By Delphic 2 Comments
Authors Note: This is the final installment to the introduction of Xyber and the Xandarians. As with the previous chapter I had wanted to re-write this one, but my want to move onto other pursuits leaves me little time to do it, so instead I have decided to go ahead and share my work. If you haven't been reading this series you might want to first catch up on Chapter I and then Chapter II. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the final installment of WW: The Man from Outer Space.
“Absolutely Not!” Batman said coldly. His voice echoed out through the main chamber of the Watchtower. Diana sat across from the round table taking the brunt of Batman’s harsh tone. She had just opened up to the league about what had happened on Themyscira. The report she delivered contained details on the ship, the monster that had attacked them, and the alien being named Xyber. She relayed the information that Xyber had confessed to her the night prior, and his desires to become a new citizen of Earth. She had suggested to the league that his skills could be of use to them, if he were allowed to work with the Justice League while remaining under close supervision. Judging by the looks Diana was receiving from around the room, the majority was not in her favor.
“Don’t take this the wrong way Diana.” Superman added, “We understand that this Xandarian saved your life, and that you wish to repay him, but you said yourself in your report that he admits to being a fugitive.”
“He was arrested for writing a false report Kal, and his own people tried to execute him for it. Does that not seem unfair to you?” Diana asked
“Diana, you know very well that not every culture throughout the galaxy sees things as we do.”
“That’s right, and if he disregards the laws of his own world, who’s to say he would be willing to obey ours.” Hawkman said sitting to the right of Diana in between Black Canary and Aquaman. He had his arms crossed as he glared at Diana. The two of them had rarely ever agreed on anything.
“I’ve encountered Xandarian’s before.” Hal Jordan pitched in. “They are extremely dangerous, territorial, and hostile to anyone that threatens them. I saw one take down three Green Lantern’s single handedly once; however, they place do place a very high value on honor. A liar is looked down upon within the clans, so it makes since that Xyber was given a death sentence for Libel, especially if it was against one of their leaders. Leadership within the Xandarians is only given to those who is considered to be the most honorable amongst the clans. I don’t know about Xyber though.”
“He has been on Themyscira for the past week, and he has done no harm to my sisters.”
“I understand that Diana, and I’m sure that to you he is a really swell guy, but you’re asking us to just open our arms to one of the most dangerous soldiers in the entire galaxy. You should also know princess that the Xandarians are a very strict people. What they say they do. There is a saying amongst them that says: Once honor is lost it cannot be regained.”
“Bullshit!” Barda spat as slammed her fist onto the table, “If that were true Lantern then I would have no place at this table!”
“Relax Barda. No one is questioning your honor here.” Aquaman said, and motioned his hand for Barda to sit back and calm herself. “I do agree with Barda though. I understand our caution in this matter, but as Wonder Woman has said he’s been on our planet for a week already. In that time he has saved the Amazons from a rampaging monster, and lived amongst them in peace when he could have attacked them at any time he wished. Perhaps we should give him a chance.”
“I second that notion.” Black Canary added. Diana smiled and nodded at both of them.
“Zatanna, J’onn. Do either of you have anything to say on this?” Superman said turning to face the Martian Manhunter and the Mistress of Magic who sat to his left.
“I…I think maybe we should give him a chance. I mean it’s like Aquaman said. He could have turned on Diana at any time, yet he didn’t. I think he deserves the second chance that the Xandarians could not give him.” Zatanna added. Zatanna was the newest member of the League. Her father had died not too long ago right before her eyes, and it had been left to her to take over her father’s position in the League. Diana was grateful to have the young girl’s support. In the meantime the Martian Manhunter sat silent, touching his index and middle finger to his temple. He always did this when he was trying to reach out telepathically.
“J’onn?” Superman said trying to reach out to the Manhunter in an attempt to get anything from him. After a moment the Martian Manhunter looked up.
“I tried to reach out and touch his mind.” The Manhunter said, “I am unable to read his mind though. There seems to be some resistance there. It would seem Xyber possesses some telepathic abilities of his own. To what extent though I am uncertain, just as I am uncertain of his intentions. It is the first time I have ever encountered a being such as he.”
“It would make sense that he could have telepathic abilities.” Diana piqued in, “The first time we met, I had visions after touching him.”
“A telepathic imprint. I am sorry Diana, I understand your desire to help him, but please understand there many uncertainties surrounding him. I don’t think it would be wise to allow him into the League or access to any of our information databases. I also believe we should observe him for some time, until we are certain that his intentions are pure.”
“That’s your solution J’onn. To treat him as a prisoner!” Diana growled, “I figured with what you went through with the US government, that sort of scrutiny would be the last thing you would ever suggest.”
“Enough!” Batman butted in. “It seems we are split on the matter.
“I agree with J’onn Diana. We should keep a close eye on him, and limit what access he has to Earth. Our job first and foremost as members of the Justice League is to protect the citizens of Earth.” Superman added
“Clark, you of all people should know that I know that. If I felt Xyber was any harm to the citizens of earth do you think I would have even brought this up?” Diana replied. Superman could only look away, unable to answer.
“We will put it to a vote then.” Batman declared, “Those against Xyber joining the league.” Batman, Hawkman, Hal Jordan, Big Barda, Superman, and Martian Manhunter, raised their hands. Diana was stunned.
“Barda, I thought you were with me on this?” Diana asked.
“I simply disagreed with the Xandarian’s statement about honor. This Xyber though is a potential threat to myself and the league. I would consider myself a fool if I ignored that fact.” Barda said as he glared at Diana for having dared question her.
“So that how it is then.” Diana said, “I thought better of the League than this, and thought my word meant something within this circle. I will accept your judgment though. Xyber will remain on Themyscira until further notice.” Diana stood from her seat, and prepared to leave.
“Ah hell,” Hal Jordan groaned, “I change my vote.”
“And why do you do that Green Lantern?” Batman asked.
“Well since you asked so nicely bats I’ll tell you. First off, I don’t like having a woman pissed off at me, and Diana is one of the last women I want to piss off. Secondly, the fact is that he did go out of his way to save Diana’s life when he could have just continued to play dead by that ship. If we keep a close eye on him, and limit his access to League resources then I see no reason why we shouldn’t give him a chance.” Diana raised an eyebrow, and scrunched her face. She was slightly annoyed by Hal Jordan’s reasons, but never the less thankful for his support.
“Thank you, Green Lantern.”
“Oh don’t thank me just yet sister.” Hal interrupted, “I’m going to the Xandarian Aristocracy as soon as I get a chance to find out more about this guy. If I find anything that suggests he’s a threat to Earth, you can bet I’ll hand him back over to the Xandarians in a heartbeat.”
“That makes us dead even.” Batman informed, “One of us is going to have to make a decision.”
“I will” Superman said, “I change my vote as well. I agree with Hal that if we take the proper precautions then we should be safe. If everything works out, we may have found ourselves a powerful new ally.”
“Then it’s decided.” Said Batman, “Xyber is granted Honorary League status.”
Diana waited for Xyber at the base of the staircase that lead up to the roof of the Themyscirian embassy. They had spent yesterday, preparing to move him to his more permanent residence at the embassy. It took longer than expected, because a few of her sisters were sad to see him go. Some of the younger girls had become entranced by the mystique surrounding Xyber, and were upset that they might never get to learn anything about the Alien Warrior who had killed the evil monster. Also apparently the Amazons that had been guarding him took to him for after Diana had left to have her meet with the League; Xyber had come out of his room to speak with them. Diana had enquired him of what they had talked about, but Xyber said that actually the girls had done most of the talking. When she asked the girls they simply said he was a very good listener, and very kind.
Kindness, another thing that Diana had not expected out of a warrior of his description. According to everything she had heard since Xyber arrived was that Xandarian’s were supposed to be ruthless warmongers. With each passing day though, Xyber seemed more and more like a pacifist than a warrior.
Finally, Diana saw him coming up the hallway towards her. His synthetic body armor had once again taken on the shape it did on the night they had spoken about his conviction. It was a rather elegant thing to wear for such an unofficial meeting. Diana herself had only donned her uniform. It was sort of customary for her to wear the uniform while at the embassy anyway.
“Good Afternoon, Xyber.”
“Good Afternoon, your grace. Oh and if you would like to know I have come up with an earthly pseudonym. I believe it rolls off the Earthling tongue a little better.”
“Oh, well what is it.”
“Zander Kaine? Where did you come up with that?”
“Actually I made it up your grace.”
“Oh, so you’re the creative type. Perhaps you might be able to put that creativity to good use someday.”
“I would sure hope so Princess. Oh, and once again. Thank you for doing this for me.”
“Don’t mention it. It was the least I could do. Now come along, the League wants to meet you.” Diana said as she turned and started up the staircase, and Xyber followed close behind.
“I hope you don’t plan to wear your armor like that during missions. Either you’ll draw too much attention to us, or you’ll make me look like I don’t know how to put on a show.” Diana said with a jesting tone.
“Oh.” Xyber paused, somewhat taken aback, “I didn’t mean any offense. Like said the armor adapts the situation at hand. This time it senses a matter of importance and discussion that needs to be dealt with.” That last remark piqued Diana’s interest.
“It senses? You mean the armor has a mind of its own?” Diana asked.
“Well sort of. It’s more like a secondary databank neurally connected to my brain. While higher brain function, and complex thought is left up to me, the armor access the instinctual part of my mind, and thus acts accordingly; however, if you would like I could pursued it to take a different appearance.”
“No you don’t have to do that, and I was only joking earlier about you making me look bad. I was just trying to make small talk.”
“Ah I see.” Xyber replied, and the two continued up the stairs. When they exited out onto the roof Superman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, Big Barda, and Green Lantern were all waiting for them. Diana stepped forward greeting them.
“Hello everyone,” Diana said, and then waved Xyber forward. “This is Xyber.”
“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you all.”
“The pleasure is ours.” Superman said holding out his arms in a gesture of greeting, “Sadly we all couldn’t make it here. Batman is preoccupied elsewhere, and Hawkman…well, he just decided not to come along.”
“You’ll meet them soon enough.” Diana said, “Trust me, you’ll have a lot of fun with them.” Diana placed a great deal of emphasis on “a lot”. She had hoped Xyber had caught her sarcasm. It would prepare him for what was to come in working with the league.
“Anyway, you’ll be working with the League from now on. You come highly recommended by Diana, but being a new recruit you’re access to League resources will be limited, and on missions you are to be accompanied at all times.”
“I understand.” Xyber answered. At that Green Lantern stepped forward, and up to Xyber where they were standing face to face. “Ah, a Green Lantern. I have heard stories of your people amongst my clan. They say you are an honorable group, if only a bit weak…” Xyber stopped suddenly realizing what he was saying. Barda and Zatanna had suddenly taken to laughing. Even Diana let go a quick snort. Hal however, was not amused. “I am so terribly sorry that was extremely rude of me wasn’t it?”
“Whatever kid.” Hal snapped, “Just stay still.” Hal held up his arm and a bright green light erupted from the ring on his finger. The light scanned across Xyber’s body, and then suddenly vanished. “The ring has registered you vital stats. It will come in handy when I do my investigation while visiting your clan.”
“I would not advise that Green Lantern. My people are in a very dark place right now.” Xyber said, “I am dead them anyway. It would be best if I remained so.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know about your whole trial and stuff. I’m just going to see how much trouble you might be to Earth, because for your information I take her safety very seriously.” Hal spat, and backed away. “Now if you all will excuse me I have work to do.” The green light covered Hal’s body and he began to lift up into the air. “Adios” he said before shooting off into the atmosphere and out of sight.
“Well that went well.” Aquaman said, looking up at Hal’s trajectory as he walked toward Xyber. “It’s good to have you with us.” Aquaman stretched his hand forward for Xyber to shake. Xyber paused for a second not quite familiar with the custom, but eventually he grasped Aquaman’s hand and shook. “I hope we get to work together sometime soon, but in the meantime I must return to Atlantis.”
“It is good Aquaman, I look forward to working with you as well.” Xyber replied. Aquaman smiled and said his farewells before leaping away, and towards the ocean. One by one the others came up, greeted him, and flew away. Superman had been very sincere, while J’onn and Barda only greeted him with the most common of courtesy they could muster. Zatanna, had been a little more excited with her greeting, and actually stayed to speak with Xyber a little while.
As Diana looked on she could not help, but smile. She had succeed, and managed to give a friend the second chance that he so desired. It felt good to be able to help a friend and need.
Eventually, Zatanna said her goodbyes as well and disappeared with the phrase: “Emoh”. The stars had begun to break through the skyline, making their first shine of the evening. Diana started to leave, but she noticed something that was different about Xyber. He remained glued to the spot, and was staring up at the sky. It took her a while to realize it, but he was starring in the direction that Hal had left earlier. His face was grim and his eyes squinted as if he were trying to see something far off.
Suddenly there was a loud growl and Diana saw Xyber’s synthetic armor shift for the first time. The cape retracted, and his helmet grew from his shoulders to encase his head. The chest grew broader, and developed pauldrons that covered his shoulders. The armbands grew into gauntlets, covering his hands and sharpening his fingertips into razor sharp points. His legs became encased in greaves, and knee high boots. Diana was shocked. This version of his armor was not like the light plated stuff she had first seen him in on the beach, but what he wore now was something frightening to behold. It was like something an Amazonian would wear when she was going to war.
“Zander?” Diana said trying to use his self-given name to reach out to him. “What happened to your armor is something wrong?” Xyber’s concentration broke and he shook his head to loosen the tenseness in his body. He looked down and his hands, and inspected them.
“I am sorry Princess. I didn’t mean to frighten you. As I said my armor acts on instinct. I must be honest though and saying that I fear for the Green Lantern. In my dealings with my clan leadership it has made me…resentful.” Xyber said.
“Don’t worry too much about Hal. He says he’s dealt with Xandarian’s before, and that there is treaty between the Guardians of the Universe and your people.” Diana said trying to reassure him. To be honest though, Xyber’s reaction had worried her. She felt like she should inform Hal of this development as soon as possible. She also began to worry a little about Xyber. What if Batman and the other leaguers had been right. What if he was dangerous?
Diana saw Xyber’s chest move has he took a deep breath, and his muscles relax. Then as if it was nothing the armor retracted returning to the form it had only been in moments ago.
“Princess, if you can please tell your Green Lantern friend to be careful.” Xyber said with the most serious look Diana had ever seen the man muster, “Even though, I was convicted of treason for lying about my commander, I still do believe my claims to be of the most absolute truth. Also if I know my commander, he will not take to kindly to learning that I am still alive. I fear for your friend.” Xyber reached up and touched Diana on the shoulder, and gripped. For some reason she remembered doing a similar motion when she had attempted to reassure her one of her sisters who had lost morale and became too terrified to move during a battle. A moment later, Xyber let her shoulder go, walked away, and began descending the staircase back into the embassy. Once before where Diana had felt hope, she now felt fear and dread. She took one last look up at the sky where Hal had disappeared earlier. In that moment she decided to follow Xyber’s advice, and began praying that her newfound friend was wrong.
Somewhere in Sector 2568, Weeks Later…
Hal Jordan had been flying through space for quite some time. He had found out on Oa that Xyber was from the Undal Clan, a Nomadic tribe of Xandarians that lived in a large warship surrounded by an even larger and vast fleet. Several hundred years ago The Green Lantern Corps had went to war with the Xandarians several centuries ago. A lot of lives were lost, but when the Planet Mogo emerged as a Green Lantern the tides were turned in the Lantern’s favor. The Xandarians surrendered and a treaty was established. The Undal Clan was the descendants of those who had not participated in the forefront of the war; however, they were still responsible for the deaths of many Lanterns.
As Hal approached the Alare-Rael, the flagship of the Undal Clan Fleet, he began making the appropriate precautions. First and for most, the charge on his ring: 93% good. Then he began to attempt to make contact with the bridge. He held up his ring and a construct began to form on the left side of his head in the shape of a headset.
“Alare-Rael, this is Green Lantern Hal Jordan of sector 2814. I request permission to board your vessel.” He waited for a time, but eventually someone did respond.
“You are out of your sector Green Lantern. What business do you have with Clan Undal?”
“I wish to speak with you Clan Leader: Agar Xumac. I have come to discuss matters involving a former prisoner of yours. A Xandarian. Goes by the name of Xyber.” Once again there was a long pause over the line. Suddenly the bay doors of the Alare-Rael, and a deep gruff voice responded over the line.
“You may board my vessel Green Lantern. I will meet with you shortly.” The voice said. Hal assumed that must have been the Undal Leader Agar Xumac that he heard over the line. Hal took off for the opening that had begun to appear on the bottom the Alare-Rael. Hal had to admit the ship was pretty impressive. It had to be at least five miles long. Hal felt tiny near most ships, but right now he felt microscopic, and the firepower they were carrying? One blast from those Yuatta XX Disparator cannons could decimate an entire city. No wonder the Lantern corps had such difficulty dealing with them all those years ago. When Hal entered the ship he was once again marveled by how impressive the Alare-Rael was. This was just a hangar bay, and you could fit the Empire State building in here and still have room. The Xandarians themselves worked around their fighters and other equipment. Each wearing the synthetic armor that Xandarians were known for. None even bothered to look at him. Xandarians did not see Green Lanterns as a threat, they only feared Mogo. Mogo had wiped out so many of them that the Xandarians for a time disappeared from the universe.
A large figure started to approach. Xandarians typically were on average the same size as humans, but this guy had to be at least eight foot tall.
“You must be Agar Xumac?” Hal asked.
“I am,” Xumac replied growling, “What information do you possess about the traitor?”
“The prison ship that you sent flying towards our sun had an accident and ended up crashing on my home planet. Xyber was the only survivor.”
“He is a liar, and attempted to overthrow my command. He caused dissention amongst my people! You should have killed him Lantern.” Xumac growled.
“It doesn’t work that way. Besides he’s gained the favor of one of my friends back home.”
“Then your friend is a fool to believe his claims.”
“Look I would like to take your word for it, and honestly I’m about ready to. Still it would be best if I had a look at anything you have on the guy. “
“Of course, Right the way Lantern.” Xumac stood aside, and motioned Hal to walk with him. They exited the hangar, and entered into a long corridor. After a quick lift ride, and a couple turns down some hallways they came to a large door. When they walked through Hal could tell that they had entered some sort of archive. There were consoles everywhere each displaying different times of Xandarian history.
A young Xandarian woman approached them
“Go fetch the Lantern the information you have on Ka Xyber Ze Undal.” The woman nodded and disappeared as soon as she had come, never once saying a single word.
“She not speak much?” Hal asked.
“Ada, Is amongst the brightest of the Undal. She only speaks when she needs to.” Ada returned shortly with a bright glowing cube that levitated in between her palms.
“Touch the Data core. You will find the answers you seek.” For some reason Hal wasn’t too sure. More often than not small packages were more trouble than they were worth. Still it was just information what harm could it be. Hal touched the sides of the Data core, and that’s when he saw it.
Agar Xumac was meeting with another Xandarian. Packages were being exchanged. Xandarians stripped of their armor were being carried away in chains. Data streams of the phrase “Corruption in the Aristocracy” appeared Xyber was confronting Agar Xumac in his chambers. Words were exchanged. Agar Xumac grabbed his weapon, a large spear, and cast the first blow. Xyber fought. He was defeated, and placed in chains. His armor stripped from him. There was a young Xandarian woman brought before him. She was threatened and beaten. Xyber pleaded guilty to treason. He was carried away, and loaded on the execution ship.
Suddenly Hal’s vision cleared, and he knew immediately that he was in grave danger, but it was already too late. He had not even felt it as the dagger pierced his chest. He started to grow cold, and he tasted blood in his mouth.
He looked down, to see the Xandarian girl holding the dagger, her armor fully engaged.
“You bitch.” Hal coughed, blood pouring from his lips.
“You die now, Lantern.” She declared softly and raised the dagger once again to strike. Hal reacted quickly and used an energy blast from his ring to send her flying across the room.
Hal could still sense that Agar Xumac was still behind him. He turned to blast him as well, but before he could Xumac caught his ring arm in mid thrust. His armor shifted around his hand and within an instant all the bones in Hal’s and were crushed.
Hal screamed. The pain was immense, and he fell to his knees. He needed to contact Oa.
“Help, SOS, Lanter….AAAUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!” Xumac had taken his ring directly from his hand, removing Hal’s finger in the process. Xumac held the ring in his hand. The ring was trying desperately to escape and return to its bearer, but the Xandarians grip was far too strong, and the ring bounced harmlessly in his palm.
Hal was crumpled to the ground while holding the bleeding wound. His Green Lantern uniform began to slowly disappear.
“You bastard.” Hal coughed, blood dripping from his lips, “Xyber was telling the truth.”
“Yes he was, Lantern. He retained his honor. He sacrificed himself for his people and his bride. Sacrifice gets you nowhere though Lantern, only progress brings success.”
“By selling your own people! Your people have always frowned on slavery, if they were aware of this!”
“They are.” Xumac interrupted.
“It might have been I that suggested it too them, but it was they who agreed.”
“That, Green Lantern, I am afraid you will never know.” Xumac nodded, and suddenly there was a sharp quick pain at the center of his neck. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t speak. Things began to grow dark, and suddenly there was nothing.
Ada walked up to her father. The corpse of the dead Lantern lay at their feet. His blood staining the floor.
“The weapon you gave me worked well father.”
“Yes Ada, I see that.”
“What of the ring father. Will you destroy it?”
“No, if I destroy it other Lanterns will come running. The must never know that one of their own died here.” Xumac held the hand which contained the ring up to his mouth and let loose a guttural sound that Ada had never heard from her father’s lips before. There was a bright glow within his hand. Xumac pulled his hand away and opened it. The ring floated there not daring to fight back.
“Separated from Ring Host… Searching…located…Sector 2814…Location: Earth” The ring flew off down out of the archives and down the halls of the Alare-Rael. Within a few short seconds the ring had already disappeared into deep space.
“What did you do father?”
“I overrode the ring’s memory. It does not believe it’s bearer to be deceased. It will search out a new host as the ring does when it’s bearer as killed, but that bearer will appear as this Lantern to the ring.” Xumac motioned towards the corpse, “By the time the Guardian’s know what is happening they will be slaves under my boot, and we will have had our vengeance.”
“And all the glory will be yours father.” Ada said, Xumac nodded and turned to leave.
“Dispose of the body, and clean up the mess.”
“Of course father, but if you would permit me one question?” Ada asked, Xumac stopped and turned facing his daughter.
“What is it?”
“What of the traitor? He is still alive.”
“He will be dealt with in time. I do not let those who stand against me live. As your bitch of a mother found out, so too will Xyber.” Xumac spat. Ada glared at her father. She knew her father had seen it, and he grinned. In their family hate was good.
“May you reign forever father.” Ada spoke softly and bowed. With that Agar Xumac left Ada behind, the bloody corpse of one of the greatest Lanterns that had ever lived lying at her feet.