Author's Note: Here is the next chapter. Again, I would like to note that updates will be slow in coming now that the college semester for me is starting. I am going to be quite abusy with college work for the time being, so the schedule won't allow me much time to work on Dalek Lantern. Just as a heads up.
Six blue figures floated in the blue chamber as the Guardians looked over the holographic representation of the universe. New developments had happened and their response had to be considered.
''These Daleks are growing faster than we had anticipated.'' One of the Guardians stated.
''They have even harnessed the Red Light. Has Atrocitus learned of this yet?'' another Guardian asked.
''Unknown. We must assume he has not.'' Another Guardian said.
''They are becoming a danger. Eventually we might have to deal with them.'' A Guardian stated.
''Diplomacy or force then?''
''We shall try diplomacy first to see if we can contain the Daleks. If it does not then we shall exercise force. Atrocitus should not see this as a violation of our agreement with him.''
''Agreed. Now we-'' suddenly the Guardians were cut off by the holographic form of Salaak. The alien paused to bow before straightening up.
''My apologies, but we have received an emergency data-transfer from the Vega system Lanterns that you must see.'' Salaak said with an apologetic tone.
''Report Salaak, tell us this urgent message.''
The Green Lantern raised a hand and another set of information was displayed across the Guardians' chamber. Reports of the Spider Guild attacking the Vega system, along with greater news. News of another Orange Lantern and Larfleeze's disappearance.
''That is the Orange Central Power battery.'' One of the Guardians noted.
''It appears Larfleeze was killed. Lantern Karkum was unable to locate his body and Sayd was spotted in the presence of this new Orange Lantern.'' Salaak told them.
The Guardians were quiet as they took in the features of the new Orange Lantern. It was only a snapshot holo-capture, but they saw enough of the humanoid features that this new Agent Orange had. He looked just like a human actually.
''Orange constructs have overwhelmed defenses on several worlds and killed the two Lanterns in charge of patrolling the Vega system . We only just got the transmission before they were killed. The Vega system is falling to the orange light.'' Salaak told them.
''Thank you Salaak, now leave us for the moment.'' One of the Guardians commanded him, leaving the Guardians of the Universe to converse among themselves in private.
''This is most troubling. It appears we have a new Agent Orange.''
''This one appears to be far more aggressive and ambitious.''
''He must be dealt with.''
''What of the Daleks?''
''They are a minor threat compared to the Orange Light unleashed. This Agent Orange must be dealt with. Perhaps we can contain him in the Vega system like we did with Larfleeze?''
''Possible. But this one may not be so easily manipulated.''
''Then we must prepare for the worst.''
The Prime Dalek entered one of the central decoding and information processors on the Exterminator. As the flagship of the Dalek fleet it was well-equipped with a variety of faculties for use in prosecuting full-scale war. The Prime Dalek noted the form of a Scientist Dalek and Dalek Drax who were next to a nearby computer. The Scientist depressed his plunger from one of the control slats and turned to face the Prime Dalek.
''KHUND DECRYPTION COMPLETED.'' The Scientist reported.
''REPORT.'' The Prime Dalek said.
''WE HAVE UNCOVERED INFORMATION IN THE KHUND DATABANKS.'' Drax told him.
''ELABORATE.'' The Prime Dalek questioned.
''THESE KHUNDS WERE MERCENARIES, HIRED TO ATTACK US WITH PROMISES OF PLUNDER. OUR INITIAL FINDINGS OF PSION INTERFERANCE WERE INCORRECT. WE UNCOVERED REACH ENCRYPTION SIGNALS.''
''THE REACH ARE COMPLICT IN THE KHUND ASSAULT?'' the Prime Dalek questioned.
''AFFIRMATIVE. THE REACH SEE US AS A THREAT THAT MUST BE CRUSHED.'' Drax speculated. The Prime Dalek knew that the Reach had plenty of reasons to see the Daleks as a threat, least of which his own destruction of a Reach ship earlier.
''THEN THE REACH ARE ENEMIES OF THE DALEKS. THEY WILL BE EXTERMINATED!'' The Prime Dalek proclaimed.
Smoke billowed high above the ruins of the Rannian Government Palace. Orange Lantern constructs flew howling through the air while hundreds of Spider Guild drones stood on the ground below, weapons and claws at ready.
The Master sat in one of the chairs pulled from a government office, a pack of twisted looking orange constructs and Spider Guild warriors. Before him were dozens of prisoners bound in orange chain constructs.
The conquest of the Vega system had come swiftly. Little could stand in the Master's way, bearing as he did the twisted genius of a Time Lord combined with the power of an entire Lantern Corps. The power of the Orange light had swept all aside. The once powerful military of Rann had fallen to the Master's power while the Citadel, the Throneworld, the Karna, the Gordonians, the Branx and many others had been defeated by the Master and his Spider Guild allies.
Now, for the first time since the Citadel Empire had fallen, Vega was united under the grip of Agent Orange. The Master had already divided up several planets to his allies as promised. He cared little. There would be more places for him to rule.
''Well, well, this was a bountiful harvest now wasn't it? Look at you! The mighty Rannian nation and the Tamareans! Such great races!'' the Master got up and spread his arms in mockery. ''And L.E.G.I.O.N! The great peacekeepers of the galaxy! Oh, I'm sorry, that's the Green Lanterns.'' The Master added sarcastically as he got up and looked over his captives. Behind it floated two special constructs.
One was Adam Blake, once known as Captain Comet, a superhero from earth. A powerful telepath, he had been slain defending Rann. The other was Strata of Dyrad, another L.E.G.I.O.N founding member, now one of the Master's orange lantern constructs. Adam Strange and the remaining figures of the Rannian government had fled into exile, but many prisoners had been taken in the confused aftermath of the battle. This included Komand'r of Tameran and Vril Dox.
''Ah, you are the one they call Blackfire? I'm told you're a treacherous one.'' The Master looked over the bound and chained Tameraean Queen on the ground. She spat at him. Delicately the Master wiped it from his suit.
''Well, I can see you're not the one to serve.'' The Master gestured and a pair of orange lantern constructs descended on her.
''Identity stolen. Komand'r of Tameran you belong to the Master.'' His ring chimed as a new construct appeared before him, twisted and wild. She coiled around the Master as he turned smirking to Vril Dox.
''So it is true, you've taken Larfleeze's ring. That's rather impressive.''
''Yes, Vril Dox. The great chessmaster of L.E.G.I.O.N. Tell me, how is that working out for you?'' The Master asked him.
''You won because of that ring, not out of any guile.'' Dox snapped.
''Says the loser.'' The Master mocked him.
''And you really think you can hold on to what you've gained like this? I see the ambition in your eyes, the Guardians will come after you. Even you cannot take on the universe.'' Dox told him.
''Watch me,'' the Master smirked and raised his hand to point at him.
''Oh, I think I'll enjoy having you as an intellectual sparring partner. Don't worry, death will not be the end of you.''
Then in another part of the universe, in Sector 2, several hooded and cloaked figures sat around a meeting table, a holo-projector bringing form ghostly blue images of the Daleks for the figures to look upon.
''These Daleks are becoming a problem.'' One of them stated.
''Indeed, we wrote the first one off as the last survivor of his species when he destroyed one of our fleets, but it appears there were more like him than we suspected.'' Another one pointed out.
''They are growing rapidly, far faster than our calculations. This is unheard of, how could any species grow so fast?'' one asked.
''They have defeated the Khunds that we sent to attack them. So much for Khund ferocity.'' One of them grumbled.
''That merely proves that these Daleks are beyond even the Khunds, soon they will be advancing into our territory and clashing with our interests.''
''You propose war then?''
''The Lanterns will not allow this.''
''We have already received a private word from the Guardians. They have bigger matters to deal with. They will not interfere. We have an unspoken agreement on this.''
''Then we are free to move?''
''That won't stop individual Lanterns from interfering.'' Another one pointed out.
''But it will stop the greater Green Lantern Corps from interfering.'' Another one pointed out.
''Enough. It is time for the Hivemasters to vote. Do we commit against the Daleks or not?''
A minute passed and the votes were tallied. It was unanimous.
''Then it is settled. Ready our fleets. We march to exterminate the Daleks from the face of the universe.''