Green Lantern's Blight!

Time: Unkown

Place: Unkown

For those first few moments, waking up is always just slightly disorienting. At least, it always has been for me. Sometimes, the duration of the disorientation lasts somewhat longer than usual, for a variety of factors.

For some people, this is because of the amount of alcohol they had consumed the night before.

For others, it was because they were (un)lucky enough to not have slept in their own beds.

In my case, it was because I woke up in outer space.

Now, usually, I'm not one for dramatic outbursts. Still though, when I woke up expecting to see my cozy room, and was instead greeted with the vast nothingness of the void surrounding me on all sides with an infinite darkness as far as the eye could see…

Let's just say that in that moment, I was rather grateful that in Space, nobody can hear you scream.

Since there was no ground beneath my feet (or a sky above my head) I had that jarring sensation of falling that you sometimes feel in your dreams, a full body electric shock, while your stomach is roughhousing with your liver inside your esophagus.

Except of course, this being the infinite stretching darkness of the void, the feeling didn't stop.

It was only after several long minutes of falling down (or up. Or sideways. Or diagonally. 'cause space) that I started to get a hold of myself. I stretched myself out spread-eagle, closed my eyes and desperately willed the spinning to stop.

Surprisingly enough, I did in fact get the sensation of coming to a stop. Which was odd: since there were no landmarks within several lightyears of me, there had been no way to tell whether or not I had been moving at all up until now.

I could've been hurtling faster than a space-shuttle, or simply hanging static in space, or spinning like a top, and due to the sheer vastness of the universe, they all would've appeared the same to me.

Now though, I definitely got the sense that I was anchored in space. I still couldn't tell up from down, but at the very least I had stopped falling and/or spinning.

Tentatively I opened my eyes, wary to find out just what the hell happened to me (and also what the hell was going on in general). For all I knew, I was caught in a tractor beam of a ship, and aliens were readying their sporks even now in anticipation of a nice Terran dinner.

Main course: me.

However, when I opened my eyes, I didn't see an alien ship.

What I did see was somehow both infinitely better, and far far worse.

A green glow surrounded me, and on my right index finger sat a massive green ring.

Fuck me.

"But!" I can hear you ask, "isn't being a Green Lantern balls-to-the-walls awesometacular!?"

And, up to a certain point, you would be right, my imaginary friend! There was a reason Green Lantern rings were sometimes called some of the most powerful weapons in the universe.

Granted, a large part of that reason was the propaganda and inflated ego of the Guardians of Oa, but there was some merit to their boast. Theoretically, the Lantern was capable of nearly anything, it's only limits the user's imagination and willpower, and the ring's energy levels.

Given that the Lanterns were carefully selected and rigorously trained, and the ring was supplied by a literal lantern which in turn was supplied by a Central Power Battery which in turn was supplied by an infinite energy source, and the idea of a piece of jewelry being a weapon advanced enough to oversee entire sectors of space becomes a lot easier to accept.

The problem with all this was this was pure theoretical. In practice, wielding a Ring meant throwing around your opponents with mega-sized boxing gloves and fighting with hard-light swords and machine gun turrets (at least on Earth it did).

Green Lantern Rings were powerful, that cannot be denied. Green Lanterns on the other hand, had the unfortunate fate of being stuck in an odd place on the power scaling of the DC Universe.

They were policing organics which couldn't stand up against the technology of Oa, while constantly being threatened by groups and individuals that were capable of thinning their numbers with ease.

The Five Inversions, The Antimatter Dimension with its Weaponers of Qward and the Anti-Monitor, Sinestro and his corps, Atrocitus and his corps, Parallax, Ranx the Sentient City, Nekron and his Black Hand, Krona, the Manhunters, these were just some of the Green Lantern Corps' most feared enemies.

Many of them were created by the Guardians' mistakes in the first place.

Green Lanterns fell in that same category that the likes of Aquaman did: too powerful to be really threatened by ordinary beings with ordinary means, but woefully outclassed by the real shakers and movers in the galaxy. Meaning that whenever shit went down, they were left punching above their weightclass.

And the Green Lantern Corps had to deal with that a worryingly large number of times.

Even worse was that for many of said shakers and movers, wearing a Green Lantern Ring was sufficient enough grounds to kill me on the spot. They wouldn't care that I didn't know what the hell was going on, where I was or even when I was. I wore the mark of Oa, and that would be the end of it.

The worst part is that I can't say with certainty that the Guardians (effectively my bosses, if this was real and not some vivid hallucination) won't think along similar lines. I wore their weapon and their badge, as far as they were concerned, I now belonged to the Corps. Should I rebel…

Still, freaking out even more certainly won't help me, and I do in fact have the galaxy's most advanced supercomputer sitting on my finger, ready to answer most of those questions.

However, as I opened my mouth, I couldn't help but feel weirded out that I was talking at a piece of jewelry.

"Uhm… Ring? What's going on?"

++ Please Clarify ++ a soft-spoken female voice said simply in my air, making me almost swat at it in reflex.

Like the world's greatest earbuds or something.

"Uhm, right. Well… where are we?"

++ We Are Currently In Sector 3601 ++

… well, considering that, as far as I know, there are only 3600 sectors in the DC Universe, this means that…

Actually, I have no fucking clue what that means.

"Ring. Which Green Lantern is assigned to this Sector?"

++ You Are. ++

"Right. Right. Of course I am. Ring, what's my designation and give me a rundown of what's in this sector."

++ You Are Designated Michael McCole, Green Lantern Of Sector 3601. This Sector Contains Approximately 23 Suns, 138 Planets, 552 Moons And Upwards Of 2000 Planetoids And Large Asteroids. It Is Estimated That There Is Sentient Life On At Least 30 Planetoids, Moons Or Planets. It Is Unknown If This Sector Hosts Sapient Life. It Is Unknown What The Exact Dimensions Are Of This Sector. It Is Unknown Which Species Have Crossed Through This Sector. It Is Unknown- ++

"Alright, that's enough, thanks!" I hurriedly cut in, before I close my eyes and desperately rub my forehead.

So, I'm a Green Lantern, in an unknown Sector of the DC Universe, which the Guardians apparently known very little about, and with no idea of how I got here, or what I should do.

Well, I can ask the Ring about the first one, and I should be able to figure out the latter.

"Ring. How did we appear in Sector 3601?"

++ … Unknown. ++

"Wait what?! What the hell do you mean unknown!?"

++ Clarification: It Is Unknown What Manner Of Transportation Was Used To Arrive In This Sector. It Is Unknown What Occurred Before 12 Minutes And 3.025 Seconds Before User Asked The Last Question. It Is Unknown How User And This Ring Were Connected. It Is Unknown- ++

"Right, right, I got it. You can stop now."

Okay, so actually figuring out what the hell happened to me will have to wait. For what, I don't know exactly, but all I know is that I'm floating in the middle of nowhere, with a Ring that doesn't have a clue how we ended up here either.

However, while I can't figure out why the hell I'm here, I can figure out what the hell I'm going to do.

Finding a planet should be my first priority. While floating in space like this isn't harmful to me as long as the Ring remains charged (it shields me from debris and radiation, continually creates the perfect atmospheric conditions and if needed I can survive on its energy alone, requiring no sustenance at all) it's still very disorienting and disquieting.

Actually having a ground beneath my feet and a sky above my head will do wonders for my mental and emotional state.

And from there?

I suppose I'll figure that out when the time comes I suppose. Speaking of time, while I'm travelling to the nearest planet…

"Ring. Set a course for the nearest planet. While we travel, I want you to catch me up to speed with the history of the universe, up to the point that you can still recall that is."

++ Very Well. Course Has Been Set. Approximate Travel Time: 23 Minutes And 7.821 Seconds. ++

Before she had even finished speaking, the soft green glow covering my body (which was clad in a very generic Green Lantern Uniform I only just noticed) flared up. A single tug on my right hand, and I went off hurtling into space again, though thankfully I didn't scream this time.

++ Now, The History Of The Universe. The Universe Was Created. For A Period Of Time That Cannot Be Expressed With Words In The Human Language, The Planck Epoch Existed. Approximate Translation: It Was Very Hot. Then- ++

"Uhm, you know what? Why don't we just stick to the cliffnotes?" I weakly offered.

++ Very Well. The Cliffnotes Of The History Of The Universe. The Universe Was Created. For A Period Of Time… ++

As the soft voice steadily droned on, I briefly lamented the fact that, when you ask the most advanced supercomputer the cliffnotes of nearly 14 billion years of history, you're still going to end up with a lecture that will span more than 23 minutes and 7.821 seconds.

Time: 23 minutes and 7.821 seconds later

Place: Fifth Planet orbiting a small yellow star

The planet that I landed on was… boring.

I know this is a strange thing to say when you first step foot on literally another planet at the ass-end of the universe (it certainly isn't as impressive as 'One small step for man') but after more than twenty minutes of soaring across the cosmos, surrounded by inky blackness which is broken up by vibrant nebulae, twisting galaxies and glistening far-off stars…

Well, stepping foot on a landmass which consists almost entirely of barren taiga simply doesn't stack up.

Even when the grass is blue and the sky is greenish.

This little planet (it was barely bigger than Earth's Moon) was just on the edge of this star's life zone (or Circumstellar Habitable Zone, as the Ring kept on insisting), meaning that while it had enough liquid water and a sufficient atmospheric pressure to support life, said life really only consisted of sturdy vegetation, and a host of small organisms surrounding the hydrothermal vents of this planets two small oceans.

All in all, it wasn't really much to look at. Interestingly enough, according to intergalactic law, since I was the first sapient being to set foot on this planet, I got to name it. That didn't automatically make it my property, since that required several complicated bureaucratic steps, but considering that nobody really even knew that this planet existed, and it had no interesting recourses as far as the Ring could tell, nobody would care if I just straight up claimed it.

And so I did exactly that.

Hello little planet, you are henceforth called Stupendous McAwesomeface III, seat of power to the great Michael McCole, ordinary human hopelessly lost in a fictional universe and probably slightly out of his mind the more that fact starts to sink in.

With a despairing sigh I flop down on the springy tufts of grass, thankful to feel something solid underneath me for the first time since I woke in this ridiculous situation. As I suspected, actually having surroundings to base my positioning off, instead of simply spinning ass over teakettle through the void of space does put my mind at ease.

Unfortunately, it makes it wander to topics that I feel I should better steer clear off for the foreseeable future, unless I want to suffer a mental breakdown.

Lying on my back, looking up at the greenish sky (its color reminds me of the Aurora Borealis back on Earth. It's kinda pretty actually), I fold my hands behind my head as I contemplate what I should do next.

According to the Rings "brief" history of the universe and everything in it, some of the major crisis that pose a direct threat to the existence of the Green Lantern Corps (and thus me) haven't happened yet.

No Hal Jordan murdering every Lantern he sees.

No Black Lanterns murdering everything else.

Hell, there wasn't even a Red or Yellow Lantern Corps.

In fact, a lot hadn't happened yet. It was difficult to estimate, considering the sheer scope of time that the Guardians and the Rings thought in (they were older than most Old Gods for crying out loud), and how little they cared for a backwater planet like Earth, but from the look of it, most of those events wouldn't happen for several thousand years.


What now?

My knowledge of the DC Universe (boosted as it was through my access to the Power Ring) wasn't absolute, and had been in large part based around events and peoples from Earth that didn't even exist now.

Sure, Vandal Savage is roaming the lands and Atlantis (probably) hasn't sunk yet, but other than that…

As for the wider galaxy, I knew even less about that (though the Ring certainly did), and I certainly didn't know anyone that I wanted to meet a few thousand years in the past.

Beings like Lobo come to mind…

But where did that leave me? Should I just sit on this planet for however long the Ring would keep me alive waiting for… for what, exactly? For a Manhunter to find me, or for Nekron to breach into this universe, or for the Anti-Matter to wage his attack on the positive matter Multi-Verse?

The Universe was filled with cosmic horrors, was I really going to live the rest of my days on this barren planet, waiting for them to have their way with existence as life knows it, hiding like a coward?

Hell no.

I wasn't a hero, I had no illusions about that. I wasn't the type of guy to put on a cape, puff my chest and then track down evildoers to unleash my own emotional baggage on in the form of a good old bout of fisticuffs (looking at you Batman, get yourself a fucking therapist for god's sake).

But I sure as shit wasn't going to wait for death to claim me, in whatever aspect she chose to use.

Some cosmic threat wants to remake all of existence?

He'll have to go through me to do it.

Sitting up, I look at the Ring on my hand, feeling determination well up inside me.

I had work to do.

"Ring. What are your current energy levels?"

++ Energy Levels Currently At 89.689 Percent. ++

"Can I still recharge you with my personal Power Battery, which hopefully is linked up to the Central Power Battery?"

++ Correct. Your Personal Power Battery Is Currently Located In Your Own Sub-Dimension. ++

"Alright. Am I correct in assuming that you carry with you the knowledge of Oan scientific discoveries and blueprints of their technology?"

++ You Are Correct, Though The Available Data Is Not As Complete As The Library On Oa. ++

"Doesn't matter, I want you teach all of it to me, as fast as possible."

The Green Lantern Rings are capable of emitting and storing energy (though stored energy will not be converted into Willpower-energy, it can only be released in the same form of energy it was absorbed in), and even transform energy into matter (it was how it generated an atmosphere for me in the void of space). If I can use the templates inside the Ring's database to create machinery, then I could do research into even greater powers. Even if I can't form said machinery from my hard-light constructs, then the Ring should still be able to teach me how to extract the recourses I needed to create the tools I needed to create said machinery.

Forges, generators, spectrometers, just about every device that you would find in Tony Starks or Reed Richard's workshop, I would create. I would build a grand laboratory in which I would research the Forces of the DC Universe.

The Emotional Electromagnetic Forces.

The Three Fundamental Forces (electromagnetism, gravitation and nuclear interaction).

The Force which superseded those Three Forces (quantum).

The Speed Force.

Intrinsic Fields.


I could abuse the energy absorption capabilities of the Ring by setting up shop inside stars, or even black holes once I'm powerful enough.

I could use the Ring's database of alien species to alter my own human body into something far superior and longer lasting. Looking into Kryptionian and Daxamite DNA to figure out how some species are capable of taking in an energy source and turning it into overwhelming physical force.

I could create technology that is on par with even the New Gods.

And I had millennia to achieve it all.

++ Very Well. Lesson Plan Has Been Created. Lesson One: The Fundamental Rules Of Mathematics. ++

"Wait, wait, hold on! I suck at math! Can't we skip to the good part, like where you show me how to build a hover-tank or a lightsaber?!" I ask desperately.

++ … No. Lesson One: The Fundamental Rules Of Mathematics. Algebraic Expressions and Equations With Parentheses And Variables. In Order To Find X… ++

As I fell to my knees with a despairing groan, the female voice still chattering away in my ear, I considered the possibility that I might actually need those millennia in order to get my shit done.

Time: Late 1800's by Earth's standards

Location: Atmosphere of Krypton

Krypton in its prime is… something else. This isn't the first time that I've visited this planet (c'mon, it's the birthplace of Superman for crying out loud! This entire planet is like a tourist trap to me!) but it has been several centuries since my last visit.

The Kryptonians had already been a highly advanced species even then, but highly isolationist. They had space-worthy vessels, and were fully capable of stamping civilizations out of even the most barren planet surfaces.

They just… didn't.

A species with their power and level of technology should've conquered or colonized an empire stretching across several sectors. Hell, they wouldn't even be the first ones to do it! But for some reason, the vast majority of Kryptonians chose to remain on their home planet, living in their futuristic cities of Kandor, Argo and Kryptonopolis just to name a few.

Considering just how long their lifespans were, it was somewhat of a small miracle that the planet hadn't turned into an ecumenopolis, but then again, Kryptonian tech really was in a league of its own. Highly advanced power generators supplied the megacities, where superstructures offered comfortable habitation to millions of souls. As a post-poverty society, life in Krypton's mega-cities was a cut above the galactic standard, with truly massive forms of entertainment and a whole slew of provisions to make life as enjoyable as it could possibly be when you had to share a planet with fourteen billion other souls.

But sustaining that much life was starting to take its toll on the planet. Or rather its core. Its uranium core. Its uranium core which the Kryptonians had begun tapping into well over a thousand years ago. Despite their great scientific achievements, they didn't foresee what every single comic book geek knew by heart.

The core would grow more and more unstable over the coming century, until it would violently explode, taking all of the Kryptonian race (minus the citizens of Argo and Kandor, as well as Superman) with it.

I wasn't the only one who saw the signs. A bright-eyed young Jor-El was starting to question his society's means of meeting its staggering energy need, while a rookie Tomar-Re was keeping an eye on the planet on orders from the Guardians of the Universe.

Still, I wasn't here to save them from themselves. It wasn't because I was too afraid of the butterfly effect, which so often paralyzes other Main Characters whenever they find themselves in fictional universes.

In fact, I'm not really all that bothered with adhering to the butterfly effect at all. I had emerged into this world in a previously unmapped (or possibly even non-existent) Sector well over a millennium before Action Comics #1 would occur. The moment I set foot in Sector 2814 and looked down on Earth, canon was inevitably changed, however minor it might be.

Besides, my comic book knowledge wasn't even expansive enough to know the entirety of canon in the first place, so why even bother with being as inactive as possible?

Additionally, consider the number of butterflies in the world. Then try to estimate the amount of butterfly flaps there are in a year. Then compare that to the number of hurricanes in a year.

With such a low percentile of butterflies being responsible for hurricanes, I felt that I could take my chances and venture into the wider galaxy.

But saving an entire race? One as powerful as the Kryptonians no less? Never mind that they probably wouldn't listen to my warnings in the first place, but what the hell would that do to the universe two hundred years from now?

That's not a butterfly, that's fucking Mothra we're talking about here!

So no, if Jor-El cannot convince his own super-advanced people that messing with the uranium core of their planet for the past millennium has destabilized it to the point that their entire planet has turned into an atomic bomb, then I'll wash my hands of the entire thing.

In my previous life, I might have found that cruel, but I have spent almost a hundred times the amount of time that I had lived on Earth in complete isolation on a barren planet that I had named Stupendous McAwesomeface III.

And that was close to 1700 years ago (give or take a couple of decades). Safe to say that by now, most of my morals and emotions were rather skewed when compared against the regular human norm. The again, when I replaced the majority of my human body with advanced bio-technology, I lost quite a bit of my humanity as well.

Thankfully, this situation should allow me to shed even more of the former, while regaining some of the latter.

I was going to expand the number of Kryptonians that survive the destruction of Krypton.

Briefly I thought about kidnapping an orphan or something, but then I considered that this wasn't exactly conductive to my whole "connect with something other than an AI in a piece of jewelry"-shtick that I had going on here. 'Sides, while kidnapping a baby or child Kryptonian was certainly doable (my mastery over energy signatures was advanced to the point that there were only a handful of machines in the entirety of the universe that could spot me when I cloaked myself from all spectrums) it was also a hassle.

Evading Krypton's security, finding a target, subduing the target, smuggling the target past Krypton's security, travel all the way back to Stupendous McAwesomeface III without an incident occurring and then raise a Kryptonian in my seat of power without having it turn on me when it decides I'm a monster just because of a little kidnapping.

So bothersome, when there was a far simpler solution.

"Name please?"

"Hello, Michael McCole."

"Greetings Mr. McCole, are you here on pleasure or business?"


"Alright, your documentation seems to be in order, please proceed to Gate 34-CX. Have a pleasant stay on Krypton. Next!"

Sure, Kryptonians had an irrational dislike of travelling outside of their system. That didn't mean that the rest of the galaxy didn't want to visit them instead. Krypton still had to trade for a variety of things, ranging from exotic foodstuffs to simple artisans or base materials and then of course there was the tourism to consider. That meant it had a space port, with regularly scheduled ferries to the surface. It's still odd for me to realize that, under their red sun Rao, Kryptonians weren't godlike beings, instead dependent on technology to get around like the majority of beings in the universe.

They could still bend Earth-grade steel with their bare hands even in this weakened state though.

Then again, so can I.

It didn't take long until I was standing in the arrival's hall of Kryptonopolis, from which I leisurely started exploring the city. I didn't intend to return to this planet any time soon, and over a hundred years from now, there won't even be a planet to return to, so I'm content to take admire this city before it's gone and start wandering, a feeling of melancholy coming over me. I had all the time in the world: this body would last for millennia, and could theoretically last as long as the Central Power Battery on Oa did. Even now, I had projects going on in my own Sector that spanned decades to even centuries, from Anti-Matter Generators, to Dyson Spheres to Quantum Tunneling.

Yet these people would see their entire world end in nuclear fire in little over a century.

Considering the lifespans of these people, a single century was a blink of an eye.

To something as long lived as me, these people might as well be dead already.

Of course I hadn't always had such an outlook on time (and life in general), but nearly two millennia have passed ever since I woke up in this reality and a lot had changed since then. I had spent close to two hundred years simply learning the technology and science that the Ring had to teach me, surviving solely from its energy. At the end of those two centuries, Stupendous McAwesomeface III had been littered with projects I had built during my lessons, the deep gauges that pockmarked its surface a testament to whenever my experiments had backfired.

I had aged somewhat more graciously than the battered planet. My hair had nearly reached my knees and had become a snowy white, while my skin had become wrinkled and leathery. Yet I had moved with a speed and strength similar to a human in the prime of his life, the Green energy of Willpower coursing through my body giving me a highly increased vitality.

But finally, after nearly two hundred years of uninterrupted lessons and practical applications, the Ring decided that I had a sufficient grasp of Oan levels of technology, and from then on, my true work began.

Upgrading my body had been something that I had worked on throughout my lessons of the Ring (from replacing musculature with bio-polymers to replacing organs with mini-fusion reactors) yet it was only the first of many projects as I left Stupendous McAwesomeface III on long missions throughout my own Sector. I even popped in on other Sectors as well from time to time, though I was always careful to keep my presence to a minimum.

The less beings like the Guardians that are aware of my existence, the better for my health and freedom.

Many of those missions had been for deep scans of the species or technologies in those sectors that the Ring didn't have complete data on. While I don't mind experimenting on sentient beings (one of the moons back in Stupendous McAwesomeface III's stellar system has basically turned into an enormous zoo over the centuries), but I'm not entirely comfortable with experimenting on sapient beings.

Not to say that I haven't done so occasionally, neither I nor various alien governments have any problems with dissecting absolute scum that were slated for death row anyways in the name of SCIENCE!

Still, I consciously try to keep it to a minimum, and whenever I do experiment on sapient beings, I try to keep it as humane and non-intrusive as possible, especially on those rare occasions where I'm not experimenting on convicted villains but the odd volunteer that I picked up during my travels.

Considering the vast capabilities of my Ring, humane and non-intrusive experimentation had been surprisingly easy.

The reason why I took great pains to operate this way was because… well, I know that I'm not exactly what humans consider to be sane anymore. Meaning that technically I'm already a Mad Scientist.

I'd much rather refrain from accidently sliding into becoming an Evil Mad Scientist, since those always appear to be defeated by people in spandex tights and thrown in jail.

Understandably, I much prefer to avoid that scenario.

You get so little work done in jail!

As I had been musing on my fate and the past millennium and a half of experimentation with the Forces of the Universe, I realized that my feet had carried me to my destination.

That or the Ring.

Over the many, many, many, many years together, where I had lived of literally nothing else but the energy she supplied me, I had found that the AI in the Ring had… grown. She was no longer a tool or a weapon that I used. She was my closest friend and confidant that I have ever had, often anticipating my needs before I even realized that I had them, and offering me comfort when I didn't know that I needed it.

And sometimes, she would make sure that I didn't walk face first into a wall, like now.

Looking up, I read the holographic sign above the door: "Nimda An-Dor's Home for the Orphaned". If I recall correctly from my days in my previous life spent wiki-crawling, then Nimda An-Dor was the wife of Jor-El the First, who was the first Kryptonian to achieve hyperspace travel and who visited Earth (the reason why Jor-El the Second sent Kal-El there in order to save him). That makes Nimda An-Dor the maternal grandmother of both Superman and Supergirl.

With that lineage, I'm not entirely surprised the woman founded an orphanage.

For all that Kryptonians are long lived, live in a highly advanced society and (under the right circumstances) are ridiculously powerful, they are not immortal. While dying due to diseases is rare these days, it is not entirely unheard of, and sometimes, people simply have accidents.

Such is life.

The majority of Kryptonians that die of other causes than old age, tend to come from its military. While the Kryptonians aren't expanding, they are exploring, and the universe is a dangerous place, even for Kryptonians. That's not even going into the countless raider crews that scour the galaxy, sometimes a rag-tag bunch of individuals, sometimes entire species that travel like locusts from one oasis to the next, leaving only barren planets in their wake.

And the military of Krypton is what keeps those horrors from affecting the peaceful lives of the Kryptonians on their home planet.

Well, they keep them from directly affecting the populace here. As Nimda An-Dor realized and the orphanage shows, even in a civilizations such as this one, death is still a constant companion to life. Undoubtedly, the majority of the children here have lost both parents due to both of them having perished in the line of duty, or losing the single parent that they had to begin with.

Due to being a species with extensive knowledge and power over their own genetics, they have taken child planning to a whole new level. As in, when a Kryptonian (be it male or female) wants a child, they plan that child down to its genetic structure, and then order it, usually providing their own DNA and having it matched with the desired strands, though simply mixing and matching from the available database isn't unheard of. The child is then vat-grown and presto! The kryptonian has his or her perfect little baby, without an ounce of pain that's usually involved in putting a child on the world.

Natural births occasionally still happen, sometimes between couples, sometimes when a Kryptonian woman decides she has found an appropriate mate with the desired genetic material, but it's dying out. By the time Superman is born, he will be the first natural birth in a century.

Something about that makes me… sad. As if these people have lost something, somehow.

I'm ripped from my musings by the glass door of the building smoothly opening, a young brunette looking up at me with a somewhat surprised expression on her face.

"Yes? Can I help you?"

I can understand her confusion. While Krypton's high-society and advanced technology does make it a tourist destination, not many aliens decide to come here, much less visit orphanages, mostly due to the somewhat snobbishness of the Kryptonians.

And I definitely stand out.

For one, I'm clad in highly advanced power-armor, but my modifications to my body are also highly visible.

I'm taller than most humanoids species, but not by much and well-proportioned (think somewhere between Bronze Age superheroes and Rob Liefeld's creations). I also have a tail, elongated ears like a Night Elf, a head that I modeled off the Prothean race and four arms.

Not exactly your run off the mill appearance, though in my defense, there are weirder looking species out there.

I didn't really alter my appearance to look like a hodgepodge of different alien races but… well, it sorta is. After replacing much of my body with bio-mechanical components, I started scouring the galaxy for the best species, whose DNA templates (or whatever else they had instead) I would use to fashion the best body for myself in my sprawling genetics research centers.

Still, while this body's capabilities were certainly nothing to scoff at (I could easily overpower these people in their weakened state), it still paled should I be able to base a new body off of a Kryptonian template.

Hence, me standing at one of the very few orphanages on Krypton.

"Hello, I'm looking to adopt." I say in a tone as pleasant as possible.

At that, the girl's eyes widen and she quickly steps out of the building, hurriedly closing the door behind her as she tilts her chin up at me in defiance.

"While I hope that you find a child who you can give a happy home to, I'm afraid that we don't have a policy of placing our children with aliens. We are aware of people interested in our genetics, so you'll understand our hesitation of placing our children with outsiders." The girl hurriedly says in a firm, but not aggressive tone.

"Of course, I understand. However-." I say with a small smile, before I clench my upper-right fist.

With that, a bright green flash briefly blinds her as a small shockwave of sheer power shakes the ground under her feet. When she opens her eyes again, her mouth falls open as well in sheer surprise before she controls herself again, looking up at me as I stand in my full Green Lantern regalia.

"- I think you'll find my credentials more than sufficient enough."

For a moment, we're just staring at each other, barely even noticing the onlookers that have stopped whatever it was that they were doing in order to gawk and stare. Our stare is finally broken when the young woman speaks up in a somewhat stunned voice.

"Let's take this inside."

"Lead the way." I reply with a warm smile.

Of course, merely showing that I was a member of a Universe spanning peace keeping corps wasn't enough for me to simply point, say "that one!", pick it up and just stroll out of the place. The badge had bought me goodwill, a lot more than a regular alien could hope for in Kryptonopolis, but nothing more.

Adoption back on Earth was a complicated process, and here on Krytpon it's much the same. When I was presented with the enormous stack of bureaucratic hoops that I would need to jump through in order to adopt one of their god-potential children, I merely sighed and said that I would get a room in the nearest hotel.

As I've said, I've got all the time in the world, but the longer I spend on this planet, the more chance that Tomar-Re, the Lantern of this Sector, will pick up on my energy signature and come to investigate, which will open up a whole load of questions that I have steadily been avoiding for centuries now.

Still, the more I kept meeting with the young woman (she was a distant cousin of Nimda An-Dor, the founder of the orphanage, who I met a few times, but the day to day running was left to Thala Dor-Van), the smoother the process went. I could prove that I had the means to support the child, as a member of the Green Lantern Coprs, my references were impeccable and considering that I had a whole Sector worth of planets on which to raise the child, living accommodations were taken care of as well.

After roughly a month, I was allowed to observe the children. The youngest seemed to be only a few years old, while the oldest was somewhere about fourteen. All in all, there only seemed to be a little under two dozen children running around in the large indoor garden/pool area. Considering that Kryptonopolis is a city of nearly 12 million people, and this is one of only three orphanages, that's a rather impressively low mortality and birth rate.

Out of all the children, only one seemed to stand out to me (and considering that one was all I really wanted and needed, that suited me just fine). He wasn't the eldest, being 11 years old at my lowest estimate, nor was he the biggest or the strongest. But I saw him fearlessly walk up to one of the older girls who had been viciously harassing one of the younger kids, and deck her with a single punch, after which he played with the bullied kid until it started laughing again.

Thala Dor-Van had been absolutely mortified, ready to rush in there and drag the kid out by the ear (something she had an almost daily experience with, I later learned), but I simply laughed her off, making my way over to the child.

All of the children's eyes land on me (I'm rather hard to miss after all, considering my body and the glowing Green Lantern Uniform), the toddler looking up with wide, curious eyes, while the kid merely looks more and more suspicious, the closer I get to the younger child.

Got a real protective streak this one, huh?

Creating several softly glowing hard light constructs of about two dozen kittens, I sent them scurrying and flying about the toddler, who gleefully claps his hands and start chasing them, and he's soon joined by the other children as well (damn they are fast. Even top athletes on earth would've been hard-pressed to keep up with a bunch of Kryptonian children, even under a red sun!).

That leaves me and the little protector alone. Walking over to the nearest bench, I pat the spot next to me with an inviting smile, but instead the kid merely keeps staring at me as he crosses his arms over his chest and lifts his chin.

Surprisingly, he's the first of us to talk.

"You're an alien." He simply states, a closed off expression on his face.

It's briefly replaced by a blush and a wince when Thala Dor-Van hisses a furious "Sul-Da!", but he keeps up his stance, making me chuckle once again.

"Indeed I am." I simply reply.

"Aliens don't get to adopt Kryptonian orphans."

"Most aliens don't." I correct him with a cheeky smile, as I raise on of my four hands.

"What makes you think that you'll get one of us?" he says, and there's a definite note of hurt and hostility creeping into his voice.

"Ah. You think that, because I'm an alien, I won't be able to adopt anyways, so all I'm doing is giving your fellow children false hope. Is that it?" I suddenly realize.

He doesn't say anything, but his silence is enough.

"I'm a Green Lantern, kid. Do you know what that means?" I ask him in a low voice as I lean forwards.

"You're a cop." He bluntly states.

"Not just any cop! I'm a super cop!" I exclaim boldly, giving him four thumbs-ups.

"And what the hell is that supposed to mean?"


"I mean, what the heck is that supposed to mean?"

"It means this." I say with a wide smile, as I push my willpower into my Ring.

Immediately, an enormous hologram fills the space between us, showing planets orbiting stars, spacecrafts zipping through alien cities, vast vista's crossing our sights. I keep showing off more of my centuries worth of travel throughout the universe, amusement rising within me as I see that Thala Dor-Van and the other children have joined little Sul-Da in looking upon the vivid holograms with expressions of awe on their face.

"A super cop means that I go where no one else has gone before. I keep the peace, battle villains and protect the people wherever I go. Every time I step outside my door, an adventure awaits. I'm an explorer, a scientist, a peacekeeper and an inventor, all in one. I am a Green Lantern, which is just about the coolest job in the entire galaxy!" I proudly boast.

"Wicked." Little Sul-Da whispers as he looks at several Vrang dreadnoughts that cut through the void of space with their impressive size.

"Indeed. And I need a successor."

At that, Sul-Da's eyes snap towards mine, comprehension already dawning in them.

"I'm going to continue being a Green Lantern for a long time. But, my Sector doesn't have any sapient life. While this means that I have a lot of freedom to go on wild adventurous all over the universe, it also means that, when I retire, there won't be anyone to wield this Power Ring after me. So, I'm adopting and what better choice is there than a Kryptonian to carry on my legacy."

It was only partially bullshit what I was talking here. I had no intention of retiring anytime soon. In fact, I might just survive to see the end of the universe (or even survive it) if all of my plans work out. Which means that I don't really need a successor.

Still, the company would be nice, and having a legacy, someone to pass some of things that I had learned and achieved after over a thousand years in isolation onto… it was a nice thought.

An even nicer thought was the power that would be at my fingertips after I had cracked the Kryptonian genetic code.

Not to mention after I compare it to Damaxians as well.

After my brief speech, I can see Sul-Da sink into deep thought as he gives my offer far more thought than I expected out of an 11-year-old child, while off to the side I can see Thala Dor-Van surreptitiously wipe away her tears. Despite the trouble Sul-Da has given her over the years, she's clearly saddened to lose him.

Then Sul-Da looks up at me with a piercing look.

"You only need one succesor, right?"


"And you live very far away, right?"

"One of the furthest Sectors away from Oa, yes."

"And your long adventures mean that you don't really get a lot of vacations right?"

"Well, as I said, for a Green Lantern I have a lot of freedom, but I do sometimes embark on missions that can last months or even years."

"I see." The kid replies, looking over his fellow orphans with a somber look, one which is answered in kind by them as well, with the exception of the youngest children, who are still gawking at the pretty green lights surrounding them.

I know Sul-Da's answer before he gives it to me.

"I'm sorry. But you have to look for a successor somewhere else. I have a mission of my own." He says, looking up at me with misty eyes and a wavering lip, though his back is straight and his shoulders are squared.

As much as it hurts him to give up on being adopted (by a Green Lantern no less), the kid is determined to stick by his siblings.

"Sul-Da… please, I know this is hard for you. It's hard for all of us. But this is a great opportunity! You'll never get a chance like this again! Don't stay behind for our sakes, go out there and be the amazing person that I know you can be." Thala Dor-Van says kindly as she kneels next to the child, placing both of her arms on Sul-Da's shoulders.

"I can't leave you guys. You need me. And… I need you to." The kid says in a commendably steady voice, though tears are now rolling down his cheeks.

"Oh Sul-Da. My little Sul-Da." Thala whispers, completely heart-broken, engulfing the child in a hug as she holds on to him.

By now, even the youngest children have caught on to the fact that something's wrong, my green light constructs (though they were mostly the Ring's work) no longer able to distract them. As several children start openly bawling, adding even further waterworks to the drama that was already unfolding in front of my eyes, I feel a pang in where once used to be my human heart and I give a prolonged sigh.

"Thala Dor-Van. I suppose there isn't a limit on the number of children that one can adopt?"

For a moment, two dozen pair of teary eyes settle on me, before I'm buried under an avalanche of jubilant Kryptonian children, all yelling and laughing even though I'm pretty sure that about a third of them don't even know what's going on.

++ I Take That As A Yes. You Are Now A Father Of 19 Kryptonian Children. Mazzel-Tov. ++

Thanks Ring.

In the end, I ended up the official guardian of all Kryptonian children of the Nimda An-Dor's Home for the Orphaned. Of course, this caused a bit off a fuss, Green Lantern or no, but most of the complaints were silenced when Nimda An-Dor herself gave me her blessing after an extensive interview with me, Thala and each child individually (she's a genuinely nice and badass lady, telling the Council of Krypton straight to their faces to shut it, since she was sure this was in the children's best interest, which according to her was the only authority she had to obey).

Whatever protests remained after that were silenced when Thala Dor-Van told me in no uncertain terms that I wouldn't be taking her children unless I took her with me as well. Bringing the amount of Kryptonians that I brought home with me a nice and even twenty.

Even though I set out to obtain only a single one.

Why can't things go my way for once?

Standing in the inner yard of the Orphanage, surrounded by Thala and the children and all the luggage that they had packed, while a few score of onlookers waved goodbye to them, Nimda An-Dor among them, I raised my hand with Ring on it.

Immediately, a bright green bubble snapped over us, swiftly raising us from the ground. Several of the children stumbled, though I noticed with interest that Sul-Da remained unmoved, simply observing the forcefield around him with a keen, intelligent gaze.

"Inertia dampeners?"

"Correct kid. 10 points." I said with a smile, which widened when the child puffed out his chest at the pride, though he looked somewhat puzzled at the reward.

And then he didn't have the chance to look surprised anymore, because Ring kicked things into overdrive.

Here's the thing about Green Lanterns and their Sectors. Space is large. Like, really large. Meaning that Sectors are huge as well. And for an entire Sector, which can hold anywhere from 40 to 500 worlds, only two Green Lanterns act as first responders to any crisis the indigenous people cannot overcome.

Meaning that Green Lanterns had to be fast.

A rank and file GL could achieve speeds several times the speed of sound within atmosphere, due to the Ring absorbing friction and creating an aerodynamic envelope, among a myriad of other things. In space, these guys could reach speeds approaching lightspeed.

However, I have spent centuries studying the Three Forces that keep the universe together. Deep studies into gravitational and electromagnetic forces had eventually shown me how the energy of my ring could interact with those forces on the sub-atomic level, delving deeper into the science than just about every Green Lantern currently active.

So, when I breached Krypton's atmosphere and left their system in under ten minutes, Ring flared with an emerald light, enveloping us as space was twisted around us, and I slingshotted us across Time and Space.

From Sector 2813 to Sector 3601 in less than an hour.

The technology of Oa and the capabilities of Ring will never cease to amaze me.

Hearing gasps from the children around me, and from Thala who's standing next to me, I smile widely at their reactions to the planet below me.

It has changed a lot since I first landed there, now over 1700 years ago. For one, it's about fifty times larger than it was (making it nearly the same size as the sun, kept in orbit only by my technology in its core), it now has various ecosystems and mountain rages far more hospitable than Earth can even dream of, and it has four moons.

One moon is basically a single jungle. It's where I keep all the sentient beasts and plants that I've come across during my travels and that I have experimented on.

The second moon is clearly artificial, and looks somewhat like the Death Star, only it doesn't have a core. Instead, several bands crisscross each other, forming a sphere, while several spires tens of kilometers high stab towards the sky. It is where I study Technology.

The third moon is dark and covered in arrays and glyphs large enough to be seen from space, several temples and ziggurats large enough to be taken for mountains lining its surface. It is where I study Magic.

The fourth moon is still in construction. There's a core, covered in glyphs, but clearly artificial and heavy, like a Dwarven structure. Half a shell is formed above it, held up by a forest of metal struts, and again covered in runes, though even from here various large-scale machinery can be seen. It's where I attempt to create Magi-Tech.

Descending towards the first planet that I set foot upon in this universe, I spread out all of my four arms with an enormous grin on my face.

"Welcome! Welcome, to Stupendous McAwesomeface III!"


"C'mon Thala, I was lonely." I whined.

AN: This was a lot of fun to write, I'm really liking this setting! I'm going to keep it as a one-shot for now though, as there are a lot of other projects that I want to work on first, before returning to this one. Let me know what you think!

Fun Fact: The 2011 Green Lantern movie starring Ryan Reynolds was originally intended to be a comedy starring Jack Black as the lead role.

Special shout-out to my wonderful Patrons, IronmanMarkIV, justlovereadin, Daniel Dorfman, CJ Elsen, Sam, Carn Krauss, ReaperScythe, Thordur hrafn, Kyle Reese, Kahn, RLStained, Vu and Roman Krupkin. Extra-special mention for Shaman95, who came to me with the idea for this story in the first place. Thank you all so much!