Disclaimer: If I owned any of the characters, would I really be giving this away on a fan fiction website for free? All characters are owned by JK Rowling or DC Comics.
Back a bit early, but I figured why not since we have got this ready to go.
Now without much delay, we begin Emerald Flight Book Two: Conqueror where things get more interesting. Eventual pairing for Emerald Flight Book Two, one Harry/Kara (duh)/Karen (Power Girl) Matrix (Justice Lords Universe Kara)/Galatea. Two more to be added in Emerald Flight Book Three, but that's a long time coming.
Chapter 01: Breather.
A year, twelve months, three hundred and sixty five days, there was a huge difference in how much things could change in that time. Many moments in time could change the course of many lives, just by one chance meeting.
Harry Potter had to admit, he was in a much better place than he was a year ago. One year ago, he was resigned to just take whatever life brought him. After Albus Dumbledore dumped the prophecy on his head after the Department of Mysteries, Harry found himself falling into a role of the Wizarding World's martyr. Perhaps he would live to see another day, but it was not like he was going to escape that world or the dark shadow of Lord Voldemort.
A year later, Voldemort was dead, Dumbledore was dead, and Magical Britain had pretty much collapsed under its own incompetence. The symptoms were there for years. Anyone with a few brain cells could figure that something bad could happen to it, and the Ministry would eventually be burned by the corruption. No one could have expected it to happen that quickly.
Some people landed on their feet, for better or for worse. Other people from that world found themselves drowning with the ship.
At one time, Harry would have burdened himself with that world, seeing it as his obligation to save the day time and time again. Yet, he had grown up.
Harry had realized that there was an entire wider world, no a wider universe out there that he can enjoy beyond one little corner of the globe. He had the potential to become a rather powerful user of magic, but the potential was stunted by the limited standards of that one corner of the globe. The hidden world would not come out in the light, so eventually it got engulfed by its own darkness.
Harry had one person to thank for this. He was half asleep, but the beautiful blonde haired woman in his arms was completely asleep for the moment. She was born Kara Zor-El. He met her when she was under her secret identity as Kara Kent, but she became Kara Potter after a whirlwind romance in Las Vegas.
It was very rapid-fire and lightning fast, as it turned out, within eight hours, and unconventional, from a certain perspective.
Harry's life was anything, but conventional so really the circumstances that lead to him being married would have been no different. Sometimes, the best things in life happened spur of the moment.
For the longest time, he did not have the memories of what should have been one of the most significant days of his life. Then they were triggered during a return visit to Vegas, in a battle with him and Kara against a villain known as Psimon. His telepathic abilities caused the memory of Harry to be triggered when he was in the midst of battle.
Kara was not like other girls, she was special. To Harry, she was the most beautiful girl in not only the world, but the entire universe. She was among the last of her race, Kryptonians. At one point, the planet Krypton had been among one of the most advanced civilizations in the universe, but due to deceit and planet instabilities, the planet blew up and met a premature end.
Kara had spent most of her life on the neighboring planet known as Argo with her parents Zor-El and Alura. That planet had been ravaged by the menacing General Zod, and just as they were picking up the pieces after Zod's defeat, Krypton blew up, and Argo was iced over from the backwash. Kara was the only survivor, kept in suspended animation, until her cousin rescued her nearly three years ago when she was fifteen years old.
Harry just snickered, recalling the rather tense first few months that he had with Kara's cousin. He was known to Clark Kent as his friends, born Kal-El, but the world at large was he was known as the hero Superman. He was the hero that other heroes hoped to live up to, a standard fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.
The entire Vegas Marriage thing kind of did strike a bit of a nerve with Clark at first. Until he realized how much Harry cared for Kara, and would do anything to protect her. Harry and Clark both had bad years in the months prior to the event, with Harry suffering a hellacious time in what would prove to be his final year at Hogwarts. Clark was kidnapped and brainwashed by an evil god known as Darkseid.
Issues they worked through, and Harry thought that they were all better people for it. Adversity sometimes breeds the best in people, or so Harry found out.
Kara stirred a little bit in her sleep, and Harry smiled, his arms wrapped around her body. She really gave his life meaning in a time where he had no real reason to live. And they had been through a lot together over the eleven, almost twelve months they had been married.
Kara yawned as her eyes opened. She looked up at Harry, who smiled at her. Kara returned it. Her beautiful blue eyes peered into his green eyes.
"Good morning, Kara," Harry said, taking time to gaze at her beautiful face. He always thought she had a face of an angel, but that might not be giving her enough credit for her breathtaking beauty
"Morning, Harry," Kara replied, turning over to face him, and meet his lips for a deep kiss. They allowed themselves to give each other a morning greeting for several minutes, before it was broken. "The last leg of training…it's really rough. And done on a planet with a red sun…sorry I crashed on you last night."
Harry waved it off. In many ways, they both pushed themselves to their limits and beyond. That was just one of the many things Harry and Kara both had in common.
"You're stamina has improved tenfold, and your magic gave you a boost," Harry told her, stroking his wife's hair in a loving manner. "We're almost done, even if we did get put through the wringer by Kilowog."
"Well, John Stewart did warn us that it would be tough," Kara commented, sitting up with Harry. "But we'll be out of here in time for my birthday, yours, and our wedding anniversary."
"Pretty good time to get out there, funny how something fell into place for once," Harry responded, arms wrapped her waist, and he planted a few light kisses on the back of her neck. "We didn't really have to do this, but it will help us. And that's really what matters the most."
"Yeah, I understand my ring a lot better, even if it doesn't make the cool energy constructs that the Green Lantern rings do," Kara commented. "Well, except for Stewart's. The guy has no imagination."
Harry and Kara laughed at this. It seemed to be a running joke in the Green Lantern Corps, even if they did respect John for is dedication and hard work.
"Whatever gets the job done though," Harry said in a reasonable tone of voice. "Sometimes a tactical strategy is in order, and other times, you just got to hit something with blunt and uncreative force. Either way would work, as long as the day is saved."
Harry and Kara got up, walking through their quarters. Kara sat down, as Harry fixed them Breakfast. It was bacon and eggs, along with toast, with orange juice. Perhaps not the most creative breakfast in the world, but Kara enjoyed it.
'Sure glad you married someone that can cook,' Kara thought, and not for the first time. 'Given my many kitchen disasters on both Argo and the Kent Farm…it's just best I stay away from the stove at all cost.'
"Here you go, just the way you like them," Harry told her with a smile.
Kara tore into breakfast. With her fast metabolism she could really eat what she wanted, but much like humans, the wrong kind of foods played havoc with her body. With her Kryptonian physiology, she did not gain weight; rather her powers did not work as well as they should.
The blue ring energy rings were interesting, as all of their effects had not been hashed out. Plus, Harry and Kara really did not mind the fact that they did not create any kind of energy constructs, because there was all kind of magical spells that could do that. Granted, they were high end charm work, but the two were both up to the task to learn them.
It was funny how the Green Lantern rings and magic had many similarities.
The ring was just a focus device, powered by the lantern. It allowed those to do many great things, with the proper imagination and the belief that the sky was the limit.
"So, I take it you're ready to go back home," Harry said.
"Yeah, I've grown to love Earth, even if it's a bit behind the technological curve," Kara replied fondly. "Plus being out in space has given us loads of new ideas for projects for our company."
Harry smiled; Patronus Incorporated was their pride and joy. They had taken the company from the ashes of LexCorp, and built something wonderful. There were critics, but Harry and Kara thought they had put together a winning team.
"Well, it might be several years before we can use many of these ideas," Harry said. "Earth is a relatively new planet after all compared to many in the galaxies. There will be plenty of time, centuries even, but we have plenty of time to do great things. A couple of our upcoming projects are testing the waters for some more ambitious things."
"Calculated risk, but that technology was obsolete about a thousand or so years on Krypton," Kara concluded. "But, it's rather high end and not too expensive to replicate with what we have on Earth."
Harry nodded. They would worry about that more when they returned to Earth. The company seemed to be in good hands, and everything was set up where it could run smoothly without them. While Harry and Kara both liked being hands on owners, just because it was their financial future at stake, the fact that they found enough people they could trust gave them solace.
They finished their breakfast in silence over the next few minutes.
"So, Harry, I was thinking about my Blue Lantern uniform," Kara commented casually.
"Yeah, you wanted to customize that thing if I recall right," Harry replied.
"Well, do you remember the Star Sapphires?" Kara asked him.
"Yeah, hard to forget, it was only a month ago," Harry replied with a strained smile. "Charming group of women they were, all crazy with the wrong idea about love. They would have gotten on well with Dumbledore. I remember, they tried to trap me and feed off my life energy for their powers."
"The key word being try," Kara said, not even bothering to hide the grin on her face.
They took a minute to remember this particular little escapade in space.
"Yes, because you tended to knock a few of them around if I remember rightly," Harry remarked with a teasing smile. "I'm sure some of them woke up eventually."
"Well, I didn't kill them, because I wanted them to be alive enough to learn their lesson," Kara said. She grinned at the thought. "But you knos those girls were just going to put you into stasis and use you as an energy source. What a waste of your power and your skills. Plus none of them were Kryptonian, so it's not like I'm inclined to share my husband with them."
"I remember that deal," Harry told her fondly.
"Those costumes were pink…no offense to people who like pink, but it's just not a good looking color," Kara said, wrinkling her nose at the very thought. "I look horrible in pink, but blue's more my color, and red, and really the primary color thing just kind of tends to go with my hair and eyes. But mostly blue. Even if green is my favorite color, for obvious reasons."
She looked into Harry's eyes for emphasis. Harry's eyes met hers.
"So about this costume, what is it about?" Harry asked her.
"Don't go away, I just finished it the other day when you were out arguing about protocol with the Guardians for the third time this week," Kara said.
Kara zoomed off at the speed of light and returned a moment later.
The vision Harry saw made his mouth go dry. Kara stood before him wearing a blue outfit. The top had two strips of blue fabric down either side, just barely covering her breasts, and meeting in the middle, until it showed her midriff. Covering her bottom half was a short blue mini-skirt, extending to about six inches above her knees. It retained modesty, mostly, but also gave Harry a hint of what was to come. It showed off her shapely long legs quite nicely. She wore white and blue high heeled boots. She sauntered over to Harry. The entire outfit displayed the curves Kara had developed.
"You like, Harry?" Kara asked him, twirling her hair and moving over towards him.
"You look hot in that outfit," Harry said, eying her like she was more delicious than anything for breakfast. "Then again you look hot in anything."
"Or nothing at all, right?" Kara asked him, with a smirk, placing both of her hands on Harry's legs and leaning in closely to her husband's face.
"Do you even need to ask?" Harry responded, and Kara straddled his lap. Harry reached up and wrapped his arms around her slender waist. He pulled her into deep kiss. Kara returned it, and their fun began for that morning.
-FOUND IN THE PROFILE-
Harry and Kara got dressed after their early morning bout of love making. They set at the table, and looked out the window onto the horizon. The blonde haired Kryptonian witch rested on her husband's lap, and they enjoyed a brief amount of time together cuddling, before Harry spoke up.
"There's still some time before we need to report for our final assessment," Harry said. "How about we go for a nice flight? I mean we got an hour to kill for them."
"That'd be fun," Kara agreed, before she put her hand out for him. "Lead the way."
Harry and Kara grabbed hands. They pushed the door open and moved up into the sky into the frontiers of space. Their rings gave them a shield of protection that would allow them to be able to breath and survive in space, another added feature the super powered couple found.
It was a good thing they did. While there were charms that filtered clean air, they could be limited and were difficult to hold on.
They could do it, but it would allow them only limited combat abilities if they got attacked.
The Potters flew off to enjoy the sights. It was a nice leisurely fight, and they enjoyed the time they had with each other. It was a rather trying three months of training, but both pushed through and were even stronger than ever before. Maybe not on a physical level, but most certainly they knew they were on a mental and emotional level.
Both Kara and Harry were stubborn, they refused to break or give up. Kilowog told them that half of the new Lantern recruits broke within the first week. Those who did not would be the cream of the corps.
True to form, the first week was the easiest, and it was harder. It was almost like Batman on a bad day.
Their status was already on shaky ground. Most of the Guardians were rather cool towards the entire Blue Lantern Corps experiment. They were set in their ways like many people were and traditionalists. The Green Lantern Corps was a professionally put together outfit, and the guardians did have their work put together regulating so many sectors.
There was so much protocol to follow that Harry and Kara were both kind of glad that they were only probationary members, just being offered the training. They did add some necessary fire power to a few missions, but they did come to clash with the Guardians of OA. One of them made a comment about them being another Sinestro situation waiting to happen.
It was not until they both found out whom Sinestro was that they got offended. It was a good thing both Harry and Kara had just finished an entire day of drills, and had time to cool down as they rested. Otherwise the entire situation would have been messy.
So naturally from day one, based off the prototype ring factor, and other things, Harry and Kara seemed to clash with the Guardians. Harry mostly, as he had a nasty habit of speaking his opinion, but Kara was no stranger to offending people with her opinion.
Harry just doubted he would ever have to deal with the Guardians of OA after today. Or more likely a part of him hoped so. He had a feeling that they would give a thumbs down on the entire Blue Lantern Corps experiment by a wide margin. Not that he minded.
Harry did not really fancy spending a lot of his time gallivanting in space. He was glad he could use the ring in many ways, and he sensed Kara was happy as well.
Plus the training gave them new weapons to use in combat, and there always could be someone more powerful than they are. Every single weapon that they could use, even the minor ones, would be appreciated by both of them.
Those thoughts went through their heads as they traveled.
"Harry," Kara whispered to him, and grabbed his sleeve.
"Yes," Harry said, but he frowned and he caught sight of something. "There's a distress signal, someone's in trouble."
Heroism died hard. Even if it was a bit away from where they were, both Harry and Kara had to pick up the distress signal. It was in their nature. They changed into their official Blue Lantern uniforms and moved off to search for the distress signal. Kara's standard uniform was a bit more modest, the one she wore this morning was for Harry's eyes only.
Outside of the Watchtower, Superman, dressed in a white spacesuit with a helmet and a red 'S' signifying the crest of the house of El stitched onto the suit, flew around the outside. He activated the communication device he had on him, a frown appearing on his face when he picked up a beacon.
"Distress signal picked up, requesting back up," Superman said, frowning. His X-Ray vision indicated that alien space craft was definitely in the distance.
"Back up coming, please stand by," Martian Manhunter said. "Hawkgirl, Green Lantern, and Flash are boarding now to travel to your location, being the closest to it. How dire is the situation?"
The telltale signs of an explosion were seen in a distance and Superman moved forward to investigate it. He hovered and carefully analyzed the situation. He gingerly set down on an asteroid.
"We could have a potential hostage situation, and potential casualties," Superman said. "I'm going in; send the others by at the earliest convenience."
"ETA, one minute and forty five seconds."
The Man of Steel saw two figures move around space craft parked on the asteroid. They uniforms on, that resembled those of the Green Lanterns Corps, but the uniforms were red. They were trying to pry it open to get the person inside.
Superman dodged a high impact blast of red light from one of the apparent attackers. The Man of Steel dove down, and knocked out one of his attackers with a swift shot. He flew down to the ground hard and Superman threw his attacker down.
Another blast of red light caught Superman in the back. Superman staggered from the impact. A look of pure rage appeared on the face of the young man, when he saw Superman remain on his face.
"Why won't you stay down?" the young man demanded, before he held his ring and aimed it at Superman, a crazed expression on his face. "DIE!"
A series of high energy blasts sliced through the air towards the hero. If Superman had not been the Man of Steel, they would have sliced him in half or blown him to smithereens. He shot forward like a cork to engage the enemy.
Three more of these attackers moved into focus. Thankfully for Superman, he did not have to wait for long, as backup was on the way. The Javelin touched down onto the asteroid body.
A green energy shot blocked the red attack and pushed it back. Green Lantern rushed in and engaged them in battle. The red clad attackers seemed angry at his presence, and made him know it immediately.
Hawkgirl and Flash, dressed for space travel, turned up. Flash rushed in to grab them, but a blast staggered him off to the side.
Wings flapping, Hawkgirl lifted up her mace and swung it for the fences. It blasted the red light attacks back. The red attackers would not give any ground, for a while, but the Justice League refused to put any civilians in risk.
The battle continued for a bit. The heroes gained the advantage, and the villains knew it.
"This one's a bust, leave it!" one of the attackers yelled.
Superman was not going to let them go away without a fight. He engaged them, but one of the sadistic attackers blew up the ship to allow them to gain cover. The quartet shot into the air. One of their numbers had been killed, but that was the price for war.
"You can't save him!" yelled Green Lantern, with Superman trying to move over to save him, but Lantern held the Man of Steel back. The young man found himself blown to smithereens.
Superman made last valiant attempt to save him, but it was much too late.
"I can't believe it, dead just like that," Superman said. "I could have saved him!"
"You don't know that," Green Lantern offered in an even voice. "But right now we have to save ourselves."
The asteroid they fought on began to crack and shutter. The Justice League moved off of the asteroid, and boarded the Javelin, before they flew off.
They all caught their breath carefully, before one of their number asked the very obvious question.
"Who were those guys?" Flash asked them.
"They almost looked like Red Lanterns," Superman said, a pained expression crossing his face.
Everyone looked to consider the possibilities and there really was no other explanation for what they were.
"Red Lanterns, really, well they looked like they were seeing red," Flash responded, before he turned towards Green Lantern. "Did you know anything like this?"
Green Lantern shook his head, and was just as befuddled as the rest of the group.
"No, I wasn't briefed on this by the Guardians of OA."
"Maybe they just came out of the woodwork recently," Hawkgirl suggested.
"Whoever they are, they're dangerous," Superman said grimly. He turned his attention towards Green Lantern "I would think that this would be something that the Guardians would like to know about."
"Unless they already know," Flash suggested.
"Well, there's only one way to find out," Superman said, and Green Lantern nodded.
He knew what to do.
"Yes, there is," Green Lantern responded, adopting a business like tone of voice and he turned to the other three. "Someone using modified Lantern technology, but a different weapon and in a different way, they'd want to know. Even if they already know…I can't see why they would. But, still…maybe they didn't have all of the facts."
Hawkgirl, Flash, and Superman all nodded. He would know about the situation in OA the best.
"A trip to OA is our next stop, to discuss this situation with the Guardians. And you three are witnesses so…"
"Hey, we'll help out, no need to say anything," Flash said. "That's what team mates are for."
"We will," Superman agreed and he took a look at his slightly burned suit. "The damage on my suit is…well it's more than enough proof, isn't it?"
'And it's the perfect chance to pop in to see how Harry and Kara are doing with their training,' Superman thought.
He had not heard from either of them since they had left that night after dinner in Smallville. The Man of Steel figured they had been busy. He had been busy himself , the Justice League having a number of fires to put out. That was in addition to the usual trouble he encountered as Superman every day in Metropolis, but he remained upbeat. The world would be a safer place.
A year ago he had been in a pretty bad place after the entire Darkseid fiasco, and it nearly ruined his relationships with several people. His cousin being the worst one, especially after he jumped to the absolute wrong conclusion after she went off to Vegas and the marriage to Harry really was a situation he regretted how he initially handled it.
Superman did weather the storm, and patched up everything with Kara and Harry as well. It was a good thing he did eventually, and he felt it only made the bonds of family much stronger. Even, if it was quite the journey to get that point and things were strained between him and Kara for the longest time.
This entire Red Lantern incident took his mind off of recalling the past, because he had a violent situation on his hands. Whoever these guys were, they meant business and they did not seem to care about who they caught in the crossfire.
Carefully, Harry and Kara moved towards the sign of the distress signal they had picked up. They spotted the source of it, a ship having crashed down on a planet outpost and there were flames. Immediately, Harry and Kara dropped down onto the ground to get an assessment of the situation.
Both carefully remained in the shadows cast by a range of mountains, for lack of a better term. Harry and Kara slipped off to the side, and they spotted several imposing figures across the horizon.
There were about eight of them in total, all moving around the wreckage of the ship.
Their uniforms resembled the standard Green Lantern Corps issued uniform, only they were red,. Harry and Kara's eyes narrowed, and a family was extracted from the vehicle. A wife and two children quivered in terror.
"What do you want from us?" the woman asked.
"You saw something, you protected that Green Lantern from us, you prevented us from annihilating him," a Red Lantern stated in a cruel voice.
"The Guardians latest champions are no different than their previous failures, but will wipe them out," another Red Lantern said showing his teeth. "And that includes anyone who harbors them or their kind."
The children were knocked around, and these Red Lanterns looked ready to use more violent means to get the desired results.
Both watched and Kara crushed a rock into her hand into dust.
"Stealth's over," Kara whispered in an undertone, a dangerous expression in her eyes when she saw the lengths these thugs would go to achieve their victory.
Harry had to agree. He levitated several rocks and flung them directly at the Red Lanterns to get their attention.
They turned around; their forces had been divided with precise strategy.
Kara swooped in from one side, and nailed one of the Red Lanterns in the face with a huge punch. The creature popped up, outraged, but Harry tripped him up.
"Watch your back!" Harry yelled at Kara.
"Isn't that what I have you here for?" Kara retorted.
"What matter of Lanterns are you?" demanded what appeared to be the field leader, but his face contorted into great rage, before a beam of light shot through the air.
Kara dodged in and punched him out. A firefight began on the planetoid, and continued for several minutes.
"Whoever these guys are, they aren't fooling around!" Harry yelled.
"We've got to divide and conquer them," Kara said.
The super powered couple attempted to put this strategy into motion, but found their opponents to be relentless attackers. These Red Lanterns appeared to be fighting as one, even if it was motivated by rage and a bloodlust without any peer.
"The problem is getting them to follow us!" Harry shouted, but to his credit, he knocked one of them out when he managed to find the pattern in the erratic shooting.
"Set the explosive device, and retreat!" one of the red lanterns called.
"Set the explosive device?" Kara asked.
"Yeah, that's never encouraging when someone says that," Harry managed.
They found themselves smack into a force field. They found a way underneath, but a few seconds was all that the Red Lanterns needed to vacate the planet. An explosive device started to drill itself into the planet.
"So, do you have any idea what language the timer's in?" Harry asked Kara, but she shook her head.
"If I'd hazard a guess, it's going to go off any minute now," Kara said with a frown.
She moved over and tried to scan it. The circuitry was rather simple, but delicate.
"Okay, Harry, lift the panel off, and I'll cut the wires," Kara said, remaining cool and taking a deep breath.
Harry did as he was asked, and Kara closed her eyes. She fired a concentrated blast of heat vision to slice through the wires.
One wrong misstep and they would be all vaporized. The Red Lantern Harry had knocked out was on the ground taking a nap. Harry watched and waited with bated breath. Kara concluded her work and sighed in absolute relief.
The crisis had been averted, well at least this one. The villagers moved out and all watched them fearfully before one had the courage to speak.
"Is that dreadful thing destroyed?"
"Yes, it's done, and I'm getting rid of it now," Harry told them in a reassuring voice.
"Why is Atrocitus doing this to us?" one of the villages asked.
Harry and Kara exchanged a rather confused look at this abrupt question.
"Who is Atrocitus?" Kara asked them gently, but the very name caused everyone to back up in fear.
Everyone in the village seemed positively terrified and trembled, shaking and pale.
"Hazarding a guess, he's the leader of these guys," Harry said, and he inclined his head towards the Red Lantern Corps member on the dirt. "These Red Lanterns, if I'm not mistaken."
There were a number of fearful nods. A particularly brave young man began to move up and speak to Harry and Kara.
"Atrocitus sent his army to our planet and several nearby to send a message to the Guardians of OA. His message was that he's still out there and he hasn't forgotten what has happened."
"What happened?" Harry asked them.
"No one really knows," the villager replied in a hushed tone. "He arrived here, and sent us a message that anyone harboring Green Lanterns would be punished. This village was often used as a medical outpost for any injuries. The Green Lantern Corps stopped by often, but now they showed up and we have much to fear."
"Being so close you would think you would have a Green Lantern assigned to this place," Kara commented.
The looks on their faces allowed Harry to make an educated guess about what was going on.
"Unless…he's no longer around," Harry said slowly.
"You'd be correct, we did have a Green Lantern assigned to this little cluster of planets, but Atrocitus and his Red Lanterns brutally slaughtered him," said the villager, with a shudder. "He made sure to have images passed out throughout the city, and they were stained in the blood of the poor Green Lantern. Ever since then, he's sent the Red Lanterns here every single day to remind us he's out there, but now you two have given us new hope."
Disgust flooded both Harry and Kara. They could both feel the hopelessness and the horror, but also the breath of fresh air their appearance inspired. Something about that just made them smile.
That was evidence that this training was not all for nothing. The rings seemed to inspire something within these helpless and oppressed villagers.
"What hope, they can't stick around here," another villager said in a panicked voice. "They might have stopped one attempt to blow up this planetoid, but what's stopping Atrocitus from bringing his army back here in full force? We don't even know how many of these Red Lanterns there are."
"We have the one, and that should be proof for the Guardians of OA to react to this problem," Harry said, and he held up the downed Red Lantern for emphasis.
Kara proceeded to help Harry check the Red Lantern on the ground for any tracking implements or surprises. The ring was a danger, but Harry located the power battery on his person. Keeping them separate would be important, as a basic scan indicated that his ring was low on power.
"I'm going to set up a barrier around here, it will only hold for a few days, but it should be able to keep any Red Lanterns out until we sort this out," Harry explained.
"And if they come back around, we'll know right away," Kara added, trying to give them a reassuring smile. "But we're taking this one to OA and the Guardians"
"We should hopefully have some kind of response," Harry said. "Try and live your normal lives the best you can."
"Good luck, good fortune, and thanks!" one of the villagers called after them.
The months and months of terror had subsided at least for a few fleeting moments. They knew of the Green Lanterns, the Red Lanterns, but these Blue Lanterns symbolized a fresh new hope for them all.
Optimism returned to this quaint little village for the first time in ages, and word would spread eventually is it tended to do.
The Javelin touched down on OA. Green Lantern exited, and Superman, Hawkgirl, and Flash followed them. The rough and tumble drill sergeant with a heart of gold known as Kilowog waited for them.
"Ah, Stewart, I heard you were stopping by to report on something," Kilowog said in a gruff, but welcoming tone of voice. He surveyed Flash, Superman, and Hawkgirl. "And you brought along a few friends."
"Witnesses," Green Lantern said stiffly and he pointed them out. "Superman, Hawkgirl, and Flash, this is Kilowog."
There were handshakes all around as the introductions concluded.
"Guardians seem to be intently talking about something," Superman commented, not being able to help overhearing with his enhanced sense of hearing.
Kilowog just nodded and spoke gruffly, "Yeah, the Guardians are in a weird mood. I thought it was because of that entire Blue Lantern experiment. It went decent enough, but some of them can't see past what they thought was the only way. Guess that's tradition for ya."
"So, how are Kara and Harry doing?" Superman asked him.
"Ah, Superman, I'd tell you, about the same as any other pair of new trainees," said Kilowog in an even tone of voice. "Been working them through the grind, but at first I thought they would fall down hard. But they kept fighting up. They took the best I had to give them. Granted, there were some rough patches, and they were a bit raw for a while. At least they had a decent understanding of the basics, unlike a lot of the other fresh meat that I get thrown my way."
"So, where are the two…um Blue Lanterns?" Flash asked with curiosity in his voice.
"That's what I'd like to know," Superman said, who was half hoping for Kara and Harry to come around the corner to surprise him.
"Yeah, you'd figure they would be around here, I thought that were going to be leaving tomorrow," Green Lantern stated, eyes narrowed at the potential tardiness.
"Ah, they likely took a bit of a day out, see a bit of the universe, I wasn't supposed to meet with them for about another five minutes," Kilowog said, also keeping a watch out for them but he remained calm and turned to Green Lantern. "But the Guardians want to see you Stewart, about this urgent distress signal…whatcha say it's about?"
"Red Lanterns," Green Lantern replied, and Kilowog was taken aback by this statement.
"Red Lanterns, you got to be flipping kidding me!"
"What you don't believe us?" Hawkgirl challenged. "We saw them with our eyes…"
Kilowog shook his head and put a hand up.
"Nah, I believe ya, it's just I was rememberin' the good old days where there used to be the good old Green Lantern Corps. Now there's Sinestro and his crew, the Blue Lanterns, and then those Star Sapphires. Heard of them?"
"I've been briefed on them," Green Lantern said and he cringed at the thought. "They've taken love to absolutely insane degree and tried to enslave powerful men to feed their powers."
"Yeah, well there numbers are a bit short now," Kilowog said roughly, before he chuckled. "Funny story, might tell you about it sometime."
Superman had a shrewd idea what happened. It seemed they might have tried something involving Harry, and run afoul of Kara. He did feel sorry for them, but only to an extent.
"And now we got Red Lanterns, what's next, Polka Dot Lanterns?" Kilowog asked them.
"Hey, that'd be something, wouldn't it?" Flash responded with a grin, but he got a few looks that indicated to him it was time for him to shut up.
"Enough talk, the longer we wait, the more damage these Red Lanterns can do to innocent people out there," Green Lantern said.
"Well you got us the meeting, let's just go pay the Guardians of OA our respects," Hawkgirl said firmly, her mace clutched in her hand.
Everyone agreed this was the best course of action. Kilowog and Green Lantern lead the way.
The entire group looked up to face the Guardians of OA.
"Yes, Green Lantern John Stewart, we understand you and your comrades in the Justice League had a situation close to one of Earth's space stations, by a cluster of asteroids."
The four explained what happened. The Guardians of OA peered down at them from above. Their blue faces mostly were kept blank and they nodded at the news they were given.
"Well, it's a fascinating story, but to think that there were Red Lanterns out there, most likely it was a group of space pirates trying to gain some credibility."
"The Red Lanterns are an urban legend that crop up from time to time, and people take advantage of it to spread fear and discord."
"Urban legend, somehow I doubt it," a voice spoke up from the hallway. Everyone's heads snapped around to see the source.
Harry and Kara showed up for the meeting. They got narrowed eyes from a few of the Guardians, but some inclined their heads respectfully.
"You are not authorized for this meeting."
"Trust me, it'd be well worth your time to break protocol," Kara said fiercely, before she and Harry dropped the unconscious Red Lantern on the ground with a thud.
There were gasps and the Guardians whispered amongst themselves.
Harry and Kara launched into an explanation of their little encounter.
"I might not be the most hip guy to the room on urban legends, but two incidents like that far apart are far from a coincidence," Flash concluded, when they were done.
"Flash is right, I'd think we'd like to know if there have been any attacks," Green Lantern said, a bit more firmly than he would have normally spoken to the Guardians.
"Do not overstep your bounds, John Stewart…"
"Fine he shouldn't, but I'll overstep mine," Harry interrupted them and he got a few gasps. He proceeded to ignore them, and looked up at the Guardians. "The fact of the matter is, you Guardians know a lot more than you let on about this situation. Your explanation was too clean. And this Red Lantern thing, they were assaulting planets who just happened to help out members of your corps."
"This activity could occur on OA," Kara warned them.
There was looks of skepticism, but a few looked worried.
"Is it impossible?" Kara challenged them.
Harry looked focused and more serious than he ever been before. "Nothing is impossible, you might think you're secure, but someone could surprise you. "It's a lot better to give the truth now, then try and keep hiding it. I have questions, and I think everyone in this room who dealt with both Red Lantern attacks would like answers."
Everyone nodded, and some of the Guardians shifted guilty.
"Let's start with a simple one," Kara prompted. "Who is Atrocitus?
That one name got the entire group of Guardians muttering to each other. Kara, Harry, Superman, Hawkgirl, Green Lantern, Flash, and Kilowog all waited, before one decided to speak.
"One of the consequences of the darkest day in the history of the Green Lantern Corps, and it happened many of your Earth decades ago. Nearly thirty five of your years, we believed him to be gone, but now he's back. But he's…."
"Remember, this information is strictly confidential. We much converse privately before you are told anything more."
"Of course," Kara said in undertone, who heard enough about protocol from the Guardians of OA to fill several notebooks.
Some Guardians were very much by the book, and some were very by the book.
Kara turned to see her cousin and offered him a smile.
"Hi, Kal, sorry we couldn't meet up again under better circumstances," Kara said. "So how are you doing?"
"Fine, I've been busy," Superman said. "You?"
"The same," Kara replied, her eyes focused on the Guardians who had their backs turned on them.
"How about you Harry?" Superman asked conversationally.
"I've been doing fine, busy, with the training, about ready to go home," Harry said. "So did you bring any news about…"
"It's doing fine, you posted another profit last quarter," Superman informed them with a chuckle, before Harry even had to ask..
He smiled as Harry and Kara relaxed just slightly.
"So, this isn't going to be as bad as waiting at the DMV, is it?" Flash asked to break the silence that had just been formed.
"No, likely worse," Green Lantern answered him in a disgusted voice. "Because, I think we stumbled upon a secret that the Guardians hoped would remain dead and buried."
Superman listened to several bits of conversations. He could not make out most of it, but his instincts told them they were angry.
"These Red Lanterns are out there, we saw them, we fought them," Hawkgirl said. "What are they waiting for?"
"The senior prom it sounds like," Flash said. "Although I don't see many of those faces being top on the invite list."
There were a few sighs.
The Guardians continued their heated conversation, and they could only wait.
The Red Lantern prisoner had been taken away by guards, but that was the only change that happened as the group waited as the Guardians argued.
Several Red Lanterns stood posture nervous and they trembled before the fearsome person before them.
"So, two failures in one day, and two Red Lanterns lost," the imposing figure in the shadows concluded.
"Atrocitus, begging your forgiveness, but there were circumstances," one of the Red Lanterns begged.
The terror known as Atrocitus stood in the background. Decades ago, the Guardians of OA unleashed their terrors, the Manhunters, in an attempt to exert their authority. The Manhunters were shut down, but the Red Lantern Corps rose from the bloodshed of several destroyed worlds. Atrocitus was their leader, and he was the angriest of them all.
His fondest wish was to tear the Guardians apart and their blood to rain from the skies as he bathed in it.
"One of the attackers by the base on Earth, he was most certainly Kryptonian," another Red Lantern offered him.
This information caused Atrocitus to see red. He tried to enlist the help of Krypton many years back when it still existed. They had nothing to do with the Guardians, so he figured they were kindred spirits. Their arrogance spurned them, which caused Atrocitus to lead his legions on Krypton, a calculated error in hindsight.
He remembered those two fools who had stopped his campaign. One dared to tell him to kneel before him. That caused Atrocitus great rage, as most of his Red Lantern Corps were slaughtered in primal bloodshed by this General and his army, before Atrocitus himself was banished to a place called the Phantom Zone.
Yet, he was rescued by a few loyalists. Atrocitus rebuilt the Red Lantern Corps over the past few years, and now blood would reign down on the universe in crimson rage.
He found out Krypton had perished some time ago, and he felt some minor joy, even if he was not the one to wipe out that race of insufferable fools.
Atrocitus watched the battle, and recognized the crest on the Kryptonian. It was the family crest of the other one who had assisted in his defeat, alongside that arrogant general.
The messenger dropped dead as a consequence of the great anger the leader of the Red Lantern Corps felt.
Atrocitus peered over and faced his followers.
"Charge your rings, we will prepare for the onslaught," Atrocitus ordered them. "And no ghost Kryptonians or Guardians of OA or anyone shall stop us from reining our vengeance upon the universe."
The Red Lantern Corps performed their oath simultaneously.
"With blood and rage crimson red.
Ripped from a corpse so freshly dead.
Together with our hellish hate.
We'll burn you all, that is your fate!"
To Be Continued in Chapter 2 Atrocity Part One.