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The girl clad in Iron

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Summary: "This is what happens when you let her escape." What happens when a girl raised on Apokolips ends up in the Justice League Watchtower during it's second meeting?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Justice LeagueHappyWonKinobiFR18725,39502711,97111 Oct 1217 Sep 13No

Vagrancy and Reporters

The instant light hit her eyes, she woke up. She didn't want to, not with her bed being so comfy, but the most she could do is moan about it and try to reposition herself to keep the light out of her eyes.

Which finished the job of waking her up because she ended up falling onto the floor because of that. She groaned. She'd probably fallen asleep in her truck and fallen onto the ground.

Then her brain woke up enough to notice the carpet, and that woke her up enough to be ready for a fight, should there be one.

She checked herself over, noticing that there were no injuries on her person currently worth mentioning. Which means that she won't be listening to her pride's whining any time soon.

Just like always, she'd fallen asleep fully dressed and ready for battle. Now though, instead of most of her trusty knives, swords, and high-tech firearms being in readily available places, there was a small switchblade she'd bought from a gas station and a Taser that she'd collected during her first week on Earth (which, she didn't remember yet.). She hadn't quite gotten around to getting a more proper arsenal from Earth tech currently available.

Her clothes, the cargo pants and sports bra from earlier on, were still there, if a bit dirty and rumpled after a few days spent without cleaning and sleeping in them. Though, they were just a little more snug than when she'd gotten them.

Which meant that she was growing. Why start after now so long spent as a short person, she didn't quite know.

For a moment, she allowed herself to be distracted by trying to figure out exactly how long she'd been short, which was an effort in futility all told as sleeping patterns were extremely irregular and, for some reason, nobody seemed to believe in those weird little abstract things known as "Night" and "Day" over on Apokolips.

She was brought out of her musing when she heard a throat being cleared. She shook her head to clear it of her thoughts and refocused on the present. Absently, she noted that she was in an apartment. It was clean, somewhat bare but warm, more modern in its architecture and interior design, and it had a nice view out the balcony behind the woman who'd cleared her throat.

After a moment of prioritizing, she focused on figuring out who the woman in front of her was. Tall, shoulder-length brown hair, pretty face, excellent mature figure. Simple, conservative attire of knee-length blue skirt, white button-up longsleeved shirt, 1-inch dark blue heels. She brought her attention back to the face, idly noticing a small, handcrafted pendant on a thin gold chain around her neck. Something about her piercing dark blue (maybe purple) eyes caught her attention and she focused on them. Before it came to her, she noticed the slight uncertainty at her intense gaze in the woman's eyes. Then it hit her. Her eyes went wide.

"You're Lois Lane." She said. A glint of light caught her eye. "Kent." She corrected herself. She sat down heavily onto the couch as the full brunt of the realization truly hit her. "I'm in deep shit."

"Ya think?" The purple-eyed reporter nearly lost her cool demeanor as she said it.

Lilan Drazell sighed. She's worried. She knows she shouldn't be. This is her mortal enemy we're talking about! The one she swore she'd get immortal revenge upon!

Unfortunately, emotions never were rational.

She looked down at her hand. On it was a small metal gauntlet, one she'd made herself based upon some old schematics she'd found on some random moon while her nav-comp was dead. It was an amazing tool, but it was a bit of a pain at times. At least it kept her company.

"You know it's useless to fear for her."

She sighed, in exasperation this time. "Thank you Captain Obvious!"

"You're the captain, not me."

"Hmph. Smart-ass." She grumbled.

From what she was feeling from the gauntlet, it was smug. Damn it.

She pressed a few buttons and looked at the map. As a big game hunter on a galactic scale, and a reconnaissance officer for her home before that, she knew most parts of Sector 2814 like the back of her hand.

Unfortunately, she'd been napping so she had no honest clue about the area she'd just found herself in. Checking the scans, she threw her head back and gave the universe at large an exasperated huff. She was lost without a clue. She needed to think.

She leaned over to another console and pressed a few buttons, and began to relax as she let the pounding that resounded through the ship wash over her. The way she described it was confusion and chaos with a heartbeat. And in all honesty? It relaxed her. Allowed her to think.

Unfortunately, the only thing she was actually thinking about was Her.

The 'Girl clad in Iron', as She has been called.

The truth was, she owed her life to the girl. She's probably a young woman by now, getting a husband and a family. Or still gallivanting off to the next place in need of saving or something.

Her mind drifted off to the rumors she's heard before going back to their first meeting. She began to smile.

The first time she'd seen the girl, she'd been so cute! Couldn't possibly be a day over 250! If she'd been so inclined, she would've adopted the girl on the spot.

Especially if it would get the girl some new clothes. They were good clothes, but the homeless look didn't really suit Her. Not that she really cared about fashion in any way, but sometimes, image is everything. Even she had to admit that.

The way they met was that they simply bumped into each other. After that, it was like they were old friends. They ridiculed fashion, went sight-seeing, taught each other their native languages, showed each other their personal hideouts, talked about personal quirks and dreams/nightmares that never made sense (like that one about her waking up with a 5 o'clock shadow and morning wood, or the girl's nightmare of losing Barda to be eaten by frogs before she'd managed to get her married to Her brother).

Shared bits of their lives together.

It was still greatly disturbing to her that such a wonderful person would call Herself a cold-blooded killer, especially at such a young age and when they're so warm and fun-loving.

They'd spent several days like that. Nothing more than good friends getting to know each other. After the girl had admitted that She was playing 'castaway' until She found whatever target had brought Her here through the 'proper Powers That Be' (whatever the hell that means), she'd immediately brought Her home and introduced Her to her family. Just like her, they'd adopted Her instantly.

On the twelfth day (could've been longer, she hadn't really been paying attention), they were walking in the local park when She froze.

"What is it?" She'd asked the girl.

"Lilan," She began. "Who's laughing?"

She'd been confused by that. Then she'd concentrated and looked around. Finally, she saw the local leader, what the girl had called the 'Mayor'.

"Just the Geemoldt. Why?"

"I hope to God we're wrong."

That had worried her. The girl didn't often bring up the Creator. Her explanation was that she didn't want the oath to lose it's importance.

Then the happy little girl she'd gotten to know had faded away and what looked like a war-weary veteran had peeked out of the tiny body. "I need to get closer. I don't want to be wrong when I take action."

Confused, but unable to see what was bothering Her or what could be done about it, she'd simply followed the girl. They'd stayed hidden, just another pair of faces in the crowd. When they'd gotten close to the front, after shoving their way through for a few minutes, they had waited.

Then She'd visibly relaxed. "I was wrong." She'd said it with a tired smile sent in her direction.

"What was wrong?" She had asked, still confused.

"Well..." She trailed off, probably trying to find a way to keep from telling.

She pulled them to a stop in the mouth of an alleyway. "We're not moving until you tell me."

They looked each other straight in the eye and the younger woman sighed. "I've, kinda, basically tasked myself with the protection of the galaxy, to a point."

"To what point, precisely?" She asked calmly, eyebrows raised.

"Well, anytime I find an insane Kryptonian, I kill it. Just an example." She tried to pull them away, but she kept them there.

"What if the Kryptonian isn't a dangerous one?"

"Then either I never notice them or they turn out to be great people." She paused. "You know, you're the first one in a long time to ask 'What if the insane person isn't dangerous?' Most people automatically assume that insanity equals dangerous."

She shrugged. "My uncle's insane and he's harmless. He's just unable to cope with the world."

"And that would explain that." she finished with a nod.

Almost reluctantly, she let go and they began to move again. "So, what were you wrong about?" She asked once they were far enough away.

"About the Mayor being insane." She had just shrugged it off like it was of no consequence, as if killing a Mayor is something you do everyday.

After that, it didn't come up again.

It was the day after the parade and Lilan approached her friend with a heavy heart. She'd just been called to a meeting with the Geemoldt and she'd found out something disturbing.

Her friend had killed someone close to the Geemoldt. There was security footage that proved it without a doubt. And worse, she'd been told that it could easily spark a revolution if the wrong person came to know about it, and as such had to telepathically block the entirety of the conversation out of her mind from everyone, including herself. All she could allow herself to remember was the end result of the conversation.

Lilan looked up at her friend, guilt written all over her face. "I've been charged with hunting you down."

The response startled her. "Oh, don't worry about it." She said with a smile. "Wouldn't be the first time a good friend was charged with killing me."

Lilan stared for a moment, especially at the nonchalance that She'd said it with. Then she shook her head to get it back in gear. "We can't be friends."

She shrugged at that. "Well, maybe not here, on this planet." She then turned thoughtful for a moment. "You know, there's this story I tell my soldiers. Well, there's many I tell them but that's not the point right now. Especially since this one is my favorite." That last bit she'd confided in her with a conspiratorial wink.

"In this universe, there is a planet, known to many of it's inhabitants as some form of the word 'Terra', or 'Dirt', but I call it Paradise. It's a wonderful place, filled with happiness, good food, peace, and one of the most important things ever."

"What's that?" Lilan asked, unable to help herself.

"Fiction." She said, a cryptic smile on Her face. "Diverse fiction that truly exemplifies the true strength of the native's creativity, imagination, and determination."

That confused Lilan. "What does that have to do with anything?"

She paused, considering. She could've told her, but in the end, she didn't. "Well, let me tell you about Paradise."

And for the next few hours, she told me stories about Her precious Paradise. In truth, it had this, dimension of unreality to it. It sounded like she was telling fairy tales. It was kinda nice, to be honest, but the starstruck look in Her eyes...

She sighed, just as she had back then, as she remembered what she said next, and the response that still broke her heart.

She didn't want to say it, but she thought she needed to. "You know, I don't think 'Paradise' actually exists."

The Girl gave her a sad smile as She edged a little closer to her. "Actually, it does. Somewhere in some backwater edge of the Milky Way Galaxy, as the Terrans call it. It exists, and when I finally find it, I'm gonna run away from the rest of the universe and live there like a castaway." She sighed as the starstruck look in Her eyes intensified, longing coloring Her smile. After a moment in Her happy little fantasy world, She'd continued. "I know what you're probably thinking: that I'm completely deluded about a myth that I've created to get away from the horrors of the life surrounding me that I'll never stop searching for. That I'm looking for that, that unattainable treasure or dream that's located..." She paused for a moment before singing a few words. "Somewhere over the rainbow..." She nodded when she thought she'd gotten it right and continued in Her previous voice. "But I know it exists, and I know it's too flawed to possibly be a proper myth, as pitiful as that sounds. I know everything that's going through your head because it's gone through mine and through my boys' heads."

She looked back at the stars. "Somewhere, someday, I'll find my Paradise. And when I find it, I'll figure out a way to bring my family there. And we'll finally be away from all this torture. Well, until LDS finds it and tries to bring it into his campaign for hell." She amended plainly. "But when he finds us, we'll fight for our new home. Because it'll be a pain, and it'll be terrible living conditions compared to the many places I've been for the campaign, and it'll be home." There was such pain in those eyes. She sniffed, trying to keep in the tears. "I barely remember what it was like to live there. It's been years and years and years since then."

"Since when?"

"Since the last time I died before waking up on Apokolips." She sniffed, louder this time, eyes brimming with tears as her voice began to break. "I mean, living with Scotty and Barda and the boys is great, but I still want to be free."

That's when the dam broke. When She'd turned to her and buried Her head in her body. They stayed there for Creator only knew how long. And for as long as they'd sat there, she'd held Her gently, oozing with the soft words she always spoke when someone came to her for a shoulder to cry on.

When She'd stopped crying, She sighed and sniffled, showing She was done though She made no move to leave her grip.

"Thank you." She said. "Sometimes, it just hurts so much. Not being able to be there."

"It's okay." Her heart was still breaking, but she pushed the feeling aside to continue giving her friend the reassurance that she needed to continue.

She looked at the stars in silence for a few moments. Always so beautiful.

The Girl spoke softly into her shoulder, breaking the silence with half-uncertain words. "I'm not crazy, not really. Not about this."

"Didn't say you were." Lilan said softly.

"Doesn't matter. Everyone thinks it, but when I finally find it, nobody will laugh at me for it, because I will be living my dream, surrounded by natives who go about, innocent of the galactic conflicts that could consume them at any moment." She buried her head a little more for a moment. "Of course, ignoring all that religious-like nut-babble, all I need is to blow off steam once in a while. Then, after I decompress, I can go back to my unhealthy job in it's unhealthy way without worrying about going nuts quite so soon."

After a moment, they had reluctantly left each others' comforting presence. The Girl stepped back, collecting Her armor to wear it while Lilan simply watched sadly.

Once She was in full armor, She paused. She was a sight to behold like that. Like a knight from ancient times. She continued to hesitate, but in the end, She decided against saying whatever it is that was on Her mind.

"Well, you take luck, okay?"

Lilan hadn't known why she had at the time, and she still didn't know why, but she'd spoken up. "You know, when they charged me with hunting you down, they made me swear by the most holy oath I knew." She'd pointed out. "Their words, it was 'in order to make sure that it was treated with it's proper respect'."

The Girl had thought on the matter for a moment. "Well, what were the exact words you used?"

"I swore that by the Creator, I would visit immortal vengeance upon you for the good of the universe." She'd sniffed a little, as the earlier crying had gotten to her too. She'd swallowed and pressed on. "Which really sucks because I know that what you did couldn't have been for anything but good."

"Well, I wouldn't worry about it."

She'd looked at Her incredulously. She was being totally serious.

"Look, you may not realize it now, but you just gave us a way to keep on going."


She smiled. "How many mortal enemies could possibly live together without torturing each other to some extent?"

And with those cryptic words, She'd activated the Mother Box She'd pulled out of the pile of equipment and left through the Boom Tube.

She opened her eyes and sighed, wiping away the silent tears that had sprung up as her thinking had gotten the better of her.

She was, still disturbed by the memories. In a way, they were just as cherished as many of the happier memories from her childhood.

The Girl still weighed upon her mind. Especially those last words they'd shared. What was her 'unhealthy job'? Why was she so focused on finding her 'Paradise'?

Why couldn't she just be some average kid?!

She'd closed her eyes at some point, and she opened them when she heard a crunch.

Her hand was buried in a panel. She didn't remember doing that. Hellfire, she didn't remember getting up!

She swallowed down the lump in her throat, trying to get herself back under control. Tears of frustration left her eyes.

"It'll be okay, you'll see." Her glove said to her gently.

She chuckled humorlessly, a smile not quite showing on her face. "I wish I could be so optimistic." She told it. She looked up and out the window. "She's out there. I just have to find her."

Sniff. Stare.

Psshh, sniffsniff.

Stop. Stare.

Pssshhh, deeeeep sniff.

Stop. Hold.

Breathe out slowly, sighing in contentment.

She was in the Hunter's Seventh Heaven.

"You are one of the weirdest people I have ever met."

Closed eyes of purpled hazel opened to fake a powerful glare at the purple-eyed reporter sitting across the table. "Have some respect!" She hissed in mock-indignity. "This is the food of the gods!"

Her fervor once again set the woman to sighing. "It's a one dollar bottle of grape soda." She said, deadpan.

"Exactly!" She crowed in triumph. "This goes right up there with Twinkies for how amazing the stuff is!" She had said that she'd never understood 'The Xan-man's obsession with the stuff before. Now, she had an obsession with them to rival his!

With soda, that is.

"You haven't even had your first sip!" The reporter exlaimed. "And how is it that you can go from being extremely intimidated by me to-"

"Being your greatest annoyance?" The girl asked with a slightly arrogant smirk.

Lois Lane made an aggrieved sound as she threw up her hands, which said a lot about her current state. She never lost her cool, not even when the wacko of the week showed up in her office. This little girl, this teenager, was driving her up a wall so bad, that she was actually losing the cool that made her so famous.

"Well, lemme put it this way." She waited until Lois was listening. "I was completely intimidated by you." Her smile grew a little more gentle and wide as she watched the incredulity and surprise go over the reporter's face. "It's true. Doesn't matter that just last week I fell through the atmosphere. I was intimidated by you, and considering that I've faced down monsters on the level of Parallax and Darkseid and Dru-Zod, that says something." She ignored the reporter's blank look as she thought about life. "Plus, I'm a little crazy. Had to be to survive where I grew up with any sort of humanity." She loosened the cap a little and sniffed at the gas released by the opened seal. When that stopped, she took off the cap entirely and took a swig straight from the bottle. A rather long swig.

When she set down the bottle, it was half empty and she let out a sigh filled with bliss. "You, my friend, are a life-saver." She said, her face glazed over a bit.

Lois just put her head in her hands and sighed. "Am I ever gonna get back to work?"

"Of course!" The green-eyed girl said. "I just wanna finish my lunch first." She picked up her cheeseburger, a cheap one from the Dollar Menu in McDonald's, and took a deep bite, melting in pleasure.

Right about now, there were several things going to war inside of Lois' head.

On one side was her exasperation at the girl who'd so rudely intruded upon her life by first ending up on her couch to sleep off whatever had placed her there in the first place, combined with worry and frustration connected to the possibility that she won't be able to get to work on time, preferably alone, and also therefore avoiding the ribbing from her coworkers about being late.

On another was her instincts as a reporter and the need for lots of accurate information that had gained her the well-deserved reputation of being one of the best investigative journalists ever to gain a Pulitzer for her work, which had been poked by the girl's casual statements of fact that gave her chills, especially since nobody but her coworkers and family really knew about her engagement to Clark Kent.

Then there was that slight stroke of paranoia from dealing with Lex Luthor so often combined with the innate curiosity that helped make a true journalist successful. Just being around the girl made her want to investigate her, get to know her, which would help decide if she was a threat in any way and would possibly gain her another friend, something that was always useful in her profession and in Clark's world as well.

She had no idea what to make of this tattooed conundrum in front of her, especially because she was treating cheap trash masquerading as food from Safeway and McDonald's like five star cuisine, looking barely out of her teens but at least like she could take care of herself from the muscles she showed on her midriff and arms while her top was covered with a sports bra lookalike that actually covered quite a bit more than that.

Though, she wasn't entirely sure about the trench coat that was on the girl's chair. She'd said it belonged to her, but it was considerably too large for her.

"You know," She said, taking a moment to swallow her current bite (which was most of the rest of the cheeseburger she'd ordered) before she continued. "If you want to know you can just ask. I can't promise that I'll answer completely, but I can promise that I'll be honest with you."

Lois raised her eyebrows, her professional cool sliding over her as she gave in to the need to learn more rather than simply get rid of the girl. She may be annoying and encroaching upon her day and work, but she was interesting! "Well, where should I start?"

She shrugged. "Just start anywhere that strikes your fancy."

"Okay then," Lois paused for a moment, choosing carefully what she should start with. While the girl had attached herself to her like a leech, she'd also shown that she was skittish when she'd first woken up, so a wrong move could mean that she couldn't find out anything about her, which could be problematic down the road. Not to mention annoying. "What's your name?" There, simple, neutral, and a good way to be able to find her again.

She smiled. "Well, lemme put it this way. I wasn't born with a name, and I don't have a birth certificate."

"What do you mean that you weren't born with a name?" Lois interrupted. No birth certificate could mean that she simply lost it or it wasn't made when she was born in some alleyway or in another country. That particular problem had popped up a few times in her career, but being born without a name? Not exactly common in her experience.

"Not exactly something I'm willing to share at the moment, but I will say that it's kinda because I was born in an orphanage with, complications, shall we say." She shrugged. "Well, what they call me is The Aberration, and I kinda adopted this kid to be my brother. He's this amazing escape artist, and has managed to do a lot of things over time and get away with most of them practically scott free. In fact, that's what I called him, Scott Free. The name stuck, and since I'm his sister, some of our friends and underlings decided to call me Abberation Free. Abby for short."

"What's up with your hair?" Lois froze, then blushed. That hadn't been planned at all. It just came out. Understandable since the girl's hair seemed to keep on changing, mostly staying black or white. It seemed a little like an illusion, but a few seconds ago, she'd've sworn that she saw a bit of purple add itself to her hair color.

"Don't worry, you didn't offend me." Abby said, giving the reporter a comforting smile. "To be honest, I don't know what's up with it either. Sometimes, it even ends up doing a passable imitation of a rainbow without a single drop of dye. Ends up being pretty amusing for me."

Lois took a little time to regain her composure after that last misstep, to make sure that she didn't slip up at all anytime soon. "Well then-"

"What about my eyes?" She interrupted. She nodded, her smile maddeningly knowing this time. After all, purple flecks might just be natural for humans, but gold flecks? Not a chance. "Well, the eyes are completely natural, so far as I can tell. I'm not entirely sure that the color won't change somewhere down the line."

"What do you mean by that?"

"Well, lemme put it this way: A person's DNA is their biological blueprints. It says if they're human or not; white, black, or other; male, female, or other; whether or not they're colorblind or an albino; blue-eyed with blonde hair or green-eyed with brown hair or heterochromatic with black hair. Alla that. With me so far?"

Lois nodded.

"Well, my DNA, my biological blueprints, are kinda incomplete." Abby raised a hand to keep her from responding. "I know that if a person's genome isn't complete, then they can't actually be alive, they can't exist. But, somehow, I do, and my DNA seems to change every so often. I don't know why, I don't know how, and I definitely don't trust this with any government of any sort."

If her DNA changes every so often, then it's easily possible that her entire body changes at the same time. "Are the changes painful?"

She shrugged. "Only sometimes. Not often enough to really complain about it, which I'm thankful for."

"Where'd you get the trench coat?" That's the question that had been on her mind the most the entire time.

"From the same guy who got me my truck."

"What truck?"

"The truck that I came to Metropolis in and is currently missing. A crime boss from Bl├╝dhaven gave it to me as a favor to the both of us."

"To both of you?"

Abby nodded. "Yeah. I get a car, he gets to get rid of something that he didn't quite want to keep, but not for any specific reason. Nothing about it really repulsed him, but it wasn't quite to his taste. Like an old shirt, ya know?"

Lois nodded at that, understanding the point. Then a look came over her face as she debated asking a question. In the end, she decided to ask it. "How old are you?"

"Don't you know better than to ask a woman her age?" Abby asked playfully, putting some mock-severity in her voice.

They chuckled over it for a second or two before silence fell on the table. "You don't have to-" Lois began, but she was cut off by Abby.

"No, I'm okay. You didn't offend me." Abby sighed. "Thing is, it's kinda complicated."


"Well, on Apok, time doesn't flow like it does out here. Sometimes when I was on a mission, I'd spend a few days out here and it would be a week later there, and sometimes it would be just a few hours there instead. Once, it was about a decade later there. Also, just to compound the complexity, nobody really seemed to believe in those weird little notions like 'Night' and 'Day', as there was absolutely no difference between sleep cycles and work cycles, which had lengths as varying as the peoples of the Earth."

"That sounds," Lois paused, unsure of how to finish the sentence. She settled on "confusing." Probably an understatement, but it finished the sentence.

"You have no idea." Abby crossed her arms and laid her head on them on the table they were sitting at. "Especially since the place I spent most of my time before I got any freedoms whatsoever was basically the boot camp from hell combined with perfect Darwinism. The good soldiers did their training, and the less than capable and the washouts died. Then, the survivors have to fight each other simply because they're told to and it's always a deathmatch. They don't care if they're practically a blood brother or sister, they just want to be sure that you'll do whatever they want you to. 'Most every waking hour was spent either training or fighting and if you didn't match their standards, they'd either drive you even harder until you died from exhaustion or simply decide to kill you themselves." She shuddered. "Was. Not. Pleasant. And the food was terrible and the only real available distractions that were even slightly allowed was sex, and that was a risky business in every way possible."

"Really?" Lois asked, disturbed and morbidly intrigued by it, much like one would be by a mile-long train wreck. Abby nodded, and Lois asked how.

"Well..." The girl breathed out, choosing her words, puzzling out how to say it. "You know how there's all the normal dangers of sex? You know, sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancy, potential ways to ruin a good social dynamic and a team?" Lois nodded and Abby continued. "Well, on Apok, it's magnified by an order of magnitude or two."

"How big of a magnitude?"

"Oh, 'bout as much difference as the idea a poor person living in the slums has of making money and the idea a rich person who's never had anything less than first class plane tickets, five-star hotels and restaurants, and a couple hundred million dollars in the bank at any one time has of making money. Or the difference between a bachelor who cooks for himself and stretches every dollar he can so that a single hundred dollar bill will last him the entire month and Lex Luthor."

Lois raised her eyebrows. That was a pretty big difference. And she could tell exactly how much that could be because she'd had to live on a similar budget when she first got to Metropolis.

"Well, going through the list, there's the alliances and friendships made by such a relationship. Rarer the older ya get, but they still happen. Sometimes the higher-ups see you sneaking out for a rendezvous, sometimes one of the others see you and snitch on you to get a better standing with them (doesn't always work), but either way, the two of you get boned. Usually a fight to the death, especially if they're bored, but they'll just kill you themselves if you're lucky. And if you're extra-lucky, the snitch will get it too." the girl nodded at the face that Lois made at that. "Vicious, brutal, efficient. Just like the place you lived in, just like your evil overlords, just like the army that you will join whether you like it or not."

"Did you want to?" Lois asked, morbid curiosity driving her now just as much as before.

"Hells no! The leader's objective is total subjugation of the universe! I mean, sure, he's got the time, and the power, to do it, but I do not want the blood of innocents on my hands for being a part of it. I still have trouble sleeping at times just for what I had to do in the so-called 'Orphanage', let alone what I had to do to keep my plotting about escaping secret." She paused in her diatribe. "Almost forgot to mention: if they decide to have 'mercy' on you for getting pregnant, and therefore useless in a fight, then you'll be debating which would hurt less. Abortion, suicide, or allowing them to take your child before debating killing you for allowing yourself to be 'weak'. The only ones they don't get mad at for getting preggers are the ones designated for breeding, who are never trained for combat. Makes revolution less likely."

Horror flashed through her at every single statement said in the last few seconds. "That's terrible."

"It's not terrible, it's horrible, and, unfortunately, a fact of life there. I had to watch as those I raised died, sometimes by my hand to keep myself alive, and to give them an at least somewhat painless death." She sighed and shook her head. Lois had no idea what must be going through her head, but if she had to guess, pain and grief would make the top five.

Abby shook her head, trying to rid herself of those bad memories, and put a smile on her face that gradually became genuine. "Let's talk about something else. I don't want to deal with that right now."

Lois' watch beeped. She glanced down at it. The bracelet-like machine told her the time. "Um, I'm going to be late for work if I don't get going."

That seemed to perk her up. "Hey, that's an idea. You go to work, I follow you to keep you safe, and both of us has what we want!" At Lois' confused look, she continued. "You get work, and therefore don't get fired or starved to death, and I get to keep from getting bored. After all, you're Lois Kent, nee Lane! Almost nothing I know of about the situation will say boring. Unless you get assigned some high-class sorority party or some bullshit assignment like that."

"Hey, that's not a bullshit assignment." Beat. "And I'm not a Kent yet."

"Well, it is when you consider how boring it'll be. I mean, lots of spoiled brats with more money than sense whose most important thing to do, ever, is to make sure she's up with the current fashion or look good for the camera? Boring! Not to mention annoying." She rolled her eyes and made a disgusted sound as she stood and pulled the cap off of the soda bottle to clean it out of soda.

Lois stood as well. "You're not coming with me to work. And how'd you know I was engaged anyway?"

They started moving away and Abby put the empty two-liter bottle in the trash before saying, "I didn't. In fact, I'd just assumed that you two were married already. I mean, I know it's not exactly the most common of knowledge, but hey, I'm kinda new, with an outside perspective. And besides, only one person on this Earth, besides me, actually knows a thing about my source of information, and I'm not telling you who it is unless you let me tag along."

Lois glared at the girl for using her drive for doing well in her job against her as they walked. "I hate you."

Abby smirked. "I know."

The End?

You have reached the end of "The girl clad in Iron" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 17 Sep 13.

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