"My mind has nothing to hide, Grodd." "Except the lies you told Supergirl..." --- Diana had told her that their mission was blessed by the gods themselves. When she soared through the sky, through the clouds, the sun's energy coursing through her, she should never forget that the gods would be with her. They had many names and many forms, but she need only know that they were smiling upon her, wishing her well. She finds the thought comforting; no matter where she was, she would always have the divine by her side, giving her the strength of mind as the sun gave her strength of body. And in turn, by their blessings, she too was a god. The powers that ran through her, the strength that blossomed in the light of sun, it made her more than she ever was before. She too was a god. Gleaming blue and red, the legendary S shimmering upon her chest, Supergirl breathes in the thin air as she soars through the atmosphere. She is to give the people peace, Diana had told her, she is to give them protection. The suit she wore, the icon she bore, the legacy of her noble cousin, would be a shining light in the dark times. When the people were cowering under the shadow of bats and monsters, she would descend to them like a merciful god to deliver them from fear. She was to be more than a mere protector, Diana had told her. She was also to be a warrior, trained in the arts of the Amazons, reinforced by the ideals of the gods. She would know no fear when she faced the dark, she would not hide or cower from it. In fact, she would be the hunter of hunters, the predator that preyed on predators. Where injustice writhed and slithered, she would seek it out and destroy it. Where evil bred, she would find its nest and eradicate it. It made sense to her; those who indulged in cruelty deserved retribution, and those who were innocent deserved to be free of their fears. When people were locked in despair, they needed hope. Where her cousin had been betrayed by his closest friend, she would hold the loyalty of the woman who had taken her in, who had educated and enlightened her. It made sense; the world needed heroes, and with all her power, she could be the greatest of them. Soaring through the sky, through the clouds, to the very outmost rim of Earth itself, she smiled. She was hope. She was the sun. She was Supergirl. - Once, the people had lived in peace under the guiding hands of her cousin, of Diana and the very gods themselves. Now, thriving in the shadow of the bats, corruption had spread. The people knew only fear now, only unease and despair, dreading the very day that could see a monster take something away from them, a psychopath steal all they had from them. But soon they would have hope, and soon they would have peace. Supergirl foils the bank robbery within seconds. As the thugs threaten cowering innocents with their weapons, even as they scream for the law enforcers to stay back, she descends from the skies, radiant in the light of the sun, and hovers above the crowds, hands on her hips and cape swirling like crimson wings. The second the robbers see her, their weapons are on the floor and they are curled up into balls, cowering and whimpering like rodents hiding from a cat. She smiles in satisfaction and lazily gestures for the police to take them. The crowd gather around the bank, they gaze upon her with widened eyes. It is only fitting that they do so; how many people would witness a god amongst them? Diana had told her that this world had seen many gods, but only one, one bearing the S, had inspired them above all others. And now, bearing the great symbol that her cousin had forged into a symbol of absolute peace, she would be the one that inspired them all others. Spreading her arms now, she speaks to the mortals, airy and cheerful: "No need to worry anymore, citizens, the bad guys are dealt with. Always happy to help." No-one replies, as expected; how could a mortal talk to a god? But what proves unexpected is what lurks in their eyes. Supergirl had expected joy and awe, hope and happiness. But as she looks around her, looks into the eyes of the humans, she sees darker things. She sees unease, uncertainty, discomfort and discontent. She sees fear. For a second, she wonders what she has done wrong. She had saved the day, had she not? She had foiled a crime in mere seconds, ensured no-one had been hurt. Was that not enough for them? Supergirl sighs and then flies upwards, leaving the city behind as she seeks out crime elsewhere. Diana had told her not to put too much stock into what the humans did; if they could not understand the blessings of their gods, then she need not worry herself about it. She supposed they were merely surprised to see a wielder of the S so soon, and with that she is content again. - Diana had told her to refrain from using her super hearing. It would only be distracting, after all, to try and listen for crime when she was also hearing the footsteps of insects, the whispers of plants and the hum of atoms. It made sense, and besides, her eyes were more than enough to find the shadow of evil wherever it hid. Her eyes could see through solid matter, could see to the very cells in a body, could see to the very protons that composed them. She doesn't need to hear when she can see all. She sees a cat trembling in a tree, and she retrieves it for the child below; after all, more than impeding evil was perpetuating kindness. The furry creature hisses, spits, scratches at skin that could resist a supernova, and she smiles kindly at the sweet child she passes it to. She makes a joke on how the cat didn't seem too fond of her, and the child says nothing. She merely stares at her, clutching her pet almost defensively, and once more Supergirl sees that odd inkling of fear brewing in those eyes. She leaves then, once more wondering where she had gone wrong. Diana had told her that the S was humanity's greatest symbol for hope, for peace and prosperity. Her cousin had brought an era of peace unlike any other, and even when the bats had pulled him into the darkness, the legacy of the S could still live on through her. Should not the mortals be ecstatic to see a god has come to help them in their time of need? It would seem the discontentment is more far-reaching than she had first believed. She knocks out a mugger in an alleyway, offers to take the frightened man home, but he scurries away, as if he feared her more than he had feared the scum who'd threatened him. She lifts a damaged boat to the shore, but its crew tremble before her. Stopping a car thief in her tracks, the criminal practically sobs in utter terror, as if Supergirl were holding a knife to her throat. It's unnerving. It's bewildering. It's as if the mortals fear their god more than they fear their devils. As the day wears on and the same fear hangs like smog over the humans wherever they go, Supergirl wonders where she has gone wrong. Had Diana been mistaken about humanity's regard for her cousin's legacy? Was the darkness of the bats so intense that even the S could not shine through it? Floating down from the sky, she lands by the outskirts of a deserted manor, crumbling and rugged, and tries to make sense of it all. Diana had told her the world had needed a hero unlike any other. Humanity needed a god to guide them from the dark wings of the bats, to enlighten them to peace and prosperity. They needed one who could dispel the curse of fear laid upon them. But yet, no matter who she helped, no matter what she did, the mortals seemed as fearful of her as they had of whatever was threatening them. They seemed to recoil from her as if she were noxious, infectious. As if she were going to strike them down where they stood. Supergirl sighed as she dejectedly sat down on a grassy bank, facing the ruined manor and frowning at her contemplation. It didn't make sense. She was set to restore her cousin's legacy, to rebuild the utopia he had created and remove the foul influence of the betrayer. With Diana guiding her, with the gods smiling upon her, she would give humanity hope again. But yet, they seemed so uneasy, so lost in their terror. As if she was a bad omen. As if she was the dark one. Another moment of consideration, and then Supergirl decides to listen for a while. Diana had told her not to waste time with her super hearing, but what harm would there be? She listens, listens closely, and she hears birds singing not too far away. She hears the beating of their hearts, the air swirling within their lungs. She hear insects scuttling over the dirt and the wind whistling through the trees. She hears more, hears the sound of cars rumbling and humans walking. She hears voices, speaking clearly or meekly, gently or firmly, and she hears- "-other alien, another dictatorship. She'll be trying to control us within the week, you mark my words. You know what Superman did, you think this chick will be any different?" The words surprise her, stun her. What did they mean? What was this human thinking, speaking like this, speaking like she was some wannabe tyrant? Why would they ever even dare to discredit the utopia her cousin had created? Why would- "Freaking aliens can't just phone home, can't they? Always getting up in our business, trying to run the way we live our lives!" "This Supergirl really thinks she can fool us with that pretty face? She thinks she can just make us forget about the regime?" They, they speak things she doesn't even know of. They're calling her an alien, a liar, a dictator. why? Why? Diana, Diana had never told her of this, never told her people thought like this. Supergirl claps her hands over her ears, keeling over in her horror, but she cannot stop hearing- "-kind aren't anything but bad news! The sooner Batman gets rid of her, the better!" "-don't know, Eric. I hope not. But... but something like her. Can we really stop her? When she... when she does what he did, could anyone stop her?" "No, no, don't tell me she'll be different. She'll do what he did, you mark my words!" More voices, more voices, telling her things she'd never been told. They tell her terrible things, horrible things. They tell her that her cousin, the light of the Earth, was a monster. They tell her she has no right to belong. They tell her only cruelty awaits her, cruelty from her own hands. They refuse to leave, even as tears run down her cheeks and she begs them to stop, they refuse to stay silent. "-be fooled again. That alien needs to go-" "-was a tyrant, she'll be a tyrant. Those freaks always follow each other's-" "-we ever do to deserve those aliens? Why can't they just go-" "-another monster, another freaking dictator-" "-like a devil, only-" "-doesn't belong-" "-alien-" "-tyrant-" "-monster-" Supergirl screams, and in a surge of power that leaves the grass around her torn asunder, she is gone into the sky, in the very darkness beyond Earth. In the void of space, even she cannot hear, and she floats in the darkness, crying her soundless crying as the tears drift around her, spiralling in a cold and unsympathetic realm of agony. - "They hate me. You told me that I was their best hope for peace, but they hate me." She whispers, her head bowed and her posture limp. Knelt down before her guide, her mentor, her path to the divine, she is the very image of pitiful. Even her cape curls around her like a cocoon, hiding the sad creature within. Such limp sadness quite an odd sight within a mansion's bedchambers, a refuge for the Amazon when even her own people had turned on her, for there had only ever been ideals within these walls, never pain. Diana sighed softly as she rose from the enormous bed, luxurious and crimson, and slide from the end of it to stand before her whimpering protégé. Statuesque and glorious, almighty and peerless, the Amazon crouches down before Supergirl and tenderly cups her face in her hands, guiding her upwards to look into her eyes. The Kryptonian's cheeks are flushed pink, her eyes wet and red, lips curled downwards, her expression as distraught as her body. Diana observes for a moment, and then her soothing voice speaks. "I'm sorry. I should have warned you. The bat's mind games have woven their way deeply into humanity's thoughts." She murmurs, gentle and reassuring, offering to take away all the woes and fears curled up within the Kryptonian. "He has spread many lies amongst them, convinced them that Superman had been wrong to given them peace. It will be difficult to uproot his deceitful seed, but I know you can do it. You can restore truth to the people of Earth." Supergirl sniffles slightly, staring into Diana's eyes as if craving her reassurance, and yet it is still not enough. She shudders in her gasp, and she whimpers: "But I heard them. I, I heard their fears. I heard their hatred. They, they think Kal was a tyrant, they said we don't belong here, they said-" Diana silences her with her powerful arms wrapping around the smaller woman pulling her into a firm embrace. Locked in her grasp, pressed against her unyielding frame, Supergirl's words are quashed as she trembles in her mentor's arms, and then the Amazon is speaking again, soft and soothing: "Ssh, ssh my poor warrior. It's alright. The words of the delusional can be so damning. But we must rise above them. We must bring light to them, shatter the shadows clutching their very souls, and restore peace." Supergirl gulps in her turmoil as she returns the embrace, cuddling herself firmly against Diana as if she could sap the very woes from her. She wanted to be comforted, to be reassured, to know that this was right, that she was right. That the god could undo the devil's works, that her mentor could make the foul venom in her mind disappear. The Amazon's words sound again, a gentle and calming honey in her very mind: "Do not fret, my dearest Kara. Do not let their fears seep into you. You will restore hope to them yet. You will build a better world for them, like Kal did. Even the Bat cannot smother you in darkness, not when you shine with your light. Not when I am here to help you. I will always be here to help you." Kara is crying again, but at least now there is relief in her tears, the shudders of relief in her body as she holds onto Diana as if for dear life. She will be here to help her. She will be here to guide her. The gods will smile upon her, and she will bring hope and peace to humanity. That is what Diana told her. That is what Diana told her. Yes, Diana had told her so many things, a sinful part of her then whispers. She tries to force it away, but it speaks again, but she never told her this. She never told her that they hated her. So if she never told her this- What else hasn't she told her?