by Starsky Hutch 76
Superman, Jimmy Olsen, the FBI agent, and Maggie Sawyer of the Metropolis SCU and her men milled about the enormous warehouse. The army of SWAT team officers was very busy making arrests and lifting the prone forms of Intergang men who’d been knocked unconscious in the ensuing battle.
In the center of the enormous space lay a giant robot with a huge hole in its chest. Its arm was torn off and lay across its midriff. Judging by the dents upon its head, the arm had been used to bludgeon it. The warehouse was littered with smashed machinery and destroyed weaponry. Technicians walked about with fire extinguishers putting out the sparking wires and circuitry.
“I think we’re going to need more paddy wagons,” one of the cops said, pushing a handcuffed Intergang soldier out the door.
“What a haul,” Maggie said. “Not only did we keep the weapons we were after off the street, we’ve managed to make a hefty dent in their whole operation! We’ve got enough perps here to keep the pencil pushers down at lockup busy all night!”
“I’m just glad I could help out,” Superman said.
“So are we,” Maggie said grinning as she started to light a cigarette. She was used to Superman’s overwhelming humility.
The FBI agent, on the other hand, was not. “Are you kidding? None of this would have been possible without you!”
“Hey, I’m just a concerned citizen like anybody else. I was just lucky enough to be given a few gifts that let me act on those concerns. You folks in law enforcement are the real heroes, in my opinion.” This made the FBI agent break out in a huge, schoolboy-like grin, and he was just about to say something, when Superman’s JLA communicator went off. “Um… excuse me,” Superman said. “I’d better take this.”
“Yeah, sure,” the FBI agent said, nodding.
Superman walked a few paces away from the group and answered the device. “Hello?”
“She’s not here!” Kristin Wells exclaimed, calling him from his apartment. “The living room window is open, and she’s nowhere in sight!”
“Rao!” Superman exclaimed. “I’ll be right over.” He clicked off and rejoined the rest of the group. “I’ve got to run. Family emergency.” He quickly stepped out the nearby large double doors of the warehouse and took to the air, calling back, “If you need a statement, Jimmy knows how to reach me.”
“Family emergency?” Jimmy said. “I thought he was an orphan.”
“Gee, I hope everything’s OK,” the FBI agent said. “He’s such a nice guy.”
Jasma walked up to a group of children in the park. They were in the planning stages of their next game, so they hardly noticed her approach. “I wanna be Superman,” a boy whined.
“No, I’m Superman, ’cause I’m biggest and strongest. You be Batman,” the largest of the boys present said.
“OK,” the smaller boy sighed.
“And your little bother will be Robin.”
“No way!” the little brother exclaimed. “He runs around in his underwear!”
“He doesn’t do that anymore. And Batman’s gotta have a Robin.”
“I’ll be Wonder Woman,” a tomboyish girl said.
“I wanna be Green Arrow,” another boy said.
“Who’s she gonna be?” the tomboy asked, pointing to Jasma, who was now standing among them.
“She’s blonde,” one of them said. “She could be Supergirl.”
“She can’t be Supergirl!” the large boy said. “She’s just a baby!”
“I’m not a baby!” Jasma exclaimed, pushing him. “I’m four years old!” The boy flew back five feet and landed on his rump. He stared at her, unhurt but wide-eyed with shock.
“Wow!” one of the children exclaimed. “She really is a super-girl.”
Counselor Mabel Meriwether was napping on a nearby park bench when she was awoken by the sound of laughing and giggling. “What are you kids up to?” she said groggily to her charges. Her eyes suddenly darted open in shock.
“Me next! Me next!” the kids screamed, laughing and running as Jasma picked each of them up one by one and flew them around the park in circles.
Her eyes darted out, and she leaped from her seat, running toward the cherubic, airborne form of Jasma and the laughing, giddy boy she held aloft, a line of ecstatic children trailing behind them. “Ooohhh!” Mabel cried, holding the hem of her dress with one hand and her flowered straw hat with the other as she tried to catch up with them.
She let go of her dress and began waving frantically. “No! No! No! You put him down! You put him down right now!”
“But we’re flyin’,” the boy said pleadingly. “We’re flyin’.”
“I don’t care!” Mabel said. “You get down here this instant.” She turned to Jasma and said, “You put him down!” Jasma lowered him to the ground, and the children groaned in disappointment, knowing their fun was over. “Now shoo, you wretched creature, shoo!”
“You’re a mean lady!” Jasma hollered back, tearing up. “Mean, mean, mean!” And with that, she took flew away, leaving behind a stunned Mabel Meriwether.
Gerta Gim-Ze had a spring in her step like nothing she had felt in years. Even the practice simulations she’d taken before coming here didn’t compare to actually being on Earth. Why she had never tried to leave the bottle city for a family visit was beyond her.
As much as she wanted to keep going, she realized she needed to sit for a moment to get her bearings. She had lived in the same city for decades, traveling the same streets, so she wasn’t used to navigating unfamiliar territory. She plopped down on a bus stop bench and began rummaging through her purse for a city map.
She had barely sat for a moment when a passing figure caught her eye. A small, blonde, flying, and weeping figure, to be precise. “Yoo-hoo!” Gerta called out to her. “Come here, child. Come down from there.”
Jasma turned and looked down. Seeing another old person telling her to come down from there, she was not immediately inclined to obey. After all, the last one had yelled at her.
“Jasma, please come down from there. I’ve so wanted to meet you. I’m your Aunt Gerta,” she said, first in English and then in Interlac.
Hearing the interplanetary language made Jasma did a double take, so she flew down to the bus stop and sat down next to Gerta. “Hi,” she sniffed, rubbing her eye with her fist.
“Hello, there,” Gerta said. “Why are you crying?”
“A mean lady yelled at me,” Jasma sniffed.
“Well, whatever would she want to do such a terrible thing like that for?” Gerta said, pulling out a hanky from her large purse to dry Jasma’s tears.
Jasma’s eyes grew big and emphatic as she launched into her tale. “I — I made some fwiends… An — and… I was fwying them ‘roun the park, an — an — we were having so much fun when she ran up and started yelling.”
“Well, it sounds to me like she just got a really bad scare,” Gerta said.
“She was scared?” Jasma said, wide-eyed.
“I’m sure she was. Sometimes people don’t mean to sound mean, but they act that way to cover up being frightened. And she wasn’t used to seeing flying little girls, so it frightened her.”
“Oh,” Jasma said, looking down thoughtfully.
“That’s why your mother and your cousin Kal would hide their powers — so they wouldn’t frighten other people. When they weren’t being Superman and Supergirl, your mother even wore a wig–”
“I don’ wanna wear an ‘ig!” Jasma exclaimed.
“Wig, dear,” Gerta corrected. She reached into her purse and pulled out a picture. “This is your mother wearing hers.” It was a picture of a young Supergirl disguised as Linda Lee, complete with pigtails. “When she wore her wig, she called herself Linda Lee, and no one knew who she really was or what she could do. So it was like she got to play dress-up all the time.”
Jasma’s eyes got wide. “I wanna wear an ‘ig!”
“Oh, I’m sure your Auntie Gerta can find you one,” Gerta chuckled. “If Kal hasn’t already. In the meantime, let’s see what else we can come up with.” Gerta reached into her bag and pulled out a large scarf and wrapped it around Jasma’s head, tucking away her blonde locks. “There you go. All dressed up.” She rose to her feet and held out her hand for Jasma.
Jasma took her hand and began to float upward. Gerta quickly put her hand on her shoulder and gently guided her back to the ground. “No, dear. When we’re wearing our wig, we walk.”
Superman and Superwoman had made three flights around the city, meeting back at the apartment after each one. They were about to leave for a fourth when the doorbell rang.
Changing into street clothes at super-speed, Clark Kent walked to the door, ready to tell whoever it was to come back later. He and Kristin Wells let out gasps when they saw a familiar old woman accompanied by Jasma.
“Hello, Kal,” Gerta said pleasantly. “Lose something, did you?”