"I think I may have a lead." Alex states before setting the tablet and evidence on the table. Kara stares at the image on the tablet, her heart dropping at it.
"Maxwell Lord?" My soulmate?
"Yeah, both the bomb and the drone used an advance fiber optics relay system." Alex explains as she gestures to the tablet. "It's not even on the market yet. And it was developed by Lord Technologies."
"Let's pay Maxwell Lord a visit." Hank says to the surprise of Kara.
"How? You can't just walk in as DEO agents." Kara questions him before he leaves. He doesn't answer her, but Alex does, bringing Kara's attention back to her.
"We won't." Alex says with a smirk, holding up her DEO badge. Like something off Doctor Who, it changes into an FBI badge. Kara's eyes widen in interest.
"Okay... That is cool." Kara states despite her apprehension about her sister paying a visit with her soulmate.
What if he was behind the spying and bomb? What would he be trying to accomplish?
As they walk away from the table, Kara states she has to go back to work much to the amusement by Alex. "And, by "work," do you mean James?"
Sighing at that idea, Kara shakes her head. She should tell Alex about Maxwell. Instead, she avoids it. With everything that's happened since finding her soulmate - Livewire, the Thanksgiving from hell, and the fact that the DEO could be behind her foster father's death - there just hasn't been a good moment to talk about it. So she mostly ignores it, at least in front of others. "No," Kara chuckles softly "especially not now. His ex showed up. Lucy Lane."
Alex stares at her in shock. "As in Lois Lane?"
"Her sister," Kara says rolling her eyes. Alex bites her lip in thought as Kara continues. "She's gorgeous, she's smart... smells nice-"
Alex, trying to stay positive for sister who seemed to be giving up on the guy that made her smile, cut her off. "Well, was she out saving the world?"
Kara doesn't bite, she knows Alex is going to try her best to cheer her up. But she doesn't know the full story. How despite everything, it's not really about James, or James and Lucy. She's met her soulmate and she hasn't done a damn thing about it yet. "She's a lawyer for the military, so, yes."
"Oh. Well, can she fly?" Alex asks with a pointing finger and a large smile. Kara sighed at the idea.
"I wouldn't be surprised." Alex doesn't stop, though, confusion filled her face as she thinks about the situation.
"But if James broke up with her and then moved all the way to National City, then why would he want to get back together with her? Are they soulmates?" Kara's eyebrows cringe at the word; she's almost thankful when she realizes Alex wasn't watching her every move and missed it.
"He told me she broke up with him." Kara explained quietly and Alex turns around and stops in front of her.
"No. No, no, do not talk to James about her. That is a first-class one-way ticket to the Friend Zone."
"I am not in the Friend Zone." Kara denies with a small smile. She wants to talk to Alex about everything going on, but now wasn't the time. She wasn't ready to admit it, and if she has to pretend in front of Alex right now, she will. It was making her heart ache but she doesn't want to admit it. Not here. Not now.
Alex continues despite Kara's mind slipping away from the conversation, suggesting she's that girl that always get stuck in the friend zone. It's true, Kara knows. Hell, besides the date she had on the same night she revealed herself to the world was the first one she had in nearly a year. She often got stuck in the friend zone, sometimes on purpose - afraid her secret was going to get out. Most of the time it was partly because they weren't her soulmate, Kryptonian soulmates were treasured because they were so rare and relationships with anyone but your soulmate were often looked down upon. Growing up with that ideal on Earth where it didn't always matter, people didn't wait for their soulmates or sometimes even protested the idea behind them were bit harder to get used to. She barely feels like herself right now, she was exhausted. Maybe it was because of the bomb from earlier. Or the more likely aspect: it's been a couple days since she's seen or been near her soulmate.
Alex grabs her arms for comfort as if to give her sister strength, only it captures Kara's attention back. "Kara, you've had to pretend to be someone else for most of your life, but you don't have to hide with James. He knows your secret and he likes you."
Alex is right of course; James knew about her even before she even revealed herself to him. He accepted her as a friend and trusts her. And maybe he does like her like the way she likes him. But honestly? She's not ready to even think about that. Not anymore. Not until she figures out what to do about Maxwell Lord. Kara smiles at Alex's next question, but the phone buzzes in her ear and she turns away to answer it. She's almost thankful for the distraction, until she realizes exactly why Ms. Grant called.
Only hours later, Kara answers her phone again. This time with her sister calling her. Clearly something went wrong with Maxwell Lord, or something happened.
"I am at Lord Tech with a bomb that is gonna go off in a minute." Alex answers in a whisper. Kara's eyes widened and puts her phone down. She's about to leave the room to change and fly to her before she remembers Carter was still sitting at her desk. Quickly apologizing and asking Winn to watch him, Kara doesn't wait for him to explain himself. There wasn't time. Alex's life is at stake and she can't take the chance of losing her. Besides, she knows Winn - he'll watch Carter despite the hesitation.
As she gains speed in flight toward the Lord Tech building, Kara focuses her hearing on Alex. With so many years by her side, Kara can tract her nearly anywhere in the city. She knows exactly where to go in Lord Tech to protect her sister.
"We need to get out of here!" Kara can hear Alex's fear in her voice as she tells whoever she was with that they need to leave. At the voice that answers her, Kara heart aches at the thought of her soulmate was in danger as well. She focuses entirely on flying faster - she has to protect them. Kara flies through the window and due to the adrenaline going through her right now could barely hear Alex's next words directed at her.
"No problem, plenty of time." Kara manages to say as she moves closer to Alex and Maxwell.
Maxwell rushes towards the bomb, grabbing it quickly. "This bomb is like a high-tech daisy cutter. If it blows, it'll produce an overpressure of 2,000 pounds per square inch." He states as he holds out the bomb and sets it in her hands. This was the first time since Cat Grant's party that she's seen him other than on television or in online articles. She's terrified, she can see Alex's terror reflected in her eyes but she can't help but stare at Maxwell as he speaks and moves. Just standing near him, she feels stronger. She won't let the bomb going to hurt Maxwell or Alex. There wasn't enough time to worry; at Alex's words to get clear of the city sink in, she quickly flies up and away - breaking another window as she tries to fly away from the building and the city. She doesn't get another chance to glance back and stare at Maxwell or her sister again.
As the bomb explodes, up and far away from them, all Kara can do was smile in exhaustion before the explosion reaches her and pushes her down. It knocks her out and she can barely feel anything but pain after that and than darkness.
"Sounds like you could use some help." Kara states as she lands beside Alex and Hank in the DEO headquarters. She came here straight from the office. After speaking with her sister on the phone about Maxwell Lord and his lack of interest in protection from them, Kara knows what she has to do. Maxwell might not care too much about Supergirl, but he's her soulmate and she's not about to let something happen to him.
"Are you sure you're up for this?" Hank questions, once again noting the difference in Kara's behavior from how she was before Thanksgiving.
Alex stares at her sister as she answers Hank's question. "Somebody's gotta protect that train. And once it gets moving, even the DEO won't be able to keep up with it." She's noticed a difference in her sister, and she initially wrote it off because of everything happening with learning about her father's death and DEO keeping it a secret and now everything with James. However, Alex can't help but notice something else was going on inside Kara - something she didn't want to talk about with her. Even now, she looks tired, and she's rarely ever saw Kara look tired with the last twelve years. Disheveled, sure, but this? No. Kara's stubborn, and Alex knows she won't be able discourage Kara from going even if Kara is right. The DEO wouldn't have the speed needed to keep up with the train should anything actually happen.
"Be careful." Alex says and Kara nods before taking off.
Kara is relieved when she scans the train station and finds no bomb. Maxwell was going to be okay as will everyone else as well.
"Supergirl, there's a bomb at the Lord Air terminal." Hank says over the headset, and Kara starts flying toward it.
"I'm on it!"
Before she even reaches the airport, Winn calls her.
"Can't talk, there's a bomb at the airport."
"No, no, that's wrong, I just saw the bomber on the train." Kara stops flying immediately, hovering thousands of feet above the city. Her heart aches at the thought of two bombs. She can't be in two places at once.
"That means there are two bombs?"
"It's worse than that... Carter is on the train." Winn manages to spit out and she needs to go to it. Not only was Maxwell Lord on that train but so was her boss's child. She can't afford not to go. But at the same time, thousands of people's lives at the airport are at stake.
"Alex, did you hear all that?" Kara questions and at Alex's agreement and question on what to do, Kara repeats her thoughts for them. "I can't be in two places at once!"
"We have a visual confirmation at the airport." Hank states, leaning against the computer desk. "We can't even be sure what your friend saw was accurate."
Kara's tired of Hank dismissing her friends. Anger laces her next set of words, "I trust my friend, just like I trust you. New plan. You take the airport, I've got the train." Without waiting for their confirmation, Kara turns around and races back to the train. She knows her sister, she'll make sure the airport will be secured.
She doesn't have far to go, with how fast the train is going, it's already reached halfway through the city. Kara is able to land on top of it, and concentrating on Maxwell's voice, it's easy to find him. As she listens to him talk to someone, she doesn't believe her luck - he's found Carter.
"You see your parents anywhere?"
She opens the escape hatch and flies down to the floor. With the wind whipping around them, Kara can't help but feel relief that she's found Carter and Maxwell. Maxwell starts chuckling as she lands.
"I'm starting to think you have a thing for me." Maxwell states with a smile. Kara doesn't return it. The last thing she needs is the witnesses on board the train think this.
"Ethan Knox is on board."
"No." Maxwell states, his smile gone from his face. He moves closer to her. "That's impossible..."
"You have to stop this train." Kara states as she moves closer to him. The pull to touch him is nearly impossible. Kryptonian soulmates were not made for long-distance living. Going without speaking or touching for a long period of time after meeting is hard on both sides. This was one of the reasons why she's been so afraid of telling him. Sooner or later, he's going to realize what was happening. And he's probably going to hate her even more that he already does.
"I can't." Maxwell shakes his head, there was barely a foot between them now. "It's automated."
"Something's wrong, isn't it?" Carter's voice manages to pull her mind away from Maxwell. Despite it, she can't stop to share one last look with Maxwell, before going to Carter. Maxwell bites his lip as she moves away from him.
"There is a problem, but I'm here to fix it." Maxwell, moves to stand behind her, and she already feels stronger and reassurance with him standing beside her. It gives her strength to stay her next words to Carter, it gives her hope. "You look brave and strong, can you help me?" At Carter's nod, Kara smiles encouragingly at him as she moves back and closer to Maxwell. "Good. I need you and Mr. Lord to get all of these passengers to the very back of the train. Are you ready to be a hero?"
Carter sighs, and breathes out a "yes". Maxwell turns around to the rest of the people on the train; shouting and gesturing them to follow him to the back. Kara lets them go, and stands in the middle of the room to x-ray the rest of the train to find Knox. She finds him in the very first car, and she's about to speed through all the cars to get them when she feels someone grab her arm. The touch is like fire and it cuts her attention away from Knox and straight back to Maxwell.
"Where is he?" Maxwell questions and Kara stares at him in shock. For just a second she doesn't know what he's asking - if he's asking if she was his soulmate now - before she realizes exactly what he means. His face is filled with concern and she can't help but want to stay with him. She doesn't of course, she explains where he is and Kara doesn't know what he does after that because she zips through the train, yelling at the passengers to get to the back cars. She had a job to do and concentrating on him wasn't going to help with it.
"No one was supposed to know it was me, and now that they do, I'll..." Ethan Knox shakes his head, tears at his eyes. "I can never face my little girl again."
"Ethan... Please, do not kill all of those people." At his nod, she lets out a relieved breath. Kara had hoped this would end this way. Maybe he'd go to jail for this and the other bombings, but at least his little girl won't grow up without a father. That was the last thing she wanted to happen.
He moves closer to her, with almost a sad smile on his face. "I won't. You'll save them."
Kara doesn't understand his words, not fast enough to realize his plan - he presses his finger down on the trigger. There is literally seconds before the bomb is going to go off. Why is he doing this? "But you better hurry, you have 30 seconds."
There was no time to pull the bomb off his chest, to even chance that it's not rigged to go off at any type of removal. She doesn't want to leave him, but she has to. It's hard to breathe as she moves back to the previous train car. She melts the lock holding the two together until it breaks, setting the first one with Knox to keep going at full speed. She lands on the rail to slow down the passenger cars. Using nearly all her strength, she's able to stop it. She turns and faces Knox and watches as the bomb goes off, the explosion destroying the car and him.
She doesn't understand; how could he do this? Why did he do that? Why would he kill himself?
She cries briefly on the way back to DEO base - she wasn't suppose to lose anyone. Now Knox's death was on her. She manages to brush away her tears before going to her sister. She hopes to gain some comfort for being in Alex's presence. It doesn't happen. Instead, the feeling of confusion and restlessness grows stronger as Alex examines the airport bomb.
It's not until the broadcast that she realizes what happened. Something about his wording is off, and despite wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt. His wording of having "fail-safes for every situation" and the bombing's fail safe just seemed too convenient for what happened. Ethan Knox did not want to hurt people, he didn't even seem too crazy when she spoke with him. Kara's gut feeling has never felt more off with the whole situation and now she knows why. Maxwell Lord, my soulmate, had something to do with this.
After confirming her suspicions with Winn hacking into the hospital records, Kara doesn't hold herself back any more. She goes to confront Maxwell Lord. She has to know the truth.
Kara lands on the windowsill of his office, and she silently watches him until he sees her shadow on the wall beside him. At his chuckle, the sick feeling in her stomach grew larger. Being close to him now, wasn't going to make her stronger or her restlessness go away, all she could feel right now was anger and disgust. This was my supposed soulmate?
"What can I get you?" Maxwell asks in a shout of amusement, as he turns around to face her, a drink in his hand. "Or are you not allowed to drink and fly? I don't know the rules."
"Caught your press conference." His smirk has her clenching her fists. "I was surprised, you're usually a little more glib."
He loses his smirk fast enough, but it doesn't make her any happier. "There was nothing to be glib about." He moves forward, closer to her. "A sick little girl lost her father."
She steps down inside the office. "That little girl's being treated by a doctor who has a lifetime grant from your company. You said, tonight, you always build in fail-safes. Like the kill switches in those bombs." Kara steps further in the room, heading closer to him. "Something tells me that there was a fail-safe in Knox's bomb, too. One that you could've remotely activated if I didn't save you in time." Kara studies him as she goes on, wishing that there was a denial or even a hint of confusion on his face. Instead, he doesn't seem surprised at anything she's saying. She doesn't know what hurts more. Him not having any regret or grief about what happened, or having her soulmate being an unfeeling bastard that couldn't care less about Knox's life. "You forced Knox to plant those bombs in exchange for saving his daughter's life."
He denies those words, "I would never barter a child's life." She wants to believe that - that he was a decent person despite everything. However she doesn't trust it. He's too calm, even with the disgust lacing his voice. "I can't speak for Knox's motives. He clearly went insane." He takes a sip of his drink and turns away to face his desk.
"Maybe you didn't expect Knox to vaporize himself, but I do know this was all a ruse." Kara states, moving ever closer to him. The draw to be near him, even now, was hard to resist. "I just can't figure out why you did it."
"Fascinating theory," Maxwell states smirking as he settles his drink on the desk and turns around to face her again. "Unprovable, but worth exploring." He continues as he takes off his suit jacket, settling it on his desk. "I suspect that whoever is responsible for these attacks" he points to her "might be curious about you, Supergirl." He gestures toward her; "What is she made of? How does she do it?"
"You were testing me."
He was testing her. He had been testing her - the spy drone, the building, the bombs at the train and airport. Everything was a test. For what? What did she do to deserve this? What did she do to him?
Maxwell laughs at her response, clasping his hands together in front of him as he studies her. "And what would these tests have shown us?" He moves to circle her as he continues to speak, "The drone would have measured your agility. The building explosion, your strength." Kara shuts her eyes as he moves closer to her, leaning in to speak. Everything that happened was because of her. "The next bomb would've demonstrated your speed while also revealing you're not actually invincible." He finishes off pointing his finger at her, and sighing Kara looks down and away from him. He continues, moving away from her. "But the results of that last test are the most intriguing of all."
He turns back to face her, a smirk appearing at his lips. She glares at him, already knowing where he was going with this conversation. "You chose to save a hundred people on that train, instead of thousands at the airport." A look of confusion appears on his face briefly, although he ignores her glare and continues to speak. "One might deduce that there was someone on that train that you cared about." He smirks, and moves closer again, once again pointing at her." And finding that person is the key to revealing who you really are... when you're not flying around wearing that "S".
He moves away from her, but she won't let this go. She's tired of holding back. "For the record, I care about everyone. If this was your way to get back at me - This is not the way to go about it! What makes you think endangering the lives of thousands was a good idea? That little girl lost her father! I don't want anyone to get hurt, not even you. I know I'm new at this, and clearly you do not trust me, but I believe I'm helping the city. You may have fooled this city, but I know you were behind this. I'm not going to be fooled again. And I'm watching you. This isn't over."
She doesn't wait for him to voice his defense or whatever he plans to say next, she flies out of the room, pushing harder at herself to fly faster. She couldn't stay another second, because either she was going to do something she would regret or not regret as the case might be. She wanted him to deny everything, she wanted her suspicions to be incorrect. And in spite of herself, she wants to tell him that they were soulmates because maybe, just maybe, he would stop his campaign to see her fail or whatever he's after. After everything she's been through, the last thing she really wants was to fight against her soulmate. They were supposed to help each other - to help each other grow and prosper and to help others, or at least that's the Krypton myth. Stronger together.
Soulmates on Krypton were much more common before Kryptonians grew in strength and knowledge - before they started to harness power from their planet. They held intelligence with high regard, focused less on romantic ties. Less and less soulmates appeared as time passed, until it was rare enough to be considered a blessing if soulmates were born. Families were aligned to make blood bonds stronger, babies were born from pods instead of their mother's womb - to take away any flaws that the child may have developed otherwise but also because it gave Kryptonians more time to learn and teach. Due to rarity of the soulmates on Krypton, the only soulmate pair Kara knew personally on Krypton were Lara and Jor-El, her aunt and uncle. She remembers the differences between them and her own parents or even Astra and Non, she remembers glancing at Lara's soulmark as a young child and her aunt explaining what it was - what it meant. She remembers wishing she could have one as well, remembers Lara's kind words of hope and patience.
She's felt the pull, knows the truth in it, but how can she trust it when Maxwell did those things? He's endangered thousands of people by playing that game. Maybe the bombs wouldn't go off in the end, maybe he would have stopped it after she picked where to go. Maybe it would have ended differently, maybe Knox would have lived. She can't think like that, she knows, it'll just drag her down further with the endless list of possibilities of what could have been. She has to have hope that he'll do the right thing, that he'll realize that she became Supergirl to help others.
There isn't any denying it anymore, even with who and what Maxwell Lord is or did, he's her soulmate. Maybe she won't ever be ready to tell him, maybe they won't be more than enemies.