"Whothehellareyou?" they garbled in unison. The two figures examined each other. The Lantern was an alien, but vaguely human shaped. His skin was brownish-green and he had four thin, muscled arms, each with five fingers. He had a long, beak-like nose and six beady black eyes. He lowered his shield and stood up straighter. "I am Raysh Kal, Green Lantern of space sector 2815. Who are you?" she lowered her gun and looked at him in amazement. "Um, I am Cassidy Blake, human of earth. Not that I'm not grateful but...what are you doing here?" she asked, shaking off her amazement. "My partner Raad and I were here to investigate claims of kidnapping. It seems those claims were correct." He nodded at her gun. "Have you used that?" he asked simply.

"Yeah."

"How many of 'em have you taken out?"

"About twenty or so." She estimated. He nodded in approval. "Impressive. How many more of you are there?" he asked, walking towards the door. "Twenty-six, but I'm the only one out here." Raysh frowned. "This is bad." He held up his ring and spoke into it. "Raad. We've got twenty-six captives here. I'm with one of them now; meet us in the main communications room, I'm sending out a call for back-up." He apparently heard a reply, because he lowered his ring and started walking. "Come on then, I could use some back-up."

They were walking for several minutes in silence before she started asking questions. "So, how does the ring work anyway?" Raysh looked at her with a smile, "Ah, curious, I like that. It's actually very simple; I imagine it, and it is created." Cassidy grinned at the alien. "No. It couldn't be that simple." She said excitedly. "Well, in a way, I suppose it isn't. One must have an extraordinary amount of willpower to create a worthwhile construct."

"Willpower?" she questioned.

"Yes. It is why the ring chose us. It chooses anyone with courage and a strong will." Cassidy enjoyed hearing about the ring, and found what the alien had to say very interesting. "So the ring chooses you? I never thought there were other Green Lanterns out there; it thought it was only the four." She admitted. "Ah, fair enough, you humans are not yet so well versed in the workings of the universe. Now if I may ask you, why are you risking your life out here? Are you not frightened?" Cassidy shrugged. "I guess I was a little scared at first, but I got over it, after all; it was either certain death or the slim possibility of survival for me and my friends." Raysh nodded sagely to himself. "Yes, I see. You are very brave," the alien smiled impishly at her, "or very mad." Cassidy laughed, deciding that she definitely liked this man. "Mad? Yeah, that I know. But I'm not really being brave-I'm just doing the right thing."

"Ah, but oftentimes, that requires the most bravery of all."

They carried on like this for some time, Raysh talking to her about the details of the Corps, and Cass telling him about her life. Suddenly, a siren started to sound. "What's going on?" Cassidy yelled over the alarms blaring. "It is the alarm! It would appear that we have been found out! We must hurry!" they started running, Cassidy following Raysh close behind. "Quickly! The communications room is close. We can hold them of there. Once Raad arrives, we will be able to get out and hopefully set up a defense around your friends!" she nodded, saving her breath for the run. "Careful!" she snapped as she shot down a soldier that had just come around the corner. "Impressive."

"Thanks."

Between the two of them they took down another twenty guards before they made it to the communications room and closed the door. "They have keycards-that won't keep them out for long!" she panted, aiming the gun at the door. Raysh shot a beam of energy down there the door met the wall, welding it shut. "Now it will." He said, turning to one of the computers. "I need you to keep them out while I send out the message. I'll aid you as soon as I can."

"Got it!"

The guards reached the door a few moments and-upon seeing that it wouldn't open, tried to ram it down. The door was starting to dent, and Cassidy felt her trigger finger start to twitch. Suddenly, the door was ripped clear off its hinges and the shots stared to fly. She could hear the Lanterns voice in the background, yelling something about needing aid. She jumped around, desperate to avoid the shots aimed at her. She was up against almost two dozen guards and she had managed take down six. Suddenly, there were shafts of green light erupting from behind her. "Need some help?" Raysh asked, constructing a wide barrier for them to hide behind.

"Nah, I'm doing fine in fact, I was just getting ready to make a cup of tea." She replied snarkily. Raysh and Cassidy were managing to hold their own, but there were more coming. "Hey, Raysh, when's your partner gonna get here? Cause we could really use his help. He bolted up to fire some shots and then got back down. "I just contacted him! He should be here any moment!" she took her turn to fire at them. "Good!" Cassidy was very aware of the cracks that had begun snaking their way through their barrier. Suddenly, a giant green hammer appeared and swatted aside several of the guards. The gunfire turned from them to the source of the hammer. "That would be Raad-all the subtlety of a swamp jorgar. She was so happy for the rescue that she didn't ask what a jogar was. Raysh took a moment to catch his breath before he joined in as well, creating a ball and chain to knock out the guards. Cassidy marveled at how easily they made their constructs and how effectively they fought. It was utterly awe inspiring. The battle was over in moments and they floated back next to Cassidy. "So this is who you mentioned; what's her name?" Raad asked. "Raad, this is my friend, Cassidy Blake. Cassidy, this is Raad." She shook his hand and looked him up and down. Raad was about her height and looked like a normal human-except for the fact he was navy blue. His uniform was different from Rayshes. Raysh only had a simple suit but Raads resembled a kind of armor. He had breast and shoulder guards and gauntlets with heavy metal boots. "Nice to meet you." He said graciously.

"The pleasures all yours." She grinned. Raad smiled, clearly appreciating the joke. "Alright, now that the introductions are out of the way, I suggest we go back to protect Cassidy' friends until the-Cassidy look out!" he screamed suddenly as he pushed her out of the way. One of the guards had gotten up and tried to shoot her before he passed out again. "Thanks Raysh, that was a-oh my God." She turned to see that Raysh had a hole the size of a fist shot through his side. He looked down weakly before collapsing. "NO!" Raad roared, kneeling at his side. Cassidy couldn't move. She felt like someone had filled her with concrete and dropped her underwater. "Don't worry Raysh." Raad said shakily, "We'll get you help. You'll pull through." The older alien smiled, clearly amused at Raads words. "I have pulled through from many things, but this will not be one of them." those words shocked Cass back to the present and she knelt beside him opposite Raad. "No, no, no you can't die!" she panicked. Raysh just kept smiling. "Oh, I'll have you know that I am as capable of dying as anyone else. And I will prove it to you very soon."

"Don't talk like that!" Raad said desperately, "you can't die here! You've been like a father to me!"

"And you were like the son I never had. And it is the way of both our people that the son must bury the father." He said calmly. "Now, I know this will be hard for you both, but please be quiet." He asked, his breath growing more labored. "Raad. We have fought side by side for many years now. I have enjoyed our time together more than any other time in my life. I have watched you grow from an awkward youth into a strong, skilled Lantern. You are ready to go on without me. But rest assured, you will not be moving on alone. You will have your own youth to mentor. I can guarantee you that she will be every bit as earnest and full of potential as you were."

"W-what do you mean?" his smile returned, the smile of a man with a secret. "I mean young Cassidy here."

"What! I-I'm not a lantern." She stuttered.

"No, but you will be. You will be the successor of my ring. Do not protest. I have known you for little more than an hour, and I know in my heart that you are the worthiest being in this sector. You are brave, intelligent, and full of potential. You know how I know for sure that you have potential?" Cass shook her head, unable to speak. "You have seen what is wrong with all of this." He said knowingly. She nodded, she had figured out what was strange about the situation long ago. "You will be more than great. Together, the two of you will be magnificent." And with that, he closed his eyes and went still, his knowing smile still on his face. Cassidy felt her eyes sting with tears. She hadn't known him for long, but she felt like she lost an old, dear friend. She glanced across at Raad, who was sobbing. Rayshes uniform faded away, his upper right arm rising as his ring slid off. She half expected it to go zooming off into space like Raysh told her they did when their Lantern died, but it floated slowly in front of her face. She heard a gentle voice resonate through her mind.

Cassidy Blake of earth; you have the ability to overcome great fear. Welcome to the Green Lantern Corps.

And with that, the ring slid onto her left middle finger. The moment it did, she felt a surge of confidence flow through her. She looked down to find that her clothes had been replaced by a green uniform. It was a simple one, with a green body and black legs and sleeves. Later, when she wasn't so full of grief, she would note that the white circle where her insignia should have been was blank-as it always was for new recruits. For now though, she stood up slowly, looking down on her friends' body and felt her resolve strengthen. She could mourn later. For now, she had to protect those friends of hers that still lived. "Come on Raad, I'll show you where my friends are being kept." And with that she focused her mind and started to fly. She had woken this morning as a prisoner, but she would sleep tonight as a hero. A liberator. A Green Lantern.