The Battle for National City
Kara ripped up a handful of strong vines and incinerated them with a heat blast. She'd been at it for hours now and only succeeded in slowing things down. She'd been more of a super-gardener than a super-hero and for the last few hours she'd sworn never to make fun of landscape architects.
The sun was setting and thankfully even incredible fast growing plants needed sunlight. After ripping up one last tree branch she threw it back into the mass of hedges and knot of overgrown plants. 'Kara, we've got satellite confirmation. The growth as stopped, in all three locations.' Alex told her over the ear piece.
'The Captain?' She asked.
'He's finishing up. The site south of you.' That was J'onn. 'Don't worry we've got a recon team there and we're tracking him from orbit.'
There was so much they didn't know about what was actually happening. The Captain, some sort of crazy impossible plant creature, this forget me not Stranger and according to the big red guy there was another one that he met. She'd been a superhero for a year now, not a fantastically long time, but this was the first time she'd ever heard of this sort of group.
Sure, there were times when her cousin had worked with others. She'd gone as far as teasing him about the beautiful woman with the sword and lasso. Even without his glasses he had spluttered and tried to explain that it wasn't like that. Sometimes he was too easy to wind up.
Heck she'd even worked with Barry before, who was from a whole other universe and then, of course, there was J'onn. But never more than one at a time. Never like this.
Even though she was tired there were too many questions that needed answers and Kara took to the air. She easily spotted where the Captain had been battling his corner and with her Kryptonian vision she found him hovering over it. Like her, however she was supposed to describe it, plant encroachment this was like a spear. The greenery wasn't coming in a wave but very specifically in three points. She had been dealing with one, the Captain this one and the third by agents of the DEO.
With a salute the Captain took off back to the city, but she wasn't going to let him get away that easily. 'Alex, keep an eye on him.'
'We've got a lock. He's fast.' Kara's sister warned. She didn't need to, Kara was already having trouble keeping up. 'Where's he going?' Alex asked.
'No idea.' He was heading for the city centre. If something had happened there Alex would have told her. He was still a way ahead and dropped down into an alley, out of sight, right next to a sandwich franchise. 'He's having a sandwich?' she asked herself aloud.
Before she could check a thunderbolt blasted out of the clear sky and struck the alleyway. 'What in the…? '
Suddenly Alex was in her ear. 'Supergirl, there was a blip in our telemetry. We've lost the target.'
'Alex, we just had a bolt of lightning out of nowhere!' Kara scanned the area with her X-ray vision and didn't see anything. 'It's like he teleported. I'm going down there.'
'Miss Danvers, wait!' J'onn snapped. 'Your uniform.'
'Oh, yeah.' She looked down at her dirty, well worn uniform. With a quick detour, her apartment wasn't that far away, Kara returned in glasses, blouse and jeans.
Inside was the usual gathering of college students, kids and people getting ready for a night out on the town. Even if he'd had a disguise ready Kara still felt she'd recognise a seven foot tall guy with muscles like a professional wrestler and a jawline that could cut glass.
There was no sign of him. She was just about to leave when someone called out to her; 'Miss Danvers?'
'Batson, I mean Billy, I mean Mr Batson.' She blinked, she wasn't expecting to see the young man here.
'It's just Billy Miss Danvers.' He smiled, Billy was sitting at a grimy table for one and had a small sub and a soda.
Kara realised, with a jolt, that was his dinner. He was as bad off as she thought. 'Then just call me Kara.' She sat down. 'Are you alright?'
'Of course Miss Kara. Just having something to eat then I'm going back to my friend's place, he's letting me stay there for a while. Until I get somewhere.' He smiled. 'It might be a while. What are you doing here?'
'Me?' She desperately tried to think of a story. 'I was... Going to meet a friend. Could have sworn they said they'd be here.'
'Oh. They might be running a little late. You could wait here with me if you want.'
She laughed a little at that. 'No, it's okay. I'm the one that was late. It's been that sort of day I guess. I'll catch up with them later. You enjoy your dinner and I'll see you tomorrow.'
With that she left, tapping her ear and calling the DEO. 'No sign of him. I guess he really can teleport.'
Billy pulled his old shirt down a bit, straightening it. His latest growth spurt had made most of his clothes too small. He was, after this meeting, going to have to pay a visit to a good will. He might be able to stretch his budget that far.
Billy didn't have much hope that Miss Kara was going to be able to help. She seemed nice and honest about wanting to help, but could have just been him wanting to see the best in her. He might not be well educated but Billy was no fool. He knew that he was a teenage boy and she was a very attractive young woman. There were other reasons why he wanted to trust her, but he wouldn't think about that.
Politely he knocked on her office. 'Come in Billy.' She called through the door. He entered and saw that she'd gotten a plant for the far corner since he was last there. She shuffled what looked like a pastry under the desk and pushed her glasses straight as she stood up. 'Sit down, please.'
Not sure just what was going to happen next Billy did as he was told. 'I've got good news. Probably not what you want, but I've been able to call in a couple of favours.' Miss Kara smiled warmly. 'So here's what've been able to do; you're going to be my assistant for a week, I can't pay you much because it's coming out of my salary and you're going to have to sign some wavers meaning you can't sue us or anything if something goes wrong. So is your acting guardian.'
'I don't... My parents died when I was very young. I was in a foster home until I was made an emancipated minor.' Billy told her. She'd already done a lot for him already and he wasn't going to lie to her.
Somehow she seemed to know that. 'I guessed as much. You said you were staying with a friend. I checked, if your friend can counter sign it everyting will be okay. They won't have to take any responsibility. That's all on me.'
'So I have a job?' He asked, not quite believing what he was hearing.
'Only for a week.' She reminded him. 'After that, I'll see what I can do.'
'Thank you Miss Danvers. I mean Miss Kara.' Billy was stunned. He was completely lost for a moment, he'd been rejected so often that he wasn't expecting anything like this.
Miss Kara shook her head. 'Don't thank me yet. I'm going to push you, just as much as Miss Grant pushed me and your first job is to go up to HR and get those papers.'
Billy jumped to his feet 'Yes Miss Kara, err...'
'Two floors up, to the right.' She told him. 'Don't worry, you'll find out where things are. Or you'll get lost and I'll have to find you.'
There was another knock on the door and a half-familiar woman with short red brown hair came in. 'Kara I... Oh sorry I didn't know someone was with you.'
'Alex, this is Billy. My, uh, apprentice I guess.' Miss Kara introduced him. 'Billy this is Alex, my sister.'
'Miss Danvers.' he nodded politely, realising she was one of the agents at that cave DEO place.
'I need a quick word with my sister, in private.' The Agent said. She was trying to be nice, but he could tell it was an order.
'Yes, yes of course.' With that Billy quickly left on what he hoped would be the first of many tasks.
'Nice kid.' Alex pointed out as he dashed off. 'So he's the one your putting your neck out for. Why?'
Kara shrugged. 'He's had it tough. No family, he's survived crashing on people's couches. He's like I would have been if my cousin hadn't found me. Taken me to you. If you hadn't given me a home.'
'You think you owe it?'
'I think he deserves it just as much as I did.' She sounded sad, like she usually did when talking about Krypton. Like this Alex didn't see Supergirl, she saw the scared girl that came to live with her so many years ago.
'You're a good person Kara.'
She sighed and came around her desk. 'Any luck finding your Father?'
'Cadmus was a dirty little secret before everyone found out about J'onn. These days they've gone to ground. You'll have more luck proving aliens are being kept at Area 51.'
'Are they?' Kara asked carefully.
Alex frowned as an idea came to her. 'You don't think?' she trailed off. Area 51, the infamous Groomlake facility. Where better to hide a double classified black opps lab than slap bang in the open where no one would think to look. 'I'll check that, but first we've got another problem.'
'You don't think this whole plant thing is over.' Kara suggested
'I know it's not.' Alex covered a yawn. 'Sorry, I've been up all night. We've been analysing soil samples from where you and that Captain fought off those plants. We know why it stopped.'
'The sun set.' Kara said, as if it was obvious.
For all her gifts there was a reason she wasn't a scientist and Alex was. 'Kinda. Plants need more than just sunlight, they need water and nutrients from the soil. Those plants leached every last drop and mineral from the ground. That's what stopped the attack.'
'So we've won?'
Alex shook her head. 'If only it was that easy. You checked the weather forecast this morning? J'onn did. There's a storm front coming in.'
'Rain.' Kara nodded. 'Water and nutrients from the sky.'
'As good as you are Kara, not even Supergirl can fight nature.' Alex warned her. 'We have little more than five hours before it hits and those plants start growing again.'
Kara shook her head. 'There's got to be something... We could lace the clouds with chemicals. Turn that plant food into weed killer!'
Alex almost slapped herself, she should have thought of it. 'It's a plan. I'll head back to the DEO and get started. You stay here, you've got work to do.'
'I will not allow it.' Boomed a voice from all around them.
Alex spun around, pulling the side arm she had hidden in the small of her back. 'You heard that?'
'Oh yes.' Kara had pulled off her glasses and opened her blouse, showing off her costume. 'I don't see anything. Do you?'
'No.' Alex swept the small room. There was nowhere for anyone to hide, it was brightly lit and unless this, whoever it was, was invisible it should have been easy to spot. 'This that Stranger I don't remember?'
'Don't think so.' Kara told her. 'He wasn't so much with the echoing doom voice.'
'I am the Spectre.' The empty air bellowed. 'Behold my visage.' Out of nowhere a pale green guy just appeared. He was nearly naked except for a pair of trunks, gloves and a great big cloak that covered most of him in shadow. All of them a deep green. He floated there, arms folded over his muscular chest and his legs, if he had any, lost in the folds of the cloak that didn't quite reach the floor. 'Behold and despair.'
This was the other one, the one the Captain had mentioned and they had no idea what this thing was capable of; selective teleportation, astral projection, flight? All of the above? Alex pulled out her radio. 'Trap-leader to Greyhound. Trap to Greyhound, we have a code black.' She wasn't even met with static. The radio was dead.
'Your doing?' Kara asked the floating green shade. Alex noticed she was centerings herself, getting ready to blast with either freeze breath or her heat vision.
'Look beyond the confines of this room Kryptonian. See the world beyond these walls.' He commanded in a domineering voice.
Kara's eyes lost focus for a moment and she gasped; 'What have you done?'
'Even the steady march of time stops before the Angel of Vengeance. All things will remain as they are until I decide otherwise.'
Alex translated. 'You've frozen time outside this room? How could any creature have that sort of power?'
Trowing his arms out wide the creature morphed, now just a torso its lower half was a green mist. Somehow the room seemed even bigger than it was before and the cloak still dominated it. 'I am the will of the Creator of All. I am His arm, I am His fist. There is nothing in this realm, or any other, beyond my power.'
Alex lowered her gun slowly and shared a look with Kara. 'I guess the Captain wasn't exaggerating when he said we were in trouble.'
'I don't think I want to fight this guy.' Kara admitted.
'Wisdom from one so young.' The creature agreed and the room returned to normal.
Alex, knowing it was a bad idea, took a step forward. 'If you're so powerful you can help us. Stop this monster from destroying our City.'
He tilted his head. 'Why?'
'The people.' Alex pleaded. 'We can't evacuate the whole city in time. Not before this plant creature starts killing people.'
They just looked at her, like she was a fascinating kind of insect. Alex had never felt so small, so powerless, before. 'Your people have torn this world asunder in your greed. You poison rivers and scorch the land with unthinking abandon. Creatures of such grace that bring angels to tears slaughtered by the thousand until they are no more. As one of your wordsmiths once put it you have sown the winds. This is the vengeance you deserve. Accept your fate.' With that he swept forward, charging at them with a suddenness that took her off guard.
But by the time she had her weapon up he hadn't just closed the distance but actually flown through her and Kara. Then he was gone and they were alone.
'I'll say this, memory wiping aside, I think I prefer the blue guy.' Kara told her, fastening her shirt up
Alex holstered her sidearm and brought up her radio again. 'Trap-leader to Greyhound. Check my signal, over.'
'This is Greyhound.' J'onn replied, 'Reading you loud and clear. Status.'
She shared a look with her sister. 'All clear, at the moment. I'll tell you about it later. Trap out' Alex signed off and tucked her radio away too. 'We are so out of our depth here.' She admitted. 'Any ideas?'
Kara brought up the chat window and selected Clark's icon, an innocuous CK, and began typing. Hoping against hope he was at his desk when she needed him for once. 'Clark are you there?' the text read.
Alex had headed off to the DEO to see if they could load the aircraft with chemicals. It was a long shot but it was worth trying, that left her doing this. After a few moments he answered. 'Here. How are things over there?'
For a moment she wanted to tell him just how bad they were, but she knew he'd fly over in less than a heartbeat. Even if there was nothing he could do that she couldn't. 'We've got this. I think, but if that changes I'll tell you.' She typed quickly. After sending that she winced. 'What can you tell me about Captain Marvel?'
It felt like she was going behind Winn's back, as he was still trying to dig up what he could, but she needed to know everything she could and Clark had first hand knowledge. Three little dots flashed for a moment, showing that her cousin was typing a response. 'Captain Marvel is a good ally and a friend if you need one. You can trust him.'
'You say that about everyone.' She reminded him. 'What do you know?'
Four words came back. 'You can trust him.'
Sighing Kara rolled her eyes, not caring that he couldn't see her. 'You trust that bat psycho in Gotham.' She replied at near super-speed. 'He's not like us, how can he be so strong?'
'I don't know.' Clark admitted. 'I love this world, but there are many things I still don't understand.'
Taking a breath she was about to type some more when her super-hearing picked up someone coming. A quick check with her x-ray vision showed her it was Billy. She typed BRB and minimised the window.
Kara had just enough time to realise she didn't have her glasses on before Billy knocked. Straightening them she called for him to come in. 'I'm sorry Miss Kara. They had me sign the papers while I was there. That's why I took so long.' He put the file on her desk.
'I thought so.' She told him, desperately thinking of something else for him to do. 'That's okay.' A glance at her clock told her it was still hours before lunch so sending him for food was out. 'I'm working on something right now, but Winn has some research for me. Mr Schott, he's upstairs.'
She gave Billy some instructions and a quick description of her friend before sending him off to help with the research on that end. Opening the computer window again she just hoped her cousin hadn't been called away. 'Clark, sorry work.' She began again. 'When I asked he said his powers came from magic. What did he mean?'
For a painfully long moment there was no answer and she worried that he had left. Then the three dots came back.
'Kara, magic is real. It's rare, but it does exist.' he began and Kara had to read it twice to be sure she hadn't imagined it. 'It's extremely dangerous, be careful. We're vulnerable to it.'
'Vulnerable?' she typed, hoping that it came off as confused as she felt.
'We can stop bullets, bombs, knifes. We can't stop magic. I don't understand it but it's real.'
Kara stared at the screen. This wasn't something her cousin would joke about. After all she'd seen these last two days she believed him.
Still there was one last question she had to ask. 'Clark, have you ever heard of the Spectre, or the Phantom Stranger?'
He responded with one word. One word of three letters that inspired more fear than she'd ever thought was possible on this planet.
That word was; 'Run.'
End Act Three