[A cut-scene that would occur after Cosmic Boys disappearance ~ Supergirl & the Legion of Super-Heroes #30.]


Brainiac Five's sensors had warned him in advance of her approach, so he didn't bother to look up at Triplicate Girl entered his workspace.

"I have completed my research. May I have your Flight Ring?"

Lu hesitated, unsure if the temperamental genius would ever give it back…

"Please do not delay, I am expending precious resources on this task, resources that could be more productively allocated."

"Well, since you asked so nicely," Lu muttered, plopping her flight ring into his outstretched hand with an audible smack. He still hadn't even bothered to look away from the three-dimensional holo-display he was viewing.

He actually looked away from the display to examine the ring, as if Lu had just handed him a dead animal before wiping it on his shirt, as if to clean off some offending taint.

"I didn't get girl-cooties on it…" she said sourly, arms crossed. Querl, predictably, ignored her, placing the ring into a tray that slid forward from the machinery in front of him. The machinery hummed and some displays change values, values that had no meaning to Lu, and then with a 'ping' and a rattle, the tray popped out and Querl pulled the ring, which was visibly steaming, from the machine, handing it backwards to Lu, still not facing her.

"I'm over here," she said, stepping away from his arm, just being difficult and forcing him to turn around. He turned around, visibly annoyed and walked the two steps until he was standing directly in front of her, their noses almost touching. For one insane sideways moment she thought he was going to kiss her, but instead she felt him press her slightly warm flight ring into her hand while his other hand wrapped hers around it, as if he'd just given a child a piece of candy. He stepped back and turned around smoothly, and the temperature in the lab suddenly seemed distinctly chilly.

"So that's it?" She said, looking at the rapidly-cooling ring dubiously. The aggravating man didn't bother to answer, and she could see the holo-display in front of him had already changed to something else, and was blurring by so fast that it just looked like a colorful lightshow. "Brainy, will it work? Should I test it or something?"

"*I* know it works. If you wish to 'test' it, be my guest." Brainy said matter-of-factly.

Slipping the ring on her finger, Luornu reached into that secret place inside and effortlessly stepped outside of herself. Sure enough, both of her had a flight ring gleaming on their finger. She tilted her head and stepped to the side again, leaving behind a third self, similarly adorned, and with a single motion the three identical girls raised their hands and rose above the floor, floating effortlessly before settling back to the air, as gentle as a mote of dust.

She looked at the brilliant inventors back, shaking her head at his attitude, when a thought occurred to her.

"Brainy? I have a question…" she began.

"The answer is yes." Brainiac Five said, without turning or allowing her a pause to finish her thought.

"But you don't know the question." Lu stammered, flustered by his matter-of-fact response.

"Of course I do." He said, turning to regard her with golden eyes that somehow failed to be warm or comforting, "You were going to ask if I could have adjusted your flight ring to your specific abilities at any time, and simply chose not to because you were so transparently working to undermine my status on the team on behalf of Cosmic Boy. The answer is yes." He then turned back to his work.

Taken aback by his candor, Luornu turned to the door, all-too-aware of the implicit dismissal in his tone and posture. Stopping at the doorway, she turned to say, "You could at least have lied about it…"

As the door slid smoothly shut behind her, she could hear Querl's parting comment, "I am a scientist. I have no fear of the truth."