Mass Effect: Green Lantern's Light
Chapter 1: Prophecy
In brightest day
In blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power
Green Lantern's Light
-Green Lantern Corps' Oath
Long ago... before there was order. There was chaos.
The universe was consumed by the forces of evil, corruption and anarchy. These forces grew so powerful that they threatened to tear the very fabric of the universe asunder.
Immortal beings known as the Guardians of the Universe took action and harnessed the emerald energy of willpower to form power rings to act as their instruments of justice and order.
From their world, Oa, in the center of the universe, the Guardians divided the cosmos into 3600 sectors, each of which received a power ring. The ring then chose a champion who was tasked with upholding order and justice throughout the universe.
It is said that those chosen by the rings were beings without fear, and possessed an unbreakable will. The Guardians called them their strength. To the universe, they were called...
The Green Lantern Corp
5 years ago...
From space, the planet Ysmault had the appearance of a balled-up lump of decaying flesh. On the surface, the planet's surface was exactly as one would describe hell. Rivers of blood, red plasma and lava flowed across the planet's surface. The landscape was covered in scorched mountains and ground. Those who fought and lost in the war between the Green Lantern Corp and the Empire of Tears were either fused to the ground, forming grotesque living statues, or were crucified.
Abin Sur, one of the most renowned Green Lantern in the group's history, carried an escaped convict named Atrocitus in green construct restraints back to the stalk where he was once crucified. Atrocitus was one of the founders of the Empire of Tears and the Five Inversions. The purpose of the Five was the complete destruction of the Green Lantern Corp for reasons unknown. Atrocitus appearance was akin to a muscular red-skin hornless demon. He was very large at roughly eight feet tall.
This escape was his third since the end of the war.
"I don't see why you continue to try and escape and kill innocents, creature," Abin said to Atrocitus.
"The Lanterns are far from innocent," Atrocitus snarled. "They serve the true villains of this universe: the Guardians. Anyone who allies with them is an enemy to me."
Abin approached the five stalks that were reserved for the Five Inversions. There on the occupied stalks were: Qull, Qurr, Worz and Kultonius. Abin landed on the ground and raised Atrocitus up to the empty thorn stalk. Abin created five long pins that stabbed through Atrocitus' arms, stomach and legs, pinning him to the stalk.
"Any enemy of the Corp is an enemy to me, demon," Abin declared. "Our very destiny is to protect this universe from any threat to the innocent. Your destiny on the other hand is here, spending the rest of your existence pinned to this stalk."
"We have spoken to destiny through our blood rituals and we know that is not true," Qull said to the Lantern. "We know your destiny. We know the Corp's destiny. And we know the universe's destiny. We can share... if you're willing to listen."
Abin stared at the disgusting creature in contemplation before saying, "I'm listening."
Qull looked to Atrocitus and said, "Share with the Lantern knowledge of what lies ahead."
A satisfied smile came across Atrocitus' face. "In a time not too far into the future, your ring will fail you at a most critical time. In that moment, you will die. Your ring will go off and find your successor and he will surpass all of your accomplishments. Though while your ring searches for him, my restraints will be weakened and once again I'll be free to take my revenge on the Corp."
"Everyone dies, especially in my line of work," Abin said confidently. "And if my successor will surpass my accomplishments, then it would be no problem for him to put you right back here."
"Your death will come much sooner than you may think. But that is just your destiny. And my escape is not as much of a concern considering what lies ahead. I know of the destiny that awaits not just your Corp but of all life in the universe. Still care to listen?"
"I do." Abin approach Atrocitus and stood right in front of him.
"Very well. Shortly after you die a war will break out. A war of light where emotions will run rampant and instability will come to the universe. Rage, avarice and fear will engulf this universe and bring your Corp to its knees. Red will weaken it and yellow will finish it off. The signal that the Corp has fallen will be when Ranx, the sentient city, destroys Mogo preventing your rings from finding new bearers. This war of light however will signal the beginning of an event that will destroy all life in the cosmos. A prophecy as old as existence: Blackest Night."
"That line in your oath is not irrelevant to reality. It is the name of the event that will wipe out all life in the universe. The dead will rise and nothing will be safe from it. In a few years time, a galaxy long hidden from the eyes of the Guardians will play as the epicentre of these events. A man who was once honoured as a protector will fall to the evil that he tried to fight against. He'll sacrifice much of himself to find a way to combat these forces, but in doing so he will become nothing more than their puppet. But they will not be unopposed. Another will rise up to strike him down. This man is the protector's exact opposite. He will be your successor. This man will delay what is to come, but not forever. This great evil will come and annihilate everything within his galaxy just like it has done before for eons."
"If this evil has done this before then why are we still here if they can eliminate all life in the universe?"
"It has been searching."
"A means to eliminate all life in the universe. I do not know what it is, but it is hidden in the lost galaxy. What I do know is that this cycle, this unstoppable force will find what they are looking for. When they do, this universe will return to what it once was: Darkness. That is what's to come."
"Then I will warn the Guardians of the War of Light and Blackest Night."
Atrocitus chuckled. "No amounts of warnings will stop it."
"We shall see," Abin said before flying away.
"Keep your ring charged, Lantern."
2 months ago...
Hackett walked into Udina's office on the Presidium where Captain Anderson and Ambassador Udina waited. He walked over to Udina's desk and sat down on the chair next to Anderson.
"Glad you could finally join us, Admiral," Udina said.
"Considering the importance of this decision, I had to be here," Hackett said. "Who are our candidates?"
"I have narrowed it down to a couple possible candidates, but Anderson isn't too happy with them."
"They aren't right for the job," Anderson interjected.
"Who are the candidates?" Hackett asked.
"The first possible candidate is Colonel Jane Wilkes," Udina presented the file to Hackett. "She was on Akuze when that thresher maw hit and wiped out her squad. Wilkes managed to survive for days on that planet before being rescued."
"You forget to mention her psychological evaluation which mentioned that she wasn't ready for front line fighting. She still has nightmares from that incident and has panic attacks. As good of a soldier she is, making her a Spectre may push her over the edge with the responsibilities that come with the job."
"The other choice is Major Ivan Witte..."
"Forget that bastard!" Anderson roared.
"He got the job done on Torfan despite the Alliance's assessment," Udina pointed out.
"He got the job done at the cost of his men's lives," Hackett said. "I know that man well. He's a ruthless monster who feels no remorse for his actions and has little love for non-humans. I don't think he would be a good person to have dealing with the Council."
"If not these two, then who?" Udina asked in an irritated tone.
"If I may suggest," Hackett offered. He passed Udina a file. "Lieutenant Commander Hal Jordan-Shepard."
"Shepard's a good soldier," Anderson said. "I would support him without any problems."
"What can you tell me about him?" Udina asked while opening his file to read.
"Shepard has spent most of his life going from space station to station due to his parents being in the Alliance," Hackett said. "His family has been a part of the Alliance since its formation. His grandfather Major Tom Jordan was a war hero during the First Contact war."
"What about his father?" Udina asked. "I see that his mother, Hannah Shepard, currently serves as the Executive Officer of the SSV Kilmanjaro, but his father is deceased."
Hackett sighed sadly. "Martin Jordan was a civilian test pilot for the Alliance. When Shepard was ten, he witnessed his father die in a crash. The fighter jet had a malfunction in its power line causing an explosion in the right wing. It was pretty hard on him and his family losing him like that."
"You disagree with my choice of Wilkes, yet you suggest another person with emotional trauma."
"Shepard has passed psychological evaluation and has been Okayed for frontline fighting," Anderson answered. "He's able to handle the pressure that comes with his job. Shepard proved that during the Elysium Blitz by holding off enemy forces single handily."
"That colony still stands because of him," Hackett added.
"Wait, wait, wait," Udina said while holding his hand up. "Have either of you seen his disciplinary record? It's longer than his service record."
"It's mostly small time offenses." Anderson defended.
"Getting into fights with other soldiers, insubordination, AWOL!" Udina voice increased in volume as he read off the offenses.
"The insubordination and AWOL charges were levied against him when he refused a retreat order on Elysium," Hackett explained. "He was cleared of all charges after the Blitz after his act of heroism. Those fights he got into with other soldiers... Well, Shepard is a... passionate person. He actually likes the other races and occasionally gets into fights with other soldiers who have a strong human-centric opinion."
"This file screams unprofessional," Udina argued.
"He may be occasionally unprofessional, but he a damn good soldier who gets the job done and he's a war hero," Anderson countered. "Shepard is perfect for the job."
Udina cupped his face with his hands. "I'll make the call." He rested his hands on his desk. "I just hope that we don't regret this."
Abin Sur flew through dark space on his way back to his homeworld, Ungara. He had recently saved a ship that was stranded by repairing it allowing the ship to continue its journey. The travel back to his homeworld was uneventful, until an alarm went off on his ring.
"ALERT: ANOMALY DETECTED."
"What is the anomaly?" Abin asked his ring.
"UNKNOWN GALAXY DETECTED."
Abin looked at the nearest galaxy. "What do you mean unknown?"
"GALAXY IS NOT LISTED. IT IS CLOAKED BY AN UNKNOWN FIELD MAKING IT UNDETECTABLE OUTSIDE A CERTAIN RANGE."
In a few years time, a galaxy long hidden from the eyes of the Guardians will play as the epicentre of these events.
The words of Atrocitus replayed in Abin's head.
"Interesting... Ring call Sinestro."
Sinestro's image appeared above Abin's ring. "Abin, my friend. I thought you were on your way home for some well deserved leave."
"I was but my ring detected an anomaly."
"What kind of anomaly?"
"An unlisted galaxy."
"I'm looking right at it, Sinestro. According to my ring, there's some sort of field preventing it from being detected at long range. I'm going to investigate it."
"Are you sure that is wise?"
"Whatever this field is, it is powerful enough to cloak itself from the Guardians. I would think that is extremely necessary to investigate. It might be linked to the Blackest Night prophecy."
Sinestro sighed. "Abin, that prophecy is nothing more than fabrications by demons."
"Is it?" Abin said. "So it's just coincidence that just a few years after we spoke, I found a hidden galaxy. I can't believe that. I am just calling you to notify someone in case something does happen when I investigate this galaxy. You should have my coordinates."
"Very well. Just be careful. There's no telling what you will find."
"Of course. I'll call you as soon as my investigation is complete. I believe that the Guardians will want to know about this galaxy."
"Indeed. I'll notify them right away. Good luck." Sinestro's image disappeared from sight.
Hal Jordan-Shepard sat at his desk finishing his latest report about the patrol they currently are doing in the Terminus system. Despite the clashes he has had in the past with the Council it appears that they are finally taking him seriously and are actively trying to do something about the reaper threat. It has been a month since the attack on the Citadel and that he, along with his team, defeated Saren, Sovereign and their geth servants thus saving the Citadel and the Council. Things have calmed down since the battle and currently their mission is to do a sweep-up job of the remaining geth forces that are outside of the Perseus Veil. With everything calm now, he can finally devote his time towards someone he has had feelings for, for a while. Hal heard knocking at his door.
The door opened and Tali walked into his quarters. "You wanted to speak with me, Shepard?"
"Tali I told you that when we're off duty you can call me Hal."
"Sorry, force of habit."
"It's alright. And yes I did want to speak with you. Please sit."
Tali took a chair and sat down next to Hal. She felt her heart beat a little faster being in his presence. Despite being the top Alliance soldier, this man was somewhat unprofessional and goofy, and she loved that. This man was very kind and always found a way to brighten her day or make her laugh.
"I wanted to thank you for staying on the Normandy even after Sovereign's attack on the Citadel."
"Hal, I know just how important your mission is. If the reapers succeed in their plans then we are all doomed and I know you will be the one to stop them."
"I really appreciate your faith in me. You really have been there for me through the worst of it. Even when you have so much to lose being the Admiral's daughter."
"No, thank you," Hal corrected. "Tali... I wanted to say this during the mission but I didn't want to add stress to an already stressful time, but everything has calmed down." Hal reached for her hands and held them. He smiled. "I wanted to tell you that you have become a very important person to me and that I have feelings for you that go beyond friendship."
"Y-You do?" Tali said in shock. "I would never believe that you would have feelings for-"
"A wonderful, intelligent woman?"
"A quarian," Tali finished. "Hal, a relationship with a quarian is difficult at best, impossible at worst. I can't leave my suit without risking serious illness. There are many women out there who would be easier to be in a relationship with."
"Tali, I can understand if you're afraid of this, but I don't want anyone else. I want you, and I'll do whatever I can to make this work between us. I want to be with you."
"I-I can understand if... Oh, thank you. Just... Thank you." Tali leaned forward and hugged. "You have no idea how much what you said means to me."
Abin was able to gain access to what this galaxy called the extranet. The history of this galaxy astounded him. These people were isolated from the rest of the universe for eons. They were forced to fight for their very survival all that time. He could see the hardships these people were forced to endure on their own. What worried him was, that fifty thousand years ago, a race of beings known as the protheans suddenly vanished and the only explanation is worrisome.
A human soldier by the name Lieutenant Commander Hal Jordan-Shepard said that the reapers, a race of sentient machines, were responsible for their extinction. Not just the extinction of their race, but the extinction of every race that has ever lived in this galaxy. The reapers would instigate this campaign of genocide every fifty thousand years.
According to the records, this human was responsible for not only saving this galaxy's government, at the cost of his own people, and their Citadel, but also stopped the reaper fleet from coming back. In some of the Alliance reports, mostly by Admiral Hackett, this act has only delayed the reapers arrival.
All of this was foretold by Atrocitus years ago. Abin came to the conclusion that the reapers are the bringers of Blackest Night.
Abin made a mental note to find Commander Shepard as soon as possible. The Guardians will want to know about the reapers and Shepard will likely be needed to go before them to inform them about the threat.
Abin's ring started flashing a warning. He went in the direction where the ring detected the danger and found a medium-sized ship cruising over a white planet. In the distance behind the ship he saw another that was a cruiser-class vessel.
'Time to introduce myself,' he thought.
"Disengaging FTL drives," Joker announced as the Normandy dropped out of FTL. "Emissions sink active. Board is green, we are running silent."
"We're wasting our time," Pressley dismissed while looking over operations reports. "Four days searching up and down this sector and we haven't found any evidence of geth activity."
"Three ships went missing here in the past month," Joker reminded him. "Something happened to them."
"My money's on slavers. The Terminus system is crawling with them."
"Picking up something on the long range scanner," one of the co-pilots notified the two. She looked at the LADAR trying to examine what has been detected. "Unidentified vessel. Hmm... Looks like a cruiser."
"Doesn't match any known signatures," Joker observed.
In the distance a vessel appeared from the glare from the planet's horizon.
"Cruiser is changing course," she said. "Now on intercept trajectory."
"Can't be!" Pressley argued. "Stealth systems are engaged. There's no way a get ship could possibly-"
"It's not the geth!" Joker gasped. "Brace for evasive manoeuvres!"
The cannon of the unsymmetrical, organic-like vessel charged up in a yellow light. The cannon fired. The Normandy tried evading the particle beam but the left engine was hit by the attack. Inside several explosions went off from the attack. Pressley's console exploded instantly killing him.
"Pressley!" the co-pilot screamed. She tried to get up but her console exploded killing her as well. Several fires burned in the cockpit.
"Kinetic barriers are down!" Joker read off the warnings to the other co-pilot. He ran through many menus and controls to respond to the damage and to evade the attacks. "Multiple hull breaches. Weapons off-line. Somebody get that fire out!"
Down below the decks, Shepard and Tali rushed out of his quarters. Shepard ran to the back of the sleeping pod area and checked the ship's status as he placed his helmet on.
"Hal!" Tali called to get his attention. "Will the Alliance here in time?"
Hal's helmet hissed as the seals clamped down. "The Alliance won't abandon us. We just need to hold on." Hal picked up a fire extinguisher and started putting out one of the many fires that were blazing. "Get everyone on the escape shuttles."
"Joker is still in the cockpit and you're here," Tali argued. "If you and him not leaving, neither am I."
A small explosion went off which caused Hal to stumble towards Tali. "I need you to make sure the crew gets out in the escape pods. I'll take care of Joker and get out." Hal turned his attention to the fire and started spraying again.
Hal looked back and said firmly, "Tali, go. Now."
Tali was hesitant, but she knew to follow his orders. "Aye, aye."
Hal activated the ship's fire suppressant systems.
Tali caught up to a group of crew members evacuating. Tali stood outside of the escape pod and waved them to get in. "Everyone get in. Go, go, go! Chakwas and several others jumped into the pod."
One crewmember tried to make a run for the pod, but an explosion went off sending her into the wall. The impact broke her back and neck killing her. Tali shook her head and went inside the pod. She activated the pod and launched out. 'Please get out, Hal'
Hal felt the ship shake. There was no one left on the ship to save except for Joker. It was time to abandon ship. He turned and moved to reach the cockpit.
Abin watched in horror as this cruiser ambushed this frigate. In one attack the ship was hopeless to get away or even defend itself. It was obvious that the cruiser was looking to destroy this ship outright. He flew towards the battle.
Something worried him about that ship.
A yellow energy weapon.
Abin reached the battlefield and fired on the cruiser with his power ring. The ring caused some explosions but did fairly little damage to the hull.
"That can't be," he muttered. Abin create a construct of a six-pack rocket launcher and fired a dozen salvos at the ship. The attacks damaged the ship, creating craters in its hull, but not to the effect that he would have usually have gotten against any other ship. He then created a construct of a saw blade and tried cutting into the ship. This was more successful as the blade started cutting into the hull causing some serious damage.
The vessel took notice of the attacks that the Lantern was committing. It turned its focus from the frigate to him. Its beam cannon charged up.
"God," Abin gasped.
The cruiser fired its yellow beam weapon. Abin quickly formed a green shield. The beam of energy impacted his shield. The power of this ship push Abin's will to its limits. He saw cracks start to form in his construct as the yellow energy started to corrupt his green will.
"In brightest day," he groaned. "In blackest night. No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might. Beware my power! Green La-aaaaah!" Abin's shield shattered. Only some of the yellow beam was redirected. One fraction of the beam went right through his chest incapacitating him.
Blood came out from his chest wound. It froze from the coldness of space when it left the field of energy around his body. This was it. His wound was far too serious for him to survive. Atrocitus was right. His ring failed him at a critical moment. Abin needed to find someone else to take his ring. He pulled it off of his finger. The energy field around his body would stay there until either he finds a liveable planet or the ring itself ran out of power. Abin held his ring in his right palm. "Go... Find someone with great willpower."
The ring launched from his palm to search for an individual with a strong will.
Hal walked through the mass effect field that kept the cockpit pressurized. He rushed to Joker. "Joker, we need to get out of here!"
Joker was wearing his emergency space mask to provide him with oxygen in a vacuum. "No! I won't abandon the Normandy. I can still save her!"
"The Normandy is lost, Joker. There's no use in going down with the ship."
Joker sighed. "Yeah, okay. Help me get out of here." As Hal lifted Joker out of the chair, Joker noticed the proximity alarm. "Look out they're making another pass!"
The cruiser had its sights back on the Normandy with the Green Lantern out of the way. It fired its beam at the Normandy. The beam annihilated much of the top deck and the CIC. It was now or never for getting off of the Normandy. Shepard roughly grabbed Joker's arm, breaking it.
"Ow! Watch the arm!"
Hal moved Joker towards the escape pod and got him inside. The Normandy broke apart making his footing unstable. Hal was launched back towards the wall. He grabbed the corner and held himself to the ground. The vessel's beam weapon was between him and the escape pod. There was no way for him to reach it.
"Commander!" Joker called out to him.
The ship shook making him loose his footing again. Just before he floated away, Hal punched the escape pod panel allowing it to launch.
"Shepard!" Joker screamed before the doors closed in front of him.
An explosion went off sending Hal into a wall. He could feel many of his bones break from the impact. Hal couldn't feel his legs. His back must have broken. Hal briefly blacked out from the pain. He flung out of the Normandy like a rag doll. The pain was agonizing. The cruiser fired one last beam ensuring the Normandy exploded completely. Hal watched as his ship was destroyed and the cruiser, that did it, quickly escaped using FTL.
Hal felt his air getting stale fast. He heard a hiss from within his suit from a leak in his air tube. Hal tried making attempts to cover the leak.
"I can't die," he said. "Not now! I-I have to stop the reapers. I have to be there with Tali. I have to live. I have to live! I must live!"
Just when Hal's air was getting close to zero, he saw a green light head towards him. The light stopped right in front of him and surrounded him in a green bubble. Suddenly he was able to breathe again. The pain was still there from his broken bones and burns, but being able to breathe was good. The bubble carried him away from his dead ship. Hal saw that a green ring was doing all of this.
'What type of ring is that?' he thought. 'And where do I get one?'
The ring took a minute to bring him to a body that was floating in space. The bubble pulled the person in. Shepard was shocked to see this person as he was not of a known race. The man looked very similar to a human, but his skin was red and he had no hair. The alien had a large hole in his chest.
The unknown alien struggled to sit upright. "Ring, b-bring us to Oa. E-Emergency protocol."
The bubble flew off.
"W-What is your name?" the alien asked.
"Hal," Hal answered. "Hal Jordan."
"Y-You have been chosen by the ring. Chosen to be a Green Lantern. To protect this universe against the forces of evil. The other Lanterns... w-will train you. You must... You must let the Guardians know of the reapers. You must let them know..." Abin's eyes slowly closed as his life left him.
Hal wasn't far behind with his injuries. He was fading in and out of consciousness and even hallucinating. Hal could swear he was seeing a distortion in space ahead.
"Hal Jordan!" Tali called Joker's escape pod. She was in a panic after seeing the ship blow up. "Hal, are you there?"
The comm. line was open but there was silence on the other end. Tali could hear someone breathing on the other end. "Please answer me."
"Tali..." Joker answered. "It's Joker..."
"Joker, where's Hal?"
Joker was again silent.
"Tali, I'm sorry. He... Hal didn't make it."
"No, he can't be..." Tali said in denial.
"He didn't make it into the pod. Hal sacrificed himself to save me."
Tali collapsed on her knees. Chakwas got out of her seat and held Tali as she sobbed.
"No!" she cried out. "He can't be-"
"Shh..." Chakwas cooed. "I'm so sorry, dear."
"He told me... He finally... Why?"
Chakwas cradled Tali in her arms. While crying in Chakwas' arms Tali could swear she saw a green light leave the Normandy.
"WARNING INCOMING LANTERN: EMERGENCY PROTOCOL ENGAGED," Sinestro's ring notified.
"Can you tell me which Lantern?" he asked while heading towards the exit zone of the wormhole nearby Oa.
"LANTERN OF SECTOR 2814. CRITICAL INJURIES REPORTED."
"Damn it!" Sinestro cursed. 'What the hell happened, Abin?'
Sinestro saw a green opaque bubble emerged from the wormhole. "I need all available Lanterns to meet me down at the landing zone to get Abin medical treatment," he called in through the ring.
Sinestro flew over to the bubble and grabbed it using his ring. He carried it to the landing site where three Lanterns waited. The three there was Ch'p, Boodikka and Tomar-Re. Sinestro landed on the ground. Once the bubble touched the ground, the energy dissipated revealing its two passengers.
"Abin!" Sinestro cried out while crouching next to his friend. He saw the large hole in his chest.
Ch'p scanned Abin with his ring. The results came back right away detailing his condition. "I'm sorry, Sinestro. Abin's not with us anymore." He then went over to the unknown alien who was now wearing Abin's ring. Ch'p scanned him. "This one is still alive, but his vitals are failing."
"Get him to medical, now!" Sinestro ordered. "I want answers and the only one who can answer them is that man."
"Right away," Boodikka said. Tomar-Re and she formed a stretcher under the man and carried him towards the medical bay.
Ch'p used his ring to create a Lantern coffin. "I really am sorry, Sinestro. He was one of the best."
"He was THE best," Sinestro corrected. They both shared a solemn moment staring at the former Lantern. "Ch'p have you ever heard of an entire galaxy being unlisted."
"An entire galaxy? That's impossible."
"Apparently not. Abin contacted me not long ago and notified me that he discovered a galaxy that was hidden from us. He went to investigate it, and now he's gone."
"How is it even possible to hide an entire galaxy?"
"I don't know, Ch'p, but that man is at the center of all this."
Boodikka and Tomar-Re stood on the other end of the glass that views the operating room where two Lanterns, certified in medicine, started to work on the man before them.
"We first remove his armour," one of them said. She formed a circular saw blade with her ring and started cutting through his armour. First the helmet was cut in half and then the base of the helmet was cut around. The helmet fell apart on the table. The assistant took the two helmet parts and placed them on the table to the side.
"He has the look of a warrior," Boodikka stated.
The doctor cut down the center of the armour, then down vertically each leg and arm. She continued her cuts until every part of the armour was removed from the body. The man was given anaesthesia upon his armour removal to put him to sleep while they operated on him. Upon revealing the man, they just realized just how severe his injuries are. He had cuts and burns all over his body. Some areas of his skin were burn right off leaving just muscle tissue exposed. Some of his bones punctured through his skin. The man's skin gave off steam from his burns.
"My god," Tomar-Re gasped. "How the hell is he still alive?"
"He must have a strong will," Boodikka said. "Would explain why the ring chose him."
"We'll need to compensate with implants," the doctor noted. "The implant at the base of his neck needs to be replaced. Other implants will be needed to promote skin, bone and muscle growth. Several to reinforce the spin. Another for his brain to fix any brain damage."
"Then let's get started then," the assistant said.
Sinestro stood before the Guardians with Abin's ring in his hand. They were discussing the recent event. The Guardians, immortal beings who watched over the universe, stood on an elevated circular table to look down at those who were in audience.
"Abin Sur was a great loss to our Corp," Ganthet said. "He was one of our best Lanterns. But his sacrifice was not in vain. Thanks to him he has rediscovered a galaxy that we thought was long gone."
"So you do know of this galaxy," Sinestro said.
"We did, but the location of this galaxy was lost over a billion years ago when a calamity hit the universe. We believed it would have stayed lost, but apparently we were wrong."
"Why was this galaxy's existence stricken from our records then?"
"It was not intentionally stricken from our records."
"The cataclysm happened before we formed the Green Lantern Corp," one of the Guardians answered. "The universe was in chaos and in that chaos that galaxy disappeared along with any knowledge of it."
"But now we know it wasn't destroyed," Ganthet continued. "Abin Sur's ring has given us insight of this galaxy's history, and it is disturbing."
"What have you found?" Sinestro asked.
"Connect your ring to Abin Sur's ring and allow it to transfer its newfound knowledge to you."
Sinestro pressed Abin's ring against his. A green spark went between the two allowing him to absorb all the knowledge that Abin was able to gather from the unknown galaxy. "Interesting, but disturbing. So that was a human that came in with Abin Sur."
"Commander Hal Jordan-Shepard," Ganthet added. "According to the Intel that Abin gathered, Hal Jordan was responsible for saving the Citadel and Council from being destroyed. His record speaks fairly highly of him."
"Would explain why the ring chose him as Abin's successor," one of the Guardians said.
"Abin will never truly be replaced," Sinestro said. "And this human has yet to prove himself worthy to be a Lantern."
"We were able to gather footage of Abin Sur's last moments and saw what was responsible for his death. Look."
Abin's ring played a large green hologram of Abin's final moments. The replay paused on the ship.
"As you can see, this ship is resistant against direct blasts from a power ring," Ganthet commented. "According to the ring's analysis, this ship used a yellow energy beam weapon."
"Basically a ship that is able to eliminate Green Lanterns," Sinestro concluded.
"That would be one of the abilities of this ship, but we doubt that this is the ship's true purpose. There have been no Lanterns in the Milky Way galaxy for over a billion years. This ship was after Commander Shepard. If the reapers are real then it could mean that this ship works for them. This ship's existence alone raises our concern. We need to ensure that Shepard lives and wakes up."
"His abilities as a Lantern will also be tested once he has awakened," Sayd said.
"If he wakes," Sinestro corrected. "The man was in poor shape when he came in with Abin."
"Then this will be his first test to pass in order to join us," Ganthet said. "We will see just how strong his will is. You are dismissed Sinestro."
"Thank you," Sinestro said before leaving the room.
"I'm concerned is that this lost galaxy is in line with the Blackest Night prophecy."
"I thought we agreed that that prophecy was nothing more than fantasy," one of the Guardians said.
"At the time we did, but current events state otherwise," Sayd said. "We now have to consider that Atrocitus was right."
"Atrocitus is nothing more than a terrorist. The Blackest Night is nothing more than a myth."
"Then why do we keep it into the book of Oa?" Ganthet asked.
"It was added without our knowledge by Abin Sur as a hidden chapter," another Guardian argued. "I still don't agree that it should stay there."
"Atrocitus has made accurate predictions before with his blood rituals," Scar said. "They may be a primitive form of seeing visions, but it is fairly accurate."
"The prophecy was added on the possibility that the vision may be correct," the sceptical Guardian said. "But this is nothing more than coincidence right now. I don't want fear to spread throughout the Corp based on nothing more than a terrorist's possible vision. So I suggest we do not jump to conclusions."
Sinestro entered the medical bay where Ch'p, Boodikka and Tomar-Re watched the operation.
"How is the human doing?" Sinestro asked.
"Is that what he is?" Tomar-Re asked back.
"Yes. Next time you all charge up your Lantern, the knowledge gathered by Abin's ring will be bestowed upon you. So, how is he?"
"Barely holding out," Ch'p answered. "His injuries are being repaired, but they were extensive. A lesser man would already be dead."
"What can you tell us about this... human?" Boodikka asked while testing the word.
"His name is Lieutenant Commander Hal Jordan-Shepard. Apparently he's a hero in his galaxy. According to the reports, he saved his galaxy from utter destruction."
"Depends who you ask. According to the news reports, he stopped a rogue Spectre, a soldier for his galaxy's government, and his army of synthetics. According to him, they were just puppets of their true enemy, the reapers, an ancient race of sentient machines that have been orchestrating a cycle of extinction every fifty thousand years."
"And what do you believe?" Tomar-Re asked.
"I believe we should wait until he wakes up so we can question him, before we make any assumptions."
An alarm went off in the operating room that caught the Lanterns' attention. The monitor that the doctor created using her ring was showing the human's pulse rate dropping.
"His vitals are failing!" the doctor said. She looked to her assistant. "Inject him with the stimulant!"
"Yeah, m'am," he said while jabbing the stimulant syringe into Hal's chest. The assistant saw no change in Jordan's status. "It's not working!"
Jordan's vitals faded then flat-lined. The doctor formed shock paddles with her ring and pressed them against his chest. "Clear!" A jolt went through Hal causing his body to arch. The monitor still emitted a constant beep. "Clear!" Another jolt went through the Spectre's body. Again the vitals were still flat-lined. "Clear!" The monitor's squeal persisted.
The doctor let out a sigh of defeat. She removed the monitor with her ring. "I'm calling it. Time of death: 1154 Oa standard time."
"It looks like the ring chose incorrectly," Sinestro stated.
Hal found himself floating in an abyss. It was dark everywhere. "No. I can't die now. My galaxy needs me! No! I have to stay! I have to stop the reapers! I refuse to die!"
A white light appeared in the distance. It grew larger and larger as it drew Shepard in towards it. Soon Shepard saw the white light form into a symbol. The symbol was a circle and inside was a triangle pointing downwards. Above the triangle was an arch and seven lines pointing outwards from the triangle like shining light rays.
A creature appeared behind the symbol. Shepard has never seen anything like it. Its body was pure white and skeletal in natural. Two feathery wings came out from its back.
'An angel?' Shepard thought.
"THIS IS NOT YOUR TIME, HAL JORDAN," the entity said. "YOU STILL HAVE A MISSION TO DO. YOU MUST BUILD A TEAM OF WARRIORS. YOU MUST STOP THE REAPERS. STOP BLACKEST NIGHT."
"Yes, I must," Hal said passionately. "Let me do it."
"HAL JORDAN-SHEPARD OF EARTH. LIVE."
Bright white light emerged from Shepard's body in the operating room. It was so blindly that everyone around him had to use their forearm to block it. After a short while, the light died down allowing the Lanterns to look. Abin's ring flew from Sinestro's hand and went into the operating room. It went onto Shepard's middle finger on his right hand.
The Lanterns were able to look at Hal again. He was breathing regularly now. The scars and wounds on his body were healed.
"What just happened?" Tomar-Re gasped.
"I have never seen anything like that before," Ch'p said. He looked to Sinestro. "Have you, Sinestro?"
"Never," he answered plainly. "But now I'm really interested in this human."
"Did he just will himself alive?" Boodikka asked out loud.
"I don't know." Sinestro then called through the intercom. "How is the patient, doctor? Did you get any readings from that light?"
"A bit busy being blinded," the doctor chided. "Let me just check his vitals." She scanned Hal with her ring. "His vitals have stabilized. I have never seen anything like it. Just a moment ago, he was as dead as you can get. Though he may be alive, he's currently in a coma."
"Great..." Sinestro muttered sarcastically. "How serious are we talking about here?"
"Just give me a moment to do a few tests to find out," she snipped at him. The doctor formed an EEG machine with her ring and attached wires to Shepard's head. She then formed a reflex hammer and gave Hal a smack under his right knee cap. Hal's leg jerked.
The doctor went over to Hal's head and opened one of his eyes. She formed a small flashlight and shone it in his eye. His pupil dilated. She checked the other eye which had the same response. She smiled and nodded. "Well, I have good news. The coma is very minor. Shepard still has reflexes meaning motor functions are undamaged. His pupils dilate when exposed to light meaning there's no damage to his optic nerves. The EEG monitor shows his brain is displaying regular activity. If anything, he's dreaming. I can't give you an exact time when he will wake up. Could be days. Could be weeks. But he will wake up. He faced a lot of trauma today. His body needs to recover. Once it does, I'm sure he will wake up ready for duty."
Sinestro nodded in understanding. "Good job, doctor."
"So he'll live," Boodikka said in a sigh of relief. "That's good."
"So what do we do now?" Tomar-Re asked out loud.
"We wait until this Shepard wakes up," Sinestro answered. "Until then, we still have our duty as Green Lanterns." He turned to the doctor. "Notify us as soon as there is any change."
"Yes, Sinestro," the doctor replied.
1 month later...
Liara sat at her desk in her new office on Illium. She was working with new lead in locating a Shadow Broker base. Weeks ago she went through hell and back in order to recover Shepard's body. Liara lost a good friend, Feron, in her efforts to recover it.
When she finally recovered his body, she handed him over to Cerberus. A move she has felt guilty of ever since. She felt like she betrayed Shepard by handing him over to the enemy over the possibility that they might be able to bring him back. Liara can only hope that she did the right thing and everything she has done was not all for naught.
"Doctor T'Soni, you have a new message," Nyxeris announced over the comm.
"Thank you, Nyxeris. Who is it from?"
"Doesn't say here. Though I think you might want to read it right away."
Liara opened the message and her eyes widen.
Doctor Liara T'Soni,
We regret to inform you that after extensive DNA testing we have confirmed that the body you recovered was not that of Commander Shepard. It was the body of Crewman Marcus Grieco, one of the Normandy's crew. We have confirmed Intel that this was not of the Shadow Broker's doing as he was just as convinced that this was Shepard as well. As of now we have no knowledge of Shepard's remains. At this point, we believe his remains may have been destroyed upon re-entry into Alchera's atmosphere. We are sorry for everything you have been through in recovering this body.
The message was to the point... and devastating. Liara didn't even immediately react to the message. She just calmly and stiffly called Nyxeris over her comm. "Nyxeris please cancel all appointments today, and you may leave for the day right after."
As soon as the comm. went silent Liara started choking and her shoulders jerked. She then slammed her fists on her desk and cried out. Everything that she has been through was all for nothing. She lost a friend and now... And now that Shepard is permanently dead, the chances of defeating the reapers are almost impossible. The Council covered up everything he has done along with the reapers. With the original team split up, the duty towards fighting the reapers falls upon her. The only chance she has now is finding the Shadow Broker and kill him.
"We wasted all of this time for nothing!" Miranda exclaimed while speaking to the Illusive Man. The two were in his personal lair. The room was empty save for his chair and the display of the local system's sun.
"The loss of Shepard is a void that can never be truly filled by anyone else," the Illusive Man said. "But we cannot give up now. There are other ways to fight against the reapers. For now, we will try doing more sweeps of Alchera and its orbit."
"It's likely that it burnt up in re-entry."
"Possible, but I'm not giving up that easily. If we are still unable to find him, then we'll have to move on."
"Humanity's, and this galaxy's, chances against the reapers are greatly reduced without Shepard. Already, since Shepard's death, the Council has been sweeping everything Shepard has done under the rug. They aren't going to do anything."
"So we must rely on ourselves when the reapers do eventually come. For now, I'm putting you on stand-by. We either find Shepard's body or I'll have you assigned to finding ways to fight against the reapers. Humans are tenacious and durable. We'll find a way to survive what is coming."
"I'll wait for further orders."
Tali unequipped all of her weapons after coming back from her first mission since returning to the fleet. She placed her shotgun and pistol on the shelf next to her bed. Tali sat down and sighed sadly. She lay down on her bed and rested on her side. It has only been a month since she returned and the pain of losing Hal was still fresh in her heart.
A knock came from her door. "Tali, it's Raan."
"Come in." Tali sat up and swung her legs over the edge of the bed.
The door opened and Admiral Raan walked into Tali's room.
"Hi, Auntie Raan. What are you doing here?"
Raan sat down next to Tali on her bed. "I've heard that you... have been feeling down."
"I understand with the destruction of the Normandy, that you would feel upset. Did you have close friends on that ship?"
"I-I did. We lost some people in engineering. And we lost Shepard..."
"I can understand the pain that can stem from losing a captain and a good friend."
"It's thanks to Shepard that I'm able to finish my pilgrimage."
"Is that's where you got that geth data?"
"Yes, but please don't spread it around," Tali sighed. "Last thing I want is to have the Alliance to talk ill of him after everything he has done. The Council is already doing enough of that by suppressing the truth about the reapers."
"We believe you, Tali. Any quarian knows that Sovereign was not a geth creation."
"Try telling that to the stubborn bosh'tet Council. He saved them and they immediately buried everything he did right after he died. No respect!"
"You, we, can still continue his fight."
"I know, Auntie Raan." Tali didn't want to mention about her true feelings about Shepard to her. She didn't know how she would react. "I will continue his fight. The geth work for the reapers, so for now I will continue to fight them in hopes we may regain our homeworld one day. So that we can fight back against the reapers."
The room where Hal was kept was clean and well organized. The room was fairly standard size for a hospital room. It had one bed, a bookcase, a bed-side table, and a window. The room's walls were white and light yellow. Shepard moaned as consciousness returned to him. He shifted in his bed.
Arisia was surprised to see him waking when she was visiting him. "Doctor, he's waking," she said into her ring.
"Make sure he stays in bed," the doctor said. "I'll be there soon."
"Actually it might be best if we keep this meeting one-on-one, doc. We don't want to shock him too much."
"You make a good point, but be sure to call me if there are any changes in his vitals."
Shepard opened his eyes. After being closed for over a month, his vision was blurry. It slowly readjusted. Arisia sat on a chair right next to him. "Try not to move too much. You survived an attack on your ship."
Shepard looked towards the voice and saw a woman sitting next to him. His vision was still blurry but he could make out from her face that she was human with blonde hair. She wore a white top and a green collar. "Is this an Alliance hospital?"
Soon memories rushed back to him. He tried sitting up, but the woman kept him down. "You need to rest. You barely made it out."
"Did the others survive? Did Tali make it out? I need to know."
"From what we could tell, whoever attacked you left as soon as your ship was destroyed. Lifepods were left alone."
"Then she did make it out," Shepard sighed in relief. He eased in his bed.
"Someone important to you?"
"Very important, if you know what I mean."
"Oh!" Arisia said with a chuckle.
"My vision is a bit off, so could you tell me where I am?"
"You're on the planet Oa."
"Never heard of it."
"Considering where you're from, I don't blame you."
Shepard's vision finally focused and he was able to get a good look at the woman. Her skin was light orange in colour and her ears were pointed like an elf. He just stared at her. "You're... You're not a human."
"No, I am not."
"Where am I?" he demanded feeling defensive as he found himself on an unknown planet next to an unknown alien that somehow knows his language.
Arisia quickly picked up on Shepard's feelings and quickly assured him, "Please, Commander. I am a friend. I just need you to remain in bed. You were badly injured in the attack on your ship."
"How do I know you didn't attack my ship?"
"Commander, I hate to break this to you, but you've been in a coma for over a month. If we were going to do anything, we would have done it while you were out during that time."
"Alright, that makes sense. I've been in a coma for a month?"
"Your injuries were really bad and you needed to recover."
"How do you know I'm a Commander?"
"I was told that we recovered some records. It's a pleasure to meet you Commander Shepard. I'm Arisia Rrab."
The two shook hands.
"A pleasure to meet you, but why am I here?"
"It was by luck," Arisia said. "A Lantern just happened to find your galaxy when he came upon your distress signal. His ring picked it up and he found you. Abin Sur gave it everything he had to save your ship, but the attacking vessel used weapons we've never seen before and it fatally wounded him."
"I-I'm sorry to interrupt, but what is a Lantern? And what do you mean he stumbled upon my galaxy? Just where am I?"
"I was told your galaxy would not know much outside of it. Okay... Commander Shepard, like I said you are on Oa. But Oa isn't in your galaxy. Oa is at the center of the universe."
"What? How is that even... How is that even possible? To get from my galaxy to the center of the universe would take millions of years with my ship's FTL technology. Even with mass relays connecting a pathway there would take a long time."
"Well, many races have FTL technology that can make it possible to do in it a relatively short time, but we Lanterns travel using theses." Arisia showed off her power ring to Shepard.
Arisia almost cracked up. "Heh, no. This is a power ring. It is power by the willpower of all beings in the universe, or emerald energy. It can do almost anything you can imagine. Look." Arisia formed a flower with her power ring and moved it towards Shepard. Hal reached out and touched it.
"I-I can feel it. It's not a hologram."
"This is what we call a construct. Formed completely from green energy. Even the uniform I am wearing is made from emerald energy. Every Lantern has a power ring just like this."
"I, along with over 3600 others, are Green Lanterns. Well actually I'm a fairly new recruit. Just got this ring a few days ago. Anyways, we are the protectors of justice and order throughout the galaxy, acting on behalf of the Guardians."
"Kind of like the Spectres," Shepard commented.
"Special Tactics and Reconnaissance. It's a military branch of the Citadel Council, my galaxy's government. My race, humans, is very new to the galactic stage, but we have made great strides in the thirty years since first contact. Eventually my people were able to convince the Council to give me a chance at being a Spectre, but they only gave me a chance after I prove that another Spectre of theirs, Saren, went rogue and he was responsible for an attack on a human colony."
"Why would he do that?"
"It's a bit of a long story."
"My current duty is to watch over you and you can't leave this bed yet," she said with a smile.
"Alright, but first I want to know more about the Green Lanterns Corps."
"Well we're an organization that has existed for over a billion years-"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. A billion years?"
"Yes, a billion."
"And these Guardians...?"
"They are immortals. We don't know their true age, but they're old. Very old. Some say almost as old as existence."
"That's quite a lot to take in."
"I understand. Your galaxy has been isolated from the universe since the creation of the Corps."
"What do you mean isolated?"
"According to Abin Sur, your galaxy is invisible to detection. The only way he found you was literally passing by. Some sort of distortion field prevented our rings from detecting it except when we get within range." Arisia mind went back to the topic at hand. "Sorry, getting a little off topic. The Corps. The Guardians split the universe into 3600 sectors, each of which is protected by a Lantern."
"Just one? Wouldn't each sector contain roughly 20-some million galaxies? Making billions upon billions of planets and stars."
"Not every planet is inhabited," Arisia answered amused. "There are roughly 4.3 million sentient races in the galaxy. We have means to monitor the universe for any new sentient races. Most of the known sentient races are integrated into mega-societies, similar to your Council races, making law enforcement easier."
"And the governments are okay with outside organizations enforcing laws on their planets?"
"There is right or wrong, Shepard. Rights that all sentient life must be guaranteed and is universal regardless of what race you are. This is what we enforce. If a race or planet refuses to abide by sentient rights, they can be declared rogue and have their government replaced." Arisia raises her hand to show Hal her ring again. "Whenever a Lantern dies or retires, the ring is then sent off to choose its new owner."
"The ring chooses?"
"These rings are not magic. Just really advance technology. They are supercomputers that are powered by the energy of will to do almost anything you can imagine. They contain an advance AI algorithm to do all of that, even find a person with a powerful willpower and determination."
"So they're AIs?"
"We know of the laws in your galaxy, but as a Green Lantern you act under authority of the Guardians so their laws do not apply to you so long as you act according to the tenants the Lanterns are supposed to follow."
"As a Green Lantern?"
"Oh!" Arisia mentally cursed herself for being so blunt. "Well, Abin Sur died in trying to save your ship from that vessel. Before he died, he told his ring to find someone to take his place. That ring found you."
"I-I remember now. He told me inside the energy bubble. So I'm a Green Lantern now?"
"Somewhat," she said. "You have to do some training, like me, before you are truly recognized as a Green Lantern. Before you can train though, you'll have to meet with the Guardians as they have a lot of questions for you."
Arisia's ring started beeping. She held her ring up and Sinestro appeared.
"Arisia, are you busy?" Sinestro asked. "We could use another patroller out here."
"I'm talking to Shepard."
"He's awake?" Sinestro asked in shock.
"He just woke up."
"I want you to get the doctor to check him out and have him ready to go before the Guardians."
"I'll send Tomar-Re your way. He'll have Abin Sur's ring."
The doctor finished examining Shepard's health to ensure he is okay to move. The tests were positive and she left. Tomar-Re entered the room as soon as she left.
"I see our guest finally woke up," he said.
"You must be Tomar-Re," Shepard said.
"I am. I have something for you." Tomar-Re approached him and held out his hand. He opened it revealing a power ring. "This ring was passed onto you. Place it on your finger."
Shepard picked the ring up and slid it over his middle finger on his right hand. As soon as he did, green energy surrounded his body. The energy faded revealing Shepard's Green Lantern uniform. The suit was very skin-tight to the point where Shepard felt like it was just his skin. It was completely one suit, everything from the gloves to the foot wear. The torso was predominantly green with the Lantern emblem, a green circle with a horizontal line on the top and bottom. The forearms and hands section were white. The calves and feet were green, while the legs and waist area was black.
"Um, how does this protect you?" Shepard asked Tomar-Re. "It's like a leotard."
"Don't let the looks fool you," Tomar-Re laughed. "This suit can resist most conventional and unconventional attacks. Explosions, lasers, et cetera, it's quite remarkable. While you wear that ring, it will also surround you with an energy field that will help protect you from attack and allow you to breath in an unbreathable environment, such as a poisonous atmosphere or the vacuum of space."
"Do I have to think of it?"
"Oh, no, no. It activates on its own, but if there is an environment you wish to activate the energy cover, then you would need to think it."
Shepard felt something over it face. It was light, barely noticeable. He reached for his face and realized there was a green mask there.
"As with most uniforms, they provide you with a mask that protects your identity."
"I don't exactly need it," Shepard said. "I'm pretty well known as a protector in my galaxy."
The mask immediately disappeared from his face.
"That is going to take some getting used to."
"Your identity will only be protected if you wish it to be, though some still wear the mask for simple uniform sake," Tomar-Re said. "People like me and Arisia here are vulnerable if our true identities are found out."
"Who are you two in your regular lives?"
"I'm a scientist back on my world of Xudar," he answered.
"And I'm a physics student on Graxos IV," Arisia replied.
"Neither of you are soldiers or had military training?"
Tomar-Re held up his hand showing off his ring. "These rings do not choose due to training one individual may have. They choose an individual based on their willpower because that willpower dictates how powerful that person's constructs will be."
"Amazing." Shepard looked at the ring on his hand.
"Now then, I believe Arisia and I have to get you to a meeting with the Guardians. Would you please come with us?"
"Lead the way."
Some of the Green Lantern canon will be changed in this story, but will remain very close to what we see in the comics. An example of it going out of canon would be killing. In some iterations of Green Lantern (eg. the cartoon movies), killing is allowed whereas in the comics it was not allowed till the Sinestro Corp War arc. In this story killing is allowed, usually as a last resort.