people of Kahndaq had thought that the General’s weapons were fearsome-looking. They were nothing compared to the machines that now rolled through the streets and flew through the air. Next to these amazing machines, the General’s Russian-built tanks and American helicopters were children’s toys.

Mothers shielded their children at the sight of them. Windows and doors were barricaded. It wasn’t until one young man spotted the insignia of one of the large troop carriers that the people began to actually cheer the invading force.

“It’s the Naja-Naja!” the young man cheered. “The Naja-Naja has come to liberate us!”

“The Naja-Naja has come! The Naja-Naja has come!” others echoed. Soon, every able-bodied man and many brave women were grabbing anything that could be used as a weapon and followed the machines as they made their way for the royal palace.

Along the way, these brave freedom fighters of Kahndaq were met by troop transporters that gave them real weapons: things of such magnificent design and power that they could almost be considered art. They were given armor as well to shield them from the bullets of the General’s soldiers. Upon receiving these gifts, some men wept openly with happiness and gratitude. The Naja-Naja was truly here to take care of them, even as he gave them the chance to fight for themselves as men.

The helicopters and few jet fighters General Kuffar had were quickly smashed. Kobra owned the air above Kahndaq. All that was left was to take the land.

Barricades crumbled as the large land rovers crunched tanks beneath them, sending soldiers scattering. Platoons fell like wheat beneath a scythe under the gunfire of Kobra’s foot-soldiers and the newly armed people of Kahndaq.

Kobra’s army stormed the main gates of the palace. An airship landed, and Kobra himself stepped out to join the cheering throng. He walked through the two ornate doors of the main palace entranceway flanked by newly dead guards and into the opulent palace lobby.

With his foot-soldiers by his side and the cheering peasantry behind him, he walked down the hallway leading to the office where his reconnaissance team had told him General Kuffar would be hiding. Two foot-soldiers with laser rifles blasted the door open. Seeing himself revealed, the General fired into the doorway. Kobra’s personal force-field easily deflected the bullet.

Easssy, General,” Kobra said in the dictator’s own language. “You have nothing to fear from me.”

“You have invaded my borders and smashed my armies, and you tell me I have nothing to fear from you?” the General said, still pointing the gun at him. “What madness is this?”

“I am here to bring your land into a gloriousss new era,” Kobra said. “You could be a part of that. You’ve ssseen the power at my command. Imagine what we could accomplish together.” He held out his right hand to the General, much to the alarm of the peasants behind him.

The General looked at the hand and then at Kobra. His face said he was torn between dreams of conquest far beyond the meager abilities of his black-market weaponry, now-smoking ruins, and his own fear of the man before him.

“Take my hand,” Kobra said to him, loud enough to make sure the peasants heard him. “A righteousss man has nothing to fear from it.”

General Kuffar dropped his pistol and eagerly took Kobra’s hand. When he did, twin needles shot out of Kobra’s glove, sending toxic venom coursing through the tyrant’s veins. The General’s eyes rolled back into his head, and one last gasp escaped before he fell to the ground, dead.

“As I said, a righteousss man has nothing to fear,” Kobra repeated. He turned to the peasantry and said, “People of Kahndaq, your deliverance is at hand.” Kobra basked in the resulting cheer, which seemed to echo not only through the palace, but throughout the entire land.

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