Chapter 25 - Like The Thoughts Of A Child

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Is it ever not stakeout time on this job? Lately I feel like the job's been nothing but stakeouts, this time at the Port of National City. It's hard to tell one big cargo ship from another, especially when harsh spotlights are interfering with my X-ray vision. Is there kryptonite in those lights? I had Barry run and check earlier, but he confirmed there wasn't any, thank Rao. So I can still hold his hand as he lies on his stomach next to me.

"If they come out and start talking with the Luthors," Barry asks me, "how's your Korean?"

"Nonexistent," I say. "Anyone else?"

It's a chorus of "no"s in my earpiece from nearly everyone, except (of course) J'onn and Diana. Donna, surprisingly, is among the "no" voices. "Though I'm probably going to learn that one next," she adds sheepishly.

"They'll most likely do business in English anyway," says J'onn. "Intel says the Luthors don't know Korean."

"On this Earth, anyway," scoffs Conner. "I'm pretty sure the Lena who took me speaks it fluently."

"Well, if anyone hears someone speaking Korean in an American accent," I say, "then that's how we know what we're dealing with."

"American?" Conner scoffs again. "I dunno, Lena's accent was all over the place at the best of times."

"Yeah," Winn chimes in. "I think she went to school somewhere abroad. Switzerland, maybe?"

"Makes sense," Barry says. "Now shush, we got bogeys approaching."

I smother a chuckle at the thought of the Luthors - for of course it's them stepping out of a long black sedan, not a stretch limo but a limo nonetheless - being literal boogeymen. Or women, in Lena's case. Focusing my vision, I confirm that it's Lena, along with the Lex we recently saw on the news after he was arrested in his underwear in some store somewhere. Earth-1 Lex, not the Earth-2 Lex my and Barry's counterparts helped interrogate. I guess they still have him kept in place.

This Lena, though? Conner can confirm she's Earth-2 Lena. Curiously, unlike the Lexes, the Lenas look nearly identical. There is a way to tell the difference, though. For some reason or other, Lena-2 has heterochromia - one of her blue eyes has a brown splotch in the iris. A detail only a Kryptonian could spot.

Why we're mixing and matching Luthors from different Earths isn't quite clear yet, but I'm sure as we listen in on them, the truth will come out.

Lena opens the conversation in Korean, only for the contact from the ship to cut her off abruptly. "No need to show off, American," he says with only a trace of a Korean accent. "You are American, right?"

Conner snickers. "See? You can't tell what accent she's got."

Barry shushes him, and I tilt my head so I can listen better.

"I apologize, Mr. Park." Lena speaks so precisely that it gives me the impression that she rehearses her words five times before beginning the conversation. If I were Mr. Park, I'd also feel insulted at her continued insistence on speaking slowly, as if I wouldn't understand her otherwise.

"Ms. Luthor," Mr. Park says sharply, "I don't consider myself a superstitious man. But your claim to be from another universe unsettles me deeply, I won't lie. The only reason I'm still dealing with you is because the Luthors I know have long been some of my top customers, and your money is just as good." He chuckles to himself before adding, "Of course, I might just use your money to fund a reverse-engineering job for...what did you call this device you're trying to build?"

"Virtual reality generator," says Lena.

I roll my eyes. "She can't even call it what it is. Then again, she probably can't pronounce Kryptonian right anyway."

"Damn right she can't," says Conner. "She's bad at languages that don't come from this planet."

"I have no idea what you plan to use this 'virtual reality generator' for," snarks Mr. Park, "but rest assured I only have the greatest commercial profit in mind."

"Enjoy struggling to make that profit, then," says Lena. "My company can put our product on the market literally in less than a year now that we have your assistance."

"You wish," says Mr. Park. "I have half a mind to beat you to the market and sue the pants off of you."

"You do mean pants in American, right? I sense your English was taught by British tutors."

"I honestly sense the same from you."

"Match made in heaven," Barry comments.

"They have exactly our chemistry," I say as I ruffle the spikiest parts of the back of his hair. Normally he slicks it down so well, but after a while, even the strongest hair gel can't withstand the strength of his speed. Though I think Cisco's working on speedster-rated hair product these days, when he's not trying to find the right formula to combat Barry's epic speedster stink.

"When do we strike?" Barry asks.

"Wait," says J'onn. "Let them travel away from each other for a minute."

"An Earth minute?" asks Conner. "Or a Kryptonian minute?"

"Do you even know how long a Kryptonian minute is?" J'onn counters.

"This long." There's a short burst of static, then Conner disconnects from his earpiece. Next thing I know, I see him blitzing out after Lena and her Korean contact.

"Sorry, J'onn," I say before climbing over the barrier and flying out to intercept him.

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