Let There be Light!
Prelude: The War of Light
I am Douj Sal, Green Lantern of Sector 849.
I am recording my thoughts so that my story will be saved in the Book of Oa should I...
No. I refuse to die. I am a Green Lantern. And I will fulfill my duty. I will not become one of them.
For years I guarded my sector with pride, bringing justice and order to the sentient beings that live there. I heeded Lantern Kilowog's training, and it never failed me. I followed the laws of the Book of Oa, the wisdom of the Guardians of the Universe, and so the green light kept peace in Sector 849.
That was before the advent of the other lights.
First there was the Sinestro Corps, servants of the renegade Green Lantern, and wielders of the yellow impurity. Wielders of fear. They were us, but killers. Our opposites. What we were not, they were.
Half my sector fell on that first war. My home would have fallen too, if not for the Guardians unveiling the first law of ten. Our rings, previously unable to kill, were now authorized to use lethal force against the Sinestros. I was one of the many who did not question the new law. I am not ashamed to say I felt satisfied each time my constructs felled a soldier of fear. When each yellow ring spoke "Ring status report: Sinestro deceased. Sector scan initated for replacement sentient," a wave of gleeful emotion swept over me.
Emotion. That's what all of this is about, isn't it? In the beginning, the Guardians discovered that sentient life also gave birth to an entire spectrum of emotions, manifested as the diffferent composite colors in a beam of visible light. They chose to harness the balance within the spectrum, the green light of willpower, to become the weapon for their new corps. For untold millenia did the Green Lantern Corps uphold the oath to the Guardians, to police the universe and bring peace. The other colors and emotions of the spectrum remained unknown to the corps and even the rest of the universe. That is, until the rise of the Sinestro Corps.
With the power of fear discovered, and the universe suddenly assailed by warriors with yellow rings, knowledge of the spectrum became far too common. Almost instantly, more corps appeared from the far reaches of the universe, each of them wielding a different light. I thought the Sinestros were ruthless, but even they paled against the atrocious, murderous rage of the Red Lanterns. Once again, we were at war. The Guardians tasked us to quell any new surges of emotion, both within ourselves and out in the universe; why, we did not truly know at the time. What began with the cyborg Alpha Lanterns within our corps became a grand crusade against emotion throughout the cosmos. Regardless, our efforts were for naught, for soon, the rest of the spectrum came to be revealed.
The orange light of greed, the blue light of hope, the indigo light of compassion, and the violet light of love; all too soon they also had their own corps. One would think that the Guardians would ask to ally with at least the blues or the indigos. Instead, they are considered minor nuisances at best, equal enemies at worst. Too soon, we were all at war. Entire sectors fell in a matter of days. My own, 849, did so only a few cycles ago. Even my home is dead, my family claimed by the light. Which color it was, I do not know. Right now I do not even care.
Because right now my family is my enemy. In death, they are now ringwielders themselves, claimed by the Black.
I do not think that even the Guardians themselves suspected it. I had heard the rumors: a lost prophecy, a forbidden chapter in the Book of Oa, spoken to former Green Lantern Abin Sur of Sector 2814. It was the final chapter in the tales of the Green Lantern Corps: our end. Only the title of the chapter gave the slightest hint about our new enemy: The Blackest Night. If emotion, or rather, if life itself manifested through the presence of light, then the absence of light and emotion was death.
No one could have thought that death too had power. When the War of Light reached its apex, and the skies grew bright, a wave of dark nothingness swept over all, devouring light and life. Only the dead remained. And now the dead rise, and the dead come in an innumerable legion. They too wield rings of their own, their black auras manifesting as mighty hands. To say they are a wave of terror is rather innacurate, especially since now there is thought of Green Lanterns allying with the Sinestros to combat the dead. Instead, the dead are simply that, dead, lacking any emotion. They are now known as the Black Lantern Corps, and they seek to consume us all.
My sector partner has already joined the dead. But even in death he fights on, this time on the side of the black tide. My family too has joined the dead. Just now I watched as my son crushed a Red Lantern while I encased my wife in a cage. An Indigo warrior rushes in to try and redeem her, only to have her staff stolen by Agent Orange himself. All around me, the order that we Green Lanterns have striven to maintain collapses into a cacophony of chaos.
My former partner sees me and approaches. I see him too, and emotion wells up in me. The Guardians would castigate me for feeling, but against the emotionless dead, I feel emotions, whichever one it is, are the ultimate defiance against the tide.
I am Douj Sal, Green Lantern of Sector 849. I will fulfill my oath.
"Ring status report: Green Lantern Douj Sal of Sector 849 deceased. Sector scan for replacement sentient initiated."
"No viable candidates detected in sector. Fail-safe protocol engaged. Returning to Oa."
"Warning. Orange Lantern in pursuit. Begin evasive action."
"You do not have the ability to overcome great fear. You have not been chosen."
"Warning. Yellow and Violet energy detected."
"Warning. Black energy detected."
"Emergency. Universal barrier breached. Entering the Bleed."
"Coordinates lost. Contact with Central Power Battery lost. Contact with Lantern Mogo lost. Contact with Oa lost."
"Exit from Bleed confirmed. Unable to identify universe out of the Fifty-Two. Attempting to reestablish contact with Oa."
"Warning. Partial memory core corruption."
"Fatal error. Contact with Oa failed. Initiate emergency protocols."
"Coordinates confirmed. Closest planet identified as equivalent of Lantern Hal Jordan's of Sector 2814."
"Sector scan initiated for emergency replacement."
"Candidate sentient confirmed. Subject has the willpower to overcome great fear."
"Target sentient chosen."