[ Written by Joygirl. Plotted by Joygirl and Avenging_X_Bolt. ]
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“You... killed... me...” she whispered. It had been true in a way. During the Four-Corps Battle Sinestro had killed her – split her in half from the shoulder down with one of his foul golden constructs. She had been abandoned there, thought dead, but nobody ever noticed that Laira's ring never left her finger. Never detached itself from her body. Never removed its hold on her.
The Red Lantern Corps, despite being ancient – older even than Sinestro's Corps – was new to the world. New to everyone but Atrocitus himself, who had not yet fully tested the ring's capabilities... such as its ability to heal. The red energy replaced a lantern's circulatory system, yes, that much was known. It was even known that it had the ability to heal over certain organs or outright replace them out of necessity, such as when Atros had lost his heart not so long ago.
But nobody had any clue that it would be able to repair the damage done to Laira, repair the entirety of her body.
The long, blazing red scar across her, however, testified to the fact that the red ring was even more powerful than had been suspected. Shock had been apparent on every face on Ysmault when Laira, the former Green Lantern, had flown down to the Red Power Battery, her hand extended as she approached it.
“With blood and rage of crimson red,” she whispered, extending her finger. She was exhausted, nearing a second death as the ring ran out of power.
“We fill mens' souls to darkest dread...” there was a spark from the ring, then a small flash. Laira's voice grew more powerful. Bleez, another red lantern who had just gone through her Blood Ocean dip, arched an eyebrow.
“Who is this one?” the havanian asked. “Didn't she die? Cut down by Sinestro?”
“And twist your minds to pain and hate...” Laira's back straightened as the ring drew energy from the battery, flooding her with it. Her very organs pulsed with the red energy, her mind began to seethe from it as rage filled her, focused within her.
“It seems Laira was stronger than we thought.” Atrocitus allowed himself a grim smile, still holding Skallox down in the Blood Ocean so that he couldn't escape.
“We'll burn you all...”
“She's really milking the oath, don't you think?” Bleez said with a twist of her lips, folding her arms.
“That... is... your... FATE!” There was a brief blast from the power battery as it completely filled Laira's ring, flooding her with its power, charging her, feeding her, gorging her with the power of pure fury and vengeance. When the red halo around her faded, Laira dropped to her knees, crimson plasma dripping from her lips as she gasped for breath.
“Excellent,” Atrocitus said softly. “Bleez, when I'm finished with Skallox... introduce young Laira to the Blood Ocean.”