Written by shadar :: [Saturday, 07 December 2019 19:13] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 08 December 2019 09:13]
Alura flew us back to her apartment so we could shower and get dressed. Given she was heading to Singapore after dropping me off at the Visitor Center, she pulled on a flight outfit — this one a backless white leotard with a red handkerchief skirt as a flourish, sans cape and boots. The big red "S" on her best proclaimed her alien birthright, and the gorgeous definition of her bared back was completely off the chart. Right down to her Dimples of Venus.
So… you can imagine the excitement that ensued when she swooped down from the sky to drop me off at the Visitor Center.
Three large tour busses filled with Chinese tourists were parked outside, everyone hoping to see an El during their visit even though today wasn't a ranch tour date. Alura didn't disappoint. I knew what was coming when she asked them in passable Mandarin to climb back into their busses. Once the doors were closed, she slowly lifted the buses over her head, one at a time, to give the tourists a quick flight which included some careful one-G barrel-rolls. I stood in the parking lot grinning as she flew their huge tour busses high into the sky before dropping each of them just hard enough to bounce a little on their air springs.
The ecstatic tourists were dizzy with joy as they spilled out the bus doors, several of them falling on their knees as if they’d forgotten how to walk, kissing the ground. Alura shook hands in the middle of the crowd before pausing to give me a big kiss, and then she leapt straight upward to go supersonic while still over the parking lot, her shockwave flattening people’s clothing against their skin with its deafening power. And then she was gone, climbing like a homesick angel.
The delighted tourists stared into the blue sky for a long moment, their thoughts racing as they tried to imagine her flight into space, and then they turned and headed back into the Visitor Center. Everyone except for one small group who paused at the huge front door to record the Star Trek sound of its opening and closing. Amazingly, a century and half after it first aired, Star Trek still had its mega-fans.
I followed them inside, where many of them approached me to ask questions given I’d arrived with Alura. I put my passable Mandarin to work, which encouraged April to give me a real job — answering all manner of questions like I was a museum docent. Thanks to my beard and sunglasses, no one seemed to know who I was other than someone who Alura El had passionately kissed before flying off, which given this group, conferred greater fame on me than my Olympic golds could ever have garnished. I basked in Alura’s fame as I tried to explain what it was like to fly with her, giving them the G-rated version, of course. But I hinted that flying with a Kryptonian was far more amazing than I could describe here. Based on the sultry looks I got from a few very cute girls, I think some of them got it.
Strangely, as much as I disliked the fame that came from my own athletics, I have no problem sucking it up when it’s Alura’s fame that I’m basking in.
The Chinese tourists were still here, and I was still playing docent, when April’s replacement came on duty just before noon. Shortly after that, Alura returned from Singapore to pick us up, her powerful sonic boom making sure everyone knew she’d arrived. She had changed into her white knit outfit again, and was once again a blonde beacon of power in a room filled mostly with shorter, black-haired Chinese (well, except for the cute girls with purple and pink hair who kept trying to flirt with me). Absolutely everyone wanted a selfie with Alura, which she seemed happy to oblige.
She finally broke off to hug April and I to her sides while lifting off to head toward our lunch meeting, which was nearly twenty air-miles away. The High Prairie Cafe turned out to be a nondescript building in the middle of a dusty lot filled with dozens of randomly parked dusty pickup trucks. Unlike the major maglev highways, most of the secondary roads and ranch roads of Montana were still gravel or dirt, same as they'd been for the last two centuries. These pickups might be electric instead of diesel now, but they still had big knobby tires optimized for mud and snow.
Just beyond the Cafe was a rusted old railroad track with a dozen broken-down box cars sitting idly along with a rusted diesel locomotive that probably hadn't moved in the last century, weeds growing high between the wheels.
“Little Krypton hasn’t been kind to some of these towns,” Alura said as she set April and I down near the building. “We locked up most of the good grazing land when Little Krypton was chartered. We’ve tried to compensate by hiring as many locals as possible, but most won’t work for us. We have to bring the majority of our staff in from elsewhere, and that doesn’t sit well with the locals. So don’t expect a friendly greeting.”
“Why are we even here then?” I asked.
“We have to keep trying,” April shrugged as she quickly combed out her long, red hair with her fingers. “I grew up near here, and most of these folks are good-hearted and honest to a fault, especially when it comes to their neighbors. But they don’t like foreigners and they've got some really strong feelings about this land and ranching and the history of this place. It wasn’t that long ago that this was cowboy country.”
"And for a far longer time before that, it was Indian country," Alura said.
“Yeah. Before the ancestors of these people killed most of them off,” I added grimly.
April shrugged. “Well, there is all that. But these families have been connected to this land for generations now, and both the remaining Indians and the ranchers now have to put up with Little Krypton fencing off a half million acres of what they once considered to be their land.”
Alura started air-walking toward the front door as we followed her, our boots kicking up dust. “That’s why we keep trying to be friendly,” she said over her shoulder. “But we aren’t giving anything back. Every parcel of land we have was bought fair and square from their grandparents or great-grandparents by the Wayne Foundation. Legal and correct and Wayne paid fair prices for the time. But that kind of gets forgotten.”
“It’s worse than that,” April said. “Some loudmouths are now claiming that we transported the land to another planet. That it’s not even Earth anymore inside New Krypton. That it’ll never be a place for humans again.”
I kind of understood that feeling. But in a good way.
“Just more dumb conspiracy theories,” Alura said. “Our goal is to tell it straight. And we always try to complete some civic project during our visits. Doing things they don’t have the money or resources to do.” She paused before opening the door. “Oh, and my advice is to stick with the burgers and fries. They’re good. The rest of the menu… not so much.”
“How many people know we’re coming?” I asked.
April waved her arm. “See all the trucks? I’d say the entire town and half the county are here. And the rest are probably headed here.”
I took a deep breath. I understood being put off by strangeness. This town was alien country to me. I grew up in what people call the People’s Republic of Boulder. Ultra-liberal to the point of silliness. While I’ve been around enough to understand other points of view, this was going to be one hell of a culture clash.
Alura opened the door to enter first, and all conversation ceased. People turned in their chairs as every eye focused on her, which wasn’t surprising given her 6’2 height and all that blonde hair. Not to mention her floating on air, her head nearly touching the ceiling. She wore that white knit outfit over her flight uniform, ending as it did in a very short skirt. Miniskirts had long been out of fashion in this ultra-conservative area of Montana, which was culturally stuck in the 1950’s, not the 2090’s. By choice.
April and I followed Alura through the doorway, very aware of the way those wide-eyed looks turned to frowning stares when their eyes found me. April at least got a few smiles and couple of waves. She’d grown up in the next town over in Olney, and Alura had told me that many locals regarded her as the prettiest girl in four counties. She’d won all the local beauty titles. Miss Cowgirl, and so forth.
The waitress on the far side of the packed room pointed toward the one empty table — which naturally was in the exact center of the jam-packed room. Alura promptly pushed off with her toes to very slowly somersault over everyone’s heads, causing everyone to look up. I used her distraction to gently push my way through the crowd, with April following behind while gripping the back of my belt. Everyone was too busy staring up at Alura to hassle us.
I guided April into her chair and then sat down to watch Alura settle into the seat next to me. “Show off,” I whispered.
“Just giving you guys a chance to get through the crowd,” she whispered back. “Things might have gotten ugly for you otherwise. Most cowboys still think bar fighting is great fun.”
“You know, ya’all don’t need to be whispering,” one man shouted. “We’re people here too.”
Alura rose up to touch her head against the ceiling. “I was just telling my boyfriend that I did that little somersault to distract ya’all so he could help my friend to our table without them getting hassled. OK?”
I was glad to see Alura was wearing panties today, but I didn’t enjoy the fact that everyone else now knew that too. She floated back down to settle lightly on her chair. “Most folks around here appreciate frank honesty,” she said to me, “even if they don’t like what you have to say. It’s a Montana virtue.”
“Damn right,” the man sitting at the next table said gruffly. He wore greasy coveralls labeled Joe’s Garage.
A man standing behind the serving counter stood up on a stool to speak. “OK, ya’all Kryptons, welcome to the High Prairie Cafe. Unfortunately, I don’t think we can serve you today. Kitchen’s swamped with all the other orders. Assuming you people even eat.”
Alura stood back up. “Just to set the record straight, Mr. Duke, I’m the only Kryptonian here. My friends are just as human as you are, and hungry. And yes, I do eat, way, way more than you do. Fortunately, I can’t ever get fat.”
A couple of women snorted. “Nice for you honey, what with them special genes and all. But this a place for humans.”
“April here is human,” Alura said as she rested her hand on April’s shoulder. “She was born and grew up next town over. Lots of you know her. She went to school on the ranch with me and she’s my best friend in all the world. And the man sitting on my other side is Alec Johansen, my fiancé from Boulder, Colorado. You might remember him from the Olympics. You know, the guy with all the Gold medals?”
“Doesn’t matter no way,” the owner shrugged, shaking his head. “Busy is busy. We serve ‘em in the order they come in. First rule.”
“Sorry to hear you’re too busy for us,” Alura sighed. “You guys make the best burger and fries that can be had. Period. Anywhere on the planet. Local Montana beef and Idaho potatoes and homemade buns and all. But if you just want to talk, well, I guess that’s OK too.”
That seemed to please the owner, who tried not to smile as he got a bunch of “damn rights” from the room.
I leaned closer to Alura to whisper: “You know, you have a promising career waiting for you in politics.”
She laughed. “I used to come here with mom when I was little. Everyone liked her at first, given she was Supergirl and all. They thought I was cute, wearing a tiny outfit like Mom, floating around and all. But that was then. Opinion has changed along with the politics since then. They don’t like our way of doing things now.”
“Speaking of which,” a tall, thin rancher said as he stood up. “When you folks goin’ provide work for more Montanans? Used to be good jobs round here before you showed up.”
April jumped to her feet. She looked angry, and her voice was surprisingly loud. “Do you know that nearly a quarter of our ranch staff are your neighbors? That’s over two hundred jobs, all of which pay very well. My guess is that’s about the same number of cowboys as worked that empty land before Little Krypton came.”
“A fucking quarter? Why not all the jobs?” another man demanded. “The land you’all are on has been in some of our families for over two hundred years. Before that billionaire city slicker bought it all up. Bruce Wayne.” He spit the name out.
Alura rose again. “A couple of reasons. First is that most of you won’t even apply to work for us because we see ourselves as citizens of the world, not just Montana or the United States. We protect Earth, not just your neighborhood or your country. We don’t fly the American flag, we fly a flag with a picture of Earth on it. We are not citizens of Montana or any state or country. Only of Earth.”
“Which is goddamn half the problem here,” another grizzled rancher shouted. “We think this land should still belong to Americans.”
Alura nodded. “It does, and you already said his name. The Bruce Wayne Foundation owns all of Little Krypton, and the long deceased owner of that Foundation was born in Gotham City. That’s where his great-grandchildren still run the Foundation from today. They’re tenth-generation Americans. Not many of you can say more.”
She spun slowly around in mid-air, her bright blue eyes finding everyone’s. “My parents have wisely insisted that their kids are raised in the company of people of every race, religion and creed. Every kind of politics too. And as April said, a quarter of the jobs going to Montana is pretty good considering it’s a big world out there.”
“We’re just gonna have to disagree on that, honey,” an older woman replied.
“Does anyone have any new issues regarding the ranch?” Alura asked, her mouth hardening. “No sense hashing over old one’s yet again.”
A man stood up. “My name’s Jim McIntire. I’m the mayor. I want to talk about a project that we need help on.” Several of the more combative men groaned, but nobody interrupted him.
“Sure,” Alura said. “Usual rules. Public benefit only.”
“You bet.” He pointed to a window. “Now, you see those old boxcars out there? That old B&O locomotive? We got a half mile of tracks in town that are useless, along with that rusting rolling stock. Cut-off from the main line. We want all that gone so we can build a city park and an elevated magway for the kids to ride their bikes on. We got a scrap dealer who’ll pay us decent money if you folks can load the steel onto their train cars. Enough to pay for all the improvements. And the roadbed ties can be recycled too.”
“No problem. Where do you want the scrap put?”
“Ten miles from here. On a siding on the main line outside Olney. You’ll see the scrap hauling cars parked there. And the flatbed cars next to them are for the ties.”
Alura took out her Comm. “I’ll get right on it. Soon as I get a few of my siblings headed this way to help.” She put in a call, speaking quickly, and then handed me her Comm as she stood up. “Do you mind if I change in your restroom?” she asked the owner. “I’m not exactly dressed for heavy demolition.”
He waved his hand toward the doorway over in the corner, and every pair of eyes swiveled to follow Alura again as she floated over them to walk through the restroom door.
“She’s really your girlfriend?” the guy from Joe’s Garage asked as he leaned closer.
“Fiancé, actually,” I said, trying to be cool.
I’m used to men sizing me up as they figure their chances with Alura. Same thing that happens to any man who walks into a cowboy bar with a pretty woman on his arm, whether in Texas or Montana or pretty much any rural town in between. Cowboy logic being what it is, some stud with oversized muscles and too much booze will usually decide that beating me up will increase his chances with my girl.
“I heard that a Krypt girl could crush a man to death during sex,” the man from Joe’s continued. “More than could. Would. Super girl stuff and all.”
“Heard that story too,” I told him, trying not to laugh at the way April rolled her eyes at me.
“So… it’s not true?” he persisted.
“Well, I’m alive and so far all my bits and pieces are still attached.” I leaned closer to whisper. “What supersex actually means is that she never wants to stop. Endless ecstasy. Never gets tired or sore or anything. Always ready even before you are. Insatiable.”
The man stared at me, eyes wide as his brain got stuck trying to envision that. Given all the weird questions I’ve been asked about Alura, I like to toss a little weirdness back.
“Don’t you worry none about Joe here,” an older woman said, glaring at the mechanic. “You be quiet, Mr. Joe Dawkins, and let these nice folks be.”
Joe started to ask another question anyway, but froze when Alura walked out the bathroom door. Her white dress was folded up to reveal her current flight uniform. Her white leotard clung to her like a second skin, with a red handkerchief skirt for accent and her back completely bared, right down to those cute Venus dimples. As was her style, she didn’t wear a cape or any footwear and no jewelry. The only decoration was a large, red “S” that was stretched across her dramatic chest.
She dropped her street clothes off with me before floating toward the door, her bare back and incredibly pert backside on full display. All the men jumped to their feet to follow her, leaving their half eaten food behind. They jammed and pushed their way through the doorway in their eagerness to get outside. Apparently they hadn’t come to talk or complain or even make suggestions… or eat for that matter. They just wanted a chance to gawk at a hot, young Kryptonian chick and watch the show.
Alura didn’t disappoint. By the time everyone managed to get outside, Lara and Nancy were floating down from the sky. Nancy landed first, looking very pretty in a blue leotard with a similar red “S” on her chest, but otherwise looking very much the high school girl that she was. The invulnerable forcefield that protected Kryptonians extended a millimeter beyond their skin, which allowed them to wear very thin, single-layer Spandex while protecting it from most damage.
Lara was something else. She descending very slowly to land in the exact middle of the growing crowd, her long blonde hair and large red cape floating angelically around her to reveal that she wore only a red thong with the family “S” located over the rise of her pubic bone. She was so insanely beautiful, not the least for her bare chest, that the rest of us seemingly disappeared.
Alura rolled her eyes as she whispered to me: “That used to be Dad’s cape, back in the day.” Lara’s long hair and cape thankfully fell over her when she landed, returning some of her modesty as she stood as tall as any of the men. She was mind-bogglingly sexy, not the least for the tiny pair of red ballet slippers that laced up over her shapely calves with golden ribbons. I once again found it hard to tear my eyes away from her, especially the casual way her wrap-around cape hung open. Her breasts were just as perfect as Alura’s, albeit smaller. As usual, Lara knew precisely what she was doing as she began walking around shaking hands and sharing hugs with men she seemed to know.
While Lara worked the crowd, Nancy and Alura went to work. I managed to turn my eyes from Lara just in time to see the two sisters crash down into the middle of the first box car, bending it completely in half. They then picked up the opposite ends of the crumpled car and shoved inward, using their bodies to bend and crush the steel frame and the sides until the ends met in the middle. From there they worked their way around it from opposite sides, arms and legs extended wide, compacting the old rail car until it was flat enough for them to roll it up together. When they were done, the huge box car had been reduced to a Honda-sized tube of compacted metal. The massive steel wheels, bent and flattened, were the only recognizable parts left.
Lara eventually left her breathless admirers behind to begin pulling the heavy rails up, effortlessly ripping each rail free of its ties, those huge spikes exploding from the old creosoted wood. When she got to the bolts and tie plates that connected one rail to the next, she grabbed the ends of each rail and used her raw strength to rip the connector apart, the huge bolts screaming as they stretched and finally snapped. Her fingers left impressions in the old, hard steel, making it look as soft as modeling clay.
She might be the most beautiful girl on the planet, but she had all her parents’ power. Something she proved as she stacked dozens of the 1300 pound rails into neat piles, quickly working her way from one end of town toward the huge locomotive that sat at the far end of town. Her cape and hair flew around her, giving everyone glimpses of her slender but defined body as she put her superhuman strength to work.
April and I stood in front of the crowd of town folk. Looking around, I saw everyone spellbound by the show. No wonder the locals had such mixed feelings about the Els. On one hand, they’d closed off a huge portion of land, but they also came into town periodically to put on a show that no other people on Earth were privileged to see.
Lara kept pouring it on. Once she’d ripped up both rails to reach the old locomotive, it was time to do some really heavy lifting. She boldly unfastened her cape and handed it to a young man, which ensured that his slack-jawed stare focused on her bare chest. Relying only on the imperfect Lady Godiva of her long hair to maintain her modesty now, she floated over to grab the back-end of the monstrously large locomotive, which had to weigh at least 300 tonnes. Her back and shoulders turned to a grid of fantastic muscle as she slowly lifted the end of the locomotive, briefly resting the cow-catcher on her bare chest as she shifted her grip. From there she hoisted the end completely over her head to begin walking her hands down the locomotive’s greasy bottom to find the balance point. From there she lifted the entirety of the massive engine high over her head, arms locked, her body looking astoundingly defined despite her slender figure.
Alura just rolled her eyes as she leaned closer to me again. “Well, that figures,” she murmured beside me. “Lara always manages to get naked if there are men around.”
Lara floated the engine closer to the crowd, the building-sized locomotive casting a huge shadow over them. Some people backed up in fear, but the younger men daringly gathered around her to bravely stand under the engine with her. One of the more polite men tried to rearrange her hair to cover one bared breast, but he seemed to forgt what he was trying to do as soon as he felt the softness of her hair, and covered her bared breast with his hand instead. Alura carefully shifted the huge locomotive to balance it on one hand as she pulled the gallant man closer to kiss him.
Alura cursed under her breath. “Enough of this fucking strip tease.”
She pushed off to fly over everyone’s heads to rip the locomotive out of Lara’s hand, flying upward with it. Lara responded to the challenge by ending her kiss and leaping from the ground to catch up to Alura. Moments later, the two sisters were high in the sky, wrestling with opposite ends of the locomotive, their blonde hair flying wildly around them as they struggled. I wasn’t sure if this was all for show or if they were really having a fight.
Not that it mattered to the old locomotive, which bent and groaned under forces it had never been built to withstand, steel screaming as it was overstressed by stronger-than-steel muscles. The two super girls alternately pushed and pulled and twisted until the engine’s massive frame finally tore completely in half, thankfully over an empty field next to the restaurant, where it spilled coal-black engine oil and other nasty liquids on the ground. The girls backed up several hundred hards with their halves of the locomotive, and then flew toward each other at high speed, smashing their 150 ton sections into each other so hard that the shockwave knocked most people off their feet. The two girls worked to compress the engine further, pressure-welding the halves into a much shorter locomotive. Bashing and pounding and crushing it in similar way to how they’d crushed the box cars, the engine was less than a quarter of its original size by the time they flew off with their oversized chunk of scrap metal, heading for Olney.
Meanwhile, Nancy floated down to take her older sister’s place in the crowd. Her blue leotard was so coated in rust and old grease that her “S” was almost obscured. She didn’t dazzle the way Lara did, but she was still an eyeful, especially pumped up this way from her exertions. She might be plain-looking compared to Lara, but in any other setting, she’d be considered gorgeous. Still, most men’s eyes kept straying to the western horizon, watching for Lara’s return, which seemed to piss off Nancy. She leaped from the ground in a blur to grab the first of the compacted boxcars and flew off with it toward Olney, her sonic boom lashing everyone.
Lara returned minutes later to land near the man holding her cape, her hair streaming high over her head once again as she descended. But just as she touched down, Alura arrived to slam a huge railcar wheel down on her head so hard that Lara’s head went all the way through the axle opening. Before Lara could shrug it off, Alura blasted the wheel with her heat vision, melting a thousand pounds of cold steel like ice cream under a blowtorch, sending quicksilver-bright waves of molten steel flowing down Lara’s body to coat her from her neck to slippers. The white-heat drove the men backward, leaving Lara standing alone, her body glowing.
Alura left Lara cooling her heels as she and her siblings finished dismantling and compressing and rolling everything else up, including the rails the engine had sat on for so long, all of which took another half hour or so. Alura finally used her long legs to crush the ends of the stacked rails together in sections to form several pressure-welded bundles that were faster to carry than individual rails. Soon, every El but Lara was busy flying the rails, the compressed boxcars and the wooden ties over to the scrap cars in Olney.
Lara’s steel leotard was cool now, and someone had the bright idea to turn up the music. She started dancing with a bunch of the younger cowboys, her steel leotard flexing as gracefully as Spandex, the steel from that train wheel nothing more than a fancy gown given her strength. But at least there were fewer wandering hands or impolite stares, which obviously pleased Alura.
Through it all, the owners of the restaurant stayed busy selling beer and burgers to the crowd as fast as they could draw them or cook them. More and more people showed up until most of the county was here, with hundreds of people sitting on the hoods of their pickup trucks. Others stood around the picnic tables in large groups, eating and drinking out in the warm sun, enjoying themselves. There was a carnival atmosphere about it all.
By the time the Alura finished and returned to land beside me, she was sweaty and hot and breathing slightly faster than normal. Which is something for a Kryptonian. A layer of rust particles clung to her moist skin, turning her white outfit and blonde hair reddish.
Lara eventually gave up on dancing and rose over everyone’s heads to begin peeling out of her steel leotard, dropping the thousand pounds of steel to the stone floor in pieces, each hitting with a loud Clang. Her emerging nudity threatened to trigger heart-attacks considering all the hamburger grease and cheap beer that was flowing through most men’s veins by now.
Nancy and her younger sister and brother thankfully left.
April and I soon found ourselves being pushed closer toward Alura and Lara as the crowd squeezed in around us. Lara was giving off something now that was driving everyone a little mad, me included.
“Good workout, huh?” I asked Alura as I struggled to focus on her.
She clenched her fist and flexed her biceps, which rose into a perfectly-defined ball of muscle bigger than a softball. “Yeah, not bad.”
Despite her warm, soft skin, Alura’s muscles were far harder than steel, which several of the men just had to check out for themselves. I was surprised that Alura allowed their touch, especially the way some hands wandered to her breasts. It wasn’t my job to protect Alura’s honor, but I was suddenly very glad that most of the men remained gathered around Lara.
“You make me so envious,” April said as she snuggled up to Alura. “So strong, so beautiful, so tall.” She stood on her toes to wrap her small hand around one of Alura’s huge biceps as she gave her a kiss that was far more than merely friendly.
I was surprised and a bit amused when Alura dropped her pose and wrapped her arms around April to return her kiss with passion. I figured they were just putting on a show for the crowd — anything to distract from Lara’s outrageous flirting — but then I remembered Alura’s talk of a threesome this morning.
“Thought you said she was your girlfriend?” the mechanic said dryly from behind me. “April’s way cuter than you.”
I shrugged. “Actually, we’re a threesome. Kryptonians are pretty open when it comes to sex, you know.” It was total bullshit, but I figured I might as well give the town something other than Lara to talk about until the next visit.
April played along as she turned to wrap her arms around my neck to give me a deep kiss that melted me down to my toes. We were still kissing when Alura wrapped her arms around both of us and flew off, leaving half the townfolk staring upward, a mixture of smiles and frowns on their faces. The rest were so mesmerized by Lara that they didn’t see us go.
“Sorry about that,” April said, breaking our kiss as soon as we’d flown off a ways. “I heard you messing with that guy’s head, so I couldn’t resist rubbing it in too. Growing up here, most everyone’s still stuck in mid-20th century religious fundamentalism. They’re not exactly into threesomes and certainly not lesbian sex — not that they don’t fantasize about both in private. I’m sure our little show will keep their heads spinning and their mouths running and their hands busy until the next visit.”
“I think Lara can manage that all on her own,” I laughed. “Are we just going to leave her there with all those horny men?”
“She can obviously take care of herself,” Alura said. “And you, April, you just added another element to the already out-of-control mythology about our ranch. Not sure we needed that given Lara’s performance.”
“Oh, come on,” April said. “It was just a little fun. You said to keep up the relations with the locals.” Yet the smoky look in her eyes said it was a bit more than that.
Alura gave me a questioning look with one raise eyebrow that reminded me of our discussion this morning, and I suddenly realized she was waiting for me to give her a sign.
“You know, that was kind of fun,” I grinned, allowing myself to go with the sexy flow. “Teasing them all. Did you see the looks in their faces. They totally bought it.”
“Oh yeah,” April smiled, her green eyes blazing with desire as she looked into mine. “But you know, people in these parts don’t take to bullshit. Now you have to make an honest woman out of me. Both of you.”
I took a deep breath, and then jumped off the proverbial cliff without thinking it through. There was something about April that I really liked. “Well, you know me, I’ll always vote for honesty above all else.”
Alura laughed. “You do know what you’re asking for?”
“Probably a whole heap of trouble?”
“Oh, yeah. That’s a for sure.”
Nancy was hanging out with her friends from school, the exuberant group of girls listening to music and doing homework and talking about boys — pretty much the norm for any group of sixteen-year-old girls. The difference was that they were in Nancy’s room, and she was floating in mid-air with her legs crossed lotus style, poised to fly off on a moment’s notice to deal with some emergency or crime that the police and civil authorities couldn’t handle.
She and her older brother Dar were on Standby, which meant they had to wear their Earcomms and be ready to respond instantly to Central’s requests. As a result, Nancy was the only one who couldn’t immerse herself in the latest FreeBaby holo with her friends. The famous pop star had just released a series of edgy holos that were considered inappropriate for mid-teens.
The AI controllers in her friends’ rooms were filtering the holos, but not in Nancy’s room. When your job is to defend Earth, you can’t be filtered, mushroomed or protected in the usual age-related ways. Which was just another reason for their hanging out with Nancy.
The result was that Nancy was feeling a bit left out when the Alert tone suddenly buzzed to announce a message: “Metropolis police request assistance to deal with a berserker riot with hostile alien involvement.”
Nancy grinned — this was her kind of job! She quickly shed her street clothes to reveal bits of her mother’s old uniforms — from a hundred years ago. She’d combined a pleated red miniskirt with a blue leotard that had a little red “S” on her left breast, along with her own touch — a red scarf that accented her outfit like a short cape. Which is to say, she was dressed like a proper Kryptonian, except of course for the boots that she refused to wear.
Her friends, immersed body and soul in their illicit holo-vid, didn’t see her change or leave.
Nancy arrived in Central at the same time as Dar. He was wearing a tight pair of red shorts with a wide yellow belt that had an “S” on the buckle, and nothing else. His deeply-tanned, sculpted body was otherwise on full display, his skin buffed and flawless, his unnaturally blue eyes half covered by longish raven hair. Like his twin, Lara, he generally wore as little clothing as possible.
The Lead Controller, Amy, waved them both down to join her team, who were talking urgently among themselves. She quickly briefed Dar and Nancy. “We have no holo views — something took down our scanbots — but police reports talk about a powerful alien who has torn apart the local berserker building, releasing all the SS dopers. The alien has apparently taken down a number of SS in the parking lot, alive or dead we don’t know. The cops have activated an emergency force field around the building, so nothing is getting in or out except you guys.”
“I’ll go,” Nancy said. “I’ve got a score to settle there.”
“Which is exactly why you’re NOT going,” Amy said with a shake of her head. “Your mother’s standing orders. This one is Dar’s.”
“No prob… I got it, Sis,” Dar said proudly. “It’s my turn to even the score by kicking some SS ass.”
“Problem isn’t the SS,” Amy replied. “As far as we can tell, they’re the victims. It’s the alien who’s the problem. Cops don’t know if their forcefield will hold her, so speed is of the essence.”
“Yeah, we haven’t seen any images due to the downed scanbots, but the cops say she’s she’s pretty dramatic.”
“Define dramatic?” Dar asked.
“It means get your ass out there and figure it out,” Amy said with her usual bluntness. She was an ex-Marine gunnery sergeant who ran Control with an iron hand.
“Got it, Gunny.” Dar said as he leaped from the ground with a flex of his calves, flying so fast out the exit tunnel that he sucked a trail of empty coffee cups upward in his wake.
Amy turned toward Nancy. “Despite my standing rules to keep you away from that place, I’d like you to remain here to monitor the situation with us. I don’t want to have to waste time briefing you if things go sideways with Dar.”
Nancy crossed her long legs to hover just inside the holo stage, waiting for the holo-vid stream from Metropolis to begin again. “That’ll be the day — me rescuing Dar. But if you’re really that concerned, why don’t I fly out there and use my own eyes to report back to you?”
“Not unless we have to, Nanc. We got more scanbots enroute, and they’ll be there by the time Dar arrives. Your mom was pretty adamant about keeping you far away from Harley Quinn.”
“Yeah, well Mom isn’t here. And we don’t know if Harley is even involved.”
“Actually, I am…” a voice said from behind her. “And if it involves berserkers, my money says Harley is involved. She’s turning them into her personal army.”
Nancy winced as she slowly turned to see her mother floating down from one of the entrance portals, dressed in a pair of dusty boots, dirt-stained jeans and a soiled t-shirt . She’d obviously been out working with the men when the call came in.
She turned to smile at Amy. “Take me back through it from the start, Gunny, would you please.”
Dar was passing through Mach 20 as he cleared the bulk of the atmosphere and began to really accelerate in the relative vacuum of near-Earth space, staying just below the lowest satellite orbits before diving like a blazing meteor over Metropolis, dazzling anyone who glanced upward. His hypersonic re-entry sent a single, deafening sonic boom echoing up and down the high-rise canyons of the city to briefly stop a million hearts — and to let the Kryptonian-savvy know that it was a man. Female Krypts always had a very rapid double sonic boom, thanks to the separate groups of shockwaves streaming off their breasts and hips.
Seconds later, Dar was braking to a stop in the middle of a group of cops, his skin glowing as if lit from inside from air friction. Some of the gathered cops were wearing active-armor exoskeletons and carrying the latest anti-alien weapons, their bodies as much machine as human. This was HAIF — the Hostile Alien Interdiction Force, the most powerful force of humans deployed since the SuperSoldier program went bust. It was lost on no one that their weapons had been designed to capture Kryptonians, what with their Green-K projectors. HAIF and the El family endured an uneasy truce.
“So what do we have?” Dar asked quickly, feeling some discomfort from stray emissions coming from the HAIF’s Kryptonite projectors.
“One alien female exhibiting Kryptonian strength and invulnerability. She went in through one of the building’s supposedly unbreakable walls to mix it up with the SS, who were naturally all juiced up. Fight came back out through the broken wall and into the parking lot. Several juiced SS got away, but we got Bladerunners after them. Everyone else is has been contained in a Level 7 field. Lots of unconscious SS in the parking lot — don’t know dead or alive. The alien is back inside the building now.”
“You got a description?”
“Yeah,” the grizzled HAIF commander replied. “Taller than you, long, reddish blonde hair, green eyes, built like a porn star and dressed like one. If she wasn’t a murderous fucking alien superbitch, I’d say she was beautiful.”
“With Kryptonian powers you said?” Dar was intrigued now.
“Got your strength for sure. Those walls are better than bank-vault grade, and she tore them apart like they were nothing. Bulletproof too. The street cops tried to take her down with their blasters, and then SWAT used their railguns on her. All they got for their trouble was a few cute jiggles from her boobs and some burned-away clothing.”
Dar frowned at the HAIF leader as he digested his last comment. There were cops out there who had a fetish about bullets and Kryptonian boobs. Something that pissed him off given his twin sister’s willingness to do shooting-related fundraisers for the cops. Just her way of doing her civic duty, she claimed, to no one’s belief.
Dar closed his mighty fist and flexed a biceps that would have intimidated a ‘roided-up bodybuilder. “She may be strong, but no way she can match this.”
“Let’s fucking hope not. But we got orders not to take down the shield. No matter what.”
“That won’t stop me, and it won’t stop our little alien if she’s what you say.”
“Orders is orders. And she ain’t so little.”
Dar sighed. “Ok. I’m going in the hard way. I’ll send you a bill for the shorts.”
He walked over to the shimmering field, which pushed back on him as hard as he pushed on it. It was said that a 100-ton Destroyer Tank couldn’t break through a Level 7 shield, not even when hitting it at full speed with cannon blasting. But he was Kryptonian, and nothing was beyond his strength. He tensed his body, sucking power into every cell of his body as his muscles grew fantastically strong, turning superstrength into flight power in the usual way. Ever so slowly, he pushed his way into the supposedly impenetrable field. Halfway through, he reached the disintegrating core field, and his body began to shimmer as every molecule that wasn’t made of invulnerable Kryptonian DNA was ripped apart into dissociated atoms. That moment of tingling annihilation passed as he pushed past the core and into the inner repulsion field, which pulled him forward to violently eject him into the interior of the dome. Completely nude, of course.
He seemed not to notice that last detail as he quickly checked on the SS who were laying unconscious in the parking lot — they were all alive. A quick scan showed no broken bones, but lots of bruising and likely concussions. Someone had really beaten them up, which should have been impossible for anyone less than an Amazon.
Unfortunately, the creation of SuperSoldiers in the 2060’s had begun drawing Amazons to Earth on quests to prove themselves against the enhanced soldiers, and the fights had become extreme. Sometimes Dar wished an Amazon would take him on so he could put them in their place, but they were too smart to start a fight they couldn’t win. Dominance and male submission were their goals, and Dar was a poor subject for either.
He quickly decided that the best thing he could do to help the injured SS in the parking lot was to quickly capture the alien. That way the HAIF team could drop the force field and allow medics to enter the area.
Turning, he was floating toward the hole in the side of the building when an extremely tall and very statuesque woman stepped through it to lean casually against an old section of chain-link fence. As advertised, she had reddish blonde hair and looked as if she could kick some serious ass, not the least for standing a head taller than Dar himself. Interestingly, her metallic mesh outfit had been blasted and burned away to leave just her arms and shoulders covered.
She wore eyeshadow which enhanced her already bright green eyes, along with a gold chain around her hips that covered exactly nothing. But what really drew his eyes were her large, perfectly-rounded boobs that sat as high on her chest as a Kryptonian woman. Combined with the fact that she’d just taken out all these SS, and then endured the worst firepower that a modern blaster and railgun-equipped SWAT team could deliver.
“So, the oldest grandson of Jor El comes to greet me,” she said in a strange accent. “The Superman for the 22nd century. The most powerful man in our galaxy. And I see you came dressed as a god-man should, without pretense or false modesty.”
Dar’s teenage pride soared as she piled on the praise, which combined with her looks ensured he was now standing very much at attention. Finally, someone who understood who he was!
“And such a man you are,” she continued, casually flexing her muscular arm, "armed with a sword of steel that befits a Superman."
"You can't come... you can't come here and hurt people," Dar said lamely, his brain locking up as he stared at her.
“I came here for you, son of the son of Jor El.” She waved her arm across the parking lot. “This is little more than an invitation to get you off your silly ranch. The question now is whether you dare to claim your prize?”
Dar’s head was spinning, leaving him so overwhelmed with raw desire that he was breathless. She’d come from somewhere out there in the void, just to meet him? To be his prize, whatever that meant. His body was doing the thinking now, but he was too young to realize that as he stepped closer, enthralled by her raw sexuality and power, her beauty a superpower of its own. If railguns and blasters had left her looking this good, then he wasn’t going to have to hold anything back. And she couldn’t hurt anyone else if he was hoisting her on the steel of what she called his sword.
Floating closer without regard to danger, drawn irresistibly now by the throb of his erection, he ignored the small part of his brain that screamed for him to stop, to remember his mission. She put a final end to those thoughts by reaching down to wrap her super-strong fingers around his erection, gripping him tightly enough to have crushed steel if he'd been made merely of that. Dar gave off a low moan of pain-pleasure as she lifted him to her height to wrap her other arm around his neck to kiss him.
The moment their lips touched, they both disappeared in a blinding flash of light.
Central Command Post in the Jor El tower, back on Little Krypton. Alura and Alec, along with Lara and Mia have joined the controllers after learning that the incident had been upgraded to Red 1.
“What the fuck just happened?!” Nancy exclaimed as her brother vanished from the holo display. “Is Dar Ok?”
Kara nodded as she settled into a chair, her blonde hair falling over her face before she puffed it away. “More than just Ok. For a while anyway.”
I suddenly realized I’d never seen Kara sitting down before, least of all looking depressed. This was not a good sign.
She took a deep breath. “The alien’s name is Alexana and she’s a Princess from the royal family of Almerac.”
“Almerac…?” Alura asked.
“That’s where Maxima came from,” Mia, the girl who knew everything, said.
Kara nodded. “Maxima is her mother, which makes Alexana very powerful, with most of our abilities plus a few more. Like the teleportation you just observed. Dar will be unharmed until she’s finished with him.”
“Finished?” I blurted out. “What with breaking that unbreakable wall, not to mention her way of, ah, you know, greeting Dar, she has to be in your power class.”
Mia dug into her encyclopedic memory. “Maxima's powers are mostly TK based. And coming for Dar makes sense. Almeracian Queens always look outside the family for mates, looking to strengthen their line. So who’s her father anyway? ”
“I am…” a deep voice said from the shadowed back of the room. They all turned as Kal floated forward, also dressed in dirty jeans and a t-shirt. It was obviously a working day on the ranch.
“What?!” Alura and Nancy shouted together.
“I have another sister?” Mia gasped.
“Half sister, Mia dear,” Kal said. “Mom is the only one who knows this story, so this is awkward for me.”
“Awkward?” Alura said forcefully. “What happened to our family rule about openness? On every subject.”
“That only applies to things that happen after your father and I decided to get married,” Kara said with an angry glance toward Kal. “We both lived long lives before that, including relationships that have no bearing on this family. Your father was nearly 140 years old when I married him. He’d done a lot of living before then — we both had — especially given that we were each living two lives.”
I suddenly realized I was witnessing yet another part of the unwritten history of the El family. Living for so long, they obviously had a lot of stories.
“So, exactly how many other half-siblings do we not know about, Dad?” Alura asked angrily.
Kal took a deep breath as she looked at Kara, who nodded, her eyes angry. “Only two. A pair of twin sisters with the Amazons. And we weren’t covering anything up here, guys, but the right time simply hadn’t come to discuss those aspects of our history.”
“Your history, you mean,” Kara said.
“And as far as your half sisters go,” Kal continued. “I haven’t see or talked to or even heard about any of them in the last hundred years.”
“That’s a crummy way to treat your kids,” Mia offered, her eyes now looking as angry as her mom’s.
“Wasn't my choice, honey. Diana denied me any contact with her twins, and Maxima would have tried to kill me if I tried to contact her. After all, I was the one who rejected her, telling her I wouldn’t father any despots with her. But she has a temper and Almeracian Queens are used to getting their way.”
“Rejected? Not spawning despots? What about this little screw up called Alexana,” Nancy said.
I just sat there, soaking it up. Here was the mighty Superman, a god in many eyes, and his kids were being tough on him. He wasn’t a god to them, he was just Dad. A father who’d raised them to be independent thinkers who spoke plainly on any topic. To anyone.
“I didn’t know that Maxima had a daughter from our affair," Kal continued. “Not at first, anyway. Maxima and I had an affair after my first wife, Lois, died. I was despondent, and I left Earth for a while to travel through the galaxy, fighting on behalf of other planets and people, hoping to regain my bearings. Maxima saved my life after a fight with Darkseid, and I stayed with her for a while as she nursed me back to full strength.”
“Which you obviously regained,” Alura said dryly. “Given Alexana and all.”
“I left Almerac as soon as I could after learning how cruel the royal family was. How they used their power to crush dissent among their people. How they enslaved people. But Maxima chased after me, claiming she’d make changes in Almeracian culture if I returned to her.”
“But of course you didn’t,” Mia said.
“I wanted to believe her, for she was an amazing woman. I also wanted to help the common people of Almerac, and I saw this as a way. But Maxima never really intended to change, I saw that soon enough. So I left her again, and that provoked her fiery temper so much that she very nearly killed me in anger when she caught up to me. She is immensely powerful, and like all Almeracian Queens, denial and refusal were simply not in her vocabulary. By the time I returned to Earth, I was bruised and battered and far wiser. About a lot of things.”
Alura just stared at her father, trying to process what he just told them. She’d always seen her father as a beacon of integrity, a man who always knew exactly what to do. He wasn’t a man that anyone could take advantage of.
But a hundred years ago? When he was a young man and less experienced? She wondered.
After a long moment, she was the one who broke the silence. “So, you left a daughter behind without even knowing she existed. You can't be blamed for that. Does Maxima have other children that we should know about? Or does Alexana for that matter.”
Kal shrugged. “Doubtful. There are no other Kryptonians out there, and after me, Maxima despised any man weaker than a Kryptonian. She would search forever and not find one.”
“Unless she came here,” Kara said softly. “Our sons are the only young Kryptonian males in the galaxy. And Dar is now of age.”
“So she came here for Dar,” Alura said. "Just as Maxima came for you, Dad. In a quest for power."
Kal nodded as he exhaled slowly. “Sounds like it.”
“Does Dar know any of this?”
“No,” Kara said softly. “Given his fascination with powerful women, we didn’t want him going off searching for an Almeracian. As you know, he’s very good at diving wormholes. He would have eventually found Almerac.”
“What about the rest of us?” Alura asked. “You could have told us.”
“This family does not keep secrets well,” Kal said.
“Well, it’s all past tense now,” Kara sighed. “Alexana has solved our problem.”
“Maybe,” Kal replied. “But now we have to help Dar solve his. He will not be capable of displaying good judgment around an Almeracian. No man can.”
Amy turned back from the screen she’d been studying while the Family talked. “Ah, guys, seismic networks are picking up rhythmic tremors from a remote location in southern Utah. Their signature matches what we’ve measured before during Kryptonian sex.”
My jaw dropped. “Sex has its own seismic signature?”
“When it’s done right,” Lara winked at me. I struggled not to look back.
“This is actually good,” Kal said. “We know where they are. But unless we do this just right, Alexana will just teleport herself and Dar away when we approach.”
“How far can she jump?”, Alura asked.
“If she inherited all her mother’s power, then perhaps to the Moon,” Kal said. “Certainly not much further. But that includes anywhere on or in the Earth. But that’s worst case. Likely her Almeracian powers have been blunted by my more physical ones. After all, she is half Kryptonian.”
“Here’s a new idea,” Lara said impatiently. “Why don’t we just let them be? Let Dar have his fun with an Almeracian. I mean, the sex has gotta be legendary.”
Kara sighed. “Lara dear, you didn’t listen to your father. We don’t want to create more despots. Besides, Almeracian royalty don’t leave loose ends. Once she’s positive she’s pregnant, Alexana will try to kill Dar.”
“She can try,” Lara laughed. “You know how powerful Dar is.”
“Yeah, well, Maxima nearly killed me,” Kal replied worriedly. “Not with her physical powers but with her mental and TK ones. And Dar is far less experienced in combat than I was at that time.”
“I thought they were having sex, not combat?” Lara said.
“The difference between lethal combat and intimacy is academic when it involves Almeracians,” Kal said.
I looked over at Amy’s screen to see the seismic waves she was watching suddenly jump in power. She turned to look at me with knowing eyes. “Orgasmic wave signature. Rhythmic. Definitely Kryptonian-grade. Likely they’re using a bit of that Almeracian intimacy to bust up one of those red rock canyons in Utah.”