Trial of the Blue Lanterns (Part 1)
After the incident with the Manhunter, Karen's life began to slow down. The only major highlight was that Mitch's slanderous article in the school paper had been ignored by most of her fellow students because "she fought a frikkin' robot." However, Karen's swarm of attention had begun to dissipate and she thought it was for the better. Whether she liked it or not, a new school year was starting and heroics would have to take a backseat to education, a philosophy heavily enforced by her parents. Karen didn't mind except that her ring and power battery were completely dead. She had tried to get the battery spark by hooking it up to her parents' car in secret, but as it turned out Karen's knowledge of intergalactic power rings powered by emotions was severally lacking and nearly destroyed the Cassidy family's other mode of transport. Her parents were quick to forgive her by taking her lantern and ring away until the Blue Lanterns showed up.
It was then she began to worry, she didn't know where the Blue Lantern's headquarters was, she didn't know how to contact them, they could be waiting for her signal right now and she wouldn't know. Karen found herself sitting on the roof looking up at the stars, wondering if she could see Odym, or whatever they called it from here. One night her brother saw her outside the bathroom window.
"Hey there," he said, sticking his head out.
"Hi," replied Karen. She returned to star gazing.
"You look up and you see the universe, all those stars. Makes you feel small."
"No," she said, "It makes me feel big."
Her worries were put at ease at the start of the weekend. On Saturday, just as Walker had promised, a Blue Lantern arrived on the Cassidy doorstep. She was Sister Sercy, Blue Lantern of Space Sector 4. Sister Sercy was difficult to describe, but through Calvin's hysteric shouting she was "a purple faced nun with no feet." At this vivid description, the Cassidys ran to the door to great their guest. Sercy was brief and to the point, she said that Karen's time had come to prove herself worthy of the Blue Lantern Corps and that Walker had sent her to be Karen's escort to Odym. This was before she saw the dead ring and damaged power battery; she seemed taken aback by that. Nevertheless, following Saint Walker's orders, she took the eager Karen's hand and flew up, into the sky,
Space Sector 1 is easily one of the most beautiful. So close to the center of the universe, its ancient worlds are teeming with life and the greatest wonders ever known. Worlds are populated with happy, peace loving people. It is the home of the Nicto-Brada-Klatu system, three suns acting as one and in perfect balance. There is Audd, a planet with rings made of solid diamond. Polaris, the North Star that shines the pearliest shade of white in all the known universe. There's the Matta cloud, a mass of glimmering water the size of an entire system. When light hits it just right it becomes a billowing light that can stretch across the horizon. This is what Karen and Sercy passed through on their way to Odym.
"Wow," said Karen Cassidy.
"That was my reaction when I first came here," said Sister Sercy, "I never knew there could be anything like this." Karen didn't hear her, distracted by the plethora of stars that shone every color and others that were entirely new ones as they shone down like a thousand lights, turning the darkness of space into a carnival of colliding colors.
"Wooow" she said again. Even though Sercy had given her ring a charge, Karen had to be pulled along to Odym. She had been wondering who this new Earth Lantern was, though she hadn't expected someone so young. It had taken Sister Sercy years of mental and physical training, to become the person worthy to wear a blue ring, and all the while living under the tyrannical rule of Evil Star. This girl on the other hand was…
"Is space always this cool?" Karen asked in a dazed voice.
….different. "Not every Sector is blessed with such beauty." Sercy replied. She was so young. Yet this girl had already learned to manipulate her uniform and have even stood her ground against a Manhunter and judging by the condition of her battery Karen Cassidy hadn't been at all diplomatic. However it was not her place to question Saint Walker. She looked back at the new Lantern basking in the pure glow of Polaris, holding out a hand and trying to trail her fingers across its surface. Karen was lost in its magnificence. As they came around the pearly star, Sercy spotted Odym directly ahead. "We're here," said she and made course.
With one punch, Brother Warth split a tree in half. "Come on now you can't keep dodging!" His foot slammed down, shaking the earth and forcing up a cloud of dust. Warth let loose a thundering trumpet. His opponent was trying to run away, unless he had something to say. Another tree was broken in half as Warth swung his mighty fist. His foe tripped and fell to the ground. Looking into Warth's eyes was looking into two empty voids. His chest pounded like bellows. He glared down at the cuddled creature before him, "Is that all you've got?"
"Please! Can we stop now?" was his answer.
Warth groaned, "Come on, Sqwaak." He held out his hand. "You can't be a Lantern with that attitude." Sqwaak was the latest recruit to the Blue Lantern Corps, and as an uninitiated member he bore a white circle on his blue and black uniform. Sqwaak had been dragged into a sparring match with Brother Warth and had quickly learned he was both stronger and faster than he looked. What had once been a tidy sparring circle in the middle of a forest now had been covered with fallen trees, craters and large white feathers.
Accepting his hand, Sqwaak was lurched onto his feet, his thin wobbling legs nearly gave out from under him. "I didn't think the Blue Lantern Corps involved fighting." He clucked, and tried fixing his ruffled plumage.
"It shouldn't" added Brother Hynn from the side. He had been watching the whole time. While he objected to Warth's method of terrorizing the recruits on day one, he was hesitant to intervene. "But while the Corps' founding principles are of peace and understanding, not everyone shares them. With any luck, you shouldn't have to fight." Sqwaak found reassurance in Hynn's old eyes. "Yes," agreed Brother Warth, "And It is because of these few unruly characters that I shall teach you in the ways of combat." He put his hand on Sqwaak's shoulder. "And it also helps to whip you….what's the word? Poozers! Into shape." He gave a jubilant laugh as he patted Sqwaak on the head. "Don't worry Sqwaak, I shall make a Lantern out of you one way or another!"
Sqwaak only replied with an inaudible cluck, and scratched at the ground with his feet. An ambient glow came from above and he saw Sister Sercy flying toward the Central Power Battery alongside a younger Lantern. "Ha! Ha! Ha!" laughed Brother Warth, "We'll I'll be!"
Alone in a secluded cave Saint Walker drummed his fingers on the massive hard bound cover. It was smooth, freshly cut from the forests of Odym. Its wooden cover was dyed deep blue; Brother Hynn had been surprisingly knowledgeable of such crafts. The shade came from herbs found in Odym's mountains. Sister Sercy had made paper that was as smooth as silk. Brother Warth had sown the pages together with twine he had made. The only mark on the cover was the Blue Lantern emblem, the color of ivory white. Saint Walker opened up the deep blue cover, hearing the binding stretch and the pages shift ever so slightly. Saint Walker held his chin as he looked down onto the massive creamy white pages. There was so much space; on just one of these pages he could write on forever. He dipped his pen into the inkwell his hand, its contents made of the herbs on the cover. Everything used in making this book had come from Odym, every last page and every inch of twine. It had taken weeks, but now it was finally done, the Book of the Blue Lanterns, the Book of Odym. This was a testament to the universe, a defiance to corruption and cruelty, a cry of hope and of peace. This book would far outlast him, or Warth, or any of his lanterns. It might even one day outlast the Guardians. "Now…," he said to himself, "where to begin?" Dwindling in an idea he lowered his pen down towards the paper, he yanked it back just before he could mark it. "No, that's no good. Hum…" Saint Walker drummed his fingers on the massive page. He twirled the pen between his fingers. He felt a spark of inspiration and again he lowered his pen, ready to begin the Book of Odym.
"Saint Walker!" Walker nearly splashed the inkwell all over the first page. "Karen Cassidy is here!"
"Ye…ye…yes, Brother Warth, thank you." Walker, somewhat shaken, shut the book before anything might mark it. It would be disappointing of the tome of his corps would have to have a large ugly ink stain on page one.
"I'm sorry, am I interrupting something?"
"Oh no, nothing. I was just trying to start the Book of Odym and I was thinking on how to…actually…do that." Walker drummed the side of his leg with the pen.
Warth slapped him on the back. "You worry too much, Walker. You'll think of something."
Walker almost spilled the inkwell again, "Um, yes. Right."
"Come now! It's taken long enough, let's show them what we've got!"