"You were wrong. This isn't a fresh start. This is a nightmare."
The words echoed in Kara's head. Over and over again, she heard his voice, unable to shake the conversation from memory as if it were physically etched somewhere in her mind. She stood atop the roof of a skyscraper and surveyed the city at night. The late night folks were winding down their days while others would be getting started in a matter of hours. Most were oblivious to the dangers that had surfaced recently and only knew that something weird was happening, but she knew that it wouldn't stay that way forever. Sooner or later, the truth had to come out. It had started to already; with fights between metahumans being broadcast online and on the airwaves, she figured it was only a matter of time before the city would descend into more chaos.
What that truth was, exactly, she wasn't entirely sure. Residents were being abducted left and right and so far there had been no signs of any of them. It was almost as if they had vanished into thin air, disappearing without a trace like they didn't want to be found. She had to remind herself that she knew that wasn't true, that these people were being taken and held against their will, made to do who knew what while being treated like caged animals with one purpose and one purpose alone: to fight each other. Flying around the city and trying to find answers had been fruitless so far, and it was infuriating—moreso when she witnessed one of Nora's cousins in the ring just hours ago. With so many people going to all of this effort, how could they have yielded so few results?
Maybe she was wrong, and maybe Bruce was right after all in that this was some sort of hell. Some kind of punishment for her previous misdeeds, her bad temper and the danger and destruction that came with it. Kara's time on Earth had been marked with both trauma and second chances, opportunities for her to start over in a new city and reinvent herself. To become someone new and different and better than before. But time and time again, she had to start from scratch, sometimes as herself and other times with a new identity and a cover story that would inevitably be blown. It made her wonder: what good were second, third, or fourth chances if a person was unable to change? Wasn't that the point, to do better and be better in situations where she had failed to do so previously?
What was her purpose in being here? She had been sent to Earth in a last ditch effort to save her life. Krypton was dying and she had one way out. Having schemed up a plan that was unbeknownst to her mother, Zor-El has wanted to save Kara, to give her a chance to grow up and become an adult and live a fulfilling life that would have otherwise been impossible on Krypton. But why her and not any of the other Kryptonians? Was it simply just the luck of the draw that she had access to the technology that allowed her to catapult through space and onto a new home? When she had finally arrived on Earth, many, many years later after having veered off course, she had found that she had developed great abilities that other humans didn't have. And while she wasn't actually human at all, she found that she could pass as one with just a little effort on her part. She found that she could use her abilities for good, to help people and rid her tiny part of this big, messed up world of harm.
Of course, her efforts didn't happen as planned. Nothing ever did, she would soon find. Wherever she went, trouble would follow. Innocent lives were put at risk. Some were lost, others simply went missing, leaving mourning friends and family behind with broken hearts until they were returned home. All of the hurt and disappointment and shame made it more and more difficult to keep going as time went on.
Kara felt like a fraud. She wasn't super. This wasn't her city. It wasn't hers to save and protect even if she knew how to. She watched as a series of flashing lights streaked across the streets below. She knew that they meant that something was happening and that someone was in trouble, but she stayed away and let the professionals do their jobs, even if the threats meant that those cops were punching above their pay grade.
She had never felt so alone. She had very little family around and no friends of her own. Lois was missing, she had no idea where to find Kal-El, and though she was surrounded by Nora's friends and family (who seemed perfectly nice enough), they weren't hers. She shook her head and scoffed. How selfish could she be? There was so much going on right now and yet there she was, standing on a rooftop, feeling melancholy instead of actually doing something to help find the disappeared. But was there anything that she could really do, anyway?
Restless, she began to pace. What could she do? Where could she go? She could feel herself getting wound up again. Frenetic energy taking over her movements and giving her a reckless need to do something, anything. But she was at a loss for ideas and did the only thing she could think to do. She took a swan dive off the roof and corrected herself mid-air, rising above the city once again. There was hardly any other adrenaline rush like this one and yet even that couldn't grant her some relief. She was flying solo, both literally and figuratively. She didn't have her own support system. She didn't even have her own body. Her sense of purpose was gone and it had shaken her to her core. There was so much sadness and anger and frustration ready to boil over that belonged to both Kara and to Nora and she wasn't sure how much longer she could keep her cool. Maybe leaving Boston was the answer, she thought as she zipped through the night sky. Surely Nora wasn't too attached to the city, right? She could make new friends and find a new job elsewhere.
The more she thought about it, the more appealing it seemed, even though she knew that it was just a pipe dream. She couldn't just uproot Nora's life like that, could she? Would Kara even continue to exist in this form if she did? She shook her head and changed course, heading for Nora's apartment building instead of flying around the city aimlessly. She scanned the skies for radar so that she could go on about her route undetected and she felt a nagging in her gut. Why did she have to pretend that she didn't have all of these powers? Why did she have to hide? The city, maybe even the world, was finding out about other people like her through all of the livestreams this week, so what was the point? It angered her to have to think about this. This was her life now, too; she had to be trusted to make decisions on behalf of both women. The lack of agency and autonomy in her current life was both a blessing and a curse. She could navigate Nora through the stuff that she was familiar with while the human took care of all of the other day to day events, but she had to be able to live this life as if it were hers, too. She felt Nora fighting her idea and rolled her eyes.
She neared the building and guided herself towards the balcony, landing squarely on both feet as she did. She opened the doors to the living room and stepped inside only to find a very startled Carol hovering nearby. Kara grunted an apology and turned to close the doors behind her. Her eyes grew wide as she watched a small object hurtle towards her and she gasped.
"Kara Zor-El of Krypton. You have great rage in your heart. You belong to the Red Lantern Corps."