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Karen Starr, Part Two

Written by shadar :: [Monday, 15 February 2016 04:32] Last updated by :: [Monday, 15 February 2016 12:11]

Karen Starr, Part Two

by Shadar

Chapter Seven

SCENE: Bringing down ISS

Kara blazed through the upper atmosphere, her hair and skin glowing meteor-bright as she exceeded Mach 20 while catching up with the first piece of ISS. She dove into the fireball while thrashing her arms around her, tearing her way into the heart of the white-hot wreckage until it exploded into thousands of small pieces that would burn up before hitting the ground.

Flying backwards as she emerged from the fireball, her back blazing from air friction that thankfully burned most of the molten bits of alloy away. She squinted at the horizon, but saw nothing else coming. But they were still up there.

Spinning around, she dove toward the small Azorean island of Terceira, less than three hundred miles to the south. There was a military base there where she could hopefully get updates. She was still doing nearly Mach 20 when the island came into view, but she held her speed until the last moment, still moving at Mach 5 when she crossed the base boundary. Her arriving hypersonic boom made sure no one was sleeping in late that morning.

Lieutenant Christy Matthews wasn’t sure who she’d pissed off with her marriage to her longtime girlfriend, but she’d barely finished her honeymoon back in Nevada when she received orders to relocate to the Azores — a twelve-month unaccompanied assignment. While the US military had officially sanctioned same-sex marriages, that didn’t mean everyone was on board with the idea.

The small USAF contingent on the Portuguese airbase ran an emergency gas station in the middle of the Atlantic. Her job was to make sure her technicians could refuel and perform minor repairs on just about any US military aircraft that happened to land here. But today, like most days, none were scheduled. She was staring at the neatly written list of the usual boring meetings when a massive BOOM shook the old building. Moments later, her outer door burst open to admit a tall naked blonde woman with a frustrated Airman in tow.

“Sorry, ma’am, but she insisted on …”

“Powergirl?!” Christy exclaimed as she rose from behind her desk, her eyes wide and staring at the bits of glowing, molten metal that were dotted across the exotic blonde’s exaggerated figure. “My God, what are YOU doing here?”

“I need an IMMEDIATE real time link with NASA Houston and also ESA in Paris.”

Christy quickly took off her blue uniform jacket and handed it to her stunning visitor, who managed to button it across her waist. The top didn’t come close to closing, which only made her look sexier. “Well, we’re not normally set up for that …” Christy started to reply.

Kara glared at her. “Look, Lieutenant, modules of ISS is de-orbiting as we stand here and I need to know where and when the major pieces are coming down. Lives are at stake.”

Christy’s adrenaline surged. Finally, a mission that didn’t involved stapled forms in triplicate. There was only one place that had all the comm gear. She took off at a run through her outer office. “Follow me.”

Her constant training for triathlons came in handy as Christy sprinted down the street, leading the way toward the base CommCenter a quarter mile away. She was breathing hard when they arrived, with Kara floating barefoot by her side, her blue jacket looking comically small. After some initial confusion and more than a little gawking by the men on duty, Kara was connected to the joint ESA and NASA project officers, who gave her the specifics on the next pieces of ISS to come down, one of which was re-entering over the Bahamas as they spoke. She quickly committed the data to memory, and then tossed her borrowed jacket back to Christy as she ran out the door and leapt into the air, her sonic boom rattling the old Quonset huts of Lajes Field.

Christy stood outside in the street for some time, staring up in wonder, only to be rewarded when a huge meteor exploded high above them to fill a quarter of the sky with bright sparks of various colors. Even better than 4th of July. She smiled, hardly believing that she’d just met — and helped! — the famous Powergirl. The ultimate woman of her dreams.

Kara stayed up at the edge of space, working her way further north toward the main re-entry corridor, hovering at twenty-five miles altitude while fuming at herself for being stuck up here over the Atlantic. She should have stabilized the orbit of the other ISS modules instead of randomly hastening their re-entry, negligently assuming they’d burn up or or at least land in the ocean. Instead, the larger modules were predicted to impact in a zone that began at the North Sea and ended in Russia, the line running across heavily populated Holland, Germany and Poland.

Per ESA Paris, it was going to take two more orbits before all the big pieces came down — another three hours. That was far longer than she’d planned on being away from Darren. Unfortunately, she had no way to tell him to just go home. As it was, she would have to go directly to work after she finished here. She had a long list of meetings scheduled for today, but thankfully Jody kept a wardrobe of clothing for her at the office.

But none of that mattered at the moment. If a piece of ISS got past her, people could die, and that wasn’t happening on her watch.

Chapter Eight

While Kara hovered at the edge of space over the Atlantic, Alexa Luthor hovered a mile directly above Karen Starr’s penthouse in West Seattle, her pale blue eyes sparkling with their own light. She was staring downward, looking through layers of cloud, metal, rock and wood to study the man who lay in Karen’s large penthouse bed.

She’d expected a beefy, over-endowed professional athlete; Kara’s usual type. Instead, this man looked very ordinary with no obvious physical gifts. All of which said he must have some other kind of skill.

That made Alexa nervous given what she needed to do. She’d only slept with two men — Conner and Lex. Conner had tried to impress her with his power, but unfortunately his idea of sexual power was closer to rape than intimacy. Which was strange given he was known to be gentle with human women. Obviously there was frustration there, maybe even anger.

In stark contrast, Lex had always insisted that she weaken herself with Kryptonite. Given she was one of the most powerful persons in the universe, only Lex Luthor would be perverse enough to lust for her helplessness.

Between the two of them, she’d never known anything resembling true intimacy.

In public, Lex proudly told everyone she was his daughter, albeit touching her in ways that teased that boundary. People figured that like any proud father, he doted on her, but seeing them together was vaguely disquieting. Yet no one knew the truth of their relationship — that other than some small seeding of her brain tissues with his, they shared absolutely no DNA. Nor did anyone know that within the cloistered corridors of LuthorCorp, he demanded that she satisfy his twisted sexual desires. While she could easily kill him in any number of ways, as long as her mother lived, Alexa was bound to serve him in any way he desired. The explosive device in her mother’s head was linked to Lex’s biorhythms, and he could kill her with a thought.

The man beneath her was obviously very different. He loved a Kryptonian woman who was vastly stronger than him, not to mention the founder and CEO of the corporation he worked for. Alexa knew nothing about him or his loyalties. Yet here she was, expected to seduce the boyfriend of the mighty Powergirl.

Clearly she couldn’t force him to sleep with her, nor could she any man, despite possessing half of Superman’s power. Seduction had to be her power, but all she knew about that was what she’d watched in movies or read in books. How did she convince this man to want her enough to cheat on his famously endowed super-girlfriend? What could she bring to the bed that would excite him enough to lose control of his libido?

Alexa closed her eyes and let her mind run free as she relaxed the tension in her body. She began to fall. Lex had taught her that a hard deadline would serve to focus a super-intelligent mind such as hers.

Her thoughts raced with Luthor-like speed as the top of the building seemed to rush upward toward her.

Darren opened his eyes and smiled as he heard the familiar swish of Kara flying through the open skylight. Rolling over, his smile froze as he saw a completely unknown woman floating in mid-air. She was much younger than Kara with long blonde hair and a supermodel’s face and figure. More importantly, she wore a faded version of Superman’s symbol on her chest. Which at least explained why she was floating bare-footed on thin air.

Was she another clone like Conner, the so-called Superboy? Maybe a fraternal twin? They appeared to be about the same age.

“Super … girl?” he wondered out loud.

“Alura, actually,” she said, using the only female Kryptonian name she knew other than Kara’s. It would hardly do to let him know she was linked to Lex Luthor. “Kara asked me to drop in to keep you company. She felt she’d left you at a delicate moment, what with her unplanned summons and all.”

“Who ARE you?” Darren gasped, astounded by her youthful beauty.

“Superman’s daughter, of course.”

“But … but I’ve never heard of you. No one has.”

She crossed her arms proudly. “That’s kind of the point.”

“But … Kara shares everything with me.”

Alexa smiled. “Everything? No … not even for you, so close to her. You had no need to know about me.”

“But now she sends you to … to what, keep me company?” he asked, astounded. The girl was so attractive that it almost hurt to look at her. And given her age, she bordered on forbidden fruit.

“You have apparently won Kara’s confidence,” Alexa shrugged. “Something no other man can claim. Which was why she called me. To help keep things warmed up, and perhaps even to help out a little once she gets back.”

“What are you saying …?” Darren gasped, truly confused now, even as his heart leapt at the suggestion of her words. He knew Kara slept around, a lot, and not always with men, but to bring in Superman’s daughter, her niece? “And your mother is …?” he dared to ask.

“Kara, actually. But not your Kara. Rather, her equivalent in another dimension. She was the most beautiful women ever born. Superman says I’m even more beautiful than her.”

She tried not to smile. She was laying it on thick now given she’d never even met Superman. Her real mother, who lived in Paris, hadn’t met him either. Instead, she’d been impregnated with weakened Kryptonian sperm. Alexa had asked in wonder how Lex had managed to get a sample of that, but he refused to tell her.

Staring up at her, Darren saw her Kryptonian firm nipples tenting her thin top. While her breasts were much smaller than Kara’s, they matched her slender body perfectly. Was she also as frank about her sexuality as Kara?

“Given I was conceived under a yellow sun,” Alexa lied, continuing the story she’d made up while falling, “something no other Kryptonian can claim, I’m a lot stronger than the others.”

He stared dumbly at her. “Stronger than Kara? Than Superman? That’s impossi …”

“I beat my dad at arm-wrestling for the first time when I was only ten,” she shrugged. “And I’m a lot stronger now.” It was all total bullshit, but there was no way for this man to tell the difference. Half of infinity was still infinity, at least in a frail human’s eyes.

Darren tried to look away, tried to rein in his racing thoughts, but the thought of her being more powerful than Kara was shocking. Not the least for the fact that she was so slender and beautiful. And young, he reminded himself again. Nothing in her build or appearance suggested she had unusual strength, other than the obvious fact that she was wearing that symbol of ultimate power.

He’d always found raw Kryptonian strength to be indescribably sexy. The way Kara’s muscles flexed far harder than steel and so vastly stronger. She’d once encouraged him to wrap both hands around the perfect ball of her unnaturally large biceps as she worked it — her muscles were not only impossible hard, but they expanded far greater than a human’s. He’d found the sensation of fondling that ball of warm steel indescribably sexy, yet he’d done everything he could to downplay his reaction. For he’d seen the way Kara disparaged men who made comments about her muscles, or even worse her boobs. Which was strange given she flaunted both. He’d realized only later that she’d been testing him, and he’d passed by approaching her like any other woman, keeping his thoughts about her physical powers to himself, playing instead to her emotions. That had proven to be the secret. Powergirl didn’t want to be powerful all the time, any more than Karen Starr always wanted to be bossy. Sometimes she wanted to just be his woman.

But this girl was something else. Her slender beauty was simply indescribable. Her face the kind you see on the covers of fashion magazines. But stronger than Superman?

Alexa watched a stream of emotions flicker across Darren’s face, and guessed some of what he was thinking. “I suppose you’re wondering wondering how someone as skinny as me could be the daughter of the most muscular man on the planet. Not to mention stronger than the mighty Powergirl.”

Darren’s jaw slacked. Could she read his mind? Was she as unguarded in her speech and mannerisms as Kara, an apparent side-effect of being unhurtable. But Kara wasn't perceptive this way. She was too wrapped up in her two jobs — executive and superheroine, barely having time for herself. This girl was different, and not just younger. There was a softness and gentleness about her. An innocence even.

He wanted to ask more about her mother, Kara’s alternate dimension doppleganger, but he quickly lost the ability to say anything when Alura floated down to land only inches in front of him. He swore he could feel the power radiating from her, somehow heating the very air around her. The closer she got the more beautiful she became. She was flawless.

“Kara is merely Powergirl,” she said proudly. “I am Supergirl.” A name she hadn’t decided on until he’d said it only moments ago. She took his hand in hers and raised it to trace his fingers over the embossed symbol on her chest. “I wear the S of the house of El. She does not qualify.”

Alexa saw his body responding to her; she could smell his hormones in the air. She’d guessed right. He was obsessed with power. With strength. But also with beauty. She fed into that by guiding his hand to her breast, gently cupping his fingers around herself.

“Hopefully I’m not too small for you. I know you are used to my aunt’s more dramatic curves.”

Darren quickly pulled his hand from her. This was Kara’s niece, not some bimbo.

“It’s OK,” she smiled. “I just don’t want to disappoint you. Kara really wanted me to try to be with you. Part of my training, I suppose, given I’ve not lain with a man before.”

“But … why not …?” he started to ask, astounded that a girl so beautiful was innocent, only to choke off that thought when he realized what he was asking.

“You’re asking me why I’m a virgin?” she laughed, eyes dancing. “I thought it would be kind of obvious. Given I’m bulletproof and made of steel and way stronger than Superman and all that jazz. The precautions would intimidate most men.”

“Precautions?” he asked, mouth so dry he could hardly speak. Her breast certainly wasn’t made of steel.

“I haven’t learned to control my strength under such … lets say, dramatic moments. Not yet anyway. Kara said to have you tie my arms and legs with cables that even I cannot break. Not very sexy, I’m afraid.”

The quickening of his heart and the squeak of blood in his arteries said otherwise. She could see the blood rushing low on his body. She could hear it. Smell it even.

“Kara has the required gear down in her underground gym,” she offered. “You know, for making restraints. Do you want to check it out with me?”

He stared blankly at her. He had no idea Kara even had a gym. The weights would have to be the size of a small house.

“Come with me,” she urged, taking his hand in hers again. “Her private elevator will take us there.” She floated across the floor, gently towing him behind her until they reached the open elevator. He paused at the doorway. Turning to face him, she held out her hand. “Please. Come. For me.”

Darren felt as if his feet were floating. He couldn’t resist such an invitation. He stepped barefoot into the elevator. Standing so close to her now, the sense of radiated power was almost overwhelming now. He felt drawn to her like a moth to the flame, knowing it was dangerous but oh so bright. Everything about her seemed purer, simpler, more innocent than Kara. After all, Karen Starr was his boss, and she projected an alpha-dominant aura around everyone who came into her space.

This girl was the opposite. He couldn’t shake feeling he was back in his innocent teenage years, thrilling to the rare wonder of meeting a wildly pretty girl who was also interested in him. He felt as if he’d strayed into a dream.

She turned to open a small compartment and reach inside to hold two chrome-plated bars in her grip. “Kara’s key,” she shrugged as she squeezed hard enough to light up a new set of buttons on the bottom of the floor display. She reached down to push B10. “All that is needed is Kryptonian strength.”

Darren saw her arm tense as he looked down at the newly revealed lower levels. The public elevators didn’t go below B2. What was down there, eight stories beneath the supposedly lowest level? His thoughts started to race, only to freeze when the elevator suddenly dropped like a rock.

“Jeeesssuusss …” he cried, bracing himself in the corner, eyes wild, rising off the floor until his head bumped the ceiling. “Is this supposed to do this?”

Alexa shrugged as the elevator plunged. “Enjoy the freefall. No wind.”

The numbers on the display flashed by too fast for Darren to read clearly. He was certain he saw the first of the B-levels blink as the flashing buttons approached the floor. He felt a scream rising, only to be slammed down to his knees when the elevator braked rapidly. His head bent toward the floor, and then, with a soft chime, the car stopped just as the B10 light blinked on.

Alexa looked down at him, a superior little smile on her face. She’d barely noticed the deceleration. She offered her hand and effortlessly lifted him back to his feet.

Awestruck and more than a little shaken up, knees bruised, Darren followed her out the elevator and down a narrow corridor. She had the cutest ass he’d ever seen, her body moving with a fluidity and litheness that was catlike. He struggled to pull his eyes from her to look around him. The corridor walls were narrowing, barely wide wide enough for his shoulders now. There were long grooves cut into what appeared to be solid granite. He traced his fingers over the rock, only to find that his fingers fell into the grooves. It dawned on him with a shock that Kara had cut this tunnel with her bare hands. He struggled to get his head around that, realizing as always that he thought way too small when it came to Kryptonian power. Kara had once told him that it simply wasn’t possible for a human to fully comprehend her raw strength. Measure it … yes. But to know what it truly felt like … impossible.

The rough-hewn corridor soon narrowed enough that he had to turn sideways. He began to feel a bit claustrophobic as he shuffled sideways down the narrowing corridor, deeper into solid bedrock, noting that it was just wide enough for Alura’s slender shoulders to fit. The corridor made a smooth turn and then ended at a blank wall made of a smooth black rock. Gneiss. He’d seen plenty of it while hiking the Rockies. Nearly as hard as marble, but stronger and heavier. Fine-grained and nearly impossible to fracture.

Alexa studied the black door, and then turned back to toss her hair from her face as she smiled at Darren. “Another of Kara’s keys. This one is made from a fifty ton block of rock that’s nearly two meters thick.” She paused to look over Darren’s shoulder. “Interesting that the narrowing corridor prohibits any machinery that could lift such a door. Not to mention getting around that right corner. A delightfully simple bit of brute-force security. No electronics, no keys to lose and 100% secure if you aren’t Kryptonian."

Darren was impressed as well, but this was exactly the kind of thing he expected from Kara. He peered around Alura’s slender body to study the massive door, noting that it was completely featureless except for some shallow finger holds near the bottom. It sides of the door sat in deep channels that had been cut into the solid rock walls.

“You want me to open it?” she asked with a wink.

He nodded enthusiastically. Staring wide-eyed, he watched as Alura bent down and inserted her fingers into those shallow depressions. She began to lift, her slender back and shoulders tightening to reveal sharply cut muscles. Her cute behind took on some harder curves and her calves flexed with perfect definition. Ever so slowly, the huge door began to scrape upward.

Alexa groaned softly as she found the door was much heavier than she’d first guessed. “OK, wrong, more like seventy tons,” she said while gritting her teeth. “Maybe a hundred.” Her hair thankfully covered her face as she struggled to make it look easy. Darren couldn’t see the strain in her face as she used every ounce of her strength to lift the door over her head, the rock scraping loudly in the meter-deep channels on either side. Despite her burning muscles, she nonchalantly held the door overhead with one hand, resting the other on her hip as she concentrated on keeping her arm from shaking.

“Jesus,” Darren gushed as he stared at her. From head to toe, the sleek, smooth curves of a supermodel had been reshaped with a maze of ridiculously tight curves. “Supergirl doesn’t begin to cover it.”

Her blue eyes briefly met his as she smiled, their lips nearly brushing as he squeezed through the opening.

He froze just inside, astonished to find himself staring into a huge cavern — it was easily the size of eight football fields and six stories tall. Gigantic blocks of stone lay piled here and there, seemingly the play blocks for a giant’s child. Shockingly, the largest steam locomotive he’d ever seen lay along the far side of the cavern, a relic from the forties, tipped on its side like a forgotten toy. Parked beside it was an early Boeing 747 minus its tail and half of each wing. Beyond that, busses and semi-trucks joined a wide assortment of other vehicles. Even a massive section of what had once been an ocean liner.

Is this where Kara trained to safely carry such machines without destroying them? But how could she have gotten all of it into this sub-basement without anyone knowing? And why hadn’t she at least mentioned this place to him?

Obviously he didn’t know Kara as well as he thought he did.

Huge wire hawsers lay strewn across the floor, ranging from the thickness of his wrist to that of his thigh. Even larger anchor plates were attached to the stone floor, each held in place by a dozen bolts the thickness of his wrist. Along the left side were stone versions of traditional weight-lifting gear that looked as if they’d truly been made for giants. The numbers on the sides of the blocks, “50, 100, 150” were obviously in tons.

“I know this stuff is wimpy,” Alexa shrugged, playing her Alura identity to the hilt. “I keep asking Kara to get me heavier weights. Unfortunately she doesn’t have a way to get anything bigger in here without moving the building. The other clients have apparently not agreed.”

Alexa enjoyed fabricating her little story as she watched the way Darren responded to her outrageous claims. But this time his eyes narrowed. Wondering if she’d gone too far — she saw a hint of doubt on his face — so she quickly pushed him along by picking up a section of cable the thickness of her forearm. The kind of cable used to tow ocean-going barges. Turning, she leaned her back against him, encouraging him to hold her.

“Put your hands on my shoulders.”

Darren hesitated, and then gently lifted his hands to slip them under her warm, silky hair to hold her slender shoulders. He’d never seen such gorgeously blonde hair, every strand seemingly a different shade of yellow or gold.

She began pulling outward on that cable, and her shoulders and back hardened. Sharp curves formed under his hands that seemed to be made of sculpted steel. The section of cable began to sing as it stretched visibly, her hands scrunching deeply into the bundle of a dozen or more strands. Her shoulders grew ever more defined as the sound of tortured steel grew louder and louder. He tried to imagine the power that was flowing under his hands. Then, suddenly, one strand snapped loudly, and then more and more as the cable progressively failed, giving off a loud ripping sound as she tore it raggedly in half.

She stood up straight as she turned around to face him, proudly holding the ragged ends of the cable. “Not bad for a skinny girl, huh?”

“Most impressive!” he gasped, his body surging as he struggled to breathe. Kara had never shown off this way, but surely she was at least this strong.

“Obviously we’re going to need something a lot stronger if we’re going to solve my little problem. Something I can’t break. How about this?” She picked up a ship’s hawser that was the size of his calf.

“What do we need cables for again?” he asked, his brain still trying to digest “solve my little problem.”

“To make sure I don’t hurt you, of course. I don’t have the benefit of Kara’s experience, and I am so, SO much stronger than her.”

She turned her back to him, smiling as she heard him gasp at her ridiculous claim. He was so turned on that she doubted he could even walk. She enjoyed his eyes on her as she busied herself attaching the ends of four huge cables to anchor points in the floor using hardened-steel shackles that weighed two hundred pounds each. Then she walked over to stand in the middle of those enormous restraints.

Darren gawked wide-eyed at her, his eyes moving from her body to the massive cables and back. His brain was starved for blood as his body directed it elsewhere, yet the alarm bells in his head rang all the louder. This was too much like his wildest dream. Was this really happening?

She answered his silent question by rising slowly off the floor while unbuttoning her jeans. She pushed them halfway down over her hips, rising until she was nearly standing on his shoulders. As if bidden to do so, he grabbed the cuffs of each pant leg as she rose higher yet, her jeans resisting for a brief moment before sliding down her long legs to fall over his face, the fabric warm with her slightly perfumed scent. She wiggled out of her panties and handed those to him as well, revealing that she looked much like Kara -- small inward-folded labia and no pubic hair.

“I hope you aren’t disappointed.”

He shook his head numbly, realizing he now knew something about the commonality of Kryptonian physiology that no other human did. That thought staggered him.

Amused by his reaction, Alexa left her iconic top on as she rotated upside down to float close to him, her silky hair falling warmly over his face and shoulders as she slowly slid down his body upside down. He instinctively grabbed the backs of her legs, but had hardly begun to marvel at that sculpted steel before her lips found his erection. Alura warmly drew him in as she began slowly bobbing up and down the length of him.

He groaned in forbidden pleasure as he realized what he was allowing. Is this truly what Kara had intended? A blow job from his teenage niece? More alarm bells. But it was too late to turn back now. He was so excited that his rush came upon him quickly, and he was almost to point of no return when she rose from him to float inches away. She extending her arms over her head as he quickly eased her top up over her breasts and allowed it to fall free. It hung up on his proud erection as his hands found her perfect breasts again. Like Kara, her breasts had that deliciously soft yet amazingly firm texture, a paradox that was purely Kryptonian.

She indulged his touch for a moment, and then pulled herself gently from his hands to rotate back upright to land barefooted in front of him, one toe kicking her discarded clothing away. She removed her snagged top to close her hand tightly around his erection. With her other hand, she picked up an even thicker steel bar, and began to squeeze him harder and harder, her grip almost bordering on painful when he saw her other hand crush the steel bar. Gasping, he realized she was teasing him, what with the difference between the grip of her hands at least a thousand to one.

“Hope I’m not too disappointing. I know you’re used to so much more.”

“You’re … God, you’re so beautiful … ” he choked, his mouth dry. “So strong …”

“More than Kara?”

“God yes …!”

“Then make me a woman.”

Wild thoughts and uncontrolled emotions bounced off the inside of his skull as she released him to sit down and attach the first of the huge shackles to her right ankle. Then her other ankle, legs outstretched. Then her left arm, leaving him to grunt the last huge shackle over and fasten it around her right wrist, struggling to slide a pin into place that he could barely lift. Her arms looked tiny compared to the massive hardware.

Kara had always been careful to never encircle him with her arms or legs during orgasm, but other than that, their lovemaking hadn’t been all that radical. At least not when in a bed. Flying was different. But this was something completely different, what with Alura’s body stretched out on the floor this way, legs spread wide by those massive cables — it made him feel strangely puny and ridiculously hot for her at the same time. The wild mix of emotions rendered him speechless.

“This is all just a precaution,” she said as she saw him fade a little. He was overthinking his role. “Probably not even necessary. But dad and I had this talk once, and he told me about his problems when he was my age. How he learned to improve his self-control over time, well, except in a guy way. Just as I will in my way. With your help.”

He couldn’t resist her, even as knew this was so very wrong. Moth and flame. Yet a tiny voice of doubt asked why would Kara send her to him if she was so inexperienced, so dangerous? Then it hit him … was this truly what Kara had had in mind? No this wasn’t like her. This had to be Alura’s game.

She saw him hesitate. “Please. Help me learn, Darren. Please.”

The pleading way she asked, the way she said “please”, reminded him of LeeLoo in his favorite old movie, Fifth Element. He felt as if he was floating out of his body as he kneeled between her long legs, resting his upper body on his elbows as he lay over her, her firm nipples pressing needfully against his chest. She squirmed slightly beneath him as she smiled up at him, desire bright in her insanely blue eyes. Reflexes took over as he eased himself to her. As with Kara, she was extremely tight at first, but also so very ready for him, legs stretched so wide. He began to work his hips rhythmically and forcefully the way he’d learned, pressing himself a little harder each time, focusing his strength into her, knowing it was a gradual process with a Kryptonian. She had to relax sufficiently to allow him in. That took time.

Alura lifted her pelvis, impatiently pushing against him as she tried to help. He felt himself start to bend.

“No … just… just leave it to me …” he gasped. He was sweating wildly as he literally drowned in desire stronger than he’d ever felt before. Strength surged through him as he worked harder, slowly gaining ground against her phenomenal muscle tone until he felt the right moment. He thrust himself into her so hard it hurt deep inside his pelvis, but she squeaked with pleasure as her body finally yielded, and resistance was wondrously replaced with the warm, tight slide into her depths. The most wonderful feeling in the world.

Yet unlike Kara, Alura began tightening around him as she lifted them both bodily off the floor until her restraints jerked her to a stop. She began to vibrate wildly in his arms as he made love with abandon, her body weightless and velvety, yet also strong as steel. She held him inside with startling strength, far more than Kara had ever exerted. It took all his strength combined with her slippery warmth to keep going as she threw herself around ever more wildly, her blonde hair lashing his face as the heavy cables clanked and shook all around them.

Instead of Kara’s restrained enthusiasm, Alura moved faster and more powerfully every moment, crying out for him to take her harder, punishing him as he struggled mightily to comply. Her upper body became a maze of tight muscle as she pulled against the cables, shaking so wildly now that he could barely focus, her body painfully bashing against his.

Yet instead of exhausting himself in her, a sudden wave of panic came over him as he realized where this was going. He tried to withdraw, but she clamped down with a velvet grip that he could not break.

His eyes grew wide as the panic washed away his desire, replacing it with the realization that he’d made a terrible mistake.

She saw the passion in his eyes turn to terror, and that pushed her over the edge. She cried with newfound joy as she leaned back and allowed her body to explode with pleasures the like of which she’d never known before, her inner strength increasing by an order of magnitude to crush him, sending a surge of blood blasting backward into his pelvis. The overpressure ruptured arteries all the way to his brain, exploding his heart along the way. The massive cables stretched and then exploded apart as her young muscles pulled with strength greater than she’d ever used before, the hawsers and shackles snapping as she wrapped her suddenly freed arms and legs around him without reservation. Lost in her soaring ecstasy, she never felt the wet snaps of pelvic bone and the sharper snaps of ribs as his body collapsed against the steel of her own. Lost in her passion for long minutes, her only desire was to hold her lover tighter.

Alexa woke minutes later to find herself laying face down on a gelatinous blob full of shattered bone that used to be a man. He felt so small now, his face a frozen mask of horror, eyes bugging out of their sockets. She should have felt horrified, but instead she felt strangely proud. She’d done Lex’s bidding. No matter if Darren had been a fine man, and that people would miss him, he’d died well, never realizing until the end that his greatest pleasure was also his last. In a strange way, she felt she’d done him a favor. Humans all die eventually and usually painfully, but only rarely during the throes of superhuman pleasure.

Even more importantly, and very unlike Conner’s pile-driving or Lex’s exploitation of her weakened self, she’d been in complete control all the way. Everything had happened according to her plan. She’d taken control of his emotions; she’d seduced his body. Surely there was not a man on Earth who could resist her now.

She turned her proud thoughts from herself as she tried to imagine Kara’s expected reaction. Surely the authorities would try to arrest her for Darren’s death — many people knew they had a thing going. This was her home. Far more importantly, Kara would be consumed with personal agony over her lover’s death. Piled on top of that would be legal challenges that would distract her at the very moment she needed to defend her company. And while the authorities might not be able to hold her in a cell, they could make it impossible for her to rebuild Starr Industries.

Alexa smiled at the perfection of it all. She was a Luthor and she’d just set the stage for their greatest triumph. Lex had wanted maximum impact, and she’d delivered. All that was left now was to make sure the police arrived before Kara.

Alexa happily busied herself collecting her clothing while burning away any fingerprints she’d left. In the process, she found a phone lying on a bench. One of Kara’s no doubt. She wrapped her shirt around her hand as she picked the phone up and called 911. Speaking in muffled, low-pitched voice, she told the dispatcher that a murder had been committed by Powergirl, and exactly how to get to the underground gym using Karen Starr’s private elevator. Then she hung up.

Now she just had to make sure the cops could get in here. She flew across the huge room to land against the wall opposite from the stone entrance door, the pleasant tingles from her orgasm still warming her. Bracing both feet against the wall as she bent her knees, hovering in mid-air, she stared wide-eyed at the door with blazing eyes. Her heat vision converged on the center of the door, creating a spot that flared from red to yellow to blue to white, sending waves of lesser colors spreading outward in bands. She tucked herself tightly against the vertical rock wall while concentrating on gathering her power, cocking her right fist. She finally gave off a cry as she violently kicked off from the stone wall, adding her flight power to accelerate to three times the speed of sound before she threw her fist into the door with with all her strength. The two-meter-thick gneiss block shattered in an explosion that sent glowing shards of rock blasting down the corridor to embed themselves in the granite walls, the shock wave undoubtably feeling like an earthquake up on the surface.

Retreating from the shattered door, her fist glowing white hot, her eyes a fading red returning to blue, she glanced at the torn cables on the floor. In the middle of that twisted mess, a pool of dark blood was spreading around Darren’s crushed form. Satisfied that she’d set the stage for Powergirl’s destruction, she floated above the shattered bits of rock and she traveled down the corridor and into the elevator. She gripped the chrome bars to activate the elevator, but this time she welded the two bars together with a careful blast of heat vision to keep the elevator enabled for the cops, and then burned off her fingerprints. She pushed the Penthouse button and the elevator rose rapidly.

She stared at her reflection in the mirrored walls of the elevator as the floors flashed by. She looked older, more confident than she had on the way down. She had crossed a line, she saw that clearly. Killing an innocent in cold blood, but for a higher purpose. She felt a distant kind of remorse for Darren, he’d been a decent enough guy, but she couldn’t deny that killing him thrilled her. She was ecstatic, aroused even, but mostly she overflowed with the satisfaction of having contributed significantly to the destruction of a powerful enemy. That was even better than the sex. Better than any drug. For the first time in her life, she understood why Lex celebrated whenever an enemy fell. She recognized the fierce satisfaction in his face, for it was on hers now — the look of a supreme predator after a kill. This was how it truly felt to be a Luthor.

A new thought found her. “Or … is this how it feels to be a goddess …?” She studied her flawless image in the mirrors. No matter the angle, always flawless. A new thrill filled her, reminding her that she was far more than merely a Luthor.

This world could be hers. All of it.

By the time the elevator doors chimed to open at the top, it was a goddess who emerged, her billowing hair a pale gold, her blue eyes so bright.

“Everything is going to be different now,” she promised herself as she lifted off the floor to fly out a window and then low over the city. Flying faster and faster, she laughed as her shockwave shattered windows and set off car alarms in her wake.

She was going to announce her ascendance with all the thunder of a new god.

Chapter Nine

Six thousand miles eastward, Kara exploded the final substantial piece of ISS over the Atlantic, then watching as the remnants burned as they dropped deeper into the atmosphere. She braked hard, dropping from flying Mach 20 eastward to flying the same speed westward, staying at the very edge of space to overfly North America in minutes. Once she saw the Cascade summits rising over the horizon, she dove into the thicker air, her skin and hair glowing like a meteor as she slowed to subsonic speed to avoid triggering avalanches while crossing the summits. Soon she was beyond the snow and dropping into the heavy air traffic around SeaTac, still moving just under the Mach. She used her x-ray vision to avoid hitting any aluminum chunks that were floating around in the usual wet clouds over Seattle. Despite passing very near a couple of airliners, she was unseen by pilots, passengers or even the ground radar.

When she finally got clear of the traffic and under the cloud, she looked ahead expectantly toward her office, starting to run through the key points she wanted to make in her morning meetings. Lost in thought, it took her a moment to notice the smoke hanging over the South Bay area. Opening her eyes wider, she zoomed in on a scene of total destruction. In the middle of it — Starr Industries. All the windows had been blown out of her twenty story building, and portions of the upper floor had toppled onto nearby buildings. The flashing lights of a hundred fire trucks and emergency vehicles filled the surrounding area. Firemen were digging people out of the rubble as ambulances raced away loaded with injured, paramedics stabilizing other victims.

Her plan to grab some clothing from her office was forgotten — her office no longer existed. She hung just beneath the clouds, staring open mouthed, unable to comprehend the destruction in front of her. All that work, all that money, all those people. All those great ideas.

She shook away those thoughts. That would come later. She had her people to take care of now. Fortunately it was still early here on the west coast, which said this attack had happened before most people got to work. All except one. Jody, her assistant. She was always the first one in.

A wave of anger crashed through her thoughts to push away the shock and worry. Who would want to destroy Starr Industries? To kill innocents. Her company didn’t work on government contracts and her competition with other tech firms was more or less the same as all the others.

A sick feeling filled her stomach as it hit her. There was only one plausible reason. One that had nothing to do with Starr Industries per se, but only with her.

This was all her fault. Someone was targeting her.

She should have been angry, but all she felt was hollow and numb as she scanned the streets below. Dropping down, she hovered just above a group of Fire Chiefs who were barking orders to their Captains. A familiar face in the group looked up, and she flew over to land next to Captain Forrest Kelly.

His face turned red as he quickly took off his fireman’s coat and wrapped it around her bare shoulders. “Where the hell have you been, Karen?” he asked angrily. “Your place gets trashed by aliens and you, the one person who could have stopped them, were no where to be found. Now you show up nude?”

“Whoa, Kelly. First things first. What the hell happened here? Aliens you say?”

“Well, actually one for sure. Nearly seven feet tall with green skin and a head that belongs on Mars. Oh, and red eyes.”

“J’onzz …?” she started to ask. “The Martian Manhunter? That makes no sense. He’s a friend of Superman.”

“Look at the picture.” He turned his phone screen toward her.

Kara’s heart fell further as she saw the beetle-brow. The sunken eyes. The almost naked skull. All green. “Damn it. That’s definitely him.” She pushed the phone away. “I’ll deal with him later. What about casualties? What can I do to help?”

“Seven dead, killed by falling debris. More than fifty injured, some badly. My teams have searched the building pretty thoroughly, all except the top floor where its still burning. We can’t get up there.”

“Let me check it out.” She bent down to leap upward, shedding her borrowed coat as she rose. Her strong legs carried her nearly twenty floors upward before she flew through a huge hole in the wall.

Everything on the top floor was both trashed and burning. She ignored the hungry flames as they licked upward between the chimney of her long legs, scanning carefully through the smoke, working her way toward the missing section of building that had been her office. Somebody had ripped the ferroconcrete floor apart to remove her office completely from the building, and then dropped it on the buildings below. The only thing left was the huge vault that a former owner of the building had installed, for reasons unknown. Jody had cleaned it out and converted it into a closet.

She was about to leave when she noticed that the vault door was closed and locked. It had always been braced open. She pushed her eyes forward, and the thick vault door turned to glass. Inside, everything lay jumbled on the floor. Looking through the piles, she was startled to see a young woman huddled in the far corner — Jody!

Rushing forward, Kara grabbed the door and pulled, only to have the twenty ton vault start to slide out the hole in the wall. She quickly hugged a corner of it to her chest, digging her fingers to the second knuckle in the armor-grade steel as she flew off with the huge vault, slowly lowering it to the street below.

“I need paramedics over here!” she called loudly to the closest firemen.

Her nude reflection shimmered in the polished steel as she begin to tear at the door with her bare hands. Ripping hinges and locking mechanisms away with a screech, she jammed her fingers into the crack around the plug door, forcing them in, working the steel like it was mere modeling clay. Once she’d jammed her right arm in to her shoulder, and was able to grab the back side of the thick door, she began to peel it open, using her immense strength to slowly rip the numerous locking bars from the frame, each exploding with a loud ping of hardened steel. Slowly, she folded the door in the middle, the nearly meter-thick steel groaning like a dying animal. Her body was a maze of impossibly hard muscle as she gave the five ton door a final wrench to rip it free and toss it clanging and thundering down the street. She dashed inside to gather Jody up and carry her out to the paramedics who were rushing their way, placing her on their gurney. She was still breathing. Two medics began to work on her as the firemen pushed and pulled the gurney toward a waiting ambulance.

Her thoughts reached out to Jody. So young and inexperienced, but so smart and so very quick on her feet. Locking herself in the vault certainly wasn’t on the security procedures list, but it had saved her life.

Satisfied that Jody was in good hands, Kara walked into the vault to find the backup costume Jody kept there. When she returned, red cape swishing, she was Powergirl, no longer Karen Starr, the usual change in her assertiveness following the costume. Rising from the ground to hover a couple of stories up, she gave her ruined building a final look. Nothing more she could do here. Not today anyway.

Her thoughts shifted forward to Darren. Presumably he was still at her place, or maybe on his way home. But without her phone, which was melted scrap now, there was no way to reach him.

She floated over to land beside Captain Kelly.

“Don’t risk any of your people to check the top floor, Captain. Nobody else up there. Are any of my people here?”

He shook his head. “Your staff was just arriving when we got the call, but we made them leave the area. Told them to go home. Said that no one was getting inside the building until we have all the fires out and the police have finished their preliminary investigation. Tomorrow, best case.”

Kara nodded. “Then I’ll be at my home too, trying to pull together my people to see where we stand. You have my number if you need me.”

He nodded before turning back to give orders to his men.

Kara was just about to leap into the air when she noticed the crowd of reporters standing a couple of blocks away, pointing cameras at her. A quick glance around also revealed a TV crew on top of a nearby building. Then a second one further back. As she had done so many times before, she balled her fists and leaped angrily toward the rooftop cameras, melting them with blasts of heat vision, the sparks sending the TV crews running the other way. Diving back down to street level, her eyes flashed dozens of times as she targeted more cameras, even hand-held phones, her heated stare forcing the photogs to drop their burning cameras as they howled in pain. A few charred fingers were the least of her worries today.

Several people started shouting angrily at her, so she stomped her foot on the pavement hard enough to knock them all off their feet. When they tried to get up, she stomped again.

She felt angry, hurt, disgusted and hollow, and even worse, she was filled with a sense of loss that was palpable. This had been her life. A life she’d made as opposed to having been born into. A life someone had very deliberately taken from her.

A man Superman had trusted.

She struggled to bottle up her anger as she took to the air to fly south, staying just under the clouds, heading for her apartment building in West Seattle. The only person she wanted to see now was Darren. He of all people would understand how she felt about this personal attack. About potentially losing her company.

Sometimes, even the mighty Powergirl needed a sympathetic shoulder to cry on.

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