Margo Hatton flounced into an elegant study and stood defiantly in front of an old man. He frowned as the brunette beauty barged into the room without knocking. His frown grew more severe as he recognized his wild daughter-in-law. She wore an elaborate dressing gown and heavy makeup as she faced the old man.
“Margo? What is this?” he said. “I have nothing to say to you. Cord told me about your affair!”
She laughed bitterly and said, “Your precious son has nothing to do with us. I want you to persuade him not to divorce me. Tell him you’ll cut him out of the will if he does. Tell him that, or I’ll tell your wife and her pals at the country club about the night you and I–!”
“And cut! We need an adjustment with the lighting,” said the director of the hit soap opera Secret Hearts.
Lydia Lee, the actress who played the evil character of Margo Hatton, nodded and started to join her good friend Lena Thorul, a pretty blonde in a short blue dress and high heels who worked as a writer on the show.
Before Lydia could open her mouth, a weird figure in an ornate purple and green costume stepped out of the shadows and smiled coldly. He rubbed his hands together with pleasure and passion, ignoring all warnings to leave the set. “Do not worry. My business is with that vixen! I want to end her life. That’s all I want!” he said as he charged forward, and a green glow surrounded his body.
Before anyone could move or check on the apparently stunned studio guards, the red-haired man with blank white eyes projected a humanoid form out of his own body. The green sparkling creature slammed into Lydia like a rocket, and the energy melted her clothes to reveal a red and blue costume. Her brunette wig fell apart as well to expose her short blonde hair.
“Supergirl! Lydia is Supergirl!” gasped one of the stagehands.
Lena watched in horror. She knew her friend was truly the super-powered heroine called Supergirl, but the telepathic blonde writer could only shudder as she felt the waves of hatred and madness pouring from the alien attacker.
Meanwhile, the alien laughed as his energy being pounded the heroine again and again. “I’ve wanted to get my hands on your neck for so very long!,” he shouted. “It sustained me when I was trapped within a deathlike coma. The idea that I could kill you kept me going. Amalak lives because of hatred for you and all your kind!”
Supergirl shook off the remnants of her Lydia Lee clothing and blasted the alien creature with heat-vision. The green creature seemed immune to heat, and she gasped as it choked her and pushed her down again and again. Got to get this thing out of the studio before someone gets hurt, she thought. That has to take priority over protecting my secret identity. Never heard of Amalak. He must think I’m the first Supergirl!
She spun around at super-speed, and the wind generated by her movement forced the creature away. She sat up and spoke in a loud and clear tone so the entire set could hear her words. “I took Lydia’s place when she told me you had been stalking her. I won’t let you harm her. Your sick obsession with her character ends here!”
Flying forward, she swept Amalak himself out of the studio and noticed his energy-being following close behind. That might just enable me to protect my secret identity, she mused. He didn’t say anything specifically about me as Supergirl. The others hopefully will buy the idea that he is just a stalker after Lydia.
Back in the Secret Hearts studio, her best friend Lena took action of her own. Lydia’s secret was exposed, and her civilian role will be lost unless I can help her, she thought. Racing back into the costume department, she grabbed a brunette wig, then entered Lydia’s private room, where she slipped out of her own clothes and into one of the young starlet’s outfits. She slipped the wig on and looked in the mirror. She now resembled Lydia greatly. She knew that she had passed as a double for the original Supergirl in the past and hoped this little trick might save her best friend’s secret.
Now, she came out as the other crew and cast members raced by in an effort to get to safety. “Supergirl had me hide while she posed as me to lure out a stalker who has been sending me threatening notes!” she said in a theatrical tone. “She fooled him, but I can’t stand the stress! I’m heading home for a nice long soak in the hot tub.”
The director nodded as his starlet raced out again. “Sure, kid,” he said. “You get some rest. We’ll close production for the day.”
Outside, Lena sighed in relief. “In the confusion, I was able to pull it off. Lydia’s secret is safe!” she sighed.
Back on the lot, Supergirl battled onward against the psychotic alien, wrestling him around and struggling to keep him from breaking free. “I’m not the Supergirl you fought. She died. I’m sick and tired of being attacked or fawned over because people think I am her.”
Amalak laughed and stared just past her head. “I know you are Kryptonian, and for the Kryptonian Killer, that is enough! You satisfy me totally, or at least taking your life will do so!”
Supergirl screamed in pain as the green creature struck her from behind and caused all three of them to crash down in an empty sound stage.
A super-vision scan showed the Girl of Steel that they were alone. She used her super-breath to pull down a heavy lighting loft across the entrance. “Now we can have some privacy!” she said.
She ducked as the green humanoid soared over her head. She slammed both palms together and noticed the sheer impact drove it back. Amalak laughed madly and watched from the side. “My syntho-spine will kill you, and I will relish every delicious ache and pain!” he cried.
Supergirl kicked the creature and gasped as it caught her leg. It slithered up her leg like a serpent and then re-formed in its original humanoid form. She tried to force it away, but for every attack she made, it returned seconds later.
She fell hard, and it closed in on her. It swept her up in its arms and began to crush her. She thought of how much she had come to enjoy her new life in the twentieth century. She recalled how she had lost her own home in the crisis, which spanned eons. She also vowed to continue fighting.
Screaming, the sonic force shattered the energy creature. She knew it would re-form, but she also had an idea. She hurled herself forward and grabbed Amalak. “You hate me simply because of my ancestry. That is bigotry of the most insane kind. I really don’t care why you hate me. I also don’t care if I am just some substitute for the first Supergirl or not. All I know is I am not a victim, and I won’t hesitate to use any means to stop you!”
Supergirl battered him at super-speed and continued to do so until he was stunned and still. “He kept bragging about how he would feel my death through that thing,” she said. “That gave me the idea to remove the master first. That way the pet won’t be much of a threat without Amalak’s mental control.”
She cried out again as the green sparkles of energy re-formed around her body, and she was encased within the re-formed sytntho-spine. She gasped in agony and began to pass out. Just when she thought she could take no more, the pain ended, and she fell to the ground. Supergirl looked up and saw the remnants of the syntho-spine — and a new figure.