"He was training her to hate my mother, to shoot her," gasps Miss Lane suddenly.
"This explains Omen's attack on you," interjects Perry.
She could feel tears welling in her eyes because it almost seems as Hamilton is responsible for her mother's death by turning another young girl into a killer. Maybe Karen was another that her mother tried to save, but like the others who never got away, Karen became a victim of Hamilton's plots.
"Omen only channeled what Karen was taught to do by Hamilton and due to your strong resemblance to your mother – Omen saw her instead of you and acted on that hatred."
Miss Lane turns to take this discovery to her father only Perry grabs her gently by the arm.
"My father must be told..."
"Unless he already knows... this is Cadmus."
"This is my mother's death."
"All I ask is caution, not just of myself, but you and Olsen too."
He holds her now by both arms.
"All our findings lead back to one place – that hellhole in the deepest depths of this place."
She realizes he is concerned for her safety even though he cares about her emotional well being too. It is a difficult thing to decide despite her instinctual reactions after seeing what she just saw.
"Only your heart can decide how much trust to put in your father."
Perry walks out leaving her alone with Olsen.
"I'm sorry you saw this."
He hands her the disc while she is still buzzing from what Perry just said to her.
"I do respect you despite how I act around or towards you."
Olsen seem at a loss to put together a response so he merely nods ever so slightly.
Laura Lang arrives at one of the sanctuaries used by the local Resistance. They however pose as clerics and families tied to maintaining archives for the farming colonies throughout the Midwestern territories. As she walks along a woman slightly taller than her and wearing a cleric's hooded robe grabs and drags her back to her. She instantly recognizes the woman and Clark hears her screams just after he arrives at the sanctuary as well.
Karen drives Laura's car straight at Clark and he only narrowly dives out of the way in time. If not for his atypical physiology, his skull would have cracked against pavement, and once back on his feet he starts to go after them only to realize they were already long gone plus he couldn't risk exposing his powers while still posing a Federal Security Agent. He walks towards a parked convertible and sees a blue notebook lying in it as Karen left it to be found like the other one.
A similar series of drawings can be found on the first few pages and then like before the same phrase is back again to haunt him anew like it did in his cell.
I DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES. I DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES. I DECIDES WHO LIVES OR DIES. I DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES. I DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES. I DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES. I DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES. I DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES.
Once again the Lanes meet in the Director's Office atop the visible levels of Cadmus.
"This is a preliminary report on a Prometheus subject called Karen aka Overwoman."
Director Lane scans it and comments on the vague details about her sources.
"Where did these experiments transpire?"
"I don't know presently."
"What was she taught?"
"To hate... to kill."
"Unclear as of yet."
She learned obfuscation from her father so concealing things from him is a matter of presentation.
"How did you learn all this?"
"I have my sources."
"Another goose chase courtesy of Clark."
"Clark had nothing to do with this."
He seems to be buying it.
"Did you know about this Daddy?"
"Would I let this go on if I did?"
She felt his anger from her subtle accusations and similarly felt badly for accusing like she had done frequently in the past several months because of the things she learned by way of Clark's 'signs'.
"There was a time where nothing went on without me knowing. Perhaps I'm getting too old for this."
"Forgive me, Daddy. Let me handle this."
She leans across his desk to give him full view of her seriousness at nailing Hamilton for his shady operations behind her father's back and get Karen in the process. If only to determine that Hamilton had her kill Ella Lane all those years ago.
"Where are you?"
"Three doors down."
"Next to me. I'm four doors."
Clark and Karen were using a crude method of transmitting morse code to each other, but then overhead both hear clattering in the ventilation shafts that run the length of this entire floor.
"Did you hear that?"
"Yes. Maybe they know."
Karen reads as if she is panicking at being found out for maintaining contact with Clark.
"Do you think they know we're talking?"
Clark can see eyes looking down at him from the shaft grate.
"What is the House?"
"This is about Karen."
"Karen is loose. Was she sent to kill my parents?"
"My God, Clark! I don't know. I swear it."
Clark can hear the defensive honesty in Perry's voice and again he felt bad accusing his paternal mentor of deception because it seem as much as Cadmus lied to him or about him. They had similarly lied to others who work for them including Perry.
"I'll find answers."
"Quickly, Perry. Please."
It took doing, but Clark misdirects Faraday to head further east to locate 'Jane Doe' when he knows otherwise. So to be further convincing he acts slightly offended when Faraday sticks him on desk duty. Clark then put in another call to Perry to finally learn the location of the House and it is quite far south of the misdirection he sent Faraday towards with that ploy.
"The House is located near New Jersey's eastern coast line. You can count on Hamilton already heading that way and I have no way to withhold this information from Miss Lane given what we saw on from that decrypted data file from Hamilton's old supercomputer."
"Thank you Perry. I'm always running from something yet for now the something becomes someone for a time. I'm never alone anymore at least outwardly, but inwardly that's a different story for another time."
"You must also realize Karen is no longer the person you knew then."
"Neither am I."
The conversation as another journey begins with many lives converging on a single place at the same time, but the result of these collisions cannot be foreseen.
It is not long before he reaches the intended destination and finds Laura's car just outside the House. The weapon he carries is just for show because there are other ways to disarm an opponent instead of just shooting them. Aside from that he had no idea what abilities Karen might possess at her current age too. As he enters, he hears Laura's voice from upstairs. So Clark dashes up the spiral stairwell to the second floor then scans through the walls to pinpoint her location on the upper floor.
Karen is still with her for the moment.
"Tell me where they are!" demands Karen.
"I will not betray their trust!" rebukes Laura.
"I heard once that anticipation of pain is worse than the pain itself," continues Karen.
Clark makes a false noise to confuse Karen or it appears to confuse her. When she steps out onto the balcony. Clark moves in to release Laura from her bindings only to find Karen back inside pointing a lead lined gun at him, which could only mean she was given one of the pistols that carries the liquid bullets that they tested on him several years ago. Bullets that proved lethal to him even under yellow sunlight. He did recover, but it was the first time he felt pain when his skin should have bounced the bullets away from him.
"You're late!" announces Karen defiantly.
Clark also hears the wheeling noise of Hamilton's portable oxygen tank. It meant Cadmus beat him to Laura and Karen.
"Ah, reunions, I love them," chuckles Hamilton.
"Mr. Hamilton," grumbles Clark.
"I knew isolation worked better, which is why I should have never agreed to allow you two to meet."
The 'cleaners' accompanying Hamilton aim their weapons at Clark and Karen.
"Time to go," insists Hamilton.
"I'm not going anywhere with you," retorts Clark sharply.
"Neither am I," adds Karen flatly.
Next Karen shoots the car battery she was using to entice Laura to talk without harming her. It makes a distraction for Clark to slip downstairs with Laura and enable Karen to vault off the balcony. Both Clark and Karen cross paths again only seconds later aiming their weapons at each other.
"Karen, you know me, its Clark."
"They said Clark was dead so now who lives or dies is me."
"Not this time."
Behind them, Miss Lane arrives with Perry and two other 'cleaners'.
Laura blocks Clark's attempt to shoot at Karen then drags him away from the scene just as Karen also attempts to flee except she doesn't get very far as one of the cleaners slaps a specialized collar onto her neck thus de-powering her temporarily. Hamilton is watching in the distance and so now his secret is now hers to show to her father as proof of Hamilton's duplicity.
"We got Karen, but Clark is gone again."
"We'll get him soon enough anyway."
Clark and Laura flee in Laura's car with Clark at the wheel still processing what just happen back there.
"Why did you do that?" demands Clark scathingly.
"Because Karen... she's your sister," confesses Laura quickly.
He stops the car and then she offers to drive since he seems to have a lot on his mind now. She drives for hours and hours until they finally reach her place outside of Metropolis, which bears a passing resemblance to the one back near what was Smallville.
It is only then that she finally starts to talk more about the relationship between him and Karen.
"I don't remember my parents or a sister," claims Clark.
"You were taken when you were very young so you repressed and forgot about much of your early years."
"So how did you meet my parents?"
"We were neighbors back in Smallville. Your mother always an inspiration to many of us though we would rarely say it especially considering how long she and your father tried to have children."
"So Karen and I are not their biological children?"
"You and her were raised as if you were because your were for all intents purpose orphans. They found you first and she came into their lives after stumbling into the yard."
"How did they find me?"
"Martha, your mother, always said you found them, sort of a way romanticize finding a rocket ship with a baby in it. Of course Karen was no baby when they found her, but rather she was a little girl and nearly the same as my Lana by then."
"My daughter, she if you can believe still has a crush on you to this day and she's been tracking your movements in her own way. Always telling me about this mysterious man appearing all over the country helping people, nailing crooks, and what's more is that he refuses to take any recognition for it."
"Its my way to make up for all the harm that's been caused by the things I did for Cadmus."
"Atonement is a long road especially for someone who did so much for two people when he was so tiny yet so giving in their eyes. They love you still even though they haven't seen you in years."
Clark felt a kind of relief at Laura's words.
"I am not directly tied to the Resistance anymore, not since Lewis died, but Lana has been shadowing your parents for many years in my place. When Martha told me of the things she saw you do, it had become clear to many of us we were dealing with something or someone who was not an ordinary boy who is now a man. You belong to what he call metahuman or superhuman race."
Clark couldn't exactly believe this part of the story, but these developing powers of his seem to exceed what he thought was merely an enhanced immunity, a remarkable healing factor, and more. However other abilities such as flight, speed, and even this power to melt things seem scary to him now.
"Then when Karen started showing similar abilities, Cadmus made a reappearance to abduct her leaving your parents to cope with another loss of a child. The cradle you saw in the barn that was yours a long time ago and she kept it along with other things that were yours."
He begins to realize his parents truly felt as he did find them and give them something more than just a child.
"So did my parent join the Resistance?"
"No, they kept apart, but there was another woman who briefly served as a double agent for us. Her name was Ella Winters. During one of my meetings with her I lost my footing and fell into freezing water. She dove in after me, breathed life back into me, and never could I duplicate her spirit."
Clark listens to every word despite knowing the ultimate fate of Ella Winters, the eventual Ella Lane, who has been dead for almost two decades from his present perspective.
"She didn't become a full operative because she fell in love and wanted to start her own family after getting married of course. The husband's name was..."
"Did you know her?"
"I know her daughter."
Now that Laura thought back to what happen before they fled the House, she realizes why the face of that dark haired woman felt so familiar because parent-offspring resemblance is extremely rare.
"What did Ella Lane have to do with my parents?"
"My Resistance counterpart in Metropolis at the time relayed a message to me from Ella. I hadn't heard from her since her marriage to Mr. Lane. I agreed to meet with her, but we didn't meet alone."
"So that's how you met them?"
"Yes, a man and a woman... who had their son and daughter taken from them."
"You brought them here?"
"It was safe at least back then. They were inclined to find their children, but they were also hiding from those who took you and Karen."
"Did they ever talk about us?"
"They never said, I never asked, it seem strange they sought to bear this burden alone, but it seems you have some of that yourself because of what Lana told me about your vanishing acts after you help people."
"Your father's health was shaky because he had survived a few mild heart attacks since your abduction, but the first was triggered by a weapon they used to stun him."
Clark felt shock that they had done that to such a man yet it didn't surprise him that Cadmus could break, destroy, or even kill people like his parents.
"After many years, I started hearing from Karen, who to say the least was desperate for answers not unlike you, but with her, there was more of a hunger to it as she still seems far more cut-off from her humanity than you."
"That's Hamilton's fault... the man you saw with the oxygen tubes up his nose back at the House. I can scarcely imagine what he'll do to her if he ever gets her back in his machines at Cadmus."
"Then you are going to have to save her from them because..."
"I know why I must go after her, because she's family and we both already lost enough because of Cadmus."
Laura felt within her heart that wherever they were the Kents would be truly proud of the man that their son had become despite having been a pawn of Cadmus for much of his life though she didn't feel as sure about Karen even if Clark could take her away from that.
Karen awakens to find herself bound to an elevated metal surface.
"What was your first room inside Cadmus?" asks Hamilton.
"Three doors down from the corridor, but after..." responds Karen.
"What was the Gotham Protocol?" demands Hamilton.
"It fell through. Intended targets escaped termination..." counters Karen.
Hamilton squeezes a button on his hand held controller, which zaps Karen directly at the pain receptors in her skull. The presence of the red solar lamps diminishes her physiology's resilience to torture methods. It is something Hamilton perfected over the years so that he tap into whatever he sought when dealing with Karen, but something in Karen found a way to fight back at the House when refusing to comply with his orders.
"Others lost the nerve, but not me. I decide who lives or dies. I decide who..."
Another surge subdues her.
"You said she would have forgotten almost entirely by now."
"The repression is not selective. She's forgotten enough, but still knows enough to be useful."
Miss Lane storms in with Perry only to find Hamilton there with her father. It is now that she knows her father lied about Karen and if he could lie about this then what other skeletons did her father have in his closet.
"You gave up a chance to capture Clark despite having already caught Karen."
"You said you knew nothing about Karen so why are you here with him?"
"I brought Hamilton in on this because he has experience with her."
Lane ushers her and Perry out of the room.
"Now you two back on Clark because obviously he was following her for some reason."
"So you think he'll come for her... is that what you think Director?"
"Its a possiblity, but will he is the real question."
"The newest security measures are more than a match for Clark."
Director Lane rejoins Mr. Hamilton in the dimly lit chamber where the latter is still working on Karen.
"First time I ever heard you doubt Clark."
"Hope he bought it as much as you."
Miss Lane did not know whether to feel impressed or surprised at Perry's momentary cleverness.
Perry and Olsen arrive at a dead zone after receiving a cryptic summon by Miss Lane.
"I want you two to help me break Karen out."
Both men look at her as if she were out of her mind to do such a thing.
"She's being held in a sublevel I don't have to access to and further there's high level security tracking her constantly from the Master Tech Room. So it wouldn't do us any good to try this."
Olsen looks like he has something in mind.
"What are you thinking?"
"Not impossible, just tricky, I mean I got into the hidden sublevel twice in the last few months. So here's what to do predetermined camera looping and tricking the sensors for a similar amount of time. All in all should be long enough to break Karen out of there."
Olsen arrives at the Master Tech Room and makes a beeline for the necessary console. He inputs the appropriate commands and then spills cold coffee on himself only making it sounds like it was hot coffee. Perry comes in distracting the door man by asking for directions to a seemingly unfamiliar and random part of Cadmus' underground sublevels. Miss Lane slips through the door exactly when Olsen initiates the loops in the camera and prays she can do this in time without anyone knowing she help bust Karen out of Cadmus' deepest security areas.
Her eyes and Karen's lock instantly.
"You look just like her."
"That's what they tell me."
Miss Lane sits down on the cots next to shackled Karen.
"You're the one who decides who lives or dies, right?"
"You know my work."
Karen is grinning with an almost sadistic smile for someone who appears to have no kills
"Did you kill my mother?"
Karen looks away as if she remembers something and it seems to drain the transient pride out of her face.
"Did you kill her?"
"Then who did?"
Karen's silence resumes again.
"Was it Mr. Hamilton?"
Karen looks right at her as if neither confirming or denying that accusation. In the distance both can hear eerie familiar squeak of the wheels on Hamilton's oxygen tank. In haste, Miss Lane slides under the cot and Karen resumes a prone position with the cover blocking the view of the underside of the cot. Karen said nothing as she is led away from the cell by one of the 'cleaners' and once clear she makes her way out hoping the loop in the cameras hides her escape from the detention area.
"I must go alone to make contact with someone who can arrange a meeting between you and your parents, but only I alone can make this journey, you can't shadow me Clark."
"Too dangerous for you to by yourself."
"Ella never thought of that when she dove in after me that night."
"It seems she imparted that selflessness onto to me as well because I won't be here. I'm going back to Cadmus for my sister, a piece of my past is her and I can't abandon her to that place."
Perry arrives at his office to find a familiar word spelled out with pieces of candy. Something only he would do both out there in the world and years ago when he was still a somewhat willing 'student'. Perry resumes walking to find the room behind his office pitch black, but an all too familiar outline emerges from the dark.
Perry walks over to Clark.
"How did you get in?"
"Same way I got out."
This time he felt justified to demand answers from Perry after everything he heard from Laura.
"Why didn't you tell me about my family? About my sister?"
Perry's tone suggests disbelief and surprise, but this doesn't totally phase Clark.
"Karen, if that is her real name."
The silence is brief and the air quite tense.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"I didn't know."
Perry's body shows no signs of deception for Perry is not a practiced liar and usually his honesty is only overtaken by his being kept in the dark by Cadmus.
"All I know about Karen is... what David told me."
David as Clark found out is Perry's brother, most think David is dead, which is almost true with David being comatose for nearly thirty years since the car accident that left Perry injured, but David remains unconscious almost to this day. However an experimental drug briefly 'reignited' the pathways in David's brain, but even then he was barely understandable. It is from David that they all got their first snippet about the hidden sublevel, but before long he lapsed back into unconsciousness then an order was made to put David out of his misery.. The order had come from Hamilton and Miss Lane technically carried out, but in reality it was Perry who stood in for David because David is Perry's twin brother.
Both Clark and Perry sense someone is approaching so Clark goes back into the dark leaving Perry to face Hamilton alone.
"Am I interrupting something?"
"Just going over notes."
"Conscientious as always."
Hamilton always had a tendency to mock Perry at times or denounce his methodology.
"You will inform me if Clark makes contact," commands Hamilton.
"What if he contacts you first?" quips Perry.
Clark experiences an onslaught old memories of this cell room yet does not find the medal left behind the sink basin yet again it appears dangling from the ventilation grate so he gently pulls it down. Next the grate pops open and out comes someone else from the past.
Clark goes over to hug Omen and then stepping back he spots a box of Oreos lying on the floor..
"You're Rao... aren't you?"
Omen smiles at him with a kind knowing grin.
"You've been in contact with me and Karen... haven't you?"
"Prepare for surgery. The only way to peace is this procedure on her frontal lobe."
"The Circle hasn't given clearance yet."
"I have made the diagnosis... so unless you intend to dispute begin immediately."
"Prepping anesthesia now."
Hamilton and the 'doctor' leave Karen bound to the elevated operating table.
Someone kicks in the nearby ventilation grate and out comes someone who looks vaguely familiar.
The man pulls the gag restraint off her mouth.
"Who the hell are you?"
Clark does a rapid tap Morse code sequence on Karen's hands. Karen remembers this.
"Hamilton said that Clark was dead."
As Clark removes the other restraints Karen doesn't believe what she is seeing before her.
"Why help me?"
"Because... I'm your brother."
"I have no family."
"Yes. You do."
Clark shows her the medal that apparently belong to the man who is their father out there.
Karen attacks the 'doctor' after he reappears except Clark pulls her off and they are about to go up into the vents again except Omen having been in contact with Karen now hits the alarm button.
Together the siblings flee into the body size vents while Cadmus Security scrambles to track them down under the direction of Miss Lane only to find Omen where they thought they would find Clark and Karen.
"Hamilton was going to do invasive surgery to ensure that Karen would never reveal what she knows about him. He has his own way for far too long Daddy."
"He'll be dealt with, but for now you get those two back here."
Director Lane walks off leaving her alone in another of Hamilton's horror rooms.
Karen somehow slept most of the drive back to Laura's safe house outside Metropolis. She awakes like someone coming out of night terrors yet Clark is there to ease her back into the reality that she is with her brother once more.
"I am not that Karen anymore. I have her memories, but I'm not her," asserts Karen.
"I remember that Karen and that Clark yet like you I'm not that Clark anymore."
"No, you're still more him than I am her."
He believes Karen can be saved even when she doubts she'll ever undo what's been done to her. Together they go upstairs to the living space above the rafters in the barn.
"I can feel them here, but no faces."
"Either we forgot or Cadmus made us forget."
Down below, Laura is returning from her meeting with her anonymous contact who appears to have given her the go-ahead to direct Clark to a meeting with someone close to his past.
However someone else is coming up the road so the trio in haste flee in the van except along the way someone shoots out one of the backtires sending the van careening off the road. Clark manages to shield Laura from the brunt of the crash yet it appears that Karen's healing factor not fully restored has left her vulnerable to breaking her leg. She is also bleeding from her lip.
"I'm not leaving without you Karen."
"Go Clark... find our parents... they mustn't known what I am now."
"Come on, Clark, we have to getting moving. I'm sorry."
Laura almost must drag Clark away after both witness the van exploding in the distance.
Faraday and the other Federal Security agents close in on the flaming wreck to confirm 'Jane Doe's' death.
Laura gives him directions to the meeting place with his parents then tells him they must part ways.
Clark is only steps away from the cafe in Boston when a taxi passes him with a woman riding in it that looks almost exactly like the photograph he has of his mother. The taxi comes to a stop and the woman climbs out looking about for someone. Clark nearly paralyzed by excitement finally manages to shout the word mom. It gets her attention to his direction, she puts her hands over her mouth as she cries happily as he walks towards her and the other passenger in the taxi is a younger woman who slightly resembles Laura so that must make her Laura's daughter Lana.
However nearly half a block further, Clark catches sight of Perry who head nods towards a black car in an alleyway across the street. Four people get out of the vehicle, all carrying weapons, and thinking again of others Clark yells for her to get back in the taxi. It takes such courage for her to leave after coming this far and waiting this long to be reunited with her little boy, her Clark. Lana looks torn by sadness as well yet she recognizes the danger as he does. The taxi speeds away once Martha is back inside of it.
There is a faint look of recognition on Martha's face when she sees who is among those coming for her son this time around as one of them is again the woman known to her all those years ago as Waller. As the taxi turns the corner, Waller and the others race to return to their car to pursue the wayward Martha and her protector Lana. However before they can effectively follow Perry puts himself in the path of the pursuing vehicle only for Miss Lane to pull him aside.
Miss Lane's shouting isn't necessary to warn him that Lawton has a weapon aimed at the back of his head and in one swift motion he twists Lawton's wrist while taking his gun from him. Next he bolts into the alleyway to find Hamilton waiting for him at the other end.
"You stole me from my parents. You had Federal Security murder my sister. And now you're trying to kill my family. What have I ever done to you?" yells Clark angrily.
Those dark pits for eyes reveal little except that Hamilton does as he pleases and all those in his way either serve or die. It makes little difference to him in the long run or so it appears in the moment.
"You exist," replies Hamilton acidly.
They stare at each other while Clark presses Lawton's pistol to Hamilton's chest yet Clark's hand is trembling while he aims at where Hamilton's shriveled heart would be if it exists at all aside from being a part of his tobacco ruined body.
Clark pulls back and tosses the gun aside.
"You won't do to me, what you did to her," retorts Clark.
Clark starts walking away knowing that someone would still try to shoot him, but someone fires at Hamilton first igniting his oxygen tank. It sets the old man's back on fire and he loses his balance falling to the ground. Lawton rushes over to put the fire out while Miss Lane, Perryn and Olsen watch from a short distance.
"Thought he gave up smoking," comments Miss Lane dryly.
"He got away for that you have my deepest regrets for Mr. Luthor. However we got closer than we ever got before to Clark and aside from Hamilton's accident we still kept Clark from learning too much."
Miss Lane enters just as the phone conversation ends.
"Our work continues even with Hamilton out of action, possibly permanently as skin grafting might not save him."
"How did he know where to find Clark yesterday?"
"Hard for someone like Hamilton to be taken out sitting behind a desk."
"You also said we would talk about what happen that day."
She grabs her father's arm.
"Did Hamilton kill Mother?"
"Darling. No easy explanations."
"Yes or no?"
"One day you'll understand why I..."
She tires of her father's diverting her in what should be a honest conversation between daughter and father.
"Did he kill her?"
"There are still great repercussions from your mother's death. When I can tell you more, I will."
Two 'cleaners' she had never seen before come for her father and lead him out of the office.
It took a lot out of her to confront him like this. Her mascara is almost running down her face, her eyes feel so wet, and she collapses into one of the chairs in his office. She sits there sobbing for a time.
Perry picks up his phone only to hear silence on the line for a time.
"Nothing will stop me from finding them again."
"I'd expect nothing less from you. You were closer to them than I ever was – believe me."
"If you want faith – where is my sister's body?"
"There was no body – the wreck burned for hours."
"Nothing as usual."
"Cadmus will pursue harder than ever."
"Expect nothing less from you either."
"Where will you go now?"
"Ideas aplenty... catch me... if you can."
Clark hangs up and reflecting on his sunglasses is a rocket ship heading for space.
"For someone not from this world, I think I should like to see it from space if only to see what someone else must when looking down from on high."
A/N 1: Also inspired by The Dragon House episode. Both Clark and Karen can remember their Earth parents because they were looked after by the same people until Cadmus took them away.
A/N 2: Rao is an obvious reference to Superman lore. As for Omen that's an anagram for Nemo which means no one. I'm not settled on who Omen is a time line counterpart for at present.
A/N 3: As for Karen, she is based on Power Girl, not Supergirl and given the way that Power Girl arrived on Earth in the comics, it fit better with this story's continuity. The only change made to her history is that she is a sibling of Kal-El instead being something that almost makes her a cousin.
A/N 4: For those expecting the gun shot-exploding oxygen tank moment - it happen.