Chapter 5

Disaster Averted

Kara was thoroughly miffed. There she had been, enjoying quality time with Susan, listening to her sing, only to be interrupted by an ultrasonic emergency call. On quickly checking the situation with her tachyonic vision she had discovered to her horror that Metropolis's elderly and mostly retired nuclear power plant had, yet again, been targetted by a group of terrorists.

"Love, I have got to go, NOW," she had exclaimed hurriedly.

"Do you want me to come too?," Susan had asked.

"No," Kara had replied, flexing her shapely thighs hard and shooting into the air as fast as she could, blasting through the sound barrier in moments. The triple sonic boom, which she had long recognised as being characteristic of her battering her way through the sound barrier at low altiude, had echoed around the hills as she went, muttering sulphurously to herself all the while. "Damn fool bureaucrats and politicians," she swore. "They've been procrastinating for years about decommissioning that blasted reactor. The damned thing is a public menace. Now we've got terrorists threatening to blow it to kingdom come again."

Scant minutes later, Kara decelerated to a stop several hundred feet above the enormous spherical containment building, hovering in mid air as she attempted to discover what, exactly, was happening. The task was rendered almost hopeless by the large amounts of lead shielding used in the building's structure.

Looking around the scene, she saw a group of emergency vehicles standing several hundred yards away from the perimeter fence. She quickly flashed down, landing behind the vehicles where a group of police, firemen and disaster team personnel were huddled.

"Supergirl! Are we glad to see you." It was Maggie Sawyer, chief of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit.

"Inspector," returned Kara, nodding politely. "What is the situation here."

"We received an extortion threat by telephone a while ago," explained Maggie. "A man with a very strong foreign accent presented a list of demands which he requires to be met by noon tomorrow or he threatens to set off a series of explosions that he says will breach the containment building and disperse tons of radioactive material over Metropolis. There were only half a dozen workers in the building at the time we received the threat. We believe they are probably being held hostage. We've cordoned off the area and we're about to put evacuation plans into effect."

"Meteorology says that the prevailing winds at this time of year virtually guarantee that most of Metropolis will be affected by the fallout to some degree," she continued. "We were about to send in a negotiator."

"Are plans of the building and reactor available?," asked Kara. "Unfortunately, with so much lead in the building's structure, my super vision is virtually useless," she lamented.

At that, a gray-haired man stepped briskly forward, grasping a roll of papers in his hand. "I was a member of the engineering team that designed this facility," he quickly explained. "There is a lot of lead in the building structure, which is intended to contain any escaping radioactivity in the event of a reactor malfunction. Nearly all of it is contained in the outer walls of the containment building, and immediately surrounding the reactor core and heat exchangers. Once you get inside the building you should have no problems using your, er, tachyon?, vision."

"How can I best get in without attracting attention," demanded Kara, deliberately ignoring the engineer's educated guess at the mechanism of her super-powered vision.

"That is almost impossible to predict. Too much depends on how many terrorists are actually in the building and how familiar they are with the plans," he replied.

"Explain to me where explosives would have to be placed to achieve the threatened effects," asked Kara.

The engineer quickly unrolled the plans and pointed out various features of the building. "See these support columns here, here, here, here and here. If sufficient high explosive is used and one or more of those columns is destroyed, the containment building would be severly weakened and could easily collapse."

"Kao!", exclaimed Kara exasperatedly. "How was such a flimsy structure ever permitted in an application like this?"

"It's actually a very sturdy structure," contended the engineer. "When it was designed and built, it would have required several tons of dynamite to damage even one of those beams sufficiently to endanger the integrity of the containment dome. Unfortunately, with more modern explosives such as some of the newer plastiques, only a dozen or so kilos could do the job."

"And the reactor," enquired kara.

"If a person knew what they were doing, and we must assume that this group of terrorists do, they could send the reactor core critical within an hour by simply jamming the right valves open and closed," said the engineer. "This reactor was supposed to have been shut down and decommisioned a number of years ago. Consequently, many of the safety interlocks that are now required in this sort of application have never been installed." He shook his head. "About all that ever got funded was to set up a remote monitoring facility several miles away. All of the reactor instrumentation is duplicated there. The controls should have been remoted too but the funds were never made available." He paused, a worried expression on his face. "It's not just the radioactivity which is the problem," he continued. "There's literally tons of molten sodium metal in that reactor core. If the core is breached and enough water comes into contact with the molten sodium, we'll have one hell of an explosion. The building is designed to contain such an explosion, but if it's already been breached or just structurally weakened, the explosion could send molten and dangerously radioactive sodium splashing for miles around. Wherever it contacts water then, we'll have additional explosions, possibly starting fires. It could potentially be the biggest nuclear disaster ever seen."

The engineer then went on to quickly explain what the various valves and piping around the reactor did and how to check for dangerous tampering. He also covered the safest way of disconnecting the reactor from the heat exchangers and the building structure if it became necessary for Kara to somehow dispose of the reactor.

Just as he reached the end of his abbreviated briefing, Maggie Sawyer came over with a gravely worried expression on her face. "We've just heard from the monitor room by radio," she interjected. "According to the instruments, the reactor has been sabotaged and is starting to go critical. They say we have at most forty minutes before something lets go."

"Okay then," said Kara. "We've run out of options. You guys get suited up," she directed. "I'll go in first, through the main entrance, and try to disarm the terrorists and save the hostages. You guys follow me."

The SCU members quickly donned their gear and checked their weapons. Maggie pulled on her own helmet and glanced at her second in command. Receiving his nod, she said "Okay, let's do it."

Kara flew straight for the main building doors, shattering through them as the others ran behind her. Blasting her way straight through several walls, she finally got past the lead shielding and was able to use her tachyon vision. Not that well, because the shielding also blocked out most of the ambient tachyons, but at least she could see again. She quickly spotted the room where the hostages were being held, covered by a single terrorist who, she saw, was just raising his machine gun towards them. She veered then, smashing through the final wall, grabbing the gun and mangling it into scrap. She tapped the terrorist on the chin, sending him flying across the room and into the wall, where he slumped bonelessly to the floor, unconscious.

Quickly spinning around, she started to head back out of the room just as she heard several automatic weapons open fire. She frantically burst back into the main chamber, just in time to see one of the SCU members thrown to the floor by the rapid impacts from three machine guns. Gasping, she quickly focussed her heat vision on each gun in turn, instantly vapourising the entire barrels and rendering them useless. She then scanned the rest of the building, locating four other hidden terrorists. Accelerating until she became a blur, she quickly disabled them and dumped them out onto the floor, sending them sliding over toward the main entrance where they could be secured. Just then, she was staggered by a large explosion. She looked up in shock to see one of the main supports disappearing into a cloud of dust and smoke, the roof overhead beginning to sag inwards.

Kara quickly checked to see that no one was endangered by falling steel and masonry, then glanced over toward the paramedics now clustered around the fallen SCU member. She gasped in horror as she realised that the victim of that vicious crossfire had been Maggie Sawyer herself, now lying in a horrifyingly large pool of her own blood. Cursing herself for not spotting and disarming the gunmen in time, she dragged herself back to the here-and-now and flew over to the reactor to see how badly it had been damaged. Searching ahead with her tachyon vision she realised that another huge bomb had been placed directly on the reactor and that the countdown timer was mere seconds away from detonation.

Kara flashed down to the reactor and grabbed the immense bomb that the terrorists had planted there, mere seconds before the timer was about to time out and detonate it. She barrelled backwards through the weakened dome, cradling the package in her arms and wrapping her body around it to prevent it from being damaged or worse, prematurely detonated by her passage through the structure. As soon as she cleared the dome, she powerfully flexed her body and arms straight again, hurling the bomb upwards. The bomb, attaining supersonic velocity even before it left her straining arms, shot three miles into the air before abruptly disappearing in the midst of a huge fireball. She quickly flew back inside to inspect the sabotaged reactor, realising then that it was already too far gone to safely shut down. Accelerating to a blur again, she raced around the reactor core, carefully pinching off and welding closed the pipes as the engineer had carefully explained might be necessary.

Knowing that she now had only thirty minutes before the reactor went critical and either melted down or exploded, Kara quickly vapourised the immense anchor beams supporting the reactor structure with intense bursts of her heat vision. She then flew underneath the reactor and prepared herself to exert her maximum power, more power than she had ever before been required to apply, to lift the entire reactor, plus its shielding, into space, where she could safely dispose of it. She located the reinforcements the engineer had pointed out to her, carefully placed her shoulders under them and flexed hard, her entire body exploding into an incredible mass of finely chiselled curves, as she began to generate the millions of pounds of flying power required to lift the massive reactor. As she strainingly put everything she had into the gargantuan effort, the reactor slowly began to move upwards.

Just then another red-and-blue blur flashed into view, abruptly resolving into Kara's elder cousin. Kal, just returning from his Justice League mission, quickly assessed the situation and, seeing that the terrorists had all been disarmed and safely restrained and no one was in immediate danger from the severely weakened containment building, sped over to join his cousin in boosting the dangerous reactor into space.

Kara, her attention focussed entirely on moving the enormous and incredibly dangerous mass of the reactor, was taken by surprise as the structure suddenly seemed to lose over half of it's titanic weight. Frantically twisting herself around, she saw her cousin helping her and she quickly repositioned herself so the two of them could balance the immensely heavy structure more safely. The maid and man of steel both poured on the coals then and the doomed reactor slowly began to accelerate into the sky.

Fifteen strainingly intense minutes later, Kara experienced unutterable relief as she saw the sky beginning to darken around them. She had never before had to exert this much power over such a long time and even her enormous reserves of energy were rapidly dwindling under the incalculable strain. Her face twisting from the inhumanly intense stresses of her herculean efforts, she maintained the thrust, keeping pace with her powerful cousin who, she knew, would be feeling the strain just as much as she. Twenty two minutes after liftoff, by now well beyond the atmosphere, she realised with relief that they had reached escape velocity. The duo of super beings continued accelerating at their maximum, boosting their dangerous burden ever further and faster to ensure that, when it finally entered the radioactive hell of its final demise, none of its deadly material could possibly get back to Earth.

As they reached the twenty nine minute mark, the structure of the doomed reactor beginning to vibrate more and more intensely as the tons of molten sodium contained therein began to boil furiously, Kal and Kara put everything they had into a final burst of speed. Finally, abruptly slowing themselves down, they keenly watched the doomed structure draw away from them, heading off on a long journey towards the Sun. Mere instants later, momentarily exceeding the sun itself in intensity, the reactor finally transformed itself into a huge fireball. The unexpectedly great forces of such an immense explosion sent fragments of structural steel, droplets of molten lead, sodium and radioactive fuel flying in all directions, in a rapidly expanding globe of debris.

Aghast at the magnitude of the final explosion and realising that if the reactor had gone up on the ground, it would have levelled over half of Metropolis, the pair continued to minutely observe the debris. Eventually reassured that none of the radioactive wreckage could possibly make it back to Earth, they looked at each other, each shocked at how depleted, how close to exhaustion the other looked after their herculean efforts of the last half an hour. They turned as one, then, flying exhaustedly back to the city they had just saved from becoming a radioactive wasteland.

On the way back, they paused briefly to dive deep into the ocean, ensuring that there was no radioactive material adhering to their costumes or themselves. A short time later, they hovered together just above the water.

"Go home, get some rest," ordered Kal. "You're closer than you realise to being critically depleted, you know."

"Uh, uh," denied Kara. "You're just as tired as I am. I'm going nowhere until you do."

Kal shrugged his shoulders, knowing full well how fruitless it was for him to try and make Kara do anything she didn't want to do. "Okay then," he replied. "Try to get some rest and recharge a bit though. Remember, the Power Board really hates it, and us, when they have to try and account for several missing megawatt hours of power though."

Kara shrugged. "Their problem," she replied.

"Let's get together tomorrow," suggested Kal. "Then you can fill me in on everything that's been happening while I've been away." Kara nodded her agreement and the super powered cousins set course then, back to the damaged containment building.

As the duo arrived back on the scene, hovering above the damaged spherical building, Kara noticed an ambulance pulled up to the main entrance, its lights blinking angrily in the early afternoon sun. She gasped, remembering Maggie's injuries. Knowing that Kal would be able to handle any emergencies with the partially collapsed building, she flashed down to the ambulance. She saw the paramedics carefully wheeling out a stretcher, festooned with drip bottles and other medical paraphenalia and cocooning the gray-visaged and barely breathing, critically wounded form of Maggie Sawyer.

"Supergirl," exclaimed the lead paramedic softly. "This woman is critically injured. She's taken at least six serious wounds and has lost far too much blood. She needs to be in surgery as soon as possible. We've got her barely stabilised, but it's going to take us at least an hour to drive to the hospital at this time of day." He shook his head, continuing. "That's far too long. There's not a chance of her surviving that long," he completed, sorrowfully.

With a sinking feeling, Kara realised the truth of the medic's bald summary. She also knew, to her regret, that she was far too tired to carry the whole ambulance. "How much of this paraphenalia absolutely has to go with her," she asked urgently.

The medic pointed out the necessary items, quickly removing the unneeded ones. Kara followed, quickly flash-welding them to the frame of the stretcher with her heat vision. Then she removed her cape and tenderly wrapped it around the frighteningly still body. As the medic dived back into the ambulance, reporting necessary information back to the hospital via his radio, she gently picked up the stretcher and took to the sky.

Flying as fast as she could without further endangering the critically wounded woman, Kara made it to the hospital in less than ten minutes, carefully depositing the stretcher to the floor of the Emergency Trauma Unit and yielding it to the anxiously awaiting hospital staff. She followed them to the operating theatre then, seeing a comfortable chair just outside and knowing she would just be in the way if she went in, she sank wearily into it and composed herself to wait.

Finally, several hours later, with the rest having slightly recharged her, Kara was disturbed by the lead surgeon coming out of the theatre. She sprang to her feet, surprising the surgeon.

"Supergirl," she exclaimed. "I had no idea you were still here."

Kara shrugged. "I badly needed to rest and recharge. Here was as good a place as any," she explained. "How is Inspector Sawyer," she enquired worriedly.

"Not good," responded the surgeon. "We've managed to remove the bullets, repair at least some of the soft tissue damage and make good some of the profound blood loss with intensive transfusions," she explained. "But she's sustained a lot of severe trauma. Any one of those wounds would normally be considered critical. If it hadn't been for her body armour, she would have been killed outright." The surgeon paused, taking a deep breath and looking Kara squarely in the eyes. "The inspector is in a very critical condition. The prognosis is not favourable. Her vitality is very low. She seems to be relatively stable now, but we've done all that we can do. All that's really left to do is to pray, to whatever Supreme Being you acknowledge."

Kara nodded tiredly. "I understand," she murmured. Softly grasping the surgeon's shoulder she continued. "Thank you for your efforts, Doctor." She released the surgeon's shoulder then, turned and left the Trauma Unit, returning to Susan's apartment to rest.

Finding the apartment empty, Kara wondered for a moment what her lover was doing. She quickly decided not to worry, after all it was still daylight, Susan was more than able to look after herself and she was far too exhausted to do anything more, anyway. She stumbled into the bedroom and, somehow summoning the energy to strip, allowed herself to collapse onto the so inviting bed for some well earned rest, to allow her sorely depleted body to slowly recharge.

Some indeterminable time later, Kara was suddenly disturbed by the sound of her name, in what seemed to be a loud whisper. She quickly sat up, alarmed. "Whaa, What? What was that? Who said my name?," she burst out.

"Kara, it's Susan," came the apparent loud whisper again.

At this, Kara calmed down. "Where are you, love. I can't see you," she said then.

"Don't worry. I'll be home soon and I'll try to explain," she seemed to hear then.

Somewhat confused as to what was happening but too tired to try to understand, Kara replied, "Okay. Hurry home. I love you."

With that, she lay back and drifted off again.

o o o

Susan flew through her living room window and floated silently into the bedroom, to see Kara, her face lined with exhaustion, eyes closed and apparently asleep, lying on the bed. Gently placing the bag on the floor, she floated over to her lover and softly kissed her on the lips. Kara's eyes flew open and she gasped in surprise. "Kao! Susan, love, you startled me," she exclaimed. She then reached up and drew her into a tight embrace and a very deep, long, loving kiss.

After several extremely enjoyable osculatory minutes, Kara broke, heaving a deep, satisfied sigh. "Ooooh, that feels good. I was soooo tired but I think you just recharged me a bit. You know, I had the most amazing experience a while ago," she said quietly. "It seemed almost like a dream. That I heard someone say my name and it seemed to be you, but I couldn't see you anywhere."

Susan broke in, smiling gently and placing her fingers over Kara's lips. "And I said, 'Don't worry. I'll be home soon and I'll try to explain,' and here I am." She grinned as Kara's eyes opened wide with amazement and her jaw dropped.

"Y-Y-Y-You mean it w-wasn't a d-dream?," stammered Kara. She took a deep breath. "Then what happened. I'm confused!"

Susan grinned wider, enjoying her lover's reaction. Eventually taking pity on the confused woman, she alighted on the bed beside her, leaned over and kissed her briefly. "I've had a very interesting and busy day," she began. "The short answer to what happened would have to be telepathy, or something very close to it." At this unexpected revelation, Kara's eyes widened again. "When you rushed off this morning," she continued, "I started trying to practice some of my old martial arts katas, with some rather confusing results. So I went to visit my old master. He explained a lot of things to me and taught me some new exercises. For one thing, I've learned that the interdimensional energy which we use, and the martial artist's ki, are one and the same thing and that all life seems to use this same energy to a greater or lesser degree. You, my love, use it to a much, much greater degree. So do I now."

"Really?," whispered Kara in amazement, her eyes shining. "Tell me about it."

"There isn't much I can tell you about it at the moment, love," admitted Susan. "I've only just started to learn about it myself and there's a lot I don't understand yet. The master taught me some new exercises to do with being aware of ki and I went back to the valley to start practising them. Every living thing, from mites up to humans, seems to be imbued with ki to a greater or lesser degree. I was able to pervade the space around me and sense the presence of all manner of life. It seems that the more ki a creature or person is able to use, the brighter they appear. Then I saw a truly intense beacon of ki and when I focussed on it I could sense you, love, and your thoughts. So I experimented with trying to send a message to you." She grinned impishly. "The experiment worked."

"Wow!," exclaimed Kara. "I know I've said it before, love, but it bears repeating. You are one very talented woman. Would it be possible to teach me how to do that, do you think?"

"I really don't know, yet," admitted Susan uncertainly, nibbling her lip. "I've just started learning this myself. I don't know yet where it's going to finish up. Let me get a handle on it first, then I may be able to start teaching you. Anyway, enough of me. You look totally wiped out, love. What on Earth have you been doing?"

"Working hard," murmured Kara tiredly. "Not entirely on Earth, either." She grinned briefly. "When I left you in such a hurry this afternoon, I was responding to an emergency call ..."

"Is that what that weird sound was," interjected Susan.

"Yes," replied Kara. "Terrorists were threatening to blow up that damned old reactor over the other side of Metropolis. You know, the one the politicians have been promising to decommission for at least the last fifteen years. I finished up having to push the reactor core into space before it exploded. Fortunately, Kal arrived back in the nick of time and was able to help me, or I don't think I would have made it in time. I've never worked so hard, or felt so exhausted, in my whole life." She sighed deeply, nestling back into the pillow. "Remember how you asked me if I could actually lift five or ten thousand tons?" She grinned wryly. "Well, I can, barely. But it took both Kal and I to boost it into orbit."

"Thank God the two of you were able to do the job," exclaimed Susan. "That would have made a real mess of the city. Maybe I should have come with you, after all. I could have helped, too."

"You could have," admitted Kara wearily. "But your clothes would never have survived the flight there at the speed I was travelling."

Kara stopped there, suddenly remembering that there was something else, something important that she should tell Susan but unable, in her extreme tiredness, to recall what it was. Then Susan spoke again, distracting her and driving the nagging recollection completely out of her tired mind.

Susan grinned impishly. "I thought of that," she admitted. "You know, I've changed. A lot. Before you enhanced me, the very thought of being naked in public would have given me a case of terminal embarrassment. Now though, I don't think it'd bother me. If anything, it would have been a turn-on." She blushed lightly.

Kara grinned back. "Seems like there's more to this enhancement business than meets the casual eye," she admitted. "Love, I'm really sorry, but I'm bushed. I have to get some sleep, to try and recharge a bit." She yawned widely. "Otherwise, I'll have to really upset the power company by stealing a few megawatts of power."

"Mmmm. Kara?," asked Susan curiously. "Is it possible to transfer energy between us?"

"I've got no idea," admitted Kara. "Why?"

"Just wondering," said Susan. "I can see you must be badly depleted, your teats are much smaller than normal. But I'm overcharged, if anything, from experimenting with ki this afternoon. If I could transfer some of it to you, it'd help a lot, wouldn't it."

"It surely would," replied Kara. "Hmmm. Remember how I told you that I seem to discharge a lot of energy after I've been in contact with gold. Do you have any gold jewelry?"

Susan shook her head. "Sorry, love," she said regretfully. "I've never been into jewelry. But I do remember feeling something like sparks discharging between our nipples the other day, while we were making love. Would that help, do you think?"

"It might," said Kara, "If I weren't so thoroughly wiped out already. I don't even think I could get aroused right now. And, for me, that is really not normal." She smiled weakly.

"Maybe you wouldn't need to," mused Susan. "Let me experiment for a bit." She gracefully got to her feet and quickly removed her clothes.

Kara gasped. "Love, that is amazing. Your breasts are huge. What happened?"

"I told you I was well charged up," grinned Susan. "When I tried to touch ki this afternoon, I experienced massive flows of energy. I finished up melting rock for five feet around me. Scratch another set of clothes," she continued ruefully. "This could get expensive." She knelt back down on the bed, straddling Kara, and started to tease her own nipples. They immediately sprang erect, expanding to half an inch in diameter and protruding more than an inch from her now massively enlarged breasts. Susan gasped with pleasure and began to knead her breasts firmly. "Oooooh," she moaned. "That feels sooooo good." She suddenly grasped her right breast in both hands and began to squeeze hard, her muscles pumping up enormously. At the same time, she began to rub her pussy against Kara's abs, breathing rapidly and gasping with pleasure. Her breast rapidly began glowing a dull red from the pressure she was applying and the nipple began to glow incandescently.

Continuing to firmly knead her right breast, Susan instinctively leaned over and placed her now white-hot nipple between Kara's lips. A burst of steam issued forth as the saliva in Kara's mouth abruptly vapourised and, totally forgetting her extreme fatigue, Kara began to eagerly suckle at her lover's achingly erect nipple. Susan gasped in sheer pleasure, continuing to rub her pussy and clit against Kara's firm abdomen, moving faster and faster until, with a shriek of ecstasy, she attained a gut-wrenchingly, mind-numbingly intense orgasm. At the very peak of her orgasm, squeezing her breast with literally tons of pressure, she suddenly expressed a drop of pure energy from her nipple.

The result, for Kara, was literally electrifying. Giving voice to an almighty scream, only partially muffled by Susan's breast now pressing so firmly into her mouth, Kara's body suddenly stiffened, then convulsed violently, smashing the bed into kindling on the floor and tossing their bodies high into the air, as her body greedily absorbed the incredibly concentrated drop of energy and arcs of electricity, monumental in their intensity, flashed between her own, suddenly erect, nipples. Almost as an afterthought, she experienced a massive orgasm of her own, passing out from its sheer intensity as the two women tumbled back to the floor, amidst the shattered remnants of Susan's once-sturdy bed.

Many minutes later, Kara returned to consciousness, opening her eyes and finding her view totally obscured by her lover's long red tresses "Kao!," she murmured. "What happened?"

At the sound of Kara's voice, Susan suddenly became aware again of her surroundings and groaned softly, opening her eyes and levering herself erect. "Sweet Jesus," she exclaimed in stunned amazement, springing to her feet as she surveyed the wreckage. "What the fuck happened?"

Kara sat up then, gasping in surprise as she, too, saw what had happened. "Wow!," she breathed. "What a blast that was."

"Blast is right," groaned Susan. "This place looks like a bomb hit it. Damn. That bed was only a few months old."

Kara glanced down at her breasts, her jaw dropping in amazement as she found they were well on the way to regaining their former splendour. "Kao! I don't know what you did then, love, but you certainly managed to recharge me," she exclaimed.

Susan smiled ruefully at Kara. "I think, if we ever need to recharge each other again, we should do it somewhere out of doors, well away from breakables like furniture and, maybe, buildings."

"But what did you do," repeated Kara.

"I'm not totally sure," admitted Susan. "I originally intended just to bring myself to orgasm to see if any energy would flash between our nipples this time. But then it just felt right to squeeze my breast really hard and to put my nipple into your mouth like that. Then, I came so hard that I just about passed out. I don't really know what happened after that." She looked down and cupped her slightly diminished breasts. "I certainly got rid of some of my excess energy though. I'll tell you what. Let's go back to our valley first thing in the morning and I'll try to touch ki again and see if I can recharge you fully."

"I've got a better idea," remarked Kara. "We can't really sleep here, now that we've so thoroughly wrecked your bed. Let's go back to my island and you can try that recharging trick again, outside on the beach. Then we can share my bed." She smiled. "You can borrow my cape to wrap some clothes in, if you like, and I'll help you clean up this wreckage tomorrow. At least the trip will be a lot quicker this time. We should be able to get there in no more than half an hour or so."

"Mmmmm. Love that idea," murmured Susan. She quickly grabbed some clothes and bundled them into the bag she'd used earlier that day. "Okay, lover, I'm ready. Let's go," she grinned.

Grinning back, Kara leapt up and grabbed her costume. Detaching the cape, she tossed it at her lover. Quickly compressing the rest of the costume into her hand, she floated into the air. "C'mon, love, what are you waiting for. Let's race!," she cried happily as she started flying through the bedroom window.

Pausing only long enough to wrap the indestructible cape firmly around her bag and clutch it to her chest, Susan took to the air and gave chase.

Anyone in Metropolis who happened to be looking skywards with a pair of powerful binoculars at that moment, might have been able to see two beautiful, naked women flying rings around each other in the silvery moonlight, at just below the speed of sound. Had they been possessed of abnormally acute hearing, they may also have been able to hear the sounds of joyous, feminine laughter. At least, until the two flying figures had passed well beyond the outskirts of the city. Then, they rapidly accelerated well beyond the mach, very quickly disappearing into the distance and still, even at that incredible speed, continuing their exuberant aerobatics.

o o o

Twenty minutes later, the two women having followed a barely sub-orbital parabola, peaking out at over twenty times the speed of sound, they swooped toward a familiar, very beautiful lagoon, decelerating rapidly.

They alighted softly on the pure white sand and Susan dropped her bag, still wrapped in Kara's indestructible cape, onto the ground. Still laughing with joy, the two women fell into each other's arms. "Oh," gasped Susan, some minutes later. "That was soooo much fun," she exclaimed.

Kara chuckled happily. "Oh, wasn't it," she responded. "We'll have to do that more often. I don't think I've ever flown here so fast, before. And you didn't seem to have any trouble keeping up with me, either."

"No, it was fun," laughed Susan. "Although I'm glad I was following you, love. Several times there you changed your direction when I didn't expect you to. I would probably have finished up getting thoroughly lost in space. I've got no idea how to plot a trajectory like that."

"To be honest, neither have I," admitted Kara. "Kal tried to teach me the maths of it once, but I've never had a good feel for maths. I found that once I'd practiced a few times, I developed a knack for it and didn't have to worry about trying to calculate it. It really is easy, once you've got that knack. I'm sure Kal would teach you though, if you want to learn how to work it out properly."

Susan laughed. "I said once before, love, that I've got no desire whatsoever to become a rocket scientist. I'll just keep practicing until I can do it your way. You know, it's really weird not having to breathe. I kept expecting to run out of breath, nearly the whole way here."

"I guess that does take a bit of getting used to, at first," replied Kara. "You don't need to breathe at all now, you know, any more than I do. Or eat, comes to that. The energy matrix supplies all the energy we need. The only reason we ever need to breathe is so we can talk, and because other people tend to get very uncomfortable if they don't see us breathe," she finished, grinning. And eating is only necessary if we somehow manage to get totally depleted of energy, even worse than I was before you recharged me before. Thinking of which, do you want to try that trick again, now?"

"Why not," smiled Susan. "You'd better pick a suitable place, though. I'd hate to spoil such a beautiful beach with huge lumps of fused silica."

"Ah. Yes! Good point, love," said Kara. "Follow me." She dropped her tightly compressed costume along side Susan's bag and took to the air, Susan right behind her.

Moments later, they alighted on a rocky slope near the centre of the island and Susan folded herself into lotus position on the ground. She thought for a moment. "Sit behind me, love, and wrap your arms and legs around me, I think. And hold onto me tightly."

"Okay," replied Kara, fitting the action to the thought.

"Mmmmm! That feels good," murmured Susan, leaning back into her lover's firm embrace for a moment, Kara brushing her lips across her ear. Then she straightened up again and arranged Kara's arms across her chest with each hand cupping her opposing breast. Then, controlling her breathing to a calm, unhurried tempo, she quickly attained her meditative state once more. This time, she followed her sensei's instructions and again allowed herself to become aware of ki. As her newly discovered inner sense once more became active, she again became aware of the brilliant glow of her own, and Kara's life force, noticing to her great interest that the two of them, as close physically as they currently were, had almost coalesced into a single, intense source of light.

"Now for the fun bit," she thought to herself as she attempted to touch ki once more, with the greatest delicacy of which she was capable. To her surprise, there was no massive surge of energy this time. Rather, she experienced a steady and somehow intensely invigorating flow. The commingled glow of Kara and herself gradually became more and more intense and she began to feel the same tinglingly alive sensation she had experienced earlier. Eventually, almost reluctantly, she released her contact with ki once more and, again totally forgetting the sensei's careful instructions, opened her eyes. With her new inner sense still active, she gasped with astonishment at the strange vista which confronted her then. Every living thing around her, for as far as she could see, was surrounded by a colourfully shimmering aura. "Oh, wow," she murmured. "That is so incredibly beautiful."

"What's that, love?," asked Kara.

Gently disentangling herself from Kara's arms and legs, Susan gracefully arose and turned to face her. Her face alight with wonder, she looked down at the trim, almost inhumanly beautiful figure of her lover, lit from within as it now was, by her newly replenished reserves of life sustaining energies and surrounded by Kara's own aura, now so wonderfully visible to her.

She shook her head, smiling gently, and smoothly sat down again. "I think I skipped a few steps in the Master's instructions," she admitted. I forgot to 'turn off' my awareness of ki before I opened my eyes and now, I seem to be able to see a sort of aura around living things. It is so beautiful," she breathed in awe. "But so very distracting, too. Excuse me for a moment. I need to try and turn it off."

She closed her eyes again, to discover that her new perception had spread out over the entire island. Slowly, carefully, she encouraged that perception to close back in towards herself and again shut herself off from it. Feeling a slight sense of loss then, she opened her eyes, finding that her sight had returned to normal. No longer distracted by the beautiful auras she had been able to see surrounding all living things, she looked Kara up and down and noted, with considerable satisfaction, that Kara was definitely fully charged once more with energy, her breasts fully restored to their wonted splendour. She heaved a large sigh of relief.

"Well, that worked a lot better than my first effort," she said. "How are you feeling now, love."

"Absolutely fantastic," replied Kara. "I feel sort of tingly all over. Not aroused though, just full of life," she said, wonderingly. "Whatever you did that time was certainly what the doctor ordered." She reached forward and took Susan's hand. "Thank you, love."

They stood then, embracing each other. As their lips met, their tongues began a gentle duel and they abandoned themselves to pure sensual enjoyment as they began to make love.

o o o

The two women lay in each other's arms under the tropical stars, basking in the afterglow of their shared ecstasy.

Suddenly Kara gasped and sat up. "What ever is wrong?," asked Susan.

"Oh, Susan. I'm sorry," moaned Kara. "With me being so tired and everything else that's happened tonight, it completely slipped my mind."

"What?" repeated Susan.

Kara gulped. "Your boss, Maggie, was badly wounded this afternoon."

"Oh, no!" wailed Susan. "How badly."

"Very badly," said Kara softly. "I flew her to Metropolis General as soon as Kal and I got back from dumping the reactor and stayed there until the lead surgeon came out. She had lost a lot of blood. The surgeon said they'd done everything humanly possible but she still wasn't sure if Maggie would make it."

"We've got to go back right now," exclaimed Susan, leaping to her feet and taking to the air. "Come on."

Moments later, they both alighted on the beach, grabbing their things and rocketing skywards again as fast as they could, Kara again leading the way. Because of the urgency they both felt, they flew as fast as they could, making it back to Metropolis and landing in the hospital grounds in just under seventeen minutes. Susan quickly unwrapped her clothes and got dressed, handing the cape back to Kara.

"Let's go," she said urgently.

Kara quickly led the way to the Intensive Care Unit and asked a nurse where Maggie was. Following directions, they arrived moments later at the door. Just then, the surgeon came out, looking depressed and worried.

"Supergirl!" she exclaimed, brightening momentarily. Then her face fell again. "I suppose you want a report on Inspector Sawyer." At Kara's nod, the surgeon led them to a group of chairs lining the corridor. "I'm afraid there's very little hope left," she said, a resigned expression on her face. "The Inspector is still alive but just barely hanging on, almost just lingering."

Susan choked off a sob. "We need to see her," she said urgently. The surgeon shrugged.

"Okay," she said, getting up and leading the women back to the ward.

Up to this point, Susan had not tried to use her tachyonic vision to check up on her former boss. She had been scared to. So the sight of the gray visaged woman was a considerable shock to her. She shook her head as if to banish the sight of the almost dead policewoman. Then she sought her centre, quickly calming herself and going into her meditative state. She again exercised her newfound ability to see ki, minutely examining the body in the bed. To her horror, she saw that Maggie's life force was now almost non-existent, with what seemed to be dark blockages and barriers throughout her body.

Opening her eyes, she turned to Kara, grabbing her arm. "I've got to try and do something," she whispered urgently, "But I don't know what might happen. Please hold both my arms tightly." Ignoring the mystified surgeon, she turned back to the bed. Kara moved to stand behind her, tightly gripping her upper arms.

Susan placed her hands on Maggie's chest and closed her eyes again. Very carefully and delicately then, she reached for ki, willing the energy to infuse Maggie's body, to pull her back from the very brink of death. She was somewhat surprised to find that she could do this, the feeble, dying glow rapidly strengthening. Then she turned her attention to the blockages she had earlier noted. Concentrating on each in turn, she somehow reached out, in a way which she did not understand and could not possibly have explained, touching the blockages and willing them to dissipate. Each blockage slowly diminished then, reducing to mere ripples amidst the rapidly replenishing life force now flooding throughout Maggie's body and eventually, over the next few minutes, disappearing entirely.

The surgeon stood there, quietly watching the two women. She had seen many different reactions to the presence of death, ranging all the way from hysterical denial to calm acceptance, but what she was seeing here didn't even come close to fitting any of the normal responses. She saw the red-haired woman turn to Supergirl and whisper urgently. She saw her turn back to the bed and place her hands gently on the woman's chest. Then, to her surprise, she saw Supergirl move behind the redhead and grip her arms firmly. Then her jaw dropped as she saw the redhead's hands seem to glow softly. The glow seemed to spread along the moribund woman's body and as it spread, the woman's almost indetectable breathing seemed to deepen and her colour seemed to improve. Really confused now, she flashed a glance at the monitors and gasped in amazement as she saw the life signs improve steadily, slowly at first and then faster until they were all back into normal ranges. Shocked speechless, she looked at the redhead, whose eyes were still closed, then at Kara, whose expression of rapt, wide eyed amazement, she knew, must precisely mirror her own. She looked down at the woman's body on the bed again and was stunned to see that it had somehow been magically transformed, now presenting a picture of robust, rosy-cheeked health.

Knowing somehow that she had done all that she could, but not yet understanding in the slightest what she had actually done, Susan opened her eyes to see the surgeon looking at her with awe. Firmly squelching an incipient blush, she looked back down at Maggie, noting with surprised pleasure that her skin had gone from the sagging gray of near death to firm, rosy good health, better in fact than she had ever seen Maggie. She freed herself from Kara's grasp and stepped back from the bed, noticing with a sinking feeling that the surgeon's awe was reflected in Kara's face as well.

"That was a miracle," whispered the surgeon. "What did you do?"

Susan shook her head, pointing at Maggie then putting her finger to her lips in a command for silence, and motioned them to go back outside.

As soon as the ICU door closed behind them, the surgeon repeated her question. "That was miraculous," she exclaimed. "In less than ten minutes that woman has gone from being all but clinically dead to all vital signs within nominal ranges. I've never seen anything like that. What in the name of God did you do?"

Susan shook her head again. "I'm not really sure," she admitted. "And I certainly don't know where to start trying to explain. Will she be alright now, do you think?"

"I've got no idea," confessed the surgeon. "The clinical picture has gone from totally hopeless to amazingly good, almost as if she had never been wounded. I don't know what's going to happen, now." She shook her head in bewilderment. "I've never seen anything like it," she repeated. With a dazed expression on her face, she turned and wandered aimlessly down the corridor, shaking her head as she went.

Susan turned around to Kara, seeing again the equally dazed expression on her lover's face. "Not you, too," she exclaimed. "C'mon, love. Let's get out of here." She grabbed Kara's hand and headed to the balcony at the other end of the corridor. The two women took to the night skies, Susan leading the way to her apartment.

Arriving, Susan grabbed Kara's shoulders and sat her down on the couch. Kara just sat there, shaking her head. Exasperated, Susan sat down next to her. "C'mon, love. Snap out of it. Talk to me, damn it!"

"Kao!," Kara murmured. The expression of awe returned to her face. "I've never seen anything like that. I didn't used to believe in miracles."

"Kara, love. Look at me, please," Susan exclaimed. "Look. It's me, Susan." She grabbed Kara's shoulders again and gently shook her. "Damn it, woman. Stop looking at me like I was some kind of ghost. I couldn't just do nothing. I had to try, damn it," she exclaimed in frustration. "We were making love just an hour ago. I'm still the same person I was then, I haven't changed. I'm still human." She began to cry softly, tears rolling down her cheeks. "Oh, Kara," she sobbed. "What's wrong?"

Kara returned to herself with a jolt. "Oh, Susan," she exclaimed softly. "I'm sorry." She gently pulled the crying redhead to her, hugging her. "I'm sorry, love," she repeated. Raising Susan's tear stained face, she softly kissed the tears away as Susan stopped crying.

Susan swallowed convulsively and heaved a huge sigh. "Don't scare me like that, love," she said falteringly. "I was starting to think that you didn't want to know me anymore, or something. I've known Maggie Sawyer for almost two years and working under her over that time, I've developed a lot of respect for her. I couldn't bear to see her like that. I had to try to help her. I couldn't have lived with myself if I hadn't at least tried." She shook her head. "Honestly, I didn't know what was going to happen. I could just as easily have incinerated her. Instead, somehow, I managed to help her heal."

"Love, I'm truly sorry I upset you," soothed Kara. "I really do love you, you know." She leaned over and gently kissed Susan again. "What you did was so totally unexpected to me, so miraculous, that I didn't know what to think. I was in shock, I think." She laughed softly. "You really are full of surprises, aren't you, love."

"Kara, love," said Susan, "Since I met you, my whole life has been one big surprise, with one impossible thing after another. I don't know what's going to happen next." She laughed ruefully.

o o o