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Story by SpeedForce 1229

The mention of her mother almost took her back, but she shook her head. There was no time. Kara was a practical girl now. She had to be. No more playing, no more crafts, no more classes... no more anything. She was a mother for all intents and purposes. A 13 year old homeless mother on a strange world with no food.
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Survivors is a Supergirl (2015) For Want of a Nail fanfic by SpeedForce 1229, author of Call Me Kara.

An escape pod lands on Earth with a 13 year old girl and a one year old boy as its passengers. The two have only minutes before they are being chased by a species they do not know or trust, humans. Kara runs across the country with only one goal in mind, fulfilling her oath to her mother and keeping Kal El alive while trying to deal with powers that are becoming out of control.

The complete story can be read here. Sequel "Seeing Red" is complete. Sequel "Reborn" is ongoing.

Nothing to do with Survivors.


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Survivors provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Kara becomes the world’s first super-hero.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: At the beginning Kara doesn't know her own powers. She hurts her cousin while holding him and her eyes fire heat beams when she's feeling emotional. For all of these reasons she's overwhelmingly frightened of hurting someone.
  • Alien Among Us: The start of Kara's life on Earth is frightening. An orphaned teenager stranded in a primitive alien world full of strange creatures and sentient beings that speak incomprehensible languages and have odd customs.
  • Badass Normal: The members of SEAL Team 10, and eventually Alex Danvers.
  • Bad Dreams: After killing her aunt, Kara suffers from nightmares where her mother and her aunt stare down at her reprovingly.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Invoked. Before getting out of her rocket Kara is worried about the atmosphere being breathable.
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  • Because You Can Cope: Upon landing, Kara discovers her family didn't load any food supplies for her. When she has the chance to talk to Jor-El's A.I. and demand an explanation, she is told her parents assured her uncle that she was resorceful enough to keep her cousin and herself alive while looking for food. Jor-El's A.I. points out they were obviously right, but Kara isn't impressed.
  • Being Watched: Jason Connolly spends one week watching the Danvers' household.
  • Broken Bird: In spite of her situation, Kara refuses to give up. She goes from “teenager” homeless mother to the world’s premier hero.
  • Came from the Sky: The story starts out with Kara and Kal's rocket crash-landing into the Oregon woodlands.
  • Crapsack World: This universe's Krypton is a blend of the Krypton's worst versions across various media: a perpetually hot world of boiling brown seas, polluted atmosphere, frequent earthquakes and mutated creatures where people ate solely artificial food and babies were genetically engineered.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: At the beginning, Kara isn't conscious of her tremendous strength. Then she crushes a supposedly unbreakable baby's bottle… and later she accidentally bruises her cousin's arm when she holds him… so she forces herself to be careful.
    She had figured out as the day wore on that she had to hold Kal very lightly. She had squeezed a bit too hard and he cried earlier. She didn't think she had squeezed hard at all but there was a small bruise on his arm. Kara was becoming stronger and everything seemed to become softer, more brittle. It was like living in a world of delicate glass.
  • Dope Slap: In chapter 38 Alex slaps the back of Kara’s head when her sister decides on a whim to erase an Allura’s hologram.
    "I must follow..." the robot started before Alex struck Kara in the back of her head.
    "Tell it stop now! If you never want to see it again that is fine but you aren't destroying it!
    Kara took a breath and hoped Alex hadn't broken her hand. Alex knew Kara hated it when she slapped the back of her head.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Henshaw hates all aliens.
    • Kara herself hates the Vrangs, an alien race who once upon a time conquered Krypton and enslaved all Kryptonians.
  • For Want of a Nail: Jor-El and Zor-El build a single space pod for both of their children; as a result of it, Kal and Kara arrive at the same time.
  • Future Food Is Artificial: Kryptonian food was artificially created.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Just as in the comics, Kara wears glasses that let her change her hair color.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: When Jason Connolly approaches Jeremiah he tries to reassure him explaining if he wanted him dead, he could have killed him.
    Jason: Again, I mean you no harm.
    Jeremiah: I'm just supposed to take your word for that?
    Jason: If I wanted to harm you I could have killed you six times already standing here. I've been watching your house for near a week now and could have attacked at any time. I could have approached your wife or daughter. I haven't done any of those things.
  • Immune to Bullets: Kara, of course. At the beginning she gets shot and believes she's been hit with some kind of sonic weapon because she heard a very loud sound but didn't even feel the bullets.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Superman doesn't introduce Kara to the Danvers but she still meets them. Kal-El isn't found by the Kents but his cousin settles on Clark for his Earth name.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Kara owns a pet cat, Streaky, in accord with comic canon.
  • Mama Bear: Don't even think of hurting Kara in some way, form or shape. Eliza is a very trigger-happy owner of a shotgun.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Kara trespasses on a farm and gets shot by a farmer who mistook her for a wild animal. When the man sees he’s shot and maybe killed a child, he’s horrified.
    Donaldson: Hey, what are you... I didn't hit you, I just wanted to scare you... Oh God your a little girl. I shot a little girl.
  • My Parents Are Dead: Alex and her parents ask Kara several times what happened to her parents. Kara changes subjects or looks away until she finally explains she and her cousin are orphans.
    "What happened... Where are... Parents?" she decided, pointing at Kara. Kara looked up and Alex saw the tears threatening to fall were now slowly gliding down her cheeks.
  • Mythology Gag: In chapter 30, Kara has to take down a Vrang. In the comics, the Vrangs were an alien race which conquered Krypton in the far past.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Kara and her cousin have this power. Kara is shot by a trigger-happy farmer shortly after crash-landing... and she doesn't even notice the bullets.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: More than one decade after landing on Earth, Kara is still traumatized over her parents' loss; and torn between missing them and resenting them.
  • Parental Substitute: Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers become Kara’s parents after finding her.
  • Promotion to Parent: Kal and Kara’s parents die and Kara becomes her baby cousin’s mother de facto.
  • “The Reason You Suck” Speech: When Kara wants to wipe her mother's holographic message Alex talks her out of it and then berates her impulsiveness:
    Alex: This is just like when you wanted to flush your mother's necklace. You make these quick decisions that you might regret the years from now or even tomorrow. Use your head!
  • The Shrink: Dr. Jessica Ryan is Kara's psychologist.
  • Stress Vomit: Kara is watching Star Wars for first time. When she sees the Death Star obliterating Alderaan is reminded of her own blown-up homeworld and rushes out to vomit.
    Instead she seemed rather resigned and asked to continue the movie. She only watched for ten more minutes until the Deathstar destroyed the planet. Kara moved quickly, running outside and falling to her knees, vomiting the food she had eaten. The three ran after her, Kal El stumbling behind them. Alex knelt next to her, scared to death. She didn't think it was possible for Kara to vomit and obviously what had happened on screen effected her. She knew Kara's planet was gone but she had imagined it dead, scoured of all life, not broken up, despite what the blonde had done with the rock.
    "Please never let Kal see that movie." she whispered, shaking, then began hyperventilating.
  • Super Hero Origin: Origin tale that tells how Kara and her cousin arrived on Earth, were raised by a family and became the first super-heroes.
  • Super Senses: As soon as she arrives, Kara hears all kind of sounds. She initially attributes it to the thinness of the atmosphere.
  • Take a Level in Badass: The months prior to leaving Krypton Kara was given combat training.
  • That Man Is Dead: At the end of the story, Kara reasons "Kara Zor-El" died when she left Krypton.
    Megan: Is it true? Are you... Kara Zor-El?
    Supergirl: I used to be. That girl died on Krypton. I think just Kara works now.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Kara goes to a therapist to help with her self-esteem and recklessness issues.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Invoked when Connolly warns the Danvers the DEO searches aliens and kills them or experiments on them.
    Jeremiah: Apparently this DEO is in the business of killing aliens or... experimenting on them. They have all been racing to find you but the DEO has given up, he believes.
  • World's Strongest Man: Kara is the Earth's most powerful woman by far. Only two men can contest that position, and one of them is her cousin.

Megan: Is it true? Are you... Kara Zor-El?
Supergirl: I used to be. That girl died on Krypton. I think just Kara works now.

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