The nightmares did not stop for her. Every night, a different founding member attempted to seriously injure or kill her altogether. In every one, Lex Luthor was there to help her in some form or fashion; if not to help, he was there to sacrifice himself so that she could escape the wrath. She couldn’t tell J’onn about every single one; she didn’t want to worry him more than he already was. She knew that they were nightmares however she knew that it wasn’t purely coincidental that the criminal mastermind was present in every single one; she knew that he had a hand in manipulating her dreams somehow. The breaking point was when she realized that she hadn’t slept in a week to avoid the nightmares. She had enough by that point; she needed to settle it with the supposedly source.
She didn’t have a real plan; she didn’t even think that it would take long to figure things out. Tabitha assumed that she would be back at least in a day so she told no one when she left Watchtower. The only place she knew to start looking for Luthor was in Metropolis; even though Clark and J’onn were adamant about the inability to trust him, she did see that he didn’t hide from the public.
She was surprised at how little he hid, as she stared at the large building, LexCorp proudly displayed on the front for everyone to see. She shook her head as she walked inside.
“You gotta be kidding me; it can’t be this easy…” she mumbled as she walked towards the receptionist desk. The lobby was immaculate with pure white marble floors and pristine matching walls. The redheaded receptionist gave her a warm smile, despite of how Tabitha looked.
“Welcome to LexCorp; do you have an appointment?” she cheerfully asked. If anything, Tabitha was impressed at the customer service skills; that told her that the mastermind only employed the best. The question, however, made her bite her lip. She had no real plan, she realized yet again; she had figured that her search would take at least a day and that would give her time to formulate one. Was she really bold enough to just demand to see the man?
“Uh… actually… I don’t…” she stumbled. The redhead’s hazel eyes gleamed as she smiled even more.
“Your accent… you wouldn’t happen to be Tabitha Lyght, would you?” she surprised her. Tabitha just blinked at the lady.
“Uh… yeah; yes…”
“Mr. Luthor’s been expecting you for quite some time, now!” she immediately got on the phone, “Sir, your appointment is here. Miss Lyght. Yes, sir. He wants me to personally escort you. This way, please…” she kept her perfect smile as she led her towards the elevators. She had to admit that she would’ve been more comfortable if she had crashed into the lobby, threatening people until the man showed his face! However, seeing that he was expecting her made Tabitha realize that the nightmares were not merely coincidental.
Inside the elevator, the petite receptionist looked Tabitha over, still with a smile plastered on her face. Tabitha looked at her.
“I’m sorry. I’ve just been really curious for a couple of weeks now; what business do you have with Mr. Luthor?” she simply asked.
“If… if I told you… you won’t believe me…” Tabitha left it at that. The woman simply nodded.
“I see. I was just curious; you’re all he’s talked about for weeks! I’ve never seen him so animated over anyone… well, not a woman, anyways…” she finished. It was enough for Tabitha to shoot her a look.
“Wait… you saying that Mr. Luthor’s… you know…” she raised her eyebrows and snapped her fingers in a zig-zag motion. It was enough to make the woman laugh heartily.
“Oh; no! Mr. Luthor’s had eight wives…”
“Yeah; unlucky in love but very successful. It’s the only relationship he can really count on…” she noted as the elevator doors opened. Tabitha looked in awe at what laid beyond the open mahogany doors; a massive office with plush cream carpet. The walls had the same mahogany paneling, adorned with various art pieces. In the middle of the room was an all glass desk with none other than Lex Luthor sitting behind it. He swiveled towards the two, busy on the phone. He gave his receptionist a plain look however when his eyes landed on Tabitha, his green eyes shone and a slow smile appeared across his lips.
“My appointment is here.” he simply said and immediately hung up the phone. As he stood, so did the woman who was sitting on the loveseat adjacent to the desk. She reminded Tabitha of a vampire; her v-cut black dress hugged her slim figure tightly and flowed down to the carpet, exposing the majority of her right leg. Her purple hair hung past her hips, her eyes seemed milky, almost translucent and the cross-like brooch that laid perfectly over her jugular notch put more emphasis on the v-cut in the dress.
As the receptionist got back on the elevator, Luthor approached the lightning woman, his smile never leaving. She blushed as she looked him over, admitting that he was more dynamic in person than in her dreams. His tailor-made suit almost envied those of Bruce’s, putting emphasis on his broad shoulders. It definitely said “power” and “success”, Tabitha thought. The little steps that he took towards her immediately emanated charisma, elegance and confidence… nothing criminal or cynical at all. His smile alone warmed her, making her cheeks ache even more, and his green eyes became brighter as he neared her. She was close to becoming totally mesmerized by his presence had she not remembered suddenly the reason she was there in the first place; she quickly narrowed her eyes at him.
“Miss Lyght. This is Tala, my personal assistant.” he coolly and quickly introduced, “You are more… beautiful than I had imagined…” his words surprised both women in the room, “It is definitely an absolute pleasure to finally meet you.” he tried to grab her hand. She reluctantly backed away, remembering her goal.
“C-Cut off the charm! I just wanna know why… and how you’ve been haunting my dreams!” she glared at him. Luthor chuckled slightly.
“No beating around the bush for you, I see! I really like that…” his green eyes became sultry, “My dear, it was the only way to guarantee a meeting with you. I’m pretty sure that those…‘friends’ of yours have filled your head with some pretty mean things about me…” he said. Her eyebrows lifted slightly; she knew by his tone that he was speaking about the Justice League, “I’m sorry, Miss Lyght; was I not supposed to know that you’re a part of the Justice League? Or, would you rather be called Miss Strykher…?” when she heard that name, she couldn’t hide her surprise.
“You know way too much…”
“Do I? It wasn’t like you were trying to keep it all a secret! I will admit that I am pleased to see how you look without the mask…” the sultry look returned in his eyes, making her blush furiously, “Well, seeing as how you’re cooped up in space, I figured there was no need to hide your identity. Tell me; don’t you feel… underappreciated up there?”
“… N-No. Every member has their purpose…” she defended.
“No? Why is it that I don’t see you on the front cover of every newspaper?”
“… I’m no Superman. We all can’t save the day…”
“Ha! ‘Save the day’?! You honestly think that your group can do what civilians have done longer than them? Do you think that they truly have good intentions? With their ungodly-like powers, who’s to say when they’ll eventually turn against us?!”
“You’re wrong. Superman and Batman… they would never turn their back on the people they’ve vowed to protect! And I’m a part of ‘em; you think I’d do something like that?!”
“Of course not. You? Why, you’re different. I believe that you’re better than they are. Your powers were… forced on you.”
“You know way too fucking much…” she mumbled, shaking her head. Lex smiled and approached her yet again, walking around her.
“It’s nothing against you, my dear; I make it my business to know a lot of things. Miss Lyght… why are you not being praised along with Superman, Wonder Woman and the Martian Manhunter? When you fight… you’re the one fighting the good fight. You didn’t come here from another planet; this is your home planet! It should be you fighting for the 99%, taking credit!”
“I’m a team player, Mr. Luthor…”
“And, why should you be, especially when they try to hide you from the public? You know what they are? Glory hogs. How did you feel when you were with Spider-Man, Miss Lyght? Didn’t you feel… liberated? The only ones that tried to stop you… were the villains.” he had smoothly closed in the gap between the two, “The Justice League… they’re your villains, Tabitha. They hinder you. If you were with me… I would never hinder you. We could form a partnership and I would make sure you’re given credit where credit is due. You wouldn’t have to hide your identity behind some… mask. You would be able to do whoever…” he slyly chuckled; he was so close to her, he could feel her heart racing, “I meant… whatever you wanted to do. Doesn’t that sound better than being cooped up in space, being a glorified super electrician?” he asked. Another word to describe him popped into her head; magnetic. She had never been seduced before and had to admit that he was doing an excellent job; she hadn’t stopped blushing since she walked inside the room. She quickly saw why there had been eight women who had the pleasure of calling themselves Mrs. Luthor; the man was charismatic, powerful, alluring, confident…
She couldn’t move as he began to lean in closer to her, preparing her for a kiss. It alarmed her that he knew so much about her; he knew that she was Peter’s sidekick, he knew all about the experiment gone wrong that turned her into a Metahuman, he knew her second super heroine alias… he knew that she was aboard Watchtower, handling its electrical and electronic affairs. It was then when she realized the other words she could use to describe him: manipulative, egotistical… criminal mastermind. She did the only thing she could think of; as his green eyes became hooded, she placed her hand on his chest (she had to add “toned” to the list of words as well) and gave him a shock that was enough to make him quickly jump away from her, giving her a surprised look. She smiled slightly.
“Alright, first off… my personal space: clearly you invaded the hell out of! Second; I’m spoken for…” she almost took delight at his expression; something he didn’t know, “And, I don’t think my boyfriend or your personal assistant would take kindly to you trying to molest me!” she nodded towards Tala; she had seen the sneers and disdained looks she had given the two, “Call me what you want but I know a shitful of people up there that don’t mind me being a ‘super electrician’… and I would never desert them. They’re my friends. I’d rather spend the rest of my life up in space by myself than another second in here with you! Now… if you don’t wanna feel what you just felt a hundred times over… I suggest you stay out my head… however the hell you’re doing it! Goodbye, Mr. Luthor.” she glared at him before turning to leave. Before she could reach the mahogany doors, she felt a piercing pain that traveled up her spine and quickly to her head, making her drop to the ground, unconscious. Tala retracted her magic and watched, slightly seething as Lex went over to pick up the lightning woman, a small smile on his lips.
“Oh, Miss Lyght; I really did want to do things the easy way with you…” he shook his head solemnly as he placed her closer to Tala. He was never without a backup plan; he really did hope that he would be able to simply talk Tabitha into siding with him, playing on the theory that she was being suppressed by the Justice League. For the first time in a while, he didn’t fully lie; he did feel that she would be better off with him. His political career would see drastic gains introducing her as the new face of the people; he knew that the public would eat up the fact that she was former military, alone.
He nodded at Tala and she began a magical chant; his backup plan, had Tabitha declined would be to magically brainwash her into siding with him. He knew that she would be no match against Superman and probably the majority rest of the Justice League; that was what Cadmus would be there for: to enhance her powers so that she would be on par with the Man of Steel.
As Tala started her chant, she was glad that Luthor had no idea that the “plans” had changed. For as long as she worked for Cadmus in what they simply deemed as their “mystical department”, she had vied for Lex’s affection. She knew that he was somewhat coldhearted in the love department however the little attention he had shown her made her fall more in love with him. She had figured if she simply did as he requested of her, he would eventually see how loyal she was to him.
Those hopes and dreams were quickly dashed as she could do nothing but watch as he tried to seduce the lightning woman. A wicked smile crept on her face as she finished her chant and a portal appeared above the unconscious woman. Luthor raised an eyebrow and drew his attention immediately to Tala.
“What is this?” he demanded. It was too late, Tala knew as a black shadow appeared from the portal. The dark figure let out an ear piercing screech as it became transparent and entered Tabitha’s body. Luthor grabbed Tala painfully by her arm, “What did you just do?! This wasn’t part of the plan!” he snarled at her. As the demon completed its possession, Tabitha’s eyes popped open. She screamed out in pain, curling into a ball, convulsing. Despite the pressure on her arm, Tala continued to smile.
“Let’s see how attractive she is with a demon inside of her!” she spat.
“You ungrateful…” he raised his hand to hit her; she had ruined everything that he had planned. Or, had she? He had a sudden change of heart as he roughly pushed her away from him and watched as Tabitha stopped convulsing, struggling to stand. He went over to help but stopped in his tracks as she let out a painful moan that slowly converted into an amplified, almost inhuman growl. She finally stood fully upright and slowly stretched. When she turned and looked at the two, they both noticed that her whiskey brown eyes were no more; she glared at them with ominous, jet black eyes.
“Miss Lyght…” Luthor tried, he had a feeling in vain. She gave him a malicious grin, approaching him slowly.
“Is that the human’s name?” she chuckled, a somewhat mix of her former voice and the demon’s, “She is no longer with us; trapped inside of this body…” the hybrid did a quick look over of its new body, an approving sound escaping its lips, “This will have to do. Mmm… the power contained in this body; this built up… rage!”
“I may be of some assistance, helping you… release some of that rage…” Luthor tried. The possessed woman eyed him and smiled wider.
“You? What could you possibly do for me besides becoming my servant? What could you offer me, human?”
“My services… as your number one servant…” it slightly pained him to take a backseat however he realized that it was a demon he was trying to strike a deal with, “It’s come to my attention that we both want something… and can benefit from each other’s help. We have something in common, I presume: world domination. I can guarantee it…”
“How can a lone human promise me this?”
“By doing things my way. I’m pretty sure that you’ve tapped into the woman’s abilities. But… there are others who are much more powerful than she is; causing chaos now will guarantee your downfall. My company can enhance those powers, making her… you stronger than the ones who are about to oppose you. Once those individuals are out of the way… there will be no stopping you…” he smiled. She returned the smile, tracing his jawline slowly.
“I sense that you could be of some use to me…” she lowly growled. Irritated, Tala gathered all of her mystical powers, preparing to attack the possessed woman. However, without looking, the hybrid raised her arm and sent a stream of lightning her way, shocking her unconscious. Luthor gave Tala an amused look.
“Looks like your plan backfired…”
“Enough taunting; you will show me that you deserve to be my main servant!” the hybrid demanded. He couldn’t hide his smile even if he wanted to.
“As you wish…”