Yllura cried and cried alone in her home. “Oh, Ar! How can I live without you?” she wept, unable to know how life could go on like this without her soul mate. She could not fathom being so alone for years to come. She saw a vid-news report hailing her as Rokyn’s latest heroine, Ultra Girl, yet she took no pleasure in this fact.
“Ultra Girl — leggy beauty in Supergirl’s castoffs,” she sneered disdainfully as she heard one announcer refer to her in those terms.
Then the screen altered to a breaking story. Yllura saw it all, first on the screen, then with her enhanced vision. “Great Rao!” she cried, and slipped on her costume.
The screen showed the town square of New Kandor where a scaffold had been erected during the night. Displayed upon the metal frame was Supergirl, or at least an exact copy, down to her famous costume of hot pants and blue blouse with a small S in one corner. She was stunned and helplessly bound for all to see.
Yllura flew off to investigate, as did the Green Lantern and a worried Valor.
Valor thought, That’s not the real Kara! That’s not me! Hair is wrong for Lydia, and the costume isn’t even current with what poor Kara last wore as Supergirl. It is a message for me, I assume. She arrived ahead of the slower Green Lantern and Ultra Girl.
She sensed energy levels around the frame that held this Supergirl. Concentrating, the blonde read the energy patterns and gasped. Intense anti-kryptonite rays came from the frame. That would kill any other Rokyn resident except for me. The energy change my body underwent makes me immune to kryptonite of any kind, she mused.
Valor listened, and the inaudible hum of a frequency reached her ears. “I can hear and see energy like others listen to radio broadcasts or watch videos.” Tracing the signal to a lab outside of town, she made a hasty decision. She saw the Supergirl was still alive and in no immediate danger since the Green Lantern had reached the scene along with Ultra Girl.
“Lantern, free her!” she ordered, and streaked to the lab. She dropped down inside, to see Shyla Kor-Onn surrounded by thugs. “Not who you expected to see?” she bantered, and fired a powerful blast of energy into the control devices along the walls. The robots fell inert. “I just cut your power source, honey,” she said as she faced Shyla.
“You’re the traitor to the House of Lar!” said the shapely Shyla. “My best friend, Zora-Vi-Lar, told me of your actions.”
“I recall you, too, both growing up as Zora’s plaything, and from Kara’s battle with you on Earth. (*) I thought you’d reformed,” said Lesla.
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Shadows of Phantoms,” Superman Family #183 (May-June, 1977).]
Shyla smiled seductively. “Not while power is within reach.”
“Your reach exceeds your grasp,” said Lesla as her purple miniskirt flew back in the breeze of her takeoff. She shoved Shyla down and stood over her.
“That’s Lilla, isn’t it?” she asked. “All dressed up like Kara out there. You nearly killed the poor girl simply to lure me toward that trap, or was it aimed at someone else — someone vulnerable to anti-K?”
Shyla laughed and said, “Very clever, Lesla! No wonder the Lar elders petted you while leading you on your leash all those years. You know I’m after Yllura, don’t you!”
Lesla had guessed as much. “Lilla Ly-Vol was a member of the Supergirl wing of the Superman Emergency Squad during the days of the bottled city. She also served as the Supergirl look-alike in the Kandor Look-Alike Squad alongside others who resembled Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Lana Lang, and more. You dressed her up as Kara to draw us out. That was pointless and sick.”
Shyla smiled. “No, because while you debate with me, your friends are dying.”
Valor flew back and saw the Green Lantern Todra Than-Ol carrying poor Lilla to medical help. The ex-healer knew Lilla would recover, and her green energy bubble shielded her from the radiation.
Yllura wondered if she should just lay down and die, and be with Arvor once more — be at peace. This feeling was stimulated by the pain and weakness she felt due to the anti-kryptonite radiation bathing her. The little outfit she wore gave her power, but the body within the suit was as endangered by the lethal substance as any other Rokyn resident would be.
As Todra saw to the safety of the helpless Lilla, Rog-Tah raced over to Yllura and rolled her closer to the framework that drained her strength. “I’ll be taking those threads,” he laughed. He pulled off her boots and unzipped the dress as the Green Lantern zoomed back down.
“What do you think you’re doing?” cried Todra. “This is no place for an exhibition, and she’s not that kind of girl!”
“You got problems of your own, babe,” he laughed and slipped the dress off Yllura.
The glow of yellow fire lit the night as a glowing being came into view. It was the thrill-rider who fell into the volcano. “I am reborn — I am Volcanus! Now burn,” he cried, and fire shot out toward Todra’s shields.
The yellow-colored energy broke through the shield and nearly roasted the Green Lantern. What monster is he? Is it my fault, since I failed to keep him out of the volcano? she mused, struggling to dodge his blasts.
Rog-Tah ran off with the Ultra Girl costume, leaving a sick and weary Yllura too ill to object. His lead shielding gave him protection, and he disappeared in the night.
Lesla Nim-El absorbed the energy from the deadly device and blasted it into space before flying back to see a slowly recovering, underwear-clad Yllura and a fighting mad Green Lantern.
“Yllura! Speak to me,” she urged as the petite blonde wearily sat up.
“Valor, I lost the costume. I’m not worthy to be a heroine. Just let me die,” she moaned.
“Everyone is worth saving. Don’t give up. We’ll get the suit back,” urged Valor.
The man called Volcanus laughed and saw Todra flee from his deadly blasts. “Run, little girl!” he crowed.
The Green Lantern did run, only she ran just high enough to avoid his range and then created a huge shovel. With this massive scoop, she dug up a mound of earth from the nearby landmark reconstruction work being done seemingly everywhere. She loaded it high and dropped it down to bury but not crush Volcanus, the burning man. As the dark mud and soil covered his gleaming form, she struck with a fist of solid green light that knocked him backward. “Not so hot now, are you?” she teased.
Valor charged him and drained him of his power long enough for the now and temporary human thug to be revealed. “You’ve blocked my powers!” he cried.
“Maybe he’s brighter than we thought,” said Lesla.
Todra Than-Ol caged him and transported him to prison. Valor knew the power would return to him eventually, but for now he was dealt with, and perhaps she could cure him herself later.
Then a costumed Shyla Kor-Onn flew back, wearing the Ultra Girl outfit. “Hello, ladies! Miss me?” she laughed.
Nim-El rushed out and yelled, “This proves my point! Crime is spreading. Monsters are coming out of the landscape itself! I must purge this world of crime, even if it takes my weapon to do it!” He loaded the bomb into a aircraft and sped off into orbit.
If the lovely Valor does not survive, then I shall morn the loss of that marvelous body, he thought.
In his lab, Zor-El remained trapped by the guard robot along with a second shadowy figure who suddenly activated an odd device hobbled together from the bits and pieces he could reach past his chains.
A signal echoed across Rokyn to Lesla’s keen ears. “Jimmy Olsen’s signal watch?” she mused. “Something close, anyway!” she said as she confronted Shyla. “Take off that costume, or I’ll rip you out of it myself!”
Shyla laughed. “That would delight the males on Rokyn, but I doubt you have the power to face me.” The Green Lantern generated a green sphere around the laughing beauty, only to see her shatter it with ease. “That toy ring can’t hold me,” she said.
Valor took a risk and sped toward the signal. She burst inside Nim-El’s lab to find the captives, then drained the robot of its power source and freed them both. “Father! Uncle Zor!” she gasped as they rushed to greet her.
“A madman has taken my identity. You must stop him!” shouted Nim-El.
Lesla sighed with relief. Her father was not mad. She kissed them both and soared skyward in time to see the aircraft of the fake Nim-El drop a spherical weapon.
“Great Moons of Wegthor! That’s giving off antimatter energy! It could shatter this whole world!” she realized.
She saw Shyla pounding Todra Than-Ol and took immediate action. She swooped down and caught Shyla, who struggled with power that defied Lesla’s own.
“Unhand me!” cried the lovely Shyla.
“Not just yet,” said Lesla. She knew how the costume worked from her memories of life as Supergirl. She mentally deactivated the exo-costume’s power with her stronger will and mind, then dropped Shyla across the sphere as it hovered ominously over the world and drew into a perilous orbit.
“Shyla, that costume is useless now, and you are trapped on a device set to release antimatter energy on this world when it reaches an unknown orbital position. Take it off now, and I’ll fly you down to safety. If not, I’ll assume you can save yourself — if you can get it to work again in time,” she threatened.
Shyla shrieked and took off the costume. “There! Now save me,” she wailed. “You can’t deprive the world of my beauty!”
Lesla smiled. “I wouldn’t risk that for anything!” She hurled Shyla down into the Green Lantern’s waiting net. Then she wired the costume into the energy bomb’s core. I’ll let the costume absorb the core’s power by reversing the circuitry. Normally, it gives off power and enables a user to do super things. I hope Zor’s workmanship can withstand the raw energy.
The costume flared up with raw energy. Lesla saw the core dwindle to emptiness, and she moved fast. She pushed the now-harmless sphere into the abandoned areas of the world and flew the suit into space. She knew the suit was holding the energy in check for now, but it was only due to her strong mind operating the cybernetic controls that enabled it to do so.
She willed it into the red sun and turned to sheer energy to streak homeward in time. The brilliant pulse of light spelled the end of the costume and the threat of antimatter.
Thank Rao the red sun giant was able to hold the blast. If the suit had not contained the energy long enough for me to fly it off-world, Rokyn would have died like Krypton, she mused.
Lesla Nim-El smiled in relief as crowds cheered her planet-saving efforts, and Todra Than-Ol showed up with the captive Nim-El impostor.
The real Nim-El rushed out with Alura In-Ze and Zor-El to greet her. “That fiend Roz-Em escaped from the Zone and took my identity for the second time,” he explained, “just as he once tried to fool Superboy into thinking he was a grown-up Superman from his future. Long ago that madman had facial reconstruction surgery in order to look like me.”
“Lesla saved us all once again,” said a proud Zor-El.
“Actually, your daughter’s old costume saved us by containing the energy until I could get it off-world,” said Valor. “You might say that Kara saved us.”
“Well, I say her legacy saved us — you!” said Alura.
Todra said, “I put Shyla in a cell along with her ally, that thug Rog-Tah.”
Yllura ruefully added, “Since I could not keep the costume out of evil hands like Shyla’s, I am glad it is gone. My sensory powers may yet enable me to help others. Ar would have wanted me to go on.”
Lesla smiled as the cheering crowds applauded their efforts. I’m trying, Kara, she thought. I really am.