[When my mother was a child, our planet, Krypton, was dying. She was sent to Earth to protect her cousin. But her pod got knocked off-course, and by the time she got here, her cousin had already grown up and become... Superman.]
“Are you still working on your speech?” Jon says through the comms. “It’s like, fifteen minutes before you have to go on stage.”
“I know that,” Lori hisses, wringing the notepad. It rips in her hands, and she huffs as she jumps to her feet to start pacing, gnawing insistently on her lip. “I just— I can’t figure out what to say.”
She takes a look at the stage; she’s hiding out behind it, surrounded by security vans, and the clamoring sounds of a crowded audience of journalists makes her uneasy. She can see the shadow of DEO staff prepping the stage, and all her frustration bubbles up. She stamps her foot with an angry grunt and Jon laughs.
“I get that you’re a billionaire and this is your mom’s venue, but take it easy. You’re gonna crack the pavement.”
She glares up at the roof of the nearby building that Jon’s perched on to supervise the event.
“Did you buzz in to make fun of me or help me?”
“Neither, really, the mocking thing just kinda happened.”
“I hate you.”
“Play nice, both of you,” Conner chimes in, with a bit of wind static. “You’re gonna be fine, Lori. They’re gonna love you.”
Her leg starts shaking.
“Of course they will.” Jon scoffs. “You’ve got the fresh new uniform. You’ve got the fresh new face.”
Lori looks down at her suit— it’s largely reminiscent of Conner’s first Superboy suit, with a red and black jacket framing the symbol on her chest. She fiddles with her gloves.
“Listen, what could go wrong?” Jon says. “You’ve got the entire Superman Team on standby— even Natasha’s here. There could be a literal invasion and you wouldn’t notice.”
“What Jon’s trying to say is,” Conner cuts in with an exasperated tone, “that the weather’s nice and you’ve got backup. It’s going to go fine.”
“Too bad, though,” Jon says. “You’ll be the only one to debut without a plane accident. I was starting to think it was gonna be a tradition, too.”
Conner snorts. “Technically, mine was a helicopter accident.”
Lori laughs, then pales when the stage speakers click on.
“Good evening, National City.” Kara’s voice comes booming through the park. Lori can see her mother’s outline through the thin banner that’s strung up the back of the stage. “And thank you for coming.”
“Look sharp, Lor,” Jon says. “You’re almost up now.”
Lori can’t even think of a witty retort.
“I know that my announcement of changing my title to Superwoman last week left a lot of questions. After having Supergirl defend National City for so long, it’s a big change— but I think that I’ll be able to give you answers today. I’d like to introduce you to someone very special—”
A large boom goes off in the distance, and a few screams come from the crowd— Lori looks up, trying to find the source of the explosion.
“Conner, what the hell was that?”
“You’re fucking kidding me,” he hisses.
“Plane just blew an engine, it’s spiralling over the city now,” he deadpans. “I can’t believe this.”
Lori quickly shoots up to the roof of the convention building, scowl-squinting at the sunset to get a better look at the plane.
Jon starts laughing raucously. “Holy shit,” he says, not sounding sorry at all, “I fucking jinxed it—”
“Language, children,” Kara buzzes in, sounding a little amused. “Valor, Superboy, would you please fly backup to Lori’s first rescue operation?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Conner says.
Lori gapes. “Me?”
“Yes, you,” Kara laughs. “There’s no point in denying tradition.”
“In position,” Jon says, now with the same wind static. “Waiting on you, Lori.”
Lori gulps, feeling paralyzed.
“Go, Lorelai.” Lena comes on the line. “This is your moment.”
“You’re ready, is’kah,” Kara adds. “No matter what happens, we’re proud of you.”
Lori takes in a deep breath and crouches for a moment, gathering her courage, before she shoots into the air.
[So, she hid her powers until an accident forced her to reveal herself. Ever since then, she and Superman have worked tirelessly to defend this planet.]
“About time!” Jon teases as Lori falls into formation between them.
“Be serious,” Conner admonishes as the two of them fall away. “Lori, grab it from the underside and aim for the river.”
“Roger,” Lori says, and feels a rush— this is really it. Her first operation. Her debut.
[They created a Legacy of what it means to be a Super; to defend the people of Earth, human or otherwise.]
She grabs the plane, and reels for a moment as it resists her more than she anticipated— her hands dig into the steel and she grits her teeth. Momentum, force, velocity— doing all these calculations in the moment is a lot harder than she thought—
“You got this!” Jon yells.
“Three hundred meters to impact,” Conner says. “You can do it!”
Lori shouts in effort, gripping the plane tighter.
[I've trained all my life to take up this legacy with pride.]
“It’s still going too fast!”
“No, she’s got it—”
Lori screams as the plane approaches the river, kicking her feet out against the surface of the water. She panics for a moment, bending the metal in her hands—
It’s only in the split second before she’s submerged that she knows she did it.
[To most people, I'm Lorelai L. Danvers, daughter of Lena Luthor and intern at L-Corp's Jump City branch.]
She can hear her cousins whooping and laughing in her earpiece when she drags herself out of the water and onto the wing, gasping for breath.
“HQ,” she says, switching to the DEO channel as she pulls herself to her feet with a grin. “Requesting civilian evacuation at sector seven.”
God, that sounds so cool.
“Squad en route,” is J’onn’s reply. “Good job, agent.”
She only just resists throwing a triumphant fist pump— instead she makes her way over to the emergency exit and tugs the door open, stepping in.
“Is everybody alright?”
The passengers stare at her in wonder, whispering amongst themselves. Lori’s about to feel a little awkward in the gaping silence when a stewardess finally speaks up.
“No one’s injured,” she says, hesitantly.
Lori nods. “That’s good. People will be here to help you evacuate in a short moment. You’re all safe now.”
Another beat of silent staring, and then slowly, claps start throughout the cabin— soon, Lori’s getting a standing ovation, and she feels her chest filling with pride.
[But in secret, I work with my family to protect my world from hostile alien life and anyone else that means to cause it harm.]
“Who are you?” the stewardess asks with an awed grin, half-shouting over the clamour.
Lori grins and rests her hands on her hips.