Earth: 21st Century - 2018
There was nothing in front of her or behind her but miles and miles of road. It stretched out in front of her like a shimmering black ribbon crossing the lush dark forest on either side of her. Sam kept her golden brown eyes firmly on the road ahead of her while letting her hearing stretch out around her. Several miles northeast of her she could hear the sound of an eagle's feet splash against the surface of the crystal clear lake she was at four days ago, it's talons tearing into the scaled flesh of a salmon. To the west, in the direction she was heading, several miles away in the hills she could hear the playful yipping of wolf cubs playing in their den, their mother not to far off taking down a small deer for their next meal. And miles behind her she could still hear the thankful words of the family who were nearly killed in their RV by a rockslide.
Rolling her wrist towards her, Sam opened up the throttle on her bike, cranking up the speed. She simply wasn't ready to accept gratitude yet. If those people, if any of the people she'd saved the last few weeks, knew what she had done just a few short months ago, they wouldn't be thanking her. They'd be terrified of her.
The two lane road stretched out before her and to anyone else it would have looked deserted, nothing to see at all except the horizon. But Sam wasn't just a normal girl on a motorcycle heading north towards Vancouver from Portland. Sam had heard her coming, had heard the sound of her boots hit the asphalt. Now as she drew closer and closer she could see her, standing there waiting, hands on her hips, smile on her sunny face. Her first friend in National City, not including Lena who'd she'd already known before she'd picked up and moved herself and her daughter there, and now apparently her cousin. That was a trunk full of baggage Sam hadn't even touched yet.
Stopping the bike several feet away from waiting figure of Supergirl, Sam turned the engine off, kicked the kickstand into place, and then swung her long leg over the bike to stand beside it. She was wearing black jeans, a black tank top, and a black leather jacket with black embroidered roses on the shoulders. The funny thing was when she found it in a thrift store in New Mexico her first thought had been about Alex and what the redhead would think of it. Again, something Sam hadn't touched yet, the feelings Alex Danvers stirred up in her.
Reaching for the black helmet she wore Sam took it off slowly, letting her hair fall from within and down her back. It was longer than it had been when she'd left and she'd been wearing it as straight as possible these days. Holding the helmet in her hand as she walked towards Supergirl, Sam couldn't stop the sudden panic that bubbled up in her chest. Kara had promised to give her time and space, to leave her alone while she sorted things out, so naturally her first instinct upon seeing Kara was to ask, "What's wrong? Is Ruby alright?"
"Ruby's fine, Sam." Kara reassured. "She misses you like crazy, but otherwise she's good."
Sam relaxed, letting go of the breath she'd been holding. Then she shifted her weight to her left foot, and tucked her helmet under her arm a she glared at Kara. "Then what are you doing here, Kara?"
"You know we don't actually need to wear helmets?" Kara said nervously while twisting the edge of her cape in her hands.
"It keeps my hair out of my face." Sam replied, her voice slipping into what everyone called her mom voice. "Kara? You promised…"
"I know." Kara said quickly. She reached up as if to play with her glasses but she was Supergirl right now so they weren't there to fidget with. "I'm not really sure how to tell you this."
"Tell me what?" Sam replied. Whatever it was it had Kara both excited and nervous. From the emotions playing out over the blonde's face, Sam was fairly sure that Kara wasn't sure how to feel about whatever it was, and that made her worrying about how Sam might feel even worse. Again Sam put the full force of her mom voice into it as she said, "Kara."
"Astra's alive." Kara spat out before she could think. Then she whined. "Sam! You used mom voice on me! That's not fair!"
Sam blinked slowly. Astra was alive? Kara's aunt, the Kryptonian terrorist, and apparently Sam's biological mother was alive? How? Kara had told her what happened. She'd explained that Astra was killed in a fight against J'onn and Alex. She'd told her about saying the prayer for the dead and how it should have rightfully been Sam who'd said it because Sam's older than Kara. "I don't understand. You said…"
"I know." Kara said softly. "It's a really long story that involves the sun and time travel. The short version is the sun made her not dead, she got sucked into a wormhole, and has been living in the 31st century where she founded the Legion. Now she's here, not perminaly, just visiting, but she's here for us, Sam. To see us, to reconnect with me and to, well, meet you."
Again Sam blinked slowly. She felt like she was caught in some kind of weird underwater dream. "She wants to meet me? She knows about me?"
"She recently found out about you." Kara said with a nod. "She won't tell me how. Spoilers and all that."
"How long have you been waiting to say that?" Sam teased. She needed a moment, several moments, to wrap her head around this.
Kara giggled and smiled brightly at her cousin. "Since she said she couldn't give us a lot of details because her just being here has created a big enough paradox that telling us more about what happens in our futures would make it worse."
Sam raised her fist to her head, pressing the heel of her hand against forehead as if she were trying to ease a headache. Her thoughts and emotions were swirling around all over the damn place. She tried to remind herself that Astra hadn't willingly given her up. The woman had been lied too, had been told her baby daughter was dead. But then again Astra was a fucking terrorist who tried to conquer the Earth. Like mother, like daughter, Sam thought. Who the hell was she to judge?
"Look, Sam." Kara said as she closed the distance between them. She put her hand on Sam's shoulder and squeezed reassuringly. "I just wanted you to know what was happening. I don't expect you to come back with me or to even agree to seeing her. That's all totally up to you."
"I'm not ready to come back yet, Kara." Sam said softly as she opened her eyes and lifted her head to look into Kara's eyes.
Kara nodded. "I understand."
"As far as Astra." Sam shrugged. "Kara. I, just, I need time to think."
Again Kara nodded. "Ok." She smiled at Sam and then pulled her into a tight hug. "For what it's worse, Sam, you look amazing."
Sam chuckled softly as she returned Kara's hug gladly. When they pulled apart she said, "You like the outfit?"
"Well, yeah, but that's not what I meant." Kara said with her sunny smile. "You don't look as haunted as you did when you left. I think this sojourn of yours is helping."
"I hope it is." Sam said softly. "It's keeping me away from Ruby, but until I get my damn head on straight again, until I can trust myself and what I've become, I can't be around her, around any of you."
"You can't hurt me Sam." Kara tried to reassured.
"That's the thing, Kara." Sam replied. "I did hurt you, I nearly killed you, and until I'm sure that something like that won't happen again…"
"It won't." Kara said firmly. "Reign's gone, Sam."
"You should head back to National City." Sam said softly.
Kara sighed and nodded. "Sure, just one last thing. I promised Ruby and Lena I would being back proof that you're ok, in one piece, and taking care of yourself." She pulled her phone from her boot. She smiled when Sam gave in and let her take pictures. Then she gave Sam letters from everyone.
"You people act like I don't call once a week." Sam said as she stuffed the letters into the inside pocket of her jacket.
"We love you Sam." Kara said, pulling Sam in for another hug. "We just want you to remember that."
Sam sighed and said, "I love you guys too."
It was decided that it would probably be for the best if Astra didn't go flying around the city. Her previous actions had not yet faded from public memory and seeing the Kryptonian general who'd tried to take over the planet might send the public into a panic. If she wasn't with Kara or Lena, then Vasquez was her escort. She couldn't really blame Alex for being cautious, Astra hadn't expected any kind of warm open armed welcome. It's why she wasn't surprised when Kara returned to tell her that Sam wasn't sure what she wanted to do as far as Astra was concerned, though Kara did her best to reassure her that Sam would come around. It's also why she had to give Alex credit for trying, at least for Kara's sake, to keep her discomfort and unease at a minimum.
Walking into the command center with Lena, they were picking Kara up to spend the afternoon together, Astra looked up at the bank of monitors on the wall. There seemed to be images and video of the same man on all of them.
"Facial recognition has picked up Coville again." Winn reported.
"Where?" Alex asked as she moved from where she'd been working to stand behind Winn.
Winn tapped at his keyboard for a few seconds before answering, "Pacific northwest, heading north out of Portland."
"When?" Kara asked, concern etching across her face.
Before Winn could reply Astra spoke up. She had moved away from Lena and towards the screens. In several of the pictures of the man they were apparently tracking was a woman. She wasn't right beside him but in the background. She narrowed her eyes as she spoke. "I know her."
Everyone's attention turned towards Astra. Winn looked nervous and perhaps a little scared. Alex looked annoyed. Lena simply raised eyebrow. And Kara, her concern grew as she looked at her aunt and asked, "Aunt Astra?"
Astra pointed out the figure in the images. "That woman. Jindah Kol. She was a prisoner on Fort Rozz. It was discovered that she was a high priestess of a dark cult decided to Yuda Kal, and that she and her followers had been experimenting in ways that broke the laws of the Science Guild. She was charged and convicted of blasphemy, heresy, and unethical biological experimentation."
Everyone was exchanging looks that made Astra feel uneasy. Turning her attention to Kara she asked, "What is it?"
"The cult of Yuda Kal." Kara said softly. "It becomes the cult of Reign."
"They're after Sam!" Alex said with wide eyes.
"Why would they be after Sam?" Winn asked. "She isn't Reign anymore."
"But they don't know that." Lena contributed. "There's no way they could know that I completely removed the Reign virus from her DNA. The chemicals Coville has been stealing, they could possibly be a way to try and trigger the virus again, but I still haven't been able to figure out what the last item they would need could be. It would need to be something that would make the chemicals react in a way that would simulate the effect the crystal from Sam's pod had on Sam."
"Jindah had an idol of some kind, a figurine of Yuda Kal in black rock, that she managed to keep hidden from Facet Jens." Astra said.
"Kara." Alex said as she turned to her sister. "Where was Sam heading?"
"North." Kara replied. "Towards Vancouver."
Jindah Kol had played a part in what happened to her daughter. The experiments she'd been involved in, the cult she had been apart of, had taken her daughter from her and turned her into a living weapon of destruction. Now it seemed the bitch was at it again? Oh no. Astra wasn't about to let anything happen to Sam, not this time. While Kara and her team began debating a plan Astra slipped away and before anyone could even blink she was gone. She contacted her Legion to fill them in and soon she was joined by Imra and Mon-El.
Sam knew she was being followed. She'd heard them miles ago. She just didn't know who they were or why they were following her. Which is why she was leading them as far away from people as possible before finally confronting them. Whoever they were, they didn't seem to want to wait however. Sam heard the all too familiar hum of heat vision and was able to fly upwards off her motorcycle before the blast hit it.
"Damnit!" Sam swore. "I really liked that bike!"
Two figures loomed below her on the road. The woman was old, dressed in black with a cloak, but it was the symbol on her chest that caused Sam's blood to run cold. The worldkiller crest. Sam's hands balled into fists as she landed several yards away from the pair. That's when she noticed the man's eyes. HIs irises were gray and blended into the white of his eyes, his black pupils blown larger than they should be. Looking away from his eyes, Sam took in the man's face. "I know you." She said to him. "You're the crackpot who created a cult around Supergirl."
"A mistake." Coville said, his voice strangely altered. He rolled his neck like he was trying to get comfortable in his own skin. His fingers flexed, and his shoulders rolled. "Supergirl is a false savior." He said when he finished fidgeting. "Reign is our one true hope."
Sam's jaw clenched and her fists tightened to the point that her knuckles turned white. "Reign is dead."
"No my child." Jindah said as she took several steps towards Sam. "She is merely asleep."
Fear washed over Sam like a tidal wave as she watched the woman remove something from her cloak and hold it up. It was some kind of figurine that the woman held out towards her as if offering her a gift.
Jindah moved closer and closer and still nothing happened.
"Is that suppose to do something to me?" Sam asked as she shifted her weight to her left foot and crossed her arms over her leather jacket bound chest.
"What have you done!?" Jindah roared. "Where is my creation!?"
"I told you." Sam said firmly. "The Reign virus was destroyed."
Jindah's eyes began to glow red but before she could release the blast of heat vision she was building up, and before Sam had the chance to react a white hot beam came out of nowhere, hitting the the woman, while the figurine seemed to hover in mid air. Sam blinked.
"Jindah Kol!" Astra roared as her heat vision stopped and she prepared to charge at the cloaked woman. "Get the hell away from my daughter!"
Sam blinked again as she watched a chestnut haired woman with a white strip in her hair fly at the old cloaked woman. What the hell was going on?
"Mistress!" Coville roared and prepared to attack.
"Oh, no, I don't think so, buddy." Mon-El said before his fist collided with Coville's face. The man didn't go down like Mon-El had expected. It wasn't until Coville was fighting back that he released the man had been changed.
Sam watched as the black figurine floated towards a raven haired woman with outstretched hands. Was the woman moving it somehow? Sam blinked again as she watched the woman put the figurine into a cylinder shaped containment canister before rushing off to help the dark haired man in the red suit. "What the hell is going on!"
"Astra In-Ze." Jindah said as she staggered to her feet. Astra's charge had sent her flying, crashing through several trees, but it wasn't enough to knock her down to stay. "Well, this is an unexpected surprise. Aren't you dead?"
Normally Astra would have some witty or snarky reply to the question but now wasn't the time for it. "You have a lot to answer for, witch."
"Oh?" Jindah teased. "And what exactly are you going to make me pay for, Astra? I didn't actually do anything to the child, I was already on that forsaken prison ship in the Phantom Zone when my sisters took the child. I didn't even know it had been your child who'd been chosen as the sacred vessel until Non told me." She smirked, a twisted nasty smirk. "I suppose if you want to try and punish me for something… I did sleep with your husband, but you'd been hard pressed to find a member of my order who didn't. He was such a lovely pet to have around."
Astra would add that to the list of things about Non she would have to deal with later. Right now it was about her daughter. "You created the experiments that led to what those bitches did to my child."
"Oh, that, yes." Jindah said with a nod. "While someone else perfected and implemented what I started, I did create the building blocks for the worldkillers."
Astra's eyes began to glow white hot as she listened to the smug witch talk.
"Is now the part where you try to kill me?" Jindah mocked.
"I'm not going to kill you." Astra said before once again launching herself at the other Kryptonian. "But I am going to make you wish you were dead."
Sam wasn't about to just stand there and let these people fight her battles for her. Since it seemed as if the dark haired bearded man and the dark haired woman had Coville under control, Sam took off into the treeline to look for the two older women. The cult bitch, who Sam now knew was trying to draw Reign out again, and the chestnut haired woman with the white strip in her hair. Sam had heard what the woman had said when she'd called out to the cult witch, she just didn't know what to think or feel about it. Sam was still trying to deal with finding out who her parents were. She never thought she'd have to do that while meeting one of them. Kara had told her they were both dead.
Getting out of the way just in time Sam watched as Astra crashed into the hillside, her impact throwing dust and stone everywhere. Sam rushed over to her and quickly knelt beside her. "Are you alright?"
Astra looked up into the face of the child she'd spent so long thinking was dead, into Sam's golden brown eyes, so much like her own. Her heart swelled and before she could stop herself she said, "Samra."
The boulder smashed into the hillside just above them and Sam didn't even hesitate in using her body to shield Astra's from the falling debris. When the worse of it stopped falling on them Sam stood, looked down at the woman who was apparently her birth mother, and then held out her hand to help her up. Their matching golden brown eyes locked as Astra stood up and for the longest moment it was just the two of them, unsure and uncertain, and silently freaking out inside. Then Sam once again heard the familur hum of heat vision. She let go of Astra's hand and turned just in time to meet Jindah's with her own. Sam's powers were much stronger and it was easy for her to force the much older woman into backing off with her heat vision. The old crone must have known if she'd gone much longer she'd have blown out her powers all together. Sam watched as Jindah took to the air and guessed she was trying to clear the tree tops to expose herself to more direct sunlight. Sam turned to look at Astra.
Astra smiled. "After you."
Sam lifted off the ground and Astra followed. In the distance they could hear the continued fighting between Imra, Mon-El, and Coville. The fact that Jindah had created a new worldkiller fueled Sam as she flew straight at the old woman. Coville was messed up, confused and maybe even sick, he didn't deserve to be turned into a monster anymore than she had. Jindah had barely managed to hold her own against Astra, she hadn't stood a chance against Astra and Sam. For several minutes it looked as if they were playing a Kryptonian version of Pong in the sky, with Jindah as the ball bouncing between Sam and Astra. The fight ended when Sam threw the old dark priestess to the grown where Astra waited with power inhibiting restraints.
"No!" Coville roared upon seeing his mistress' defeat. Grabbing hold of Mon-El and Imra he threw them as hard as he could before aiming his rage at Astra, but he never reached her.
Astra watched as the monster who was once a man sank to his knees before falling face first into the dirt. When she looked up she saw Sam standing behind him. Astra smiled with such pride and adoration at the young woman, even though she wasn't entirely sure she had a right too. Yes Sam was her daughter but she hadn't raised her, she didn't even know her. Retrieving a second pair of restraints she handed them to Sam. "These will inhibit his powers. I need to go find my team, make sure they're alright."
Sam nodded as she accepted the restraints and started to put them on Coville.
By the time Supergirl and the DEO arrived there wasn't anything left to do but transport Jindah and Coville to holding cells.
"Sam." Alex said as she rushed towards the tall brunette. "Are you alright?"
Sam smiled reassuringly at her friend. "I'm fine Alex." Then her smile widened as she took the other woman in. Alex's hair was shorter and she had a kick ass new suit. She liked it. "Love the hair."
Astra watched with a slightly cocked eyebrow.
When Sam and Astra had a moment alone Sam looked over at her and asked, "What was that you called me when you first saw me?"
Astra had to think a moment and then replied, "Samra. It was the name I gave you when you were born. Samra In-Ze."
"What does it mean?" Sam asked next, not sure why of all things she was asking that.
"Pure light." Astra answered. "Because that's what you were to me, pure light given to me by Rao himself."
Kara walked over with a look of regret on her face. She didn't want to interrupt. "We should be getting back. Sam? Are you coming?"
Sam looked from Kara to Astra to Alex before finally nodding. "Yeah, I'm coming. I've been away from home to long as it is, and I really wanna see Ruby."