Written by willow :: [Wednesday, 17 May 2017 21:23] Last updated by :: [Wednesday, 17 May 2017 21:44]
The flight to Aurora was uneventful, and gave me time to think about what I should do next. While I flew, I texted Clark Kent through our usual means to let him know what happened. I also told him that I was on my way to Chicago to find out more about my birth parents. Naturally, there is no signal at 30,000 feet so I did not expect any report until after I landed. By the time that I arrived, it was in the dead of night. I landed in the middle of the city in a back alley away from prying eyes. Being so late, there was hardly anyone out in the streets at this time anyway. The alley was dirty and grimy just like any other alley in any other city across America. At least it did not go into full cliché territory with a sleeping homeless person buried among piles of trash bags. I pulled out my phone again, and saw that my message to Superman had been sent. Now I just needed to find a place to sit down while I arranged for a place to sleep for the night. I may be a goddess among mortal men, but that did not mean that I would enjoy sleeping on the street for the rest of the night. My phone had a good signal, and a quick browsing of the area showed a Denny’s nearby that was open. Not my first choice, but it would allow me a place to sit down, browse my options, and get some food. I opened my bag and changed into my civilian clothes. A few minutes later, I was sitting in a booth in the nearby Denny’s with a big, fat burger and fries sitting in front of me.
I browsed through my hotel options while I drank my third refill of Coke. Most of the hotels in the area were the usual chain hotels that I was not too interested in staying in. Money had not been an issue since I had gained these powers and been taking under Superman’s wing. Clark Kent may appear to live off a reporter’s salary, but he clearly had money stashed away to be used when necessary. It was funny to think about my desire for quality nowadays. Back when Mike and I were together in Boston, we had those moments of low-rent hotels and ramen noodle dinners to get by when times were tough. I did not mind since we were together. However, having super senses can have a certain downside that no one talks about, especially when you can feel every single thread in that 200-thread count sheet. A week into living with Cheryl, and I had bought her entirely new linen just so I could sleep more comfortably.
After some more browsing, I found the hotel for me. It was the Hotel Arista off of City Gate. It fit everything that I needed. Just as I found the place, I received a phone call from Clark Kent. I was surprised that he was calling me so late or at all. We normally just talked through secure messenger services. I answered the call.
“Ah, hello?” I asked, almost unsure if this was really Clark.
“Hey. I got your message.” Clark responded on the other end.
“Hey. Are you sure about calling me? We normally…” Clark cut me off before I could finish.
“The line is secure thanks to some friends, and our mutual friend is still out of town so no worries about being overheard.”
“Do you know where she is?”
“Picking through the pieces in Singapore again. She knows that event and your appearance in Syria are related so she seems to be backtracking to find anything missed earlier.”
I asked back with a hint of worry in my voice, “Is there anything to find?”
However, Superman seemed quite confident in his reply, “No. It has been weeks since Terri disappeared, and our friends have been working hard to ensure that any tracks were cleaned up a long time ago.”
“Speaking of Terri, how is she?”
“No real change. That serum appears to have had a permanent effect on her. I have been keeping her sedated after her repeated attempts to smash out of her jail. She may be near invulnerable, but thankfully drugs appear to have an effect on her, albeit rather reduced. Apparently, gamma radiation appears to have a similar effect on her that Kryptonite has on us. Cellular regeneration appears to prevent any long-term damage, but it weakens her enough to keep her dosed and docile until I figure out a better solution.”
“Wonder how Caroline and Monica would feel if they knew taking that synthetic Ambrosia would do that to them?”
Superman chuckled a bit, “You would be surprised what some people are willing to do for that kind of power. I have a rogue’s gallery full of them.”
I smiled at the joke even Superior Girl fit into that mold along with a host of other villains that Superman had fought in the past. The only difference was that Superman had finally lost. I replied, “I am going to be staying at the Hotel Arista in Aurora for a few days. I…ah…wanted to let you know that I kind of smashed the laptop that you gave me.”
There was a bit of an awkward silence on the other end of the phone for a minute or two. Finally, Superman simply responded “Ok, I will get you a replacement.”
I felt guilty immediately about what happened, “Look, I am truly…”
Superman stopped me before I could continue, “Stop. It’s ok. I had my entire childhood to come to terms with what you have had to deal with in a couple months. I am just glad that you did not tear down the entire building.”
I laughed at the idea, “Ha. I guess Cheryl’s insurance wouldn’t cover that.”
Superman laughed back, “Ha. Probably not. Well, I need to go so I can begin getting ready for the Daily Planet. I will send a replacement laptop to the hotel as soon as possible. More of the hard drives have been decrypted so I have a good idea on what our next steps should be. Just let me know when you are done in Aurora, and we can starting planning our endgame for Superior Girl.”
I hung up the phone, and called Hotel Arista. Thankfully, the hotel had a night shift person posted to answer phones and any customer emergencies. I gave a sob story about my other hotel overbooking my room, and being stuck in Aurora with nowhere to sleep for the night. The night attendant was very sorry to hear about my troubles, and had a room available that I could stay in. I finished up my drink, and paid the bill to the waitress. I left the restaurant, and walked to the back where no one would see me. A quick trip into the air flew me and bags the four miles to where the hotel was.
The hotel was extremely nice with a very modern flare to the interior. The night attendant that I spoke to was waiting for me at the front desk. He quickly checked me in, and gave me a keycard for my room on the ninth floor. My room was decorated in the same modern style that the rest of the hotel was set in along with a massive queen bed. I unpacked my clothes, and then immediately went to bed for the night.
I woke to a knocking on my hotel room door in the morning. I looked over at the clock to discover that I had actually slept until just shy of noon. The travel and emotional toil of yesterday had clearly taken a toll on me more than I had thought. I felt quite relaxed after my long sleep. I got up from the bed, and put on the hotel’s robe to cover my naked form. In my still-waking-up haze, I did not even think to simply spy through the door itself to see who was knocking. I opened the door to find myself standing in front of Jimmy Olsen.
Jimmy smiled at me, “Hey there!”
“Jimmy!” I cried out in shock, and embraced Jimmy lifting him completely off the ground. I turned around and carried him into the hotel room with the door closing behind us. Seeing Jimmy during such a dark time was truly uplifting. I could not help but give him a strong kiss on the lips. Jimmy responded in kind, and even reached into my bathrobe to squeeze my breast. I broke away from my kiss, and casually tossed Jimmy onto the bed. He flew through the air like a rag doll before hitting the center of the bed with a thud.
I stood by the base of the bed with my robe now partially open revealing my naked form hidden underneath. Jimmy could not help but eye the glorious form of my body that stood just a few feet away from his grasp. I said with my hands on my hips, “Hold on, cowboy. What are you doing here?”
Jimmy smiled, “Clark gave me a call in the middle of the night. He said that you could use some help with investigation that you are doing. So I grabbed the first flight out of Metropolis this morning.”
“What about your assignment in Syria?”
“The Daily Planet’s editor, Perry White, pulled me from that assignment after I got trapped in Aleppo and met Power Girl during her public debut. Perry claimed that he did not want to burn out his star photojournalist by staying too long in an active combat zone. PTSD and all that. In truth, I think he and everyone else in management wanted to know everything that could tell them about you. So they pulled me back to the States for some extended R&R.”
I crossed my arms under my breasts, which only made my cleavage even more expansive, “And what is so special about me?”
Jimmy laughed, “The entire Daily Planet won’t stop asking me about you. Where are you from? What did you say to me? Any relation to Superman? How tight is your ass?”
“Ha. Ok, that last question was not exactly official, but it has been asked by several men who cornered me in the Daily Planet’s bathroom. Along with some questions about other parts of your anatomy.”
I smiled at the comment. Boys would be boys. Of course, before I got these powers, it was not hard to wonder about what Superman’s muscles would feel like or the size and strength of his cock. There were entire Internet forums dedicated to the topic (at least that it what I have heard, of course). The presence of Jimmy to help with my investigation did lift up my spirits. It felt like I was not going to be doing this alone. Jimmy’s experience in journalism would be a great help rather than me going all amateur hour on it. Feeling that my mood was picking up, I decided to have some fun before we got underway.
“Well, how about you help me explore some of those questions about my anatomy. Purely for research purposes, of course.” As I spoke, I took hold of the sides of my robe and opened it up. I let the cloth fall to the floor, leaving me standing totally naked in front of Jimmy Olsen. Jimmy’s smile went from ear to ear. I began to crawl onto the bed as Jimmy quickly struggled to remove his clothes as fast as possible.
I rubbed my large breasts against his naked chest as I crawled forward. My nipples hardened as I felt his smooth skin rub against them. I gasped as pleasure moved through my nipples and throughout my chest. I moved my chest up and down his body as my pleasure increased. I could feel myself getting wet below.
Jimmy finally had kicked off his pants. I could feel his hard member poking my stomach. I slid down further so that my large mounds trapped his member in-between them. I squeezed the muscles in my chest to bring my breasts closer together. Jimmy’s penis was trapped like a vice between my perfect tits. I moved myself up and down slowly as my breasts began to jerk Jimmy off. He clenched his fists into the bedsheets and arched his back at my actions. I placed my hands on the bed, and started to push myself up and down on Jimmy’s erect member. My heightened senses could feel every twitch as he neared climaxing. I could just make out his head poking between my cleavage. I reached down and gave a playful lick to his tip. This brought his near finishing, but I had one last trick to perform on him.
“Hey, Jimmy. Remember what these did to those tanks?” I asked Jimmy as he looked towards me. I took my right arm, and flexed the muscles in my arm as much as possible. While my left arm kept the push-ups going, biceps and triceps exploded in masses of muscle across my arms. Jimmy looked at my arm, and clearly remembered what I had done to those tanks in Syria. No matter what Jimmy wanted, his body decided that was enough. Jimmy cried out in pleasure as his cock unleashed a torrent on top of my tits. I eagerly watched as he shuddered with pleasure and felt his pulsing cock between my super-sensitive mega-tits. I took a dash of his semen from my breasts with a fingertip and licked it clean. There would be time for my own pleasure later today. Just seeing the effect that my body had on Jimmy was enough for me now.
I got up from the bed and went into the bathroom to shower myself off. As I was drying myself, Jimmy came in naked as well. He looked exhausted like he had just had the best titty fuck of his life. I tossed him the towel with a smirk on my face as I went back into the bedroom to get dressed. Jimmy came out shortly after, and put his clothes back on as well.
I gave Jimmy a wry, sideways smile, “Let’s get lunch.”
We grabbed some lunch from the hotel restaurant. As our food came, Jimmy filled me in on the inside details of what happened in Syria after I left.
“The Syrian government appears to be holding to that agreement you made with them. I spoke with some people in the Intelligence Community about what is going on. Their info says that the generals are terrified that if they try to take the city again, you will come back. Most of the generals are not willing to risk their lives by invading Aleppo again. They are scared about you tearing them apart with your bare hands.”
I laughed at the idea. “That would be incredibly messy, and hard to explain to my laundry service. How is Aleppo doing?”
“Quite well, actually. The civilians think the city is under your protection and something of a safe haven now. There have actually been reports of refugees heading towards Aleppo rather than fleeing the country. Various NGOs are helping to promote that rumor, and are trying to set Aleppo up as an actual safe haven for refugees fleeing the civil war.”
I chewed on my food as I contemplated this development, “How about the rebels?”
Jimmy finished off his overpriced burger, and was working through the French fries. “My contacts claim the rebels are not entirely sure what to think. They know you gave them Aleppo, but seem to be worried about pissing you off. So, they are accepting the NGOs’ propaganda that Aleppo is a safe haven, and trying not to be too heavy handed. If anything, they are happy to have a city that can act as a safe HQ for their own operations.”
“And ISIL? What happened to them?”
“Disappeared from the city. Most people believe a lot of their fighters went underground when you started tossing tanks around. Some feel that they hid until the fighting stopped, and have been slowly sneaking out of the city. Others feel that they went into hiding among the civilians until they get new orders from their leadership. However, no one believes that they are completely gone from the city. The rebels are doing what they can, but as I said earlier, trying to avoid using a heavy hand to flush any remaining members of ISIL out.”
I finished up my own meal. We sat together in silence for several minutes, eating what remained of our lunch. I suspected that Superior Girl would have that city watched like a hawk in case I return. I wondered if she or Lex would go so far to stage an attack to draw me out. That troubled me about how I may have put more civilians at risk to Superior Girl’s attempts to bring me to her. After rummaging through my thoughts, I asked, “Next time you talk to Superman, could you ask him to arrange from personal deliveries of relief supplies by him?”
Jimmy popped the last remaining fry in his mouth, “Sure. What are you thinking?”
“I am worried that Superior Girl or Lex might try to flush me out. Maybe setup an attack or aid in some counter-offensive.” Jimmy nodded his head at the possibility. “If Superman is seen there helping the refugees, then they might think twice. Jessie may have defeated Superman before, but she might not be willing to take on Superman and Power Girl at the same time.”
“Jessie defeated the all-powerful Superman at least twice. Are you sure that she might not be overconfident by now?”
“She could be, but I think Lex would be the voice of reason in this if she is. Everything that I have learned about Lex in the past few months says he won’t risk sacrificing his queen unless he knows it will put him at a much greater advantage.”
Jimmy looked surprised, “Did not peg you for a chess person.”
I laughed at the idea, “Definitely not before my change. However, little need for sleep, speed reading and perfect memory make great study companions during long nights.” Jimmy laughed at the idea too. After leaving the hotel’s restaurant, Jimmy took me to the rental car that he was using so we could get underway. After getting into the car, I turned to look at Jimmy.
“Ok, ace reporter. Where too now?”
Jimmy thought about it for a minute. “Well, it has been over 20 years since your mother died. According to the obituary, the funeral was conducted at a local mom and pop funeral home that is still in business today. Someone surely made arrangements for the funeral, possibly a lawyer. If we can find the records at the funeral home, then that might lead us to the lawyer who made the arrangements. The lawyer could be convinced to tell us more about your mother beyond what is in the old newspapers.”
“Wouldn’t the county courthouse have any records about the lawyer who executed my mother’s will or closed up her estate?”
“Probably, but I don’t know how they keep their records here. Going back 20 years’ worth of court cases for your mother’s case will likely take a lot more time. Possibly a Freedom of Information Request that could take up to two weeks to process, assuming that the county’s archivists could even find the old court records. Or you and I spending hours in their archives searching through boxes of old court cases.”
I sighed, “Alright then, let’s start with the local funeral home then.”
Jimmy laughed as he started the car, “Journalism 101, baby.”
The funeral home, Clark and Sons Funeral Services, looked like what could only be described as an average funeral home. I had only been in one when I was younger after my adoptive grandparents died. I don’t remember much from those days, but this place did not feel like it would be any different from my foggy childhood memories. The business had several rows of flowers at strategic locations that seemed to display more the kind of arrangements that customers could request rather being purely decorative. In between the flower stands were a variety of caskets. I was amused that no actual price tags were listed. The building itself felt calm and serene with an odd quiet permeating throughout. My sensitive hearing easily picked up conversation beyond the showrooms that showed a thriving business, but the walls were heavily insulated to keep those conversations behind closed doors. Thankfully, the funeral home was presently empty of any actual mourners.
I was wearing a black dress that showed some cleavage, but kept things respectable for any business owner. Jimmy was wearing jeans and a button dress shirt. Before entering the building, he had put on a jacket on to look a little more professional. We were quickly greeted by a man in his late 30s wearing a dark suit, white shirt, and black tie. He clearly worked out to keep in shape. The suit had been tailored to his measurements, and he wore it like a well-worn leather glove. He gave a short nod to us as he approached.
“Good afternoon. My name is Matthew Clark. How may I help you two?”
I held out my hand to offer to shake his as I replied, “Hello. My name is Michelle Wallace. This is my friend Jimmy Olsen. I was hoping to speak with your manager or owner about my mother whose burial went through your facilities.”
Matthew Clark too my hand, and gave a firm handshake. His face became a practiced frown that was clearly designed to help show sympathy. It made me wonder how genuine it actually was, or if you become a little deaden on the matter after routinely seeing other peoples’ loss. He responded in a calm tone, “I am terribly sorry for the loss of your mother. I hope that there was no problem with the services that we rendered. Would you like to step into my office so we can talk further?”
I nodded in approval and responded, “Absolutely.”
Matthew led us towards the back of the funeral home and into his office. The office was very spacious and luxurious. Solid wooden desk, large leather chair, and computer off to the side with various papers organized on the desk. Jimmy and I sat down in the chairs facing the desk while Mr. Clark took a seat in his leather chair behind the desk. He cupped his hands together, and asked “How can I help you two?”
I took a piece of paper out of my purse. “My mother died a little over 20 years ago. I was placed into an adoption service since I had no living relatives. Jimmy is a reporter with the Daily Planet, and is writing a story about me trying reconnect to my mother’s past.”
Mr. Clark got a sense of recognition to Jimmy, “Ah, I thought you seemed familiar. You were in Syria a few weeks ago, correct?”
Jimmy nodded, “I was. My editor pulled me out after Power Girl stopped the invasion of Aleppo. This article is a way for me to get some downtime away from guns and explosions for a while.”
“I cannot imagine how stressful that must be, but you were extremely brave to go into that war zone. Of course, let me see what I can do to help you two.” Mr. Clark looked down at the adoption papers that I had handed him. “I see here that your mother was named Dianna Starr. Now, this would have been when my father was running the funeral home, and well before we started moving everything to being digital.”
Jimmy leaned forward and asked, “Would you still have those paper records here?”
“Oh, yes. They should be here in our archives. We have a room dedicated to those old records of who is buried where and when. You would be surprised how often that we need them for police requests, family disputes, or just plain old research. If you two would wait here, I will walk over to the archives and see if I can pull the files.”
I smiled at him, “Thank you very much.”
Before Mr. Clark left the room, he asked for his assistant to come in to check if we would like anything to drink. Jimmy asked for a Coke while I got some hot tea from the lady. I peeked through the walls to see what Mr. Clark was up to. True to his word, he was in a moderately sized room full of filing cabinets. He moved between a few while looking for my mother’s files. I did a quick peak at the files, but quickly decided against it. Most of them were details of other people buried in the cemetery. I was not keen on reading all their details.
A few more minutes passed until Mr. Clark returned to the office carrying a small manila folder in his hand. He sat back down at his desk to go through the papers. As he read, he spoke to us without looking up. “Yes, here she is. Ms. Dianna Starr. No other family members are listed outside of notes about a young daughter. Her grave is located in Plot 36 down Remembrance Drive if you would like to visit it. I seem to recall her now. Wasn’t there some scandal and a murder?”
Jimmy spoke up, “I had not heard about any scandal, but she was killed during a failed home invasion.”
Mr. Clark looked up, “Yes, I remember now. She worked at FermiLab at the time. I don’t remember the details, but there was a big to-do about a break-in at the Lab in an area that she worked. I am truly sorry that you never had a chance to meet her.”
I nodded my head with a solemn expression on my face, “So am I.”
Jimmy asked, “Since she did not have any family listed, we are trying to track down the people who made the funeral arrangements. Possibly if there were any personal effects left over, or some other clues as to who her mother was before she died.”
Mr. Clark rubbed his chin in contemplation, “Hmm, well I doubt any personal effects would have been kept after 20 years, but no harm in looking. According to these documents, the funeral arrangements were made by a Charles Weston. I know that lawyer. We have worked with him on several occasions over the years. He is a partner at the legal firm Weston, Smith, and Harding.”
Jimmy interceded, “Thank you for that. Would we be able to get a copy of those papers, for my article?”
Mr. Clark seemed a bit unsure, “I am not sure. Normally, we do not give out this paperwork except to legal counsel and, if you will excuse my saying this, confirmed immediate family members.”
I held up my hand to Mr. Clark, “I completely understand. However, I was hoping it would not be an issue considering this was 20 years ago, and my mother had no other family members than myself.”
Mr. Clark thought about it for a moment, and then buzzed his assistant into the room to make some copies. “I see your point, and you are right considering it was over two decades ago. My assistant will make copies for you.”
I smiled to Mr. Clark, “Thank you once again.”
Mr. Clark smiled back at me, and then turned to Jimmy. “So, you were in Aleppo when Power Girl made her dramatic entrance?”
Jimmy started smiling from ear-to-ear again. If only Mr. Clark realized that Power Girl was sitting across from him right now. “Yes, I was. She saved my life when she showed up. You know, I have some pictures that were never published in the Daily Planet. Would you like to see them?”
Mr. Clark lit up at the idea of seeing these exclusive pictures. “Absolutely!” Jimmy pulled out his tablet from the messenger bag that he used to discreetly keep his camera. After some fiddling, he handed the device over to Mr. Clark who started sliding through the images. Neither of us could see exactly which image he was on, but he used his fingers to enlarge several images. I smiled inside as I was convinced those were images clearly showing my ass or cleavage, maybe while stopping some bullets or tank shells.
“Oh, my God! Some of these are amazing shots.”
“Thank you very much. I am just glad that I had the privilege to be there when she appeared.”
Mr. Clark handed the tablet back to Jimmy who returned it to his bag. “Thank you very much for sharing those with me.” I could easily hear Mr. Clark racing heartbeat from what he saw. The assistant came back into the room, and gave us a set of copies that she had made. We thanked Mr. Clark for his assistance and left the funeral parlor. I resisted the temptation to listen or look to see if Mr. Clark had retired to the bathroom for some alone time.
Before leaving the area, Jimmy and I went to go see my mother’s grave. It was easy to find due to the various markers across what appeared to be a very well-organized cemetery. The tombstone had seen some wear, but was mostly intact. It read “Dianna Starr, 1961 to 1995, Loving mother and great scientist who died too young.” I rubbed my bare hand gently over the tombstone. I felt a wave of emotion bubbling up inside of me, but did my best to keep it bottled in for now. As much as I wanted to, there was no point in crying right now. That could happen later. I steeled myself and looked down into the grave itself using my x-ray vision. The dirt bled away revealing an intact casket of moderate quality. Inside the casket was the decayed skeleton of a woman wearing a faded blue dress. Sadly, there were no other personal effects inside the casket. No crown jewels. No handwritten letter for my eyes only. Just the corpse of a woman now dead for over 22 years. I would have been three years old when she died. I wished that I could remember those years with the kind of clarity that I now have, but my perfect memory only goes back to events post-transformation.
Jimmy stood back, and let me have all the time that I wanted. After a few more minutes of quiet mourning and contemplation, we both left the cemetery and went to try and meet Mr. Charles Weston at Weston, Smith, and Harding, LLP.
The offices of Weston, Smith, and Harding were located in the downtown area of Aurora. Mr. Weston had clearly been doing well for himself in the legal business. The walls and desks all had a dark wood finish that radiated a successful practice. Various plants were also strategically placed around the office that gave it a very comfortable feeling. The front desk was manned by a young and attractive receptionist. She greeted us as Jimmy and I walked in through the front door.
“Good afternoon, may I help you?”
I spoke first, “Yes, we were hoping to speak with Mr. Charles Weston.”
“Of course, let me see if he is free. Could I please tell him what this is about?”
“I am the daughter of a case that he worked on several years ago, and was hoping to speak with him about it.”
The receptionist smiled at my response, “Thank you.” She dialed a number on her phone. “Mr. Weston? There is a couple here that would like to speak to you. She says that she is the daughter for a case that you worked on.” After a brief pause, the receptionist concluded the call and turned back to us. “Mr. Weston has a few minutes before a scheduled consultation. If you will follow me to his office.”
The receptionist took us down a hallway past several offices. Most of the offices had similar wooden furniture, and were occupied by people in suits talking to others who were clearly clients. We were escorted into a large office at the end of the hallway marked with the sign Charles Weston on the door. The office itself was quite large with an excellent view of downtown Aurora from the large windows. Bookshelves with law books lined the walls, and Mr. Weston’s desk had several stacks of papers strewn across it. He clearly kept himself busy with work.
Mr. Charles Weston himself was a man in his mid-50s. He carried a good amount of weight, and had a wreath of hair circling his bald head. Mr. Weston was also wearing a well-tailored blue suit. He had a warm smile, and gave the impression of someone who loved and cared about his work. Mr. Weston got up from his desk, and came around to greet us both as we entered. He gave a firm handshake to each of us.
“Hello, I am Charles Weston. Cindy tells me that you had some questions about a case that I worked on in the past.”
I spoke up, “Yes. I understand that you represented my mother’s estate several years ago, after she passed away. I was hoping that you might be able to answer some questions.”
Mr. Weston got a hesitant look on his face, “I would love to help; however, you should know that I am bound by attorney-client privilege. I might not be able to give you too many specifics. Do you mind if I ask who your mother was?”
“My mother was Dianna Starr.”
Mr. Weston got an immediate look of recognition on his face. “Oh, my god. I do remember Ms. Starr. She was one of the first cases that I worked on when I was starting my own practice. Let’s see that about 22 years ago, I believe.”
“Yes, that is correct. She was killed during a home invasion.”
“Yes, it was terribly tragic.” Mr. Weston gestured for us to sit down at a small table clearly used for client meetings. “Please sit down.”
As we sat down, I pulled out my adoption paperwork and birth certificate that I kept in the manila folder. Sadly, I no longer had my Boston driver’s license to also show. It had likely been destroyed during the explosion in Jessie Nelson’s office so many months ago.
“I thought you might want these for some kind of proof of who I am.”
“Thank you,” Mr. Weston responded as he took the documents and looked them over carefully. He felt the paper, and ran his thumb over the seal on each of the documents. He was clearly someone who had been around similar documents in the past, and knew what to look for in a forgery. “Yes, these certainly appear to be authentic.” Mr. Weston handed the documents back to me. “So how can I help you exactly?”
I indicated to Jimmy, “This is my friend and reporter for the Daily Planet, Jimmy Olsen. He is helping me track down my past before my adoption, and writing a story about the journey.”
Mr. Weston nodded to Jimmy, “Please to meet you.”
I continued, “I was wondering if there was anything that you could tell us about my mother’s death, or if she had left any personal effects.”
“Of course, your mother’s case is one that is burned into my mind. She was a beautiful woman who was working at FermiLab at the time of her death. The whole incident seemed so completely pointless. A home invasion gone terribly wrong.”
“I did not see anything in the old papers on whether they caught the person. Do you know if they ever did?”
“No, to my knowledge, the police were never able to identify a person of interest in the case. I think the police chalked it up to inner city Chicago kids coming out to the suburbs for an easy target. The irony is that the person involved could very likely be in jail right now on completely unrelated convictions. That was what struck a lot of people in the area on just how random the entire event seemed. No suspicious activity in the area before. No string of robberies before or after Ms. Starr was killed. It just happened out of the blue like a bold of lightening.”
That felt odd to me for some reason. “Is this a bit normal being so close to Chicago?”
“Somewhat. You hear about robberies and crimes happening, but we are a bit far out for things like that. Usually, they are a series of robberies that either tapper off as police patrols increase in those area, or the robbers finally get caught.”
I nodded at Mr. Weston’s assessment, “We were just at the funeral parlor that handled the burial. They mentioned some kind of scandal that my mother had been involved with at FermiLab.”
Mr. Weston got a quizzical look as he recalled the events, “Yes, I seem to recall something about that. It was before she became my client on executing her will and estate. I seem to recall accusations being tossed around about a break-in at the Lab. However, I do not believe any formal charges were made. Ms. Starr was still an employee of FermiLab when she died.”
Jimmy stepped in, “Would you know anyone that might be able to give us more information about that? It sounds like there might be an interesting story behind that regarding Michelle’s mother.”
Mr. Weston thought for a moment, “There might be, but I will have to get back to you on a name. Now you asked about personal effects, let me check on something.”
Mr. Weston got up from the meeting table, and went back to his computer. He was clearly searching for something. When he found it, he came back to sit down with us at the meeting table.
“My firm has a number of older cases where we hold onto things for beneficiaries or relatives. Often this is usually while we are trying to track down some long-lost cousin who was bequeathed a sizable sum of money upon a relative’s death.”
I was genuinely curious, “Does that happen often?”
“More often than you would think; less often that Hollywood would have you believe. Would you mind if I take that documentation that you showed me earlier?” I pulled the paperwork back out of my bag and handed it to him. “Thank you. Our records do show some items stored in a safety deposit box intended for Ms. Starr’s daughter. If you don’t mind, I will need to verify your identity before we can turn the keys over to that box.”
My heart began to race at the news. My mother had left something for me before she passed away. However, my heart was also racing because I was officially dead to the rest of the world. He might be able to verify that I am who I say I am, but he might also uncover the fact that I am supposed to have been killed in a terrorist attack. It was too late now. If I left, then he would be suspicious. I was also not too keen on trying to find the safety deposit box myself and take it. That would raise even more questions that I did not want people asking. Well, as Julius Caesar once famously said, “We’ve crossed the Rubicon now, and there is no going back.” I gave my warmest smile and tried not to show my nervousness, “Yes, please. Let me know if you need any additional information.”
“No, no. This should be fine. We have people on staff who specialize in these things. Please come back to my office tomorrow after lunchtime. If this all checks out, I will gladly turn over the keys to the safety deposit box to you.”
Jimmy and I thanked Mr. Weston for his time and left the law offices. After we got in Jimmy’s rental car, I sat there quietly for a few minutes. Jimmy was clearly waiting for me to say something. I finally spoke, “Do you think he will figure out that I am supposed to be dead?”
Jimmy shared my concerns, “It’s possible. Depends on how thorough his staff is. I could see the nervousness on your face about it in the office.”
I looked at Jimmy with a worried expression, “Was it that obvious?”
Jimmy gave a disarming smile back at me, “You were clearly nervous, but I know more about your past than he does. He probably just wrote it off of you hearing that your mother left something behind for you.”
I could not resist biting my lower lip as I thought about the news that I just got. Jimmy took his hand and placed it on my lap. “Don’t worry. We will handle whatever happens. Besides, you’re Power Girl.”
I smiled at his comment. Sometimes even god-like abilities will only take you so far in life. Jimmy started the car, and we headed out to grab some dinner. Jimmy took me a decent restaurant that he found through his phone. The food was good even if our conversation was rather light under the circumstances. As we were leaving the restaurant, Jimmy spotted a movie theater down the street. After some coaxing, he convinced me to go with him. Jimmy chose some romantic comedy that was guaranteed to not have any space aliens, monsters, or explosions. As we sat there eating our popcorn, I laid my head on Jimmy’s shoulders. Romantic comedies were not my go-to movies, but it was a good distraction from everything that happened.
After the film was over, Jimmy and I returned to my hotel room. He brought in his suitcase that he had been keeping in the trunk of his car throughout the day. Jimmy spent the rest of the night returning the pleasure that I gave him earlier in the day.
Jimmy and I returned to the offices of Weston, Smith, and Harding the next day after lunch. The receptionist let Mr. Weston know that we were here, and then escorted us back to his office. Mr. Weston was wearing a different suit, but still had the warm smile that greeted us yesterday. We shook hands, and he gestured for us to sit at his desk. He took a seat behind the desk, and brought some sheets of paper forward to us.
“Ms. Wallace, thank you very much for returning. As I am sure you suspected, we were able to verify your identity last night. We made copies of your documents for our own legal files on the matter. Here are the originals.”
I took the originals, and placed them back in the folder that I had brought with me. Mr. Weston then took another small stack of paperwork, and handed it over to me. “Now, I will need you to fill out this paperwork to the best of your ability. These are simply acknowledgements that you are who you claim to be, will take into possession what I will give you shortly, and that this will conclude our involvement in the execution of your mother’s estate.”
I look puzzled at the paperwork. Mr. Weston smiled and opened his hands towards me. “We lawyers love our paperwork, Ms. Wallace.” I took the hint, and got to work on reading the papers. Everything was fairly standard. Any items given over would be done so on an as-is basis so they were not at fault if something was broken. Their law firm would not disclose any information about the items handed over without my prior written consent. Etcetera, etcetera. I initialed and signed everywhere that it was labeled to do so, and returned the papers to Mr. Weston. He placed them aside in what appeared to be his ‘complete’ pile.
“Thank you very much,” Mr. Weston said as he opened a desk drawer and took out a small card and key. He slid them across his desk towards me. “This is the name of the bank that holds the safety deposit box with the items specifically left over from your mother for you. I am sorry to say that her will did not bequeath anything else specifically. All of her assets were liquidated to help pay for funeral and other expenses surrounding her estate.”
I looked down at the key and card. The card read “Bank of Chicago” with an address locally in Aurora. In fact, the bank was only a block away from the law offices. I took the items, and placed them gingerly in my pocket. Part of me was terrified that I would accidentally deform the key from use. After putting the items away, I felt like I did not know what to do next. I naturally wanted to rush over to the bank immediately, but was not sure if there was any other business to be taken care of.
Mr. Weston clearly read my confusion on my face. “I am afraid that is it for us, Ms. Wallace. I am truly sorry for your loss, and wish that I had more to offer you on this matter.” Mr. Weston stood up slightly from his chair, and offered his hand once again to me. I got up from my own chair, thanking him and shaking his hand. Jimmy stayed silent through the entire meeting, and just quietly observed. I turned to leave, and walked to the office door.
“Ms. Wallace, there is one last thing.” I turned to look back at Mr. Weston who was sitting back at his desk. “You do realize that you are supposed to be dead.”
I got a shocked look on my face. I had thought that he did not connect those dots together, but was clearly wrong in my assumption. I was standing there with my mouth gaping open, and not entirely sure what to say in response. As they say, the gig was up. So, I did what I felt was the best option. Using my flight powers, I slowly lifted up off the floor so that I was hovering a foot off the ground with my arms slightly out. My face had a wry smile of someone whose hand was just caught in the cookie jar. Mr. Weston just laughed as he got up from his desk, and walked over to us. I lowered myself back to the ground.
Jimmy spoke up for the first time, “How did you…?”
Mr. Weston waved him off, “Oh, I read the news and can put two-and-two together. Jimmy Olsen shows up in my office who was recently in Syria where Power Girl just came out to the public. And he shows up with a woman who was supposedly killed months ago in a terrorist attack on LexCorp’s offices. A company owned by one of Superman’s biggest opponents. A woman looking into the mysterious death of her mother whose daughter disappeared after she died. It doesn’t take a genius to put the pieces all together.”
I was confused, “Wait, what do you mean by disappearing daughter?”
Mr. Weston flatly responded to my question, “Exactly that. You went missing shortly after your mother’s death. Otherwise, my law firm would have been in touch with you years ago.”
I was having trouble processing this new information, “I don’t understand. I was placed into adoption.”
“That’s not normal procedure. You would normally be put with a foster family while the authorities try to find any living relatives. Those members of your family would have been given the option of taking you in before we turned you over for adoption. However, you quickly disappeared into the adoption system and were moved out of state. The officials claimed it was all clerical errors, and did everything to sweep it under the rug. Based on the paperwork you brought with you, it was clear that you were fast tracked with a family looking to adopt in Massachusetts, bypassing multiple other children ahead of you.”
Jimmy seemed perplexed on this. He asked, “Why didn’t you go public with this? Why did this not create some huge scandal?”
Mr. Weston spread his hands out with a sigh of exasperation, “I tried, but several people made it very clear to me there would be consequences if I pushed too hard. They assured me that you had been given to a good family, and it was best to drop the matter. I was just starting a family of my own at the time. The press were already covering a local scandal in City Hall so your scandal got buried.”
Part of me wanted to be angry at him, but I could not bring myself to feel that way. It is easy to say that you should have done something when you can toss cars and deflect bullets with your bare hand. I knew perfectly well from Superman that the threat to Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and other innocents had stayed his own hand against Superior Girl. “I am sorry that you were not able to do more but understand,” I said in a rather somber tone.
Mr. Weston lowered his head, “Thank you. It has always been a regret in my career. However, I can tell you that there were also oddities in your mother’s home invasion. No previous or follow-up break-ins around that area during the period of her death. The house was ransacked and valuables were stolen, but many other valuables in obvious to see places were left. A few friends that I had in the police force said that it almost looked like someone wanted it to appear to be a robbery, but was something different instead.”
Jimmy smiled as he half-jokingly asked, “That sounds like movie of the week conspiracy talk.”
Mr. Weston nodded in agreement, “I truly don’t know. I moved your mother’s things around a few times to better hide them if that was the case. I executed her will to the best of my ability, which seemed to place everyone at ease. Since I did not know what happened to you, my best option was just to hold onto as much as possible and hope that you stumbled across my door someday.”
I had a half-smile as I asked, “Should I be looking over my shoulder for men in black suits?”
Mr. Weston laughed, “It has been 22 years. Any trail from back then is colder than cold, assuming anyone even remembers your involvement anymore. People retire, change jobs, or move on with their lives. The people originally involved are all probably doing completely different things now.”
I nodded in agreement. It all sounded reasonable. Mr. Weston had liquidated the estate per his job. I was happily living with an adopted family across the country. Even if I did track down info on my mother, it sounded like nobody believed anything was left for me to uncover. I looked back at Mr. Weston, and thanked him for his time before heading towards the door again.
The Bank of Chicago was larger than I suspected in such a small town. However, a scan of the building with my x-ray vision showed that it had a large amount of safety deposit boxes of various sizes. Clearly, Mr. Weston and many other lawyers used this bank to store their clients’ valuables while under some form of litigation. Jimmy stayed back in the reception area while I went to meet with a representative that could get me access to the safety deposit box. I gave my paperwork to the attendant that came to help me. He checked his computer, confirmed with Mr. Weston’s offices, and then escorted me into a small room near the vault. A few minutes later, the attendant came into the room holding a metal box that he had taken from the vault. He placed it on the desk, and stepped back to the doorway.
“Please feel free to take as much time as you would like. We can either close the account that this box is registered under, or change it to be under your name if you would like to keep it secure in our bank.”
I smiled at the attendant who then left the room without another word. I felt the box with my hands. Its steel was cold to the touch. I knew that I could rip it open like unwrapping a Christmas present, but I did not want to damage whatever was inside. After a minute of looking at the box, I got the courage to open it. The lid opened to reveal a VHS tape, a ring, and a hand-written letter inside. I took the letter out of the box, and opened it up.
My loving daughter,
I truly hope that you never have to read this letter, and all of these precautions are all for nothing. However, ever since Alexander went back through the portal, life has never truly returned to normal for me at home or the Lab. In this safety deposit box, you will find this letter, a VHS copy of the experiment recordings that my team performed, and a ring that your father gave me before he was forced to return home. I truly regret how fate kept us from leaving together. However, that is just the way life is sometimes.
In case you are not aware, I work at FermiLab as a theoretical physicist studying what we believe to be other dimensions. My team uses Quantum Theory to try and understand the universe, which we believe is one of many across multiple dimensions. Each dimension being somehow different than our own. Some may have gravity working in a totally different manner than ours, or maybe historical events played out differently for some reason. This is how I met your father. We were performing an experiment with the idea of trying to breach into one of these dimensions. The experiment worked to a certain degree. Instead of opening a portal, we pulled a man from one of these other worlds into our own.
The man was named Alexander Zod, and claimed to originally be from a planet called Krypton. Alexander had fled Krypton after a failed coup to try and seize power. His planet was on the verge of self-destruction, and he had hoped to force a global evacuation effort since his planet’s politicians kept denying any real danger. After he and what remained of his followers fled Krypton, his planet exploded killing most of his entire race. Alexander spent time searching the stars, and eventually found Earth. However, this Earth was not like ours. The planet was split into hundreds of small nation-states constantly locked in wars with each other. In Europe, Germany never united into a single country. England was in a constant fight against their neighbors Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Even America was split between multiple nations ranging from the United States, Confederate States, the Republics of Texas and California, a Mormon theocracy called Deseret, and the United Tribal Nations in the Midwest.
When Zod arrived on Earth with a handful of Kryptonian survivors, he took the name of Alexander in honor of the ancient Greek general. He took over control the United States, and began to work on uniting the entire continent under a single nation. Several of his fellow Kryptonians broke off to do the same in other areas of the world, which caused Earth to enter into what can best be described as a cold war. Apparently, Zod and his fellow Kryptonians had amazing powers on this Earth. While he was certainly strong and resilient in this dimension, it was nothing close to being called try superhuman by anyone. My best assumption was that our universes had slightly different laws of physics, which meant his powers did not work here.
After Zod’s arrival, federal agents arrived to begin interrogating him. We took a liking to each other throughout the days since his arrival. A few weeks after his arrival, I helped Zod escape from the lab where he had been kept. We spent the next two weeks on the run from the Feds as we drove through various small towns in the Midwest. It was during this time that I got to know Zod better. I would spend hours listening to how he wanted to unite his new home of Earth into a single nation. How he wanted to help humans achieve the same glory that Kryptonians had had before they became isolationists. We talked about politics here on my Earth. Alexander was a brilliant and driven man. Our mutual attraction became stronger through our journey. I loved him deeply, and truly admired his passion.
After much research, I finally devised a way for both him and me to return to his home dimension. We returned to FermiLab, and were able to break into my old research lab. Using the aid two coworkers, I was able to open a portal back to Alexander’s home dimension. However, before we were both able to go through, the Feds stormed the Laboratory. Alexander fought hard against them, but there were too many. I urged Alexander to go through the portal, and that I would find a way to him. Alexander saw the futility of staying and jumped through the portal just before it closed.
After Alexander left, the Feds quickly discovered that they could not do anything to me. I had hidden the tape that you now have. They knew that were anything to happen to me; those tapes would get published to expose everything. So, I used this tape to ensure that I did not disappear like my coworkers did a few weeks later. However, the Feds had me reassigned at FermiLab to a dead-end research project. They could not get rid of me, but they sidelined my career and research. They kept me as far away from my portal experiments as possible until those experiments were transferred to another Lab entirely.
However, none of us anticipated what happened next. A little over two months after Alexander left, I discovered that I was pregnant with you. I am certain that Alexander would have stayed if he had known. He was an intense man, but he regularly talked about how his own military career and goals had robbed him of a chance to have a family. He deeply wanted one of his own, but his powers made intimacy with humans unworkable. Those Kryptonians still loyal to him saw Alexander as more of a father figure than potential mate.
The ring that is in the box with the video tape is the one that Alexander bought for me while we were on the run. There is nothing special about it other than it is one of the last gifts that he gave me, beyond you, before we returned to FermiLab. Alexander wanted us to be together, and return to his home dimension as husband and wife.
It has now been three years since you were born. These years have been the happiest and loneliest of my entire life. I have continued my research, and am certain that I know a way to safely open the portal to Alexander’s home dimension. All I want to do is open that portal and take both of us through it. I have been contemplating trying to speak with my supervisors about my goals. If I offer to turn over all my material, evidence, and research notes, I am hopeful that they will allow me to travel through the portal to be with my General Zod. Otherwise, I do not have the resources or funds to build the portal on my own.
However, until all of that is certain, this video tape, ring, and letter remain here in this safety deposit box. If all works out, I hope to hand this letter and VHS tape over to the Feds as you and I are walking through the portal to meet Alexander. I look forward to the chance that your father will soon meet his daughter, Karen Zod Starr.
Always know that I love you dearly,
I don’t know how long that I sat there reading the letter, but it felt like a good hour when I was done reading it for the third time. A few tears landed on the pages that the letter was written on. I was able to hold myself together from just completely wailing at the situation. However, it was clear what happened. My mother, Dianna Starr, had tried to work a deal for us to travel to my father’s home dimension. It was clear that the deal never happened, and my mother was soon killed afterwards. I was placed in an adoptive home, and the whole event was completely swept under the rug.
Thinking about it all made me angry. It filled me with rage. Someone in the government had killed my mother. When Superior Girl has been defeated, I am going to do everything in my power to find that person and return the favor. Then I am going to find a way to see my father in that other dimension. Part of me wanted to tear the bank apart, and then tear DC apart building by building until I found people who could give me answers. However, I knew that was not feasible. I was searching for a needle in a haystack with the needle might not even be there anymore. It would alienate Superman and Jimmy Olsen from me. Superior Girl would know exactly where I am. In short, it would be total and complete chaos. I needed to think rationally about this. Superman had taught me to stay calm and not let my emotions rule me. I sat in that tiny room as my brain worked through the possibilities and scenarios. The key to all of this was Jimmy Olsen. Jimmy had friends in the CIA who could help me uncover these secrets. I needed to take down Superior Girl, and then use that as leverage to find anyone who knows anything about my mother’s old research project.
As I sat there wondering, I also began to question whether I could trust Jimmy Olsen? Whose side was he really working for? Was he loyal to Superman or his government friends? What would he do if I showed him the letter and video tape? It was best not to risk it at this stage. I decided that I would take the contents of the box, but not show them to Jimmy. I placed the items in the bag that I had brought with me. I then left the room and found the attendant that had helped me earlier. I thanked him for his assistance, and told them that they can close the account. The attendant had already prepared most of the paperwork as a precaution. All I need to do was supply a signature in several places.
I turned to the exit and collected Jimmy from the lobby. Jimmy could clearly see that I was upset, and did not bother to ask about the contents of the safety deposit box. As we drove quietly back to the hotel, Jimmy kept glancing over at me as he drove. Curiosity finally got the better of him as he asked, “So, what was in the box? It seems to have really upset you.”
I mulled over what to tell him as I watched the buildings pass by outside the passenger side-window. I finally answered him after several moments of silence, “It was a few mementos left over from my mother and father. However, it is a lot to process right now.”
“I wish I could help more. Is there anything I can do?” Jimmy asked carefully.
I turned to look at him and gave Jimmy a fake half-smile. I responded, “Thanks, but I just need some time alone to think about things. I am going to collect my things and head back to the Fortress. However, let’s talk more about this later.”
Jimmy clearly was wise enough not to push things further. He nodded his head as he said, “Ok, that’s fine. You grab your stuff and head out. I’ll take care of everything here.”
When we arrived back at the Hotel Arista, I went to my room and collected my power suit. I would let Jimmy take care of my bags and other items. Jimmy followed me up to the roof of the hotel with only a small bag holding the contents from the safety deposit box. I became a blur of motion as I changed between my civilian clothes into my power suit. Before any onlookers from a higher building could say or do anything, I jumped into the sky and rocketed up into the stratosphere.
While I had said that I was heading to the Fortress of Solitude, I actually turned back towards California. I trusted Cheryl more than I did Jimmy on this matter. I had met her in Dubai before the rest of the world have ever heard of Power Girl. I felt that she was a safer person to trust at this stage. I would get Cheryl to open a safety deposit box at her bank, and store these items in them for the time being. When this business with Superior Girl was over, there would be a reckoning.