Previous parts are archived here
Multiple crossover; DC Movieverse / NCIS / West Wing / probably more to come. See the first chapter for disclaimers etc.
by Marcus L. Rowland
Smallville, Kansas – Friday 1.20 AM
A mile above the town, dressed in black, Clark scanned the building that housed the county court and offices and decided that nobody was there. In a bigger city there might have been a watchman, here there simply wasn’t enough crime to justify it. He floated down quietly, landed on the roof, and used a lock pick and his X-ray vision to open the access panel for the elevator shaft – it was fortunate that one had been installed for disabled visitors. After that it was easy to work his way to the registrar’s office, checking all the way to ensure that no cameras had been installed in the last three days, and find the dusty boxes that held records from 1949, the year he’d selected for the birth of his non-existent aunt Joan, Linda Lee’s mother to be. She was going to be home schooled, run away from home at fifteen, marry young and spend most of her adult life in Chicago. It was unlikely that anyone would ever bother to check back that far, but Jor-El believed in thoroughness. On his previous visit Clark had borrowed a selection of birth certificates from the period; he put them all back, adding an undetectable fake, artificially aged by technology so advanced that even carbon dating wouldn’t reveal the substitution. He made sure that all of the papers were suitably dusty, but not excessively so, put the box back, and cleaned up all traces of his work before moving on.
Over the next hour he repeated the process at the high school, church, library and newspaper archive. If anyone ever bothered to check – and there was no obvious reason why they should – Joan Lee, nee Kent, now had a paper trail.
Quantico, Virginia, 7.55 AM EST
“Okay, Gibbs,” said Gunnery Sergeant Mansfield, “you’ve got the rifle and machine gun ranges for the next two hours, as many Marines as you need, and unrestricted ammunition. Now would you mind telling me what this is about?”
“Just waiting for a couple of guests to arrive.”
A polite mid-western voice said “Us, I think.” Superman and Supergirl floated down to land a few feet from them. Mansfield began to salute, then remembered that they weren’t officers and stopped himself.
“Thank you for arranging this, Agent Gibbs,” said Supergirl. “It can’t have been easy at short notice.”
Tony DiNozzo tried to pinpoint the changes from the girl he’d eaten with the previous afternoon. She wasn’t disguised, but he would have been hard-put to recognise her; her clothing was different, of course, her hair was now loose, and maybe it was the way that she carried herself, the air of confidence and power. Suddenly he had no trouble believing that she was an adult. He wished that Abby was there to witness the transformation.
“This is Gunnery Sergeant Mansfield,” said Gibbs, “he’ll be in charge today. If you’d like to tell him what you want..?”
“It’s very simple,” said Kara. “If I’m going to be any use on Earth, I have to assume that from time to time people will be shooting at me. It didn’t happen much the last time I was here, but this time I’m going to be more… more public. Bullets can’t hurt me, of course, but I need to be sure that I can handle myself under fire, and protect others. My cousin is here to make sure that I get it right, and ensure that there aren’t any accidents.”
“You want us to shoot at you?” said Mansfield.
“Yes please. I thought that we could start with handguns then move on to rifles and automatic weapons.”
“Superman, are you quite sure that this is safe?”
“It’s completely safe for my cousin. But she’s right; we need to be sure that if she’s ever attacked she can contain the situation and prevent harm to others. I made a couple of mistakes just after I returned to Earth, I was lucky nobody else was hurt. If you could start with me, I’ll demonstrate some of the techniques before she tries it for herself…”
“This is an M-16 rifle,” Mansfield said an hour later, “there are several million in use around the world. On full auto the cyclic rate is up to 950 rounds a minute, that’s just under sixteen rounds a second, with up to forty rounds in the magazine or a hundred if a drum magazine is fitted. Range is around five hundred yards. We’ve got ten of them here, five of them with drum magazines. If you’d like to get into position…”
Kara flew down the range and watched as the marines took their places at the firing positions and Mansfield gave the order to fire. Clark was watching from the side as they began to fire, short bursts at first then sustained automatic fire. As instructed, Kara walked towards them, snatched most of the bullets out of the air before they hit her, caught most of the rest as they ricocheted from her body, and vaporised the remainder with heat vision before they could get very far. The bullets she’d caught showered to the ground as twisted scraps of metal.
“Cease fire,” shouted Mansfield, when she was twenty yards from them, “make all weapons safe… Okay, Supergirl, what did you do wrong this time?”
“I’m not sure,” said Kara. “I think I dealt with every bullet that came close to hitting me.”
“And what about the ones that didn’t?” shouted Mansfield. “Take a look behind you.”
Kara looked back, and realised that the targets at the end of the range were in tatters.
“Your objective here is to protect everyone around you. While my marines were keeping you busy, Gibbs and I did a little sniping. Anything to add, Superman?”
“You missed one ricochet,” said Clark, “the one that hit your nose. It went upwards at about seventy degrees, could have hurt someone coming down if I hadn’t intercepted it.”
“I’m sorry,” said Kara, “I think I must have blinked when the previous round hit me in the eye. It was a little startling.”
“We’ll try that again,” shouted Mansfield, “and this time let’s get it RIGHT!”
NCIS Headquarters, 1.20 PM EST
“You should have seen it, Abby,” said Di Nozzo. “They finished off with a 25mm chain gun; she caught every round without missing a beat. Ended up with a ball of bullets about the size of… oh, a beach ball. A big one. Superman said he’d never done better.”
“I think Tony’s in lurrvvv,” said Abby.
“Well, I feel… responsible, I guess. Proud. I helped out a bit when she arrived, after all.”
“And I’m sure she’s very grateful,” said Doctor ‘Ducky’ Mallard. “So, when do I get to meet the lady in question?”
“Damned if I know,” said Tony. “From tomorrow she’ll be busy doing the superhero thing…”
“Superheroine,” Abby interrupted.
“Is that even a word? Okay, the superheroine thing, doubt she’ll have time for mere mortals like us. She’s out of my league, and to be honest she kinda scares me. She gets shot in the eye and apologises for blinking?”
“I once saw Superman eat a pipe bomb,” said Ducky, “then apologise for belching. That’s strange, admittedly, but it’s better than being blown up.”
Gibbs came in with a tray of coffees and a Caff-Pow for Abby. She grabbed it and drank it blissfully. DiNozzo eyed his suspiciously. “What’s the occasion?”
“There needs to be an occasion?” asked Gibbs.
“Not necessarily,” said Tony, sensing a trap.
“Well, there isn’t one. But I thought you’d better know that your orders have come through.”
“Wednesday morning you’re flying back to the Seahawk to resume your duties as Agent Afloat.”
“That is so unfair!” said Abby. “Not now he’s found true love!”
“Crap,” said Tony, “I was really hoping that there might be some way to get myself assigned back here, my talents are wasted on the Seahawk.”
“You have talents? And true love?”
“It was a joke, Gibbs,” said Tony, “Abby was saying I’m in love with Supergirl. Is there really no way I can get myself assigned back here?”
“Well, I agree that you’re wasted on Seahawk,” said Gibbs, “you need someone to stand over you and smack your head occasionally to keep you on track. But Vance doesn’t want to do anyone any favours.”
“Finish off any remaining paperwork, then you can take the rest of the day off; you’re on leave until 08.00 Wednesday, when you check in at Andrews.”
Long Beach, California, 11.15 AM PST
Wearing shorts, Nikes, a running top and sunglasses, her hair in neat pigtails, the girl who called herself Karen Sewell looked around the inexpensive room she was renting, making sure that there was nothing lying around that could give anyone a clue to her identity, and decided to make the most of Supergirl’s last few hours of relative obscurity. It was a beautiful day, and although the boarding house was nearly three miles inland from the beach, that wasn’t really much of a problem to someone who could break the sound barrier without working up a sweat. Jogging would take a little while, of course, but she wanted to mingle and meet people.
Four hours later, lying on the beach and reading the Long Beach Press-Telegram, she decided that maybe people were over-rated. So far she’d had to fend off three frat boys and a drunk, and failed to find much of interest in the paper. She was keyed up, without the release of action, and a little… the word, she eventually decided, was bored.
Her cell rang, with the special tone that told her the call was being routed via one of the Fortresses’ untraceable relays. “Hello?”
“Hi, is that… Kara?”
“Hi, Abby.” It wasn’t really surprising, so far only the Kents and Abby knew the number. She’d decided that it was worth trying to keep in touch with any interesting people she met on her travels, and the Goth’s eclectic interests had struck a chord in her curiosity about Earth’s society.
“I hope you don’t mind me calling… we just heard this afternoon that Tony is going to have to go back to the Seahawk on Wednesday. I want to give him a farewell party but the only time people seem to have free is Monday night. I wondered if you’d be interested in coming. My place, any time after seven.” She gave Kara the address.
“It depends how things go over the weekend,” said Kara. “that’s when everything changes. By Monday I may be in disgrace, or on the run from aliens or something.”
“You’re going to be awesome – trust me on this.”
“I wish I shared your confidence.”
“You’ll be fine – and if you’re not, we can commiserate or mock you, depending on what happens.”
“But do you really want me there? It’s Tony’s party, not mine.”
“It will be – come dressed the way you were on Thursday, nobody will recognize you except Tony and me, and Gibbs if he’s there.”
“Tony seemed to think everyone would recognize me once I went public.”
“Hey, they’ll know what you look like when you’re being Supergirl, but I’ll bet you’ve already thought of a few disguises. If you want to have any sort of life, that is.”
“It might be fun to pretend once in a while,” said Kara, as though the idea had never occurred to her before. “Thanks, I’ll give it some thought.” They chatted for another minute or so. A few minutes later she came to a decision, and called Lois. “Just thought I’d let you and Clark know; it’s already Saturday morning on the other side of the world, I’m going to make an early start.”
Arkham Asylum, Gotham City, 5.00 PM EST
“This next patient’s a real weirdo,” said Charlie Blaine, the ward supervisor. “Paranoid schizophrenia; thinks he’s Lex freaking Luthor.”
“He does look a little like him, I guess,” said the new psychiatric nurse, looking through the small grille in the cell door.
“Believe me, he isn’t. The FBI checked and his fingerprints are all wrong, X-rays show that he’s had reconstructive plastic surgery to look like that, and he isn’t really bald, he shaves his head a couple of times a week. We let him have computer access for a while but it made him too agitated; he kept trying to prove that he was Luthor by getting into Swiss bank accounts, but every time the banks said that the accounts didn’t exist.”
“How does he explain it?”
“He says that Superman kidnapped him and used super-science to change his fingerprints, a super hair-restorer to start his hair growing again, and a super-computer to wipe his bank accounts.”
“So who is he anyway, and what’s he in for?”
“Nobody knows who he really is; the original charges were drunk and disorderly and indecent exposure, he was wandering around the streets stoned and naked, but then he started to claim that he was Luthor and assaulted a couple of cops when they said the fingerprints didn’t match. He gets violent any time Superman is mentioned. We have to keep him in solitary, if we let him go near the other prisoners with that attitude they’d eat him alive. God help him if the real Luthor ever hears about it…”
Inside the cell, the prisoner listened to his radio and a breaking news story from New Zealand. Presently he began to scream…
To Be Continued
Comments please before I post to archives.
later Edited to fix a problem with the dates in the first part.