ScoodleDaddle and Buckshot's entry into the feb contest
From Earth, the moon looked the same as it had the night before. It wasn’t until he got a closer look that Guy Gardner, Lantern #1 of the Honor Guard, could see the difference. From miles off it looked almost as if a small portion of the moon had been terraformed. It was closed off, and long-abandoned buildings stood in ruin. Various sections of the ground appeared to be laced with a metallic material, polished to a mirror sheen. His Power Ring detected a massive energy reading somewhere near the Moon's core. Fortunately for Guy, if he hadn't gotten this close to investigate, none of these things would have been detectable to him. And even worse, if the Guardians hadn't personally alerted him, it was doubtable that anyone would have noticed. According to them, they read a small, but bizarre, energy signature emanating from Earth's satellite. It wasn't large enough for anyone to be concerned about, but its nature is what garnered the Oans' attention. It was similar to what anti-matter waves once did to this Universe years ago, bringing pieces of different Universes together. Gardner happened to be in Sector 2814 at the time assisting Hal Jordan with some pressing matters on Earth. When contacted by the Guardians on Oa, his orders were to go alone, and investigate and observe.
Whatever was going on there couldn’t be detected by machines on or orbiting Earth, which was probably why the Justice League didn’t know what was happening. As Guy flew in for a closer look, he wondered if whatever was happening on the moon was being done on purpose or if it was just some bizarre phenomenon. The Corps didn’t even know, and that was why he was sent in the first place. The events taking place there seemed to be invisible to most technology but could easily be seen through the Guardian's abilities. Whether this was intentional or simply coincidence was unknown.
After taking another sweep around the Moon, Guy saw that the anomaly had spread throughout the lunar surface, with veins of metal reaching across it for miles in every direction, but it seemed to be concentrated in that strange area he had first seen. Another thing he noticed was that several portions of the Watchtower previously operated by the Justice League had disappeared, stripped of its remaining technology, and leaving its ruins with nothing more than a broken metal shell.
“Ring, what the hell is goin' on here? What's happened to the Moon?”
--Negative. There is no moon in the vicinity.--
“What are you talking about? I'm lookin' right at it.”
--Negative. There is no moon visible to my sensors. There does appear to be a distortion in space, as if two locations shared the same space.--
“Whatever, I’m checkin' it out.”
--Your orders were not to interact, but to simply observe and report.--
“Screw my orders.”
With that, Guy flew down to land. As soon as he touched ground, he knew what was going on. Someone was present on the moon somewhere, and they were building something. He stood in the area he had seen before, and it appeared to have something of an atmosphere, and even a different center of gravity. Guy saw metal stretching out over the moonscape in almost every direction. It covered the ground completely in most places and where it didn’t, there was scrap metal strewn over the ground. A quick scan told Guy that much of the metal had been the same as what had once been the old Justice League Watchtower. There were also bits and pieces of something that might once have been a city or palace of some sort. In a few places he found shattered blue crystals that seemed to produce smoke or mist. As Guy continued, he only grew more perplexed.
“Ring, are you still not detectin' the Moon?”
--We are on the Moon now. Exact placement puts us inside the Luther Crater located on the far side of the lunar surface.--
Guy was confused. If his ring worked enough to tell him where he was on the Moon, why couldn’t it do that from space? Looking up, Guy saw a rippling purple field blocking out the view of space and the stars.
“Ring, what is that?”
--It appears to be an energy field designed to interfere with different types of signals.--
“Somebody obviously went through a lot of trouble here. Too bad for them they didn't get the memo about the whole 'don't-combine-multiple-universes' thing.”
As he flew over the Moon's surface, Gardner's Ring lit his way. Then, in the corner of his eye, he noticed a slow moving shadow in his peripheral vision. He stopped abruptly and spun around, his Ring flashing. Floating before him was an entity of immense proportions. His robes blew ever so slightly, and his massive cranium glistened in the distant sunlight. His eyes lacked pupils, and his expression was apathetic, but almost melancholy. Guy raised his ring to the being.
“You better tell me who you are, and exactly what’s going on here, or you’re going to be knocked so hard your grandma’ll feel it.” Guy’s face was a frustrated grimace.
“My name is Uatu,” he said. “I am the Watcher. This is my home.”
“I think you’ve got the wrong address here Uatu. What’ve you done to the Moon!?”
“This is not my doing. I believe that you and I both are the subject of an inter-Universal experiment gone awry. More than that, I cannot disclose. My duty is simply to watch and observe events which could alter the very nature of the Universe, not to interact.”
“So what’re ya’ sayin’? That you’re from a parallel Universe?”
“Precisely. It is my belief that three Universes have begun to converge in one place. My own Universe, which is known as 616, yours, and another unknown Universe. The Moon, and its small surrounding environs, have taken on various traits which the Moon I am familiar with does not possess.”
“Ok, well, who’s responsible then?”
“I do not know. However, as you have probably gathered, there is an immense energy signature somewhere underground. I suggest you begin there. Unfortunately, I cannot assist in these matters. I must not intervene. Good luck to you.”
And with that, Uatu the Watcher disappeared from sight, leaving Guy confused and alone.
Taking the advice of the enigmatic being, Guy began searching the surface of the metal plates covering the place for some sort entryway that would bring him closer to this energy signature. After wandering for several minutes, he came across something. It was a hatch, a door in the surface of the moon. Guy would have spent some time scanning the other side of the hatch, but he was becoming impatient. Three huge spinning table-saws materialized, and made quick work of the door. Its remains clattered downward and hit the bottom with a loud clang. Without hesitation, Guy flew down into the hole and landed on the floor below. Guy scoped the place out, but found nothing more than the several mile long tunnel before him. He couldn’t see where it ended, but he noticed that it was comprised of bizarre materials. The metals on the surface of the Moon had been from the Watchtower and another source, but the metals that made the tunnels below seemed to be from someplace different altogether. They appeared to be alien in nature, but Guy couldn't place what it was. He started walking and noticed that along some of the pieces of metal on the walls was some sort of foreign writing that looked like random claw marks. He would have assumed they were nothing more than that, but the patterns he saw in them told him different.
“Alright, I better find out exactly what in the Hell is goin' on here, or I'm gonna' start-”
--Warning. Over 20 unidentified lifeforms detected in an upcoming room. Use extreme caution.--
“About damn time.”
Before long, Guy found himself in a room filled with alien computers and bizarre machinery. He didn’t much time to look around though, because 26 pissed-off looking aliens with big claws began converging on his position. The aliens were large, four-armed reptilian beasts with teeth like daggers. As soon as they saw the Green Lantern, they leapt at him with claws and teeth bared. Guy smiled, and his ring sparked with energy. He quickly dashed to his left, and cut down several of his attackers with an enormous chainsaw. The ones left standing swiftly moved toward Gardner, but were stopped cold by a massive green 3-foot-thick steel wall. Guy quickly vaporized them with a blast from his ring, and took a breath. To his dismay the battle had ended quickly, but after wading through the still writhing corpses of the aliens and walked into the next room, he was greeted by even more friendly-looking beasties.
“This is going to be a long day, isn’t it?”
Meanwhile, near the center of the Moon...
Helspont stood motionless in a room on the other side of the underground base. Several of his Daemonite minions bustled around him, operating equipment and carrying cargo to various corners and separate rooms. Helspont was next to a massive machine that hummed a low pitch, and glowed faintly. His stance was defiant as he looked down at his underlings, and his head was ablaze was blue flames.
Turning to the other Daemonites, Helspont spoke to them. “The time is almost upon us. I will soon have what I need to begin the Reunification! Once the machines are at full strength we will be able to access the Bleed and gather a Daemonite force from across dimensions. All I need is one Green Lantern Power Ring. That way, all the energies of Oa will be at my disposal.”
One of the Daemonites, a worker named Mortuus, responded eagerly to Helspont. “Your plan is brilliant High Lord! To lure a Green Lantern to this moon and steel his power ring, genius! It is unfortunate though that our attempt without the ring, using just your power was such a failure…”
Helspont spun on Mortuus and descended on him like a hawk on a mouse, snatching him up in his green claws. “I need neither your praise nor your criticism.”
“Sir, you have my sincerest apolo-graraghh!”
Before Mortuus could beg for forgiveness, Helspont had already ripped the Daemonite’s head from its body. His warm alien blood covered Helspont’s hands as he dropped the lifeless creature to the ground.
"Clean this up." Several Daemonites scurried to clean the mess, and Helspont turned to one of his scientists. "Though he annoyed me, Mortuus was right. Is there any more damage from our previous attempt?”
Dr’kar, a Daemonite that had served Helspont faithfully for centuries answered quickly, not wanting to anger his leader. “Nothing has changed. As you know, instead of opening a way to another dimension so we could bring over more of our kind, we bridged two other realities that were without Daemonites; and instead of giving us free passage back and forth, it merged our moon with theirs. Those of reality 616 and Earth-1."
“Yes, I know 616, that's where all those, what did they call themselves...Unhumans, I think, came from. Those creatures were delicious, especially that loud, black one. And it wasn’t a total disaster; their city provided us with valuable materials for adding to our base.”
“Sorry to interrupt sir, but the Lantern is making his way to us. He’ll be here in minutes.”
“A little earlier than planned, but no matter, that just means the Reunification will commence sooner. Check the machines, make sure they’re ready.”
As Helspont waited for Guy’s arrival, Dr’kar walked over to the large cylindrical machine and looked it over. It seemed to be working fine, so he left, following the other Daemonites as they left the room. None of them wanted to be in the room should Helspont actually need to start fighting in order to claim his prize.
Just as the last Daemonite was leaving, the wall at the opposite side of the room exploded in a bright, green flash. Standing in the rubble and smoke was Guy Gardner. The look on his face was one of satisfaction and anticipation. Helspont turned to face him with a devilish grin on his face.
“Green Lantern. Welcome. I take it your superiors sent you to deal with me?”
Guy glared at the creature before him.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you as well. You can call me Helspont. I’m sure you’re wondering what’s happening to your Moon.” Helspont’s expression didn’t change.
“I’d appreciate it, yeah.” Gardner strolled into the room, his ring sparking wildly.
“Well, I am one leader of many of a race called the Daemonites. They are the beings you have been tearing through on your way to me. I am here so that we can build a proper power source to perform something called the Reunification. It wills send out a signal across universes to all of my Daemonite brothers so that we may gather in one place, and our strength will be at its highest ebb. I need your Ring to make it possible. If you surrender it now, then I may have mercy on you.“
“Oh, for the love o’ Christ… Listen here, Sweetcakes, and listen good. The only way you’ll be gettin’ my ring is if you can pry it off of my cold, dead finger. And the only way you’ll be finishin’ up your little cliché plan here is if pigs fly and Hell freezes over. Ya’ know, I actually thought that if I came all this way, going through all this weird crap, that this might be something interestin’ and new. But nope, you’re just like the rest of ‘em.”
“Have it your way, Lantern.”
“I planned on it.” Guy flashed a smile, and his ring glowed brightly.
Before Guy could say anything else, Helspont gave him a powerful telekinetic push and threw him back through the hole he’d arrived from. As he moved in for the kill, Helspont was caught off guard by Guy as he flew straight at him, tackling and knocking the breath out of his alien lungs. Sitting on Helspont’s chest and pinning the alien’s hands with his knees, Guy started punching his blazing skull with giant green fists. Then, with a blast of energy, Helspont bucked Guy off of him and threw him against a wall. The impact was so powerful that the computers on the wall exploded and pieces of machinery fell apart, dropping cables and wires like the innards of a gutted beast. Guy tried to fly away but found himself caught in the cables that had fallen around him. He tried to cut through them, and several blades and scissors materialized around him, but it was too little too late. Helspont pounced on him before he could free himself. His hands wrapped around Guy’s throat and tightened, slowly asphyxiating him.
“You should have just given me the Ring, Lantern.”
Guy’s voice came out as a choke. “Yeah… Coulda’, woulda’, shoulda’.”
Guy was running out of breath and couldn’t concentrate enough to do anything with his ring. Reaching out randomly with his hands he felt around until he found a cable. Lifting it, he could see that it was cut and sparkling with electricity. Plunging it into the face of Helspont with what was left of his waning strength, Guy drove the alien back. As he fell to his knees and gasped for breath, Helspont bellowed at the pain he felt. Within seconds though, his wounds had healed and he was going for Guy again. Gardner didn’t heal as fast. He was still sucking in air as Helspont picked him up by the nape of his neck, his nails digging into his flesh and making him bleed. This time he was ready though, or so he thought. Guy pointed his index finger at Helspont, his thumb up, Guy mimed shooting Helspont in the face. But to Guy’s surprise, the alien created an energy field faster than the blast could reach him. The feat astounded the Lantern, his attack had started only inches away from the target, there was no way for him to be able to react in time, but he had. His mind raced trying not only to figure a way to free himself from Helspont’s grasp, but to know how the beast had reacted so fast.
Helspont looked the helpless Guy Gardner in the eyes and spoke softly, “I’m psychic.” The alien, so confident of his victory, delivered an earth-shattering punch to the face of Guy, which was only barely cushioned by his thin force-field, and dropped him at his feet where he gave him a swift kick in the ribs. “You know, if you won’t give me the ring, I’ll just have to rip our arm off.” Bending down and preparing to snap off Guy’s arm at the elbow, Gardner smirked. When he reached the Green Lantern’s arm, it was too late. Guy unleashed a torrent of violent green energy at Helspont, and the Daemonite crashed into the cylindrical machine in the center of the room. Before he could move, an emerald anaconda slithered up the machine and wrapped itself around both the machine and the alien. Helspont got out a, “How?” as the reptile started squeezing tighter and tighter.
“How?” Guy tapped his head defiantly. “My ring can disrupt psychic assaults, sweetcakes. Telling your enemy yer secret weapon is not smart.” Guy strode over to the trapped Daemonite High Lord and stood in front of him. His Green Lantern uniform was ripped all over, his face was bleeding and he was holding the side where he had been kicked. If it weren’t for his force field he probably would have died from the force of the aliens blows. Gardner kneeled down to Helspont’s level, and spit in his face. Then, lowering his ring’s defensive and offensive systems, he reeled back and punched the Daemonite with all of his strength, over and over again. The green snake constricted more each second, but his blows became weaker as he grew tired. When he could no longer lift his hand to strike, he just sank to the floor and watched as the snake slowly crushed the life out of Helspont. “So, tell me somethin’ man. Exactly how does it feel to have the life squeezed from your body? I’ve always wondered.” Helspont choked. “Cat got your tongue?”
Guy suddenly heard a cracking and fizzling sound and got to his feet with a burst of brilliant Green light, preparing himself for a new opponent. The cracking only intensified without revealing where it was coming from, but soon it was obvious. The snake Guy had created was breaking the machine Helspont had planned to use for the Reunification as it killed him. Guy watched as the machine died, and all hope for the Reunification being successful drain from Helspont’s eyes. His mouth got free, and his voice shook the room in a bass rumble.
“Do you realize how long I’ve been planning this? Waiting for this day? DO YOU?!? I’LL MAKE YOU PAY FOR THIS!!! YOU’LL FEEL MY PAIN!!!”
With the barest outward sign of struggle, Helspont burst apart the green animal that had once held him. A look of sheer surprise graced Gardner’s face as he watched the inevitable unfold. Flying toward Guy with rage in his eyes, Helspont grabbed the human and smashed him against a wall. He moved his claws to his head and started to crush through Guy’s force field. Guy fought, but he was weak and couldn’t hold out against the pain and pure strength of the Daemonite commander. He couldn’t muster enough willpower to create a new construct, so he poured all his force of will into his force field, strengthening it so it wouldn’t give out. Sensing that Guy wouldn’t break under his hands, Helspont lowered one hand and grabbed Guy’s fist, putting his hand on the ring that was causing him so much trouble. Now, with some contact with the ring, Helspont was able to bypass Guy’s only protection and affect his mind. He tried with all his might to overload him with images of pain, hatred and fear. Guy fought the mental assault with all he had, and managed to use their temporary connection through the ring to search Helspont’s mind for something that he could use. Helspont finally felt himself overwhelming Gardner, pushing the human past his limits and destroying his mind. He was about to end it when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned to look behind him, and was horrified to see none other than Mr. Majestic!
As he stared in horror, his grip on Guy’s mind weakened even more, allowing Guy to muster more strength. Suddenly, another Majestic appeared. And another. And another! Soon the whole room was filled with Kherubim Warlords and Helspont was backed into a corner by the sheer number of them. Helspont was broken, shuddering in a corner, cowering beneath them. Then, without warning, they all vanished.
“The one thing people always seem ta’ forget is that with enough focus, a Green Lantern can make other colors. You’re a coward.”
Helspont was catatonic now though, his mind broken with fear. Guy imprisoned him in a small, tight cell, and took his leave from the underground base on the Moon. As he left, the machine Helspont had created for the Reunification went up in a glorious flash of light, blowing up a large chunk of the Luther Crater. Suddenly, the purple force field disappeared, and the Moon returned to normal. The once lush and wondrous looking crater was now barren once more, and the JLA Watchtower ruins stood as they were.
As Guy disappeared from sight with Helspont in tow, the being known as the Watcher observed the aftermath of the epic battle. Before his eyes, the Moon returned to the state at which he had left it, and everything was as it should be. A small smile graced his face, but it quickly turned back into an expression of apathy. He vanished, as there were other events which he must Watch, as was his duty.
Back on Oa, the Guardians decreed that for his actions endangering the very fabric of the Universe, Helspont was to be imprisoned on Oa itself, in a construct maintained by the Guardians personally. They also granted Gardner with an extra shore leave for this year, as a reward for his courageous actions.
“You know, with how often this kinda’ stuff happens around here, I’d think you guys woulda’ had a more permanent solution by now.”
“Shall we revoke your extra shore-leave time, Lantern Guy Gardner?”
“Nope, I’m good.”
Post Edited:2007-03-01 14:39:52