Hello reader, this story is my continuation of Sinestro's years as a Green Lantern. Enjoy!
Green Lantern: 1417
CHAPTER 1 – Session 1
The trip to Oa was surprisingly… simple.
Thaal followed Ganthet unquestioningly throughout most of the trip. But when he made no twists or turns in their path, Thaal had become slightly confused. And so he asked, "Ganthet, are we to go straight the entire trip?"
"Indeed. The path to Oa is in fact straight ahead of us. You will understand soon when we reach there." Ganthet answered.
A bright star came into their view. At least it looked like it could be a star with great arms of green light erupting from its atmosphere almost reminiscent of solar flares. An enormous ring of energy encircled the planet. Ganthet led them in flight along the path of the ring until they reached the center of the formation. The green bands of energy formed a center in which a Green Lantern insignia could be viewed from orbit.
Thaal marveled at the sight. He was only within its orbit, yet already he felt the magnificence of Oa. Ganthet remained still for some time, perhaps to allow him a moment of appreciation. Then he made his way to the center of the insignia. Down and down they descended, passing layers upon layers of atmosphere and clouds until they could see land beneath them. Ganthet slowed his descent as he led them into a golden city. He landed gently upon a city square that reminded Thaal oddly of Korugar City.
Ganthet spoke, "As I mentioned earlier, rookie Green Lanterns are all required to participate in a training course. Where we stand is the meeting place for the new recruits. I trust you will perform well." Then he rose from the square.
"If I may ask, where will you be during my training?" Thaal asked.
"The Planetary Citadel of Oa, where my fellow guardians await." And he set off.
The city was very quiet. Thaal stood alone against the tall spires and skyscrapers of the great city for some time. He paced impatiently, occasionally gazing about the golden towers, wondering if they were occupied, and if he was being watched from there. No one had come, until—
"A new recruit! Wonderful!" said an enthusiastic voice from behind him.
Thaal turned to meet his new colleague. This Lantern stood close to Thaal in height, possessed a jovial smile and a strangely warm, friendly easiness in his manner. The Lantern walked up to him and said, "It won't be for long, a few others will join you in your training."
"I don't think I'll need the training. I've already been taught the basics by my predecessor." Thaal said confidently.
Surprise crossed the Lantern's face, "That's rather odd. May you tell me how that came to be?" he asked politely.
"Jewelius Blak sought me on my home planet to be chosen as her successor. Being her successor entails the training along with it."* Very little though it might have been. Thaal had omitted the fact that he received barely two weeks' worth of instruction. Hardly anything substantial, but he was so eager to get to work, that he would rather forgo training with others who would hold him back. Besides, he learns quickly, and should he face any problems, he could seek instruction from the ring.
"Jewelius Blak… Ah, Lantern of sector 1417. Though we weren't close I knew of her. She passed on a year ago, but Lantern Prohl Gosgotha took her place soon after. Now he has gone as well. What a sad course of events…" He ceased smiling then, a look of contemplation and sorrow upon his purple visage. "Perhaps you should stay? If not for the training, then for the induction ceremony? We will be honoring your predecessors as well."
It could have been how he asked him or even the earnest look in his eye, but Thaal found that he couldn't refuse him. "It would be the respectful thing to do. I will stay."
"I'm glad. Perhaps you'll enjoy it."
Soon after that many other recruits finally arrived. All of them like Thaal had an empty white circle across their chests. Most of them unlike Thaal possessed nervous and pessimistic expressions across their faces.
Two Lanterns with badges on their chests landed upon a platform on either side of the Lantern that Thaal had spoken with earlier. He stepped forward when all was quiet, "Greetings recruits! I am Abin Sur, these are my fellow Green Lanterns: Lantern Fentara Rrab," he gestured to his right, "and Lantern Ermey," he gestured to his left. "We will be your instructors for the next several weeks."
"You're all probably wondering why you are here," spoke the Lantern named Fentara Rrab. He was an orange-skinned humanoid with a head full of shaggy hair, a thick beard and bright eyes; a joyful pair of eyes much like Abin Sur's pair. "Many of you may have heard of us. Our light has shined across the universe; the universe we are charged with protecting and soon all of you will as well. This is the Green Lantern Corps."
"Protectin' the universe ain't easy!" This time the speaker was the Lantern named Ermey. Although this person was much smaller than both Abin Sur and Fentara Rrab, he had a loud voice and a rough, weathered looking exterior. His face was likewise hardened with a deep scowl, and angry eyes stared out of his sockets. "The Lanterns that died whose rings you all now have on your fingers were damn skilled. And if you wanna avoid their fate, you better be that much stronger than 'em. That's why we're here to whip you all up to shape. We're gonna make every single one of you a good and proper Green Lantern!"
"First and foremost, being a Green Lantern is strenuous work. It will eat into all your time on top of the fact that you will face dangers almost every single day of your tenure." Abin Sur's relaxed face become tight and serious. He spoke weighing every word carefully. "We need to know if all of you are physically, mentally, and emotionally capable of such a hardened lifestyle. Our first training session will test the capacity and strength of your will."
Thaal searched the faces of his fellow recruits. He could feel a wave of anxiety from them already.
"But before we jump into our first session, perhaps a preliminary exercise is in order." Fentara stepped forward again. Holding up his ring hand, he said, "What all of you have bestowed upon you is the most powerful weapon in the universe…"
The three instructors took it in turns to explain the uses of the power ring. Thaal, who stood in the far back of the recruits didn't need the explanation. The memory of soaring overhead of the most elegant landscapes on Korugar, and spending his very first training session on the foot of the Shanu ranges rushed through his head. Suddenly everything he was told more than a year ago was as clear as day. He could almost repeat alongside the instructors the ring's capabilities.
When it came time to practice, it was exactly what Thaal expected. The recruits learned basic concepts of the rings: making a shield, using the holomap, creating common constructs, controlling a power blast and perhaps the most important—sending a distress signal. Having been through the process once, Thaal had zero problems the second time. Abin Sur glanced over at him quite a few times; perhaps he expected something more from him?
After a while, Thaal felt a sudden shift in attitude. Searching over his fellow recruits, he now saw a fire in most of their eyes. Abin must have noticed as well. He moved forward upon the platform the three senior Lanterns stood on then said, "You're all confident now, much more at ease. The three of us don't want you to leave here in a distressful state but also," his lips twitched upward a bit, "it's dangerous for all of you to leave here too overconfident. Why don't we have a little sparring match? Who would like to volunteer?"
Chatter broke out amongst the recruits. A feeling of nervousness returned to some of them. Thaal smirked, taking Abin's cue, immediately moved to the front of the crowd, saying, "I will!"
From what Thaal could tell, Abin seemed pleased that he volunteered. Thaal positioned himself about five meters from Abin upon the raised platform. Abin looked straight at Thaal, his expression placid, save for... a twinkle in his eyes?
"Brace yourself!"A blast of energy shot out of Abin's ring. Thaal flew up, dodging the strike.
When he looked down, Abin disappeared.
"Your not fast enough!" Thaal's arms were locked to his side. Vines wound up his legs and body binding him tightly. His ring hand though was still free.
A sword was conjured from his struggling left hand, slicing apart the vines. Abin moved from behind Thaal to back underneath him. Before the last vine around his ankle was cut, Abin hurled him back to the ground. However, Thaal regained his composure quickly and sent out an array of laser beams against the grounded Abin.
"That's a bit lethal don't you think?" Abin commented, while shielding himself from the beams. A thin line of energy shot from the behind the shield. Thaal readied himself for an attack, but oddly it veered away from their battle. With Thaal momentarily unfocused, Abin took the opportunity to interrupt his firing. Giant claw constructs crushed Thaal's guns. Abin flew towards him, gauntlets upon his hands, engaging Thaal in close combat. Thaal likewise exchange strikes with him, brass knuckles on his own fists.
"Good shot!" Abin complimented as he narrowly avoided a swift strike.
"You shouldn't speak when your fighting." Thaal said, eyes fiercely focused on Abin's punches.
Abin shifted to the side. One of his hands was behind his back.
"I'm ready for anything you have for me. I told you I've done this before." Thaal said confidently.
Abin too smiled at Thaal, "Did Jewelius ever tell you about this?" His hand, tightly gripped into a fist flew straight at his face. Thaal pulled out a shield, but Abin's fist shattered his construct. He felt something cold and hard greet his jaw. His head felt as if it were spinning and he was sure his body followed that motion as well. He came crashing down onto the platform. Abin stood over him, clasping his hand to pull him up.
"What did you hit me with?" Thaal demanded, with a purple bruise swelling on his cheek.
Abin held up a palm-sized golden bar with an apologetic expression. "I sent a construct out to find it when you were firing at me. It was probably unfair to use this against you. I apologize, but you all needed to know of the ring's weakness before leaving."
"Weakness?" Thaal looked incredulously at the golden bar. "You mean to tell me no matter what powerful constructs I conjure with my ring, it can't possibly harm that little golden bar?" He pointed furiously at the bar.
"It's an impurity. For as long as the Corps has existed, it has as well. We are not sure why the ring's weakness would be anything colored yellow, but you all must know of it." Abin explained. He returned his gaze towards Thaal. "You showed great skill, as I expected. But I should tell you that although your confidence is acceptable, it was excessive. Excessive to the point of arrogance."
Thaal looked away from Abin, clearly sulking. Abin turned back before he could see it, to the audience of recruits, "Believe us. We want all of you to do excellently. The rings were not mistaken when recognizing your willfulness. But you must absolutely be prepared to take on the tasks of a Green Lantern." He exchanged looks with Fentara and Ermey.
"Now that the warm-up is over, the real training begins." Fentara said smiling as jovially as ever.
"Alright you bunch of poozers! Since there's eighteen of you, six of you will go with each of the three of us. When you hear your name, come stand near who called you." Ermey looked over the recruits, "First one up, Brillolog from planet Ballowax..."**
Thaal was still fuming over the yellow weakness. Nursing his bruised cheek he listened to the names called absentmindedly. As soon as he knew it, only six other people including him were left. Abin walked up to them, "I guess the rest of you are with me." Thaal only fumed more, his nostrils flaring when he realized he may end up spending the next few days with Abin Sur.
*See my prequel fanfic Green Lantern: Origin of Sinestro for more details.
**From Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #3 (Sep 2009), Kilowog was trained by Lantern Ermey, who referred to him with that name.