Disclaimer: I own neither the characters from the Whedonverse, those from the Superman mythos, nor the Doctor and his TARDIS. All characters belong to their respective copyright and trademark holders, and neither profit nor infringement is intended. Only the story (such as it is) is mine.
The departure of the TARDIS from the present time and space presented one unexpected challenge. Illyria found that her comprehension of both spoken and written Kryptonese had fled along with the psychic translation field projected by the living time ship.
No matter. Winifred Burkle had been nearly as talented a linguist as a physicist and mathematician, and all that she had been was now a part of the Old One's current incarnation. Illyria could also still communicate directly with the crystals that formed the basis of Kryptonian information technology; their thoughts, such as they were, reminded her somewhat of the cognition of plants and yeasts.
Then there was the fact that Illyria could access an extradimensional power source and accelerate her personal time sense many thousands of times, whenever she wished. Subjectively, it might have taken Illyria many days to decrypt the mysteries of Kryptonese; from the perspective of bystanders, the young woman spent only a few minutes at the information terminal, almost as though she were in silent communion with it.
Once the language was translated, it was hardly a problem for her to insert records into the system that matched her outward appearance as a scion of a collateral branch of the House of El, visiting from Argo City to serve her term of civil service with Planetary Security.
They were the only institution on Krypton with access to outer space, after all.
Major Zod was disappointed. When news of the new recruit had reached his personal terminal, he had decided to evaluate this Kara Zor-El himself. Perhaps she could be used as leverage in his ongoing investigations into Jor-El's unorthodox experiments, he had thought. How unfortunate that the line of El in Argo City was only distantly related to his personal headache; the data banks could not find any evidence that the two branches had even met in recent history.
Still, the recruit was not without promise. She was extremely strong on the technical end, requiring no training on the advanced uses of the Brain Interactive Construct. It was as though she had an innate sense of the best code or series of commands to get the desired result. After a suitable waiting period, Zod allowed her onto more advanced projects.
This 'Major' was extremely irritating. It was a good thing that she had the carefully tailored 'Kara' persona behind which to hide her true feelings, combining the most pleasant and ingratiating mannerisms of the Burkle shell with a Kryptonese primer on proper deportment for Kryptonian citizens. Without this mask of perfection, Illyria would surely have torn the fool's head from his shoulders a half dozen times in the first week.
He was incredibly arrogant and overweening. True, he showed impressive military and organizational acumen, both tactical and strategic. As a result, his division had been placed in charge not only of operational security, but also of all research into new methods of defending Krypton from outside attack. He was clearly on track to make his ambitions a reality. Still, the way in which he regarded his subordinates, indeed every other Kryptonian with whom she saw him interact! It was as though he thought of himself as not just superior to others of his race, but as a different and higher order of being altogether.
Illyria recognized the signs. He believed he should rule all he surveyed, by natural right of his superiority. He believed he was a born conqueror.
Too bad he would never realize that this was true, not of himself, but of the youngest officer in his division. Not in this world, at any rate.