Linda Danvers sat her adoptive father down and said, “Tell me what you mean by going crazy. Are you having mood swings? Sudden emotional reactions?”
Fred Danvers nodded. “Exactly. I have — we all have been acting oddly down at STAR. Firings and tempers and project cancellations and midnight shifts being called without warning. I guess I’ve given Edna reason to worry.”
Linda rubbed his shoulders. “Dad, I think something outside of STAR might be ruling all of you. What would be the end result of all the changes?”
“I guess all the changes in staff, hours, and funding have really led to increased production on an experimental device that projects various wavelengths in amazingly wide broadcast areas.”
“Broadcasts, huh? Let’s see if I pick up any odd signals coming into or out of STAR,” said the shapely blonde. A moment later, she smiled triumphantly. “Bingo! We have contact. A weird ray of some type is beaming into STAR Labs. It even seems to be affecting the victims in an emotional way, via the brain’s production of various chemicals. It could, in fact, create a kind of artificial sympathetic nervous system all its own. I’ll be back as soon as possible.” She arose and kissed him on the cheek.
He watched her fly off as a red and blue blur and called down to his wife, “Edna, I have an apology for you,” he began. “I know I have been a real psycho lately.”
Supergirl followed the beam to STAR Labs, then trailed it at super-speed until she landed at a beach house. Nice place. Though it’s supposedly empty and up for sale, she mused, noticing a realty sign. That agency went of of business years ago, if I recall correctly. Must be a cover.
Walking inside, she gasped, “The whole place is gutted and turned into a lab!” Yes, Linda, you have stumbled onto something fishy, and it’s not just because of the beach!
She walked deeper within and then, unexpectedly, fell to her knees, weeping. “Why can’t I find a boyfriend?” she said, suddenly full of sorrow and doubt. “Why do they all turn out to be jerks? What’s wrong with me?” She pounded the floor in despair, and the machine-filled room shook.
“Ah, I can see I’ll have to watch what emotions I project into you,” said a sneering voice from the shadows. “One temper tantrum could put me in traction.” A man with a black beard and a gray and purple costume appeared. His face was grim and sinister, but his most arresting feature was the cone-shaped helmet on his head.
“Brain Storm!” she cried. “I should have known you’d be behind these mind-games.”
“Yes!” he said. “But, my leggy little do-gooder, I am not alone. My ally is unwillingly flooding the hapless staff of STAR Labs with emotional impulses of my own design so that they build the amplifying device that will let me control not just a few people’s feelings, but an entire world’s!” He laughed uproariously.
Supergirl tried to slap him across the room, only to see almost all the impact absorbed by a force-field. “I can break that field easily enough,” she said determinedly.
“Not if you are lost in your own mind,” he said.
A black wave of emotion swept over her, and she reeled to the floor. She fell back and knew no more.
Brain Storm turned to gaze up at an imprisoned figure. He was orange-skinned with a cleft area on each side of his mouth. His anger was palpable, but so was his helplessness. “My alien friend, I don’t know if you somehow led this attractive Kryponian here or not, but I must say that I frown on it,” he lectured. “If you don’t want to see other heroes die like this blonde will do shortly, then do not try to summon further aid.”
Supergirl twisted in pain like a person caught in a bad dream. “Argo City is dying! The kryptonite is breaking through the shields! Mother and Father are going to die! Why can’t I stay with them?” she moaned as she relived the painful emotions of fear and loss from her fateful fifteenth year when she fled the doomed Argo City for the unknown reception and frightening new life she would have on Earth.
“Kara, pull yourself together!” Zor-El said soothingly, just as he did years ago. “I promise you will love Earth. Your cousin is there — Jor-El’s son, Superman. He is the greatest hero of all and is loved by millions. His heart is as great, and he will take care of you.”
Allura In-Ze stroked her daughter’s hair and said, “There is no time. We will never leave you, for our love makes us a part of each other. Remember that my, love,” she whispered as Kara was hurried into the rocket-ship.
Kara Zor-El shook all over as she fought her feelings. “I lived through the fear before and found love here on Earth. I found a family here and even regained my real family as well. Love keeps us together. Love will save me now!”
A flood of emotions surged through her young body and hit Brain Storm like a wall. The connection goes both ways! I can send emotions through the captive alien, too, she realized, and dwelt on images of comfort, security, and well-being.
The power did go both ways, as the alien captive eagerly realized after seeing Kara’s clever observation. The alien sent the overwhelming power of Kara’s will and her love into Brain Storm, who simply could not cope with the honesty of the girl’s emotions.
Trembling, he cried, “Stop this! I can’t abide these feelings. I won’t be a puppet!” He turned to race from his laboratory, only to be met by Supergirl.
“Stop! Don’t you want to bond with us?” she teased and slapped him to the floor with ease, this time, since the rattled villain had not raised his protective field.
“Rovos!” she said as she freed the orange-skinned alien. “Welcome back to Earth! I hope Brain Storm did not sour you on this world. Kal will be thrilled to see you, too. After all, parents love to see their kids come home.” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Fall and Rise of the Star-Child,” Action Comics #502 (December, 1979).]
The bio-spawn alien known as Rovos smiled at his mother figure. “Kara! I came back here after you and Kal taught me about emotions, and as I was created for, I shared emotions with my creators, then chose to come back here to really enjoy the emotions you Earthlings are so in touch with. That man caught me and trapped me, forcing me to manipulate the lab men to build that device faster, so he could eventually acquire it and use me to dominate the whole world. I was forced to project the emotions he ordered for those lab men. I secretly reached out to you as well, sending odd emotions so you would become suspicious and head home for comfort, then to here to save me. It worked. But if you had not thought of using me to send emotions right back through the mental connection to Brain Storm, I would have remained his prisoner. Your love won the day!”
Supergirl smiled and kissed him. “Rovos, the day Kal and I spent raising you was well worth any trouble a creep like Brain Storm could cause.”
After dropping Brain Storm off at jail, she led Rovos off in search of Superman.