Supergirl: The Resurrection Chapter 1
Written by Dylan Clearbrook, Edited by
Nestled in a quiet country setting, the institution offered a place for its patients to recuperate in relative peace. The high, barbed wire topped walls insured that many of the distractions' of the outside world wouldn't intervene while, at the same time, insured that peoples on the outside would not be troubled by some of the more disturbed' patients.
Standing deep within the shadows of the trees and bushes that all but obscured the walls from the sight of the patients, the tall man wondered for perhaps the hundredth time what he was doing here? What force had drawn him here from his home and labs in upstate New York?
"I see that I am not the only one to be called." The voice deep and rich whispered from behind! The tall man's body never moved, yet his head spun a hundred and eighty degrees, his eyes narrowing as he searched for a form within the shadows. A soft chuckle emerged, followed by the hazy outline of a man, his Cloak billowing in the early morning breeze. "I swear, Reed Richards, no matter how many times I see you do that I get the chills running down my spine!"
Reed Richards, AKA Mr. Fantastic, smiled and allowed his body to return to its normal form; turning around to face the would be stranger.
"Echoes of the Exorcist, Dr. Strange?" he stated, with a mischievous gleam in his eye. Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme of the Universe, smiled and shook his head in mock despair. He then cast his gaze on the distant building of the mental institution. "You said we were called." Richards, prompted, following the look.
"Yes." Strange nodded slightly, his expression becoming one of both concentration and puzzlement. "Perhaps to you it was an overwhelming urge to come here. To me it was nothing less than a command that I could not fail to recognize." He looked at Richards. "And I suspect that, had you attempted to repress that urge you would have found yourself here in any case!"
"Probably." Richards agreed. "As it was, it was an urge stronger than any I had ever felt before! Since I had never heard of this place before, my curiosity was aroused."
Strange nodded. "I was in my Inner Sanctum, in ritual circle, when the summons was, uh, delivered, so to speak." Strange rarely discussed his beliefs. Richards knew, however, that the Mage was pagan and that he would often spend his time in the Inner Sanctum communing with his Goddess.
"So we were called." Richards summed it up. "For what purpose?"
"Perhaps that will be revealed when we arrive at our final destination." Strange replied. He moved closer to Richards and moved his hand in an intricate gesture. "Come, I will take us there." Before Richards could protest, both men winked into nothingness!
"Okay, that was payback for the Exorcist remark, wasn't it?" Richards remarked.
They had materialized in a small, darkened room, Richards putting a hand against a wall to steady himself as he regained his balance. Strange allowed a slight smile to cross his lips, but otherwise gave no indication that he had heard. His attention was on the room's only occupant. Richards moved quickly to the bed and began an examination. "A young woman, late teens or early twenties, I would say." He whispered. He brushed blonde bangs back and examined the wide-open eyes. "No recognition, no movement other than that common to involuntary system functions." He felt her arms and his eyes widened. "A very dense muscular structure. Athletic and yet," His eyes examined the contours of the young woman's body, "she does not have the muscular definition of a body builder." Strange contemplated the woman while Richards continued his examination. Then, stepping forward, he placed the fingers of his left hand on her forehead, just above and between the eyebrows, where the so-called third eye is positioned. He closed his eyes and concentrated his face devoid of expression. After a moment, he stepped back.
"She is not human, Reed." His voice was soft. "She is humanoid, but her origins are most definitely not Terrestrial." He paused, "Nor is she native to this Reality."
"What?" Richards stopped his examination and looked at Strange. "Explain that."
"Perhaps I should be the one to give that explanation!" Both men turned as a third entity, seemingly stepped into the room from - nothingness!
"Access." Dr. Strange nodded, as if his suspicions had been confirmed. Richards looked from the woman, to Dr. Strange and finally to the newcomer.
"What is your connection to this woman, Access?" He asked, though he suspected he already knew the answer. "Is she some how connected to the Amalgam incident?"
"Yes, in a round about way."
"She is from the other Reality, and she is not?" Strange inquired. "I thought I caught some residual images in her mind, though the images did not quite correspond with what I know of that Reality." Before Access could answer, Richards cut in.
"Images?" He bent and peered again into the young woman's empty eyes.
"Residual images only." Strange clarified. "Images retained within the brain itself." He knew what Richards was asking and shook his head. "There is only that. There is no activity, no soul, if you will." He sighed and turned to Access. "This is nothing more than an empty shell. A shell, I believe Access is going to tell us comes from the other Reality, but, at the same time, does not."
"I know from the viewing that the other Reality is, in actuality, a Multi-verse, much like our own."
Richards mused, partially to himself, "If she is from that Reality, it is entirely possible that she comes from a similar version of that portion of the Multi-verse that we contacted during Amalgam." Richards frowned as he once again contemplated the impossibility of such an event. It was, by all he knows, against all the rules of science. Yet here, in this young woman, was more proof that science did not have all the answers.... Yet!
"Dr. Strange is correct." Access confirmed. "It is a long story, and I am afraid that time is not something that we have an abundance of. If I might, I would ask that we forestall lengthy explanations until we have transported this young lady to Mr. Richards' Lab." Richards raised his eyebrows, but nodded.
"Will not the orderlies not miss a patient should she suddenly disappear?" Strange asked, though he was already preparing to transport them all to Headquarters of the famed Fantastic Four.
"Hardly." Access snorted. "They do not even know she is here. As far as they are concerned, this is an empty room."
"Curiouser and Curiouser." Strange muttered. With a minute gesture, all four figures faded.
"Now I believe explanations are in order." Reed Richards demanded. The four had materialized in the Fantastic Four's headquarters at Pier Four and Richards had immediately enlisted the aid of his wife, Sue Richards, A.K.A. Invisible Woman. Using a floating stretcher, Sue had whisked the young woman to the Examination room of the infirmary.
"Yes, I believe that now would be an appropriate time, Access." Strange agreed. "Who is that young woman and why, if she belongs in the other Reality, is she here?"
"To begin with, she is from that Reality, that much is true, yet she no longer belongs to that Reality?" He looked at his questioners. "Over there, she no longer exists. In fact, she has never existed, according to their current history."
"I don't believe I understand." Dr. Strange admitted Access sighed!
"It is difficult to explain." He stated. "Over their events transpired shortly before the Amalgam incident that caused tremendous upheavals in the fabric of space and time."
"I recall taking readings on two such events in that universe." Richards confided. "Once I determined that there was no danger to our universe and that no action on our part could help I moved on to other projects. In essence..."
"The universe re-booted itself." Sue interjected, sensing a technical explanation that neither Strange nor Access would understand. Reed looked at her and then smiled somewhat apologetically.
"Yes, reboot is a good term, very apt in this case. As I said earlier, it is a Multi-verse over there. During the first period of upheaval, several dimensions merged into one."
"Correct. That woman is, or was, a clone of a heroine of the other Reality." Access continued. "A heroine that existed prior to merger. A heroine that gave her life to save her Reality and her kinsman from the entity causing the upheavals that made the merger necessary. As it was, she was only partially successful. Her sacrifice, however, gave the remaining heroes time to come up with a plan to defeat the entity and to repair the damage done. Yet, in that repairing, time itself had to be restarted. Rebooted, as Mrs. Richards so aptly put it. History was rewritten." Access paused, shaking his head. "When history was rewritten, the heroine that gave her life was written out. Yet there remained some anomalies, a few paradoxes! This young lady is one such paradox."
"You said she was a clone of the original?" Richards prompted. With the other two men, they watched as Sue quickly and expertly attached sensors and liquid tubes to the woman in question.
"Yes. And that is the paradox." Access acknowledged. "The original, according to that Reality's current time line, did not, in fact could not, exist. Yet here was the clone."
"And the cosmos itself will eventually work to correct any paradox." Strange concluded. "At least in this Reality."
"And in that Reality." Access nodded and brushed a lock of blond hair from the young woman's face.
"First to go was any knowledge of her origins." He looked up. "Oh yes, she was quite aware of where she came from. You see she was originally created to be a foe of the original. During a battle, the original exposed the clone to a type of radiation that nullified her powers. Then with the help of her kinsman, she corrected a mental imbalance in the clone's mind, gave her a new identity and helped her make a new start as a regular person. But, as I said, her knowledge of her origins was the first to go. As events progressed,
She eventually devolved to the shell she now is. This is nothing but the physical, empty container."
"Why bring her here, Access?" Richards demanded, frowning at the figure on the examining table. He swung his gaze back to Access. "If, as you say, this is but a shell, wouldn't it have been kinder to let the cosmos finish what it started?"
"Perhaps." Access surprised them by agreeing. "Unfortunately, Amalgam happened before that could be done."
"Amalgam." Strange rubbed his chin with one hand while the other fingered his medallion. "When our two Realities briefly merged. I can but assume that during this merger, she was stranded over here."
"Right. When things were straightened out, there was no place for her on the other side. Paradox corrected. So she remained."
"And if we send her back?"
"She will cease to exist." Access confirmed. "Unless she is clearly and firmly anchored in this Reality."
"However, that is not all there is to this, is it." Strange questioned. "You think there is something that Reed Richards and I can do to help this young woman."
"What is it you think we can do, Access?" Richards demanded. Access smiled.
"Why, restore her, of course."
"Restore...what?" Sue demanded. "You said your self she is gone. There is nothing to restore. The best we can do is keeping the body alive. But would that really be a kindness?" Access looked extremely uncomfortable.
"I have reason to believe that the...essence or soul if you want, of the original is also on this side," Access blurted! Both Sue and Reed Richards looked at the inter-dimensional traveler as if he had suddenly sprouted a second head or a third hand!
Strange, however, contemplated first Access and then the young woman. "I believe you might be correct." He said finally, moving closer to the young woman.
"Stephen!" Sue exclaimed. "Even if he is, what can we do about it?"
"What evidence do you base your conclusion on?" Richards demanded.
"We were both called to that institution, Reed Richards." Strange explained, his eyes never leaving the woman. "Who or what called us there, if not Access then whom? Access does not have those abilities!" Whatever retort Richards had planned died unspoken as he realized the truth of Strange's statement!
"Are you saying a disembodied soul urged us to go there?"
"No. Such a soul could not possess the power of the summons I received. Such power would have to come from some other entity. A god like entity."
"Great. So now you're telling me God called us to be there."
"No Not god in the Christian sense, but a God nonetheless. In fact, I would wager that it was this woman's God."
"Roa." Access whispered. Richards looked at the traveler, his eyes thoughtful.
"I have heard that name before."
"My God, Reed. Look at her!" Sue exclaimed, her eyes wide with recognition. "Really look at her." She turned to Access. "You mentioned her kinsman." Turing to Richards, "Reed, you can see the family resemblance."
Richards bent closer to the girl, studying her facial features.
"Perhaps." He muttered to himself.
"Mrs. Richards is correct, Sir." Access stated as a matter of fact! "The original was indeed a cousin of that Reality's Superman." He paused. "Or rather, she was a cousin of the Superman that existed prior to the reboot, as Mrs. Richards called it. When time and history were changed, so too were many of the histories of the inhabitants of that Reality." He motioned towards the young woman. "For instance, this woman had her powers stripped from her by a radioactive substance that does not exist in the rewritten history!
Though she was not more powerful than the Superman in that version of their history, she is definitely more powerful than the current incarnation."
"Hmmm, I don't think Bruce Banner would care to hear that. " Strange mused. "If I am not mistaken, it was his lot to battle Superman." He smiled thinly. "Though the brain of Dr. Banner and the brawn of the Hulk have been merged, He still does not take defeat gracefully." The tension that had been building was broken as they each got a chuckle from that.
"Access, tell me." Strange mused. "How is it that you know the history of this young woman. If, as you say, these events happened prior to Amalgam, then there is no way you could have gotten that information from anyone living now."
"True." Access acknowledged with a shrug. "All I can say is that I was given this information by the same entity that called you to the institution to meet me."
"And the entity's interest in this young woman?" Richards pressed.
"Call it the act of a loving parent that wishes to see justice done!" Access pointed at the young woman.
"Roa wishes only that this daughter be restored and be allowed to live as she was meant! Roa is the god of an exploded world! In that Reality this God wants nothing more than to reward her for her sacrifices and nobility, and nothing less will suffice than the rebirth of Kara Zor-El! The resurrection of Supergirl!"
This story has been continued in CPU #3's Supergirl Part 2. Please be sure to take the time to fill out the below comments as well. Our authors spend a lot of time writing these stories and would love to hear your comments and suggestions. Plus, your letter could find its way in our upcoming letter columns!
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