Yllura slammed her fist through solid stone and tossed the rubble aside to aid the planet-scapers who were laboring to make Rokyn more like their homeworld of lost Krypton.
She was an archaeologist, a widow, a lovely blonde, and a super-heroine. Her costume — a white minidress, blue thigh-high boots, and blue gloves — gave her super-powers, as did her implants in her ears and eyes. She was envied by many for what she could do.
But as for herself, she was sad and miserable for what she could not do — see, kiss, or talk to her late husband, Arvor. He had died at the hands of Zo-Mar, and though Yllura, Valor, and the new Green Lantern of Rokyn had stopped him, she could not shed the pain of loneliness.
Yllura was not formally called anything in her costumed ID. The equipment had come from the brilliant Zor-El and had once been worn by his late daughter during a time in which she had lost her powers. The colors were different, and Yllura was certainly no Supergirl, but this new crusade to stop anyone else like Ar from being hurt by the new criminals drove the petite blonde relentlessly.
Ar, how can I move mountains, fly through space, see through solid stone, and yet feel so weak, alone, and utterly helpless? she thought.
“Great work, Ultra Girl!” cried a worker.
“Ultra Girl? I don’t know about that name,” she muttered as she nodded wearily and flew off.
“See her?” sneered a man. “If you strip her of that costume, you could rule this world!”
A gorgeous and larcenous woman nodded. “I may be in that outfit very, very soon,” she laughed with a toss of her waist-length blonde hair.
Todra-Than-Ol, the new Green Lantern of Rokyn, smiled as she admired the robot-created new costume she had designed for herself. She wore a green sleeveless top and a white miniskirt with green slippers. Her long blonde hair had been curled.
Could have whipped up a costume with the ring, but one wrong move or lapse of concentration on my part, and I’d become Rokyn’s first nude heroine, she mused.
She was concerned about firsts of another type. She was the daughter of Than-Ol, the proud revolutionary who had once crusaded against Superman in a mad effort to restore the shrunken city of Kandor immediately, rather than wait for Kal-El to do something. Than-Ol had eventually ended up in the Phantom Zone for his rabble-rousing, and his loyal daughter Todra had bribed and charmed a guard into allowing her to accompany him. There she had witnessed much and had befriended one inhabitant of the Zone — Lar Gand, alias Mon-El, the heroic friend of Superman who resided there purely for health reasons. Exposure to lead years earlier had left the noble Daxamite weak and dying, and only the Zone could prolong his life until a cure could be found.
While Thane and Todra had avoided the other evil Zoners, she had been attracted to Mon-El, even though he had responded merely in a big brotherly manner. Now she missed him and worried that the end of the Zone had spelled his death as well.
She had found the dying alien Green Lantern who had given her his ring and his duty to protect this sector of space. Now she was this sector’s protector and had been active in her duties, since crime was now part of life on this once-calm world. She had a goal, though — to find a lead poisoning cure and rescue her loved one, along with redeeming her family name after poor Than-Ol’s madness.
Todra Than-Ol flew on her power ring’s emerald energy to a site of a thrill crime. Mad youths in a hover car careened through the skies of Rokyn, regardless of other obstacles. She sighed and flew after them. As a former healer, she valued all life and as a Green Lantern sought to stop the wild kids without hurting them. She gently concentrated, and a cushion appeared in their path. It swelled up to stop them and absorbed any impact or inertia so that they were not harmed.
They were angry, though. “You witch! Leave us alone,” cried a black-haired girl.
“Look at the legs on her,” sneered a teenage boy.
The oldest male said, “She’s a Green Lantern! We’ve run afoul of a space cop!”
The craft they were in was lowered by a manicured green hand created by Todra’s ring. One youth — the one who had ogled her — chose a daring escape, leaping out of the car and downward into the mouth of the rocky Golden Volcano of Rokyn. The youths had been seeing how close each driver could get to the landmark before turning.
Todra gasped and closed the mouth of the volcano with a netting of emerald power, but she was seconds too late. The youth was inside by now. She tied the others in green netting and flew down inside the volcano. The heat reached her immediately, and the golden lava was something her ring was powerless against.
“Come back! This place is lethal,” she called, but no sign of the felon could be seen. The ring does not detect him above ground. Could the mad boy have fallen under the lava flow? she wondered. Todra flew off, discouraged.
Later, the golden lava parted to reveal a gleaming humanoid form burning with golden fire. It was the young felon, and yet now he was something more — something deadly for the young Lantern.
Lesla Nim-El, the super-heroine known as Valor, was intensely proud of her newly discovered last name. At last she had family, a heritage, and an identity of her own. True, she looked exactly like the late Supergirl and shared her memories, but the reasons for these factors now made sense. She had the memories and looks due to a merging with a Supergirl clone created by a criminal group called the Council. And she’d even already had the looks of the blonde and beautiful Kara Zor-El to begin with because of a simple family resemblance. She was Kara’s cousin, the daughter of Nim-El — twin to Jor-El and brother to Zor-El of the famous El siblings — who was famous as a weapons-maker and recluse.
She was also Valor, the new heroine of the world of Rokyn. Gifted with a brilliant intellect, years of indirect battle experience, and — at least on Rokyn — mysterious and potent energy powers. Her costume was a short, purple minidress, and her blonde hair was long and straight.
Lesla had bonded with her father and with her uncle and aunt, Kara’s parents, who seemed to now accept her as a loved one, not a usurper of their dead daughter’s legacy. She even had a sister of sorts in a futuristic Supergirl named Lydia-7, who had journeyed to live in this time period.
She had made a name for herself on Earth in the recent alien invasion as the fighting Valor of the Rehab Squad, partner of Captain Comet, Dolphin, and others, and friend to Superman himself. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: Strange Visitors.]
Now on Rokyn, a world newly full of crime, she fought to continue the heroic work she had begun on Earth. She was celebrated by many already for saving Rokyn from a maddened Lar family scheme and from the renegade Zo-Mar. What new adventures now awaited the blonde bombshell? It would all begin with trouble at home, oddly enough.
Green Lantern sadly dropped off the captured joyriders at the office of the police chief Don-El. He greeted her warmly but with little animation, as he was clearly worn out. The crime wave was new, and he had little experience dealing with such an influx. He said, “G.L., thanks for your help. Without Valor, Nightwing, and you, we’d be in deep trouble.”
Todra smiled. “It seems like it’s starting to wear you down. Can I help?”
Don-El nodded. “Just continue doing what you are doing to keep order. What do you make of Yllura — Ultra Girl, as the vidpress is calling her?”
“She is sincere and capable,” said Todra, “and constantly on the brink of breaking down! She is so devastated by her husband’s murder. The costume makes her a super-girl, but even with her sharp mind and Zor-El’s help, she is struggling. I hope each day will ease her pain.” Don-El agreed. He knew Rokyn needed all the heroes it could hold right now.
As Green Lantern flew off, a balding, severe man entered Don-El’s office without knocking. “I see you are still worried, working yourself to death, even when I could ease the burden, if you’d let me,” said Nim-El.
Don looked at his father. “I have told you that, though I appreciate the offer of help, I’m doing fine.”
Nim-El frowned. “At the cost of what? Your life? Let me do my part as you let Lesla — your half-sister — do hers! I can restore order to Rokyn. I address the Council today, and I warn you that I shall voice my opinion even without your support!” thundered the reclusive scientist.
Don-El shouted back, “Father, you go too far!”
Nim interrupted his son. “My brother went too far in the eyes of the fools who governed Krypton, and look what happened! They laughed at poor Jor until their world exploded beneath them! We only survived through a fluke of an alien captor taking our city off-world. I’ll see that we never need fear such danger again. Watch me work.” He stalked off, leaving a concerned Don-El behind.
The gorgeous Shyla Kor-Onn smiled at her ally. “I was a super-woman on Earth until Supergirl defeated me and placed me in the Zone. Now I recall the thrill of those powers, and through that silly little blonde, Yllura, I’ll be superior once more!”
Her ally Rog-Tah said, “How? She can see or hear you coming before you even get close to her.”
Shyla smiled. “That is where my intellect comes in. Don’t let my fabulous body overshadow my mind in your estimation. I have all I need in here,” she said, tapping her head.
“Fine. Share with me your brilliant plan, oh ravishing one,” he said, smiling.
“Two words — Lilla Ly-Vol,” said Shyla, smiling seductively.
Later, as Lilla Ly-Vol worked out in her wellness center before her first pupils arrived for health training, she heard a noise. The young blonde frowned. “It’s too early for class. Won’t those lovesick men wait until we open?”
She sighed, fluffed her long blonde hair into place, and walked to the back door. It slammed into her with stunning force, and Rog-Tah stood over her.
“Not so super now, eh, babe?” said the hulking Earth culture enthusiast. Lilla moaned and crawled back, only to be kicked into a stunned state by the grinning thug.
“Idiot! If you had marred her face, I would have killed you personally!” shrieked Shyla from behind.
“Sorry, doll,” he said, grinning sheepishly.
“Carry her back to my lab. I’ll search her home for the outfit,” she said coldly, pausing to pose in the wellness center mirrors. “Very, very pretty,” she said with approval.
Lesla Nim-El looked on proudly as she was applauded by the Science Council. “I am honored to be named as your newest junior member. I regret the applications my inventions were used for in my less-than-honorable past. I hope that they may bring some comfort and improvement to life here on Rokyn,” said the blonde girl.
The elders nodded eagerly. “Lesla, the teleportation ray and amnesia ray — which can now be used to cure memory loss — alone earn you a high seat on the Council,” said her proud father, Nim-El.
As the pretty girl sat down, Nim-El addressed the governing body of Rokyn, which was based on that group which had governed Krypton itself for so long.
“My friends, we are faced with a crisis of criminal violence and danger. Our once-orderly society has been thrown into peril by lawless villains. We lost this city, in some ways, to one such as the men I speak of. For was not Brainiac a highly powered outlaw, if you come down to basic terms about his nature? I propose we establish a small segment from this very Council to act as a crisis-time dictatorship until order is restored. I have the scientific means to restore peace. Remember that, while my late and noble twin Jor was unequalled as a rocket scientist, I am Krypton’s — and thus Rokyn’s — finest weapons-maker!”
Voices rose in dispute with his scheme, and Lesla frowned. “Father, what are you saying?”
“I declare that I should be allowed to create and use, if necessary, the ultimate weapon on these outlaws. Let me sketch an outline — antimatter bombs! We could eliminate all crime at once!” he said.
“Yes, along with all of us, you madman!” cried Tam-Lar.
Nim-El screamed, “A member of the infamous House of Lar dares impugn a member of the House of El? How hypocritical, and how expected!”
Lesla was worried. She had been thrilled to finally have a father, but could she support him when he spoke madness? Was she never to find peace and family happiness? Thank Rao for the love of Aunt Alura and Uncle Zor! If Nim-El turns rogue, who else can I turn to? she thought tearfully.
“Nim-El, we reject this extreme offer, and suggest you over-dramatize our plight. Your children are keeping the peace quite well. We need no death weapon. And it is a poor example you set for the lovely Lesla by inciting riot by conjuring the threat of Brainiac,” said Ron-Dye.
Nim-El hurried out. “You’ll all thank me when I save this doomed world, despite your fears!”
Lesla looked at the angry faces of the Council and hurried after her father. “Father, you do worry me. This situation is not as grave as you think. You risk alienating the Council,” she pleaded.
“Daughter, you presume too much. I am your elder, and I know what is best! You were not there when Krypton met its doom. You know of no life before that sterile bottled existence. Until you learn more, I suggest you hold your tongue and just look pretty,” he said.
Lesla was stung by his words that, oddly enough, sounded familiar to her from somewhere.
Later, in the home of Zor-El and Alura, Lesla sat at Alura In-Ze’s feet while her aunt caressed the girl’s hair and soothed her fears.
“Lesla, Nim has always been difficult, emotional, reckless, and yes — radical. He lived with guilt over thinking that he had survived while his two more dedicated brothers had lost their lives. For years after learning that Zor here had lived, he avoided us out of some guilt or neurosis. I can only say you should just remember that his behavior is odd at times, and know we love you like a second daughter.”
Lesla hugged the lovely Alura, who kept a thought to herself about the problem. Zor is on his way to reason with his brother now. I pray he can calm poor Nim’s mad passion before something terrible occurs. Lesla has suffered enough, and she was making such progress as a heroine, too, thought the woman in the blue skirt.
“Nim! By Rao, that’s an antimatter core empowering that sphere!” cried the startled Zor-El after he entered his brother’s lab. “I’m not in your league as a weapons-man, but I recognize the fuel source! Are you mad? The Council denied you the right to make such a device. Let me help you disable it now, and we’ll say no more about it.”
“Don’t touch it!” said Nim. “You are jealous of my relationship with Jor. He and I were twins and shared much, while you trailed behind us in all ways. Stay back, little sibling, and let me prove that Jor was not the last El to work wonders.”
Zor argued, “Nim, I ask you to disable this… abomination before tragedy occurs.”
“I regret this,” said Nim. “Lesla adores you, and I still love you, too. This is necessary and gives me no pleasure.” He shouted, “Restrain him!”
A robotic unit floated in, and cables snared Zor until he could not move. It pulled him into a separate room where he remained helpless as his mad brother sadly shook his head.
“You’ll see,” he declared. “You’ll all see!”