The further down you went at DEO headquarters the cooler it got. Since some of the holding cells needed very special climate specifications, the halls were meant to level these out. Alex got goosebumps all over her naked arms. She was headed toward a cell holding a very special specimen, one they needed to subdue without weapons. Tricky business, but of course fascinating for the scientist in her.
Supergirl was coming toward them, Alex suspected she'd been visiting her mother hologram - a morning routine with her sister.
"Hey, Alex." Kara was smiling at her.
"Hey, you." Alex had no time to chat, she was keeping up with three of her colleagues, one of them Hank who carried a rope, the others cattle prods. "Can we talk later? Have a coffee break?"
"Sure, is this about... the other day?"
Alex turned while still walking. "Yeah, nothing big just... stuff on my mind."
"Text me," Kara answered waving as she also resumed her way.
Alex, meanwhile, took a deep breath, rubbing her arms. 'Stuff on her mind,' was right. 'Nothing big,' ah, that was a fib. It was major, at least for her. The feelings she was having were so new and exciting and frightening, and she really needed to talk to her sister about them. But the thought of talking to Kara about herself added a certain degree of panic to all those other feelings. And not because she didn't think Kara wouldn't still love her, certainly not that... she was rambling.
Yes, Kara would understand. She was her sister, she loved her. No need for nervousness.
On the job, Alex. Concentrate on the job, she called herself to order as they were stopping in front of the cell.
Hank looked at her. "You okay?"
"Yeah, of course. Let's bring him into interrogation."
"It's not a he, it's an it. This particular species doesn't have genders."
"Right, it. Let's bring it to interrogation. Remember, everyone, not to cut it. It's got vicious defense mechanisms we've only heard rumors of. Extreme caution." She was looking at the two agents with them, Lopez and Henderson, and they nodded.
"All right, let's go in." Hank typed in his code at the key pad and the doors opened. They stepped into the room with the round cell at its center.
Besides being an extrodinary specimen, this alien was also extraordinarily ugly. It's skin color could only be described as puke green with random purple dots. While it held a humanoid form, with arms and legs, it had tentacles growing from its upper body. There were nine eyes (one had been permanently shut at the crash landing of Fort Rozz on Earth) looking at them now, blinking simultaneously.
"Good morning, Bel'Rah. We'll be taking you to interrogation and I urge you not to resist. My colleagues are carrying cattle prods and they will use them. I'd rather they didn't have to, but it's up to you," Hank informed it. He was waiting for the alien to answer or give any sign that it had understood and was maybe agreeing. It was protocol, though Bel'Rah had said little since it had been here and less of it was in a language that Alex understood. But it had talked to Hank, or rather J'onn, at one point and understood English.
Bel'Rah stood and lowered its head. It put its hand together in front of its body. Hank seemed to see this as a sign and gave Alex one to open the cell. She stepped up to the keypad and entered the code. The door to the cell opened.
And Bel'Rah surged forward at Lopez, slamming into her so hard she flew through the air and crashed against a wall. Henderson went at it with his cattle prod, but missed his target. Hank shifted into J'onn momentarily as he and Alex rushed toward Bel'Rah. It didn't have anywhere to go, really, as the door to the room was shut and needed another code to open. But Bel'Rah was strong and fast enough to kill them all and it seemed it was willing to do that.
It gave a roar as it surged forward at Alex. She dugged under its fist, but a tentacle burned her skin before she could jump back.
J'onn struck Bel'Rah, but it was far from subdued. It faced J'onn and one of its tentacles grabbed Lopez' cattle prod from the ground, attacking J'onn with it. Henderson, in turn, zapped Bel'Rah. It roared again, this time in pain, but didn't let itself get distracted from J'onn. It knew he was its strongest oponent.
J'onn had dropped the rope as he'd shifted and Alex was now rushing over to get it. She looped it like a lasso, swinging it over her head. She and Kara had spent some holidays at a ranch her uncle owned. Time to put some of those roping lessons to good use.
She was circling the other three, looking for an opening. Henderson kept surging forward, shocking Bel'Rah with his prod while J'onn evaded the other prod and looked for an opening of his own to tackle the other alien. But Bel'Rah was too fast and shocked him, then he turned on Henderson.
"Henderson, watch out!" Alex cried out.
But in a split second, Bel'Rah had shocked him and was surging forward, its tentacles burning the agents arms and neck. He screamed in pain and fell to the floor.
Alex let go of the loop, throwing it perfectly over Bel'Rah's body. She pulled it tight, running toward J'onn who helped her pull the alien from Henderson. He was screaming in pain, but was pulling himself up. Something gleamed in his hand - a knife.
"No, Henderson, no!" Alex yelled, but it was too late.
Henderson jumped forward, cutting deeply into one of Bel'Rah's tentacles. Blood started pouring out and with it a gas. Alex let go of the rope, running toward the door and the keypad. She smashed her elbow into a security glass and pushed the red botton underneath. A siren blared, red light pulsed inside the room which was instantly sealed airtight.
Bel'Rah had sunken to the floor, bleeding profusely from its one wound, but still eliciting the gas. Henderson had rolled away from it, staying clear of the blood which was black and looked poisonous.
J'onn was just turning into Hank again before he went over to check on Lopez who was still unconscious, lying near the wall she'd been thrown into.
Agents appeared outside the doors. They were carrying guns, of course, but they couldn't really help. Alex was stepping toward the door, looking for Kara, and sure enough, the agents made way for her.
"Alex, what happened?"
"Henderson cut it. There's gas, probably poisonous," Alex answered, already feeling out of breath. But it wasn't the poison, at least, she didn't think so. It was panic. It crawled over her like a slimy sustance and she saw it reflected in Kara's eyes.
"No! I get you out of there!" Kara was going for the door.
"No, Kara! This poison might kill everybody in the building if you open the door. Don't!"
"But... Alex..." Kara's eyes searched hers as they both realized that Supergirl couldn't save Alex. Not with her strength anyway.
"Let me think," Alex asked. "I'm... we need an antidote. Go to your mom, your mom's hologram. Ask her about the Palkopeans, any cures for their poison. Go."
"Kara, I need you to find me an antidote. Go. I'm okay right now, so is Hank." She looked over to him. He was kneeling beside Lopez, but had secured the knife from Henderson as it stuck in his boot now.
Henderson was sitting against the wall, obviously in pain from the burns. He'd closed his eyes, she suspected that he didn't dare look at her.
Bel'Rah lay lifeless, didn't seem to be breathing anymore. While it had only suffered one wound, the condition of it's blood, whether it was very thin or flowed through his veins so rapidly, must have caused it to bleed out within minutes. Remarkable, but also very frightening. The bleeding had stopped now, there was no visible gas escaping the body either.
Alex wondered if she'd overreacted. Maybe the gas hadn't been poisonous at all? But was she really willing to take that chance? And while she just thought it, she noticed something on Henderson's face. It hadn't been burned, but there was a pustule forming on his cheeck.
Alex turned toward Kara. "You need to hurry," she told her.
Kara frowned, but she put her hand up and Alex lay hers against the door from the other side. "I'm gonna save you, Alex, I promise. All of you."
"I know, Kara. You're Supergirl, you're my hero. Go now."
Kara nodded and speeded away to get information.
Alex looked back at the agents looking in on them. "All right, I need you to seal this floor off as a quarantine zone. Get someone from medical here, I'm gonna need some help with Henderson and Lopez. And call in the entire science devision and experts on known alien poisons." She lifted her hand to scratch at her neck, but the feel of her own skin there made her pause. It was a pustule, like the one she'd seen form on Henderson's face.
As she looked back at her fellow agents, they were staring wide-eyed at her. "Those were all orders, so you better get cracking!" she bellowed at them.
It roused them and they got busy following her orders.
Alex turned toward Hank. "This is bad, Hank."
He nodded. "I know. Let's just save our strength for now. Get the first aid kit, Lopez bumped her head pretty bad."
Alex nodded, walking toward the hidden medical supply kit that would need to keep them alive for however long this would take.