Legacies; Krypton Girl
The young woman stood in her quarters, head still spinning with the events of the day. Her exhilaration and sense of joy drained away as her eyes fell on the box that awaited her, and she resigned herself to what came next, using her telekinetic powers to cause the dull gray metal box, heavy with the weight of centuries worth of obligations and regrets, to float to her hand.
No DNA, human or alien, other than her own would defeat the security on the box, and she ran her finger along the designs, wishing to turn back, even as she traced the all-too-familiar pattern. With a click, and a hiss, the box opened, the first time it had done so in the decade since her father passed this curse on to her, and, inside, nestled like a viper’s egg, sat a glistening red stone.
Before she could lose her nerve entirely, and aware that she was already being observed, she took up the stone with her right hand, feeling its unwholesome heft and watching the sixty-four facets reflect the lights of her room into tiny red dots dancing around her like the targeting lasers of enemy weapons, swirling around to pinpoint her location. Still holding the box, her left hand dropped behind her back, as she assumed a relaxed military stance.
“Ancestor,” she said simply, surprised at the steadiness of her voice. “My name is Alexis, and it has been ten years since you were last updated.” She stares into the red gem, small enough that she could wrap her fingers around it, and wondered once again how something so tiny could weigh so much in her hand, “This thing that Brainiac made to contain your essence, your memories, your ‘holographic totality,’ whatever the hell that means, has been entrusted to our family for nearly a thousand years now.”
She continues, aware that there would be no response, “My father, and his mother before that, warned me to never listen to your words,” she hesitated for a second, before plunging on, “They told me how you twisted great-grandfather’s mind, and led him to a life of bitterness, disappointment and, ultimately, failure, so much like your own…”
She can almost sense the anger her statement has provoked, even ‘though she knows it’s all in her imagination. Her fingers move to press a particular combination of facets in sequence, and the stone shines a pale light to form a holographic image of the legendary figure whom she’s been addressing.
“Ancestor,” she repeats, as the image before her examines first it’s wrinkled hands, and looks upwards to begin speaking, only to appear flustered as no sound comes forth. “I have not enabled the ability for you to speak. Merely to listen. But I wanted to see your face when I told you what fourteen generations of my family have kept from you.”
The image’s eyes narrow and its mouth stops working furiously, abandon its futile attempts to make its displeasure heard.
Alexis speaks a command and the room’s entertainment system projects an image on the wall, first of a newspaper article, the obituary of a once-powerful man, who died in disgrace. A sentence at the end of the death-notice is highlighted, ending with the words ‘failed attempt to redeem his name, died without heirs.’ The aged figure is startled by this information, and looks back to her with rising anger and confusion, and, at her command, the projection changes again, this time to a still image of a group of young people in brightly colored costumes standing before a tower shaped like the letter ‘T.’ The image pans in on a smiling young man in the center, dressed unlike the others in simple jeans and a black t-shirt emblazoned with a red and gold ‘S’ symbol.
“You died childless. Your DNA was only passed on through this man, who is our true ancestor, and who entrusted our family with making sure that your evil never escapes this prison.” Alexis says flatly.
The figure’s arms are gesticulating wildly, and if he had breath to draw, she might have concern that a man of his advanced age and apparent ill-health might work himself into some sort of seizure. Instead she smiles without humor and speaks a third command, changing the projection one last time to a panoramic view of a great metropolis, seemingly built of shining metal and crystal, with flying vehicles and, coming into the scene and moving across it, flying people as well, cheered by onlookers below as they pass overhead. They are brightly-costumed in red and blue, gold and green and a half-dozen other combinations, some male, some female and some so alien that their gender is uncertain, and still the crowds below cheer as they sweep low above the crowd and wave. The image slows and moves in on a familiar figure, in her blue and red costume, red hair flowing in the sunlight. The image is of Alexis, and she turns, cheeks flush with the memory of this afternoon to regard the withered haunt that now has shrunken back before her, denying what it has been shown.
“This is a special day, ancestor. I wanted you to know,” she begins, as her left hand returns from behind her back, to reveal the golden ring on her finger, “that it’s been a thousand years, and that the only legacy for which the Luthor name is known, is one of Kryptonian-powered superheroism." she pauses to let that sink in, before concluding, "Just something I wanted you to think about for the next thousand years.”
With this party shot delivered, she plops the stone back in its box, the image of the ranting figure winking out like a phantasm, and seals it away again.
It’s been a good day for Alexis Luthor, the newest graduate of Legion Academy, and she looks forward to shaking off her family’s legacy and creating a new one.