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Fanfiction – “Herald of Darkseid” chapter 16 (of 19)

Superman and his cousin Kara Zor-El arrive at the SHIELD space station. Captain Marvel confronts Kara about her sudden change of heart from herald to savior.

If you want to start at the beginning, CLICK HERE!

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Superman entered the command center first, with his cousin Kara Zor-El close behind him. He still wasn’t used to the stares he would get. He knew they were looks of respect and, in some cases, awe.

The world had that much respect for the positive moral compass he’d set in his few appearances these past three as Superman.

Still, he saw himself as a simple farmer-come-journalist who liked watching TV after work, visiting his parents in Kansas or enjoying a quiet day in the park just like any regular Joe.

Well, any regular Joe who hadn’t come from a doomed planet and gained superpowers.

The SHIELD agents occupying the command center had a different look for Kara. Though she played things as demure as she could, the agents wouldn’t have forgotten that she’d murdered friends of these very agents in her initial encounter with their shuttle.

True, the conflict was part of a larger misconception. But had SHIELD missed the break that Superman was planetside and could bond with Kara, stopping her onslaught, would she have stopped?

Would she have spared the Earth from Darkseid’s conquest?

Superman would rather not dwell on that subject.

Kara was here with him now, willing to atone for her sins by helping SHIELD defend against Darkseid’s Parademon robots. She did this at great personal cost, for herself and by extension Superman.

Darkseid still held the Kryptonian citizens of the miniaturized city of Kandor as hostages.

Should Darkseid learn of Kara’s duplicity against him, those lives could be forfeit.

A woman with a dark-hued pixie haircut approached the Kryptonians. A green-haired woman in sunglasses walked a few steps behind her.

“Welcome to SHIELD Station Scott, Superman,” the pixie-haired woman said. She extended a hand to Superman, which he graciously shook. “I’m Deputy Director Maria Hill.”

Referring to the woman behind her, Hill added, “This is Station Commander Abigail Brand.”

Superman noticed Brand giving him more than a casual once-over. “You’re bigger than I expected,” Brand said. “Is it true that you’re from another planet?”

“Yes,” Superman said.

Brand raised an eyebrow. “So you’re an alien?”

Superman referred to Kara while saying, “We’re from the planet Krypton. Unfortunately, the planet’s red sun went nova, destroying our home world. It’s a miracle the two of us found each other again.”

Kara took a step forward to address both Hill and Brand. “There are more of our people back on Darkseid’s world, Apokolips.”

“Apokolips?” Brand said. “Menacing much?”

Hill glared at her. Brand deferred to her superior. Hill motioned for Kara to continue.

“When I fight these Parademons for you,” Kara said, “Darkseid won’t hesitate to start killing those people to punish me. Your general said he’d see to helping them.”

“And we will, Ms. Zor-El,” Hill said. “But we have to save the Earth first, or there won’t be anyone to help your people.”

“Or,” came a voice from further back in the command center.

The others turned to see Captain Marvel, now dressed in a fresh red, blue and yellow uniform, leaning against a terminal.

“You said Darkseid would get pissed if you fought against him,” Marvel said. “Maybe you should sit this one out.”

Superman looked to Kara. Neither of them had considered this.

Kara shook her head. “Whether I fight against the Parademons or fail to help them, Darkseid will know I’m no longer with him.”

Marvel approached Kara and the others. “Why aren’t you still with him?” she asked. “I mean, okay, so you found a living family member in Superman here. Great! But why the change of heart?

“You could still destroy the Earth for Darkseid,” Marvel continued, “and have a family moment with him.”

Kara looked at Superman. He remained silent but encouraged Kara to think of an explanation. She looked away from the group, gathering her thoughts.

“Finding my cousin Kal-El,” she began, “reminded me of life on Krypton.”

“Kara was nine when Krypton exploded,” Superman said as an explanation.

Kara nodded, then continued. “We as a people could fight when necessary, but we strove for peace over war. Negotiation over violence, whenever possible.

“When Darkseid captured my people, he conscripted us into going against our very natures.”

“Too bad you weren’t all Kryptonian when you killed our agents earlier,” Marvel said.

Kara shivered. Superman could tell Marvel’s words pained his cousin, but it wasn’t his place to step in to defend her.

“I… apologize for my violence against you,” Kara said. “I didn’t realize how far I’d fallen.”

“And what brought on that realization?” Marvel asked.

Now Kara looked to the group. “When I saw Kal-El, I beat him mercilessly.”

Marvel glanced at Superman. He shrugged.

Kara continued.

“Throughout the fight, he resisted fighting back in kind.”

“He’s your family,” Marvel said as if it were obvious.

Kara shook her head. “But during our fight, when we landed on your planet, he tried to stop me not to protect himself, but to protect people around us caught in the crossfire. They were not his family.

“At that moment, I was reminded of my Kryptonian heritage. I began to hate what I’d allowed Darkseid to turn me into.” Kara now addressed Superman directly.

“Seeing how much you care for this world, for maintaining peace here, I feel I must do the same. It’s why your father sent you here. It’s what my father would have wanted.”

To be continued…

While writing this fanfiction, I used Green Ronin’s Mutants and Masterminds, 3rd Edition RPG, to leave some things to chance. Check it out!

Like this fanfiction? Check out Mark’s original “Shadowdance” saga books!

Author’s Note:

The characters Maria Hill, Captain Marvel/ Carol Danvers, SHIELD, Abigail Brand and Nick Fury are Copyright Marvel Comics

The characters Superman/ Clark Kent/ Kal-El, Supergirl/ Kara Zor-El, Darkseid, Maggie Sawyer, Solomon Grundy and Parademons are Copyright DC Comics

None of the characters belong to me as this is fanfiction, done for fun and as a creative exercise

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