Supergirl:

    Hellspawn

    by DarkMark

    Part 1

NOTE: Characters in this story are property of DC Comics.  No money is being made by this story, no infringement is intended.
    
    -S-

Linda Danvers was about to go to bed, after she figured out what she was going to wear to the future this weekend.

She had on a Chicago Bears T-shirt and a pair of panties, her usual sleeping attire, and was barefoot, rummaging through the closet of her apartment.  Nothing here wouldn’t look antique.  Nothing except the Supergirl outfit she wore most often there.  But, Sheol, a girl got tired of the same old blue, red, and yellow all the time, and the man she loved deserved more changes of outfit than that.  

Oh, well, she could depend on the Legion to supply her with some appropriate clothes.  She could even get Computo to run up some outfits for her, based on her own input and designs.  Once in awhile she’d worn a skin-tight number that it had produced, and Dev had appreciated it in more ways than one.  Plus she got some appreciative stares on the street, and the best part of it was that, without the costume, nobody seemed to know she was Supergirl.  Also, with the heating elements built into the suit, you could wear as little as you wanted all year round.  Conversely, cooling elements in more modest suits would let you wear the longest cover-ups in the hottest days of summer.  If only she could import that technology to the 20th Century.  Dolce and Gabbana would hire her on the spot.

Nuts.

She considered one of her favorite outfits, a three-piece black and orange number.  That just wouldn’t work in the 30th.  Luckily, any of her bikinis would.  When she was alone with Dev, even that wouldn’t be necessary.

The last couple of weekends he had spent with her in the 20th.  Now, she’d have to pay him back by visiting the 30th, this weekend and next.  It was a weird form of romance, to be certain.  But Dev-Em, who had started out as an enemy of Superboy’s before going to the future, going straight, and becoming a spy, had satisfied her as no other man ever had.  Both in bed, and in her heart.

But what could she do with this romance?

Linda flopped down on the side of the bed, her black-and-orange suit still in hand.  True, she loved Dev more than any man in her life.  But neither one had offered to give up his or her time-era for the other, yet.  Dev hadn’t agreed to marriage yet, and she was reluctant to bring it up.  

How could she leave the 20th, and her natural and adoptive parents?

How could he leave the 30th, with his espionage work for the United Planets and the Legion?

She sighed and massaged her temples.  And to think that she’d used to wonder all the time why Kal didn’t just go ahead and tell Lois he loved her, get married, and get the whole thing finished.  Now he and Lois were married.  Linda, on the other hand, had been sleeping for several months with Dev, and was no closer now to a ring then when they’d started.

But at least there was the love.  Physical and emotional, there was that.

But if one of you doesn’t budge, Kara, she thought, if one of you doesn’t make a sacrifice for the other, and quit this bichronal relationship to live in the other’s time...

(Say it, mind)

...there won’t even be that.  Maybe.

Linda dropped back on the bed, letting the three-piece suit go and kicking it away.  Rao knew, she didn’t want to lose him.  Or her parents.  But if she didn’t want to lose everything, something was going to have to be lost.

But not this weekend.  At least, not this weekend.

Dev was so hard to second-guess.  All she was sure of was that he seemed to love her, too.

Tomorrow, she’d have to settle for that.

A well-aimed burst of super-breath turned off the light switch.  Another one adjusted the thermostat.  With that, Linda Danvers climbed into bed.  The mental exercises a Kandorian psychiatrist had taught her would help her get to sleep.  They had to.

Within half an hour, Linda Danvers, also known as Kara Zor-El, also known as Supergirl, was slumbering.

    -K-

From another place, other eyes watched.

“You summoned me here for this?” said the one in the hat, suit, and gleaming medallion, watching an image of the sleeping Linda Danvers that was in more than three dimensions, before them both.

“This should be enough,” said the one clad in black, which offset his entirely pale aspect.  “You, of all, should know the import of this one.”

“She was instrumental in the defeat of Darkseid,” said the other.  “I did not think, Lord Shaper, that you concerned yourself with such things.”

“Even you would be surprised at what concerns me,” said Morpheus.  “This one, and her variant selves, have been focal points in their Truths.  Anti-Life would have been a disconcertment.  But two great battles remain in the future.  She will be involved in them, and so will you, Grey Walker.”

The Stranger bowed his head.  “As He Who Is wills.  How is it you foresee such matters?”

“That is of no concern,” the Dream King said.  “I granted you a boon a solstice ago.  In payment, you must receive my burden of information.  This you will carry with yourself through the centuries, until such time comes as to act upon it.”

“One question,” said the Stranger.  “You dare trust me in this matter?”

The Sandman looked upon his guest with perhaps less opaqueness than usual.

“More than I would trust anyone outside of the Dreaming,” he said, “and more than I would trust a few inside it.”

    -S-

After getting herself together as much as possible in the morning, Linda got a call.  Hoping it wasn’t somebody wanting her to cover a weekend shift, she half-yawned, “H’lo.”

“Linda, this is Lois.  Are you awake enough?”

“Oh, yeah, hi, Lois.  What’s up in Metropolis?”  Lois had married her cousin Kal, aka Clark Kent, several months ago.  That was after the Crisis, before the fight in the 30th Century with Mordru and Satan Girl, and before the war in the 20th with Darkseid and his troops.  It had been a busy year.

“Not so much in Metropolis, dear, as in me.  I’m expecting.”

“You’re pregnant?”  Kara caught her breath and smiled widely.  “Lois, that’s terrific!  How are you feeling?”

“I’m feeling great, all things considered.  It’s only about five weeks along, but Clark gave me an exam—you know how—and we went in for an ultrasound to make it look good.  It’s twins.”

“Twins?”

“Boy and a girl.  How’s that for production?”

“It’s amazing, Lois.  And at...well...”

“At my age, dear.  You can say it.”

“Uh, well...yeah.”

“Guess my body just wouldn’t quit until I landed Mr. Kent.”  Lois’s chuckle carried easily through the line.  “I wanted you to know ASAP.  You’ll almost be an aunt.”

“Second cousin, I guess,” said Linda.  “How are you holding up?  I hate to talk like that, but you know what kind of problems you might have.”

“Oh, I know.  But Clark went to that place where your mom and dad live and brought me back a treatment.  That way I won’t get hurt much when the kids kick, and I should be able to have ‘em as easy as, well, writing a puff piece.”

“Much relief, Lois.  But you know, there’s never been a child of, well, that kind born on Earth.”

“I’ll be a first.  We might have to go to your hometown to have them.  How are you and Dev getting along?”

“We’re doing fine.  I’m going to see him this weekend.  Glad you caught me just before I went out.”

“Well, I knew you were going.  That’s why I wanted to catch you before your left.  Clark sends his regards, and he says he hopes you have a good time.”

“Oh, I will.  Thanks, Lois.  And like they say where I come from...blessings on your house.”

“Yours too, honey.  Bye.”

“Bye, Lois.”  She heard the connection break on the other end.  What a thing it was, to have to talk in code about an Earthwoman having half-Kryptonian babies, and about leaving for a time a thousand years in the future.  Then again, from her fifteenth year onward, her life had been anything but normal.

By Earth standards, it had been beyond normal way before that.

She changed into her Supergirl outfit, put on her boots, ran the comb through her hair to make it blonde again, took a deep breath, and opened the window.  Once again she was the Girl of Steel.  Once again she was flying from her apartment at a speed so great no normal eye could see her, no regular camera could catch her.  A mechanism she and Kal had installed would close the window behind her in seconds.

Supergirl vibrated her body just so, and accelerated to just the proper velocity, making a red corona of air friction about herself.  

An instant later, she vanished from 1986.

    -S-

Otherwhen, a time alien from both Kara’s destination and her native time:

The boy and his mentors looked over a battlefield.  The enemy had not simply been routed, they had been destroyed.  Utterly.

“Your time on this one was good,” said the young one’s guardian.  “But not perfect.”

The boy smirked.  “Hey, I like to play around a little.”

“I can empathize,” said the guardian’s aide, in an oily but subservient tone.

“Silence,” said the guardian.  “There will be times for ‘playing around’, as you put it, and for alacrity.  Efficiency.  Never forget, time wasted is time that can be used by your enemies.”

“Understood,” said the boy.

His hands behind his back, the guardian chose his next words carefully.  Not just for the boy, but for himself.

“I have had three prior sons, boy.  Two of my body, one of my charge.  But you, my fourth son...you have had advantages your forebears never knew.  I left their upbringing to others.  I was busy.  You, I have tended to with all my attention.  With all my knowledge.  Do you know why, boy?”

The aide dared not speak.  He knew this moment was his master’s, and his master’s new son’s.

“Because I am the greatest of the four,” the boy responded.  “Because I am the one who will break our enemies like pottery shards.  Because I will avenge you, my father.  Avenge you, and...my mother.”

“Just so,” said the guardian.  “Do you...remember who undid my plans, a thousand years ago, boy?  And who, not so long ago...undid your mother?”

The boy took a long time to answer.  “The Supergirl,” he said, in a voice just above a whisper.

“Just so,” the guardian repeated.  He began to trudge forward now, into the mass of wreckage, into the burning, into the broken bodies.  The boy followed, and the aide followed him, more than a few paces behind.

“It will be some years before you are of age, boy,” said the guardian, nudging half a corpse with his foot.  “It will be some years before we can reveal ourselves.  The United Planets, the Guardians of the Universe, they must be kept...unknowing.  Timing is all-important, boy.  Any general can tell you that.  Timing is everything.”

The boy kicked aside a thousand-pound war machine.  It turned over several times, quite noisily.  The aide cowered before the display of power.  The boy, taking no note of him, said, “Do you really believe she will come back?”

“She will, boy.  They will summon her.”

A resolute look came over his features.  “That is good, father.  Very, very good.”

“Do you know what you shall do, boy?  Do you know what you shall do, in that time and on that day?”

He drew in great breaths, and looked as wild as a drug-hyped ancient hunter with the prey in sight.

“I will avenge my mother’s death.  I will avenge your honor.  I will make her pay for blocking the True Path.  I WILL DESTROY THE SUPERGIRL.”

The guardian looked into the distance.

“And so you shall, my boy.  And so, one day, you shall.”

    -S-

She didn’t mind going to the future.  She just didn’t like the trip.

Everything had to be done just so.  Achieving the proper velocity, the right vector for departure, the correct vibrational rate to shift one into trans-time, not between parallel worlds...well, once you had it down, you never forgot it.  But she didn’t like those bands of colored light that you had to see when you were in transit, she didn’t like the noises which were not noise, she didn’t like not being able to smell or touch anything, and she wished to heaven it was just as easy as flying to Venus or something.  

(Not that she liked flying to Venus a bit.  It was hot and full of liquid metal and the atmosphere distorted even super-vision sometimes.  You could see the back of your own head on the horizon.  Really, that would be useful for doing your hair, but blamed if she wanted to put up with that pit of a planet just for that.)

Nonetheless, she still felt forward motion in this time-limbo.  Perhaps it was just a function of her mind.  Was she really travelling “forward”, after all, when she spent only a nanoinstant in the days between her home-time and the time she was visiting?  Leave that to Rond Vidar or Brainy.  They had time to care about such things.  Maybe.

What a girl had to go through just to get a date these days.

Well, what the hey.  Supergirl slowed her flying speed as she sensed the proper time coming up.  Really, it was probably like piloting a plane: after awhile, you could sense where you should be and what you should be doing.  Kal and she had been visiting the 30th more than any other time.  They knew just when to pull into the station.

The flashing bands of color in wavelengths obvious to both human and Kryptonian vision began to fade.  Reality asserted itself.  Kara kept her vibration going so as not to provoke a sonic boom when she emerged into a single time-space and stopped.  

There it was.  The headquarters building of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Actually, it was a complex, and it covered several blocks of 30th Century Metropolis real estate.  Thanks to attacks from super-villains, the buildings around it were either staffed by robots or equipped for quickie getaway by their inhabitants.  She knew that the people who worked there drew higher pay for their proximity to the Legion.

Supergirl hovered above it, eighty feet in the sky, looking over the complex and the ground it covered.  She had to chuckle when she thought of their original HQ, the “Legion Clubhouse”...an antique rocket ship-shaped building stuck nose-first in the ground.  Thankfully, the Fatal Five had demolished that and they’d had to move into more spacious quarters.  

Except for Tyroc, she had been the Legionnaire with the most absenteeism.  That had upset Brainiac 5 a lot, and he’d begged her to take part in more missions.  But, Sheol, she had a life in the 20th Century, first as a student in high school and college, then as a working gal in various enterprises.  Plus the Supergirl shtick.  And, truth to tell, even though she liked Brainy a lot, she just couldn’t get interested in him from a love angle.  That was hard to tell him, and she’d avoided doing it.  Still, for all his 12th-level brain, Brainiac 5 hadn’t figured it out.  He hadn’t wanted to.

Then she’d kissed Dev-Em in his presence, not even thinking about it until too late.  He got the message, and didn’t like it a bit.  Luckily, Laurel Kent, Kal’s 30th Century descendant, had come along and got Brainy on the rebound.  Their relationship was working out really well, and Kara was glad for it.

All these thoughts went through her head within seconds.  Below her, on the perimeter of the LSH buildings, some Science Police guards saw her, waved, and called up to her.  She waved back.  They didn’t see her so often, and she had learned that being related to the original Superman had a lot of status with them.  Here, he was a legend.

The IFF device in her belt had identified her as a friend.  Kara plunged towards the main building and sped through its entryway, which opened readily for her.  Computo, the computerized major domo of the place, said something to her which she would remember later.  She flew through the hallways, parallel to the floor, and almost bowled over Bouncing Boy, who was coming around a corner with his wife, Duo Damsel.  They cried out in surprise, but Kara changed direction on a dime, heading upward, stopping her flight, and dropping back to the floor for a two-point landing.  She smiled, spread her arms, and embraced them both.  “Chuck.  Luornu.  How are you doing?”

“Oh.  Kara,” said Chuck, struggling to hold his composure and his wife, the latter in one hand.  “Shocked the hell out of me.  Doing okay.  How are you, anyway?”

Luornu was a little more put out.  “Next time, give us a little warning before you fly into our faces, okay, Supergirl?  Chuck’d have a lot easier time bouncing off you than me.”

“Sorry about that, Lu,” Kara said.  “Haven’t seen you in so long.  What’re you up here for?”

“Reserve business,” said Chuck.  “Appropriations.  They’ve set a ceiling on us and we want to increase it by one or two.  Got some good potentials out there I want to chase.  Also, well, we’ve got a little announcement.”

“Which is?”

“I’m pregnant,” said Luornu.

“You are?”  Kara gaped, while thinking, Holy sun of Krypton...deja review!  

“Yup, it’s a little girl,” beamed Chuck Taine.  “She’s going to have her mom’s old triplicating power.  No bouncing, though, ‘cause I wasn’t born with it.”

“And if you’re curious, Kara,” Luornu put in, “I’m just going to be one, not two, for the delivery.  If I gave birth to duplicate kids, there would be complications like you wouldn’t believe.”

Snickering, Kara stuck out her hand.  “I’m sorry I wasn’t looking before I almost flew into you, Lu.  Forgive me?”

“Sure.” Duo Damsel shook Supergirl’s hand.  “You’re in luck this time.  No world-shaking menaces, just routine business this weekend.  We hope.”

“You and me both,” she said.  “Dev and I have some time to catch up on.”

“We know all about catching up on things,” smirked Chuck.  “Say hi to him for me, Kara.”

“Will do.”  The Girl of Steel pushed off her tiptoes and rose into the air again.  This time she flew slower and used her X-ray vision to see ahead of her.  It wasn’t that far to her destination, and she smiled widely when she saw what was ahead.

Even better, she saw someone looking back at her, through the walls.

In an instant, Kara hurtled into the Legion’s meeting room.  

Around the big white round table were a scattering of Legionnaires and hangers-on.  There was, as Luornu had said, no emergency at present, so only a few of the many members were present.  She knew them all.

There was Element Lad, the present leader, sitting beside Shvaughn Erin, his girl, who was also an SP officer.  Mon-El and Shadow Lass were beside them; the blue-skinned Shady perked up and waved to her when she caught sight of Kara.  Brainiac 5 looked up at her with resolution, and kept his hand in that of Laurel Kent, who beamed at her.  To their right sat Colossal Boy, with whom she’d had a harrowing adventure against Mordru last time they’d met.  

Finally, sitting apart from the rest, was Dev-Em.  He, who had been the one scoping her out with his X-ray vision (a power, Kara noted, which could also see through her costume), smiled wryly and lounged back in his chair.

“Good to see you made it, Karaish,” Dev said.

“Afternoon, Kara,” said Element Lad, extending his hand for a shake.  “Good to see you back in our time.”

“Just a minute,” she said, and flew over to Dev.  She hoisted him out of his chair and kissed him hard in mid-air.  The Legionnaires, for the most part, guffawed.  Then she flew the both of them over to Element Lad’s side and shook his hand.  “Thanks, Jan.  It’s always good to be here.”

“I keep telling her that, but will she leave the 20th?  No,” said Dev.  “I think she’s an anti-30th bigot.”

“Hey, if I’m not prejudiced against a century you’re in, nothing can make me hate it,” retorted Kara.  She squeezed his hand and he squeezed back.

“We’re just into routine business today,” said Element Lad.  “We’ve also got a quorum, here and on remote.  If you’d like, we’d be glad to have you take part.”

“Thanks, but there are other things I’d like to take part in,” she replied.  “Just one thing first.  Dev, if you please.”  He released her and she walked over to another part of the table.

“Brainy,” she said, “I’m sorry.”

“Oh, Kara,” said Laurel, “there’s no need for that at all.”

Brainiac 5 exhaled, then wrapped his arm around Laurel’s waist.  The display of affection seemed to give him pleasure, and he looked straight at Dev for a long moment.  Dev gave back a look of indifference.  “It’s all right, Kara.  As you can see, I have a Krypt of my own, and she has me.”

Kara nodded, as Laurel, standing beside her man, put her arm about his shoulders.  The two of them had gotten together in the wake of the Mordru war, and she was honestly glad of it.  Kara had found out about it when she’d come back to attend the wedding of Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl not long afterward.  Since then, she’d learned the two had shared an adventure against Pulsar Stargrave that cemented their relationship.  Brainy and Laurel, she could tell, were a lot better couple than she and Brainy could ever have been.

“I’m glad the two of you could get together,” she said.  “And I really mean that.”  She bussed Laurel on the cheek.  The black-haired girl in the bikini, a descendant of Superman and Lois Lane, squeaked in surprise and smiled.

“Blessings on your houses,” said Kara.

“Yours too, Karavia,” said Laurel, and hugged her with one arm.  There was a bond that Krypt survivors shared that no one else could understand.  Kara didn’t know what Dev thought of the Brainy / Laurel relationship, but she knew he viewed the new Legionnairess as a sister in arms.

Speaking of arms, she thought...

“If you don’t mind,” she said, “Dev and I have a few things to catch up on.”

“That we do,” said Dev, who was now standing beside her.  “If you’ll all excuse us, we’d like to start catching right away.”

“Begone, you two,” said Jan Arrah.  “Check in with us later in the weekend, Kara.  Best of luck to you both.”

“All of you, too,” said Kara.  Dev took her right hand and the two of them flew towards the doorway.

They never got there.

In mid-flight, before either of them could change course or even react, a nimbus of color opened in the very air in front of them.  Kara opened her mouth in astonishment.  A space- or time-warp of some sort, she guessed.  She’d been through enough of them to know what they looked like.  But why there, in one of the most heavily-guarded places in the galaxy?  And why for both of them?

Even more important, who was creating it?

She turned her head towards Dev, who was looking as perplexed as she was.  Then both of them were through.

Still holding hands, the two of them caromed off a wall, denting it a bit, and fell in a sprawl upon a floor.  Kara was on her feet in an instant, in a fighting stance; Dev did much the same.  The room seemed familiar, though a bit strange.   It was even larger than the one they’d just left.  And there was a host of people, both male and female, standing nearby.

One of them had green skin and blonde hair.  Another, a woman, was brunette and wore a black one-piece swimsuit uniform.  She knew them both.  But...instead of being physically in their early 20's...

...these two, and the rest of the room’s occupants, were fully adults.  Probably in their late 30s, if she’d had to guess.

“Supergirl, Dev-Em,” said the older Brainiac 5.  “Sorry we had to take you this way.”

“Very regretful,” said a black-haired man in a yellow suit.  Supergirl pegged him for an older Rond Vidar.

Dev was tense, poised to strike.  “Somebody has thirty seconds to tell me what in blue thunder this is all about, before I start punching.  I won't be that discriminatory.”

“Save it, Dev,” said someone who had to be Mon-El.  “There’s a reason we had to summon you to this time, and in this manner.”

Kara sighed, relaxed a bit, and put her hands on her hips.  “And would someone kindly tell me what that reason is?”

Brainiac 5 looked at the both of them ruefully, paused, and then said one word.

“Darkseid.”

    (next chapter)

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