Smackdown

a Supergirl fan fiction by

Douglas Neman

"Max, we need to secure the area," Alex said. "This is an active crime scene."

Max turned to face her and walked back down the steps. "No. This is my property!"

"This attack has been traumatic for all of us!" Alex snapped. "They kidnapped my commanding officer!"

"I think the days of us partnering up are over, Agent Danvers."

Max walked past her to pick up his fancy gun. Alex chased after him.

"At least tell me what the aliens were looking for," she said. "It could at least help us locate our man."

"Why don't you ask your pet alien?" Max asked sarcastically, and held up his gun. "As for me, I'll protect myself in the future. Now, get your jackboots off my grounds!"

He turned and stalked back up the stairs.

Alex glared after him, then followed him. She knew Max could sense her behind him, but he didn't turn around. They each knew a bigger confrontation was coming, so he strode into a conference room. She followed him in and slammed the door.

"Really?" she snapped. "You'll protect yourself in the future? Because that was working so well. Oh, wait, no it wasn't. You were getting your ass kicked when we got here!"

"I ordered you off my property," he said menacingly. He carefully laid the gun on a table.

"First of all, you evidently have no clue how a crime scene works! The fact that it's your private property means jack all! Second of all, knowing what the aliens were after is key to this investigation, so if you don't cooperate, I'll arrest you for obstruction of justice! Third, some of my colleagues just died saving your life, and I will not allow you to spit on their sacrifice and their memory, you ungrateful jackass!"

They glared at each other.

"And here, we see how the police state operates," Max said quietly.

Alex snorted softly with contempt. "Any society has the right to investigate crimes against it. Second-graders can understand that concept, but you can't? Are you sure you're a genius?"

"Geniuses see what fools cannot."

"You're delusional."

He shrugged and turned away, pacing around.

"And while we're at it, why do you hate Supergirl so much?" Alex asked. "She saved you from Reactron."

"Not by herself."

"She figured out where Reactron was keeping you, so yes, actually, it was Supergirl. And furthermore, if you hate Supergirl, then you must also hate Superman, yet you were praising him on TV after you were rescued! And Supergirl told me that after she saved you from Reactron a second time, you said something about it being twice in two days and joked about hiring her as a bodyguard! So what's the deal, Max? You just change your mind?"

"When Superman saved me from Reactron, Supergirl was still new to this city. I hadn't yet formed a full opinion of her. Now that I've seen her in action for a couple of months, I have her figured out."

"Oh, really? And what's she done that was so awful?"

"Besides road rage, creating an oil spill, and abandoning this city during an earthquake? I don't know, Agent Danvers, you tell me."

Alex faltered. "She's still learning. She's not perfect, but she's done a lot of good, and her heart's in the right place."

"It's only a matter of time before she does something we'll all regret," Max whispered.

"You don't know that."

"You don't know otherwise."

"Actually, yeah I kind of do, because I work with her. I know her a lot better than you ever will. So you don't get to make predictions."

"Something only has to happen once."

Alex looked at him appraisingly and shook her head a tiny bit. "You're jealous!" she said softly. "You hate that she can save people in ways that you can't. She threatens your plan to go down in history as humanity's savior!"

"Believe me, I am not threatened by Supergirl!" he said, but the lie was obvious to both of them.

"If you didn't feel threatened by her, you wouldn't pay her so much attention."

Max snorted. "Supergirl threatens everyone."

"Give me your e-mail address. I'll send you a complete list of every person whose life she's saved."

"Ah, but you see, Agent Danvers, this is where my genius comes in. This is where I see something that the rest of you microbes do not. Because for every life Supergirl saves, ten more people will die in the long run because society is lulled into a false sense of safety."

Alex looked at him with a mixture of horror and pity, and shook her head. "You are truly delusional," she whispered.

"No, I'm right. It's just too uncomfortable a truth for anyone but a genius like me to say out loud."

"A genius, huh? Does your ten-more-people rule also apply to Superman, or is Supergirl special?"

"No, Superman is just as guilty."

"Yet you praised him publicly after he saved you from Reactron." Alex looked at him with eyes full of accusation. "Because saving Maxwell Lord is different from saving one of us microbes."

"I'm changing the world, saving it from mankind's own destruction. So yes, I am worth more than ten random people in the long run."

"Yeah, I've heard all about how you're saving the world – when you're not bombing it."

"Now who's delusional?"

"I'm not delusional in the slightest. Shall I tell you how you slipped up? When Supergirl confronted you about Ethan Knox, you gave a classic non-denial. You told her the bombs were tests."

"Probably tests. Since I don't know what Knox was up to, I can only speculate."

"But when you mentioned what each test measured, you began by talking about the drone, how it was designed to measure her agility and speed. But the existence of the drone wasn't public information, Max." Alex's gaze was rock steady.

Max smiled. "You or Supergirl must have mentioned it during your conversations with me."

"You know we didn't."

"But you can't prove it, which is why you haven't arrested me."

"Not yet."

They looked at each other steadily.

"Now, tell me...what were the aliens after?" Alex asked.

"I don't know."

Alex just shook her head a little. "Fine. They must have been after something, so we'll just go over all of your research until we find a likely candidate."

"My research is proprietary, and the success of my business depends on it remaining secret. If you want access to it, you'll have to get through my wall of attorneys. And I'll warn you right now – I hire great attorneys."

"I'm sure you do."

She turned to go, then stopped with her hand on the doorknob and looked back.

"Let me hit you with one more thing," Alex said. "You say Supergirl is actually harming us by using her powers to save people. But if she stood by and allowed people to die when she could have saved them, she would be rightly criticized. And do you know whose voice would be the loudest in all that sea of criticism? I'll give you a hint: check the nearest mirror. And that makes you a hypocrite...genius."

Max just glared at her.

"And it also tells me that what you really want is for Supergirl simply not to exist at all," Alex said. "You were partially right. She doesn't threaten you, Max. She just threatens your ego."

Alex opened the door, and said, "By the way – the night Supergirl confronted you about Ethan Knox, as she flew away, she clearly heard you say, 'The fun is just beginning.' Or did you forget she has super hearing?"

Max fumed silently.

"I'm going to go bury my colleagues, now," Alex said quietly. "Have a nice life, Max."

She closed the door behind her, leaving him standing alone.

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