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Mercy

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National City was showing her finer colours as the afternoon spun into dusk with a symphony of colour. The oranges, purples, reds, and yellows cast ribbons of colour along the modern and sleek white colour-scheme in the CEO’s office of L-Corp, formerly Luthor Corp. Turning from her great (bulletproof) windows Lena Luthor tossed back her hair and leant forward over her desk, pulling her laptop closer and entering her password and offering her thumbprint and retinal scan to allow her access to the device.

While she had many computers this one was connected to both her work files and her personal files, the main difference between the two was that as well as being connected to the work servers and showing her research into certain projects to staff with the right clearance levels, the personal server also contained much of her brothers research and notes, as well as information he didn’t want known. It was a risk, to have such information online, but L-Corp firewalls were designed by the finest IT employees money could buy, and her personal firewalls were reinforced by her own computer skills. Lex had also kept paper-files, notes, and research regarding things he hadn’t wanted anyone to see, those she’d had moved from his head-office, head research lab, and his home before the authorities could get their hands on them. She’d had them stored in a warehouse in Metropolis under a shell corporation and a dozen other precautionary measures to ensure Lex’s research never saw the light of day, there was no telling what that information could do if it were let loose on the world. Paranoid Lex may have been, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t out to get you.

Hesitating over her private files she instead reached for the remote on her desk and clicked a button. The glass on her windows shimmered slightly and she clicked back into her private files, confident that if anyone had been spying on her through her window, it was now reflecting back at them as two-way glass, hiding her from view. She’d encrypted her files and had hidden pieces of data behind various government agencies’ own firewalls in order to cover her tracks and would reassemble her information and then disassemble it when she was finished. One of the folders in her private server was labelled ‘The Ark Argon’ (and ignored her internal giggle) and she aimed her mouse towards it, ignoring other files such as Lex, Lillian, Lionel, Super’s, Research and Development, and such things.

The moment she clicked it an algorithm was sent out to the internet, using multiple IP addresses and various commands in order to call the information back to her. It took a few moments, some of the information was in very, very ‘secure’ places, but soon the entirety of the folder was before her, with police and government agencies reports, folders on personnel, video footage, even notes on weapons and movements. She felt her lip curl at the name John Corbin (Metallo) but shook the thought off and continued.

She had sworn to turn L-Corp into a force for good and she would stand by her word, and Project Cadmus was how she was going to do it. She had been unable to breach their firewalls, even locating pieces of the organisation on the internet was difficult and she was very cautious in her investigating, concealing her identity and search patterns behind other devices and IP addresses all over the globe. She was about to click into one of the folders about their weapons- after having destroyed the ones at her Gala she had added the information she had gotten from police reports to the file-when there was a boom outside her door and then terrified shouts.

Clicking out of the folder she quickly opened another as she reached under her desk and activated the thumbprint scan that held her secret compartment of weapons. It slid out of the desk, about the size of an A3 piece of paper with several guns and mags of ammo. There was a large gun which fit the entire depth, two small hand guns, and then a larger hand-gun with only one mag of ammo, which had a faint purple glow to it. She had a safe room connected to her office, but the entrance was over by the wall and she would not leave her employees to their fate and cower in fear. Besides, she didn’t know if this creature, whatever it was, could find her in her safe room, even as it was surrounded by steal and concealed with lead.

There was shouting and screaming and she could hear the fire-alarm start, ordering the evacuation, and an inhuman roar as the sounds of gunfire rang out. Decision made she took the large hand-gun and the magazine and clicked the compartment back into place. It slid back into the white desk without any grooves indicating it existed. Lined with lead and hidden as part of her desk they were one of her last lines of defence and no-body knew she had them there.

The phone on her desk rang, no doubt one of her staff-members to alert her of an alien attack, probably, but she ignored it and settled on her chair, knuckles turning white over the grip as she flicked the safety off. The gun was matched to her prints and she alone would be able to fire it, the thought made her stiffen and she consciously shifted her finger off the trigger even as she picked up a pen with her left hand. She was right-handed but whoever was coming into her office wouldn’t know that, and they wouldn’t see the gun in her hand before it was too late, she hoped.

There was a growling rumble and her double door’s were blasted across the room, one ended up leaning on her couch like some drunk, and the other slammed into the opposite wall.

Her heart was hammering in her chest and she tightened her grip on the gun even as she clenched her jaw and lifted her chin to face the intruder. She was Lena Luthor. She would not show fear, especially to an in-human who dared attack her company, staff and person.

It was well over seven feet, and had to duck to fit inside her door frame, but took out a lot of it as it forced its way inside. It was scaled like a heavily built crocodile, with a thick neck and shoulders and lethal looking spikes sticking from its head, shoulders and down its back. It’s arms were humanoid enough to call arms, even though they were clawed and looked to bend in a different way than humans did. Its four legs with clawed feet made clicking noises on her wooden floor and she spared at thought to the maintenance team who would have to replace the floor boards, if she got out of this. Fiery red eyes watched her through reptilian slits and blinked vertical pupils.

“Leeeeea Liiithiirrrr,” it rumbled, clearly unfamiliar with the human tongue and its voice reminded her of a rockslide. Fear ran its traitorous fingers down her spine, delighting in the awareness of the fine hairs at the back of her neck as she hid her shiver, barely. She had a feeling the creature knew though, as it lifted its head and showered her its teeth, great big fangs the size of a chef’s knife. Her heart was hammering and she lifted her chin imperiously and leant back slowly in her chair, gripping the gun so tightly she could feel it trying to merge into her skin. Not yet. She would see what it wanted first. She was not her brother to wish genocide on the first aliens she came across.

The alien made a funny growling, coughing sound and before she could react it launched itself at her. There was a shattering of glass and a blur of red and blue burst past her, colliding in mid-air with the alien and then the rest of the fight was a mixture of inhuman roars, shouting, the sound of helicopters, and the late appearance of agents in black with guns. Her office was torn to shreds and beaten into pieces as the two aliens fought each other and she hurried to the corner, minding the gap in her window where Supergirl had flown through. She kept the gun loosely in her hand, secure enough to use it but certain in her training as it took over her fear. She could be afraid when she was dead, or when the creature was.

Supergirl growled something through gritted teeth, something Lena was unable to hear over the fire-alarm, the shouting and the approaching sirens, but the alien clearly did, for it picked up her ten thousand dollar couch and threw it across the room at the caped superhero. Supergirl caught it like it were a box of tissues or something, a confident smirk on her face and then she hurled it back at the alien.

There was a strange purple fire running beneath the scales of the alien, Lena was able to see it from where she was hiding behind her desk chair in the corner, pressed against her drawers with the chair like some sort of leather shield. Helpful, she knew, but she was only human. The purple was in between the scales, almost like it was keeping them together, and she didn’t have the voice to warn Supergirl as the fire suddenly flared and then vanished, before building at a greater pace than before, almost burring under the scaled hide.

The alien turned around with and gave the equivalent of a backhand to Supergirl. The blonde went flying, the purple fire falling from the scaled aliens claws and sending her flying into the opposite wall where she slumped. The television fell on her with a section of the wall and she didn’t respond. Lena felt a sliver of unease and shifted slightly from behind her chair. She hadn’t had the chance to escape yet, the two battling aliens tearing apart her office had cut her escape route off on multiple occasions, so she had remained out of the fight in the corner. There was a helicopter hovering outside her window, it was a black one with guns on the front and one on the side where a figure in black stood ready to fire. Military use. This must be the government agency that worked with Supergirl.

Limping slightly, because of the fight with the humanoid protector, the alien shoved through the debris and over to National City’s Guardian Angel. It gave a grunt as it lifted the wall from her and let it fall to the side with a thud which sent dust and smaller bits of debris across the barely recognisable wooden floor like a small wave. Seeing her moment Lena rose and began to inch her way across the floor, scrambling over parts of her ceiling, one of her chairs, her safe, some books, and trying to avoid the shattered pieces of her window, and vases from the shelf.

Supergirl was limp, unresponsive as the alien hovered over her, the purple fire was lingering under her own skin, running the length of her veins. Though they were different species, the Girl of Steel was similar enough in body structure for Lena to be able to see her veins, identical to those of a human, as the fire ran through it, highlighting them as it passed before going on to the next. The alien lifted a massive hand and its claws formed into a long triangular spear above the fallen superhero and Lena could see the blood oozing from the long gashes down her front that the claws had made. She took a few more steps to the door, it was a less than three meters away now, broken and bowed, but she’d be able to get through. Lena felt the gun knock against the upturned leg of one of her guest chairs and lifted it as she moved over the last obstacle, a fallen beam from the ceiling and cast a glance back at the two aliens. Supergirl would move at any moment. Right….now!

The only movement from the hero was the rise and fall of her chest and the lifting of the great clawed spear and Lena sighed, resigned.

‘I hope we can work together more in the future.’ And, ‘me too,’ rose to her memory and she steeled herself, lifting the gun and bracing it with her other hand.

“Hey, you!” She snarled as she walked closer, to what could be her death, voice lowering dangerously. Humans she could handle, humans with alien weaponry she could handle, massive alien looking aliens on the other-hand…. But, she was a Luthor. She would not cower before an alien. Not now, not ever.

The creature paused over Supergirl and turned its snake-like eyes on her and she allowed a curl to cross her lips. “Didn’t you hear?” She enquired mockingly. “Luthor’s hate aliens. You picked the wrong office to crash.” And then she opened fire.