Episode 8: Duplicity [pt 3.]
Bayville, NY. - Bayville Mall...
There were few things more satisfying, at least in Emma's esteemed opinion, than the hunt. Be it a hunt for clothes, or jewelry, or even a boy. Especially a hunt that involved things that her money and influence could not attain.
Sadly this was none of those things.
Emma simply was not in the right frame of mind to enjoy spending a small fortune. Heaving a sigh, Emma conceded defeat. Spotting a random girl she handed her bounty over without breaking stride. Once the surprise wore off the bewildered girl squealed in delight, and Emma smirked.
Still, her vindictive enjoyment of wasting her parent's money was short lived. Mystique had been whispering in Magneto's ears lately. Resulting in added pressure upon Emma. It was not the first time Mystique had struck her from an oblique angle, nor the worst example.
It was, though, the straw that broke the camel's back. It also helped that for the first time Mystique had a legitimate opening to exploit - her daughter, Rogue. Emma had been amusing herself by subtly encouraging Rogue's rebellious streak and doubt. But now she was going to be taking a far more proactive approach. That, plus Mystique's own arrogance, would have Rogue racing to join the X-men.
Unfortunately Mystique's humiliation would not change anything. Emma would still have to gather intelligence on the Institute. This meant increasing the risk of exposing herself to Xavier and Grey.
The familiar scent of cooking greasy food interrupted her thoughts. Blinking Emma took a closer look at her surroundings. Well, since she was already in the food court, she might as well enjoy the guilty pleasure of deep fried food.
Hmm, maybe something of the fried dough variety?
Spotting a familiar petite brunette girl waiting in line, Emma grinned. Moving to stand behind Kitty Pryde, Emma plotted the most effective way to introduce herself. After some consideration, Emma decided that the direct approach would be best.
Reaching out she touched Kitty's shoulder, startling the smaller girl.
"Hi, Kitty right?"
"Uhm, hi?" Kitty said hand pressed against her chest, face filled with surprise.
"Emma Frost. I'm sure Clark's mentioned me once or twice."
"Oh!" Kitty said, eyes widening. "Hi! Wow, I like, didn't expect to meet you here."
"At the mall?" Emma asked, lifting an eyebrow.
"Uh, no, I meant...you know...at the food court. It's just..." Kitty faltered to a stop, with an awkward grin.
"So, where's everyone else?" Emma asked, taking pity on the girl.
"Ah, well, Clark went with Ms. Monroe to visit his family. Jean ran into Duncan so they disappeared once we got here. I'm not sure where Scott, Evan and Kurt got off to."
"Leaving you to fend for yourself." Emma said before grinning. "Well then, we'll have to fix that."
"Fix it?" Kitty asked.
Smiling, Emma linked her arm with Kitty's. "Oh yes. As of now, we're going to have a girl's day out."
"Oh yes." Emma said, grinning. "But first, we're going to have lunch."
"Awesome." Kitty chirped, and then realizing they were holding the line up hurried to place her order.
Emma shared the sentiment in spite of what a cursory mental probe revealed she was facing. Annoying though it was it came as no surprise that Charles Xavier had placed mental barriers. Still, it was going to take a lot of effort to work around them without revealing her presence.
But before she could do that, Emma needed a better understanding of the mental blocks. She doubt there would be anything dangerous, at least not to Kitty, but still better safe than sorry. After all, even passive defenses could hold nasty surprises for the unwary.
The best way to get a feel for their limits would be to start by gathering innocent information. The best way to do this with Kitty, Emma knew, was to bring up the topic of boys. Which is what she did once they were both seated, with trays of their chosen guilty pleasures.
"So, I have to ask, what's this I hear about you and Lance?"
Kitty gave her an owlish look, before blushing as she ducked her head. "M-me and Lance?"
"There's nothing, you know...with us." Kitty said tone pensive. "I mean, like, it's not that I don't y'know, like him...but there's no way he'd be interested in me."
Emma gave the girl an indulgent smile, monitoring her thoughts. So far they had been saccharine sweet, and naive, but genuine. More importantly so far none of them had tripped those mental barriers.
Still she needed to keep Kitty talking.
"Oh, I don't know about that." Emma said, and noting the girl's surprise, continued. "I've seen him giving you looks."
Kitty's head snapped up at that. "R-really?"
"Really." Emma said. "I don't go for the bad boy's, still, I get the charm such as it is."
"Thanks." Kitty said in a shy tone. "None of my friends like him, I mean he didn't make a great first impression you know?"
"So what?" Emma asked, and at Kitty's surprise, rolled her eyes. "As long as you're happy does it matter what they think of him?"
"Well...I guess not?"
"Exactly." Emma said. "They might be your friends and want what's best for you. But they can't know what makes you happy, only you can."
Kitty nodded, her face drawn into a look of consideration. This suited Emma fine, as it gave her a chance to study mental barriers without interruption. Seeing that they remained inactive, Emma decided it safe to probe deeper. She also made a mental note to ensure that Lance's attraction to Kitty got a boost.
After all Emma was not completely insensitive to other's feelings. Plus, it was hard to miss that Kitty was on the way to considering Emma a friend - a feeling Emma had no problem encouraging.
"Now, let's finish eating and we'll see how hard we can make my father's accountants cry."
Smallville, KS - The Talon...
The name almost seemed antagonistic to Ororo, and yet also fitting. Especially as 'The Talon', like the kahwas in Egypt, seemed to serve as a community hub. Still, the sphinxes and hieroglyphics decorating the interior were a bit much.
But the intention behind the design choices tempered Ororo's outlook.
"So, what do you think?"
Ororo blinked, coming out of her thoughts as the young barista/owner set their orders before them. Noting the eager look on Lana's face, Ororo graced her with a smile. The girl had been pleasant, and when she had learned that Ororo had lived in Egypt, eager for her opinion.
"It's very charming, Ms. Lang. It reminds me of Cairo, a place that while I was not born there, I have fond memories of." Ororo said, sharing a look with a grinning Martha. "I must say I'm very impressed by the effort you have put into it."
"Thanks." Lana said happy. "It's a lot of work, but it's worth it. This place has a lot of history and for it to disappear... well I couldn't stand by and let that happen."
"From what Martha's told me, you've seemed to have succeeded. Though I have to admit, for such a popular business I expected it to be more active."
"Well, even though we have the Lexcorp Plant, this is still a farming community." Martha said. "Most of the kids are still doing their chores."
"Exactly, but it'll start filling up soon enough." Lana said, nodding. "But to be honest, I don't mind it being slow. It's when I get most of my paperwork done, not to mention my homework."
The door chime announced a new customer and with an apologetic smile, Lana left them alone. Not that this was an issue, as Ororo and Martha still had their delicious beverages and pasties.
"She has a great deal of passion for this place." Ororo said after a moment, taking a sip of her hot drink.
"Well, it's where her parents met and fell in love, so it's a tangible thread to them." Martha said. "Ever since they died during the meteor shower, she's clung to anything that reminded her of them."
Ororo made a noise of understanding, but fell silent. It was an unexpected reminder of her past, and painful memories were stirring. But she had a lifetime dealing with them and before long they had settled once more.
"Are you ok?" Martha asked.
"Of course. It was just hearing about Lana's loss stirred old memories."
"It's an old loss Martha." Ororo said, meeting her friends gaze. "I've had a good life, as have you I wager."
"Well, I don't want to brag." Martha said, laughing.
"I'll be honest given the way you were in school I wasn't sure how you would handle living on a farm."
"It's been hard, don't think it hasn't. Jon and I come from very different worlds, so it took some getting used to, and the fact we couldn't have children..." Martha trailed off for a moment, before continuing. "But like Jonathan said when he proposed, we might not be the Rockefeller's, but we'll always have love."
Ororo smiled, warmed by the love so obvious in Martha's tone.
"So tell me, how's Clark doing?" Martha asked, clearly shifting topics to something lighter.
"He's doing well." Ororo said, appreciating the effort. "He's opening up to the other students, slow but sure. As for his school work, he's excelling...oh, and apparently he is being pursued by a girl."
"Oh my, I'll have to talk to him about that."
They both had a good laugh over that, before Ororo continued.
"I have to be honest, I wasn't certain what to expect after you revealed the circumstances around Clark. It is hard to raise a child, even at the best of times...but as I've gotten to know Clark, I have to admit you've done an excellent job."
"Thank you, but sometimes ...When it became clear that Clark had gifts, we had no clue how to handle it." Martha said with a pensive look. "When I look back on it, I regret that we had to make him grow up so fast. There's so much of childhood that he had to miss out on."
"Yes, but there was no other choice. Besides, he had the important things I'm sure."
Martha looked doubtful.
Ororo frowned, and checked their surroundings. Satisfied with their current privacy, Ororo continued in a lower tone.
"Martha, while I have not spoken much of my early life, I'm sure you've pieced enough together to realize it was not always pleasant." Ororo said, and at Martha's nod, continued. "What you may not realize is the effect that it had upon me. After - after I lost my family, and crawled my way out of the rubble, I found myself in a city that was most often not kind. There was kindness, but it was rare...perhaps, it would not have been so bad if not for my appearance."
"Discrimination is not isolated to one country or group of people." Ororo said, patiently. "Many Egyptians have a low opinion of other African nations. I was an orphan child with a Kenyan name, natural white hair, and blue eyes. As you can guess, even after I found safety with a gang of street urchins, it left an impression. I was afraid, and angry, and... I grew hard."
Ororo stopped, allowing Martha time to adjust to what had she had heard so far. She also used the momentary pause to check their surroundings once more. Seeing no threat to the privacy of their quiet conversation, Ororo took a sip of her now tepid coffee.
After another minute or so, she gathered her resolve and continued.
"Eventually I was drawn south, back to the land of my mother. I learned of my powers...in a most traumatic way. But when I arrived among my people, when I came into the care of Ainet, I accepted the truth."
"Which is what?"
"That I was special. More than that, I was important. The elements marshaled their infinite might at My command. I was the voice of nature herself. I was The Wind-rider, Goddess of Storms." Ororo paused, giving a shocked Martha a rueful smile. "I'm not, of course, an actual goddess. I know that now. But at the time, tell me how do you think a child who experienced discrimination and loss would react?"
"I'm not sure I want to." Martha whispered.
Ororo could see the disquiet in her friend's gaze and it stirred old shame. Still, she continued, for the sake of making her point clear.
"In those early days, when a few of the more heinous challenged me, they tasted the depths of my wraith.
"Kill them? No. But there is much you can live through." Ororo said. "For the most part, for all the pride and rage I possessed, I remained...a benign goddess. I thank the Goddess every day for Ainet, she was the one that healed me of my wounds. Kept me from returning to Cairo, back to all those who had hurt me and showing them My Wraith."
Ororo paused, then after a moment of heavy silence, she met and held Martha's gaze once more.
"I had all of those missing childhood moments that he does not, so when I say that Clark's maturity is a blessing Martha, believe me. It is the greatest gift you could have ever given him. One far greater than you or the world will ever realize."
Smallville, KS - Ross Residence...
The drive to Pete's took longer than expected. Of course that was because the farm truck broke down twice. Most of the time when it happened, Clark found it annoying, but not today.
Which, considering why he was heading to see Pete, was understandable.
Still, that relief faded as Clark pulled into the yard of the Ross family farm. A few minutes later, he parked the truck beneath an old elm and sat there staring at the house. A house that had become a second home for him over the years.
Everywhere he looked a vivid memory tugged at him. The laughter as they helped paint the house. The fresh smell of hay and a shrill scream as Kathy Ross, the only girl, broke her leg while playing in the barns hayloft. A lingering a fondness for mint after Kathy cornered him in the same barn during a sleepover and they shared a shy kiss.
Letting out a sigh Clark climbed out of the truck, casting one last fond gaze at the barn before crossing the yard. The porch creaked under him as he mounted the steps, almost as if groaning under the weight of his secrets. A polite knock, a habit the Ross's had never been able to get him to drop, got no response.
As did his three follow up knocks, which only served to make Clark frown. He considered trying the door, when it finally opened. He had enough time to recognize Kathy Ross before she pulled him into a tight hug.
"Kathy!" Clark said, smiling despite himself as they separated.
Kathy looked the same as when she left for college. Slender, with a beautiful oval face, full lips and dimpled smile. The biggest difference was her hair - now cut short and sporting blue highlights.
"Good lord, I go away and you decide to sprout like an oak!" Kathy said, giving him a once over. "I heard you were off at some fancy school."
"I am, the Xavier's Institute."
"I always knew you had the brains." Kathy said, teasing.
"And you got the looks." Clark said, earning a ghost of a smile before she ushered him inside.
As they settled into the living room, silence hung heavy over them. Close as they were, this situation was verging on awkward. After a few more minutes of fidgeting, Clark broke the silence.
"So, is his medication still making him...loopy?"
Kathy laughed. "Thankfully, no. After our last conversation about how he would have made a better Elvis than Elvis...I got them to cut the dosage."
"I...I'm not sure that wasn't him being serious." Clark said after a moment.
"I know. But better safe than sorry." Kathy said, before her humor faded. "I still can't believe it, you know? I mean, in Sunnydale you hear about it all the time. But this is Smallville!"
Clark made a noise of agreement, unsure of how to respond. Did he tell her about Lana's kidnapping, or Jean's? No, they would do nothing to reassure her.
Instead he changed the subject.
"So where is everyone?"
"Mike and Mark are finishing up at Uncle Dale's farm. So they'll turn up soon enough. As for mom and dad, they went with Uncle Dale to pick Sam up in Metropolis."
"I'm sorry did you say they went to pick up Sam?"
Clark whistled and shook his head. Four years ago Pete's oldest brother Sam had left town after an ugly fight with his parents. Nobody had heard from him since - a lot of people had doubted he was still alive.
"Oh it gets better." Kathy said her smile more a grimace. "Turns out he not only changed his name after leaving, but he enlisted as well."
"Really?" Clark asked.
"Yup." Kathy drawled. "He goes by Samuel Thomas Wilson now. At least he kept his first name."
Clark could only shake his head.
"You can imagine the conversation my parents had." Kathy said, her voice dripping with disgust.
Clark could and grimaced in response. He understood arguments were inevitable in any long term relationship. But 'conversations' between Bill and Abigail were better described as battle royals. They were so vicious in fact, that it often amazed Clark they had yet to try and kill each other.
It also spoke volumes in regards to Pete and his siblings being so well adjusted.
Shaking his head, Clark decided to change the subject before the mood grew to dark. Casting around for something he came up blank, before noticing a text book. Perfect.
"So, how are you enjoying Crestwood?"
Kathy gave him a baleful look before she let her head drop back against the headrest of her recliner.
"That bad?" Clark asked.
"Ugh! I have never studied so hard in my life. After classes I'm fried for the rest of the day. It's insane. More than few of the other students have dropped out or transferred."
"Wow, I knew it was top rate college but that's..."
"Trust me, I know." Kathy sighed. "I swear if it wasn't for the epic parties I'd totally transfer to someplace easier."
Clark chuckled at that.
"Well, enough lollygagging Clark." Kathy said, lifting her head. "Go see Pete. We can talk later."
"Yeah, I guess you're right." Clark said, and sighing made his way upstairs.
The door to Pete's room was already open, denying Clark the chance to chicken out. It also revealed an oblivious Pete enthusiastically nodding along to a song one his iPod. At least that's what he was doing until he noticed Clark, and yanked the ear buds from his ears.
Clark managed to give his sheepish friend a smile before entering the room. Closing the door behind him, Clark moved a pile of old clothes from the room's desk chair and took a seat. Neither teen said a word for several long moments, both occupied by other things in the room.
"So," Clark said at last, staring at the space just above Pete's head. "Kathy said they dialed back your meds?"
"Yeah. I'm still not feeling any pain, but I'm not seeing purple polka dotted elephants or anything."
Clark chuckled at the joke before sighing, lowering his gaze to his hands. "Pete, about what...I'm sor-"
"No." Pete said his voice sharp. When Clark jerked his head up to stare at him, he found Pete giving him an even harder look.
"But, I mean..."
"No." After a moment Pete sighed. "You know, I didn't really understand what you meant before. You know, about how dangerous knowing your secret could be. I thought I did..."
"Did you know that Hamilton wasn't always crazy?" Pete said, talking over Clark. "Chloe investigated him after, well after what happened. He used to work for NASA, studied the first moon rocks if you can believe it. He was the top of his field. Turns out when the meteors hit Smallville he was part of the tem that backtracked them. He even taught at Metropolis University."
"I didn't know that."
"Me either." Pete said. "Anyway, the reason he was in Smallville? It was to try and rebuild his reputation. Turns out he got caught involved with a student and things...spiraled. The University fired him, he couldn't get work anywhere else...and then his family cut contact with him. Heck, the girl he had been dating ended up dumping him."
Clark made a noise of understanding, but waited, seeing where Pete would take this.
"So, he comes here to try and rebuild his reputation, only nothing works out the way he thought it would. In the end he ended up going full on loony toons obsessed with those meteor rocks." Pete said, then paused as his hands clenched into fists. "After I learned all that, I finally understood what you meant. Clark, if a man like Hamilton would go this far over a rumor...then how far would someone like Lionel Luthor go if he found real evidence? Or someone even worse?"
Clark said nothing, because there was nothing to say. This had been a taste of one of Clark's most frequent fears, that those he cared about would get hurt because of him. Clark knew he had no control over the arrival of the meteors, but he still brought them here, accident or not. Worse what had happened to Pete had little to do with the rocks themselves, but instead Clark's ship.
He wanted to apologize to Pete, but one glance at his oldest friends face told him it would not go over well.
"But you know what really scares me Clark?" Pete asked, his voice dropping low along with his gaze. "What if I didn't know?"
"What?" Clark asked, confused.
"I mean, what if I didn't know your secret?" Pete said, voice growing firmer. "I would have brought that ship here. He would have found it, or if he didn't I would have went to the media with it, because I wanted to be famous. Hell, even knowing, you don't know how close I came to telling him..."
"Don't. This wasn't your fault. Hamilton was crazy, he killed a man and tortured me over a rumor." Pete said, glaring at him. "I mean, it was true, but he had no damn way of knowing that for sure."
"Ok." Clark said at last, studying Pete. "So what are you trying to say?"
"I'm saying that, dangerous as it, I'm glad I know about you. That you told me. Because as much as I don't want to experience this kind of pain again, I would if it meant protecting you." Pete paused, lowering his gaze once more, focusing on the comforter on his bed. "But the thing is Clark, as close as I came to betraying you, even knowing...I'm not sure you can trust me."
"But you didn't tell him." Clark said, tone firm. When Pete looked up, Clark held his gaze. "I trust you with my life, Pete. That's never going to change. Ever."
Bayville, NY. - Bayville Mall...
"So, tell me again why I have to carry your bags?"
"Because you're my boyfriend and it's part of your job description." Jean said, with a mock frown.
Duncan grumbled in good-natured suffering and Jean leaned over, planting a kiss on his cheek. The simple gesture improved his mood and Jean grinned. It always pleased her to see the appreciation that such a simple gesture garnered.
"Hey, you mentioned wanting to see 'I am Number 4' right?" Duncan said.
Jean paused, turning back to where he stood in front of the mall theater, staring at a poster. Jean considered the movie in silence. It had been development hell (Scott's words) for years and he had been eager to go see it with her. Part of her did want to go with Scott, but being with Duncan in a dark theater had its own merits.
"Or how about we see Jupiter Ascending?" Jean offered at last, loyalty to Scott winning out.
"Really?" Duncan asked, giving the poster a dubious look.
"Mhm. It's supposed to be like a cross between Cinderella and Star Wars." Jean said, saddling up to him. "So romance for me, and action for you. Besides if it's that bad, there are other ways to pass the time in a dark theater."
"Hmm, you make a good argument." Duncan said.
"So, what time does it start?" Jean asked, shifting their attention back to the poster.
"It starts at seven." Duncan said, checking his phone. "It's five-thirty now, are you sure you want to wait that long?"
"It's perfect. Plenty of time for more shopping!" Jean said, nudging Duncan's shoulder when his shoulders slumped. "Oh come on, all those muscles and you're complaining about carrying bags?"
"Nah, not real-" Duncan said, only for a shriek to interrupt him.
A shriek followed by peals of laughter.
Turning, Jean had no trouble zeroing in on the group of rough looking boys and two familiar looking girls. One of whom was sitting on the railing. Why did it not surprise her to find Regina George and her friend Eva Patel at the center of a crowd?
Regina George, the one perch on the railing, was a plain looking girl, with a perpetual tan, and always in trouble. Her friend, Eva Patel was tall, and had the long-lean build befitting her position as Captain of the swim team. The two could not be more different, and yet they were the best of friends.
"Huh, I think that's Zeke and his buddies..." Duncan said, frowning. "Even for Reggie, that's pretty dangerous."
"Zeke?" Jean asked, giving her boyfriend a curious look.
"Zeke Tyler." Duncan said pointing out the tall, dark haired boy dressed in a baggy long-sleeved shirt and jeans. "He's a punk from Centre Island. Think Alvers, but actually dangerous."
"His friends are all just as bad." Duncan said, as Regina flicked her frosted blonde hair aside and giggled.
"Wonderful." Jean muttered, torn on trying to intervene or not. There was no love loss between her and Regina, but Jean did like Eva. That was when she noticed the two boys with Eva had positioned themselves to cut her off from Regina. Duncan seemed to have noticed as well, because he handed her the bag's he was carrying.
"I'm going to go see if I can't help them out."
"Don't worry." Duncan said before planting a quick kiss to her cheek.
Then, as he started forward, Zeke and his friends decided to take things up a notch. The two boys talking with a reluctant Eva grabbed her arms. At the same moment, as if they had been rehearsing it for months, Zeke and his buddy dangled Regina over the railing.
Regina's scream of terror was more blood curdling than any horror movie. Jean's breath caught in her chest, eyes widening. Duncan had frozen in place and Eva burst into hysterics.
Then Zeke and his friends started laughing like hyenas, and everyone started to move.
Duncan broke into a full charge, lowering his shoulder as he aimed at the boys holding Eva. Other bystander's moved toward Zeke and his friend. Meanwhile, shock gave way to fury and telekinesis surging, Jean lifted her hand.
And then, things changed.
In the space of a minute Duncan went from mid-charge to taking his target down hard. Simultaneously, Zeke and his friend were now crumpling into heaps, clutching their crotches. Yet the most significant change was the fact that Eva and Regina were now huddled together in front of a store. Then, in the heart beat before unleashing her power, Jean yanked her hand down and suppressed her surging telekinesis.
The only boy still standing took in the situation and decided to run.
Duncan got back to his feet and looked as bewildered as Jean felt. Taking in the scene before her, she tried to process what had happened. It was as if the world had skipped ahead, but that did not explain Zeke and his friend, nor Eva and Regina. It had to be a mutant power, but for the life of her Jean could not fathom what kind.
At least until her phone buzzed with a text. She checked it, confirming it was from Professor Xavier, but then paled. Because the clock had jumped from five-thirty five to five fifty-five.
The new mutant could manipulate time.
Wow, this took a long time to write. There are a lot of reasons of course, life being one. Another being that this was just a mind-numbing chapter, one that I re-wrote several times. My original idea for this chapter involved Ororo being kidnapped, thankfully I realized how often that's cropped up and decided not to go that route. Then of course I got distracted by side-projects that tie into this series...at least until I lost the majority of my notes.
So yeah, sorry.
Anyway, a few housekeeping notes below...
1) One thing that has always puzzled me about the Marvel and DC Universes is the fact that prior to superheroes showing up, nobody seems to have ever made movies (or any entertainment) in the science fiction and fantasy genre.
Or maybe they have and I never noticed?
I know Smallville (TV show) had an in series comic book series about 'Warrior Angel'. But other than that, nothing else comes to mind. Anyway, I'll probably add other little touches as I go…and I'll go ahead and be up front 'Invincible' is a comic book series in this universe.
2) Regarding Duncan Matthews, a lot of stories tend to portray him as a stereotypical bully/bigot. But in the show, what little we saw of him, he was shown as a typical high school jock: Large ego, annoyed that some other guy is constantly sniffing around his girl, and when Jean's ousted as a mutant he keep dating her (with the selfish interest of using her telepathy to help him cheat in school...which is a surprisingly realistic idea when you find out your friend/girlfriend has telepathy). It's not until Jean dumps him, that he turns bitter and anti-mutant.
Anyway, so that's what I'm trying to show him as.
Also, that portrayal makes Jean look really, really dumb. Even leaving aside her telepathy (which sometimes slips), Jean is not stupid or blind. If he was really that one dimensional of a bully she'd have noticed and dropped him a long time ago.
3) Ororo's back-story, or more specifically her hints of the prejudice she experienced. When I was working on this scene I did some research to see factors that could/would have affected an orphan in Cairo. During this search (the search term I used was 'Kenyan problems in Egypt) I found an article by Sunni M. Khalid titled 'Race and Racism Divide Egypt'. It details the prejudice that is present within Egypt toward non-Egyptian Africans, especially those from the south of the Sahara.
So I did some digging to see how it held up, and found a few forums defending/supporting the information in the form of personal stories. There were a few that tried to object to it, but they were a minority. Still, I did another quick search and turned up 'The Reality of Racism in Egypt' by Valentitina Primo, along with a bunch of other articles in the same vein.
After that I decided to work it into her story. That being said, I don't live in Egypt, so I'm pretty much trusting these articles. I do recommend you read the articles though.
5) Concerning Sunnydale, CA.
Yes exists in this universe. It replaces Santa Barbara, CA.
As a matter of fact while we're talking about locations, since I don't think I've discussed this, let me clear something's up.
Metropolis, within the Smallville Canon (and some early comic books) is located in Kansas. I believe it generally replaces Topeka. However, the more common portrayal has Metropolis somewhere on the East Cost, most often replacing New York City.
After a lot of thought I decided to go the East Coast route, and while tempting, I decided not to replace N.Y.C. with Metropolis. Instead Metropolis is taking the place of Deale, MD. on the Left side of the Chesapeake Bay. Sorry to anyone that live there.
I also considered where to place Gotham, part of me thought about trying to keep in line with the DCEU and placing Gotham opposite of Metropolis (meaning it would replace Easton, MD.) but decided against that. Instead Gotham is taking the place of Chicago, IL. as per the DCO map.
I guess, since I'm talking about locations, let me go ahead an list a few other cites and their locations. On the next update I'll move this section to my main Authors Note at the beginning of the story. Anyway:
Central City MO. [Kansas City, MO.]
Coast City CA. [San Diego, CA.]
Dakota City MI. [Detroit, MI.]
Fawcett City MN. [Minneapolis, MN.]
Gotham City IL. [Chicago, IL.]
Metropolis MD. [Deale, MD. on Chesapeake Bay]
Middleton CO. [Ouray, CO.]
Sunnydale CA. [Santa Barbara, CA.]
6)That scene at the end with Regina George and Eva? I was watching Clueless at the time and borrowed the set up.
Well that should be all the Author's Notes, so I hope you enjoy the chapter.
Oooh, ooh...before I forget. Dan? Yeah, go suck a lemon. (If I had updated this when I first heard what he said, the language would have been a lot stronger) .