Supergirl: The Resurrection Chapter 3
Written by Dylan Clearbrook, Edited by
Note: This issue is continued from Supergirl Chapter 2 in Cosmic Powers Unlimited #3
With ease that comes from practice, Strange retraced his path until he stood just outside his body.
"Kara," He pushed the young woman back slightly and tilted her head, forcing her to look at him. "I need you to stay here."
"Where are you going?" Her question was frantic and her grip on his arms was almost painful.
"Look. You must remain calm if I am to help you."
"Help me?" Now her voice had a hysterical note to it. "How can you help me? I'm dead!" The last was shouted as she tore away from him. "Dead. The Anti-Monitor killed me." She started to laugh. "I always wondered where Kryptonians went when they died. Now I know. Nowhere." She whirled around to face him. "So tell me, how are you going to help me? Can you raise the dead?"
"Usually, no." Strange's reply was dry. "But in this case, I think I will be doing something similar."
"In the name of Rao what are you babbling about?"
"Actually, Rao has had a hand in this." Strange took Kara by the arms and gave her a shake. "Think, Kara. Do you remember defeating a clone of yourself? Do you remember stripping her of her powers?"
"Y-yes." Kara whispered her anger and defiance drained.
"Good." Strange stepped back. "I can't give you the whole story. I don't know the whole story. Suffice it to say that I have that clone and I propose to unite you, the spirit, with it." Kara stepped away, a horrified look on her face.
"NO!" She shook her head. "I can't let you do that. As much as I want to live again, I can't condone destroying another's life to restore mine."
"There will be no destruction." Strange explained, inwardly pleased at this sign of nobility. "She is an empty shell, Kara. Whatever spirit she may have once possessed, has long since been extinguished. All that is left is the physical container. It must be filled soon or we will have no choice but to let the body die as well."
"I don't understand..." Kara began.
"I know. But soon you will." "And may the gods help you when you realize the whole truth." Strange thought to himself. "Let me assure you that, if there were any danger that restoring you would cause harm to the previous inhabitant, then I would not be a party to this. But as it stands, you both benefit. The body regains its spirit and you regain your life."
"A life with out my powers." Kara said, some what bitterly. Then she smiled. "But it will be a life. That will be enough."
"You must remain here." Strange told her again, deciding not to reveal what Reed Richards had done. "I must make some preparations. When you next hear my voice, all you have to do is follow it. Just follow the sound of my voice and do not struggle. When you do, it will seem as if you are falling asleep. When you awaken, it will be in your body. Do you understand?"
Kara nodded. She reached out and grabbed his hand before he could pull away.
"Thank you." She paused. "I don't know what to call you."
"To the world at large, I am known as Dr. Strange." He gripped her hand in both of his, giving it a reassuring squeeze. "You can call me... a friend."
After returning to his body, Strange had cut an opening in the circle, carefully sealing it behind him as he stepped out, rather than dismissing it altogether.
First he called Reed Richards, informing him that he was ready. He then left instructions with his houseman, Wong, that Richards and company be shown straight to the Sanctorum when they arrived. He then he began opened one of his many grimoires and began studying while he waited.
Though not long, the wait was longer than he anticipated. He had just closed the grimoire and stood when a soft knock sounded on the room's only door. The door then opened, at a gesture from Strange, to allow his guests entrance. Reed came first, pushing the floating stretcher bearing the young woman before him. He was not surprised when Sue Richards entered behind him. The third figure startled him somewhat. More startling was the fact that he had not sensed his presence to begin with. "Too deep in study." He muttered to himself.
"Charles Xavier." Strange bowed slightly to the man in the floating chair. He then turned questioning eyes towards Reed.
"Sue suggested that he accompany us." Richards explained. "After I told her what you had told me about her mental state she suggested having him here would be a wise precaution. And I agree." He smiled wryly. "I don't imagine that you want some one as powerful as her to be throwing a tantrum in your Sanctorum."
"Hmmm. Quite right. I am ashamed that I failed to consider the need."
"Have no worries, Dr. Strange." Xavier spoke up. "I will not interfere unless I sense the need to calm the subject." He smiled. "Though I feel that before long both I and the X-Men will be more involved."
"Possibly." Strange mused. "Perhaps at your school she well be able to adjust to life in this Reality easier."
"My thoughts exactly." Xavier nodded.
"Very well then." Strange moved to the stretcher and pushed it closer to the circle. "Once I am in the circle, I must ask you to remain quiet and to remain outside. No matter what you see or what happens, do not cross into the circle." He waited for each of them to acknowledge his instructions and then turned to Xavier. "I am sure that if your talents are needed, the circle will not hinder them. So long as you do not physically cross the barrier."
"Understood, Dr. Strange."
"Good." Turning his back to the observers, he raised his athame and carefully cut an opening in the circle. He pushed the stretcher through first and then, once inside reversed his actions, once again sealing the ritual space.
That accomplished, he turned to the stretcher and studying the controls for a moment, killed the power, allowing it to float gently to the floor. A quick examination of the sacred space, making sure all was ready, he began.
Sinking down to his knees beside the stretcher, he lifted the athame high, point upwards. Softly at first, he began to chant, his voice growing louder with each repetition. As he raised the energy needed, he turned the athame down, it's point to the woman.
Outside the circle Sue shifted uncomfortably.
"Not to worry." The voice sounded in her head and she turned to see Xavier looking at her. "The knife, or Athame as it is called by Practitioners of Wicca and other old religions, is used merely as a focus. He will not use it to harm her. What he is doing now is focusing the energy he has raised through himself and out, via the tip of the athame, into the woman." Sue nodded her understanding and looked back at the circle.
Strange's chanting had grown almost to a shout. He slowly gained his feet, careful to keep the blade of the athame pointed at the woman. He repeated the chant one last time and then called out.
"Kara! Kara Zor-El! I, Stephen Strange, summon you forth. I, Sorcerer Supreme, do command you to come forth. Kara Zor-El, I, Stephen Strange do command you to live!" He called out again and yet again, each time growing more forceful in his summoning.
Outside the circle Xavier grew alert and bent his attention not on Strange but on the woman in the stretcher.
Sue, watching closely, stifled a gasp and gripped Reed's arm as first a hand and the a leg twitched.
What happened next was both terrifying and awing.
A strangled, horrified scream erupted from the throat of the woman, her eyes flying open wide with fear. Then, in an instant, she was in the air, streaking straight for the ceiling.
"NO!" The thought blasted into her mind, sweeping past the fear and the confusion. "Calm! You are safe. You are with friends. Calm, Kara. Calm!"
At the same moment, she felt herself caught and held, unable to move, unable to escape.
"It appears." a voice she dimly recognized was saying, "That not only is she vulnerable to those radiation's, Reed, but she is vulnerable to magic as well." She felt herself being pulled down.
"Rest, Kara." The voice in her mind was saying. "Sleep. Soon you will awaken and all will be explained. First you must rest and give yourself time to adjust. Sleep."
Adjust? Adjust to what? Her mind grew hazy as the voice droned on. As the light faded she felt herself being gently lowered back into the stretcher.
"Now that was interesting." Reed commented. After making sure that the woman was, indeed sleeping, Strange had ended the circle, dismissing the four Quarters. Then he, with his quests, had moved the patient to a vacant room in the vast mansion. In a sitting room just outside, Reed, Sue, and Stephen had gathered. Xavier was with the woman still, doing what he could, while she slept, to help.
"It will not be much." He had warned. "I will not intrude unnecessarily." He had looked at them, wondering if they truly understood what the woman had gone through.
"Indeed." Strange now agreed. "I fully expected to be repairing the ceiling of my Sanctorum. I reacted purely on instinct. I never expected that she would be powerless against magic."
"That is interesting. Though not totally unexpected if you think it through." Sue replied. "Magic is not physical. "
"That hold Strange had on her was indeed physical, dear. She was not going anywhere." Reed countered.
"I believe I understand what you are saying." Strange nodded to Sue. "And you are quite correct. It is not physical in the sense that we are used to calling physical. Had I used magic to throw something at her, say a chunk of wood, I am sure that she would have shrugged it off as she would any physical or energy attack. Yet magic works differently. I believe that she is just as vulnerable to magic as any normal being."
They were interrupted as Xavier entered the room. Behind him to door swung closed gently, as if pulled by an invisible hand.
"She is resting peacefully now." He informed them. "She will awaken calmer, but still somewhat confused. If it is no bother I would like to remain and be present when she does awaken. She will probably sleep for a couple of days."
"It will be no problem at all. I will have the room next to this one readied for you." Strange said.
Sue and Reed soon departed, heading back to Pier Four, but not before getting Strange's word that he would contact them should anything new arise and informing him that they would return soon to, as Sue put it, smiling: "be formally introduced to her."
"And now?" Strange asked, once the couple had departed.
"Now we wait." Xavier answered. Turning his chair he regarded the closed door that led into the young woman's room. "We wait."
Light! Sunlight! She could feel it on her skin, could feel it's warmth spreading over her, could see it through her closed eyes. Early morning bird song trilled in her ears.
Slowly, she opened her eyes and sat up. For a moment the room spun before settling down. She was, she found, lying in a soft bed, covered only by a sheet. Looking slowly around, she took stock. To one side of the room was a closed door. On the wall to the right of that on open door revealed a closet full of clothing. A woman's clothes. On the wall opposite that stood a vanity, complete with mirror. Her eyes widened at the sight of a short, brown wig on a stand on the vanity.
Still moving slowly, she swung her feet off the bed and moved to the vanity. Opening the drawers until she found one that held undergarments. Though she felt guilty she knew that she would be much more at ease dressed. She picked through the undergarments until she found some she liked. Who ever had bought them had gone to the trouble of acquiring various styles, all in her size. She then moved to the closet and, after a quick look, pulled out a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt. Now that she was in the closet she could also see that it held a wide variety of footwear, all in her size. She selected a pair of sneakers and made her way back to the vanity and open the other drawers until she located socks.
Before long she was dressed She eyed the wig and decided not to bother with it. Instead she picked up brush and brushed her blond hair just enough to remove the tangles. She was still sitting at the vanity, wondering what to do next when there came a soft knock on the closed door.
"Well, that answers my next question." She muttered to herself. Aloud she called out. "Come in." She was disturbed to hear the quaver in her voice.
She was more than a little startled when the door seemed to open of it's own accord. She was even more surprised by the man the floating "wheel chair" that entered.
"How are you feeling this morning?" His voice was deep and rich, it's timbre purposely pitched to set a person at ease.
"I - I'm not quite sure." She replied, thankful that she was sitting. "A bit woozy" She put a hand to her temple as the room spun again. "Make that a lot woozy."
"I suppose that should come as no surprise." the man nodded. "You have been through a tremendous ordeal." He hesitated for a moment studying her. "Perhaps we can leave questions and answers for a bit later. Would you like to join me and our host for breakfast?"
"Yes. You met him the other night, though I am sure you probably do not recall."
"There is a lot that I can't seem to recall." The woman said, somewhat bitterly.
"Well, as I said, we can leave most of the questions and answers for later, after you have rested and adjusted more. But tell me this. Do you recall who you are? Do you know your name?"
"Why Lin...." She saw the brown wig out of the corner of her eye and shook her head. Old habits, it seemed, die-hard. "Kara. My name is Kara Zor-El from Argo-City."
Supergirl: The Resurrection Chapter 4 is now available in Cosmic Powers Unlimited #7. Next week, look for Part 3 of JLA/Galactus: Worlds Colliding! Now leave your comments below.
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