Watching Lex walk past the smoking remains of his flaunted helicopter to the main road was one of the most satisfying events in Clark's memory. He kept an eye on the young billionaire until a limo arrived ten minutes later to pick him up like a common hitchhiker off the rural road.
Diana sheathed her Falcata and returned to her leader's side. "We must prepare."
Clark nodded and turned to face the four girls as they stood in awe of their newest hero. Mary was the first to run out to meet them.
"That was freakin' fantastic! Did you see the way that chopper went BOOOM!"
Talia, Maya, and Dee were all behind her with gleaming smiles and Clark took them in. "Now's the time to decide. We'll be vastly outnumbered and you four haven't trained nearly enough as Diana and I have."
"Clark," Talia interrupted. "We're …"
"No, T.J. you haven't faced these things before; I have. Each of them will probably have at least the same powers as the one I faced if not more." He clasped his hand behind his back. "He could turn invisible. He was strong and with that strength he had military training. It took me a few minutes to actually take one of them down and you've seen what I can do."
"So you're saying you want us to bail?" Mary replied with sudden anger. "Well FUCK THAT!"
Dee blinked at the outburst. "Uh yeah … what she said."
"I need better weapons," Maya said nonchalantly.
Clark turned to Chloe. "Find out what they want. And call it in to Jor-el. Contact Oliver; they're supposed to be liberating a supply warehouse for some surprises. Let him know what's happening and to be here soonest."
She laid her hand on his forearm. "Where are you going?"
With his cloaking outfit activated Clark touched off and sailed into the sky. Reaching the upper atmosphere he turned north and made his way to the Fortress of Solitude.
"Jor-el," he called out.
"Chloe will be contacting you. Make sure you give her anything she wants. Have it waiting and I'll take it with me when I return."
A short moment passed when he was answered. "I am in contact with her. Is it your intention to share Kryptonian knowledge with the people of Earth?"
"With these people, yes."
Clark came in for a landing just outside the Fortress and walked down the crystal path to the control room. A soft blue surrounded him beneath the Kryptonian crystals when he approached the control panel.
He withdrew a single crystal and set it to activate. "J'onn," he called out.
"Got everything, Jor-el?" Chloe said.
"Affirmative, Chloe Sullivan."
She nodded her head. "Great. Tell Clark to hurry back."
She switched wrists and noted the time. "Seven more hours."
Lex stormed into the Ridge Facility base of operations. His anger was not very well hidden underneath his normally calm façade. When he reached the main lab and the guard opened the vault-like door he almost yelled.
"Activate them, now."
Dr. Williams turned. "How many, Mister Luthor?"
"All of them. I want them ready to march this afternoon."
Clark landed near the front porch an hour later. He noted the return of Oliver's helicopter in the back forty and the presence of Bart and the green archer behind the house with Diana and Maya. When he sat the large cloth sack on the floor of the porch Dee came running out.
Clark gave her a warm smile. "And have you been a good girl this year?"
The pale girl preened, holding her hands behind her back. "Nope."
Clark crooked an eyebrow and gave her a wry smile. "Well I guess I'll have to break the rules this time, but you have to promise to do better next year."
Dee clapped her hands and made for the sack. "Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie."
He picked it back up and held it to his chest and he sorted through the items. "For you I think we can say that you'll get one of these."
Clark pulled out a bracelet matching his own and Chloe's as well.
Dee's eyes widened. "Ooooh jewelery. Good call."
Clark smirked and saw Chloe standing at the door with Talia beside her; both of them sported mirthful smiles. "Come on, I have something for everyone."
Chloe reached up and tapped her earpiece. "Everyone to the front, Santa Clark has come to town."
~0~Kent Farm 6:58 p.m.
The sun had set over the horizon almost twenty minutes past and the last vestige of sunlight was minutes away from letting the full moon illuminate the once empty pasture.
Dead Girl pulled the fifth knife of the night out of her ribcage and flipped it around sinking it into the stomach of what might as well been a robot as far as she was concerned. That it had the semblance of an actual flesh and blood human being was long gone along with her trademark humor.
Quips and whining had become a thing of the past and now only her instincts remained and they told her to press on because the others weren't as tough as she was. After all she was already dead … that was her power.
The soldier she stabbed backhanded her to the ground. Just because it didn't hurt when she was stabbed or hit didn't mean that she wasn't affected by the act. She cursed and kicked out at the soldier's knees and watched as they withstood her strongest blow. Instead of waiting to be hit again she rolled backward and tried to gain her feet.
Another soldier stood behind her and grabbed Dead Girl by her head letting its weapon clad hand drag a combat blade cleanly across her exposed throat.
Dead Girl tried screaming in frustration to no avail as her necrotic flesh knitted itself together. She turned and slammed her hand into the soldier's face and went wide-eyed at the results. Her hand passed through the head and she lost her balance falling forward completely through the soldier.
With her throat completely healed she yelled. "Whoa! I'm a ghost!"
The soldier she fell through dropped to the ground shaking violently and steaming through its ears and eyes.
"Excellent!" she growled and took to her feet.
The original soldier she had been fighting seemed to be focusing in on her and stepped in to grab at her head. Dead Girl smiled and stepped forward into and through it and another soldier was down and seemingly out.
At seeing the soldier fall Dead Girl took off at a full run into the thickest part of the battle. She saw Superman being overwhelmed amidst twenty or thirty soldiers grabbing at him. Where Dead Girl ran soldiers fell in waves.
When Superman saw the new power presented by the youngest of them he yelled. "Help the others!"
Dee smiled and ran to her closest friend in need.
Diana sliced the air around her in a blur of blood, steel, and flesh as Dee ran past her dropping ten soldiers without even trying. A thin smile came from the Amazon. "Mary's in trouble," she yelled.
"On my way!"
She was invincible! The soldiers had no defense against her new and fearsome power. She ran past and landed yet another ten to fifteen soldiers when she came to a thin area of the battle.
"Mutant!" she heard from a voice behind her.
Dead Girl turned and started laughing at the soldier holding something other than a blade or gun. It was large and hooked up to something like scuba tanks on his back.
She made her way to him without fear. Her humor was returning. "What's that?"
The soldier never answered her question verbally. Instead it pulled the trigger to its portable incendiary weapon more commonly known as a flame thrower. Its fuel consisting of low-octane gasoline with benzene and polystyrene will normally burn for ten minutes, once ignited, at a temperature of 2200 degrees. Once coated with the sticky gel-like substance the fuel rarely was extinguishable.
Dee started at a quick trot toward the soldier and was startled to a stop by a jet of flame engulfing her body. Unlike the blade and blunt weapons of the enemy she normally shrugged off she actually felt the flame.
Bloody Mary snapped the neck of the soldier she was fighting and out of the corner of her eye she saw Dead Girl drop to her knees and fall amongst the intense heat of jet of flame imitating from her attacker's weapon.
Dee was hurt. She was really hurt! "Deeeee!" she screamed and thrust her hands forward toward the soldier that hurt her friend.
Similar flames shot from her hands across the field and struck the soldier that held the flame thrower. The fuel canisters that contained the napalm-like substance exploded seconds later sending a massive shock through the scores of enemy combatants surrounding him.
Bloody Mary was stunned into submission at the loss of the fist of their ranks that day, so stunned that she didn't see one of the soldiers behind her pulling on the trigger of his MP-5 empting its clip into her torso. Her body shuttered repeatedly racked in convulsions from each bullet entering before she dropped face forward into the scorched grass at her feet.
~0~Kent Farm 2:45 p.m.
Mary sat on the porch looking out into the field at the cool breeze blowing across the green grass when she heard the screen door closing behind her. Dee dropped beside her and slung her arm around her shoulders.
Mary rolled her eyes. "Nothing squirt."
Dee leaned her head against Mary's shoulder. "Can I help with the nothing?"
Dee lost some of her energy and sighed slightly. "Excited about tonight?"
Mary shook her head a bit. "Nah."
Dee snorted. "Don't worry; I'll look out for you."
Dee snuggled up closer when she felt the cool breeze pick up. Mary instinctively wrapped her arm around the girl. She dropped her eyes to the pre-teen and smiled slightly.
"Want to go see the cows?"