RANKED 2nd BY VOTERS IN CHARACTER CREATION CONTEST #5!
|07/11/13||1st Issue Special #1||Supergirl: Enter: Shahara-Zod||(Blog) (Forum)||Disclaimer|
|T||Mild violence alluded to. Mild torture.|
Wiping blood from her mouth, Supergirl scowled at her attacker and asked, “Lady, before I get up from here and knock you over the moon, do you want to explain that?”
The woman barely smirked. “You wear the crest of the House of El. Are you trying to draw the attention of an eradicator?”
“The Eradicator is gone,” Kara answered, “but how would you know about him at all?”
The woman was taken aback. “‘Him? ’It.” She raised an eyebrow. “You talk like there’s only one.”
“There was only one.” It was more hope than surety.
The woman leaned in, looking stern, small crow’s-feet betraying her age. “Don’t act naïve, girl. Are you trying to tell me you know so little about our history, that you don’t know the full extent of your own ancestor’s technology?”
“‘Our…’?” Kara began, but the woman continued.
“Do you think only one of those devices could affect an entire planet? Of course there’s more than one. There were many – probably one for every one hundred thousand Kryptonians. Don’t bother with the math. It will make you cry.”
Supergirl searched her attacker’s face for some hint that she was lying. Her mind was like a supercomputer – she couldn’t help doing the math. If there was one eradicator for every hundred thousand Kryptonians, then that would mean… As Kara’s eyes went wide with horror, the woman’s flashed satisfaction. She smirked as she stood back up. Kara’s lip curled, and she lunged up and forward, only to fall again, everything in her wracked with pain.
“They call this ‘Kryptonite’ here, don’t they?” asked the woman, admiring the green, glowing rock she held in her hand. “Do you know why you’re vulnerable to this?” Kara picked herself up to her hands and knees, trembling. The woman looked at her and said, “Pay attention, girl. I asked you a question. Do you know why you’re vulnerable to this?” As she asked, she moved closer, and Kara writhed in pain.
Struggling to breathe, she managed, “B-be…cause…i-it’s…p-part…of…Kryp…ton.” Rapid, painful breaths followed every syllable.
“‘Because it’s part of Krypton.’ So the planet of your birth, that sustained you until its early demise, now threatens to kill you, just because you get near a piece of it? Does that make sense to you, dear?” Even pained, the perplexity showed on Supergirl’s face. The woman crouched back down next to her, on one knee. “I don’t want to kill you with this. Can we talk civilly without it?”
Her eyes spoke death, but Kara managed a quick nod of assent. The woman held the fragment a little closer to Supergirl’s face, causing her body to spasm violently. “The pain you are feeling now is not because of this rock. It is the fault of the eradicators.” With that, the Kryptonite leapt from the woman’s hand and disappeared. Kara looked up questioningly. “I keep it in a subspace pocket,” said the woman. “It’s a pretty reminder of home.”
She stood up and offered her hand. Kara ignored it, shakily regaining her feet on her own. She straightened, then immediately doubled over to throw up.
The woman continued, “To preserve the ‘purity’ of our race, Kem-L had the eradicators change everyone on the planet on a genetic level. This bound them to Krypton, so if they left, they would die, rather than bringing back ‘contaminating influences’ from other worlds and races. By the time Krypton felt this, it was too late, and all she could do was affect a slight change…”
Supergirl, still bent over, palms on her knees, held up a hand to stop the woman. She took a few deep breaths, regaining herself, and asked, “Krypton changed things?”
The woman answered, “Krypton was a living thing. She did what she could to save her inhabitants, reversing the polarity of the eradicator technovirus, making it so Kryptonians wouldn’t die if they left the planet, but only if they returned. So the closer you get to a piece of her, the more intense the pain, up to and including death. The strain of keeping it that way is what led to her demise.”
Supergirl still seemed dubious. “Krypton. Was alive.”
The older woman spoke with the patience a grandparent has for a child. “Oh, yes, dear. She had a heart and a spirit, and there was only one other like her in the entire universe. And when she died, he tracked her spirit’s progress until it settled at the center of the universe. Then he joined with her the only way he could, until he himself was gone.”
Supergirl didn’t react, except to say, “Uhh-huh,” then followed with, “So, if you’re Kryptonian, and the eradicators changed everyone on the planet, how come the Kryptonite didn’t hurt you?”
“Because I wasn’t on the planet, dear. I was in the Phantom Zone.”
“Because when the Science Council took over the planetary government, the Celestial Council was very quickly tried and convicted of ‘crimes against science.’ My own son carried out the sentence.”
“Your son? That’s not possible! It was…” Kara doubled over again as the Kryptonite reappeared in the woman’s hand.
The woman seethed, “Do not say his name to me.”
“Why are you doing this?” Kara asked, weakly.
“Revenge!” she shouted. “The Science Council dared to judge us! They imprisoned me! Shahara-Zod! The Storybearer! I kept the oral history and knowledge of Krypton alive! They decided they didn’t need me? They used my stories as the basis for Brainiac’s database!”
She cupped Kara’s chin in her hand. “I will teach my son the error of turning against me. I will destroy that mechanical mockery called Brainiac. And I thought it proper that the descendents of Kem-L, who designed the eradicators that brought about the destruction of Krypton, should learn what it is to deal with them firsthand.”
Kara responded lethargically, “What do you mean?”
A wild look flashed across the woman’s face, and she answered, “I mean I lured them to follow me, in order to bring them to you.”
“What? How many?” Supergirl asked as anxiously as her weakened state would allow.
The woman smiled cruelly. “Why, all of them, dear.” The shock on Kara’s face was palpable, but the woman cooed, “Oh, don’t worry yourself, dear. I intend to bring you help.” The fear didn’t leave Kara’s face. “I’m going to free our fellow Kryptonians from that infernal Phantom Zone.” She picked up the Kryptonite from beside her, adding, “Some of them won’t be vulnerable to this, which should help. Don’t you think?” She then rocketed away at super speed, leaving Supergirl to recover.
|Next Issue: Flash: Color Me Humiliated|
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