by Starsky Hutch 76 and Immortalwildcat
The woman who held the title of Supergirl was feeling both fatigued and depressed. This invasion was too much of a painful reminder of the destruction of her home in her own time, some 50,000 years from this era. During the time-spanning Crisis on Infinite Earths, everything the future Supergirl had known and loved, including her best friend Lydia-T, had fallen into the oceans of molten lava that made up the surface of the Earth in her time. It had been in honor of her fallen friend that she changed her name from Louise-L to Lydia-7 before giving up her future era for the only other era in the past in which she had friends and allies.
There was an old saying that the people of the twentieth century liked to quote. It seemed very appropriate now: “Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it!”
Prior to the invasion, she had begun to feel depressed because her life was in a rut. She didn’t even feel she was living her life. She was living the late Kara Zor-El’s life for her. She held Kara’s job, had Kara’s friends, lived in Kara’s old apartment, and even took care of Kara’s cat. Some would say that she even wore Kara’s title, but Lydia would be willing to fight for that one, since she’d been Supergirl for most of her life in her own time and felt she had just as much right to the name.
She had wished for something to break her out of this rut, and now she was being run ragged. What irony.
As she flew toward her apartment building, she learned it went even farther than she imagined. She could hear the distant wailing of sirens and smelled smoke. She increased her speed and was there in seconds. Her apartment building was engulfed in flames.
She quickly scanned the building with her x-ray vision and saw that the Fire Department had already rescued any inhabitants unfortunate enough to have been in the building. With a quick burst of super-breath, the flames were put out, leaving behind a charred ruin.
Since there was nothing left for Supergirl to do, Lydia ducked into an alley across the street and changed into her adopted identity of soap opera actress Lydia Lee.
As she walked across the street, she stared at the building in dismay. One of her neighbors named Frank walked up to her holding her cat. “Lucky they got this little fellow out in time.”
“Thanks,” she said. “What happened?”
“One of those spacemen tore by here just shooting randomly. Trying to stir things up to keep the heroes busy, I guess. They got the 7-Eleven and the Pizza Hut down the street, too.”
“It doesn’t make any sense,” she said.
“Hey, nothing does these days,” Frank said. “You’ve got renter’s insurance, don’t you?”
“Yes,” she said. “You?”
“Yes,” Frank said. “Bob insisted on it, thank God. Maybe this is a good thing. We were thinking we needed a bigger place, anyway. And now we can get new stuff to fill it with. I’m just glad we were able to get a few personal things out, like our scrap books. Oh, I’m sorry. I’m so thoughtless.”
“Don’t worry about it,” she said. “I didn’t have anything in there I was really attached to, other than Streaky.”
“So what’ll you do now, hon?” Frank asked.
“I don’t know,” Lydia said. “I guess I’ll have to think of something.”
With that, Lydia walked across the street to a phone booth. She shook her head at the irony of the whole thing. Even the so-called heroes could have their lives turned upside down by this invasion. No one was immune. Maybe this was a sign. She was going to take it as one, in any case.
She dialed her agent’s number and waited for the dial tone. “Hello, Maury?” she said. “About that musical you were telling me about. Turns out I’d like to try out for it, after all.”
Suddenly, Lydia found herself feeling optimistic in spite of the grim sight across the street from her. She inserted another quarter and dialed her insurance agent. She wanted to get the wheels in motion before joining the others for the mission into space. It didn’t hurt to have her bases covered when they succeeded.
“Are you sure this will work?” As one pair of pale hands flitted nimbly over a control panel, a pair of dubious eyes looked on.
“Qatar, old buddy, when have I ever steered you wrong?” The Joker looked up at his benefactor. “Well, aside from that little incident with the concubine and the exploding cigar, that is.”
“That was not a concubine, that was my daughter. And the doctors tell me that they’ll not be able to completely heal her jaw or tongue.”
“Ah, yes, well, don’t you remember how our toxin grenades affected those aliens who landed here? Those pointy-eared freaks were much more affected by it than our own people!”
“Yes, our own people merely laughed themselves to death. The aliens’ flesh dissolved right off of their bones. My men are still trying to remove the smell from the ship.” Qatar Hussein wrinkled his nose at the memory of his last visit to the captured alien fighter.
“Well, these new missiles should do the trick for us. Armor-piercing heads, thanks to your friends in the Soviet Union. High-velocity gas-dispersion unit, thanks to the Chinese. And high-test Joker venom, courtesy of moi!” The Joker took a bow, straightening when he realized that Hussein wasn’t smiling. “Whassamatta, boss? You no lika da bomb?”
“I like it. I would much rather be preparing it for use against the Jews or the United States.”
“All in good time, my friend, all in good time.” The Joker came over to put an arm across Hussein’s shoulders. “You may or may not have noticed, but the world is a little preoccupied right now. If we were to, say, drop this baby in the middle of Times Square tomorrow, the news reports would blame it all on space aliens. Now, you don’t want that, do you, buddy?”
“No, you are right. How soon can we start attacking the alien landing force based in Saudi Arabia?”
“That’s more like it! Hey, if you want, we can start firing on them tonight!” The Joker looked around the room. Over a hundred of the specially modified missiles were ready to be transported to the four launching bases in the desert twenty miles out from the city. The infinitesimal part of his mind that still maintained some semblance of sanity prayed that the missiles would be trucked away before an alien strike happened to hit here.