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Mercy

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Alex sighed in relief as she turned away from the Doctor and looked through the glass at her sister. Kara was still in her super-suit, its fabric torn and cut from the alien’s claws and her wounds lay open and weeping to the artificial light in the DEO Restoration Chamber. There were two beds, Alex had insisted, one was your typical hospital bed, with a few extra perks, and the other was a lot more comfortable. It was for when Kara was wounded or exhausted enough to require the medical bay, but not enough that she required kryptonite needles and drugs to aid her healing, that was what the medical bed was for. There were two tables, one for each bed, and a large shelving system for sheets, blankets, and other medical gear that didn’t require special storage. That storage was against the wall.

She opened the door and walked inside, instantly feeling her uniform grown heavy and hot against her skin with the heat from the lamps. Though she was wounded Kara’s face was tilted towards the light, a small smile to her lips and she looked to be at peace.

As Alex approached she peered through an eye at her in greeting before closing it. “Hey,” she rasped, throat obviously dry and Alex walked over to one of the tables and poured her a glass of water, valiantly stopping her hand from shaking. Her other held her department IPad.

“Hey. Here,” she said as she handed the water over to her baby sister and Kara’s eye blinked open, before she forced the other open and she half rose to take a sip. She winced a little as she did and glanced down before frowning.

“My suit,” she said mournfully and then took the water that Alex offered. There were several large tears in the front of the suit, right across the ‘S’ crest and then smaller one’s on either side where the edges of the alien’s claws had struck her. The Agent winced as she saw the damage to the suit and then looked Kara in the eyes again.

“What happened? All I remember is him hitting me.” Abruptly she sat up, facing paling, maybe in pain. “Is Lena okay? Is she safe? Why was he targeting her? Do we have-”

Alex chuckled and held up her hand, amused despite the situation at her sister’s energetic personality showing itself.

“Miss Luthor’s fine,” she said calmly and sat on the bed Kara shuffled over a bit for her and then relaxed against the pillows. Her wounds slowly healing, even Alex with her human eyes could see the difference. She settled her IPad over her knees.

“It is 02:27:52,” Alex reported after glancing to her watch. “The alien is in DEO custody but was badly wounded and may not see the sunrise. Miss Luthor walked away without a scratch, though I can’t say the same for her office…. At least now she can get a little bit of colour in there,” she added to see Kara smile. Kara smiled, she had complained about how boring and white Lena’s office was.

“Three of her security guards were killed and fourteen staff are receiving medical treatment in National City Hospital,” her brow tightened and Kara’s smile fell from her face.

“We don’t know why he attacked her, we can’t understand him, and if Lena Luthor knows, she hasn’t told us…but we think it has something to do with her brother.”

Kara’s head snapped up, blue eyes widening.

“Not like that,” Alex said hurriedly to reassure the blonde and Kara slowly rested back on the pillow. “Because of her bother’s anti-alien sentiments, some fractions think she is the same and are looking to-“

“-To take her out before she takes them out?” Kara offered with a sigh.

Alex nodded and worried her lips before adding, “She had a gun, one that wounded her attacker a lot. She wouldn’t let us take it, but it is concerning. The lab is looking into the bullets right now.”

Kara sighed and relaxed further against the pillows, resigned. “When can I leave?”

“When Hank says you can,” Alex said shifting on the bed and moving her side-arm a little to fit more comfortably against Kara. “But,” she said as Kara huffed. “Winn has a new suit for you, he’s very excited.” She nudged Kara gently and the alien gave a begrudging smile.

“So…how was I knocked out?”

Alex took a deep breath. “Miss Luthor was kind enough to send us the footage of the attack, and we have our own cam’s.” She flicked open her IPad cover and entered her password and then opened up the footage of the attack.

“Miss Luthor obviously edited the footage as all we were able to get from her was the moment of the attack, and after, nothing before then. Winn couldn’t even hack into her system to retrieve it, though IT’s working on it.” She pressed play and angled the device so that they both could see the screen. It reminded her of when either of them were down and they would watch their favourite episodes of Friends with ice-cream and a laptop between them.

Kara watched silently as the alien launched himself across the room at Lena, saw herself fly in through the window and tackle him to the ground in mid-air. She saw the fight and watched Lena take cover in the corner, dragging her chair with her, and then looking down at it in annoyance but still hiding behind it. Alex winced as she re-watched the footage, feeling her heart clench with every blow her sister took, and watched Lena make her way gracefully, for one in heels that high, through the wreckage to the door.

Kara recoiled slightly when she saw herself get thrown to the wall and watched it collapse on her, but she leant forward as Alex rewound the footage to show her how the alien charged his attack. Energy was behind his scales and it seemed as though he got stronger the longer it went, and then it vanished, only to roar up his arm and into his claw. That was what had wounded Kara, the energy had sent her flying, powering his attack and tearing her suit. He stood over her, claws somehow morphing into one large claw-like spear, which glowed with purple fire. Lena was beneath the camera now, they could just see her hesitating in the doorway, beneath a broken doorframe.

Alex had been making her way up the stairwell (the elevator system had been shut down when the fire-alarm went off) at the head of a group of Agent’s while her sister was being beaten and hadn’t arrived in time to save Kara, but Lena Luthor had.

“Hey, you!” She growled and stalked forward, regal and graceful like some sort of predator of the night as she brought her gun up. “Didn’t you know? Luthor’s hate aliens. You picked the wrong office to crash,” she sounded defiant, fearless in the face of death, but there was a bitterness to her words, an underlying self-loathing as she spoke her last name. She moved fluidly over the debris as the alien turned to face her fully as the purple bullets penetrated his scales and he stumbled towards her, claws piercing foot-long holes in the fallen parts of the roof as he got closer. Purple fluid, almost black, dripped from his wounds and left sizzling drops on the ground as he got closer.

She was steady-fast, with the eye of a winning marksman and emptied her magazine into his upper body and head until he stumbled to fall at her feet. She kept her gun trained on him for a moment before she slowly lowered it. She was edging forward when Alex burst into the room behind her, gun drawn and eyes sharp.

The remainder of the video passed with Lena being escorted from the room and the Agent’s seeing to Kara and the alien. The other videos showed the same scene, only the angles were different. The helicopter cam was able to show Lena as she strode forward towards the two aliens, gun recoiling in her hands, muscles tensing with the strain, brows tight with concentration and eyes gleaming with defiance. It also showed, much to Alex’s fury and Kara’s disappointment how after the alien had fallen, she had lifted the gun on the unmoving superhero. Then her features had smoothened and she had lowered it, taking a step forward and moving the gun to her side as Alex roared into the room.

Alex didn’t tell Kara that James and Winn were screaming for her to be brought in and punished for even considering turning her weapon on Kara, and that Alex herself was considering leading the party, but that Hank had talked them out of it. Lena had willingly protected Kara he had argued, and had decided not to shoot her, though when confronted by Alex –who had seen a Luthor standing over Superman’s cousin with an alien wounding gun in her hand, and may have gotten aggressive defensive-she had fired her final shot into the wall next to Kara, a strange fire burning in her eyes.

She had been co-operative, easily following the directions of the DEO agents and had joined her staff on the ground where the medic’s were seeing to them. Firefighters, police officers, and ambulance officers were milling around the corner of the L-Corp building taking directions from the ‘FBI’ agents on the scene. The DEO helicopters had taken Kara and the unconscious alien straight back to headquarters and Alex had remained on scene to clear things up. She had also escorted Lena to her penthouse, urging the woman to increase her security and to be careful, and not take unnecessary risks. She didn’t think the headstrong Luthor would listen to her, but she did thank her for her assistance, enquired about Supergirl’s health-which made Alex bristle at the perceived threat-, and then dismissed the agents and walked with back rigid and proud into her apartment.

Kara sighed and looked away from the footage and there was a knock at the door. Winn poked his head around the corner, and seeing Kara awake and sitting up with Alex he beamed and pushed the door open with his back. He was carrying a large box in his hands and was grinning like a child in a candy or toy store.

“Hey Kara! I’ve got presents!” He almost squealed with joy as he got closer and the two Danvers sisters shared a look before Alex slid off the bed to make room for Winn and his present.

“Ouch, those look bad,” the tech expert said as he set the box down and his brow was tight as he looked over the wounds. They were much better than when Alex had first seen them, they looked like they had been healed over several weeks rather than a few hours, and by the time dawn came around would look almost as good as new.

“My suit,” Winn said sorrowfully and reached out as though to touch it and then he jerked back to himself. “Never mind! I made you a better one! Here!” He almost threw the box at Kara and was fortunate her reflexes were on point, even as it strained her torso in grabbing it.

Winn winced and Alex rolled her eyes. “Sorry,” he lifted his shoulders apologetically. “I got, ah, excited.”

Kara was like a kid on Christmas as she opened the box to reveal her new suit as Winn started to explain all the upgrades he had done to it, easy release catches on the cape so no one could drag her around with it, stronger fabric to reduce wear and tear, it was mostly water and fireproof now and he had fit in an anti-Kryptonite plate in beneath the ‘S’ of her crest, as long as any kryptonite hit her suit it would be drawn to and contained in under her crest. Kara didn’t appear to be paying too much attention to Winn as she was beaming at her new suit like a child and Alex shook her head as her pager clicked.

Both Winn and Kara looked at her as she turned away from the summons and smiled at them. “I’ll be in next to take you home. Do you want me to call in sick for you tomorrow-er, today?”

Kara’s eyes went wide and she shuffled on the sunbed, moving her legs to the side as she made to get up. “Work! Oh my gosh, my job! Snapper will kill me! I am so fired,” she murmured almost to herself as she sat up and edged forward on the bed. The movement had made her wounds start to weep, and blood was snaking its way down her body.

“No!” Alex said firmly in her no-nonsense Eliza patented (sister) voice. Kara stilled and Winn gulped and looked awkwardly around the room, trying not to make eye contact. “You will stay here until Hank, and the Doctor’s, say you can leave.”

“But…my job,” Kara’s blue eyes were wide and innocent, a pout creeping onto her lips and Alex stilled herself. Her sister was not begging for another cookie, she was wanting to go out into the dangerous city wounded and those eyes would not work on her damn it.

“Your job will be waiting,” Alex replied confidently as Kara’s lower lip began to tremble and she felt her resolve weaken. “I text Snapper and told him you were on the ground after the attack at L-Corp, he expects you in person with the base of the story at ten. You are not leaving this facility until you are cleared, Kara. It’s not safe.” Her tone changed slightly, lowering and softening as she tried to reason with her sister. Kara huffed and shifted back on the bed, hiding her wince.

Her pager beeped again and she smiled ruefully at both puppies as they gushed over the new suit and turned and left. Casting a farewell over her shoulder. Her boots thumped powerfully as she made her way from the med-bay, past the barracks, food hall, and some storage rooms and into the heart of operations. Agents were moving around or tapping away at computers and Hank stood next to Vasquez who was bringing up footage onto one of the larger screens.

“What is it?” She enquired as she climbed the few steps up to the main control area.

“Have a look,” Vasquez said wryly as she clicked a few buttons. Hank was looking stern like always, but there was a flicker of something in his gaze as he stared past the footage and to the opposite wall. “Or rather, a listen. I hacked into L-Corp’s security and used that server to gain access to Miss Luthor’s private security feed-it was hard but I did manage to get in. The camera’s outside her office are streamed 24/7 to the L-Corp servers, but the camera inside her office is on her own network. And it’s only because she gave us some of her footage that I was able to hack into it. Now,” Vasquez clicked a few more times and the image of Lena Luthor’s office came up on the large monitor, with yesterday’s date and several minutes before the attack on the timer along the bottom of the screen. “This is what she didn’t give us.”

The Agent pressed play and they watched as Lena turned from her view and pressed several buttons, turning her windows to glass and opening a file on her computer. They were able to see and hear the attack from below and could see her studying something in her lap before pulling out a gun and clicking a magazine into place before putting it on her lap.

“She’s right handed,” Alex murmured as she stared at the screen and watched the CEO pick up a pen in her left and hover it over some documents.

“She has the gun in her right,” J’onn offered, brows tight and eyes watchful as the alien entered the room.

It hissed out its best impression of the CEO’s name and then launched itself at her. The microphone picked up other sound though, just before the attack if the way the noise monitor jumped on the side, like a musicians auto-tuner.

“What was here?” Alex asked, leaning forward and resting her body on Vasquez’s chair. The agent nodded and clicked a few times. With the noise enhanced they were able to hear it hiss out in what must have been its own tongue. Hank’s jaw was moving silently and he sighed, which was what caught Alex’s attention immediately.

“What? What did he say?”

“We ran the words past Aura,” he said in his slow, confident, and calm way. “The database was able to translate for us,” he handed over a sheet of paper, part of the DEO official report and she looked down at the transcript and felt her blood run cold and then hot. Alura’s translation was in normal font, and the DEO’s interpretation was in brackets and italics.

Alien: Leeeeea Liiithiirrrr,” (Lena Luthor)

Alien: Isark eivene greshna Kaadmass. (You pay for Cadmus)

“Let me go and talk to her,” she demanded, turning on Hank and feeling the paper crumple in her hands.

Hank shook his head and his eyes were dark and cold. “No. We don’t even know what Miss Luthor had to do with the alien attack.”

Alex opened her mouth to protest, feeling a pang of betrayal, this woman was part of Cadmus, she was part of the organisation trying to hurt Kara and countless others.

“We don’t know for sure,” Hank corrected and his voice changed to command. “You are not to take this further. We need to talk to the alien first, if it wakes up, and find out how it knew about Lena, and why it attacked her.”

Vasquez was frowning at the monitor. “What the fuck?” She whispered and then she was launching forward as an alarm began to sound, beeping frantically from the systems computers. “Fuck! We’re being hacked!” She and a half dozen other agents moved frantic fingers over keyboards and all of the monitors in the headquarters changed to show the files they had on Cadmus. Footage, reports, suspected personnel, and more importantly the latest report on the attack at L-Corp all flashed and showed up on the screen.

“They’re stealing out files!” Shouted another agent from another computer, where their screen was flaring ‘Access Denied’ in bold red. A bar appeared across the screens, the tell-tail sign of a download. ‘Project Cadmus,’ was one of the written commands that appeared in a box to the left and the download bar began to solidify as the files were stolen.

“Fuck!” Shouted another agent, as ‘Alien Weapon’ became the next search in the bar and those files began to number above the download box.

“Get them out of there!” Hank bellowed, and when he raised his voice it was with command and the agents listening flinched, even as they were trying their hardest to halt the hack.

Vasquez’s fingers were moving at a speed to make even Supergirl jealous and the screen in front of her was roaring with various code and commands and then it flashed green. ‘Access Granted: Emergency Override Commencing.’ The Agent took a deep, relaxing breath and began to type again and up on the large monitor the folder on the Luthor’s shifted to the one on Alura and of the House of El. The download bar across the screen’s inched to a halt, right before the folder on Alura’s Matrix, the folder that contained what she was, and more importantly, who’s mother she was. Alex breathed a sigh of relief, the following folders were Kara Zor-El, Kal El, Alura Zor-El, Astra In-Ze, and it didn’t look like the hacker got those.

There was a sudden sound and then the lights went out, emergency power sources flicking on and then the black screen changed to show the re-booting of the system, a countdown that would take less than three minutes.

“What happened?” Kara gasped as she appeared in the middle of the room, clutching her side and staring around her at the gobsmacked agents.

“We were hacked, Supergirl,” Vasquez said and leant back in her chair in shock. The agent’s around her were expressing their own disbelief.

“I want to know who and I want to know how,” Hank’s commanding voice echoed in the startled silence. “I want to know what they got, and what they plan on doing with it. Increase security. Now!” Agents jumped to attention and obedience and Winn skidded to a halt in the headquarters as there was a flurry of movement.

“The DEO was hacked,” Winn asked in disbelief as he made his way up to his own chair and desk.

“What do you want me to do?” Kara asked, straightening even as her fierce look turned twisted to hide her pain.

“My orders for you, Supergirl, still stand,” Hank said commandingly. “You are to remain in the med-bay until you are cleared. Please,” he added seeing Kara bristle at the instruction.

“But-“

“Super-Kara,” Alex interrupted, seeing her baby sister about to protest. “Let us do our jobs, so you can go back to yours.”

Kara’s blue yes turned to steel. “Fine, but I’m leaving at dawn.”

“Agreed,” Hank nodded, perhaps seeing this was his best outcome with the stubborn girl. “Thank you,” he turned back to Vasquez as the re-boot began and she started to attempt a trace of the hack.

“I wonder who has the brain and computer power to hack into the DEO,” Kara wondered as Alex escorted her back to the med-bay. IT expert she was not, she belonged on the ground gathering samples of in the field with her sister. She’d leave the tech experts to their jobs. She didn’t have the words to tell Kara that one of the notes in Lex Luthor’s files was his exemplary computer skills. It seemed like a Luthor was behind this strike as well, perhaps in revenge for the attack on his sister.