DC Universe: Invasion Interludes, Prologue: Time Travelers in Metropolis

by Doc Quantum and Libbylawrence

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Metropolis in the late twentieth century:

“I love this! I love this!

“I can tell,” Lydda Jath said, smiling as she strolled along the downtown Metropolis sidewalk, her boyfriend Rokk Krinn holding her hand.

“This has got to be the best birthday present a girl has ever given a guy, Lydda,” Rokk said, squeezing her hand and taking a moment to stare into her dark eyes before looking back up at the ancient skyscrapers of the twentieth century that stood around him in all their glory. Sure, he had been to the twentieth century several times, but it had almost always been on some kind of mission or another for the Legion of Super-Heroes. And then it was strictly while he was in costume as Cosmic Boy. He had never really had a chance to breathe in the smells, see the sights, and mingle with the people of this era. As a history buff, it had been a lifelong dream come true.

“It’s too bad we missed Kal’s earth-day birthday, though,” he continued, referring to June 18th, which was a few days ago now. “But I am looking forward to seeing my old friend Superb — er, Superman, again. Why is it that we only see each other whenever there’s some sort of crisis?

“That’s what heroes’ lives are like, Rokk,” said Lydda, herself a super-heroine known as Night Girl. “A lot of responsibility and perils, but little time to bask in the glory of a job well done.”

“I don’t think we’ll have too much to worry about now, though. According to history, the summer of 1987 was one of the quietest in the latter years of the twentieth century. After the heroes of Earth prevented an atomic war in October, 1986, real change began. Even sworn enemies became friends again when Superman and Lex Luthor reconciled their differences and began working together to make the world a better place. It was the beginning of an era of true peace that would last well into the twenty-first century.”

“Oh, shoot! And here I was hoping to go one-on-one with the Purple Pile-Driver!” A smirk came over Lydda’s face as she said this, and the two laughed and kissed passionately. “So what next, lover?”

“I think it’s time to look up an old friend,” Rokk said, looking up at a classic-looking building with a model of a ringed planet atop it. “Superman’s wedding is coming up this July, and I want to give my compliments to the blushing bride. Lois must be in the midst of wedding planning as we speak.”

***

“Olsen! Where’s that update on the Hutchinson missing persons case? You said you’d have it ready two hours ago!” The voice was gruff, loud, and commanding. It was, of course, Perry White, editor of the Daily Planet.

“Just finishing it up now, Chief!” said Jimmy Olsen, giving a wink at Lois Lane, who rolled her eyes. This was an old song-and-dance routine for the offices of the Planet.

“It better be here soon, Jimmy, and don’t call me Chief!” At that, the entire room of Planet staffers stifled a chuckle. They knew their boss could be as tough as he sounded, having grown up poor on the streets of Chicago, but he was like a father-figure to all of them, especially to Jimmy, whose own father had been missing for so many years while he was growing up, and because of that they had never been close.

“Jimmy, stop tormenting our editor,” said Lois as she passed his desk.

“Oh, you know he enjoys it,” laughed Jimmy, “just as much as when people call me Mr. Action.”

Lois rolled her eyes a second time. “Jimmy, nobody calls you Mr. Action except you.”

“You obviously haven’t talked to some of my old girlfriends, then.”

“Oh, brother.”

“Excuse me, Miss Lane?” One of the new Daily Planet secretaries meekly walked up to Lois as she turned and gave her her attention. “Uh, there’s a Mr. Corin here to see you.”

“Who?”

“Uh… I think he said his name is, uh… something Corin or–“

“I don’t know anybody by that name.”

Rocky Corin — that’s it…”

Rocky Corin? You mean Rokk Krinn?

That’s right. He’s at the front desk with a lady-friend of his. He’s quite the tall, dark, and handsome type, I must say.” The secretary blushed.

“Thanks,” said Lois as she walked to the lobby and waved in the two. “Well, well, well… Cosmic Boy. It’s been a while.”

“It certainly has, Lois,” said Rokk as he and Lydda shook hands with Lois, as was the custom of the time.

“So what brings you to the twentieth century? Sightseeing?” Lois Lane had meant this as a joke.

“Actually, yes,” said Lydda. “It was my birthday gift to Rokk. He wanted to spend a quiet vacation in 1987.”

“Well, good for you,” said Lois. There was an awkward pause for a moment, and then Lois said, “Well, uh, why don’t you follow me to my desk? I’m just finishing an article for the late edition.”

“Sure,” said Rokk. “Oh, and Lois, I thought I should introduce you to my girlfriend, here. Lois Lane, meet Lydda Jath, alias Night Girl of the Legion of Substitute Heroes.”

“Pleased to meet you,” said Lydda, smiling.

“Oh, right, right, you looked somewhat familiar, but I don’t think we ever actually met,” said Lois over her shoulder. “Well, you two certainly have the modern-day fashions down to a tee. No one will mistake you for a couple from a thousand years in the future.”

Rokk laughed as the trio reached Lois’ desk. “No, I guess not. I’m a bit of a history buff, and I wanted our vacation to be authentic, right down to the choice of fabrics for our clothing, and even our watches.”

“Great,” Lois said, still smiling politely and expecting to find out the real reason for their visit to her in the Daily Planet office soon. The telephone rang. “I should take that. Give me a sec.” Picking up the receiver, she spoke. “Hello? Oh, hi, Mark. No, no, I’m sorry. I got a call from Inspector Henderson just as I was about to leave, and I had to take the lead he gave me. I tried to call you, but… Sure, I’d love to reschedule for another night. Is next Saturday all right for you? Oh. OK, Friday it is, then. It’s a date. Seeya.” She hung up the telephone.

Sorry about that. I’ve been out on two dates with this guy, but things keep coming up at the wrong time.” Lois Lane turned back to Rokk and Lydda, only to see that their mouths were hanging wide open and they were suddenly looking very, very uncomfortable. “So… what can I do for you two?”

“Uh… look at the time,” Rokk said even before he thought to look at his watch. “Lydda, isn’t there that, uh… thing you wanted to see?”

Thing? Oh, oh, yes, the thing! We’d better get going quickly if we’re going to catch the… thing.”

“Sorry to bother you, Lois,” said Rokk as he and Lydda turned to go. “Good to see you. Say hi to Jimmy and the gang, will you?”

Jimmy Olsen walked back into the office and said to Lois, “Hey, was that Cosmic Boy and Night Girl?”

“Yep,” said Lois, frowning in confusion. “But something tells me they didn’t exactly find what they were expecting.”

***

Elsewhere in Metropolis, a group of four young punks slipped swiftly down dark streets and avoided the occasional patrol car as they made their way toward a particular store. “We can smash and grab enough from the Chiffony’s window to get us out of town. With all the alien stuff goin’ down, nobody’s gonna take time to give the Falcons any grief!” said their leader with a grin. His friends all wore jackets with a crude falcon emblazoned on the back. They were petty thugs with little regard for others and little self-respect. They lived by a few simple rules of survival based entirely upon the satisfying of a few basic needs.

Respect for private property, consideration for others, or even an interest in defending their planet from foreign invaders meant nothing to the Falcon gang. The biggest member was a bald man with a pierced eyebrow. He lifted a nearby trash can and heaved it through a glass display window. As glass shattered and an alarm sounded, the punks raided the display case and crammed watches and rings into their pockets while glancing left and right as they worked.

Downer, the shifty little member, scowled. “Man! Cut myself on the glass!” he whined.

“You should be glad a minor injury is the worst thing you receive this night!” said a female voice. They whirled to see an attractive black woman standing in the shadows. She peered into the darkness and smiled as if she suddenly saw more clearly. She wore a narrow mask, and long blonde hair flowed down her back. She also wore a red costume that ended in hot pants and flared boots.

“Some kinda super-chick!” laughed the balding Hawk as he drew closer to the woman.

Chick? I am not familiar with the idiom, idiot!” she replied as she moved forward and suddenly gripped him by the wrist. He broke free with ease and lifted one fist above her head. She frowned and grabbed him a second time. This time, to his surprise and her evident satisfaction, she lifted him over her head and hurled him directly into the Falcon’s member called Fat Joe. They crashed to the ground, and Downer ran away rapidly as his buddies fell.

The woman shook her head in amusement and jumped up to catch a hanging store awning. She swung upward and flipped through the air several times before she landed on the thug. A quick punch left him stunned. She turned to see the last Falcon holding a gun. He pointed it directly at her chest and fired.

She moved backward slightly as the bullet touched her chest and then fell to the ground. It was not bent or hurt. It looked untouched. She tackled the gunman before he could fire again, and she slapped him three times. She kicked him in the face and left him stunned.

“Fascinating!” the woman from the far future said to herself as she walked away.

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