Chapter 1: A Day at the Fair
“Well?” CJ asked “what’d you think?”
Standing in the middle of the room, the elder Alura looked around the fully-furnished apartment.
“This is…,” she shook her head “this is…too much” she breathed.
“Nah,” CJ grinned “come on, you’ve earned it,” she encouraged “here,” she gestured to the kitchen “you got a fridge, stove, microwave, et cetera,” she shrugged “although,” she added “I’d recommend you stick with the fridge and microwave for the time being, at least until Astra can teach you how to cook”
“Yes…,” Alura said slowly as she examined the gas range “that seems wise” she noted.
“Very wise,” CJ nodded “fire bad,” she added with a chuckle. Pulling her phone out, she studied it, nodding to herself “and…we’re going to be late,” she announced “come on,” she called as she led Alura out of the apartment, absently locking the door behind her before handing the key to Alura’s DEO handler, who happened to be one Lucy Lane.
“Thanks, Luce” she called as she and Alura headed towards the elevator.
“Hey!” Lucy rushed after them “I’m supposed to go with her” she exclaimed as she thrust a hand out, catching the elevator doors as they opened.
“So?” CJ shrugged “no one’s stopping you” she exclaimed…
The National City Fair took up a large section of the old NC Port. First established in the late-19th century during an economic slump, the Fair had been compared to National City’s answer to Coney Island. Open nearly all year round, the Fair’s peak season was early-spring and summer, the rest of the summer being too hot for most residents to bother with overpriced fair games and horribly unhealthy fired foods.
Climbing out of the car, CJ held a hand over her eyes as she looked around, the smell of freshly-frying corn dogs reaching her nose, making her mouth water. Reaching back into the car, she grabbed her messenger bag and, digging around in it for a few seconds, pulled out a well-worn baseball cap and plopped it onto her head.
“Hmm, bright” Alura murmured from behind her, shielding her own eyes.
“Ah,” CJ beamed as she pulled another baseball cap out of the bag and held it out to her great-aunt “it’s clean, don’t worry” she assured the elder woman. Frowning, Alura took the hat and examined it.
“What is…Star Trek?” she asked as she put the hat on “a historic journey?”
“No,” CJ chuckled “no, it’s fiction,” she explained “good fiction,” she added “well…it was anyway,” she muttered. Shaking her head, she held her out arm to the elder woman “come on,” she invited “we’re going to be late” she added...
Alex shared a uneasy look with James as they both watched Kara devour her fourth funnel cake with an almost-orgasmic moan.
“You know,” Alex began “if it were anyone else besides Kara, I’d ask if you two were having problems in bed”
James coughed, as did his daughter.
“Oh! Geez!” Alura exclaimed “come on! I don’t need to hear that!” she groaned as Kara let out a surprised yelp, suddenly hopping up and down, pointing at something off in the distance of the fairgrounds.
“Mmph!” she tried.
“Kara, chew” James advised.
Quickly cramming the rest of the funnel cake into her mouth, Kara quickly swallowed it down (and somehow avoided choking in process) before absently wiping at her mouth with the wax paper.
“They’re here!” she exclaimed as CJ and the elder Alura came into the view, Lucy in tow.
“Hey!” CJ waved as she reached them “ohh! Kara, as much as I appreciate the hug, you’re getting powdered sugar all over me,” she grunted as Kara pulled her into a fierce bear hug “and I’m wearing black, remember?” she added.
“Oh,” Kara pulled back with a cringe “sorry” she apologized as she tried to wipe the sugar off, only succeeding in making an even worse mess.
“It’s fine, it’s fine” CJ dismissed, wrinkling her nose.
“So, where’s Astra?” Lucy wondered.
“Oh, she and Winn and taking most of the prize vendors to the cleaners” Alex explained with a chuckle.
“Who knows,” James pitched in “he might win you a stuffed bear, Luce” he chuckled.
“Ha-ha,” Lucy deadpanned “you know that I put the bear you won me when we were dating into a shredder right?”
“Ouch” Kara exclaimed.
“Seriously, how are you two still friends?” CJ wondered.
Both Lucy and James pointed at Kara.
“Blame her” Lucy explained.
“Oh, yeah, it’s all my fault that you two are closer than you ever were when you dating,” Kara exclaimed. She mimed being shot in the chest before ‘fainting’ away into Alex’s arms “you wound me!” she added for extra melodramatic effect.
“All right, all right,” Alex shoved her back onto her feet “drama queen,” she muttered “you’re worse than Astra”
“Who’s worse than me?”
Turning, Alex grinned as her wife came up from behind her, giving her a quick peek on the cheek.
“Hey,” Alex greeted “where’s Winn?” she wondered.
“Still trying to win Lucy a prize” Astra explained.
“What is it with my boyfriends and trying to win me something?” she exclaimed “seriously, every single boyfriend I’ve had—from high school to now—have all tried to win me something. Especially at fairs or carnivals. Why is that?”
“Don’t look at me,” James exclaimed, holding up his hands “my wife’s standing right here” he reminded Lucy.
“And don’t you forget it” Kara beamed.
“Incoming,” CJ remarked “giant purple teddy bear at twelve o’clock”
Turning, the group spotted the large, floppy-limbed teddy bear very carefully making its way through the crowd.
“What…is…that?” the elder Alura asked
“Winn” Lucy answered with a tired sigh as said teddy bear reached them.
“Hey, Luce” Winn greeted from somewhere behind the bear’s plushy form.
“We’re not keeping that thing” Lucy exclaimed.
“Hey, come on,” Winn moaned “I spent nearly ten bucks on darts for him”
“Nope,” Lucy shook her head, crossing her arms “we’ll donate him—it—to Goodwill or something, but we’re not keeping him—it. damn it, we’re not keeping it!”
“Well, if you don’t want it, I’ll take it” Kara offered.
“No…you’re not” James advised.
“Dad’s right,” Alura pointed out “where would we keep…Winnie the Pooh anyway?”
“Really?” CJ asked “I would have gone with ‘Paddington’.”
“Paddington isn’t purple” Astra pointed out.
Before anyone could reply, a horrified scream suddenly pierced the air.
“Come on!” Alex called, already sprinting away towards the sound, the others following her. Rounding the corner, they edged through a crowd of gawkers to find that one of the food stalls had been vandalized.
The stall appeared to be one several that specialized in alien foods, run by a family Aldebrans apparently, the small, blue-skinned family now huddled together protectively as they took in the destruction. The stall’s awning had been torn down, the food scattered across the pavement, and, finally, as an added insult to injury, the folding table had been overturned and then spray painted with graffiti.
Bright red, still-dripping letters now adorned the table, proclaiming for all to see:
Standing a little ways behind Alex, CJ sighed.
“And here I thought that we’d have a nice day out” she muttered…
Chapter 2: The Wall in the Head
Chapter TWO! :=). Annnd a-way we go! :=)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The DEO was its usual hive of busy bees as the extended Superfamily gathered around the main operations table.
“Why would anyone threaten that family?” Kara wondered “I’ve been to that stand dozens of times, they’re nice people”
“I think it’s because they’re not ‘people’,” CJ sighed. She frowned and examined the photos splashed across the main monitors, photos of what was now a joint DEO-NCPD crime scene “well,” she continued “at least we know that it’s not Cadmus,” she remarked. She frowned as she glanced at the others “it’s not, right?” she asked hopefully.
“No,” J’onn shook his head “if it was Cadmus, trust me, you’d know”
“Cadmus wouldn’t stop at simple vandalism,” Astra pointed out “besides,” she added “a good majority of their members are either serving life sentences or are dead”
“Or both,” Alex added. At the confused glances from the others, she held up the sheet of paper in her hand “reply from our inquires at Stryker’s Island,” she explained “Mercy Graves was stabbed to death in the shower last week”
“Good riddance to bad rubbish” Astra nodded.
“But it could still be any number of anti-alien groups out there,” James pointed out “Earth First, Terra Firma, the Friends of Humanity”
“I’m confused,” the elder Alura held up a hand “why are so many Humans against off-worlders?” she asked.
“Because, for the longest time, Humans were the dominant species on the planet,” CJ explained “not until Superman appeared anyway,” she added “by the way, has anyone mentioned this to him?” she wondered.
“Lucy did,” Winn nodded “at least, she told Lois anyway” he explained.
“Now, there’s a conversation I’m glad I wasn’t around to hear” CJ muttered.
“Tell me about it” Winn agreed.
“Mercy Graves was one of Cadmus’ biggest driving forces after Lillian Luthor,” Alex nodded “so, it’s not her” she decided.
“Not unless she’s a zombie” Alura the younger remarked.
“God, I hope not,” Kara muttered, wrinkling her nose “zombies are gross”
“Ditto,” CJ nodded “hey, what about that Otis guy?” she asked “you know, Lex Luthor’s personal assistant?”
“Still serving a life sentence,” J’onn answered “in fact, according to our sources, without Ms. Graves’ influence, Otis has become quite the recluse,” he added “apparently, he’s bullied by the other prisoners on an almost daily basis”
“What about the Children of Liberty?” Lucy suggested.
“The who now?” Kara asked.
“The Children of Liberty,” Lucy repeated. At the continued blank expressions, she sighed “seriously, Kara? You’re a reporter, you should have been on top of this,” shaking her head, she pulled up a file on the main monitors “the ‘Children of Liberty’, also called the ‘Agents of Liberty’,” she explained “they’re an anti-alien group, but they’re a little less rabid than Cadmus”
“How is that possible?” Alex wondered.
“They don’t kill aliens,” J’onn rumbled “at least not publicly. Most of their actions have so far been confined to inflammatory posters and a few anti-alien posts on social media,” he explained “their doctrine and rational is also different from Cadmus’,” he added “while Cadmus was of the opinion that all aliens were an inherent threat to human lives, that we were all ‘invaders’, the Children of Liberty oppose pro-alien actions in business and government”
“You mean the old ‘immigrants are stealing our jobs’ crap?” CJ asked skeptically.
“In essence,” J’onn nodded “they’ve been known to boycott alien businesses or companies that try to hire alien employees over Humans under affirmative action laws”
“So they’re more subtle,” CJ shrugged “doesn’t make them right”
“No it doesn’t,” J’onn agreed. He fixed CJ and her cousin with a firm look “I want both of you to be careful,” he warned “the Children of Liberty may be less open with their hate than Cadmus, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous”
“So much hate,” Alura the elder murmured “and here I thought that Earth would be a safe place”
“It is,” CJ assured her “but it’s a ‘Maur im Kopf’-type of situation” she explained
“A what?” Kara asked.
“It’s German,” J’onn explained “it means ‘the wall in the head’. It's a reference to the Berlin Wall, he German people were divided for so long that people got used to it, even preferred it in some ways” he explained
“As long as there are people who remember the Wall, there will be always be people who want things to go back to the way they were,” CJ explained “same with aliens, as long as there’re people who remember what the Earth was like before Superman, there are going to be people who want aliens gone”
“Well, this got depressing real quick” Winn muttered.
“Agreed,” Kara muttered “and,” she reached out, glancing at James’ watch “…you two are late for school”
“It’s a day off” her daughter explained.
“Really?” Kara asked skeptically.
“Really,” CJ nodded “faculty meeting of some kind. Or so they say anyway”
“Well now what do we do?” Kara moaned.
“Do whatever you want,” J’onn declared “just do it outside the DEO; this isn’t a daycare center”
“You know, you’ve been telling us that for so long that’s its lost all meaning,” CJ declared.
J’onn glowered at her.
“I’ll…just go with Kara and James to CatCo” she muttered sheepishly.
As she and Kara and James, followed by Winn, turned to leave, J’onn suddenly called out.
“Mr. Schott?” he rumbled.
“Yeah?” Winn asked.
“Aren’t you forgetting someone?” he rumbled.
Following where he was pointing, Winn chuckled sheepishly at the sight of his purple teddy bear prize now happily occupying on office chair.
“I told you we’re not keeping it” Lucy called out after him as he gathered up the plushy behemoth…
Historical note: A September 2004 poll found that 25 percent (25%) of West Germans and twelve percent (12%) of East Germans wished that East and West Germany were separated by a 'wall', however a poll taken in October 2009 on the 2oth anniversity of the Fall of Wall indicated that only eight percent (8%) in the East and twelve percent (12%) in the West were still unhappy about reunification (that's a tenth of the population), and although cultural differences still persist, Germans make similar distinctions between North and South.
Ironically, a 2011 poll conducted in Russia found that more than half of Russians do not know who built the wall, with ten percent (10%) of people surveyed saying that they thought the Berliners built the wall themselves, six precent (6%) said they thought that Western powers built it, and four precent (4%) saying they thought that it was a 'bilateral initiative' by the Soviet Union and the West, fifty-eight precent (58%) said they didn't know who built it, and just twenty-four precent correctly answered that the USSR and it's ally in then-communist East Germany built the Wall.
Chapter 3: Bearable
Chapter THREE! Enjoy! :=)
Winn made quite a sight as he lugged the massive, floppy-limbed purple teddy bear into the bullpen at CatCo.
“We’re with the bear” CJ declared to the people who had, understandably, stopped to stare at the bizarre sight.
“Real funny” Winn called out as he found the purple teddy bear (which was rapidly becoming a white elephant) an empty chair and plopped it down into said chair, pausing to give its nose a tweak.
“Right on time,” CJ grinned “I swear, you can set your watch by her” she nodded as the sharp click of high heels heralded the arrival of one Cat Grant.
Pausing before the odd sight before her, Cat slowly assessed the foursome, finally settling on James.
“James…,” she began “explain”
“Oh, well, you know our niece, I think…” James began, gesturing to CJ, only for Cat to hold up a hand, stopping him.
“No, no,” she shook her head “not her. Although, we’ll come back around to her,” she pointed to the giant plushy now occupying valuable desk space “that,” she stated “what is…this? And why is it in my building?”
“It’s a rare specimen,” CJ deadpanned “subspecies of the genus Ursine, its taxonomic name is mega-plushcuddlious. Very docile, as you can plainly see” she continued, all with a perfectly straight face.
Kara cringed as she held up a hand to her mouth, biting down on it for good measure as Cat slowly looked between them all.
“What does it eat?” she finally asked.
“Pardon?” James asked, confused.
“What does it eat?” Cat repeated, looking directly at CJ.
“Oh, this and that, it’s an omnivore, you see,” CJ replied evenly, rocking back on her heels “although I suppose, with some training, you could get it to eat anyone who annoys you”
Cat finally smiled.
“That’s good,” she nodded “you think on your feet, and you have a sense of humor,” she glanced at Kara “your niece, you said?”
“Yes” Kara nodded.
“CJ Danvers” CJ replied evenly, offering her hand, which Cat took and lightly shook as she looked the Goth up and down before slowly circling her.
“Interesting fashion choice,” she noted, absently reaching out flick at the drawstrings of CJ’s hoodie “sort of like…a less wholesome version of your aunt,” she frowned and nodded slowly “yes, I think I remember you. Or at least, I remember your aunt’s sister bringing in a toddler at various times”
“That would be me” CJ nodded.
“Hmm,” Cat nodded slowly “Winn?”
“Uh, yes?” he asked.
“I assume that I can trust to keep…Wednesday Addams here thoroughly occupied while her aunt and uncle go to work?” she asked.
Winn slowly nodded.
“Uh, yeah, yeah”
“Good,” Cat nodded, turning on her heel “oh, one more thing,” she paused and nodded back at the bear “put Yogi there somewhere out of the way, this isn’t a zoo” she instructed…
Chapter 4: No Name Calling, Please
Chapter FOUR! Enjoy! :=)
“That bear of yours is looking at me”
Winn looked up from his work getting all the porn out of CatCo’s servers.
“Sorry?” he asked.
“The bear,” CJ nodded to the now seemingly-ever-present giant purple plushy “it’s staring at me” she hissed.
Winn paused, examining the bear. It did seem to be staring at them. Grunting, he stood up and quickly turned the chair around.
“Thank you” CJ nodded.
“Welcome” Winn nodded…
Meanwhile, in James’ office, Kara scowled, throwing the printout over her shoulder in annoyance. Although she technically had her own desk out in the bullpen (the desk now currently occupied, ironically, by CJ), ever since she’d been promoted to reporter Kara had done most of her work out of James’ office. In addition to the surprising amount of space, it also beat the windowless office that Cat had given her.
In true Cat Grant style, the media queen had said nothing, and Kara had assumed she simply didn’t care until about a month after her promotion when another desk had spontaneously appeared in James’ office.
Bending down to retrieve the fallen paper, James looked up at his wife in confusion.
“Problem?” he asked.
“I can’t find anything about these ‘Children of Liberty’!” she groaned. She scowled “we need Winn” she declared.
James frowned, glancing out through the glass at where Winn was busy in an argument with another staffer, with CJ refereeing.
“I…think he’s busy” James’ finally said.
“Then we’ll get the next best thing” Kara declared…
“OK, OK, look, I’ll get to it as soon as I can!” Winn exclaimed “but, look, I have about a thousand other other complaints too” he explained.
“So you want me to take a fucking number?!” the other staffer demanded “look, Schott, your job may not be very important to you, but mine is!”
“Hey, hey!” CJ planted herself between the two “sir,” she addressed the other man “you’re just going to have to be patient. Once Winn gets to you, I can assure you that he’ll do his very best to help you, but until then, sit down and shut up”
The man stared at her.
“Who the fuck are you?” he demanded “what are you? Twelve? You should still be in school. What are you even doing here? This is place of business, not a daycare center! My god who the fuck let’s their daughter dress like that?”
Winn and CJ looked down at her.
“What’s wrong with the way she dresses?” Winn wondered
“She looks like a slut!” the man exclaimed. He suddenly yelped in pain as CJ reached out and seized him by the nose, painfully twisting “ow! Ow! Ow!”
“I look like a what?!” she demanded.
Kara came to a stop at the bizarre sight.
“Do…I need to call security?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” CJ mused. She gave the ruffian a firm stare and another nose twist “does she?”
“No,” he coughed out “sorry! Sorry! Sorry!”
CJ released him.
“Go sit down,” she ordered “and chill out,” dismissing him, she spun on her heel to face Kara “so, what’s up?” she asked.
“Oh, right,” she shook her head “uh...,” she frowned and lowered her voice “I need some…computer help”
“Computer ‘help’?” CJ asked “or ‘computer help’?” she made air-quotes on the second word.
“The second one” Kara nodded.
CJ beamed, glancing back at Winn questioningly.
“Oh no,” he shook his head “my girlfriend’s a lawyer, count me out”
“So?” CJ scoffed “my mothers are federal agents, you don’t see that stopping me,” she shrugged “plus, I’m a minor” she added as she followed Kara.
“Only for one more year” Winn called out after her…
Chapter 5: The Dark Web
Double update! Chapter FIVE! Enjoy! :=)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Alex blinked, rubbing her eyes with a tired groan as she leaned back in her chair. A gentle set of footsteps approached, a familiar presence settling down on the desk. Opening her eyes, Alex frowned at her wife who now perched on the desk. She glanced at the cup by Astra’s side.
“That had better be coffee,” she grumbled as she picked it up and took a sip, scowling at the taste “aw, come on,” she complained “stop giving me green tea”
“It’s healthier for you than coffee” Astra declared.
“I don’t care,” Alex scoffed “whatever happened to the Astra who used to make me rib roast, pastrami, brisket” her expression became dreamy.
“She had a child,” Astra deadpanned “drink your tea” she ordered.
Alex pulled a face.
“The air in my mouth tastes better” she grumbled…
“So what exactly am I hacking into here?” CJ asked as she settled down behind James’ desk.
“Anything related to the Children of Liberty,” Kara instructed “we can’t find anything” she explained
CJ nodded as she began typing.
“Makes sense that they’d hide out on the dark web,” she remarked “most garbage does,” she added as strings of code began scrolling down the screen “got it” she announced after a few seconds.
Leaning in, Kara and James both frowned. The webpage that CJ had uncovered looked very…normal, it didn’t particularly look like the webpage for a group of racists, in fact it looked more like CatCo’s own webpage, with clean and neat and tidy graphics and a few strategically placed stock photos of smiling, happy people.
“Not what I expected” CJ remarked.
“No,” James nodded in agreement. He pointed at the screen “what’s that?”
“Huh,” CJ frowned “looks like a link to a chat room,” she clicked on the tab “OK,” she nodded “now that’s what I expected”
“‘Those F-ing roaches stole my brother’s job,’,” Kara read “‘now their…’” she trailed off, turning bright red.
“Anyone else find it odd that he calls aliens every filthy word under the sun but self-censors the word ‘fuck’?” CJ wondered as she continued scrolling through the chat feed.
“Wait,” James suddenly said “go back,” he instructed “further back,” he nodded “there!” he pointed.
“‘An ET coffee shop just opened up on 42nd street,’,” Kara read “‘someone ought to show those bugs to stay out of our neighborhood’”
“Guys,” CJ said slowly “this was posted less than fifteen minutes ago,” she announced “and look at the replies”
Bunch of me and friends will be in that area this afternoon
Fuck yeah! Let’s teach them a lesson!
1:00 be there
“CJ,” Kara breathed “stay here” she warned as she hurried out of the office.
Now alone in the room, CJ looked at James.
“Are we going to stay here?” she asked.
“No” James growled out.
“Thought not” she nodded…
Although most terrorists/assorted human scumbags use the dark web to lurk around, not all of them are quite so subtle. The white nationalist website Stormfront (named in part after the Nazi stormtroopers) was founded in part by white nationalist David Duke during his 1990 run for Senator of Louisiana in 1990 (he didn't win thankfully) and by former KKK Grand Wizard Don Black (who received computer training while in prison for his part in a 1981 failed attempt to overthrow the government of Dominica). As of 2009, the website had up to 120,000 active members, but in 2002, Google complied with French and German law that blocks access to websites that promote white supremacism, Holocaust denial, and historical revisionism, and in 2003, Italian police arrested four people and blocked the website after a blacklist of 'Jews and people who support Jewish immigrants' appeared on the Italian section of the site.
And according to a two year study conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center published in 2014, members of the website have been involved or responsible for some of the most violent hate crimes and mass killing since the site was first put up in 1995, most prominently Andres Behiring Brevik, a Norwegian terrorist who committed the 2011 Norway Attacks, the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II and which caused the deaths of seventy-seven people. Brevik was arrested, tried, admitted to committing the attacks but denied criminal responsibility, citing 'necessity' (a valid defense under Norwegian law) and sentenced to twenty-one years of preventative detainment in prison (the maximum sentence in Norway, and it can be extended for as long as the prisoner is deemed a threat to society).
As for the Stormfront website, it was taken down in August, 2017 after its register seized the domain name for 'displaying bigotry, discrimination or hatred' but was back online a month later, and somebody's still paying to keep it up (the site even reportedly has content aimed at children and a dating service, for 'heterosexual, white, gentles only' of course).
In an ironic twist, Don Black's son, Derek--who was a long-time participant of the site--has since disavowed his father's beliefs and the site, stating in an interview with The Washington Post that, throughout his years in collage he found that white supremacism to be 'not supportable'.
To that, I say 'well, DUH!'
Chapter 6: Hoods and Masks
Chapter SIX! :=)
The coffee shop mentioned in the online forum was a small, ‘hole-in-the-wall’-type of establishment (like many alien businesses). Stepping inside, James and CJ found a small, but lively, place.
“This is nice,” CJ noted “good prices too, I might just start coming here”
James nodded as they walked up to the counter.
“Can I help you?” the lion-like woman asked with a surprisingly-pleasant smile despite the mouth of pointed teeth.
“We need see your manager, please,” James requested “it’s urgent”
Frowning, the woman nodded.
“Hold on” she said, quickly slipping into the back. A few minutes later a burly, muscled lion-like alien approached the counter.
“Yes?” he asked in a deep, rumbling voice.
“Are you manager?” CJ asked.
“Obviously,” was the reply “what do you want?”
“We need you to close for the day,” James urged “right now”
The alien glowered at them, a deep growl rumbling through his chest.
“Look, I don’t care what you anti-alien bigots think, but I’m not going--”
“We’re not anti-aliens,” CJ urged “look, you’ve heard of the Children of Liberty?” at his nod, she continued “they’re going to attack this place in…,” she grabbed at James’ wrist “fuck, two minutes”
Almost as if on cue, there was a sharp squeal of tires. Turning to look, James and CJ watched as three cars—two sedans and one pickup truck—pulled to a stop in front of the coffee shop, the pickup noticeably parking with one wheel on the curb. The doors of all three vehicles opened and several figures stormed out.
There were about thirteen or so of them, ranging in height and build, all of them wore a variety of clothes, but they all wore hoodies with the hoodies pulled up and a wide variety of masks; some wore ski masks, others wore cheap plastic Halloween masks, something that could hide their faces. Pausing by their vehicles, the figures pulled out a variety of improvised weapons; baseball bats, hammers, and a hockey stick.
Turning back to the manager, James gave him a firm look.
“Get out, now” he ordered.
Nodding frantically, he turned and signaled to the rest of the staff, who quickly ushered the customers out through the back. By the time the masked and hooded figures burst in through the door, James and CJ were the only people left.
“I suppose you won’t listen to me if I told you to leave?” James wondered.
“Family forever” she replied, reciting motto of the House of In-ze as the group of masked figures paused by the door.
“Where are they?” one—presumably the leader—demanded, the voice behind the mask distinctly female.
“Nobody here but us chickens,” CJ shrugged “sorry”
Turning to the others, the masked woman nodded.
“Trash the place” she ordered.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you” CJ warned.
“Or what?” one asked.
“Or we’ll be forced to beat you up” James replied.
There were a few chuckles from the group, before one armed with an aluminum baseball bat strode forward, raising the bat. Diving to the side, James ducked under the wide, exaggerated swing, popping back up to deliver a hard punch to the scum’s ribcage.
Staggering back with a pained yell, he dropped the bat with a clatter.
“Get ‘em!” the leader ordered, the others breaking rank at the yell, advancing on the Goth and reporter.
“Ah, ah!” CJ held up a hand, stopping the three figures advancing on her “before you do that, consider this: ‘for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction’. Know what that means?”
With a yell, one lunged, swinging a hockey stick down towards her head. Easily sidestepping the blow, CJ swung a leg out, tripping her would be assailment. Spinning on one heel, she vaulted over another attacker, resulting in him striking his comrade in the head with the baseball bat.
Straightening up, she grunted as one attacker managed to hit her right between the shoulder blades, staggering away from her in shock as the wooden baseball bat broke in two as it hit her.
Only stumbling slightly from the blow, CJ turned and, grabbing the scum by the front of his hoodie, easily hoisted him up off his feet.
“Don’t do that” she said before she easily threw him to the ones still-lunging for James, resulting in an effect similar to a bowling ball striking the pins.
“Thanks” James panted out. Absently flexing one arm, he and CJ turned to face the leader who was the only one left standing.
“Don’t like to get your hands dirty I see,” CJ noted “typical”
With a panicked gasp, the masked woman turned and tried to flee, only to collide with Kara, literally bouncing off her to land flat on her back.
Cape rustling as she stepped up to the prone figure, Kara glanced up at James.
“You two OK?” she asked.
“Never better” CJ shrugged as a fleet of SUVs pulled up, a full DEO strike team pouring out…
“Well, this should be a good story for the government,” CJ remarked as she leaned back in her chair and propped her feet up on the DEO’s main operations table “‘teenager and reporter beat elite federal agency and Supergirl to scene of crime’”
“Don’t get smart,” Alex warned “you two should never have gone down there in the first place”
“What else I was supposed to do, Mom? Just stand by knowing full well that a group of innocent people were going to be beaten?”
“You shouldn’t have decided to play the hero” Alex reprimanded.
“For the record, that was never my intention,” CJ stated “my plan was to defuse the situation peacefully. Also, I wasn’t even planning on going down there, James was the one who decided to go” she added.
“You still shouldn’t have gone with him” Kara stated.
“So, you’d rather I’d stand by and let your husband—my uncle—get beaten to pulp?”
“Face it,” Alex sighed “you’re not going to win, she’s been doing since she first learned how to speak”
“Even earlier actually,” CJ grinned “so,” she pulled a live feed from the detention block up on the monitors “who is our female Hitler?” she wondered.
“Her name is ‘Monica Crenshaw’,” J’onn said as he came over, absently pulling the remote for the monitors away from CJ as he did “she lives in the Mission District, married, three children, former accountant for Whitty & Samuels law firm” he explained.
“Any criminal charges?” Alex wondered.
“None,” CJ shook her head “not even an overdue library book”
“What makes someone like that become so…hate-filled?” Kara wondered.
“She lost her job,” CJ noted “according to this, she was fired after nearly twenty years of loyal service and replaced by…a Kam’et employee”
“A Kam’et?” Kara echoed “they’re harmless, dull even”
“Well, not according to Mrs. Crenshaw’s Facebook and Twitter pages,” CJ remarked “not safe for work, kids”
J’onn snatched the tablet away from her.
“Do you work here?” he demanded.
“No, but I wouldn’t mind it”
Chapter 7: Prison of the Mind
Chapter SEVEN! Enjoy! :=)
The basketball rolled across the concrete, stopping as it reached CJ’s boot. Pausing, she picked up the ball, absently tucking it under one arm as she stepped into the gym.
“How’s Dad?” Alura asked as she looked over.
“He’s fine,” CJ replied “not even a bruise” she explained.
“Idiot,” Alura muttered as she took the ball back and began to dribble it “who the fuck told him to go down there?”
“He did,” CJ shrugged “have you gone to see him yet?” she wondered. She sighed at the silence response “Ally…,” she breathed, reaching out to give her cousin’s shoulder a squeeze “come on, don’t do this, you always do this whenever something bad happens, you…shut down, close yourself off. Don’t do it now, not now”
Alura let out a heavy sigh before she stopped dribbling the ball and turned around to look at CJ.
“Can you get me into the detention wing?” she asked.
“Not legally, no,” CJ shook her head “you really want to see that bigot?” she asked.
“Yeah” she answered softly.
“OK” she said dubiously…
James winced as Alex pressed the ice pack to his arm.
“Sorry” she murmured.
“Its fine” he assured her.
“What happened here anyway?” she wondered.
“One of them got a good grip on me,” he explained “probably had some training” he noted.
“Yeah, most of the info we’ve dug up seems to indicate that most of the COL are working class,” Alex nodded “people who’ve worked for most of their lives at one job and one job only, and then they lose it when their boss brings in an alien”
“You sound oddly…sympathetic there, Alex” James noted.
“Look, I’m not saying that these people right in blaming aliens for every bad thing that happens to them,” she sighed “but, I am saying that I can understand that anger in some ways,” she pinched at the bridge of her nose “look, after my father died, part of the reason I turned into a party girl was because, in some way, I blamed Kara”
“It was stupid,” she dismissed “but, basically my thinking was, if Kara hadn’t come to live with us, then Hank Henshaw wouldn’t have blackmailed Dad into joining the DEO,” she explained “I don’t admit this, but…,” she sighed “if J’onn hadn’t found me in that jail cell when he did, I might have ended up like Monica Crenshaw. Maybe not as bad as her, but…who knows”
“I don’t believe that,” James shook his head “you know why? Because you’re a good person, Alex. You care, for Kara, for Astra, for CJ, for me even. Even at your lowest, you would never have become like that”
Alex smiled softly.
“Thanks,” she murmured “that’s just what I needed to hear”
“Does Kara know?” he wondered.
“She does,” Alex nodded “so does Astra. We talked it all out after Cadmus first showed up” she explained.
“And swore that we never would again,”
Both Alex and James looked up as Kara came in. She smiled at Alex, her expression open, forgiving, not a trace of malice or distrust, as she came up to the bed an examined James’ injured arm.
“Don’t do that again,” she stated, swatting him on the other, non-injured, arm “OK? Ever”
“I can’t promise that” James shook his head.
“I can make you” Kara warned
“Careful,” Alex remarked “she can, the women on her side of the family can be very persuasive,” she warned. She smirked “just look at how Astra got me to marry her”
“You proposed first,” Kara pointed out “hell, you nearly fainted when she said ‘yes’.”
Chapter 8: Resources
Chapter EIGHT! Short but sweet, enjoy! :=)
"In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it"
The DEO’s detention wing was different than the containment area. While the containment wing was used to hold alien prisoners, the detention wing was used just for that; to detain prisoners who would, presumably, be released at one point.
Sitting on the narrow bunk, Monica Crenshaw resembled a caged rat; shoulders hunched, legs drawn up close, every muscle tense and ready to fire at any second, any opening.
Stepping into the room, Alura Olsen took a quiet breath as CJ stood by the door.
“Five minutes,” CJ warned “after that the men in black come running”
“I’ll only need three” Alura replied as she stepped into the room proper, walking directly up to the cell.
Looking, Monica Crenshaw slowly uncurled her body, resting her hands by her sides as she idly crossed her ankles together, adopting a surprisingly causal pose.
“The DEO hiring kids now?” she asked, her tone genuinely curious.
“You target aliens,” Alura stated point blank “why?”
“Because those disgusting bugs need to learn that this is our world, a Human world,” Crenshaw sneered in reply “a world founded by Humans”
“’Founded’?” Alura echoed skeptically “where the hell have you been living? Humans didn’t ‘found’ anything; we evolved here by random chance, we’re a flunk of nature, lady. Nothing more”
“Good choice of words there,” Crenshaw noted “‘nothing more’. Because that’s what’ll be left for us if these aliens keep coming here. You’ve heard of peak oil? Famine? Disease? By the time they’re through sucking the planet dry for themselves we’ll be extinct!!!”
Alura shook her head and turned on her heel and walked out, the doors sliding shut behind her.
“You OK?” CJ asked as the doors slid shut.
“No” Alura sighed.
“Get what you need?” CJ asked.
“Yeah,” Alura sighed “but…not what I hoped” she admitted.
“No,” CJ shook her head sadly “I wouldn’t think so” she agreed…
Chapter 9: The Forgotten
Chapter NINE! Enjoy! :=)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“The time is always right to do what’s right”
--Martin Luther King Jr.
Astra cautiously peered around the open door of J’onn’s office, finding J’onn at his desk.
“Astra,” he nodded politely as she came in, absently closing his laptop and giving her his full attention “what brings you by? Usually I don’t hear from you unless something gets blown up or otherwise destroyed”
“Ha-ha,” Astra deadpanned as she sat down “I feel obligated to remind you that most of those exploding objects are a direct result of Alex doing something incredibly reckless” she reminded him.
J’onn merely smirked in reply.
“So?” he prompted.
“I was just thinking about all of…this,” Astra sighed “it seems like every time we take down one extremist group another rises to take its place,” she tiredly rubbed at her temple “it’s like the myth of the Hydra” she muttered.
“Hail HYDRA” J’onn deadpanned.
“How did you deal with it?” she wondered “you’ve been on Earth far longer than I have”
“I’m afraid I can’t answer that,” J’onn sighed “most of the time I spent on Earth I spent in hiding,” he explained “plus,” he added “the existence of aliens wasn’t a commonly-accepted fact until Superman dropped out of the sky, if you’ll pardon the pun”
“But you’ve been a black man for over fifteen years” Astra pointed out.
“True,” he nodded “but National City is a fairly liberal and open-minded city; most people here are pretty accepting of outsiders,” he leaned back in his chair with a sigh “in my experience, it’s usually the minority of people who are the most outspoken with their hatred, the difference is that they happen to be loudest when compared to the majority” he explained
Astra leaned back in her own chair, her expression troubled…
Lucy turned around at the call, smiling as Winn jogged down to the corridor to join her.
“Hey,” she greeted “what brings you by?”
“Ugh,” Winn groaned “I needed a break from the crap-tastic day I’ve had” he exclaimed, making a face.
“Winn, it’s only two in the afternoon” Lucy pointed out.
“Well it feels longer,” he exclaimed “you remember Rosie from work?”
“Rosie…Rosie…,” Lucy shook her head “no, sorry”
“Kara will tell you about her,” he dismissed “anyway, she asked me out to lunch,” he explained “now, before you say anything…or beat me up…I only said yes because I felt bad for her, she’s all on her own, no kids, no husband, you know?”
“No, but for the sake of moving this along I’ll say yes”
Winn rolled his eyes.
“Any-way, I agreed to go out to lunch with her to cheer her up”
“I’m guessing this is the part of the story where things went to hell in a handbasket?” she asked.
“Well,” Winn began “let me put it to this way, remember when we first started dating and my Dad broke out of prison and planted that bomb in your apartment?”
“I was trying not to, but thanks for reminding me” she gave him a light punch in the arm.
“Ow!” wincing, he rubbed at his arm “anyway, this lunch date was worse” he explained.
“How could it be worse than waking it up to find a teddy bear filled with C4 strapped to your chest?!” Lucy demanded.
“Oh, wait, is that why you don’t like the teddy bear?” he asked.
“Right, sorry. Anyway, Rosie, as it turns out, is a cat person” as if to illustrate this fact, he paused and brushed some orange hairs off his sleeve.
“So?” Lucy scoffed “I like cats”
“Yeah, but would you bring your cat to lunch with someone?”
Lucy frowned, wrinkling her nose.
“No,” she stated “she seriously brought her cat to lunch?” she asked.
“Well, to be fair, it was his birthday” Winn shrugged.
“Oh no” Lucy snickered
“His birthday party actually” Winn continued.
“Oh god,” Lucy started snickering harder “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t laugh”
“No, no, go ahead,” Winn chuckled “it’ll ease my pain”
Lucy started giggling madly.
“Yeah, yeah, OK, OK,” Winn dismissed “anyway, there is another reason I’m here,” he pulled out his phone and held it out to her “I found this on a coworker’s computer today,” he explained.
Lucy sobered instantly, slowly taking the phone from him.
“Think it could be important?” he asked.
“Yeah…,” she nodded “that’s definitely important”
“His name’s ‘Ben Lockwood’,” Winn explained as the rest of the extended Superfamily gathered around the DEO’s main operation’s table “Kara, CJ, you might recognize him” he added as he pulled up a photo on the main monitors.
“Oh, yeah,” Kara nodded “he’s the guy who CJ beat up” she chuckled.
“What?” Alex asked.
“Oh, don’t worry, she just twisted his nose” Kara dismissed.
Alex leaned past her to glare at her daughter.
“What?” CJ objected “he said I dress like a slut right to my face! And he insulted Winn”
“That doesn’t mean you should…,” Alex groaned “why do I even bother?” she muttered.
“What can you tell us about him?” James asked, turning back to Winn.
“Not much,” Winn shrugged “he’s divorced, got a son in high school, used to work at his Dad’s company until it closed down”
“What’d his Dad do?” CJ wondered
“He ran ‘Lockwood Family Steel’,” Winn explained “it used to be one of the last still-running steel mills in the city until most companies found a way to work with Nth metal”
“Kudos to WayneTech” CJ chuckled
“Yeah, not so much for the three thousand employees of Lockwood Steel that got laid off because of it,” Winn pointed out “after the company closed down, Ben got a job at CatCo as an accountant” he explained
“Again with the accountants,” Kara muttered “what is this? ‘Evil accountants’ day’ or something?”
“What about Lockwood’s father?” Lucy wondered.
“Now, here’s the sad part,” Winn pulled up an image of an obituary up on the screens “after the factory closed down, Peter Lockwood went into his office with a loaded shotgun and shot himself”
“Let me guess,” Alex began “he blamed aliens in his suicide note”
“Suicide manifesto is more like it,” Winn corrected “seriously, this thing’s like…eighty pages, and in most of it he outlines a ‘group that should stand besides and support those who have lost their homes, jobs, and loved ones to the alien…’,” he trailed off “well, it gets a little more R-rated after that”
“And you found this letter on Ben Lockwood’s computer?” Lucy asked
“Yeah, all eighty pages of it,” Winn nodded “and it looks like it was copied and posted onto the Children of Liberty’s website a few years back” he explained.
“Lockwood,” CJ frowned “Winn, what’s his son’s name?”
“Uh,” Winn looked down at his tablet PC “George, why?”
“No,” CJ shook her head “not ‘Georgie’ Lockwood?”
“You know him?” Kara asked
“If it’s the same guy then yeah, I share an English class with him” CJ nodded.
“Well, I want you to…” Alex trailed off as CJ gave her a firm look.
“Do what, Mom?” she asked “stay away from him? Shun him? Do exactly the same thing that these alien-hating bigots are doing?”
“CJ has a point,” J’onn rumbled out “firstly we don’t know if George Lockwood shares his father’s views, besides, we’re not going to win this fight by playing by their rules”
“J’onn’s right,” Kara nodded “we have to show them that we’re bigger person” she explained.
“Agreed” Astra nodded…
Although most people probably only know 'hydra' from Marvel, it's actually from Greek myth, a monster, who when it's head is cut off, two more grow in its place. In the myth, it was famously defeated by Hercules as one of his Twelve Labors (killing the hydra was his second labor), who with assistance of his nephew Iolaus, figured out the only way to defeat the beast was, after cutting off one head, to burn the stump left over, preventing the two new heads from growing.
After he killed the hydra, he dipped his arrows in its toxic blood and used them to kill other beasties, most significantly the centaur Nessus, who tried to make off with Hercules; wife Delaneria. As he lay dying, Nessus, in a final act of spite, told Delaneria that his blood would ensure that Hercules would remain true to her forever. Beleving him, she later spread Nessus' blood--now tainted with the hydra's own poisonous blood--on a robe and gave it to Hercules.
When the poison took effect, Hercules, being a demigod, couldn't actually die from it, and so was left enduting the burning agony of the poison until he had a funeral prye built and, after throwing himself into the flames, was taken up to Mount Olympus by Zeus, having been granted full godhood.
Boy, they don't call them 'Greek tragedies' for nothing do they? :=)
Chapter 10: Conflicting Issues
Chapter TEN! Enjoy! :=)
"Stars, hide your fires!
Let light not see my black and deep desires"
--Macbeth, Act I, Scene IV
Alura Zor-El frowned as she lightly knocked on the door, a quiet call for her to enter calling back. Opening the door, she found her granddaughter and namesake sitting on the bed.
“Hey” the younger Alura greeted.
“Hello,” Alura replied. Wincing slightly as her aged joints protested, she sat down on the bed besides the teen “you were oddly silent during Winn’s briefing” she noted.
“So were you”
“I prefer not to make any decisions until I have all the evidence”
“Yeah, same here,”
A moment of silence passed between the two.
“Alura,” the elder began “is this…common? This…hate?”
“No,” Alura sighed “at least…it shouldn’t be anyway,” she admitted “frankly, I think it happens more than we’d like to admit,” she confessed “people may not speak about it as much as they used to, they may not think about it that often, but…it’s there,” she explained “have you learned about the civil rights movement yet?” she asked.
“Partly,” Alura the elder nodded “I know that, for a time, a relationship like your parents would have been illegal in some parts of this nation”
“Yeah,” Alura nodded “and, even now, they still get some funny looks by strangers on the street,” she let out a tired groan and raked a hand through her short-cropped hair “sometimes, whenever I see that, I just want to punch somebody. Hard”
“I know,” Alura soothed “I felt the same when Astra and I were children. I was her protector, see, I was the one who told the bullies to leave her alone, to stop staring at us like we were some…oddity, but I learned early on one important lesson above all else: ‘never give them an excuse’”
“Yeah, same here,” Alura nodded “I learned that and not to show off my powers practically from day one,” she sighed “tell me something, do you think that we’ll be able to stop these bastards?”
“Stop them at this moment in time? Yes,” she replied “but…stop them entirely?” she trailed off, her expression pensive “I don’t know,” she finally admitted “I truly don’t,”
Silence passed between them once more.
“CJ tells me that you’ve made a discovery about yourself,” the elder Alura noted suddenly “she did not elaborate, but I believe I know what she meant”
“Yeah?” the teen challenged “guess” she dared.
“You’ve found that you are attracted to individuals of your own gender”
“She told you didn’t she?” Alura sighed “god damn it! I told her not to…” she trailed off as her grandmother placed a soothing hand on her arm
“Shh,” she soothed “she did not, but, you must remember, I am Astra’s sister” she chuckled.
“Was it really that good on Krypton?” the teen wondered “I mean, gays were really that accepted?”
“Yes,” Alura nodded “at most it was seen as a mild oddity, but there was never any discrimination or hatred against those who loved those of the same gender”
“Yeah, unlike here” Alura scoffed.
“Is that why you do not wish the others to know? Because you fear being ostracized?”
“Basically,” the teen sighed as she flopped back onto the bed, her grandmother joining her with a mild wince “don’t tell anyone, please?” Alura pleaded.
“If that is your wish,” Alura nodded, reaching out across the comforter to take her granddaughter’s hand, curling their fingers together “but,” she warned “you cannot keep this a secret forever”
“No,” the teen sighed “I can’t”
Alex sighed as she shifted in her seat.
“Remind me why I volunteered to do the first shift?” she wondered.
“Because Ben Lockwood’s son goes to school with our daughter” Astra replied from her place in the passenger seat, a quiet pop accompanying her words.
“Are you chewing gum?” Alex asked, turning to look at her.
Astra nodded as she blew a bright green bubble before reaching up and popping it with her finger.
“Want some?” she offered, holding out a stick of gum.
“No thanks,” Alex shook her head “and you better not get that all over my car” she added.
“Technically, it’s my car,” Astra corrected “my name’s on the registration after all”
“Well, la-di-da” Alex rolled her eyes behind the binoculars.
“It’s not my fault that your credit is terrible” Astra scoffed.
“One time!” Alex exclaimed “I missed one payment one time and they screw me over!”
“Mm-mm,” Astra nodded as she blew another bubble “of course”
“Hold up,” Alex turned back to the binoculars “yeah, got him”
“Wait,” Astra lightly gripped her wife’s arm, stopping her from climbing out of the car “maybe we’re going about this the wrong way” she suggested.
“What do you mean?” Alex
“Well, he’s a parent of a classmate of CJ’s,” Astra pointed out “so…why don’t we just use that?” she suggested.
Alex frowned, then slowly nodded, grinning as she caught on.
“Let’s go play the happy couple” she declared as they climbed out of the car.
“Are you implying that we’re not?” Astra wondered teasingly.
“Do you want to sleep on the couch tonight?” Alex warned as they crossed the street, following Ben Lockwood into a small coffee shop. Spotting Lockwood sitting down, they chose a table nearby.
After ordering, Astra took the plunge and, standing up, approached Lockwood’s table.
“Excuse me,” she began “please don’t take this the wrong way, but…have we met?”
Ben Lockwood—a middle-aged man with rather plain, unremarkable features—looked up at her, frowning.
“No, I don’t think so,” he replied “not unless you have a kid who goes to Otto Binder High”
“We do actually,” Astra replied “CJ Danvers” she explained.
“Oh, now wait,” Lockwood nodded in thought “wears a lot of black? Dyes her hair?” he nodded again “yes, I think my son shares an English class with her” he remarked, a noticeable blush tainting his cheeks.
“Yes, she also told us you had an encounter this morning” Astra noted.
“Oh no,” he groaned “that’s your daughter?”
“Oh my god, I am so sorry,” he apologized “please, forgive me, I’ve been having a terrible week, and…” he trailed off as Astra held up a hand.
“There’s no need to apologize,” she dismissed (actually there was, but for the sake of the operation she wasn’t going to tell him that) “we all have bad days and do something stupid,” she dismissed airily “oh, I’m sorry, have you met my wife?” she beckoned Alex over.
“Nice to meet you,” Lockwood replied “please, join me,” he invited “I could use the company”
Sitting down opposite him, both women shared an uneasy look as Lockwood briefly looked away to check his phone.
“So,” he began, returning his attention to them “not that I’m complaining, but how did you two find me?” he wondered.
“Actually, a close relative of ours works at CatCo with you,” Alex explained “Kara Danvers”
“Oh!” Lockwood nodded “I saw her with your daughter, I was wondering what was going on there” he chuckled as their drinks arrived…
Exiting the coffee shop, Alex and Astra bid Ben Lockwood a pleasant goodbye as they all went their separate ways. Heading back across the street, the two women found J’onn casually leaning against the car.
“Hey” Alex greeted.
“Hey” the Martian replied.
“Am I to assume that you were in there?” Astra wondered.
“You can,” J’onn nodded “I read his mind while you were talking,” he explained as all three of them climbed into the car “as strange as this may sound,” he continued “but I don’t think he’s involved with the Children of Liberty”
The two women stared at him.
“Are you sure?” Alex asked.
“No,” J’onn shook his head “not without doing a more in depth scan. But, from what I glimpsed in his mind, he seems more worried about making ends meet and his son’s academic performance than with what aliens are or aren’t doing”
Alex sighed as she started the engine.
“Great” she muttered disgustedly…
Chapter 11: The Secret Lives of Teenagers
Double update! Chapter ELEVEN! Enjoy! :=)
“Isn’t what J’onn found—or, rather, didn’t find—a good thing?” CJ wondered later that night as she helped Astra prepare dinner.
“Perhaps,” Astra sighed “perhaps not,” she finished dicing the carrots and tossed them into the steaming pot “I don’t know” she sighed as she absently took the cutting board from her daughter and slid the diced cubes of beef into the pot, putting the lid on and turning down the heat.
“I wonder why J’onn couldn’t read Monica Crenshaw’s mind” CJ mused.
“I doubt it would have helped either way,” Astra shrugged “most of the Children of Liberty seem to be a grassroots movement, with members having little to no contact with each other aside from the occasional meeting to beat some innocent non-human”
“Yeah,” CJ sighed “the French resistance tactics. Except this time, I’m hoping that the resistance loses spectacularly”
“Don’t we all” Astra grumbled as she opened the fridge and, cracking open a bottle of ginger ale, downed half of it in one go, hiccupping as a result.
“OK,” Alex stuck her head through the doorway “I can see the depressing conversation from out here,” she declared “knock it off and come watch Kara try to teach her mother how to play Wii” she ordered.
CJ and Astra looked between each other.
“OK, I got to see this” CJ grinned, quickly dashing out of the room.
Astra frowned, looking towards the pot of still-simmering stew and the general direction where her daughter had disappeared to.
“What am I, crazy?” she wondered, quickly dashing after CJ…
Lucy groaned as she slid her key into the lock, opening the door to the apartment. Shutting the door, she paused at the honestly adorable sight of Winn laying on the floor asleep, curled up to the giant purple plushy teddy bear.
Sighing, she cocked a hand on her hip as she assessed the sight, finally easing herself down to the floor besides him, curling up next to him.
“Hey” he greeted sleepily.
“Hey,” she replied “didn’t see you at dinner,” she noted “Kara was wondering where you were”
“Hmm,” Winn shifted, yawning “sorry,” he apologized “I think I finally got all the porn out of CatCo’s servers,” he explained “I was just so tired that I just came back here,” he let out a groan as he stretched his arms “say what you will, but teddy here makes a very good pillow” he commented, giving the purple plushy a pat on its plushy tummy.
“Yeah,” Lucy nodded “he does,” she agreed as she settled back, yawning herself as she felt herself drifting off
“We’re still not keeping it” she warned as she closed her eyes…
The next day, as school let out, CJ frowned as she stopped in the doorway, giving her cousin a nudge.
“Ow,” Alura rubbed at her side “what?” she demanded.
CJ pointed towards a boy sitting on the steps, clearly waiting to be picked up.
“That’s George Lockwood” she said.
“Really?” Alura blinked “huh, he certainly doesn’t look like the type whose father is a bigot”
“What exactly does someone whose father is a bigot look like?” CJ wondered “let’s go talk to him” she declared.
“Wha—CJ!” scowling, Alura quickly hurried after her towards where George Lockwood was sitting.
“Hey” CJ greeted brightly.
George Lockwood looked up, absently plucking an earbud out of one ear.
“Oh, hi,” he greeted “CJ, right? We’re in English together”
“That’s me,” CJ nodded “oh, and this is my cousin, Alura” she introduced.
“Hey” Alura nodded politely.
“Hey,” George nodded back before returning his attention to CJ “my Dad tells me that you twisted his nose” he stated.
“Yeah,” CJ blushed “though to be honest he did deserve it at the time”
“No, yeah,” George nodded “yeah, he can be a bit of a jerk sometimes” he admitted as he glanced down at his phone and then pocketed it as a car pulled up and honked.
“George” a woman—presumably George’s mother—called
“That’s my Mom,” George explained as he stood up “nice meeting you two,” he called as he slung his backpack up over his shoulder and hurried over to the car, speaking with his mother for a moment before coming back to the girls.
“Uh, this might sound a bit weird,” he began “but, uh, would you two like to come over?” he asked “it’s all perfectly innocent,” he added quickly “just…I could some help with my work, and my parents say that I need to make more friends, so…” he trailed off with a little breathless pant.
“Well, actually…” Alura began, only for CJ to elbow her in the ribs.
“Sure,” CJ interrupted “let us just call our parents and let them know”
“OK,” George nodded, grinning “cool”
As he dashed back to the car, Alura turned to her cousin.
“Are you nuts?” she hissed.
“Look, it works out perfectly,” CJ explained quietly “one: we can find evidence of how far the Lockwood family’s links to the COL go, and two: we can help a poor lonely kid out of his shell”
Alura looked as if she wanted to protest but couldn’t find anything to say and instead settled on giving CJ and cuff up the side of the head.
“If we get locked in the basement, I’m blaming you” she grumbled…
Chapter 12: Olsen & Danvers: Private Eyes
Triple update! Chapter TWELVE! Enjoy! :=)
“Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in”
“I am going to kill that girl,” Alex growled as she hung the phone “Vasquez!” she barked out.
“You don’t have to yell, Danvers, I’m right here,” Susan Vasquez replied as she crawled out from under the console “what’s up?” she asked as she settled down into her chair.
“I need you to do a thorough search on a ‘Lydia Lockwood’,” Alex ordered “and I mean thorough,” she emphasized “I want to know what size underwear she wears”
“OK,” Susan nodded “any particular reason?”
“CJ just decided to invite herself and her cousin over to Mrs. Lockwood’s place” Alex grumbled.
“Hmm,” Susan mused as she typed “I’m seeing a major time-out in someone’s future”
“Yeah, no kidding” Alex scoffed…
The house owned by Lydia Lockwood was neat and tidy if a bit cluttered, cardboard boxes were stacked in corners, most likely items that Lydia wanted to get rid of or give back to her ex-husband.
“Girls, make yourselves at home” she invited.
“Nice place” CJ commented, her tone genuine as she and Alura settled down on the couch.
“Sorry about the mess,” Lydia apologized “still trying to sort out what thing belongs to me or to my ex” she explained.
“Don’t worry about it, Mom,” George dismissed “they get it”
“We do” CJ nodded.
“Yeah, sure, whatever” Alura nodded, still looking entirely unhappy to be there.
“Sorry, can I use your restroom?” CJ asked.
“Of course,” Lydia nodded “just down the hall and it’s the third door on your left” she explained.
“Thanks,” nodding, CJ followed the directions, but upon turning the corner out of sight, she paused and, peering over her glasses, x-rayed through the doors and walls, seeing nothing that particularly stood out. Not finding anything incriminating, she went to the bathroom, flushing the toilet and washing her hands for added effect.
Exiting the room, she came back into the living room.
“So, George, what do you need help with?” she asked…
“The next time you do that, I swear to god that I’ll…,” Alex trailed off, scowling “well, I don’t know what I’ll do, but I can guarantee that it won’t be pleasant!!” she finished.
“And whatever is left over, I’ll finish off!” Astra added. Sighing, she sank down at the DEO’s main operations table “did you find anything?” she wondered.
“Nada,” CJ declared “not unless you count the former Mrs. Lockwood running a photo of her ex-husband through a shredder” she added.
“I don’t think they do” her cousin drawled.
At that moment, the lights began flickering.
“That doesn’t bode well” CJ noted.
“No…,” Alex agreed slowly just as alarms began screaming, agents suddenly rushing around
“Stay!” Alex ordered, pointing at the two teens as she and Astra hurried through the room.
“Report!!” J’onn demanded as he stormed into the room.
“No idea!” Alex called back.
“We’re being hacked!” Vasquez announced.
“By who?” Astra demanded.
“Unknown!” Susan replied, her fingers flying across the keyboard in front of her “they’re not accessing any files,” she reported “it looks like they’re just…messing with us” she shrugged.
“Reports are coming in from all over the building,” Alex called out “every system is going haywire”
“I want agents watching Monica Crenshaw and her associates now!” J’onn ordered “they may be trying to free her”
“Already taken care of” Astra called back.
“Where is this coming from?!” J’onn hissed in annoyance.
“Right here in this building,” Alex replied “the source is…” she trailed off, looking up from the terminal she was hunched over, her expression one of complete and utter surprise.
“Alex? What is it?” Astra asked.
“The origin of the hack,” Alex began “it’s coming from right within in this room”
“Here?” Astra asked “but who could…?” she trailed off “oh…shit!” she swore “girls! Your phones!” she turned and rushed towards CJ and Alura “destroy them now!” she ordered.
Grunting CJ and Alura both frantically pulled their phones out and quickly crushed them in their hands. Almost as soon as the shattered phones fell to the floor, the lights stopped flickering and the room returned to normal.
“What just happened?” Alura panted out.
“We’ve been used,” CJ sighed “all this time we’ve assumed that it was Ben Lockwood or his ex-wife were the ones who were behind it all, but what of it isn’t? What if it wasn’t either of them? What if…it was their son?”
Chapter 13: A Fine Line Between Genius and Madness
Chapter THIRTEEN! Enjoy! :=)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just”
“OK,” Alex stepped back from bandaging the small cut over Lucy’s eye “how’d this happen anyway?” she wondered as she put the first aid kit away.
“Elevator door closed on me,” Lucy sighed “don’t, don’t tell Winn, huh? You know him; he’ll either laugh about it for days or turn into a wet blanket”
As if summoned, Kara and Winn rounded the corner into the room.
“Hey,” Winn rushed forwards, taking Lucy by the shoulders “are you OK? Were you hurt? Alex! She’s bleeding!”
“Whoa, whoa, slow down,” Lucy sighed “it’s just a little cut, see? I’m fine”
“Right, yeah,” Winn nodded shakily, looking more shaken up than Lucy was “sorry” he mumbled.
“Aw,” Lucy chuckled “hey, at least I know that you care” she chuckled as she planted a kiss on his cheek before she hopped off the gurney, absently taking his hand in hers, their fingers lacing tightly together.
“You know,” Alex remarked as she and Kara watched the couple walk out of the room, Lucy resting her head on Winn’s shoulder “I still can’t believe that they’ve lasted as long as they have”
“Neither can I,” Kara chuckled “especially when you remember that, out of all us, they were the first to get together”
“I know, that was so weird” Alex agreed.
“No,” Kara shook her head “that was just us Danvers sisters being the stubborn idiots we are,” she explained “if we had just accepted our feelings for Astra and James we both probably would’ve ended up marrying them a lot sooner” she pointed out.
“Well, in my defense, Astra was a terrorist” Alex pointed out as they left the room, absently following Lucy and Winn.
“A misguided, well-intentioned terrorist” Kara corrected.
“Still a terrorist” Alex countered.
“Yeah, yeah,” Kara dismissed “that argument would be a lot more convincing if you weren’t married to her,” she chuckled “speaking of terrorists, what’s this theory CJ has?”
“Apparently, she thinks that the real mastermind behind all this Children of Liberty crap is Ben Lockwood’s son George” Alex explained.
“Not to question my niece, but…what evidence does she have to back this claim up?”
“Well, the signal that the hacker used was routed through both her and Alura’s phones,” Alex pointed out “plus, J’onn’s telepathic scan of Ben Lockwood was…ambiguous”
“I don’t know,” Kara frowned “I’ll buy the idea that George is the actual radical in this, but mastermind? I don’t know”
“Well, he seems to have been smart enough to bypass most of our firewalls in under an hour,” Alex pointed out “and, like they say, there’s a fine line between genius and madness,” she continued “but, we won’t know until we go over there and ask”
“You’re actually going over there?” Kara asked incredulously.
“Not as the DEO,” Alex assured her “right now, it’ll just be two concerned parents,” she sighed “…and their daughter,” she added reluctantly “because my daughter is a stubborn ass who can’t understand the meaning of the word ‘no’.”
“Where do you think she gets it from?” Kara teased…
Lydia Lockwood’s house looked the same as it had when CJ had been there last. Climbing out of the car alongside her mothers, she frowned.
“Maybe I’m just being paranoid,” she began “but, I’ve got a bad feeling about this”
“If it is your paranoia then it’s catching,” Alex muttered as she knocked on the door, receiving no answer. Trying again yielded the same result. Glancing at her wife and daughter, she pulled a small case out of her pocket, unzipping it. Removing a lock pick, she paused and then glanced at CJ “turn around,” she instructed “you didn’t see this,”
Rolling her eyes, CJ did as instructed, the quiet click of the door unlocking sounding a few seconds later.
Pushing the door open, Alex froze as she felt one of the floorboards shift under her foot with a distinct click.
“Oh…fuck” she swore.
“What is it?” Astra asked hurriedly.
“Nobody move,” Alex breathed “now, don’t panic,” she began “but…I think I might have just stepped on a pressure plate”
Turning around, CJ and Astra both leaned in, peering over Alex’s shoulders down at her feet, following the thin, nearly-invisible length of wire leading from the loose floorboard under her foot to a small, green metal box.
“Guys,” CJ breathed “please tell me that isn’t what I think it is?”
“It’s exactly what you think it is,” Astra breathed “it’s a claymore”
“And it’s just been triggered” Alex breathed…
A 'claymore' is a type of anti-personal mine developed for the U.S. armed forces and named after the medieval Scottish sword of the same name. Unlike regular land mines (which are deady enough as it is) claymores can be detonated by remote control and, when they blow, they launch steel balls about one hundred and ten yards in a sixty degree arc in the front of the bomb. To make it even more deadly, they can also be used as a booby trap by using a tripwire.
Ah, the human race. How many ways we've found to kill and maim one another
Chapter 14: Radical
Chapter FOURTEEN! Enjoy! :=)
"Passion has helped us; but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defence"
For a moment, the three women remained where they were.
“OK,” Alex breathed “pressure plate, right. Now, since it hasn’t gone off, that means as long as I keep still, we’re good” she reasoned.
“Bomb squad’s typical ETA is fifteen minutes or more,” CJ pointed out breathlessly “even for the DEO”
“Right,” Astra snarled. Taking a breath, she lifted up off the ground, pivoting until she was ‘laying down’ and then carefully glided through the doorway above Alex’s head.
Twisting around over onto her stomach, she hovered over the claymore.
“CJ,” she breathed “I could use some of your encyclopedic knowledge right now”
“You’re not going to like it” CJ commented.
“Doesn’t matter,” Astra dismissed “we could use it. Now, range?”
“Uh, a standard U.S.-issue claymore fires one eighth inch steel balls at a range of one hundred ten yards in a sixty degree arc six point five feet high and fifty-five yards wide,” CJ began shakily “usually at a speed of about three thousand, nine hundred and thirty-seven feet per second, or one thousand, two hundred meters per second if you’re using the metric system”
“Good,” Astra nodded “probability of being hit?”
“Ten percent at a range of one hundred meters or one hundred ten yards,” CJ answered “thirty percent if the range is fifty meters or fifty-five yards”
“You’re right,” Alex suddenly commented “I don’t like this”
“Neither do I,” Astra replied “now…,” she tilted her body, squinting at the claymore, x-raying it “there you are,” she muttered. Reaching out, she carefully edged her fingers under the device “and…,”
There was a quiet snap and the claymore suddenly toppled over. No explosion, not even a puff of smoke.
Slowly, the three let out a simultaneous nervous breath as Astra lightly touched down and gathered up the bomb.
“Alex, you can move now” she called.
Visibly shaking, Alex very slowly lifted her foot up, breathing a sigh of relief when nothing happened.
“Oh thank god” CJ breathed as she and Alex collapsed against each other, the doorframe being the only thing holding them up.
“Yes,” Astra nodded distractedly as she examined the claymore “hmm, U.S. Army surplus,” she noted “there’s a date here: 1975”
“Probably Vietnam era then,” Alex nodded, still looking pale “lot of black market buyers for that”
“Don’t forget all the stuff coming out of the former-Soviet Union” CJ pointed out as Astra very carefully set the claymore down on the couch, as far away from the edge as possible.
Straightening up, her expression dark, she turned and marched through the house, the sound of a door being kicked following in seconds later, followed by another, then another.
“Clear!” she called.
“Normally I’m not really for the death penalty,” CJ began “but after this, I’m willing to personally stick the needle in his arm” she growled.
“Yeah, me first” Alex panted out as they followed Astra’s less-than-subtle path through the house, finding themselves in what appeared to be the master bedroom.
“Bed’s not made,” Astra noted “and the closet’s empty”
“So they left in a hurry,” Alex noted “what about Ben Lockwood?” she wondered.
“According to Kara he’s still at CatCo,” CJ explained “so either he’s a distraction or he has no idea”
“There’s a laptop here,” Astra commented, opening it and turning it on “any guesses as to the password?” she wondered.
“Nada,” CJ shook her head “hey,” she nodded towards the printer that the laptop was plugged into “printer’s still on,” reaching it out, she pressed the ‘PRINT’ button, two sheets of paper obediently sliding out onto the tray seconds later.
“Got what looks like an e-mail here,” CJ noted, examining one of the pages “it’s from the offices of a…Dr. Miles Makena, Child Psychologist”
“What’s it say?” Alex asked as she rooted around under the bed.
“Uh…‘Dear Mrs. Lockwood, during my recent session with your son George I have come to believe that he may possibly be a potential threat to himself and/or others’,” CJ read “‘his increasing anti-alien views—as fostered by his late-grandfather—are rapidly approaching a level which I can only classify as ‘radical and extreme’. I must strongly recommend that George be sent to a specialized clinic for further evaluation’,”
CJ trailed off, frowning.
“Guys, look at this,” she called, gesturing towards the dresser “the pictures,” she explained “there are dozens of George with Peter Lockwood, but hardly any with his own parents”
Astra slowly reached out, picking one frame photograph up and examining it.
“He’s alone and angry,” she reasoned “first his Grandfather commits suicide, then his parent’s divorce”
“And it sounds like that Mrs. Lockwood isn’t exactly singing her ex-husband’s praises” Alex noted, nodding towards several Lockwood family photos where Ben Lockwood's face had been cut out.
“So he’s looking for someone to blame,” she continued “for a cause, something that makes him feel like he matters, like his life has purpose and meaning”
“And the Children of Liberty snatched him right up” Alex sighed.
“Makes sense,” CJ noted “when the USSR fell, a lot of teens and adolescents were sucked into various neo-Nazi groups floating around, they gave the kids something that their own families couldn’t: stability”
“Yeah, except this time it looks like the COL bit off more than they could chew,” Alex commented “I found these under the bed,” she held up a series of crumpled printouts “they look like printouts from a chat room discussion on the COL’s forum,” she explained “I’m not sure, but it sounds like George was planning something, something big. Most of the replies are from people who look like they’re trying to dissuade him from carrying it out, whatever it is”
CJ frowned and then looked down at the second sheet of paper still in her hands.
“Guys,” she breathed “this looks like a map of the Alien Amnesty Day Parade” she announced shakily, holding it out to her mothers.
“With all the exits marked,” Alex noted “and something tells me that he bought that claymore in bulk”
“Oh Great Rao,” Astra swore “the boy’s going to bomb the entire parade” she realized…
Chapter 15: Turning the Tide
Chapter FIFTEEN! Enjoy! :=)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The extended Superfamily gathered around the DEO’s main operations table with a distinct air of dread hanging over their heads.
“I think I’m going to be sick” Winn finally muttered.
“You’re not the only one,” Lucy muttered, shaking her head “god, how does a fifteen year kid become this…twisted?” she wondered.
“I don’t know” James admitted.
“This doesn’t make any sense,” Alex hissed “the Alien Amnesty Day Parade has been going for nearly sixteen years, why now?”
Kara suddenly snapped her fingers.
“The Daxamites” she said.
“Where?” CJ asked, looking around.
“No, no,” Kara shook her head “not the actual Daxamites,” she explained “the date. This year, the parade falls on the same day that the Daxamites invaded,” she grabbed James’ messenger bag and dug through it, pulling out some papers, spreading them out across the table “see? There have been a lot more protests against the celebrations this year because it’s also the anniversary of the Daxamite invasion” she explained.
“Makes sense,” Alex nodded “it is kind of in bad taste to host a parade celebrating alien amnesty on the same day that aliens invaded the city” she noted.
“I’d like to remind you all that neither of us was born yet,” CJ announced, holding up a hand “somebody want to fill us in?”
“Well, you know about the Daxamite invasion, right?” Kara asked.
“I think we covered it in history” CJ nodded.
“God, the invasion’s already ‘history’?” Kara muttered in disbelief “anyway, when the Daxamites invaded they stormed the city, took over the DEO, killed dozens of police officers, and then started putting people into internment camps” she explained.
“It almost completely derailed the amnesty act,” Lucy picked up “in fact, the act passed by less than four votes” she added.
The girls both let out an impressed whistle.
“But the fact is that it did pass,” James added “and that upset a lot of people”
“So, how do we stop it?” CJ wondered.
“Parade’s in three days,” her cousin pointed out “that’s not a lot of time” she noted as CJ suddenly dug out her new cell phone and dialed.
“Who are you calling?” Alex asked.
“Long-distance, sorry,” CJ apologized “Keystone City, New York…S.T.A.R. Labs…Jason Garrick…hello, Jay? Yeah, hey, CJ Danvers, listen you got a minute for a jaunt to National City? All right, cool,”
She hung up and turned back to the others, absently texting something on her phone just as there was a whoosh and a crackle of electricity, a gray-haired man suddenly appearing behind them in a crackle of golden lightening.
“Guys,” CJ grinned “you all remember Professor Jay Garrick?” she beamed.
“Folks,” Jay Garrick nodded politely at the group “nice seeing you all again”
“Not that I’m complaining,” Kara began “but, you could’ve called Barry” she pointed out.
“Barry has his own problems,” CJ dismissed “besides, I’m not ripping a hole in the fabric of reality when there’s a mad bomber on the loose” she added as another whoosh broke the air and Superman gently landed besides Jay Garrick.
“Professor” he greeted.
CJ turned back to the others, looking rather smug.
“So,” she grinned “who wants to go save the city?”
Since the Family Matters-verse is totally separate from Supergirl canon, this version of Jay Garrick/the Flash is of my own imagination. Personally I'm seeing Mark Harmon in the role, bur that's just me :=)
Chapter 16: Motherhood is a Wonderous Thing
Chapter SIXTEEN! Enjoy! :=)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“He takes after his Mother”
Astra frowned and looked up at her sister.
“Sorry?” she asked.
“Kal-El,” Alura nodded towards where Kara and Clark were chatting “he takes after his mother” she explained.
“Hmm,” Astra frowned “I never really thought about it,” she admitted “but, I suppose so. Although, to be perfectly honest, I don’t see anything of Jor-El in him”
“No,” Alura agreed “which may be a good thing” she noted.
“Yes,” she agreed “oh, wise as he was, Jor-El was always so…” she trailed off, trying to find the proper words.
“Annoying” Alura suggested.
“Hmm, no,” Astra shook her head “close, but not quite. ‘Arrogant’ I think is a better choice. Not to mention that he didn’t care for children, you remember how dismissive he was with Kara”
“True,” Alura nodded “but Non was far worse with children”
Astra paused, memories of her ex-husband filling her mind.
“No,” she said softly “Non did not care for children at all”
“I’m sorry,” Alura apologized “I didn’t mean to bring up bad memories”
“It’s all right,” Astra dismissed evenly “I have Alex and CJ now,” she explained “besides, Non and I were a marriage of convenience, not love” she reminded her sister.
“But you were friends first,” Alura reminded her “if memory serves, he was one of the only children who would talk to us”
“Yes…,” Astra agreed softly “and see how twisted he became” she murmured.
Alura looked as if she was going to say something but then changed her mind, instead sitting back down and picking her book back up…
“You’re doing it again” CJ grumbled.
Alura looked up at her cousin, confused.
“Doing what?” she asked.
“Chewing on your straw,” CJ growled, reaching out to swat said straw out of her cousin’s mouth “knock it off!” she exclaimed.
“Girls,” Alex called from the kitchen. Ignoring the cries of who started what, she straightened up and assessed the now-fully-stocked fridge “OK,” she turned to the elder Alura “congrats, your fridge is stocked” she declared.
“Thank you, Alex,” Alura nodded “please,” she gestured towards the new dining table which Kara and James had just finished assembling “join me” invited.
“As long as you’re not cooking” Astra quipped as she passed, carrying a large pot which she set down on the table and opened with a bit of a flourish.
“What’s with you and soup lately?” Alex wondered “you’ve made it at least three times this week”
“Are you complaining?” Astra challenged.
“Well…no” Alex admitted awkwardly.
“Then stop complaining and sit down,” Astra ordered as she ladled out steaming bowls of rich, dark soup. Setting down one in front of her wife, she smiled and gave Alex a pat on the head “now eat your soup” she teased.
Alex glowered at her.
“You know, if this stuff wasn’t so good I’d pour it on your head” she declared as CJ and Alura both bit back two hysterical cackles as they sat down.
“Where’s Winn and Lucy? Aren’t they coming?” Kara wondered.
“They just texted,” CJ explained “traffic because of the road closures for the Parade”
A sudden silence descended on the room at the mention of the Parade.
“Crap,” CJ muttered “I should’ve just stopped at ‘traffic’.” she muttered.
“Yes you should have” Astra nodded.
“Speaking of the parade,” Kara began “any progress on that?”
“Sorta,” CJ nodded “before Jay left I had him and Clark place these around the parade route,” she held out a flat, disc-shaped object about the size of her palm “it’s a chemical sensor,” she explained “specifically one designed to sniff out the chemical scent of C4”
“We don’t have any technology like that” Alex pointed out.
“You do now,” CJ shrugged “I came up with it while Clark and Astra were arguing about Kara” she explained.
“We were not arguing” Astra exclaimed tiredly.
“Yes you were,” Kara countered in a soothing tone “face it, you and he have been arguing about me ever since you turned to the light side of the Force”
“I should never have let you watch Star Wars” Astra muttered.
“Wait a minute,” James held up a hand as he took the chemical sensor from Alex “CJ, you seriously made this yourself?” he asked.
“Yeah,” she nodded “I used some spare parts from Kara and Alura’s pods,” she explained “I would have made more but J’onn kicked me out of the lab,” she added “what?” she asked when the others stared at her “it’s me we’re talking about, guys,” she pointed out “c’mon, I hacked into the DEO’s servers when I was five. Plus, if you’ll remember, I was the one who also helped seal that rift in the universe last year”
“I helped too” Kara muttered somewhat sullenly.
“Anyway,” Astra coughed “going back to our original topic, is there any news on Mrs. Lockwood?”
“Nothing yet,” Alex answered “and, as much as I hate to admit it, but I think we have to assume that she’s dead”
“You seriously think that George Lockwood killed his own mother?” James asked skeptically.
“He’s planning to bomb thousands of innocent people in two days’ time,” Alex pointed out “he’s not exactly what you’d call ‘stable’.” she pointed out as a knock came at the door, Kara quickly getting up to answer it.
“Hey,” Lucy waved as she and Winn came in, followed by Clark Kent “wow,” she commented “you guys really spruced this place up” she noted.
“The wonders of being a family of packrats” James chuckled.
“Not to mention Ikea” Winn added, holding up a large, flat box as James and Clark warmly shook hands.
“Hey, Clark” James greeted.
“Hey, Jimmy,” Clark grinned “CJ,” he turned to the Goth, reaching out to playfully ruffle her bright green curls “did you get taller?” he wondered.
“Oh, no, not really,” she blushed as she held up one leg “heels,” she explained “but thanks for saying so”
“Clark, come and join us,” Alex invited “I guarantee you that Astra’s cooking is as good if not better than your own mother’s”
“Careful now,” Clark chuckled “back home that’s a pretty serious claim”
“Care to test it, Kal-El?” Astra asked, looking somewhat like Eve in the Garden as she held out a bowl of steaming soup to him like the proverbial apple from the forbidden tree.
“Well…,” Clark began slowly, fiddling with his glasses much in the same way that Kara or CJ did whenever they were nervous “it does smell good…” he admitted.
“Come on,” Astra encouraged “just a taste”
“Astra! Stop teasing him!” Kara laughed “god! You can be so mean at times!”
Astra broke character, laughing herself.
“I know,” she chuckled as she set the bowl down in front of Clark, handing him a spoon “enjoy” she told him…
In case anyone's wondering, the next few chapters will be a bit more light and fluffy before we ge6t6 back to the COL plot :=)
Chapter 17: The Heat of the Night
Chapter SEVENTEEN! Enjoy! :=)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Lucy blinked awake with a slight grunt. Grimacing, she threw the bedcovers off, pulling a face as she fanned herself with one hand. It seemed that the heat wave that the weather reports had been promising had finally arrived.
Grimacing at the gross, sticky feeling, she climbed out of bed and quickly peeled off her shirt, tossing it in the hamper. Now clad in only a pair of pajama shorts, she padded barefoot into the kitchen, making a beeline for the fridge, opening it and pulling out a water bottle, which she held against her head for a few seconds before rubbing it along the back of her neck.
Shutting the fridge, she leaned against it, opening the bottle and taking a deep gulp from it, scowling as her eyes were immediately drawn to the purple plushy teddy now occupying a good majority of the couch.
Taking another sip of water, she pushed off the fridge and, crossing across the room to the windows, pulled them open, which didn’t do much to alleviate the heat.
Bonking her head against the window frame at the fact that they had no air conditioning, she shuffled on back to the bedroom, finding that Winn was awake and sitting up in bed, having taken off his own shirt.
“Hey” he muttered.
“Hey” she replied as she sat back down on the bed with a groan, absently holding out the water bottle towards him, which he took and gulped down a healthy amount from.
“Ugh, where’d this come from?” he wondered.
“No clue,” she admitted. Grimacing as she wiped some sweat out of her cleavage, she sat up “I’m going to go take a shower” she announced, pushing off the bed.
“Got room for one more?” he asked.
Smiling as she kicked off her shorts, she nodded.
“Sure, c’mon” she invited…
Meanwhile, across town, James groaned as he suddenly awoke to sweltering heat, and a hot, Kara-shaped weight pressing down on him. Grimacing, he pushed at her shoulder, trying to get her to roll over.
“Kara,” he groaned “get…off!”
With a surprised yelp, Kara suddenly woke up just at the exact moment as she went tumbling off the bed to land on the floor with a bone-jarring (for a Human, that is) thud. Acting on instinct, she immediately got back up, grabbed her pillow, and promptly wacked her husband soundly on the head with it.
“Jerk!” she exclaimed.
“Sorry,” James groaned “but you were lying on top of me!” he exclaimed “and it’s hot” he added (and if he whined on that statement she didn’t seem to notice).
Kara grimaced, wrinkling her nose.
“Ew, you’re right,” she agreed “ugh, gross, I’m all sticky,” she moaned, quickly crossing the room to turn on the fan standing in one corner and then opening the window before climbing back onto the bed.
“Sorry about hitting you” she apologized.
“It’s all right” he dismissed as he shrugged out of his shirt, she following a few seconds later.
Both panting for breath at the heat such actions caused, they both flopped back down onto the bed.
“Ugh, why don’t we have air conditioning?” Kara groaned.
“Two words,” James groaned “electric bill,”
At that moment, the bedroom door suddenly opened. Looking up, they both watched as their daughter—clad in only a pair of panties—made a beeline for the fan in the corner, swiftly unplugging it, before she swung it up over shoulder and carried it out of the room, shutting the door behind her, all without a word.
Kara and James stared at each other.
“Well, to be fair, her room doesn’t have a window” James pointed out…
Alex groaned as she threw the bedcovers off.
“God, looks like the weather guy was right for once” she muttered in disgust. When no snappy comeback came from the general vicinity of her wife, she turned over; finding Astra’s side of the bed was empty.
Looking around, she heard the shower running. Smiling, she got up and stripped off her clothes as she pushed the half-open bathroom door open.
“Noticed the heat did you?” Astra called from behind the shower curtain.
“No shit,” Alex muttered as she pulled back the curtain and climbed into the shower alongside her wife, sighing in relief as the cool water hit her overheated, sweaty skin.
“Pass the loofah” she requested…
By dawn, the heat hanging over the city had yet to leave, if anything it was worse in daylight hours. Still feeling decidedly sticky, Kara shuffled on into the kitchen to make breakfast, which seeing as she couldn’t cook, usually meant opening a box of cereal and a carton of milk.
Crossing into the living room, she paused at the sight of her daughter stretched out on the couch still only clad in a pair of panties as she watched TV.
Pausing, Kara frowned.
“Shouldn’t you be getting ready for school?” she asked.
In answer, Alura merely turned up the volume.
“Alura…,” Kara warned.
Alura looked up, her expression oddly tense.
Frowning, Kara came over to the couch, sitting down on the armrest.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” she asked.
“Just…I don’t…feel right today” she admitted.
Kara frowned, thinking back to the whole mess involving George Lockwood and the Children of Liberty. Glancing at the calendar stuck to the fridge, she noted that it was Friday, only one more day until the Alien Amnesty Day Parade.
Turning back to her daughter, she smiled softly, reaching out to comb her fingers through her short-cropped dark hair.
“I’ll call the school and tell them that you’re not feeling well” she said, pushing off the armrest.
“Thanks, Mom” Alura smiled.
“But,” Kara began “you have to do something in return”
“Give us the fan back,” Kara pleaded “c’mon, honestly, what the hell was that?”
Can you tell that I'm in the middle of a heat wave in my part of the world and that I don't have air conditioning? :=)
Chapter 18: Hot Days
Double update! Chapter EIGHTEEN! Enjoy! :=)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Groaning, Winn stepped off the elevator at CatCo, his expression warning off anyone who tried to approach him, telling them in no uncertain terms that he was hot and sticky and whatever jerk that was responsible for CatCo’s AC going down would have hell to pay once he found them.
“Ugh, you too?” James asked as he passed.
“Yep,” Winn nodded, swiping at the back of his neck “hey, where’s Kara?” he wondered.
“Sick day,” James explained “Alura wasn’t feeling well today, didn’t want to go to school”
“Can’t say I blame her,” Winn muttered, pausing to gulp down some more water “with all the crap lately, I’d want to stay at home too”
“Yeah,” James nodded “how’re you doing?” he wondered.
“With what?” Winn asked.
“Anything” James shrugged.
“Uh, well, I’m sticking to my clothes, how’s that sound?”
“Thanks man, that’s just what I was going for”
The two men looked over as CJ came over. At least, it looked like CJ anyway, it was hard to tell, owing to the fact that the teenager now standing before men was wearing a loose white sundress rather than black lace, had no dye in her hair or any dark makeup, and had a pair of sneakers on her feet instead of black leather boots. The only thing about her that resembled CJ was the messenger bag hanging off one shoulder and the streak of attitude in her bearing as she cocked a hand on her hip and glared at the two men.
“What?” she demanded.
“What the heck happened to you?” Winn wondered.
“What’s wrong with me?” CJ asked.
“You’re wearing white” Winn pointed out
“What? It’s hot” she exclaimed.
“What are you even doing here?” James wondered.
“Being babysat,” was her reply as she plopped down in a chair next to Winn’s desk “carry on, boys, pretend that I’m not here” she declared as she put her feet up on Winn’s desk.
“Yeah,” Winn nodded quietly to himself “that’s her all right”
“Well,” Alex straightened up from examining the elder Alura “you were right to come in,” she declared “looks like you’re suffering the early effects of heatstroke,” she announced “we’re going to start an IV drip, get some fluids into you, and then I want you stay here for a while, at least until sunset”
“I’m sorry, Alex,” Alura apologized “I don’t mean to be a burden”
“What are you talking about?” Alex laughed “you’re not a burden,” she assured her as she readied the IV “unexpected maybe, but not a burden,” finding a vein, she lined the up the needle “OK, little pinch”
“Ah!” Alura jumped.
“Sorry,” Alex winced, nodding as the cannula slid into Alura’s arm without difficulty, removing the needle, Alex tossed it away in the appropriate bin “OK,” she nodded “I’m afraid you’ll be stuck here for a few hours,” she explained “but, you can read some books, brush up on Earth. Or, you can just rot your brain with some daytime TV, your choice”
“Thought so,” she grinned, handing Alura a small stack of books, both fiction and nonfiction.
Exiting the isolation lab, Alex found Astra nervously waiting outside.
“She’s going to be fine” Alex assured her.
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure,” Alex nodded “she’s a little dehydrated, but we caught it in time. A little fluids and some rest, and she’ll be right as rain,” she explained.
Astra let out a nervous breath as Alex rested a hand on her shoulder, gently squeezing,
“Why don’t you sit with her for a while?” she suggested.
“I think I will” she agreed, pushing off the wall to softly walk into the isolation lab and quietly join her sister…
Fun science fact: Red stars--like Krypton's supposedly was--burn much cooler than our Sun, and produce much less light. So, if Kryptonians actually existed, they'd probably be very sensitive to light and probably wouldn't do well in hot weather.
Also, anytime a nurse or doctor gives you an injection and tells you that it's just a 'little pinch' they're LYING!!!!!!
Chapter 19: Cooling Off
Chapter NINETEEN! Enjoy! :=)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Winn frowned as he guzzled more water, pausing as he glanced over at CJ.
“What are you reading anyway?” he wondered.
“Huh?” she blinked, looking up from her book “oh, it’s non-fiction, ‘The Meta-Human Paradox’” by Niles Caulder” she explained.
“I think I heard of that,” Winn nodded “didn’t this guy have this crazy theory that meta-humans could be created?”
“Basically,” CJ nodded “Caulder’s theory is that meta-human powers are basically the result of the individual’s state of mind during the accident that causes their powers,” she explained “so, for example, a pyromaniac might develop fire-based powers, or your screaming ex-girlfriend was so frustrated that she wanted to scream and never stop just before she went tumbli8ng off the roof, so…” she trailed off with a shrug.
“Yeah, thanks for the memories” Winn muttered.
“How’s she doing anyway?” CJ wondered “I heard from a very angry Lucy that Siobhan tried to call you a few months back”
“She did,” Winn nodded “apparently she and Leslie Willis both got paroled a few years back,” he explained “apparently, they’re both just trying to just not make waves and want to be left alone”
“Good for them,” CJ nodded “everyone deserves a shot at redemption” she declared.
“Biased” Winn muttered.
“Maybe,” CJ grinned. Her grin swiftly vanished as she shifted her seat, grimacing as she reached back behind herself and unstuck her dress from her side “god, I will be a very happy girl once this goddamn heat goes away” she grumbled.
“Ditto” Winn agreed…
J’onn paused as he came to a stop in front Alex.
“Alex” he greeted.
“J’onn” she replied.
“Any particular reason as to why you’re lying on the floor?” he asked.
“Hot” she panted out.
“The DEO has air conditioning” J’onn pointed out.
“Still hot,” Alex countered “how’re you doing?” she wondered “wasn’t Mars much colder than Earth?”
“It was,” he nodded “but my kind do well in all kinds of weather,” he explained. Shaking his head, he turned around and stalked away “get off the floor” he called back…
Niles Caulder is a reference to DC's Doom Patrol, in DC Universe's series (which is separate from The CW's Arrowverse) the character is played by former James Bond Timothy Dalton
Chapter 20: Parade Day
Double update! Chapter TWENTY!!! Enjoy! :=)
Kara groaned as she stuck her head in the freezer.
“Hey, don’t hog it” her daughter exclaimed, elbowing her way past her mother to stick her own head in the freezer.
“This isn’t fair!” Kara moaned as they both removed their heads.
“Yeah,” Alura agreed “global warming’s a myth, ha!” she scoffed as Kara frowned and dug through the back of the freezer, unearthing a very old, ice-covered tub of ice cream.
“What are you watching?” Kara wondered as she shut the freezer and grabbed a pair of spoons before following Alura to the couch. Both mother and daughter were topless, only a pair of panties kept their respective modesty preserved in the sweltering heat as they both sat down on the couch.
“‘The Best of Bob Ross’” Alura answered.
“God, I remember watching him when I first came here,” Kara laughed “Jeremiah loved it, he couldn’t paint at all but he liked to watch it,” she explained as she dug into the tub of ice cream “I learned how to paint watching him” she added.
“I just like watching it,” Alura dismissed, digging into the ice cream tub as well “besides,” she added as she popped the spoon her into mouth “CJ’s the artistic one,” she explained.
She suddenly paused; frowning as she slowly pulled her spoon out of her mouth, staring at it.
“Mom,” she began slowly “how long was this in the freezer?”
“I…don’t know” Kara admitted…
As night fell over the city, the heat began to dissipate somewhat, and as Winn logged off his computer, nudged CJ to bring her back to reality, he had to admit that the heat wasn’t as bad as it had been earlier.
“Hey” James waved weakly as he tiredly shuffled on by towards the elevator.
“Hey” Winn and CJ replied as the three called for the elevator.
“Hold the elevator!”
Looking up, the three saw Ben Lockwood jogged towards them. Grunting, CJ thrust out an arm, holding the elevator open and allowing him to climb inside.
“Thanks,” he panted out “sorry, I’m bit of a rush”
“Everything OK?” James asked.
“Not sure,” Ben admitted “I haven’t heard from either my ex-wife or my son since yesterday,” he explained “it could be nothing, but…” he trailed off with a nervous shrug.
James and Winn and CJ glanced at each other, concerned….
“So, Ben Lockwood really doesn’t know, huh?” Kara asked as she and the extended Superfamily found themselves all lying on the floor of Alex and Astra’s apartment.
“Doesn’t look like it” CJ agreed.
“So, it really is either Ben or his mother behind all this” Alex noted.
“You still really think that it’s his mother?” James wondered.
“Could be,” Alex shrugged “ugh,” she groaned “it’s too hot to talk about this” she complained.
“Parade’s tomorrow, Alex” Astra reminded her.
“I know,” Alex nodded “but it’s still too hot”
“As undignified as this is,” the elder Alura began suddenly “it is quite cool”
“Yep” Astra sighed.
“Yep” Alex agreed, groaning as she rolled over and, reluctantly, climbed to her feet.
“Where are you going?” Kara asked.
“Fan” Alex said, going over to one of the fans and adjusting the speed, sighing in relief as she came and laid back down.
“OK,” Lucy sighed, holding up a hand “show of hands, we all pitch in to get air conditioning?”
Other hands were raised.
“Aye” the others chorused.
“Motioned carried” Lucy muttered.
“That’s going to cost a pretty penny,” CJ noted “especially if you want to get AC for all four apartments”
“Don’t care,” Lucy groaned “beside, you could argue it’s a health concern for Mrs. Zor-El here” she nodded at the elder Alura.
“Fair enough” CJ sighed…
As Saturday dawned, the heatwave had dissipated significantly. Although it was still hot, it wasn’t as hot as it had been the previous day.
Groaning as she sat up, Alex pulled a face as she realized that she and the others had all fallen asleep on the floor.
“Fuck,” she swore “Astra,” she gave her wife a hard punch in the arm “get up”
Grumbling, Astra opened her eyes, looking around in confusion.
“Did I fall asleep on the floor?” she asked.
“We all did,” Alex groaned “oh! Jeez! My back was not made for this!” she groaned as she painfully climbed to her feet “and no jokes about my age!” she added, giving Astra a glare.
“I didn’t say anything” Astra objected.
“You were thinking it,” Alex countered as the others woke up, all complaining and grumbling about the discomfort of sleeping on a hard wood floor “I’m still young” Alex continued.
“No you’re not” Kara countered.
“Yes! I am!” Alex fired back.
“Alex,” Astra began patiently “remind me, how are you again?”
Alex scowled as she stalked out of the room.
“Jerk” she spat…
By ten AM, the group had all been fed and had since gone back to their respective apartments to shower and change.
Filling her water bottle, Alex absently munched on a plain bagel as the news played.
“As you can see, the Alien Amnesty Day Parade is in full swing today,” the news anchor announced cheerfully “the parade is expected to be one of the largest in recent years, this is despite protests from several anti-alien groups. Event organizers have encouraged full participation from National City’s Human and alien population, in keeping with this year’s theme of unity”
The news continued on as a door shut in the distance, Astra and CJ coming into the room, both mother and daughter were dressed in tank tops and shorts with sneakers. Astra’s tank top was bright green and declared ‘GREEN = CLEAN’ while CJ’s blue tank top was blank.
“Cute” Alex noted, nodding towards Astra’s tank top.
“It seemed fitting,” Astra noted “come on,” she invited “the parade awaits”
Finishing her bagel, Alex grabbed her bag and then, pausing by the door, opened a drawer and pulled out her gun, loading it before clicking on the safety and tucking it away in the holster at the small of her back.
“Happy Amnesty Day” CJ muttered sarcastically as Astra double-checked her own gun.
“I really think that you should stay home” Alex commented.
“Ha, no way,” the teen scoffed “this involves me just as much as it does you two. If not more so” she pointed out.
“C’mon” Alex sighed…
The parade route was packed with people; aliens and Humans crowded shoulder to shoulder on the sidewalks lining the route, many of them freely chatting and laughing, the mood was open, free, no obvious hints of anti-alien sentiment.
Finding a good spot, Kara unfolded the lawn chair and plopped down into it, absently adjusting her sunglasses as James set the cooler down next her, their daughter already digging into it, triumphantly holding up a tub of ice cream and a plastic spoon.
Readying his camera, James snapped a few pictures of the crowd as Kara dug through her bag, pulling out a DEO-issue earbud. Putting it into her ear, she then pulled out her phone and held it to said ear, making it seem to the crowd that she was simply on the phone.
“J’onn?” she asked.
“We read you Kara,” J’onn replied “CJ’s gadgets don’t seem to be picking up any C4,” he noted “hopefully, that means that they haven’t planted any bombs yet”
“Hopefully,” Kara sighed “Alex?” she asked.
“Here,” Alex replied from her place a few blocks down the route “nothing on our end yet”
“Maybe they changed their minds” J’onn grumbled.
“I doubt that,” CJ commented as she perched on the cooler that Astra had brought “and I resent that comment about my work, J’onn”
“How did you…?” one could hear J’onn scowl over the comm “Alex,” he growled “your daughter needs a refresher course in security”
“She’s had it” Alex sighed.
“And she’s chosen to ignore it” Astra added.
“Continuing on that thought,” CJ spoke up “I’m hoping that you guys have undercover agents in place?” she asked.
“Along with half the Justice Department,” Lucy replied as she and Winn sat outside a small café “NCPD, FBI, Homeland Security, us, the county sheriff, this thing’s going to be a jurisdictional nightmare when its finally over” she grumbled.
“Any word on George Lockwood?” Kara asked.
“No, no really,” Lucy replied “Vasquez and Winn here are both running facial recognition on the security cameras, but there’s no guarantee that he’s even here. For all we know, he’s having some minion do the actual deed”
“Hope not” Winn muttered as he scowled at his laptop.
Back where the Danvers’ were sitting, CJ scowled at her phone.
“Anything?” Alex asked.
“No, nothing yet” CJ shook her head.
“How good are those toys of yours?” Astra wondered.
“They should pick up even the slightest trace of C4 once its anywhere near the parade route,” CJ explained. She sat back, frowning “something’s not right with this” she muttered.
At that moment, a deafening boom suddenly echoed around the parade route, a large cloud of smoke billowing out from a storefront near where CJ and her mothers were, people began panicking as uniformed police officers struggled to keep order as another explosion went off in the midst of the parade itself, the festive happy atmosphere now broken and filled with confused and panicked shouts.
“J’onn!” Alex tapped her comm “they’ve started!” she announced.
“We know, TAC team’s already en route” J’onn replied.
“Wait,” Astra called “Alex, look at the cloud” she urged.
Alex turned, frowning.
“No wonder we never picked up any traces of C4,” she realized “that’s not C4, that’s a smoke bomb”
“It’s a distraction,” CJ exclaimed “over there, look!” she pointed across the street where a plain van had pulled to a stop, masked and hooded figures armed with baseball bats pouring out and lunging for the crowd, indiscriminately attacking both Human and alien alike, fostering even more chaos and panic.
“J’onn!” Alex called as she and her wife and daughter sprinted across the street “they’re not bombing the parade, they’re attacking it! We’ve got hostiles on site! Repeat, we have hostiles on site!”
Drawing her gun, Alex swung out her elbow at the first masked figure, knocking the mask off, revealing a young woman who couldn’t have been much older than CJ, if not even younger.
Kicking the girl’s legs out from her, Alex pinned her to the ground.
“Federal agent! You’re under arrest!” she snarled, quickly hogtying the girl with her own hoddie. Pausing as she stood up, she swung a leg back and gave the girl a hard kick in the head, knocking her out.
Bending down, she picked up the fallen mask. Unlike the varied masks worn by Monica Crenshaw and her cronies, this mask was more detailed, it was gold-colored plastic, sculpted to resemble a sharply angled face. Looking around the rapid-rising carnage around her, Alex noted that all of the attackers were wearing identical masks.
“Kara! The masks are the targets,” she called “they’re all wearing gold masks!”
“Got it!” Kara replied as she, Astra and Superman swooped overhead, all three firing off a few short blasts of heat vision, forcing the attackers away from their victims.
“No, no, Supergirl, you and Superman and Astra focus on getting the civilians to safety,” Alex explained “we’ll hand these bastards”
“Understood” Astra replied as J’onn landed besides Alex in his true form.
“Where’s CJ?” he asked.
Looking around, Alex scowled as she saw that her daughter had vanished.
“CJ?” she called over the comm, knowing that CJ was listening “CJ? Where are you?”
“I’m OK,” CJ panted out “I’ve got some wounded people over here!”
“Where are you?” J’onn asked.
“Down the street, outside the bookstore” CJ replied.
“I see it” Alex replied as J’onn quickly scooped her up and flew her over to where CJ was. Landing, they found CJ crouched over a young alien girl, a deep bleeding gash on the girl’s forehead was rapidly oozing out onto the sidewalk.
“Easy, easy,” CJ soothed as J’onn and Alex came over “they’re friends” she assured the girl as Alex pulled a small first aid kit out of her bag and pressed a gauze pad to the wound.
“OK,” she nodded, looking up at J’onn “get her out of here” she ordered.
As J’onn gently gathered the girl up and took to the air, CJ frowned.
“Hey” she nudged Alex, pointing at a hooded figure calmly walking through the panicking crowd, their movements calm and measured, no trace of fear or panic in their movements.
“Astra, got eyes on our puppet master” Alex called as she drew her gun and hurried through the crowd, CJ following…
Several blocks over, Winn and Lucy frantically helped as many wounded as they could, ushering them away from the chaos into storefronts, under awnings, behind cars, anywhere that even remotely safe.
Winn turned at the shout, grunting as a masked figure suddenly decked him, sending him spiraling to land flat on the pavement.
“Fucking alien lover!” the figured sneered as they stood over him.
“Better an alien than a bigot like you!” Winn spat. Drawling a leg back, he kicked his assailant in the knee, the joint suddenly snapping sideways.
Howling in agony, his attacker stumbled back, collapsing to the pavement.
Getting to his feet, Winn let out a yell as he suddenly piled atop the figure, ripping the mask off before soundly punching the woman across the jaw.
“Oh my god,” he panted out “I just hit a woman”
“That’s not a woman,” Lucy panted as she finished off her own would be aslant with a hard punch to the throat. Brushing a lock of hair away from her face, she held out a hand to him.
“Come on,” she panted out “it’s not over yet”
Several blocks over from Winn and Lucy, James swung out one arm, viciously backhanding one masked figure away from him and his daughter. Recovering, the figure signaled to several nearby figures, the four now advancing on James and Alura.
With a grunt, Alura fired off a blast of heat vision at the ground, the four attackers jumping back in shock.
“What do we do?!” one demanded frantically, the tone clearly terrified.
“Yeah, real big when you’re hiding behind a computer screen,” James scoffed “a lot different when it’s real life, isn’t it?”
He glanced at Alura, nodding,
Grinning, the teen suddenly shot forward at superspeed, sending the four flying through the air with a series of panicked screams. Coming back over to her father, she cringed as she saw how he was holding his side.
“I’m fine, I’m fine,” he panted out as she looped one of his arms over her shoulders. Glancing up at a series of loud whooshes of air, they watched a three figures swooped overhead as Kara, Astra, and Superman shot past, no doubt heading to ferry more wounded away from the carnage.
“Go get ‘em guys” James breathed…
Meanwhile, Alex pushed her way through the crowd, glancing back at CJ as the teen easily kept up with her as they both followed the hooded figure still calmly making their way through the panicking crowd.
Managing to finally reach the figure, Alex drew her gun, aiming it at the back of the figure’s head.
“Federal agent! Freeze!” she barked.
The figure froze, slowly holding their hands up.
“Turn around,” Alex ordered “slowly”
Slowly, the figure turned around, causing Alex to gasp as she saw their face.
“Henshaw” she hissed.
“Hello, Alex” Hank Henshaw sneered before he suddenly swung out with an inhuman-level of speed, knocking her gun out of her hands before he sent her flying into the side of a building.
“Mom!” CJ surged forward, grunting as Henshaw suddenly intercepted her, pinning her to the ground, a hand wrapped around her throat…
Chapter 21: No Rest For the Wicked
Triple update! Chapter TWENTY-ONE! Enjoy! :=)
CJ grunted as Hank Henshaw pinned her to the pavement, his hand wrapped tightly around her throat.
“What are you, the undying bigot?” she groaned, managing to get a leg under him and kicking him off her. Staggering to her feet as Henshaw did the same, the two stared each down.
“Didn’t my Mother kill you?” CJ wondered.
“You know what they say,” Henshaw smirked “‘no rest for the weary’”
“It’s ‘wicked’ actually,” CJ corrected “and, no, she killed you,” she nodded “I’ve seen the reports and photos; she tore you into at least four pieces. Messy, but effective,” she frowned, x-raying him “not much of you left is there?” she noted “looks like just your spinal column and brain are left. So, let me guess, some idiot managed to put whatever was left of you back together, and with the DEO busy rebuilding after Cadmus’ final assault and the government cleaning house of any Cadmus members, your leftovers got lost in the shuffle. Am I warm?”
“Burning hot,” Henshaw confirmed as they began circling each other “I have to admit that I didn’t expect to find you here,” he remarked “I’d figured that Danvers and that alien wife of hers would be smarter than to let their daughter wander around during a potential bomb threat”
“Oh, you know what they say, Hank, ‘stupid is as stupid does’,” she chuckled “have to admit that was pretty sneaky, recruiting George Lockwood. With most of Cadmus’ members either dead or in prison, you started fresh, from the ground up”
“I didn’t create the Children of Liberty” Henshaw admitted
“No,” CJ agreed “but you encouraged them, tempted them, got them organized,” she accused “and that’s why they’re so successful, because Cadmus’ schemes were too bold, too ambitious, almost ridiculous even; Medusa, Metallo, that Russian doppelganger of Supergirl, whatshername, they all sound like something out of a comic book or a TV show with failing ratings. But, a grassroots movement? A movement made up of families and innocent folks who have done nothing wrong and yet have been beaten down by the system and well-intentioned but poorly-thought out laws? Well, those can gain real sympathy and effect real change,”
“Keep going,” he nodded “what else?”
“George didn’t want to wait did he?” CJ wondered “no, he’s like Lillian Luthor, he got tired of waiting. That’s why his mother’s missing, that’s why all of…this” she gestured to the panicking crowd around them.
“So what am I doing here?” Henshaw wondered.
“Enjoying the show,” CJ shrugged “because after all of this is over you can always single George out, call him a ‘rogue’, tell all of the other Children that he doesn’t represent their ‘true’ goals, because—according to their website—they don’t support ‘violence or any illegal or unlawful act’,” her expression became dark.
“You didn’t encourage George, but you’ll use him all the same, turn him into the fall guy” she accused.
They stopped circling each other, each shifting into a fighting stance
“Smart,” Henshaw sneered “too smart even”
“Smarter,” CJ grinned “you should never let your opponent talk” she reminded him.
Henshaw frowned, his eyes going wide as he suddenly spun on his heel, grunting as a recovered Alex shot him, rapidly advancing on him as she repeatedly pulled the trigger, the bullets forcing him back.
“Go!” Alex called.
With a grunt, CJ lunged, slamming into Henshaw at full speed, catching him under one arm, swinging him up and then down into the pavement, pinning him
“Go ahead!” Henshaw spat “do it! Kill me!”
“We’re not going to kill you” Alex panted out.
“But, we’re not going to save you either” CJ added.
Suddenly grabbing Alex’s arm, she jumped away, carrying her away. Blinking in surprise, Henshaw didn’t have time to react as Astra suddenly came barreling straight down, slamming into him at near full speed.
As the dust cloud settled, Astra seized Henshaw by the arm and hauled him up out of the crater, her expression murderous.
“Never. Touch. My family!!” she snarled as she threw him aside “NOW!!” she called, firing off a blast of heat vision at Henshaw, two more blasts coming from above as Kara and Superman joined in.
Twisting and writhing under the triple assault, Henshaw screamed as his form began to glow a brilliant orange before he suddenly exploded in a brilliant flash of white light, leaving nothing but slowly drifting embers.
Panting as her knees gave out, Astra sank to the ground, two pairs of hands gently catching her as CJ and Alex came to stand besides her as Kara and Superman both awkwardly landed, both looking winded.
Giving both her daughter and her wife’s hands a reassuring squeeze, Astra shakily climbed to her feet.
“We need to find Lockwood” she panted out…
Chapter 22: Petulent
Chapter TWENTY-TWO! Enjoy! :=)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Staggering away from the smoldering crater that was the remains of Hank Henshaw, the Superfamily regrouped, making quite an image as they slowly emerged from the clouds of smoke and dust.
Turning back onto the main parade route, they found that the attack was winding down, owing largely to simple numbers, there were only about a dozen or so attackers versus the hundreds of parade goers, and most of those attackers had been taken out by the Superfamily, with the stragglers now being rounded up by the NCPD and the DEO.
“We need to find Lockwood” J’onn muttered.
“Wait” CJ panted out. Taking a step forward, she glanced around the crowd, her eyes glowing red as she reached out with her mind, trying to use her empathic senses to find George Lockwood.
Blinking, she stepped back, pointing towards a nondescript sedan parked on the curb.
“Are you sure?” Alex asked.
“Let’s go” J’onn growled out. Marching forward, the collected Superfamily surrounded the car, Alex knocking on the window. Inside the backseat, laying on the floor, a startled George Lockwood looked up, jerking back as Kara easily tore the door off the car before reaching in and bodily dragging George out, unceremoniously dropping him on the ground.
“Game over, George” she snarled…
The DEO was oddly still as the events of the day wound down. Despite the suddenness and the brutality of the attack, no one had been killed, although there had been some pretty serious injuries unfortunately.
“Hey,” Alex jogged down the hall towards Astra “we found Lydia Lockwood” she explained.
“Alive I hope?”
“She was being held prisoner by one of George’s coconspirators,” she explained “she’s a little dehydrated, but otherwise OK. Physically at least”
“Well, at least some good came from all of this” Astra grumbled.
“Hey, c’mon,” Alex nudged her “don’t be like that, look on the bright side, no one was killed, and most of the public seems to have turned against the COL for the moment. Not to sound like Kara, but this a win for the good guys”
“Perhaps,” Astra nodded “for now at least”
“God, you’re such a glass-half-empty type of person” Alex grumbled.
Astra smirked as she continued on down the corridor.
“It’s called ‘experience’, darling” she called over her shoulder…
George Lockwood sat within the cell with an air of what could only be described as ‘self-righteous superiority’, he held his head high, chin jutting out defiantly as he glared through the transparency separating him from the rest of the world.
Standing on the other side of the transparent barrier, their clothing torn, bodies still covered with dirt and grime, CJ and Alura glared back at George.
“Figured you two would both be one of them,” George suddenly spoke “you got that look” he sneered.
“Actually, we’re only half-alien” CJ corrected, her expression blank.
“How’s it feel?” George sneered “knowing that you have that filth in your bodies?”
“You tell us,” Alura countered “because, from where I’m standing, you’re the one who’s got ‘filth’ in his body”
“God, how can you live with yourselves?!” George suddenly exclaimed “how do your parents? How could two Humans fall for a pair of, of…god!”
“We get it” CJ sighed.
“No, you don’t,” George scoffed “one day, people will finally wake up and see that your kind aren’t here to help! That you’re here to replace us! And once they finally see that, they’ll see that we are Earth’s salvation! And—“
“What I see,” CJ interrupted “is nothing more than a sad, angry little boy who, rather than take responsibility for his own life, decided to blame aliens for all the problems in his life,” she shook her head “you don’t even sicken me, you just make me sad” she sighed.
With that, both she and her cousin, turned around and walked out of the room…
He held his head high, look at that, five Hs in a row :=)
Chapter 23: Winding Down
Chapter TWENTY-THREE! Enjoy! :=)
As night set on the city, Alex found herself wincing and groaning as she slowly sank down onto the couch, she was sore and achy all over and the lump on the back of her head from where Henshaw had thrown her into the side of a building was a pretty gnarly sight.
Still wincing, she awkwardly stretched out on the couch.
“Here” Astra came over and, gently lifting Alex’s head up gently placed an ice pack to the lump of bruised flesh along with a pillow.
“Thanks” Alex muttered as she eased her head back down.
“Of course,” Astra nodded as she perched on the armrest, gently combing her fingers through her wife’s hair “I hate it when you do something like that” she muttered.
“I know” Alex nodded matter-of-factly
“Well then why do you keep doing it?” Astra wondered.
“The same reason that you do” Alex countered.
Astra merely sighed in response, resigned. At that moment, the door suddenly opened. Looking up, Alex and Astra watched as Lucy determinedly marched in, Winn’s purple plushy teddy bear draped over one shoulder, which she unceremoniously threw onto the floor before the two women.
“Enjoy” she declared as she spun on her heel and walked out.
“What just happened?” Alex asked.
“I think that Lucy got fed up with Winn’s gift” Astra drawled.
“Well, we’re not keeping this thing” Alex declared.
“Agreed,” Astra nodded “but what can we do with it?” she wondered just as the door opened again, Lucy marching back in to scoop the bear back up and sling it over her shoulder.
“Don’t say anything, Danvers!” she called out angrily as she stormed back out…
Chapter 24: Settling Accounts
Chapter TWENTY-FOUR! Enjoy! :=)
Kara absently munched on a carrot stick as she finished unloading the snack platter onto the table, nodding to herself in satisfaction.
“You really need to learn how to cook, Mom” her daughter sighed as she grabbed a slice of red bell pepper and munched on it.
“I’ve tried,” Kara sighed as she picked up a broccoli and popped it into her mouth, grimacing “needs some dip” she declared.
“Working on it” James called from the kitchen as a gentle, almost inaudible, knock came at the door.
“I’ll get it” Alura announced as she crossed over to the door, pulling it open.
“Oh. Hello,” a nervous Ben Lockwood stood on the other side “um, I’m looking for Kara Danvers?”
Alura turned, whistling.
“Guys, visitor,” she called. She turned back to Ben Lockwood “come in” she invited.
“Oh, Mr. Lockwood,” Kara skidded to a stop “hello” she shared an uneasy glance with her husband.
“Hello,” Ben waved shyly “uh, your friend Winn told me I could find you here,” he explained awkwardly “um, well, I, uh…” he trailed off, clearly not sure what to say or do.
“Would you like to sit down?” Alura offered, giving the couch an inviting pat.
“Oh, thank you,” sitting down, Ben awkwardly fiddled with his crooked tie “I, uh, I don’t really know why I came here,” he admitted “I guess, I just…after everything with Georgie…” he trailed off.
“Is there any news?” Kara asked.
Ben nodded the movement stiff and jerky.
“They’re going to try him as an adult,” he explained softly “uh, Lydia’s going to testify once she gets out of the hospital” he continued.
“And you?” James wondered softly.
Ben shook his head.
“I don’t know,” he admitted “I don’t know what to do now”
“Take a stand,”
The three adults turned to look at Alura who’d been silent up and until now.
“Take a stand,” she repeated “make a difference, make sure that no other family has to go through this again” she urged.
“How?” Ben asked.
“Start a petition, pass out posters, go door-to-door,” she shrugged “but you make damn sure that this doesn’t happen ever again!” she hissed “you teach people about how easily their kids can be sucked into something like the Children, you warn them, you take away whatever power the COL has” she continued.
Ben slowly nodded, a look that could only be described as ‘understanding’ crossing his face. Slowly standing up, he turned to Kara and James, shaking their hands.
“Thank you,” he breathed “and congratulations” he added.
“For what?” Kara asked.
“For having such a brilliant daughter,” he explained “I know what I have to do know,” he explained “these…people have to be stopped, this kind of hate doesn’t belong in the world anymore”
“No it doesn’t” Kara agreed…
Chapter 25: A Start
Chapter TWENTY-FIVE! Enjoy! :=)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
As night once again set on National City, Kara logged off her computer, gathered her bag, and made her to the elevator.
Stopping, Kara bit back a sigh, sharing a humorless smirk with James before nodding at him to continue on without her.
“Yes, Ms. Grant?” she asked as she turned around, hoping that her tone said ‘hurry up’ without sounding too rude.
“I was just reading the article you and your husband submitted about the Amnesty Day attack,” Cat commented “very different from your usual fair” she noted.
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“Well, let’s be honest,” Cat shrugged “aside from a few exceptions, most of your articles have been puff pieces,” she pointed out “cats stuck in trees, pet adoptions, and a few reviews of restaurants,” she frowned “actually, you do a lot of reviews for restaurants,” she noted “anyway,” she continued “my point is that you usually don’t cover hard news”
“Well, it was a big story” she said.
“And a very personal one no doubt,” Cat noted.
Kara coughed. She had never actually come out and said to the other woman’s face that she was Supergirl or even not Human, and likewise except for that one time Cat had never come out and accused Kara of being anything more than her adorkable employee, but through some unspoken understanding they both the true.
“My point is,” Cat continued “this is a good story, honest, unbiased, yet it doesn’t pull any punches about calling out these bigots for what they really are,” she reached out past Kara and rang for the elevator, signaling the end of the conversation.
“It’ll be on the cover in tomorrow’s issue,” Cat added as the elevator opened. Turning to leave, she paused, glancing over her shoulder at Kara “get an interview with the kid behind it all and maybe I’ll give you that raise you’ve been asking about” she added.
“But,” Kara blinked “I…haven’t asked…for a raise” she reminded her boss hesitantly.
Cat raised an eyebrow.
“Really?” she asked “hmm, must be my mistake then. Either way, you’re due for one”
As she turned to leave and Kara got onto the elevator, the Kryptonian couldn’t resist letting out a chuckle…
“A raise is good,” James commented later that night over dinner “so why don’t you look happy?” he wondered.
“Yeah, how come you look so mopey?” Alex pitched in between bites of Astra’s steak dinner.
“Just…,” Kara gestured vaguely with her fork “I just hate that I’m getting recognition for writing about a hate crime” she confessed.
“Yeah,” Lucy nodded “it’s a shame, but it’s true,” she pointed out “‘tragic stories make for good headlines’ at least, that’s what Lois always says”
“There are some good things to come out of all of this,” Winn pointed out “I did some digging”
“We did some digging you mean” CJ corrected.
“Whatever,” Winn rolled his eyes “anyway, it looks like that not only has the COL’s website’s gone dark, but a lot of their members have gone underground”
“You think they’re planning on another attack?” Astra wondered.
“No,” Winn shook his head “it looks like they’re mostly just trying to avoid trouble” he explained.
“Mostly” Alura the younger noted
“Yeah, OK,” Winn nodded “so it’s not ideal,” he acknowledged “but it’s a start” he reminded them…
Only one more to go! :=)
Chapter 26: Helter-Skelter and Other Songs
Chapter TWENTY-SIX! Only one more to go, so enjoy! :=)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Yo,” Alex waved to her daughter “catch” she called, tossing CJ her lunch bag, which the teen easily caught one-handed and without even really looking.
“Good catch,” Astra acknowledged “but, Alex, don’t throw my lunches, please?” she requested “you’ll ruin the sandwich”
“Drama queen,” Alex muttered, rolling her eyes at her wife “so, where are Winn and Lucy taking you, anyway?” she asked CJ.
“Goodwill,” CJ answered “Lucy still wants to get rid of the bear and I asked to tag along to scout out some new clothes for my wardrobe,” she explained, giving the waist of her ubiquitous black lace dress a light tug as the door opened and Winn and Lucy poked their heads in, both smiling and waving at Alex and Astra.
“That’s my cue,” CJ grinned as she slung her messenger bag over her shoulder “won’t be too long hopefully” she promised.
“Bye” Alex and Astra both waved…
As CJ and the rest of National City went about its early-afternoon, Kara walked into George Lockwood’s cell. Dressed in her super suit, she set a folding chair down, unfolding it, before sitting down.
Looking up, George stared at her in obvious confusion, his confused expression quickly twisting into one of contempt.
“What do you want?” he sneered.
“To talk,” Kara answered as she settled into the folding chair “help me to understand why you hate aliens so much” she asked,
George slowly sat up.
“All right,” he nodded “you really want to know, Kryptonian? I’ll tell you”
Meanwhile, far away from the no doubt depressing conversation that Kara was about to endure, CJ opened the truck of Lucy’s car and, with only minor difficulty, hauled the giant plushy purple teddy bear out.
“You sure you want to get rid of him?” she asked as she slung the bear over her shoulders.
Lucy frowned, signaling to Winn that she’d catch up. Turning back to CJ, she sighed, her frown deepening.
“Come on, he’d make a great conversation piece,” CJ grinned slyly “seriously, just put him in a corner and impress your guests”
Lucy sighed heavily.
“Put it back” she muttered.
“Sorry, what was that?”
“Don’t make me repeat myself,” Lucy sighed, scowling as CJ grinned as she replaced the bear back in the trunk “Winn’s never going to let me live this down” she muttered.
“Probably not,” CJ agreed as she gave the bear a tweak on the nose “but he’s cute though” she added.
“Who is?” Lucy asked “the bear or Winn?”
“Neither. Both I guess,” she admitted “granted, Winn’s not really my type” she added.
“I hope not,” Lucy muttered, wrinkling her nose in disgust “he’s your godfather after all,” she added “plus, you’re only sixteen”
“Yes, thank you, I am aware of both of those facts”
Lucy smirked at the sarcasm.
“But, just to be fair,” she added “if I catch you trying to put the moves on Winn, I don’t care who your parents are, you’re dead meat. Got it?”
“Crystal clear, chief” CJ replied with a mock, two-fingered salute…
“How long has she been in there?” Alex wondered, staring at the image of Kara on the monitors still engrossed in a seemingly-never-ending conversation with George Lockwood.
“Last I checked, it was an hour,” Susan Vasquez remarked, absently stretching out her back as she leaned back in her chair “I’m going to go raid the vending machine,” she said as she stood up “you want anything?”
“No thanks,” Alex shook her head, not taking her eyes off the monitors “but get something for Kara and Astra would you?”
“They’re your family, Danvers, get it yourself” Susan retorted…
Kara stood up and left the holding room with a tired sigh. Once started, it seemed nothing could shut George Lockwood up, he had ranted for the better of three hours, and Kara had about two entire notebooks worth of paper filled with his anti-alien ravings. As the door shut behind her, Kara was reminded with a bit of a shudder of the interview that Charles Manson gave to Diane Sawyer.
George’s ‘interview’ had a similar vibe, his statements seamlessly bled from one anti-alien topic to another, randomly jumping from subject to subject with no apparent rhyme or reason.
Groaning, Kara stuffed the notebooks away, absently rolling the kinks out of her neck…
Meanwhile, CJ carefully examined the racks of clothing at the goodwill store, smirking as she tried on various hats, finally pulling out a black, wide-brimmed fedora-like hat, which she added to the basket hanging off one arm.
A few racks over, Winn and Lucy hunted through the racks themselves.
“Wow,” Winn remarked as he found a nice tie, holding it up to the light “I still can’t get over the amount of stuff here”
“Yeah,” Lucy nodded “used to go shopping at goodwill all the time as a kid”
“Really?” Winn asked.
“Army doesn’t pay as much as you’d think,” she remarked “then you add the fact that my mom was a homemaker, and…well…,” she shrugged “times were tough growing up”
“You never mentioned that” Winn noted.
She shrugged again, giving him a humorless smirk.
“You never asked” she countered.
Winn scowled, realizing that she was right…
Alura looked up as her granddaughter came over, joining her on the balcony in watching the various DEO agents buzzed about on the floor below.
“An apt description” she nodded.
“Very apt,” Alura agreed as she leaned against the railing “how are you doing?” she wondered.
“I am well, all things considered,” Alura replied “and yourself?” she asked.
The teenager shrugged noncommittally.
“OK, I guess,” she replied “just…all this crap over the last couple of days”
Alura nodded in quiet understanding.
“Yes,” she agreed “it makes one doubt the collective sanity of the Human species” she remarked.
“We’re sane?” the teen scoffed sarcastically.
Alura smirked in reply.
“C’mon,” the teen gave her a pat on the arm “I’ve got just the thing to cheer you up” she promised…
For those of you who may be scratching your heads at the chapter title, it's a reference to the Beatles (the band, not the insects), several songs from the "White Album"--especially 'Helter-Skelter'-- were, unfortunately, used by Charles Manson as the basis of his 'philosophy' and the idea that the song was a message about a coming race war that would lead to the Apocalypse, which led to the brutal murder of Sharon Tate and four other people on Augast 9th-10th 1969.
Chapter 27: Duck, Duck, Dinner Party
We're back! Chapter TWENTY-SEVEN! Enjoy! :=)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Lucy pushed open the door to the Danvers’ apartment, finding CJ, Alex, and Astra all gathered around the coffee table.
“Do you guys have any wine?” she asked without preamble.
In answer, CJ held up a hand, pointing at the top of her head and then at her mothers’ as if she was playing a game of duck, duck, goose.
“Minor…Kryptonian…recovering addict” she said.
“Why do you ask?” Astra wondered as Lucy marched towards their fridge and began rooting around in it.
“Winn’s mother just ‘invited’ herself over for dinner,” Lucy grumbled out in reply “and I figured that if I’m too drunk to stand then I’ll be too drunk to be able to wring her neck,” she shut the door with a snarl of frustration “come on, you guys don’t have any booze in here?” she demanded as she rooted around in the cabinets.
“Again, as I said before,” CJ repeated her earlier gesturing “minor, Kryptonian, recovering addict”
“Even Kara and James have booze” Lucy muttered.
“Yeah, but neither of them drink either,” Alex pointed out “so, why do they even have it?” she wondered
“Appearances sake?” CJ shrugged as she went back to her laptop.
“I might have some cooking sherry somewhere,” Astra spoke up “but I don’t know how old it is,” she admitted “honestly, it might be vinegar by this point for all we know” she added as Lucy searched the cabinet that Astra had indicated and came up empty. Sighing, she gave up and plopped down in the armchair opposite Alex.
“What’s the squirt doing?” Lucy wondered, nodding to CJ’s laptop.
“Ehh…violating every computer privacy law that the U.S. has,” CJ shrugged “and probably a few that are also illegal in Sweden too”
“And…why are you doing that?” Lucy pressed.
“Screwing over the Children of Liberty” CJ shrugged
“She’s planting a virus in their website,” Alex picked up “apparently, it’ll royally screw up their forum and chats”
“I’d get you their membership list too,” CJ added “but, even human garbage has First Amendment rights. Unfortunately”
“So, more penguins?” Lucy asked.
“No, the COL doesn’t deserve the waddling fluffy goodness,” CJ shook her head “instead I’m working it so that, every time a long-time member of the COL logs onto the either the chat or the forum, they’ll find themselves being rerouted to a bunch of porn sites based in the former Eastern Bloc”
“You do not want to see what’s on these sites,” Alex exclaimed with a shudder “trust me, there are somethings you can’t unsee, and this site one of them”
“That bad?” Lucy asked.
“Just…no words” Astra answered with a shudder.
“I didn’t even go onto the site,” CJ added “I just saw that it’s under investigation by both the Humane Society and the ASCPA. That alone should tell you enough”
“Look,” she sighed, shaking her head “I want to impress Winn’s mother, so…” she trailed off, looking at the other three women hopefully.
Alex and Astra smirked at each other as CJ slowly closed her laptop.
“I…think we can do something about that” she said slowly, a smirk crossing her face.
“Oh, lord, what I have done?” Lucy moaned…
OK, so I have no idea how long this is going to go, I thought I did, but it turns out that I don't. Oh well :=)
Chapter 28: Motorcycles, Depression, and Dinner Plans
Chapter TWENTY-EIGHT! Enjoy! :=)
Kara frowned as she finished reassembling the engine gasket, nodding to herself as the last piece slid into place.
“There,” she grinned as she straightened up “finished” she beamed.
Sitting across the table from her, James frowned.
“I still can’t believe that my wife and daughter know more about engines than I do” he chuckled as Kara cleared up the oil-spattered newspaper.
“Well, to be fair, it is my motorcycle” she pointed out as she dumped the newspapers in the trash. Technically, the motorcycle was Alex’s old one, which she given to Kara some years ago when she bought her Ducati (which she hadn’t used in years since becoming a somewhat overprotective mother).
In a remarkable irony, Kara actually was better at driving a motorcycle than she was at driving a car, and, emboldened by the fact that she didn’t destroy mailboxes or newspaper stands when using it, took the bike out for a spin every now and then, often joining Lucy on brief day trips up the coast, the two women making a quite an impression on casual coworkers and acquaintances.
Gathering the engine up, Kara tucked it under one arm as she went to go and reinstall it into the motorcycle. As the door shut behind her, James chuckled as he spotted the worn photo of the two of them standing beside said motorcycle, she dressed in full biker’s leathers, he in just a comfortable shirt and jeans.
It had been taken years ago, back when they had first started dating, he recalled, Kara had surprised him when, after he’d suggested a day trip drive up the coast, she’d arrived at his apartment the next morning perched on the back of a sleek, sporty black motorcycle dressed to the nines in biker’s leathers and grinning like a loon at his startled expression as she took off her helmet.
James swore he fell in love with her a little more on that day as they’d sped up the Pacific Coast Highway, the setting sun setting the sky alight in reds, yellows, and oranges, the way she’d looked back over her shoulder at him, grinning at him as they’d sped down the road, his arms wound around her waist from behind.
A loud grunt and a synthesized ‘thwack’ drew him out of his thoughts, and looking up, he smirked at the sight of the two Aluras caught up in a game of Wii tennis. The teenage Alura gave it her all, swinging her controller with as much effort and vigor as an actual pro tennis champ, while her grandmother, partly due to her age, was much more reserved, not even swinging her hips as she swung out almost daintily with her controller.
At that moment, the door opened and CJ stuck her head in.
“Hey,” she greeted as she waved, sidestepping the two Aluras with a sideways look as she came over to James “Mr. Olsen, you are hereby invited to a dinner party at the apartment of one Lucy Lane and Winn Schott Jr. to be held tonight in honor of Mrs. Mary Schott” she declared, puffing her chest out for comical effect.
“I see,” James chuckled “and will Ms. Lane and Mr. Schott be cooking dinner tonight?” he asked, playing along.
“Thankfully no,” CJ replied “that honor shall go to one Mrs. Astra Danvers. Something which we’re all grateful for”
“Tell me about it,” James chuckled “Lucy tried to cook dinner for me once, back in Metropolis, and we had to call the fire department”
“Yikes,” CJ shook her head “at least she’s learned her lesson,” she noted, crossing back over to where the two Aluras were playing “so,” she began as she came to stand between the two “who’s winning?” she wondered.
“Tie” her cousin panted out as she swung up and then down, the digital ball shooting across the court.
“Well, let’s fix that, shall we?” CJ declared, giving her cousin a hard nudge, causing her to stumble and miss her next shot, giving the elder Alura a point. Turning, the teenage Alura glared at her cousin.
“You…!” she spluttered “oh…that is it! Come here, shrimp! You’re dead!” she lunged, tackling CJ, sending them both toppling over the couch and onto the floor behind it, both of them quickly springing to their feet, each holding the other in a headlock.
Abandoning the game, the elder Alura gaped at the sight as James came to stand beside her.
“Shouldn’t we stop them?” she wondered.
James shook his head.
“Just wait until someone calls out ‘mom’.” he advised as the girls toppled to the floor again, both rolling across said floor like a pair of cartoon characters, followed shortly by a yelp of pain from one of them and then an outraged bellow of
“OK! Break it up!” James barked, quickly crossing over to the girls, and grabbing each one by one arm, pulled them apart, shoving them both towards the couch “sit!” he ordered…
Meanwhile, across town, Lucy paused as she stood in the doorway to the apartment, taking note of the wide open door. Peering inside, she found Winn sprawled out on the couch.
“Winn…,” she began cautiously “do you know that the door’s wide open?” she asked.
“Yeah,” Winn nodded “pizza guy didn’t close it when he left” he explained as she came inside, absently nudging the door shut as she did.
“Are you watching ‘Wheel of Fortune’?” she asked.
“You hate ‘Wheel of Fortune’,” she pointed out. Finding the remote, she shut the TV off “are you OK?” she asked “you’re showing all the signs of classic depression here” she pointed out.
“That’s because I am depressed” Winn grumbled as he sat up with a grunt.
“Hey, don’t blame this one on me,” Lucy objected “your mother invited herself off tonight, not me”
“You could have said ‘no’,” he pointed out “why’d you say yes anyway?” he complained.
“Because she’s your Mom and she wants to reconnect,” she explained “and plus I couldn’t think of an excuse” she added as he stood up and raided the fridge, coming back over to the couch arms laden with loads of snacks.
“At least tell me that we’re not cooking” he pleaded he sat back down and had at least half his snacks stolen by her.
“Oh no,” she shook her head “no, that’ll be Astra’s job” she proclaimed…
Chapter 29: The Great Book Thief of National City
Chapter TWENTY-NINE! Enjoy! :=)
Astra grunted as she set the stack of books down on the coffee table.
Frowning, Alex looked up from raiding the fridge.
“What are you doing?” she asked as Astra carried another stack of books over, setting them down next to the previous stack.
“Cleaning out CJ’s room,” Astra answered. She paused and gestured to the stack of books al la Vanna White “meet our daughter, the Great National City Book Thief” she declared.
“Overdue books again?” Alex groaned, coming over “how’d she even forget about these?” she wondered “there’s like…,” she counted “…twelve books here,” she cringed “how much do we owe to the library now?” she wondered.
“I shudder to think,” Astra answered as she carried yet another stack of books over “and stay away from those shrimp!” she called out as Alex went back to the fridge “those are for Lucy’s dinner party tonight!”
Alex paused, one shrimp halfway towards her mouth. Sticking her tongue out at the back of her wife’s head, she popped it into her mouth.
“I saw that!” Astra declared without turning around.
“Forget x-ray vision,” Alex scowled “she’s got eyes in the back of her head” she muttered disgustedly as she shut the fridge…
Lucy grunted as she carried the next box to the bedroom, the latest batch of Winn’s ‘adult collectibles’ inside said box. Coming back out into the living room, Lucy glanced around the now virtually bare shelves, quickly realizing that the empty shelves were more conspicuous than they were before.
Sighing, she realized that it couldn’t be helped now (she certainly wasn’t going to back and unbox everything) and began to rearrange the furniture, moving the couch back and recoiling at the amount of dust that was revealed to be hiding underneath.
“Ugh,” she wrinkled her nose as a particularly large dust bunny rolled out from under the couch, the way it bounced out from under the couch almost mocking her. Scowling, she put her hands on her hips, glaring at the shoe-sized clump of lint and dust.
“Mr. Dust Bunny, meet Mrs. Vacuum” she declared, quickly wheeling the vacuum cleaner over and, switching it on, promptly sucked the dust bunny and its cohorts up. Pulling the cyclone free, she emptied it into the trash, wondering just how she’d become such a lazy slob after more than ten years in the Army.
“OK, we don’t have enough plates” Winn declared, coming over and holding up their meager and mismatched set of dinner plates.
“I noticed,” Lucy drawled absently as she held out a limp broom “sweep” she ordered.
Nodding, Winn took the broom and started sweeping anywhere he saw dust (which was pretty much everywhere unfortunately).
“So when are Alex and Astra coming?” he wondered.
“They should be here in an hour or so,” Lucy answered “Kara and James are coming too” she added.
“Oh good,” Winn sighed “what about the girls?” he wondered.
“I guess,” Lucy shrugged “Kara’s mother too” she added.
“Oh boy,” Winn chuckled “that’ll be interesting” he noted as a knock came at the door, Alex, Astra, and CJ charging in, arms laden with food and pots and pan.
“All right,” Astra declared “the kitchen is now officially off-limits. Anyone who disagrees will have to answer to me”
As she and her wife and daughter began to set up, Winn glanced at Lucy.
“How she can make anything she says sound scary?” he wondered.
“I don’t know” she chuckled…
Chapter 30: Dinner Disaster
Chapter THIRTY! Enjoy! :=)
Alura absently moved the chess piece forward across the board, placing her granddaughter’s king into check.
“I believe that’s a ‘check’,” she noted “so…,” she paused and glanced at the handy guide that Kara had given her “ah, that is checkmate in…four moves” she declared.
“Correction,” the teenager countered “zero moves,” she flicked her king over “you win” she declared as she sat back.
Smirking, the elder Kryptonian studied the board, nodding approvingly.
“You have quite a keen eye for strategy,” she noted “were this Krypton, I would think that you had been born into the Military Guild” she chuckled.
“Don’t like guns,” the teenager retorted, absently toying with the queen between her fingers, her eyes tracking Kara as the blonde frantically hurried around the kitchen, rapidly grabbing one item to bring to Lucy’s dinner party and forgetting the last item she’d grabbed.
Smirking at her mother’s antics, the younger Alura turned to her grandmother.
“Was she always like this?” she wondered, nodding towards Kara.
Turning to look, the elder Alura chuckled.
“No,” she shook her head “no, this I blame entirely on her Earthly upbringing” she declared.
“Pass the buck why don’t you?” the teenager chuckled.
“Have you told her or your father yet?” the elder asked, not needing to elaborate on the subject.
The teen sighed.
“No,” she ground out “like I said, it’s different here on Earth. Being gay…it’s…it’s scary” she admitted.
“So was being a twin on Krypton,” the elder countered “identical twins even more so,” she reached out, taking her granddaughter’s hands in her older, stiffer ones “I will not force you,” she began “but, please, don’t burden yourself unnecessarily,” she pleaded “if your mother is anything like the young girl I remember, then she will love you unconditionally, no matter what you are or do”
Biting her lip, the teenager could only squeeze her grandmother’s hands in reply…
Lucy grunted as she squeezed her feet into her slinkiest, flashiest pair of heels, wincing as they pinched. Straightening up, she wobbled slightly for a second before regaining her balance.
Mentally cursing Mrs. Mary Schott, she hobbled back out into the living room to be met by the sight of Winn hurriedly jumping away from the kitchen, Astra’s bellow for him to 'get out' following him.
“I told you that she’d kick you out” Alex shrugged from her place on the couch curled up next to CJ.
“I was just trying to help” Winn muttered petulantly.
“Whiner” CJ muttered as the door opened again, Kara, James, and the two Aluras entered.
“Please tell me that you four have some booze?” Lucy pleaded.
“What? No,” Kara replied in clear confusion. She looked between her husband and said husband’s ex-girlfriend “why?” she finally asked.
“Never mind,” Lucy sighed “let’s just get this travesty over and done with” she muttered…
Chapter 31: Spoiling Your Loved Ones and T-shirts
Chapter THIRTY-ONE! Enjoy! :=)
“CJ! Extra hands!” Astra called as she stirred the sauce. Covering the pot, she moved onto the next pan, examining the steak “no,” she said without looking up as the floor creaked underfoot behind her “I said ‘CJ’, not you, Winn”
“Damn” Winn muttered sullenly, quickly trudging out of the room, passing CJ as he did.
“You rang?” the Goth asked as she approached her Mother.
“Yes, I did,” Astra nodded. She handed a spoon to CJ “stir this” she instructed, gesturing towards the pot.
“Wow, you’re really challenging my skillset here, aren’t you?” CJ drawled as she took the spoon and began stirring the pot of sauce “so, what else is on the menu for tonight’s show and dance?” she wondered.
“Roast chicken and steak and potatoes” Astra answered, peering into Lucy and Winn’s seldom-used (read, never) oven, giving the chicken inside a leery, critical eye before standing up to check on the steak, nodding approvingly at the crust that was forming on it.
“No veggies?” CJ wondered.
In answer, Astra gestured towards the second pot sitting on the range.
“Steamed cauliflower, broccoli and carrots,” she explained “once they’re done steaming, I’ll lightly pan-sear them with the steak; give them a nice bit of flavor”
“Oh, Mother, stop,” CJ complained “you’re making me drool here” she moaned.
Astra grinned and pulled her daughter close, planting a kiss on her temple.
“Why can’t I spoil my loved ones?” she mused.
“You do spoil us, don’t you?” CJ noted.
“I do,” Astra agreed, pulling away from her daughter “you’re complaining?”
“No, no,” CJ shook her head “just…surprised, considering your upbringing” she admitted.
“That’s why I spoil my family,” Astra retorted, leaning over to examine the sauce “good,” she declared “you’re excused”
“Groovy” CJ nodded, quickly making her escape back into the living room, lest she’d pressed into another task. Coming over to the dining table, she frowned at Lucy.
“Lucy?” she asked.
“Yeah?” Lucy asked.
“You do know that you’ve rearranged those plates four times already, right?” CJ asked.
Sighing, Lucy straightened up, scowling at both the mismatched plates and the teenager.
“I just…want everything to look good here, all right?” she groaned “and are you really going to wear that?” she asked.
CJ scowled herself and looked down at herself, taking note of her typical black lace attire.
“Are you seriously criticizing my look?” she asked.
“You’re wearing a t-shirt,” Lucy pointed out “a t-shirt with Che Guevara’s picture on it” she added.
“So?” CJ scoffed “my cousin’s wearing sneakers,” she pointed out “and her t-shirt has a picture of Nietzsche on it” she added.
“Yeah, why is that?” Lucy wondered.
“She’s going through a Nietzsche phase right now,” CJ dismissed somewhat airily “still, it’s better than Albert Camus” she shrugged.
“Aren’t he and Nietzsche kind of mutually exclusive?” Lucy wondered.
“Eh, sorta,” CJ shrugged “Camus is linked more to the absurdist movement than existentialism”
“How are old are you again?” Lucy smirked.
CJ chuckled in reply as a knock came at the door. Grin widening, CJ clapped her hands together.
“Showtime,” she beamed, all but skipping towards the door and pulling it open “Mrs. Schott,” she gave a little mock-curtsy “please, come in” she invited as Mrs. Schott carefully walked inside…