Showcase: Powergirl: Crisis on Rokyn, Chapter 2: Paying the Piper

by PDebord

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One hour after their sensational arrival, Powergirl and Orion stood in the office of Don-El, former leader of the Superman Emergency Squad and the closest thing to a police chief Rokyn had. Valor, the Green Lantern Todra Than-Ol, Nightwing, and Flamebird also stood in the room.

“This is fantastic!” Don-El said. “Even if I believed it, how could Darkseid attack us? He doesn’t even know where we are.”

“Have there been any trips made between this place and Earth?” Orion asked.

“Aside from yours, not that I’m aware of,” Don-El said.

“Yes, there were,” Valor said. “The shuttle that brought Lydia and I here with the remains of the inhabitants of Argo City.” (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See World of New Krypton: Supergirl and Valor: Homecoming.]

“He could have tracked that ship or simply have stumbled across it in a view-screen,” Orion said.

“It’s more than that, Orion,” Powergirl said. “He plans to use the solar energy of the sun here against Earth. So this is a far more complicated scheme than just happenstance.”

“Besides that, are we to believe that you are Kryptonian simply on your word?” Don-El said. “You have never unmasked and refused any testing to prove that you are.”

“If I were to remove my mask, my identity as a Kryptonian would be as obvious as your Green Lantern’s, but I cannot do that at this point,” Powergirl said.

Todra Than-Ol frowned at that comment. A light blinked on the magistrate’s desk off to the side.

“What is that?” Orion asked.

“Trouble,” Valor said.

Trouble?” Orion asked with an eager smile.

“Calm down. You’ll get your share when Darkseid’s shock troops get here,” Powergirl said.

Don-El pushed a button, and a view screen lit up, showing a massive building in the middle of the city with the pillars beginning to crack.

“If you want to help Orion, you can help Flamebird and Valor get the people out of that building,” Nightwing said as they all ran out the door.

“What about me?” Todra asked.

“We need your power ring to keep that building up until we can get it evacuated,” Nightwing said.

The energy-based Valor flew off under her own power, faster than the others. The Green Lantern’s ring lifted her into the sky, while Nightwing’s and Flamebird’s jet packs lifted them into the orange Rokyn sky. Not to be outdone, Orion joined them.

“So what do we do?” Powergirl asked.

“I would venture to guess that you’re used to having super-powers and helping out,” Don-El said. “What we do is watch and hope no one gets hurt.”

As green energy enveloped the building that would have made Earth’s greatest skyscrapers seem small, the Rokynian heroes began extracting the occupants one and two at a time, while Orion lifted out four or five at a time, depositing them all on the ground out of harm’s way. As a yellow aura of light from Orion’s Astro-Harness penetrated and disrupted the Green Lantern’s power on one of the higher floors, the spire on top of the building broke off and began to fall.

“I can’t catch that and hold the building together, too,” Todra shouted.

“It’s falling toward a group of onlookers!” Flamebird cried.

On the ground with the evacuees of the building, Powergirl looked up as she heard the spire break. With the instincts and reflexes of Kara Zor-El, she leaped into the air without considering the fact that she wouldn’t be able to fly on Rokyn. But instead of falling flat on her face, she continued upward and caught the spire without losing any momentum. Momentarily amazed, she flew straight up to the top of the building on instinct and re-welded the spire on the top with a burst of heat-vision.

How did I do that? Powergirl thought. I’m in an environment identical to Krypton, but I still have the same super-powers that I do on Earth?

She began to remove the occupants of the building at super-speed, which cut the evacuation time in half. When the building was completely evacuated, she began to fly around the building at super-speed.

Now what’s she doing?” Nightwing asked.

“Containing the debris in an updraft so no one will get hurt,” Valor answered as they watched the building collapse from a safe distance.

***

Powergirl flew effortlessly to the volcano overlooking Rokyn and landed on the rim of the crater. Valor, Orion, and Rokyn’s Green Lantern landed by her side moments later.

“Would you care to explain that?” Valor asked.

“I wish I could,” Powergirl said. “By all the laws of physics, I should have fallen flat on my face and been crushed by that spire.”

“I was told that you were the result of a genetic coupling of the cells of Darkseid and Kara Zor-El, but I’m beginning to believe that Mother Box was wrong,” Orion said.

“You mean you actually trust those things?” Powergirl asked.

“Perhaps Don-El’s tests could tell us something,” Todra Than-Ol said.

Powergirl shook her head and looked away from the city of New Kandor.

“What is it?” Orion asked.

“Can’t you hear that music?” Powergirl asked.

“Not up here,” Valor answered.

“It’s not Kryptonian — it sounds Earthly, but more than that,” Powergirl said as she leaped off the edge of the volcano.

She flew away from the city to a barren part of the planet that was uninhabitable even by Kryptonian standards.

“After what she just did, there’s no way I’m letting her run around by herself,” the Green Lantern said.

“I agree,” said Valor.

Todra Than-Ol, Valor, and Orion quickly followed Powergirl into the barren wastes of Rokyn. Powergirl smiled as she landed by a spring that had gone undiscovered by the people of Rokyn. On the other side, a young man sat on a log. Well, he was almost a man. The lower half of his body greatly resembled the hind quarters of a mountain goat, right down to the cloven hooves. The goat horns protruding from his forehead and the neatly trimmed goatee gave him a traditional Satanic look. He held in his hands six reeds strapped together by vines and cut at different lengths. By blowing through the reeds, he created the music that Powergirl had heard earlier with her super-hearing.

“The situation just keeps getting worse,” Valor said.

“Is that any way to greet an old friend, Lesla Nim-El?” the young man said with a smile.

“You know me?” Valor asked.

“No, but I recognize the spirit of Kara Zor-El, an old friend with you — and with her,” he said as he nodded toward Powergirl.

“Why would the Olympian god of nature come to Rokyn, Pan?” Powergirl asked.

“You have a point, Kara Zor-El of Apokolips. Earth is my home and Nature my love,” Pan said.

“We don’t have time for your riddles today, goat-boy,” Orion said as he lifted Pan off the log by the back of his neck.

A swift kick from a cloven hoof sent Orion flying nearly out of sight. He flew back nearly as quickly and fuming.

“The New Gods of New Genesis and Apokolips are still mere children, still trying to find their place in this grand universe,” Pan commented as he saw the look on Orion’s face.

“You didn’t answer the question — what are you doing here, Pan?” Valor asked.

“My father didn’t think you would believe him,” Pan answered.

“The god of liars and thieves?” Powergirl said, referring to the god Hermes. “You’re right, I wouldn’t have.”

“I thought it funny that he would ask, considering what happened,” Pan said.

“You came here to tell us, so do it and begone,” Orion said.

“What’s so amusing, Pan?” Valor asked.

“The god of thieves had something stolen from him,” Pan laughed.

“The staff of Hippocrates?” Powergirl asked.

“Now I see why Athena sent me to you, Kara Zor-El,” Pan said.

“Kara is dead. Quit calling me that,” Powergirl said.

“She may be, or she may not be. Only the Fates know for certain, and I don’t question Fate. Their answers scare me,” Pan said with a smile and went back to playing his flute.

“What’s the staff of Hippocrates?” Todra Than-Ol asked.

“It’s a silver staff with two golden serpents wound around the upper end,” said Powergirl. “According to legend, those touched by the staff are instantly healed. Hermes actually stole the thing from Hephestus, and now apparently Darkseid has stolen it from him.”

“That’s a legend, though. What would Darkseid want with a decrepit old stick?” Orion asked.

“The staff’s legend came from what Hermes used it for,” Valor said. “He used it to heal mortals. He may be a thief and a liar, but he does have some conscience. The staff itself is actually an energy conduit. I would say that is what Darkseid plans to use against Earth.”

“If he used the staff to absorb the red sun here, it would not only destroy Rokyn, but give him a weapon to use against the Kryptonians left on Earth,” Powergirl said.

“Then we’ve got a real problem, because my power ring is going nuts,” Todra said.

Pan pointed at the sky over Rokyn.

“I don’t see anything,” the Green Lantern said.

“Don’t look with your eyes, look with the ring,” Powergirl said. “You’ll be able to see what I do now.”

Boom tube!” Orion said.

“You wanted your share of trouble, Orion? You just might get it,” Powergirl said as she looked toward the sky over New Kandor and the portal forming just outside of its atmosphere.

“What do we do now?” asked Todra, who was still a rookie Green Lantern.

“Whatever we have to do,” Powergirl said as she flew toward New Kandor. “Bring the piper, G.L., we need him.”

A green aura surrounded Pan as they flew back to New Kandor.

“What do we need him for?” Orion asked as they landed in front of Don-El’s office.

You’ll see,” Powergirl said as she walked in. Don-El sat behind his desk looking at a computer image of the boom tube. “I assume that the public address system works here?” Powergirl asked.

“Yes. I was about to use it to warn the people about the attack,” Don-El said as a microphone came out of the front of his desk.

“Would you mind if he takes your place?” Powergirl asked, pointing at Pan.

“I don’t see the point of that,” Orion said as Pan walked around the desk.

“What should I do?” Pan asked with a slight smile.

Play. Play it long and loud so everyone on Rokyn can hear it,” Powergirl said.

“I don’t get it,” said Todra Than-Ol.

“You will,” Valor said.

“G.L., find Van-Zee, Zor-El, and Allura. We need them more than anyone else here,” Powergirl said.

“A scheme worthy of my father,” Pan said, then began to play his flute into the microphone.

“What are you doing?” Don-El asked.

“Don’t you feel it?” Valor asked.

“I feel a bit odd, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything,” Don-El answered.

“Of course — the god of nature. That is why that spring came out of nowhere. He made it,” Orion said.

“Yes, with the pressure and heat, here, that should have been a geyser,” Powergirl said. “With the music of that flute going all over Rokyn, it will convert the entire city to a climate identical to Earth. Once that’s done, Darkseid will have to pay the piper.”

“That’s why you sent for Van and the others,” said Valor. “They have more experience in an Earth-like environment.”

“That and Van-Zee’s remarkable likeness of Kal,” said Powergirl. “I’m willing to bet that Darkseid’s troops are in no hurry to tangle with Superman again.”

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