Supergirl (Kara of Rokyn):
Kal & Lyla
Supergirl realized as they sped through the void that, even at
super-speed, she’d be so time-crunched for this job and the next that
it’d take two miracles to get through them. Nonetheless, she was
going to try to make it work.
With her, held under one arm in a space suit, was Mark Mandrill, the
red-headed, red-bearded Matter Master. He wasn’t wearing his
customary wizard’s hat, but he did have his Mentachem Wand holstered in
the white belt of his suit. Kara glanced at him and saw the
wonder in his eyes. Even a super-villain like Mandrill hadn’t
been in this part of space.
Mentally, she reviewed his history. Mandrill had been an enemy of
Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and, like most villains on Earth, had crossed the
path of the Justice League as well. The wand he held gave him the
power to alter the shape or nature of material objects, even
transforming them alchemically into different elements. That part
she was counting on.
Something else she was counting on was that Mandrill knew, in outer
space, she was his only chance of getting back to Earth alive.
Therefore, there probably wouldn’t be much chance of him transforming a
passing meteor into Kryptonite. She smiled grimly with one side
of her mouth, then spoke into her throat mike. <Reading me okay?>
<Loud and clear, missy,> Mandrill replied. <Hate to sound like
this, but are we there yet?>
<Pretty close,> she said. About her, she wore a clear
skin-tight armor that filtered out certain waves of radiation and let
others through. It was something Shyla Kor-Onn had developed, and
Kara was mighty glad she had. Because she saw the star which was
the center of the system she was headed for, and its hue was red.
If she wasn’t wearing the armor, she’d have been powerless and dead
As it was, she could use her telescopic vision to tell her where to go
and her flight and super-speed to get them both there. The former
power showed her a distinct object, glowing green, like a beacon in the
darkness. She thought of a lighthouse, warning mariners away from
deadly rocks. Not an inappropriate analogy, she told herself.
And she felt a terrible rush of nostalgia and pain, for the object she
was looking at was nothing less than her hometown: Argo City.
A second later, she heard Mandrill’s voice in her earplug. <You all
Supergirl pulled herself together. <I’m fine, Mandrill. You’re
sure that wand of yours has the range?>
<It should,> he said. <No atmosphere to drag it down out
<Just so you remember who’s flying you back,> she said, and, with
a final spurt of speed, got them both as close as she dared to the
For a few moments she let them both hang motionless in space, and used
her vision powers to survey Argo. First—yes, there was Zor-El’s
house, the home she had been raised in. Oh, Rao, there was her
room, and most of her things were still in it! The book cubes,
the clothes, the holosnaps, the mementos, many of the bits and pieces
that had made up her fifteen-year-old life. Not far from it was
her father’s study, complete with all the bric-a-brac that had defined
him, from the fighting gloves that hung over the heating unit to the
certificate that made him acting mayor of Argo City. There, too,
was her mother’s room, complete with the photos from her modeling
stint, her paintings of light and pigment, her self-designed fashion
clothes, and the diploma from her university. Their hovercraft
still rested in the garage, and...
...and there were still some bodies, preserved by the conditions of
space and not yet floated through the cracks in the great dome.
Kara closed her eyes.
<Are you sure you’re okay?>
Mandrill’s voice. It was nice to know he was still
concerned. She replied, <Can you see where I’m pointing?>
He nodded. <Green glowing rock. Kryptonite?>
<Yes,> she said. <Do what I told you. And remember that
I’m the only thing that can get you back to Earth, so don’t get any
<Oh,> he said, in mock innocence. <Wouldn’t dream of it.
Kara hoped it wasn’t a reference to an old Flash villain. Then,
as she watched with her telescopic vision, she saw the Matter Master
perform a miracle.
A wave of invisible power passed over the green-glowing rock that was
Argo City, in the shape of an arc. As it passed, the verdant
gleam of Kryptonite dulled, and was replaced by the look of normal
rock, soil, and withered vegetation. It took some time, as Argo
had been a large city and a sizeable chunk of underground real estate
had been flung into space beneath it. (That, she reflected, was
the fault of Zor-El’s weather shield, which had extended
energy-tendrils beneath the city as well as a physical structure above
it, to keep it anchored.) But once it was done, a dead city, as
historically important at Schliemann’s Troy, was restored to normalcy.
For the first time in seventeen years, Argo City was free from
Tears came to Kara’s eyes and evaporated instantly into the void.
She floated them nearer, and then brought them both to a flat-footed
landing on one of the main streets of Argo. <This is my
hometown,> she said. <This is where I grew up.>
The Matter Master looked around. <It’s nice. That is, it must
have been nice.>
She took a flat metal circle from her belt and anchored it to the
ground. This would be one part of an energy tether. The
other part was still in her belt. Kara stood there for a long
moment, wanting to do nothing more than be there for a long, long time.
But that was precisely what she didn’t have.
The Matter Master looked at her hand, extended palm-up towards him.
<Hand it over,> she said.
<Oh, come on,> he protested. <Don’t you trust me? We
might need it!>
<Hand it over.>
Grumbling, he held out his Mentachem Wand and put it in her hand.
She crushed it to dust.
<Give me the other one you made in your holster,> she said.
<X-ray vision. The other wand. Now.>
<Damn.> Mark Mandrill fumbled in his holster for the second wand,
gave it to her, and watched it suffer the same fate as the first.
<All right. Let’s get out of here.> She grabbed him around
the waist and lifted them both off the street’s surface. When
they had climbed half a mile above the city, she touched a control in
Argo City lurched, and began to follow them.
Mark Mandrill looked back at it. <Are you sure you’re not going to
stop on a dime? That thing could hit us!>
<I’m a good driver, Mark,> she said. <Just stay loose.
We’ve got a couple of spacewarps to come back through.>
Argo City was parked in Earth orbit for the moment, within view of the
Justice League’s restored satellite. Hawkgirl was on duty and, as
instructed, made a video recording of the city by remote-controlled
space cameras. Kara flew aboard with the Matter Master, hugged
Shayera warmly, took the raw footage, and zoomed off, her captive in
Within the hour, Mark Mandrill was back in the high-security room from
which he had been taken. A signed affadavit from Supergirl was in
the hands of his handler. The chains were taken from his hands
and feet, a monitoring device was implanted beneath the skin and
muscles of his chest, and he was given a new suit of clothes, the money
he had earned as a prisoner, and a recommendation to a new job as a
science teacher...under heavy observation.
With that, Supergirl took charge of Mark Mardon, the Weather
Wizard. He was still in his prison togs and had his weather wand
in the pocket of his jeans. “Mandrill was well-behaved,” she
said. “You’d better follow his lead.”
“Hey, I don’t have any beef with you,” said Mardon. “Flash
villain. Rogue’s Gallery. Remember?”
“Oh, I remember,” she said. “Batman and Hawkman remember you,
too. So do the Justice League. If you play ball, Mardon,
you get what Mandrill got. If you don’t...” She looked
meaningfully at the guards. Their expression didn’t change.
“I’m game,” said the Weather Wizard. “What’s your pleasure?”
She popped the lid on a metal box she’d brought along and produced two
silvery boots. “Put these on,” she said.
“What are they?”
“Gravity boots. You’ll need them where we’re going. Put
Mardon caught the boots as she threw them. He wondered, briefly,
if they were his size. As he stuck his feet into them and buckled
the fastenings, he found that they conformed perfectly to his
feet. With a shrug, he accepted it.
“Now, what do we do?”
One of the guards moved to take him by the arms. Another produced
a hypodermic. “Hey, wait,” he protested. “What’s this all
“Sorry, Mark,” said Kara. “For this trip, you’re going to miss
the scenery. I’ll wake you up when we get there.”
He felt a sting in the inside of his elbow and, a few seconds later,
faded into a comforting darkness.
When Mark Mardon opened his eyes again, the first thing he saw was
three faces staring down at him. The only one he recognized was
Supergirl’s. She was dressed in different clothing, a blue shirt
and pants. The other two belonged to men, and from the visors and
helmets they sported, he knew they were a type he was familiar with.
“You’re awake, Mark,” said Kara. “Welcome to Rokyn, my new
“Uh?” he said, approximately.
“Settle back, Earther,” said one of the guards, putting a metal rod
across his chest to hold him down. “You’ve got to be briefed
before anything else.”
Kara Zor-El leaned in a little closer. “Let me explain a little,
Mark. Rokyn is the planet that us Kryptonian survivors have
settled. There are a few agricultural problems in some
areas. Not enough rainfall. Think you can help out, for a
Mardon licked his lips to moisten them. “I think,” he said, “I
“Good. Now, no funny stuff. We’re going to have guards
around you at all times, and they’ll have lightning deflectors on,
too. I wouldn’t try creating any tornadoes, either. They’d
put you down at the first sign of one. You do the job right, I
send you home with a recommendation. You do it wrong, you’ll go
home hurting, and they’ll tack ten years onto your sentence. Do
“I get it.”
“All right, then. Let’s go.”
Kara kept her eye on him, even though he had chains on his wrists and
ankles, through his transportation from the holding cell through the
prison system to the parking lot to a hovercar. For his part, the
Weather Wizard seemed to be looking at almost everything, taking it in
with the air of a country boy who’s just come to Metropolis. And
why not? She realized that, for all his pedigree as a
super-villain, Mark Mardon had never been on any planet except Earth.
She wished, not for the first time, that she hadn’t had to be anywhere
except Argo City.
“I have to say it,” he said, as the hovercar containing them all rose
into the air. “This is really somethin’ else.”
“It is that,” Kara allowed, seated in the back. She was between
two guards. Mardon was wedged between a guard and the
driver. Everybody except her and Mardon had stunners. There
was also a video / audio unit that would record what he did, hopefully
for public consumption once it was edited. This would be a
trickier operation than the one with Mandrill, but if it came off, it
would be of greater worth to Rokyn than the recovery of Argo.
Mardon looked to the left, nodded in that direction. “What’s the
name of that?”
“That canyon? It’s called the Ria-La Gorge. A bit deeper
than the Grand Canyon on Earth, not quite as long. Not far from
our first stop.”
“We have a little ground to cover, Mark,” she said.
“Three stops to make,” put in a guard.
Mardon settled back. He’d learned in prison what questions not to
Within a quarter of an hour, the hovercraft slowed and Kara took a deep
breath. “Here’s where we start,” she said.
The Weather Wizard looked left and right, as far as he could with the
two guards flanking him. “This is supposed to be farmland?”
“It could be,” said one of the guards. “But it needs rain.
“Not the kind that’d wash away too much topsoil,” added the
other. He brandished his stunner. “Understand?”
Mardon looked offended. “Weather is my business, chum.
Everybody else talks about it. I do something about it.”
“It’s an old Earth saying,” put in Kara. “Don’t be offended,
guys. All right, Mark. We want you to take out that wand of
yours, slowly. Then we want you to give this place some decent
“How much of the area?”
“Just keep pointing it. We’ll move the car, and we’ll tell you
when to stop.”
Carefully, Mark Mardon took the Weather Wand from his pocket. All
three of the guards, all save the driver, had their stunners trained on
him. Kara breathed carefully. With a bit of majesty, the
black-haired man in the prisoner’s outfit stood up in the hovercar and
pointed the wand at the sky.
For a second or two, nothing happened. Kara clenched her hands in
her lap and silently prayed.
Then, almost before the Rokynians could credit their senses, clouds
began to gather in a sky that had been mostly clear. No, they did
more than gather. They coalesced, darkened, and, within ten more
seconds, burst forth in lightning and torrential rain.
The driver extended a force field bubble over the car, but he wasn’t in
time to keep them from getting wet. The guards held onto their
stunners, but even they were impressed. Kara, her hair and
clothes soaked, breathed a prayer of thanks to Rao. Then she
“How does it feel to be working for the right side?”, she said.
Mark Mardon turned to her, thoughtfully. “Lady, I’ve always been
working for the right side. It’s just that our sides happened to
line up today, if you know what I mean.”
She sighed. “Okay.”
“Where else do you want it to rain?”
“We’ll show you,” she said.
It took less than five hours to get the hovercar to the other two areas
that needed watering. The Rokynians had made great strides
towards better weather utilization, but they had never seen anything
like Mardon’s wand. The farmers in the affected areas gave
thanks to Rao, and put their robots, men, and machinery to work.
The recorder got it all and transmitted it to Rokyn’s biggest news
sources. They’d release some footage immediately, and edit the
rest for better presentation on the regular newscasts. They also
had the feed of Argo City’s conversion from Kryptonite, and would show
that as well.
Kara had made sure that she and her two charges from Earth would appear
in the broadcasts.
After the watering of Rokyn’s more barren farmlands was done, Kara
demanded the wand from Mardon. The guards made sure he turned it
over. She crushed it underfoot. Better, probably, to keep
its secrets from friend and foe alike. Mark Mardon watched, sadly.
“Uh, is it okay if I ask...what’s next?” He looked somewhat lost,
after his recent triumph.
“Well, Mark, you’re going to get a citation from the planetary
government,” said Kara. “You’re going to get a personal
recommendation from me, and you should be a free man by this time next
Mark Mardon beamed.
“But before all that, we’re going to have to send you home,” she
added. “That means we’re going to have to put you to sleep again.”
“Oh, no,” he said, as the guards took hold of his arms again.
“It won’t be that bad,” said Kara, as the spray hypo neared his
neck. “Pleasant dreams, Mark.”
He resigned himself to his fate as the scene once again faded to black.
After delivering Mark Mardon to the authorities on Earth once again,
Supergirl flew back to the Fortress of Solitude at eye-defying speed,
unlocked the door with the great golden key, replaced it, pulled the
massive door shut behind her, and headed for the WarPort. Her
face was set in a resigned expression. Once she got on the other
side, she’d lose her powers. She’d also be tired as hell.
That couldn’t be helped, and she still had one more stop to make.
She activated the device with a timer, sighed, and stepped into the
rectangular gateway that seemed to have nothing beyond it but another
wall of the Fortress. But once she passed its event horizon, Kara
emerged in a receiving area on Rokyn.
Her shoulders slumped with tiredness. An attendant looked at her,
open mouthed. “Holy Rao! It’s Tynth Zor-El.”
“Yep, it’s me,” she said. “Can you get me a cab?”
Before long, Kara was stretched across the back seat of a landcar with
tinted windows. It took her directly to To-Bin’s office at Ar-Rom
Studios. She’d already called Van-Ol to let him know she was
back, so when she stumbled into the room, he and To were waiting for
“Well, Sheol, Kara,” said To, rising from his seat. “I gave you a
week. Shouldn’t you have taken more than a couple of days?”
She needed sleep. She needed rest. She needed a good hot meal.
But all of that could wait. Kara, still in her Supergirl outfit,
trudged to To-Bin’s desk and leaned on it with both hands, looking at
him. “You saw the news reports?”
“You bet I did,” he said. “Van and I both did. Everybody
did. I can’t believe what you did, Kara. Talk about a
stunt, talk about two stunts.”
Van moved behind her to support her with his arms, but she waved him
back. “Those weren’t stunts, To. They were gifts.
From me to Rokyn. What do you think they were worth?”
He looked at her thoughtfully, then covered her left hand with his
own. “Eight million credits?”
She gave him a tired smile. “Plus a dinner at Ki-Ra’s tonight,
catered to my place.”
“Plus a day off. So I can sleep.”
“You’re killing me. But it’s granted. Ol, can you see her
Van took her gently by the shoulders. “Somebody’d better.
See you later, To.” He guided her to the door, and beyond.
Kara was too tired for dinner, as it turned out. Van put her to
bed, put her CompUnit’s message system on hold, and fielded what calls
he had to himself. One of them was from an agitated Zor-El.
“Van,” he said, “how is she?”
“Sleeping, Tanth El,” said Van.
“I mean...how is she?”
“She’s just fine. I’m not going to get her up.”
“I wouldn’t ask you to. Just...have her call us when she’s awake,
“Van. Did she say anything about Argo? Anything at all?”
“She said she just about cried when she saw her old home.
According to her, it was very well preserved.”
“It’s in secure orbit? Around Earth?”
“She says it is.”
“How long before we can get it here?”
“Don’t know,” Van said. “She left word with the Justice League
for their Green Lantern to bring it over when he can. It’s too
big to fit in the WarPort.”
“Funny man,” said Zor.
“Sorry, Zor. It’s kind of late for me, too.”
“I understand. Just...did she bring anything with her? From
“She brought herself. Everything else is pretty much as it was.”
Zor-El shook his head. “I never thought I’d see it again. I
never thought I’d get the chance to walk through my old house one more
time. All the places, the stores, the temples, the Council Hall,
the parks, the... Never mind.”
“I can empathize, Zor.”
“You don’t know what it feels like, Van. Just...Rao’s blessings
on her. And you.”
“Thank you, Tanth El. Blessings on your house as well.”
“Good night, Van. Remember, when she wakes up, have her call
me. Even if she wakes me up.”
“Will do. Good night, Zor.” He broke the connection.
Then he put the message unit on hold, as well. He walked towards
the bedroom, kicking off his shoes on the way. A butler robot
scuttered forth at ankle level, picked them up, and set them carefully
outside the bedroom door. He palmed the door open and pulled his
shirt over his head.
Kara was still sleeping peacefully on the bed.
Taking care not to wake her, Van-Ol lay beside her, sighed, and
prepared for sleep himself.