I woke up falling from several thousand feet in the air and on fire. That was a new one.
Adrenaline surged and I jerked out of my stupor in a flailing tangle of limbs. My mind raced as I desperately tried to understand what was going on, how I had wound up like this, and most importantly, how I was going to survive it. The wind roared in my ears even as I swung around to face the rapidly approaching ground. I spread my arms and legs and practically halted as air slammed into my larger surface area.
My head jerked forward and as if a switch had been flipped, memories came rushing back to me. My name was Kara Zor-El, I was one of the last Kryptonians alive, and I had superpowers that let me fly and protected me from harm. So falling from the sky while on fire wasn't exactly as life-threatening as it might otherwise have been. Somehow, this didn't ease the pounding terror in my chest.
No lie, I was more than a bit scared and distressed at the whole situation; any rational person would be. But, I had been knocked out of the sky on more occasions than I would like to admit. I knew what to do, I'd done it a million times before.
There was a… feeling, a sense of weightlessness that I felt whenever I took flight. Like that feeling you get when a roller coaster drops, but with none of the anxiety. My cousin, Kal-El, described the feeling as joy made manifest, which sounded like that human story of Peter Pan to me. That didn't make it any less accurate though.
I focused on that feeling, let it bubble up and fill my every being, and smirked with satisfaction. My descent quickly slowed to a stop until I hung suspended in the air by invisible wires. The rapid slowing had done little to soothe the flames chewing at the edge of my clothes, so I spent a few minutes patting those out until I was left steaming and covered in a fine layer of soot.
The edges of the long blue sleeves were singed, the fabric of my top several shades darker now. My chest insignia, a red stylized S against a background of gold had lost its sheen, and my red skirt and boots were totally ruined now.
Dang, that was my favorite costume too. I didn't even want to imagine what that fire had done to my blonde hair.
My powers seemed to be working fine though, which was good. I wouldn't have to worry about cratering the poor city below me with my impact. I scanned the cityscape spread out before me, trying to get a feel for where I was. The geography was unfamiliar, but I recognized the architecture. Glimmering skyscrapers rose high into the air, well maintained streets, and a large crowded freeway leading in and out of the city. I was vaguely reminded of Metropolis, but the architecture lacked what many called the 'neo-sci-fi' aesthetic the city had adopted in recent years. Judging by the large body of water on one side of the city and the sun, I was possibly on the East Coast, though I couldn't be sure.
This did little to narrow down the list of potential locations.
A particularly tall skyscraper caught my eye, and I descended towards its roof with practiced grace. I scanned its roof as it rose up to meet me and saw no sign of anyone standing atop it. What few cameras my microscopic vision picked up were angled around the helicopter pad itself, so I would be afforded a little privacy while I gathered my senses. It was as good a landing spot as any, and I'd be less likely to worry people here than I would in the streets below. Even after years of living with metahumans, seeing someone fall out of the sky would still startle the average person.
When I touched down, I was surprised when one of my legs gave out and I fell on one knee, only barely catching myself with my hand to avoid face planting. The concrete of the landing pad was hot against my hand, and scraped at my skin, but I felt no pain from it. My powers were working fine, but there was an ever present exhaustion hanging from my shoulders, as though I'd just gone ten rounds with Darkseid and gotten up for round eleven. As gravity pulled at me, my joints ached and my muscles protested my every move; it was only the warm glow of the sun that countered this fatigue, and I lifted my head to its rays and soaked in its energy even as my mind continued to race. Though my body was worn, my mind felt fresh and well rested, if confused.
Was it a failed assasination attempt?
An indirect missile assault wasn't exactly an unheard of idea. In fact, that sounded exactly like something that Luthor would try to pull, though his scheming was usually reserved for my cousin. I put a hand to my chest at the thought of my cousin, tracing a line over the symbol plastered across it. To the average human, it might have looked like a stylized S, but to me it was more than that. One of the last signs of my people, a symbol that literally stood for hope, and one of the few connections between myself and my cousin beyond our blood.
Kal-El, Superman. Some called him the greatest hero on Earth, the Man of Tomorrow. I knew him as the last of my family, my guide on Earth, and a total dork. If something had happened, he would show up to help me. Even when I didn't want or need his help, he had a habit of showing up anyway just to check on me. He was annoying like that.
I shook my head, there would be a time for reminiscing later, until I had a better idea of my situation. First, I had to see if there were any more follow up attacks to look out for. Given that I had been given time to land and recover my senses without being pummeled, I felt I was safe, but it never hurt to check. A quick skyward glance showed nothing more than a jetliner flying overhead. Focusing my expansive hearing, I heard nothing out of the ordinary either, just the sounds of the city at work.
That meant it was time for step two of my 'figure out what in Rao's name was going on' plan. Figure out what city I was in, and that was easy enough to solve. I could, of course, have flown to the city limits and found a sign for an answer, but the easier option was to simply ask the people on the streets below.
A quick push of my legs and I easily leaped from the roof and gently fell to the streets below. I made sure to control my descent, even as the wind caught at my skirt and cape, brushing some of the ash from it. A few people on the streets came to a stop and gawked as I landed in the middle of the sidewalk in front of them and put on a friendly smile.
"Hi there," I waved, "Sorry for bothering you, but can anyone tell me what city I'm in? I'm a little lost and would like to know where I wound up."
One of them, a thin woman with short hair, managed to find her voice, "H-Houston, miss. Houston, Texas."
That broke the spell, and the street exploded into the sort of chaos that was inevitable in situations like these. I was immediately barraged with a series of blunt and fast questions so fast I was at risk of a concussion from them hitting me over the head with them.
"Are you a new member of the Protectorate!?"
"What's Eidolon like?"
"Have you ever fought an Endbringer?"
"What's your name?"
I took a few steps back, maintaining my friendly smile and answering their questions as they came.
At the same time, my mind raced. Their questions and confusion at the sight of me raised a possibility that I had not considered; but I needed proof first. I excused myself from their questions as quickly as I could, and took off into the air to the crowd's disappointment. I slowly picked up speed as I went, the horizon turning into a blur of glass and steel and concrete before the early morning horizon replaced them. Once I was comfortably sure I was a safe distance away, I let loose and shattered the sound barrier in an instant.
When I had first arrived on Earth, I had practiced and learned how to navigate my new home as quickly as possible, first by map and then by following the Earth's magnetic sphere. When I was traveling between cities this made it easier for me to keep an idea of where I was in relation to North and South. Once I got close enough to a city, I could usually find their exact location thanks to their radio waves. Electromagnetic vision was one of my lesser known but certainly no less useful abilities.
Combined with the incredible super speed of my flight, it was no challenge crossing vast distances that to a normal person would take hours or days to cross in a car. The landscape rushed by miles beneath me, nothing but a blur of greens and browns. Mountains passed as tiny and small as ant hills, and cities sprawled before me like gray blots on the land before quickly vanishing. Faster and faster I flew forward to Metropolis.
My suspicions were confirmed as I came to where I knew the city should be. I had flown to it hundreds of times, I knew where Metropolis was and what the surrounding area looked like. Yet I found no sign of the city; not the Daily Planet, not STAR Labs, and no sign of my cousin. The land itself where the city would be was barren, nonexistent.
I felt a bubble of anxiety at the back of my throat. I couldn't accept the obvious truth in front of me, not yet. I needed more proof, to test my theory more thoroughly before coming to a conclusion. That thought in mind, I rocketed across the Continental United States, faster than any aircraft built by man. For nearly an hour I searched every corner of the country, and came to a frustrating conclusion. Metropolis, Gotham, Central City, Coast City, and even Star City had no presence here on Earth. Correction, no presence on this Earth. I was in an alternate dimension, an alternate Earth of some kind.
I reeled at this conclusion while hanging in the upper Mesosphere and watching the planet slowly spin beneath me. This was not the first time (and knowing my luck, far from the last) that I had been sent to an alternate Earth. Barry Allen, the Flash, could visit them whenever he wished and I had been to more than my fair share of them. But I had always had a way home in the form of Barry. Without him I was, well, stuck waiting for rescue, which didn't sit well with me. Rao knew Kal would never let me live this down when they did finally find me, and that was a conversation neither of us would enjoy.
This was going nowhere, so I assembled my thoughts again and focused on what I knew so far: I was stuck on an alternate Earth, my cousin and I did not exist here, meta humans did seem to exist, and I had no way of knowing if my friends and family back home knew I was missing. I reached into the utility belt wrapped around my skirt and checked for whatever supplies I might have had on me. An emergency Kryptonian shelter crystal, a watchtower communicator, several hundred dollars in emergency cash, the glasses I wore when in my secret identity, and some very basic first aid supplies. Not much to work with aside from that crystal, the cash especially was going to be useless on an alternate Earth.
I folded my arms and rubbed my chin. More information was what I needed about this Earth before I could really do anything. No way was I going to just fly about blindly until I came across something useful. Well, um, not anymore anyway. To quote a certain pointy eared jerk, I needed to gather more intel before I made my next move.
So with that in mind, I descended back to the Earth and towards a different city. It was probably safer to lay low away from Houston. I knew nothing about this Protectorate or Eidolon that those people had mentioned, and didn't want to make them angry on accident if I could avoid it.
Instead I descended on a small northeastern city, a fair bit north of Boston. Compared to Houston, this city showed its age. Most of its buildings, barring a few obvious recent additions, were at least two or three decades old, blocky and plain compared to their sleek modern counterparts. It was built along the coast, a large bay opening up to the ocean, though a graveyard of abandoned cargo ships blocked off most of it. There was a very modern and beautifully designed oil rig that rested at the mouth of the bay, and peering at it with my electromagnetic vision, I could see odd energies dancing around it. If I were a betting girl, that was probably where the local super geniuses and meta humans had set up shop. Common rule of alternate Earth's, if there are metahumans, there are always super geniuses.
As I scanned the city, I felt an acute sense of deja vu that took me a moment to place, and then it hit me. This city reminded me far too much of Gotham. The odd mix of modern and old buildings, the obviously abandoned industry, and the painfully obvious disconnect between the upper and lower class neighborhoods were all too common to Batman's home city. Maybe there was a possibility that we did have counterparts in this world, simply under different names. It was possible I had jumped to conclusions; I needed to be sure though.
It wasn't hard finding a local charity that had free clothes for the homeless or less fortunate. In my current situation I couldn't afford to be picky, so with a bit of super speed I swiped some plain shirts and pants that fit me well enough and changed into them. It wasn't the perfect disguise, but thankfully I had the key advantage of not existing on this planet. Add a ratty old hoody and the holotech in my glasses that changed my hair color, and no one would ever connect Kara Zor-El, Supergirl, with mild-mannered Linda Danvers.
I changed in a nearby alley faster than the human eye could see, and slipped out onto the sidewalk. My disguise was more than just old clothes and a visit to the hair stylist however; I made sure to pull the hood up over my head, and jammed my hands into its pockets as I walked. Finally, I kept my head down and my eyes pointed at the ground. Human or kryptonian, this body language was as unassuming and unlike my usual self as was possible outside of physically changing my face. There was no way anyone would connect me to my secret identity now, which meant I could move about the city in peace without drawing stares.
My first stop was a local library; I needed to catch up on as much history as I could on the state of affairs in this alternate Earth before I did something stupid or offended someone important. My little survey of the US showed at least this wasn't one of those alternate Earth's where the Russians had won the Cold War or the Nazi's had conquered the world, but that didn't narrow things down by much. I needed more information.
There were several local library's in this city, and thankfully the one I found was as unassuming as I was. It was built practically which is to say plainly. A brick edifice with a large metal roof that extended into an awning over the front entrance with the words 'Brockton Bay Public Library' printed along its side. I pushed open a pair of clear glass doors and stepped inside, ignoring the shattered window next to them covered only by a paper sheet and duct tape. Judging by the fraying, it had been in such a state for a few months at least. The fact that even a library was in such poor condition, did not say great things about the state of this city.
Inside was, at the very least, clean and presentable. The entrance opened into a reception desk placed before a wall that broke off into two directions, one labelled 'fiction' and the other 'non fiction'. The lady at the front desk barely paid me any attention, as did the few folk inside. I made sure not to draw attention to myself as I hung a right towards the non-fiction section and went looking for the history books.
There were computers behind the reception wall between the two halves of the library, but when I needed to learn something quickly, a normal human computer couldn't possibly keep up with my speed. Even with books I had to be careful about tearing and not setting the pages on fire, but as long as I was careful, it was faster than a computer by quite the margin.
I found the history section tucked away in a corner of the library, and set to work. Under different circumstances I would have checked out the most interesting books and read them somewhere more private. That wasn't really an option since I didn't have my library card on me… and didn't exist in this universe. So I settled for skim reading instead, flipping through pages at a frightening rate.
Learning more about this world, this Earth, was more than just pure pragmatism. I was genuinely interested in where I had ended up, the people that lived here and the culture that had developed. The one regret I had about staying on Earth as Supergirl was that I was unable to explore the rest of the galaxy at will. More than anything, I wanted to catalogue and record and to see life moving in action. Problem always had been that I couldn't stay out of a problem if I thought I could help. But maybe that wasn't the case here, maybe this Earth I could sit by as a passive observer. Sit and learn as the world moved by under its own power and I waited for my family and friends to find me.
I was far too optimistic.
Monsters and maniacs, persecution and plagues, with every turn of the page my heart broke just a little more. For the innocents caught under the foot of those that would abuse their power, for those that tried and failed to fight in their defense, and for the remaining few that could only sit and watch as their own world was consumed in fire.
My home, my Earth, was not a peaceful place, not by a country mile, as Kal would say. But there was a sense of slow and steady progress, a sense that things could get better and would. When evil rose, good met its challenge head on. With each book I finished in that library, I felt the opposite was true on this alternate Earth. Here, there was no hope for a better future. Only a hope that the next day wouldn't be their last.
Admittedly, I may have been a bit overdramatic. My own unique situation, combined with the obvious bias that arises from reading a stream of bad news likely blinded me to any positive alternatives. At the same time though, when one reads history and finds only pain and suffering, perhaps that says as much about the world as it does about the outlook someone would develop from reading that.
Regardless of hindsight, at the time I felt my composure fail me as I read. The latest book shook in my hands and I expended some actual effort to keep from accidentally ripping it from my tremors. I took a deep breath to calm my nerves and to pull my perspective back in line. This was after all, not a time for reckless action.
That was when my enhanced hearing, which I had wrangled and kept under control for most of my impromptu history lesson, escaped my control and heard a lone voice amongst the sea of traffic and life that was a common city. A voice calling out, no, screaming one word.
"Help me! Please, won't anybody help me for the love of god!"
The book slammed shut with an audible thud, and I was out of the library before it finished resting back on the shelf, trailing papers and dust in my wake. Down the nearest alley I went, leaving a trail of old clothes in my wake. Linda Danvers could not help today, but Supergirl could!
Up, up and away I went, taking to the sky in a single bound and rising high above the city. The wind tore at my cape and hair with the ferocity only a coastal city could manage, blinding me. Up above the city, above Brockton Bay, I could hear a cacophony of crimes being carried out. With my enhanced senses I could focus on them with inhuman speed and precision.
At the opposite end of the city, a couple was being harassed by a pair of muggers, calling help from the nearby street. I was relieved to see several civilians do just that, chasing the men off before they could hurt anyone else. Farther away, I saw a shootout coming to a close, a police officer arresting a pair of looters that had attacked a Chinese antiques shop. Along the coast, a shoplifter ran from an electronics store, only for a kid in a grey uniform covered in clocks to freeze him in time with a touch. I saw this repeat several times across the city. Though for every crime committed, someone was there to stop it, there was a staggering volume of them that weren't.
So many, no one could hear the lone girl screaming for a savior in the dingy halls of an old high school. I focused on her, on this girl and her cries for help, and picked out her near exact location. A high school bordering the decrepit and abandoned side of the city, aged and nearly forgotten like many of the buildings near it. The air shuddered as I took off like a shot and headed straight for Winslow High.
I made sure not to burst through the front doors of the school, as the halls were crowded with students making their way to the next period. Everyone stopped and all eyes snapped to me when I flung the doors open and strode inside. I kept focused on why I was here, barely paying the stares any mind as students parted before me.
The inside of Winslow was as dilapidated and rotten as the outside. Mismatching lockers, poorly cleaned floors, walls covered in the decay of time and apathy. A cursory glance of my x-ray vision showed at least thirteen students with knives hidden on their persons, and nearly twice as many carrying some sort of illegal drug in their backpacks. If I were to guess, I imagined that Winslow was likely a breeding ground for the local gangs, a pool filled with a steady supply of fresh recruits. I filed that detail away as I strode toward through the halls.
I smelled the victim before I actually saw her, a putrid stench that made my stomach churn. It came from a locker surrounded by a small crowd of students; most of them were silent, a few were chuckling and taking video footage. I took a deep breath and repressed my urge to tell them off. You didn't need super hearing to hear the poor girl locked inside the locker begging for help.
"Step aside please," I said as I approached. A few students turned with words of protest on their lips. Those protests died when they saw me in full costume, and they hurriedly stepped aside.
The lockered shuddered again as the girl trapped inside banged frantically against the door. "Please, let me out!"
I put a hand on the locker door and peered through its slits to see a pair of panicked brown eyes behind it. My heart went out to the poor girl, even as I reached for the lock keeping her trapped.
"Everything's going to be alright now, miss. Just calm down and I'll have you out of there no problem." I kept my voice as calm as I spoke. The entire time, I made sure not to break eye contact with the girl.
"Please…" she whimpered.
With a snap of metal, I ripped off the lock and opened the door. A deluge of rotting food, feminine hygiene products and other material I didn't want to name came flooding out onto the floor and my boots. Along with the skinny frame of a terrified teenage girl, shaking like a leaf as she fell into my arms.
I held her gently, ignoring the filth covering us both and gently eased her onto the floor away from the filth. My voice remained calm as I crooned to her, "It's okay, you're free now. No one else is going to hurt you, miss."
She was tall and skinny, her pale skin covered in the filthy that had filled her locker. A pair of broken glasses rested on her nose, though thankfully her eyes looked unharmed. I could not say the same about the rest of her. A cursory scan with my x-ray and microscopic vision showed that she was already showing signs of infection along her wounds. Both knees were covered in deep, skin shearing scrapes padded with muck of her prison, and bruising along the knee-caps. One palm of her hand had a deep long cut along it, letting blood dribble down her forearm, and she had torn off the fingernails on both hands in her attempt to get free. This did not stop her from desperately grabbing at my offered hand and holding on with a death grip.
Her large brown eyes never left my face, even as she silently started mouthing the words 'thank you' over and over again. I smiled reassuringly at her, "You're going to be okay, miss."
Then, I looked up at the students standing around us wide eyed with shock, and my gentle calm was replaced with seething tranquil fury. I jabbed a finger at the first person I saw, a short girl with a slim frame and brown hair.
"You, call an ambulance. This girl needs medical attention as soon as possible, and a school nurse isn't going to cut it." I directed my gaze to the tall red-head standing beside her, "And you, inform the school staff of what happened here. Got it?"
I used the Kal voice when I spoke to them, that firm tone of authority used in disaster situations. I had seen him put ruly generals in line, inspire hurricane victims, and turn lowly criminals onto a better path with that voice. Hopefully, my imitation had a similar effect. At the very least, the girls did as I said. The red head jumped when I ordered her and scurried off down the halls with what I assumed was her friend in close pursuit. The short girl pulled out a phone and made the call.
With that handled, I turned my expression to the rest of students, "Don't the rest of you have classes to go to? Unless one of you has a first-aid kit on you, get going. The situation is handled."
The crowd slowly dispersed, not before students started taking pictures of course, leaving me alone with the girl. I turned my attention fully back to her; poor thing's trembling had only gotten worse since I freed her.
"T-th-thank…" she croaked, before I shushed her.
"Easy now, don't strain yourself." I said.
Her lips trembled as she spoke, "Th-thank y-yo-you."
I smiled softly, "I was just passing by. Happy to help."
Her grip somehow tightened further on my hand; if I weren't invulnerable, she might have broken something. "Please don't go." she begged.
I put a gentle hand on her shoulder, "Miss, I'm not going anywhere."
"T-Taylor." the girl stuttered, "Muh-my name i-is Taylor."
"You can call me Supergirl, and I'm not going anywhere, Taylor." I promised her.
The paramedics arrived about ten minutes after I rescued Taylor from her locker. Given what I had seen so far, I was thankful they showed up at all. I stayed with the girl the entire time, even when the school principal briefly came out to see what was going on. The stern looking woman had made a lot of noise about finding the culprit responsible for what had happened, but I had very strong doubts about that; so did Taylor, if the expression on her face during that time was anything to go by.
The principal thanked me for my service, which was the extent of our conversation before the paramedics arrived and moved Taylor onto a stretcher and wheeled her out to the ambulance. I followed behind for Taylor's piece of mind; the poor girl was understandably rattled by the entire experience. A friendly face would probably do wonders for her.
As they were about to lift her into the ambulance, she stopped them, "Wait… can Supergirl come?"
The two EMTs looked at each other and then me. The thicker built of the two said, "Supergirl, eh? You working with New Wave or something?"
"Something like that" I shrugged. No need to cause a stir.
The man shrugged, "Eh, it's fine by me. This one should be fine once Panacea gets a look at her anyway. Hop in, super-chick."
I did as offered and sat by Taylor while keeping out of the way of EMT's while they cleaned at her more obvious injuries. She smiled weakly at me and I returned the gesture as the ambulance rumbled to life and jerked forward.
"Sorry...about your outfit." she wheezed once we got moving.
I looked down at my suit, now stained an ugly brown, and shrugged, "A couple dozen rounds in the washing machine should clean it fine. Besides, getting you out of that locker was a little more important, I think."
A funny look crossed her face while the EMT said, "If ya get any stains from it, some baking soda, warm water, and a good ol'toothbrush scrubbing should get it right out. Take it from me, best way to get a stain like that out."
"I'll keep that in mind, thanks." I said, smiling again.
Taylor winced as they started cleaning at the worst of her wounds, so I leaned forward with my hands on my knees and said, "So, Taylor. Do you have any hobbies?"
She looked at me like I'd grown a second head. But if she was more confused by me instead of thinking about what she had just gone through, that was a net positive in my mind.
"I...I like to read." she said quietly. Admittedly everything she was saying was quiet; she had screamed her throat bloody and raw when she was trapped, and I had given up getting her to stop talking a while ago.
I rested my chin on my hand, "Really? Read anything interesting lately? I could use some new material."
There it was, tiny and cautious, but a spark of genuine interest and excitement flickered in Taylor's eyes. "Well… ever read the Perry Johnson series?"
Thankfully, the local hospital was in far better condition than Winslow High was. It wasn't a particularly noteworthy building, but at least it didn't look like it was going to collapse in on itself at the slightest breeze. I was beginning to think that Brockton Bay wasn't exactly the best city on Earth Bet.
Despite this, the hospital wasn't too crowded, and Taylor was cleaned and bandaged to the best of the staff's abilities. I was surprised when they didn't stitch up their injuries, but from what I heard and saw when we reached the hospital, it apparently wasn't necessary. There was a girl that volunteered at the hospital called Panacea, who's power apparently let her heal any ailment in the body barring brain related injuries and illnesses. It seemed a little… Lazy to just bandage Taylors wounds and wait for this one hero to solve the issue, but given how frantic hospital work could be, I wasn't too surprised at it either.
The hospital staff were kind enough to let me borrow the staff showers and lend me some temporary scrubs while my costume was put through one of their industrial washers. Like the EMT's, they seemed to assume I was a new member of the superhero team New Wave. I didn't want to cause a scene, so I didn't correct them while also remembering to apologize to the team if they found out about this.
Once I was cleaned up, I asked for directions to Taylors room and made my way there. I found the girl in bed, her face a picture of ease if not peace. She did perk up when I walked inside though.
I gestured at the scrubs I was wearing, "It's a new costume, what do you think? It should strike terror into criminals, right?"
Taylor laughed and immediately started coughing, "God, d-don't make me laugh. It hurts to laugh." she croaked.
"Sorry, I was trying to lighten the mood. You've had a rough day."
"It could've been worse," she sighed. "Thank you. Again."
I took a seat by her bed and smiled, "And you're welcome. Again."
Taylor leaned back into her bed, "But… you have to have better things to do. I'm safe now, you can… leave, now."
Her lips were drawn tight as she said it. I shook my head, "My costume is in the wash for the next… forty minutes? I can stick around for a bit. At least until your parents get here."
Taylor opened her mouth and worked her jaw for a few seconds, but said nothing. Eventually she closed it and rested her head on the pillows with a more peaceful expression on her face. That piece didn't last long though.
The door opened and a mousy girl with frizzy brown hair and a face splattered with freckles walked in. She was dressed plainly, with a white robe worn over her clothes; a medics cross was on the chest and back and a scarf hung loosely around her neck. She paused when she saw me, "Oh, hello nurse."
The girl was about Taylor's age, and had large bags under her eyes; she looked exhausted. I stood up from my chair and smoothed out my outfit, "Not a nurse, sorry. Just borrowing some spare clothes while my costume is in the wash."
Her eyes went wide at that, "Oh, so you're the girl the doctors were talking about, claiming to be with New Wave."
I winced at that, "Sorry, everyone just assumed I was, and I didn't want to cause a scene while Miss Hebert here needed medical attention."
"Hm, I bet." the girl said, and took a deep breath to compose herself. Then she offered me a hand, "I'm Panacea, I'm with New Wave."
I took the offered hand and shook it, "Supergirl, I'm with… me, I guess."
Panacea flinched for when she shook my hand, but it was brief; my hands were a bit chilly from my shower earlier, so I shrugged it off. When I released her hand, she tapped her fingers together, "So-"
"Where's the chick claiming she's with New Wave?" a voice demanded from outside.
Panacea's face fell and she pinched her nose, "Oh god, why…"
I looked at the door with a wary expression, the voice sounded… oddly familiar, the tone that is. I couldn't put my finger on it, but the inflection reminded me of my early days on Earth.
"If they're running around making random claims, that's so uncool." the voice continued, and the door opened, "I've got half a mind to- okay, what?"
The girl that walked in looked disturbingly similar to me. I had met alternate counterparts before, but this girl was just different enough that the resemblance was uncanny. Her nose was a bit straighter than mine, her skin darker, and she was several inches shorter than me, but otherwise she looked like she could be my younger sister. Suddenly everyone's confusion that I was with New Wave made a little more sense.
Taylor said what I was thinking, "This day is just getting weirder and weirder."
Panacea's head snapped up, "Right, patient! Sorry miss." and rushed by me to tend to Taylor.
The blonde girl tapped my shoulder and I turned back to her. She had a sheepish expression on her face, "So, not my best introduction, can we try again?"
I smiled and held out my hand, "I'm Supergirl, you?"
There was an expression of recognition on her face as she shook my hand, "Glory Girl. Or Victoria Dallon, either or; I don't really 'do' the whole secret identity thing."
"Subtlety isn't her strong suit." Panacea said dryly from behind us.
"That's your job, sis!" said Glory Girl, her face in a relaxed grin now.
Sister's huh? I didn't actually know too many super teams that had siblings or families in them back on my Earth. My relationship with Kal notwithstanding of course. I wondered if New Wave was a family organization, and added a note to my ever growing pile to do more research on the local scene in Brockton Bay.
Glory Girl looked back at me, hands on her hips and her expression serious again, "So real talk, what's the deal with claiming you're with New Wave?"
I shrugged, "Heat of the moment. The EMT's assumed I was with you for...obvious reasons I guess. I didn't know who you guys were, but I didn't want to cause a fuss while Taylor still needed to see a doctor?"
Her expression softened at that, "Right, I heard about that. Something about a locker prank gone wrong?"
"Some monster trapped her in a locker full of rotting trash and used feminine products. That's why I'm cosplaying as a nurse; it got all over my costume when I let her out." I explained.
Glory Girl looked past me at Taylor. I followed her gaze and was pleasantly surprised to see that she was already looking significantly better. Her skin had taken a healthier color and her hands were free of their bandages and good as new. Taylor was experimentally flexing them and looking at them with an expression of awe.
"I am sorry, Miss Hebert," Panacea said, "But I can't actually release you until your parents get here to sign you out. Its standard procedure for minors."
Taylors expression deflated, "My dad should be here soon, assuming the school called him."
I walked up next to her bed rubbing my chin, "What's your dad look like, Taylor?"
She paused for a moment before describing him to me, "Tall and skinny like me, thin head of brown, wide eyes and glasses like me. Probably dressed for office work; he's with the dock workers union."
I scanned around the room in the general direction of where Winslow High was located. Finding someone at random in a city was next to impossible, even with super speed. But if I could narrow it down to a specific area, finding someone wasn't too hard…
"Ah, there he is. He's at Winslow right now, screaming his head off at your principal. I'd give him another twenty minutes before he gets here." I turned back to see all three girls openly gawking at me.
Right, that could be weird to some people if they didn't know about my super senses. I tapped the side of my eye and said, "I have super senses. X-ray and Microscopic vision, super hearing, etc. I figured your dad was either on his way here or at the school, so that made it easy to narrow things down."
Yet more gawking; Glory Girl was the first to shake herself of it, and clamped a hand on my shoulder, "Dibs. I call dibs."
I stared at her, "Dibs?"
"Dibs." Glory Girl replied solemnly, before breaking out into a grin and explaining. "You totally have to join New Wave. You run around without hiding your secret identity, you have a crazy cool power, and you're a matching blonde. You'd be a perfect fit."
Panacea sighed, which seemed like something she did a lot around her sister, "Vicky, you can't just claim dibs on someone."
"Then consider it an invitation to New Wave." Glory Girl said, "We're always looking for new members."
I gently pulled her hand off my shoulder, "I appreciate the offer, I really do. But I'd like to weigh my options before I joined any team."
"Fair enough I guess," Glory Girl said, "You should at least meet the rest of New Wave though."
"Probably," I agreed, and added, "But not until Taylor's father gets here. I promised I'd stick around until her dad got here."
I smiled at Taylor, "And I have a habit of keeping my promises."
It was a night and day difference, how quickly the girl had turned around since I rescued her. While she had withdrawn into herself when Glory Girl had arrived, she looked so much healthier and stable than she had been. It wasn't a fair comparison of course, but it made me happy to see my efforts hadn't gone to waste.
"You don't have to stick around." she said softly.
"Yeah, but my clothes are in the wash, I've got time to kill." I grabbed another chair from the wall and brought it beside the hospital bed, "Besides, you haven't finished telling me about that Perry Johnson series."
Panacea perked up, "Isn't that the book series that puts Norse mythology in the modern day?"
"Oh boy, here we go." Glory Girl playfully rolled her eyes before grabbing a chair and sitting down.
Already, Taylor and Panacea had launched into a conversation discussing the merits of the series and its accuracy to the myths it was based on. I couldn't help but smile as the conversation took off.
It was only a small step, but it was a step in the right direction.
A/N: And here is chapter one of the Echoes of Yesterday rewrite. Some may or may not know the original story, but if you don't and you liked what you saw, let me know what you thought. This story was supposed to go up earlier today, but when I was reading through it again, I woundup not liking some of what I had rewritten and had to go back and change it. So there might be a few grammar and syntax errors here and there; feel free to point them out as you find them, my editor is looking it over in his free time as well.
Now then, next week on Friday we should see the next chapter go up and really see things start diverging from the first draft, if they hadn't already.
I will say though, writing Kara at full power has a certain level of fun to it for just how stupid broken she is, though I can definitely see some challenges in the future.
Welp, anyway, hope y'all enjoyed the chapter. Feel free to let me know with comments and criticisms below, and I'll see y'all next Friday!