The Last Daughter of Krypton, part 1: Birth
By Les Bonser
This is a work of non-commercial fan fiction. The characters used in this story remain the trademarked property of their respective owners. No trademark infringement is intended and no profits are made by the author for writing or distribution of this work.
No permission is given to anyone other than the author to archive this on any website. No permission is given to anyone other than the author to repost this on any newsgroup.
Kara Zor-El, Supergirl, died in the "Crisis of Infinite Earths" mini- series in the mid 1980's. Post-Crisis, other characters, like Superman and Wonder Woman, were "rebooted" and brought forward into the new DC Universe. But the powers that be at DC Comics decided that Superman was the one and only Kryptonian. His blonde cousin was not revamped and likewise brought forward.
Eventually, new versions of Supergirl did come about. Matrix, an artificial being created by an alternative Lex Luthor from another universe appeared. Modeled on that universe's Lana Lang, she eventually came to wear the "S." As Supergirl, Matrix bonded with a human woman, Linda Danvers, to save that woman's life. The merged entity, while still Supergirl, has become an Earth angel.
A teenaged Supergirl, Kara In-Zee, appeared in the animated TV series. A resident not of Krypton, but of a sister world called Argos, this version has become popular, but she's still not the original.
The original Kara Zor-El was forever delegated to fond memories of older comic readers.
This story is the first in a series that provides a possible way in which the original Supergirl could be brought into the current post- Crisis, post-Zero Hour, post-Kingdom Come DC world.
The Last Daughter of Krypton, part 1: Birth
Kyle Rayner glanced up for a moment. There was no change to any of the numerous monitor screens in front of him. He returned his attention to the drawing tablet he balanced on his knee.
He was a cartoonist. And, he was the superhero called Green Lantern. And right now, he was on the Moon, in the JLA Watchtower on "monitor duty." Most of the rest of his team mates hated monitor duty. Because it was boring. But Kyle actually liked it. The free time and isolation gave him a change to work up new cartoon ideas.
A light began blinking on the monitor board. Kyle dropped the drawing tablet and pencil to the floor and stood in a hurry. He realized immediately that he'd over-reacted. It was just the transporter signal. Someone was beaming up from Earth.
Briefly, he wondered who it might be. There were any number of active and reserve Justice League of America members that had access to the heavily secured transporters. Kyle was in fact one of the few that could arrive here under his own power. Or rather, in his case, the power of his Green Lantern ring.
His inquisitiveness was soon satisfied. Dr. John Henry Irons, also known as Steel, strode out of the transporter tube and into the general meeting area. Kyle turned from the monitor station to greet his fellow Leaguer.
"What's up, Doc?" Kyle said, a grin on his face. Although he enjoyed the quiet time of monitor duty, he did sometimes get lonely. And a little goofy.
Dr. Irons shook his head. It was an old joke. And Kyle and Wally continued to propagate it. John decided to get his revenge. He reached into his jacket pocket, took his cellular phone in hand, and whipped it out. He pointed the cell phone, gun-like, toward the unexpecting Kyle and in his best Elmer Fudd lisp, said, "It's Green Lantern Season!"
The momentary look of terror on Kyle's face was worth the indignity of having to put up with the younger man's torments.
Green Lantern threw up his hands in a mock surrender, "Whoa, Doctor Irons, you scared me for a moment there." Kyle smiled. "At least you've got a sense of humor...unlike a Dark Knight I know."
Dr. Irons walked over to the monitor board and checked out the current status. All the team members were accounted for and there were no situations on Earth or in surrounding space that required their attention. "God bless quiet Sundays," he said.
"Yeah, it's been so quiet here, I was about to go stir crazy. What brings you up today? The next meeting isn't until next weekend."
"Just wanted to go over some of those Thanagarian logic units we pulled from that disabled star ship."
"Sounds like fun," Kyle said, sarcastically. He didn't understand how Irons could stand to tinker with his high tech toys *all* of the time.
Just then, the monitor board lit up. "What's that?" Kyle asked. He and Dr. Irons studied the readings for several seconds.
"I'm not sure. Looks like some sort of small space craft coming out of warp. Out beyond the Oort Cloud," Irons said.
"Oh, great, just what we need, another alien invasion."
"The monitors are only showing a single small craft. About the size of an automobile."
Kyle reached for the JLA signal button. Pressing it would send out an automated signal that would call all the League to their base here on the moon.
John grabbed Kyle's hand before the younger man could press the button. "Wait."
"Kyle, it's a single craft. And very small. Let's determine what we're dealing with before we ruin everyone's Sunday afternoon."
"So, what do you suggest?"
"I'll take over monitor duty for you and you fly out for a reconnoiter."
"You do have the ring, you know. No one else on the team can get out there and back as fast as you."
"Yeah, well, there is that," Kyle agreed.
Several minutes later, Dr. Irons sat at the monitor board as Kyle headed out to the Oort Cloud. "See anything yet?" John asked.
"I'm barely passing Jupiter," Kyle said, relaying his voice through his ring back to the JLA base. "Give me another couple minutes."
John sat tensely, waiting. The chronometer on the monitor board ticked by slowly. Nearly five minutes later, Kyle's voice came back over the speaker. "Hey, ah, John?"
"You might want to give Superman a call."
"Why?" John tensed, wondering what Kyle meant.
"This thing is a big black egg with a star drive on it. Looks like that picture Superman showed us once of the Kryptonian birthing matrix that brought him to Earth. And the ring's deciphered the markings on it. It's definitely Kryptonian writing."
"What's its course?"
"Still headed directly to Earth."
"Follow it in. When you get close to Lunar orbit, we'll see about diverting it here instead. Just in case," Irons said. He then reached out and pressed the button.
The majority of the current membership of the League assembled in the main hall. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman sat around the meeting table. Dr. Irons had donned his suit of armor and stood at the monitor board as Steel. Batman hadn't yet acknowledged the signal, but they knew that Oracle could contact him if needed. Oracle was on-line via the JLA communications network.
The transporter chimed again, signaling yet another arrival. This time it was the Flash. "What's up this time?" the Scarlet Speedster said as he walked into the main hall.
"Green Lantern's guiding a small space craft in from the fringes of the solar system," Wonder Woman told him. "It could be a Kryptonian birthing chamber."
"How is that possible?" Flash asked. He directed his question to Superman. "I thought you were the only Kryptonian to survive the explosion of the planet?"
"That's what I've always thought," Superman admitted.
Diana of Themyscira, otherwise known as Wonder Woman, watched her friend. The thought of another Kryptonian having possibly survived was almost too much for Clark to consider. It had been nearly 40 years since Clark's own birthing chamber had arrived on Earth. Simply too long for another chamber to have been floating around out in space. More likely, it was a ploy by one of their enemies. "Perhaps it's a decoy?" she suggested. "Maybe Cyborg?"
Superman shrugged. "Possibly."
The group didn't relish having to face the Cyborg. Hank Hanshaw had the ability to bond with any type of technology. He'd usurped Kryptonian technology before and even masqueraded as Superman by manipulating the genetic information contained in Superman's own birthing chamber.
Jon Jonzz, the Martian Manhunter, arrived. He'd flown up from Earth by himself. He didn't particularly like the transporters and since he was one of the group that could handle the flight between Earth and Moon by himself, he often flew directly to the Watchtower. The others quickly brought him up to speed on the situation.
A telepath, Jon reached out with his mind and found Kyle's thoughts. "He's almost here."
"Yes," Steel confirmed from the monitor station. "Green Lantern will direct the craft into one of our hangers. After we repressurize it, we'll be able to freely examine the craft."
"Hey," Kyle's voice came over the speaker. "As soon as I put a bubble around it, it shut down. I'll have it in the hanger in about thirty seconds."
The group reconvened at the entry to the hanger bay. Steel managed the controls. "He's signaling that the external door's closed," the armored scientist said. "We'll have pressurization in the bay in about ten seconds.
And right on cue, the door to the bay slide open and Superman lead the group into the large open room.
Green Lantern had a protective bubble of emerald energy around the craft. Superman could see immediately that it was the same general size and shape as his own Kryptonian birthing chamber. The craft that had brought him to Earth.
"How do we open it?" Flash asked.
Superman motioned for Green Lantern to drop the bubble. As the green energy faded, he slowly and carefully approached the craft. Kyle had set it engine unit down; the black "egg" sat about three feet above the floor. Cautiously, Superman touched the surface of the egg. As if by magic, it began to open.
Dumbfounded, he simply stood there, looking at the contents of the egg.
Wonder Woman walked forward to stand beside him. "Great Hera," she exclaimed. She reached into the opening and pulled out a small baby. The group could see immediately that the naked child was clearly female and had thin wisps of blonde hair. The mighty Amazon cradled the child in her arms. "Someone better get some blankets," she said. "Or towels, or something."
Flash rushed out and was back in the blink of an eye. "Sorry, no diapers on the Moon. Or even baby blankets. These will have to do." He held several large bath towels from the Watchtower's guest quarters in his hands.
Diana held the sleeping baby with one hand and gently wrapped one of the towels around the child. She then wiped the child's face with the corner of the towel. Diana looked up and smiled at the men standing around her. She was as proud as if the child were her own.
Oracle's voice echoed over the communications system that linked the entire Watchtower complex. "It's nice to be involved in something dealing with life instead of constantly fighting and dealing with death and evil."
Jon Jonzz agreed, "Yes. We have done a good thing here today."
Green Lantern walked up to Superman, smiling, "Congratulations, it's a girl!"
Uncharacteristically, it had been Batman that delivered the supply of diapers, baby formula, clothes, and other items when he'd transported up to join the group a little over an hour later. The arrival of another Kryptonian to Earth was an event significant enough for even Batman to take notice.
Kyle and Wally had snickered when they saw the Dark Knight Detective step out of the transporter tube, the box of diapers and assortment of pink and yellow baby clothes contrasting sharply with the black of his costume. A single glance from Batman silenced them.
Now properly clothed, the girl child was being cradled by Jon Jonzz as the group gathered once more around the meeting table. He was, after all, the only one of the group that had ever been a parent.
"International law is a little thin on this sort of thing," Oracle was saying from the monitor board. "There are no laws that really cover the arrival of a minor child from outer space. Some people might argue that general laws relating to immigration would apply in any given nation that had such laws, but I can't find anything in the legal databases that cover this."
Diana spoke up, "The main point we have to decide is who should take care of the child."
"Agreed," Superman said. "We can deal with legalities later."
The group looked around the table at each other. "It should be someone that can afford to care for a child," Flash said. "Who's got the most money?"
Batman scowled at the speedster. "There are more issues involved than simply money," he said.
"Yes," Diana said. "We need someone that has the time and experience to care for the child. I can take her to Themyscira. My Amazon sisters can care for her."
"Oh, great," Green Lantern said, "Why don't you just drop her off at a convent?"
"What's that supposed to mean?" Wonder Woman said.
"A child needs more than a bunch of women around," Green Lantern argued. "A child needs both a mother and a *father*!"
"Yes," Batman said. "A child needs both parents." His voice held a haunting quality.
"Jon, you were a father once, right?" Flash said.
"Yes," the Martian Manhunter said, sadly. "But that was a long time ago. And I wouldn't be able to offer the female aspect..." He cradled the sleeping child as an idea slowly dawned on him. "We need someone that's married, a couple who want children," he said. He looked up and across the table at Superman.
Wonder Woman and Batman both followed Jon's eyes and likewise ended up staring at their spokesman and leader.
"Hey! That's a good idea," Flash said. "Superman's married, right? And who better to raise a Kryptonian child than another Kryptonian!"
Superman sat stunned. The thought of another Kryptonian surviving and coming to Earth after so many years was overwhelming enough. Becoming an instant father was too much; even for a super man.
Clark Kent, Superman, sat quietly in a private room on the far side of the main meeting room. Such rooms were available for impromptu meetings, personal business, and quiet time. Several of the JLA members hadn't shared their secret identities with the entire team--having private rooms for personal communications was essential.
Clark sat at the desk, facing the computer terminal and video phone. He'd been sitting there for about twenty minutes now. At heart, he'd agreed with Jon's suggestion. No one on Earth was better prepared to raise a Kryptonian child. But the decision wasn't Clark's alone. There was one other person that needed to included in the decision.
Reaching out, he picked up the handset on the phone and dialed a number. Due to the distance between the Earth and the Moon, the call would have to be voice only. And even then, there would be a second and a half delay between speaking and hearing at the other end.
The phone on the other end rang. Once, twice, and finally, a third time. There was a delay, just long enough to be annoying. "Lane here."
"Lois, it's me."
Another delay. "Clark? Is that you? Where are you?"
"I'm with friends," he said. It was the little code Clark and Lois used to say that he was doing JLA business.
"Oh. You'll be home for dinner, right?"
Another delay, longer than usual this time. "What's wrong?" Lois asked. She'd known the man who was now her husband for a number of years. Granted, he'd kept secrets from her for a large part of that time, but she had learned to read his voice.
"Nothing's wrong," Clark said. "Actually, it's good news."
"Doesn't sound like it. Spill it, Smallville."
"Lois, darling...do you remember... that... conversation we had last weekend?"
"Conversation?" she said, "You mean the one about us having kids?"
"What would you say if I brought a baby home tonight?"
Lois laughed. "That's a good one, Clark." She paused again. This time the tone of her voice changed. "You're serious, aren't you?"
Clark paused for a moment. He thought about it again. It was the right thing to do. "Yes. We found a baby girl. She's...well...she's all alone. And I think we, you and I that is, should raise her. Adopt her."
"You're not telling me everything, are you?" Lois said. There was just something about Clark's voice. He was never this hesitant, not even when he played dumb to cover for his Superman activities.
He thought for a moment about the risk of speaking on an open phone line. The signal between the Moon and Earth was triply encrypted, but somewhere deep within Wayne Enterprises, the signal was decrypted and randomly transferred to a normal telephone line. "She's like *me*," he said. "She's an orphan."
"What do you mean she's like you?" Lois asked. A pause. Clark couldn't tell for sure if it was the time delay or his wife pausing, thinking. She was, after all, a bright woman. "Oh, my god! A child from Kyp...from your homew...you mean from where you're from?"
"Yes," Clark said. "Kyle found the...baby basket. His ring confirmed where it came from."
"Clark, I'm...I don't know what to say."
"It's...she's a little girl. It's hard to explain, but we think she's actually my cousin."
Clark would have to wait to tell Lois that Jon Jonzz and Dr. Irons, with Green Lantern's help, had deciphered the data module in the birthing chamber. The data seemed to indicate that Jor-El, Clark's biological Kryptonian father, had send the chamber into space. Just as he had with Clark's own birthing chamber. The data indicated that the genetic material used was from Jor-El's genetic brother, Zor-El. Kryptonian's didn't exactly have families and brothers in the same sense that humans did. In all likelihood, Jor-El had never even met Zor-El.
Although the Green Lantern Corps no longer existed, at one time, they'd policed the greater part of the universe. And Green Lantern power rings were programmed to understand the majority of languages, even those of planets long dead. In the cosmic scheme, Krypton's destruction barely a half century before was very recent and the ring had no trouble understanding the language. Kyle was able to instruct the ring to read the data module and translate the Kryptonian data into English.
The baby's Kryptonian name would have been Kara. Kara Zor-El.
The team had also deciphered telemetric data from the star drive section attached to the birthing chamber. This second rocket had accidentally passed through a time causality warp. The trip to Earth should have taken a little over nine Earth months. It had been nine months for the baby in the chamber, but for the rest of the universe, it had been nearly forty years.
Lois finally found her voice. "This is all so very sudden. But, if she's family, then you have no choice. We have to adopt her."
"I'm glad you think that way," Clark said. He had been hesitant; he didn't know exactly how Lois would react. They'd had conversations about adopting a child; a normal human child. He didn't know how she'd react to adopting a child from the stars.
"I can't wait to see her," Lois said.
"Lois, Honey, you're going to love her. She's a beautiful baby."
Superman and Wonder Woman transported back to Earth with the baby. Superman wanted to return home by himself, but Diana wouldn't hear of it.
"I've held a baby before, you know," he told her.
"I know. But I want to be there. Just in case," Diana said. She still was willing to take the child to Themyscira.
They had changed to civilian clothes while still on the Moon. They arrived at the hidden transporter chamber in Metropolis uneventfully. And quickly and quietly went to Clark's townhouse. They arrived well before Lois did.
"Honey, I'm home," Lois said, rushing into the townhouse.
"We're up here," Clark yelled, from their bedroom.
Lois sprinted up the stairs. "I can't wait to see the ...What's she doing here?" Lois said, her voice and attitude changing when she saw Diana sitting on the edge of the bed. Her marital bed.
"Hello, Lois," Diana said. The Amazon stood and moved aside. There, laying on the bed, was the baby girl. She was wrapped in a pink blanket, sleeping soundly, guarded by the two strongest individuals on the Earth.
Lois walked to the other side of the bed where Clark stood and looked down at the small child. "Oh," she said. Tears began to come to her eyes as she reached down and picked the little girl up. Clark rested his hands on his wife's shoulders and looked down at his new family.
Diana smiled. "You don't need me," she said. She wasn't even sure Clark or Lois heard her. They were so enthralled by the new baby. "I'll see myself out," she said quietly, leaving the room. She stopped at the doorway to the Kent's bedroom. She looked back at the child. "Hera bless you, child. And your new parents as well." And she left.
"Clark, she's so tiny," Lois said. "To have flown across space all by herself, I can't imagine it."
"It happened to me too, you remember? But I have a hard time imagining it also."
"We need to think of a name."
Lois turned to look her husband in the face. "'Yes' is all you're going to say?"
Clark shrugged. "What about your side of the family? Maybe name her after your mom? Or your sister?" Lucy Lane and her boyfriend, Ron Tripp, were soon to be parents themselves.
"She's blonde, just like Mae."
"'Matrix' isn't a good name for a baby," Clark said. "And besides, Mae's going by 'Linda' these days."
"I like Linda," Lois said. "Linda Kent," she said to try the sound of the name. "I like it. But something's missing."
"A middle name?"
"How about Linda Leigh Kent?"
Clark laughed. "Same initials as her mother." Although she still wrote and reported under her maiden name, Lois had offically changed her name to Lois Lane Kent.
Lois' breath caught in her chest. "'Mother,'" she said, almost soundlessly.
Clark smiled at his wife. "Yes. Mother."
"That's going to take some getting used to. Isn't it, *Dad*?"
"'Dad,'" Clark said. "I like the sound of that."
"And speaking of which, we need to call your parents and tell them the news," Lois said. "And get some advice. After all, they raised you."
When Clark wanted to visit the Kent family farm outside Smallville, Kansas, he simply flew there. It was far enough from town, no one ever saw him dropping down out of the sky. And even if they did, he was usually moving too fast for anyone to notice. When he took Lois, they either flew on a commercial flight like everyone else, or he would carry her in his arms.
This time, he carried his wife and she cradled the baby. After spending nearly forty in space, they decided a quick trip to Kansas wouldn't hurt Linda Leigh. Holding them tight, Clark's protective aura shielded Lois and the baby from the cold air.
They had decided to not call Martha and Jonathon, but rather to surprise them in person.
Jonathon Kent was just finishing up his farm work for the day and was walking from the barn to the house when he saw his son drop down out of the sky. It was a sight Jonathon thought he'd never get used to. To him, in his mind's eye, Clark was still a little boy playing in the barnyard.
"Son!" he called out. "Lois!" He walked toward his son and daughter-in- law. "You should have called. I don't know if your mother made enough supper for all of us."
"It was sort of meant as a surprise, Pa."
"Surprise?" Jonathon asked. Then he saw what Lois was carrying. "Good lord! Is that a baby?"
"Yes, Pa," Clark said. "You're a grandfather."
"Oh, dear," the elder Kent said, holding his son's strong arm for support. "But, Lois, you weren't... expecting, were you?"
Lois held the baby so her father-in-law could get a good look and she laughed. "No, Pa Kent, I wasn't pregnant."
Clark said, "Let's go inside. It's a long story." He steered his father toward the house.
Martha Kent was waiting for them inside the house. She's been watching from the kitchen window and already knew the surprise. "I always expected you to bring a baby home someday, Clark," she said.
"Well, you always were bringing home stray dogs as a kid. And you brought Mae here for us to care for. With all the natural disasters around the world and you being Superman and all, I just figured someday, you'd rescue a child that had lost their family."
Clark hugged his mother. He then lead her over to where Lois stood holding the baby. "Ma, Pa, this is Linda Leigh Kent. We're going to adopt her."
Martha took the baby from Lois. "This brings back memories," she said, cradling the baby. Linda Leigh was awake and looking intently at her new grandmother with bright blue eyes. "You're such a pretty baby," Martha cooed.
"Where did you find her son?" Jonathon asked.
"Same place you found me, Pa. She's from Krypton. The Justice League found her birthing chamber out in space. She was apparently sent here at the same time I was, but her rocket went through some sort of time warp."
"Dear God," Martha said. "We always thought you were the only survivor."
"I know, Ma, I know," Clark said. "As near as we can tell, she's actually my cousin. Her name was supposed to be Kara. She's the last daughter of Krypton."
No, a new beginning!