"Pen Pals"

Rated PG-13

Clara sat at a desk by the window in the living room. She looked outside and listened as her parents watched the evening news. She liked to know what was going on, but she couldn't stand looking at the TV set and seeing those annoying dots of colored light fly at her. One of the few drawbacks to her vision powers and quick reflexes was that she couldn't enjoy TV like humans could. She listened to the soothing sound of the anchorman's voice as she watched a squirrel jumping from limb to limb in a tree half a mile away.

The anchorman said, "… the submarine is wedged in a rift in the ocean floor in the mid Atlantic. Time is running out and there isn't much hope left for the crew. The submarine is below crush depth so normal rescue operations are out of the question. The robotic drones that have been deployed to send back images don't have the capacity to do anything to free the submarine or help the men inside it. There's been talk of dropping explosive charges to dislodge some of the rocks pinning the sub in place, but that is more likely to destroy the sub then to free it. Families of those onboard are holding a prayer vigil tonight. Our television crews will be out visiting local Kansas families who have relatives on board."

Clara said, "Mom, can I borrow your swimsuit?"

Martha answered, "Mine would be too small for you. We can get you one at the store tomorrow."

Clara said, "I can't wait until tomorrow."

Jon said, “You don’t need a swimsuit to go swimming in the pond.”

Clara said, “I’m not going to swim in our pond.”

Jon asked, "Then where are you going in a swimming suit?"

Clara said, "The mid Atlantic."

Martha said, "Go ahead and use my suit, … but be careful how you move while you’re wearing it. It's a little threadbare and it will more than likely tear when you get into it."

Clara said, "Thanks, Mom!" In five seconds, Clara was back downstairs, wearing her Mom's white, one-piece swimsuit with low-cut front and the plunging backside.

Jon said, "No way are you going out in that! Martha never leaves the farm wearing that suit -- and it FITS her. Your butt cheeks are hanging out!"

Clara ran the index finger of each of her hands along the leg openings to adjust the suit to cover more. She smiled for a second, but then the fabric snapped back to where it had been. Clara said, "Dad, I don’t like going out like this, but what choice do I have? This is a matter of life and death! I'll be so deep underwater that nobody will be able to see me. The only people that will ever see me dressed like this are you and Mom. Speaking of which, … Dad, … STOP LOOKING AT ME! GEEZE!!"

Martha said, "Go on, Honey. Be careful!"

Clara was gone before Jon could say another word.


Soon Clara was flying over the Atlantic. She saw a group of Navy vessels and hoped that this was the location she was looking for. She hovered in the air and looked deep into the ocean to pinpoint the sub's exact location. She could see at once that the situation hadn't been exaggerated. She plunged into the ocean and in moments was evaluating the best way to free the submarine. One side of the ship was scraped up pretty badly and the rudder was mangled. One compartment had a leak. It was filling up with water fast, and there were ten men trapped inside. They had managed to keep out of the water so far, but before long, that would be impossible. The water was so cold that the men were far more likely to die of exposure than from drowning. She knew that they wouldn't survive long unless she did something immediately. Clara was constantly experimenting with new ways to use her powers. That experimentation was about to payoff.

Clara vibrated through the hull and into the compartment. The men turned in shock to see her there. She ignored them and waded into the water. She concentrated and began generating strong electrical field rather than discharging her energy as heat. The water rapidly broke down into oxygen and hydrogen. It wasn't until most of the water was gone that Clara heard the cheering and wolf whistles. She looked up to see that one of the men was snapping photos of her. She looked down and found to her horror that the cold water and tight swimsuit had given the men quite a show. She turned her back to them, and heard more whistling. She tried quickly, but in vain, to adjust the bottom of her Mother's swimsuit to cover her more. She pouted her lip and looked back at them. Now two more of them had managed to find their cameras. She mumbled, "Daddy is going to be so mad!" She got angry and turned again to face them. She said, "That's not very nice!”

One of the men said, “Well it looks very nice from where I’m standing … VERY nice indeed!”

One of the men taking pictures said, “How about a little smile, Honey? It’s your patriotic duty! We have been down here a LONG time serving our country and we work VERY HARD to protect your right to dress like that. You know, in Muslim countries, they'd force you to hide that beautiful body of yours. But thanks to us you have the right to show us as much of it as you want to!”

Clara said, “I came here to help you guys, and you're taking advantage of me!"

One of the men said, "If you think this is taking advantage of you, come on over here and let us show you what that REALLY means! We’d be happy to educate you all night long. It’s not like we’re going anywhere. You look awfully cold. We could help warm you up."

Clara frowned and said, “The cold doesn’t bother me at all, but I don’t have to get anywhere near you to heat up.” Clara released enough heat from her body to warm the compartment twenty degrees. She said, “As pleasant as this has been chatting with you … and even though you almost convinced me to leave you all down here, I’ve got a job to do outside.”

As Clara vibrated out through the wall of the sub, she heard one of the sailors shout out, “Please marry me! I want to have your babies!”

Clara examined the outer hull and welded shut any leak she could find with her heat vision. Then, being careful not to jar the sub too much, Clara began breaking loose any rocks from the sides of the fissure that were in contact with the sub. When the sub was clear of the rock walls, she positioned herself in front of it and extended her aura over its nose to make it stable enough for her to push against. She began pushing gently and slowly increased the force she exerted until the sub moved back far enough to be free of the rift and floating in open ocean. She went to the aft of the sub and bent the rudder back into its original shape. Then she spun the screws to make sure that they would turn freely so that the sub could go on its way. Then she went to the side of the side and tapped out a message in Morse code, “Try to see if you can move under your own power.” She repeated the same message 3 times. Soon the screws were turning and the submarine headed for the surface.

Clara started to swim away then got a sick feeling that someone was watching her again. She adjusted the swimsuit and left her hands covering herself where she felt most exposed. She looked around carefully and saw nothing but a few large fish. She spotted a 12 foot long marlin and was suddenly no longer self-conscious. It reminded her of the book "The Old Man and the Sea." Clara didn't like killing any living thing, but her Father had gotten her used to fishing … and he certainly would like THIS fish. She thought that it might even lighten his mood in case he somehow found out that she had been seen in her Mom's swimsuit – by a group of horny sailors. She swam over to the marlin, put her arms around it and headed for the surface.

A sailor aboard a Navy ship watched as a huge marlin appeared to leap out of sea and fly into the sky. He never saw it return to the water. He almost hold a shipmate what he had witnessed but decided that it was best not to tell anybody.

Below the ocean, someone in an invisible, miniature submarine considered what to do, if anything. A woman who could effortlessly break rock and bend metal with her bare hands AND survive at that depth without any kind of protection or breathing apparatus could either be a powerful ally ... or a dangerous enemy. This woman was far more powerful than earlier reports had indicated.


Clara came in the front door and said, "Daddy, I'm sorry about getting loud with you earlier, so I brought you home a fish from the ocean for dinner. Remember our deal: if you catch it, I clean it; if I catch it, YOU clean it."

Jon said, "Yep, that's the arrangement."

Clara said out loud, "Well, I caught it." Then she said to herself, "And if Daddy finds out about those sailors, I'm sure to ‘catch it’ later, too!"

Jon asked, "Where is this fish of yours?"

Clara said, "It's on the front porch. You can't miss it."

Jon asked, "Why did you leave it out there?"

Clara said, "If I told you, you accuse me of telling a tall fishing tale. But this one didn't get away. I'm going to go change into something a Muslim woman wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen in. I don't like being this over exposed."

Martha said, "Jon, hurry! There's a news flash about the submarine!"

The anchorman said, "This just in! The submarine was miraculously freed from the ocean bottom and has returned to the surface. Crewmen took pictures of a mysterious woman with their digital cameras. Ten men swear that this woman, who they have affectionately named "Power Girl," entered the submarine through a wall without damaging it, evacuated the water that was flooding one compartment and then left after posing for the photographs and flirting with the sailors. They believe that this woman must be responsible for freeing the submarine so that it could resurface. Hand prints embossed into the solid steel rudder and photos taken by the robotic drones seem to verify these accounts. Here for you now are pictures of the sultry, mysterious and beautiful Power Girl!"

Jon's jaw dropped when he saw the images. Areas of the photos had been blurred out so that they could be shown on the network television. Jon yelled, "POWER GIRL, get down here! NOW! … CLARA!"

Clara shouted down, "It's okay Dad. I was just joking about the fish. I'll clean it."

Jon shouted, "It's not about the fish! I SAID I'd clean it. Get down here!"

Clara shouted, “I'm in the shower. I’m washing the salt water out of my hair. I'll be down in a minute. If I came down now, you'd be seeing a lot more than just my butt!"

Jon shouted, "I wouldn't be seeing anything that the rest of the world hasn't already seen on the evening news!"

Clara said, "What are you talking about?"

Jon said, "We'll talk about that when you're through with your shower. In the meantime, I'll be cleaning that fish." Jon went out on the front porch. He blinked a few times to make sure he wasn’t seeing things. He came back and slumped down into his easy chair. He said, "Martha, I think you're going to need a bigger frying pan … or I’ll need a bigger mantle."


Martha heard muffled cries from inside the bathroom. She rapped lightly on the door. When she got no response, she slowly opened the door. She pulled open the shower curtain and found Clara lying fully clothed in the bath tub. Clara looked frightened. She was holding herself and trembling. Martha said, “Clara, what are you doing in here? You never close the bathroom door or the shower curtain!”

Clara said, “It’s not fair, Mom. How come she can do it and I can’t!”

Martha said, “Who are we talking about?”

Clara said, “HER! That … that … Power Girl person!”

Martha said, “But that’s you.”

Clara said, “Kind of … but not really. She went into that submarine and it was small in there but she didn’t care. Then those men were staring at her and she might as well have been naked but she didn’t run and hide like I would have. She just stared them down and did what she had to do. Why can she do those kinds of things when I can’t?”

Martha said, “Maybe you can.”

Clara said, “Can I? Look at me! I’ve lived on this farm for years and I know it’s a safe place for me. I always come in this room to shower so I should know that nothing is going to hurt me in here. But I’m TERIFFIED! I’ve only been in here a couple minutes and I think I’m going to puke! I can’t stand this. When I realized what she did the other day, I thought I could do it too, but I CAN’T! I want to but I CAN’T!”

Martha said, “You CAN when you HAVE to … and some day, you’ll be able to when you WANT to as well. We would have gotten help for you long ago but anyone you could talk to about it would insist on knowing why you’re so frightened … and we can’t trust anyone enough to tell them.”

Clara said, “I’m so jealous of her. Maybe, someday, I’ll be her all the time.”

Martha said, “I hope not. I wouldn’t have even recognized you if I didn’t know where you were going and what you were … almost wearing. That … Power Girl … looked pretty stern – almost frightening. I’ve only seen you look like that a few times. Maybe those times it was just Power Girl peeking out. I prefer my sweet baby. I want you to grow up and get over your fears, but I want you to always be the gentle, loving, intelligent lady you are rather than an over-confident, fierce, warrior woman.”

Clara said, “Thanks, Mom. I’m glad that I can talk to about anything.”

Martha said, “I noticed that you’re a little edgy. It is your time … you know.” Clara turned her face away. Martha said, “You don’t have to be embarrassed. It’s just that I’m heading in to town and I thought I’d ask in case you needed some supplies.”

Clara said, “I’m fine, Mom. I have plenty to see me through this month.”

Martha said, “Good. Well, I think you should end your little experiment here for now. You’ve had enough for the day.”


Clara was surprised to get a personal letter addressed to her. She saw Lex all the time so there was no reason for him to write her. And he couldn't send a letter to the farm without Jon or Martha getting suspicious. She had no other close friends. Even if she did, this was the age of e-mails and instant messaging. People rarely put pen to paper anymore for the sake of communicating. It was kind of a special treat to get mail, but it made her a little nervous too. The return address on the envelope was for an embassy for some country Clara had never heard of before. And Clara had memorized the globe before she was seven years old. But the face of the world was changing so rapidly that even she could barely keep up with it. She took the letter up to the barn loft and sat with it for while before carefully opening it.

The letter read:

"Hello Clara,

You don't know me, but I would like to get to know you better. I may be moving to United States in the future. I decided that the best way to learn about a country is to learn about a person who lives there and make a connection with her. I hope you will be open to this arrangement and write me soon. Write about whatever topic you want to. I will be interested in anything you might have to say. I am especially interested in your opinions on how an individual can use the gifts they are born with make the world a different place. I am hoping that we are a lot alike and that, in time, we can become like sisters.

I don't want you to tell me anything that you would be uncomfortable sharing with me. We are all entitled to our secrets. I have a few of my own. One of those secrets is how I picked you to be my special American friend.

Please write!

I hope to hear from you soon.


Clara was thrilled that someone wanted to know about her. But she was worried about what she could safely say … and about whether or not Di had a hidden agenda. She had almost decided to put the letter away and forget about it, but then she caught a whiff of the gently scented stationery. She held it to her nose and breathed in deeply. She gasped in delight and she decided that she must know the name of the plant that the scent came from. She walked to the house to ask her Mom for some stationery suitable for writing to her new pen pal.

Clara's first letter to Di was guarded and cautious. But over the next few months, Clara gradually became more open with Di and even wrote about such topics as her life as a social misfit, her claustrophobia, her guilt over having such a wonderful family when everyone she knew as a child had died tragically, her secret love and her greatest fear -- that her ‘special’ friend would reject her if he ever learned the whole truth about her. In their letters, they discussed philosophy and politics and literature and the state of the world.

For fun, they wrote each other in many foreign languages. As a joke, Clara wrote a letter to Di in Kryptonese. Clara was shocked when Di responded in Kryptonese. Because Clara never imagined that Di could have translated or understood what she had written in that letter, Clara had told Di many things that she had never intended to tell anyone. The thought that a human being now knew her darkest feelings horrified Clara. She couldn’t believe that Di had read and understood the letter and didn’t respond by calling Clara a horrible person and washing her hands of Clara for good. She couldn’t believe that someone could know that she wasn’t perfect and not reject her. She wrote Di asking her how she knew that particular language. Di responded that it was just one of many ancient languages that she was familiar with. After that, Clara's letters became much more cautious for a while. But Di was always very patient with Clara never pushed her to reveal anything or answer any hard questions. She was never judgmental of Clara’s opinions but felt free to present opposing arguments to any issue they wrote about. Eventually Clara relaxed again and came to trust Di.

One day, Clara was feeling particularly depressed after visiting with Lex and she wrote Di this letter:

"Dearest Di,

My special friend started talking today about all the children he wants to have … and I smiled at him, but I wanted to cry. I don't think I can have kids. I would talk to my Mom about it, but she can't have children either. I think Mom is expecting grandchildren. It’s going to break her heart when she finds out that I can't give her any. My Mom and Dad know how to handle their own grief, but they can't stand to see me suffer so I usually put on a brave face for their sakes. They wanted to have a lot of kids and they can’t hide that truth from me. My Mom is not a jealous woman in most ways, but when she sees someone pushing a stroller …. Their problem is probably the most sensitive issue in their marriage. I’m scared of what they will go through if they have to see me facing the same problem. I NEVER want to put them through that just because I have something wrong inside of me. When the issue comes up … and it WILL come up, I will probably just lie some more and tell them that I just don’t want kids.

It really kills me every time I hear the other girls at school complaining when their time the month comes. I am SIXTEEN years old and that has NEVER happened to me. I LIE to my Mom and say that it does. She spends her money to buy supplies for me and I sneak off and donate them to a battered women's shelter. I HATE lying to her, and I HATE having no one to talk to about it. Maybe my body is different from other girls my age, but I don't have my birth Mother to explain those things to me or re-assure me. I can't go to a doctor either ... and I can't tell you why. I wish I could but that’s the one secret I can never share.

I'm sorry. This isn't a very happy letter. I shouldn't send it, but I feel so alone because I can't talk to anyone about it. And I'm so tired of having only a stupid stuffed toy ….

I'm sorry. I promise my next letter will be a happier one.




Clara came home from school and called out to her Mother. Martha said, "Come back to the kitchen. We have a visitor."

Clara walked towards the kitchen saying, "Oh, I didn't see a car outside." She walked into the kitchen. There was a woman with long black hair with her back towards Clara sitting across the table from her Mother and Father. The woman gracefully stood up and pivoted to greet Clara. Clara was amazed by how beautiful she was. She was almost as good looking as her Mothers Martha and Alura. Clara grinned when she saw how hard her Mom was holding onto her Dad’s arm. Their chairs couldn’t have been moved any closer together than they were. Clara took a deep breath preparing to face whatever this visit might mean to her. The woman's fragrance smelled very familiar.

The woman smiled brightly. Her face glowed and she had a tear in her eye when she said, "I am SO glad to meet you in person at long last!"

The woman took Clara's hand and squeezed. Clara squeezed back. The woman squeezed harder until Clara's eyes opened wide in surprise. The woman’s grip was almost enough to hurt Clara's hand. Clara thought, "Who is this woman? And what is her game? If she grabbed my Mother's hand like this, she would break it."

The woman said, "CJ! It's me! I'm Di!" Clara's mouth fell open in shock. Di embraced her in warm hug. Clara returned her embrace. Di whispered in her ear, "Sister, after your last letter, I just HAD to come see you. We need to talk."

A couple tears rolled down Clara's face. She said to her parents, "I want to show Di the farm."

Martha said, "Come back in 45 minutes and we'll have supper."

Clara took Di outside and began showing her the farm. She said, "It's not much to see. It's just a farm. … And I'm just a farm girl."

Di said, "CJ. Sister. Do you want to talk about your last letter?"

Clara choked up a bit and said, "No, that's okay. I shouldn't have sent it. I don't know I was thinking. I don't like being a crybaby."

Di said, “I know a very good doctor. She can ...."

Clara said, "NO! I CAN'T go to see a doctor. I told you that!"

Di said, "Why not? Is it because you can do things like this?" Di ran across the farm faster than Clara had ever seen a human move. Di stopped by the tractor and lifted it with one hand. Then she gently put down the tractor and was back by Clara's side in less than five seconds.

Clara said in Kryptonese, “I can't believe it! I thought I was the only survivor! You're from Krypton too!"

Di said, "Pardon me? What did you just say?"

Clara said, "I spoke to you in Kryptonese. You wrote me in Kryptonese so you know that language."

Di said, "I can translate and write in many dead languages. That doesn't mean I know what all of them sound like when they are spoken."

Clara said, "Then you are not from Krypton?"

Di said, "No. Is that where you are from? Is it an island like my home?"

Clara said, "No."

Di said, “My people are descendants of the ancient Greeks."

Clara said, "How can you run so fast and lift such heavy objects?"

Di said, "I was given gifts by the gods. Plus I come from a race of strong women and I train very hard."

Clara asked, "Why did you begin writing letters to me?"

Di said, "I was racing to assist a submarine trapped in a fissure at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. I was trying to figure out how to dislodge it when I was honored to witness you free the submarine with your bare hands. I wanted to get to know you. The fact that you rescued those people said a lot about you, but I needed to know how you intend to use the gifts you have been given."

Clara said, "So you just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t a threat to you … you never really wanted to be my friend?"

Di said, "I did want to be your friend … and I still do … very much!"

Clara asked, "Did you come here to take me away from my parents?"

Di said, "No. If anything, after tasting your Mother's brownies, I might want to move in. I came today because I hurt for you when I read your letter. I tried to write you back but I couldn’t just send you a piece of paper with ink on it. I had to be here for you. If I can’t find any way to comfort you, I can at least hold your hand and spent time at your side. I know that you are deeply afraid about whether or not you're fertile. We have a doctor on my island who can find out what's going on with you. She has the wisdom of the ages … and of the gods, available to her. She also has advanced medical equipment unlike anything available in your country. She is also very gentle … and her hands are always warm."

Clara said, "I can't. People can't know about."

Di said, "We've known about you for more than a year. We rejoice in your existence and would never dream of harming you or those you love in any way."

Clara said, "I’m scared to have any tests done. What if the results aren’t something I’m ready to hear? I don't know if I want to know."

Di smiled and said, "Yes you do, little sister. Yes you do."

Clara pitched her eyes shut. Di pulled her into a hug and began stroking her back.


After dinner, Di got permission from the Kents for Clara to spend the night with her. Clara and Di walked out into the pasture and Clara asked, “How do we get to your home? Do we fly there?”

Di answered, “Yes, we fly.” Diana clapped her hands and an airplane appeared out of thin air.

Clara asked, “Was that there all the time?”

Di answered, “Yes.”

Clara said, “I can see a lot better than most people but I didn’t have any hint at all that something was right in front of me! So, you are flying in the plane and I’ll follow you.”

Di said, “No, we’re going together.”

Clara said, “Well, I can carry you if you want me to, but I can’t get into that small thing.”

Di said, “Yes you can.”

Clara said, “Why can’t I just follow you?”

Di said, “You won’t be able to see me.”

Clara said, “I can listen for your heartbeat … or for the sounds of the engines.”

Di said, “You won’t be able to hear anything that is inside the plane.”

Clara said, “I have exceptional hearing.”

Di said, “Just get in.”

Clara said, “I don’t mind carrying you.”

Di said, “I’m not leaving my plane here. Are you getting in, or do I have to make you?”

Clara said, “Make me? Yeah, right! I think I’ll just stay home. I’ve never been to a doctor before and I don’t think I’d like someone poking and prodding me anyway. Thanks for the invitation. I hope you write me again real soon.” Clara turned quickly and took one step towards the house when she saw a golden rope pass in front of her eyes. She felt the rope pulled tight around her. She turned around and said, “That’s not funny. If you think you can hog tie me ….”

Di said, “Sleep.” Clara’s eyes closed and her knees buckled. Diana bent forward and caught Clara over her shoulder. She easily carried Clara up a ladder to the plane and gently put her in the passenger seat before climbing into the cockpit. Soon the plane ascended vertically as it vanished.


Clara woke up sitting on a marble bench. She turned to see Di sitting next to her. Clara yawned and said, “How did we get here?”

Di said, “I hog tied you, remember. Then you took a little nap while we took a little ride in my airplane. Are you angry?”

Clara said, “No. It doesn’t seem like it really happened, so it doesn’t bother me … but you will let me fly home under my own power, won’t you?”

Di said, “Certainly, but this isn’t the time to be thinking about going home. I want you to enjoy your visit here. I don’t want you to remember our day together as a trip to see a doctor. I would have liked you to visit me even if you didn’t have your concerns. What do you think of my home?”

Clara said, “It’s SO beautiful here. It’s like heaven … or Hawaii … except with classic Greek architecture. The beach is beautiful. I finally got a swimsuit but I didn’t think to bring it.”
Di said, “You won’t need a suit unless you’re modest. I don’t imagine you are considering the swimsuit you wore the first time I saw you.”

Clara said, “I am modest. That day I went to help those sailors … that was my Mother’s swimsuit. I didn’t have one and it was an emergency. If I had it to do over again, I would have worn jeans and a couple baggy flannel shirts. I never imagined anyone would see me like that! If anyone would have recognized me, I would have died of embarrassment. No, … I won’t be swimming naked, that’s for sure. I’d be embarrassed enough if you saw me like that, but what if some man came along?!”

Di said, “There are no men here.”

Clara said, “None at all or just none on this beach?”

Di said, “None at all.”

Clara asked, “Then how do you have babies? Do you grow them in a chamber like they do where I originally come from?”

Di said, “We live very long. We don’t need many babies. When we do, we find suitable men then send them away when we’re done with them.”

Clara said, “I guess that’s one way to do it. I think I like the idea of having the men around all of the time because some of them are pretty nice to look at … but I think I would like skipping all that gross stuff and just growing the baby in a birthing chamber. I like holding hands, kissing and cuddling with men … well, with one man … but I don’t think I could do that with anyone else and like it. And I don’t think I’ll like making babies the way animals do. That’s so primitive and messy and awkward!”

Di said, “Well, the urges only come on us rarely, but when they do, all we want to do is that awkward and messy and primitive thing you are taking about. And what one of us wants, we all want. On this island, the women are very close and our rhythms are in sync. We need together and we bleed together. We pray together, we play together and many of us even lay … well, that’s enough of that. Let me just say that, when my sisters learned that you existed, they were all hoping that you had a lot of brothers somewhere. If you had had any, they would have wanted them for only one thing.”

Clara said, “I did have a brother … but he didn’t even get born. We had to leave him behind and he died before his life even started.”

Di said, “That is sad. I’m sorry. I didn’t want to stir up any bad memories. So, are you ready to see our doctor now?”

Clara said, “Not really, but let’s get it over with.”


Di sat with Clara and held her hand while the doctor was going over the test results. Finally the doctor looked up and and her expression said that she had bad news to report. She said, “Clara, I am used to seeing remarkable women, but you are by far the most remarkable physical specimen I have ever seen. Take care that the gods don’t catch sight of you or they will surely snatch you up to Olympus! You aren’t human are you?”

Clara said, “No ma’am.”

The doctor said, “So, fertile or not, you already knew that you can’t have children with humans without resorting to some form of genetic manipulation.”

Clara said, “Humans can be altered slightly so that they can have children with my kind. I can make a mate genetically compatible, but if I’m infertile, there is no point to doing so … other than to make it possible to have sex. And why would anyone ever have sex if they couldn’t get pregnant?”

The doctor looked at Clara for a moment then asked, “You really aren’t from this planet, are you?”

Clara said, “No, Ma’am, I’m not.”

The doctor said, “Stop calling me “ma’am.” You make me feel ancient and I’m only three hundred and four years old. Just call me “Doc.” Okay?”

Clara said, “Okay, … Doc.”

The doctor said, “Well, you have two fertile eggs.”

Clara said, “So, did this just happen? Why don’t I have a cycle like most women?”

The doctor said, “Your eggs are as durable as you are. Your eggs are probably five or six years old. They’ll probably stay around until they are fertilized … if they ever are fertilized. Your body is very efficient. It will wait to make more eggs until the ones it already made are used … or get damaged somehow.”

Clara said, “Boy is my body weird!”

Di said, “Boy are you lucky!”

The doctor said, “It doesn’t look like luck at all to me. It looks as if your people did some genetic manipulation at some point in their history. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Earth humans and your people have a common ancestor.”

Clara said, “So, I’m can to have babies?”

The doctor said, “Only if you there’s a man out there who can get you to open up and let him work his magic. Considering how hard it was to get a probe inside of you, he’ll have to be a man of steel with the thrust of a V2 missile!”

Clara turned beet red and stammered, “I’m sorry … sorry … about the probe. I can buy you a new one. It was … uh .. it only happened because I was so nervous!”

The doctor said, “And you think you WON’T be nervous when it’s a man and not a hunk of metal?’

Clara said, “But when he kisses me, my … it … um … OH MY GOD!” Clara covered her face with her hands.

The doctor said, “Got him picked out already, do you? You don’t have to be nervous. I’m a doctor – your doctor. I just want to be open and honest with you … and thought you should consider all the possibilities. One little nervous twitch and … heads will roll. You don’t want to be known as “Lady Guillotine,” do you?”

Clara didn’t remove her hands from her face when she said, “Thank you, ma’am … uh … Doc. I appreciate you seeing me today.”

The doctor said, “Think nothing of it. You are so cute being embarrassed over something like this! Look me up next time you visit and I’ll look up you again!” Diana, I haven’t seen anyone blush like that in years! This has been fun!”

Di said, “I’d better get CJ here up to my house and get her settled for the night. Mom has been dying to meet her.”

The doctor said, “Well, tell her highness I said hello and that she’s past due for her physical.”

Di said, “I’ll tell Mom.”

The doctor said, “Good bye. Nice meeting you Clara.” The doctor smiled and gave Di a wink before leaving the room.

After the doctor left the room, Clara put her hands down, but her face was still bright red. Clara asked, “Why does the doctor call your Mother “her highness?” Was she being sarcastic?"

Di said, “My Mother is Queen of Themyscira. The 800 plus Amazons who live here on Paradise Island have pledged their undying loyalty to her.”

Clara said, “Your Mother is a Queen? Then you are ….”

Di said, “Yes … I’m a princess. But if you are going to start calling me princess, then don’t call me Di … call me Princess Diana. In man’s world, they call me Diana Prince. You won’t call me Princess Di, will you?”

Clara said, “I will if you ever call me Lady Guillotine!”

Di said, “I wouldn’t do that … but did you ever read about a Queen in a story about a girl named Alice who went down a rabbit hole?”

Clara said, “You wouldn’t!”

Diana laughed and said, “Heads will roll!”

Clara said, “Then don’t count on me to never say Di!”

Di said, “Lighten up, CJ. Ever have a sleep-over party before? Popcorn. Girl talk all night. I’ve got all kinds of secrets I can tell you. I even know a friend who tells fortunes. She could come over and ….”

Clara said, “No, I have never been to a sleep over before and it sounds fun but I don’t want to talk to a fortune teller.”

Di said, “That’s right. You already were told about your future, weren’t you? For a woman who doesn’t think she’ll like sex, I wonder how you are going to end up being intimate with 25 men!”

Clara said, “Stop your wondering! That will NEVER happen! People can’t tell the future."

Diana laughed and said, “Maybe you can only be with each man once, Lady G!”

Clara pouted her lip and said, “I shouldn’t have told you about Cassandra's prophesy! … Just my luck you knew Kryptonese.”

Di said, “Well, do you think I would have told you all about what I did with my boyfriend Steve Trevor if I knew you could translate Sanskrit!”