In Blackest Night II
[Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Justice League. They belong to Masashi Kishimoto and DC Comics respectively. This fiction is just for fun.]
"Telepathic Conversation/ A.I. Talking"
"Hawkgirl! Flash! All of you! Listen to me! Nobody is lying! Do you see that?" John asked, pointing at the rubble that once was planet Ajuris-4. "I did it, I'm guilty."
Lobo started to laugh after hearing John.
"Why are you laughing?" John said, angrily, clenching his fist.
Ryu shook his head and looked at John. "Do you really believe the blast, which couldn't even penetrate the ship's defense, can destroy the whole planet, even if it hit its weak spot?" he asked.
Green Lantern eyes widened in shock. The sudden realization hit him like a ton of bricks.
"Do you know how much power is needed to destroy a planet?" Ryu asked John. "Just ask Lobo."
"Well, I fragged my planet for my high school science project. Gave myself an 'A,'" Lobo said, proudly.
Disgusting! the league members thought, but they didn't comment on that.
"Ok, I get it, but if I didn't destroy Ajuris-4, then who did that?" John asked. He then narrowed his eyes. "Kanjar-Ro?"
"He is just a small fish in the pond. There is the big one behind all of this," Ryu said.
John asked, "Who?"
"I don't know anything about them, yet," Ryu answered. "But I know his or her target is bigger than you."
"If John isn't a target," Superman asked, "then what is the target?"
"The Green Lantern Corps and its reputation," Ryu said, shocking everyone, especially John. "By blaming John, a green lantern, for killing three billion lives, they have already succeeded to muddy the green lantern's reputation. Now, if they prove John is a guilty then..."
"...then no one will believe in the green lantern," John completed, his eyes winded.
"Now, what is our strategy?" Hawkgirl asked.
Everyone turned to look at Ryu.
Seeing everyone was looking at him, Ryu sighed. "First," he said, picking something from his pouch. He had already placed a genjutsu around them, so without any hesitation, he gave it to John.
John looked at the object that Ryu had given to him. It was his power ring. "How?" he asked, looking at Ryu.
Ryu smirked. "Did you really think that I would hand over your real ring to the rejected hunter?"
"That tin-can couldn't even tell the difference between real and fake," Lobo said, laughed.
"Use it at the right time, John," Ryu said before he turned towards others. "We'll divide into three teams. First team, Superman and J'onn, will investigate Ajuris-4 remaining," He turned and looked at the place where Ajuris-4 was, "There is something not right there."
Because I can sense many life signature is coming there. He narrowed his eyes. Then he notified something which was out of the picture. He smiled.
"You will definitely find something there," he added before turning back. "Second team is I and Hawkgirl. We will spy on Kanjar-Ro and try to gather more information on him and this incident from other Green Lanterns."
"What about me?" Flash asked. "What is my task? Who is on my team?"
"Flash, your task is buy us some time in the court," Ryu said.
"You're asking the world's fastest man to slow things down? It won't be easy…" Flash wasn't very sure how to accomplish this.
"Don't worry, Flash. You are not alone," Ryu said, and from his shadow, Karasu came out and landed on his shoulder. "Karasu-chan will help you in this task."
Flash looked at the raven and asked, "But it's a bird?"
"Yes, but I'm not a normal bird," Karasu said telepathically, shocking everyone, except Lobo, who had known about her.
"Whoa!" Flash said. "Cool!"
"She is a telepath," J'onn said.
"Karasu-chan is a part of my soul. She is perfectly capable of this task," Ryu told Flash before turning to Lobo. "Do anything to buy the time if you get any hint Flash is losing the case. For this job, I will give you another ten percent."
"I can do that," Lobo said as he gave thumbs up.
"I always thought you were not a team player," John said, suddenly, interpreting them.
Ryu turned towards John and said, "There is one thing I've learned in my life, John, you can't achieve anything alone." He took a pause and looked at his reaction before looking at the rest of the league. "Do you understand your tasks?" He got nods from them. "Good." He grabbed Hawkgirl's shoulder. "Let's go." Both he and Hawkgirl were swirled into a vortex and vanished from there.
"He has qualities of a good leader," the last Martian said.
"Leadership is in his blood," Karasu said, catching their attention. "The country, where he had born, had total five leaders. Four in all six leaders were related to Master and one of them was his father."
"Ryu is full of surprises," Flash commented.
The court was ready to resume with John on a floating disk, in front of the monitor of the three judges while Kanjar-Ro being on a similar disk, ready to be questioned.
"John Stewart, you may now question your accuser," the Judge said.
"Tell them, no question. We want to find some solid evidence to prove you innocent and we can't find it with Kanjar-Ro here," Karasu said, telepathically, to John. "Also, lower your head to show them you are feeling ashamed yourself."
"No questions!" John said, lowering his head at the judge.
"Very well," the Judge said and the disk, which was holding the pirate in the air, floated down effortlessly.
"Master, Kanjar-Ro is leaving," Karasu said, telepathically, to her Master.
Ryu replied, "Got it, Karasu-chan."
"Flash," Karasu said.
Flash nodded and he stood up. "I object! You call this a trial?" he shouted to catch everyone's attention. "I say this is a joke!"
One Judge shouted, "Remove him!"
Two reptilian guards tried to capture Flash, but his superior speed allowed him to escape and evade the guards as he reached the center of the gallery facing the judges.
"Repeat after me, Flash," Karasu said. "Listen to me! You..."
"Listen to me! You need to hear both sides in the important matter like this," Flash repeated after Karasu, and side stepped to avoid the guards.
"Wait! This being may have a point!" the female Judge said, stopping the guards from attacking Flash. "We don't want any lingering thoughts about our final judgment, do we?"
"Of course not," the other male Judge said. "But who will speak for John Stewart?"
"I will," Flash said.
"Very well," The Judge said. "But be aware. If you lose, you will share the same penalty as the accused."
Flash nodded his head as he knew about that.
The female Judge said, "You may proceed."
"Now, what?" Flash asked Karasu.
"Do what you do best… confuse them until they're ready to crack," Karasu told him.
"That I can do," Flash said. There's an insult in there somewhere. I just know it!
Then the red costumed hero started to speak like some random lawyers that didn't even make any sense to anyone. But it managed to create some confusion in the courtroom.
John sweat dropped, hearing Flash. Making Flash my lawyer, is Ryu wanted to kill me?
Speaking of Ryu, he and Hawkgirl had gone in separate way as they had decided to save the time by dividing their work. Hawkgirl had chosen to gather some information from the other green lanterns where Ryu had decided to spy on the space pirate. He watched Kanjar-Ro talking with one of the Manhunters. They were talking about John and his trial.
Ryu narrowed his eyes at the Manhunter. There was something weird about this Manhunter. His voice doesn't sound like it should, he thought before sinking into the ground to follow the pirate.
Superman and J'onn boarded the Javelin.
The Martian voiced the question that had been on his mind since they left the courthouse. "Is there any particular reason Ryu wants to investigate Ajuris-4?" J'onn asked Superman.
"Maybe, figuring out what happened on Ajuris-4 will give a clue to find the person who was pulling the strings behind the scenes," Superman said. It was only his guess.
Hawkgirl entered the Cantina and immediately saw the lantern corps. Actually, it wasn't hard to notice them with their green uniforms. The winged woman walked right up to the table where the lanterns were seated.
"Waiter, another order of rings over here!" A humanoid lantern, resembled a werewolf, called out. His name was Arkkis Chummuck. He had brown fur and was stocky build.
"Why aren't you helping or supporting your fellow Lantern at the trial?" Hawkgirl demanded, lifting her mace and placing it on the other hand.
Gallius Zed scoffed, "We couldn't stand that farce of trial anymore." He had a large head with two arms and three legs
"That piece of trash John has made us all look bad," Arkkis added before he chugged his beverage.
Other two lanterns agreed with them while one decided to stay away from that conversation. The lantern who agreed, were Tomar-Tu and Larvox. Tomar-Tu was had orange skin, fins and beak on the head where Larvox was roughly pear shaped lantern with theirs one eye, multiple arms and legs. The one who decided to stay out of this, was Kilowog. He was a towering alien with a brutish cross of porcine and bull-doggish appearance.
Hawkgirl let out a snort of disgust, "I guess that shows how far loyalty goes in the vaunted Green Lantern Corps."
Zed rolled his eyes, "Get off your damn high horse, lady. If you had any common sense you'd steer clear of the lunatic too."
"Otherwise, his wretched stench will spread all over you," Arkkis added.
"Is that right?" Hawkgirl questioned. She suddenly brought her mace down on the middle of their table with authority, "You're nothing but cowards, the whole lot of you!" She lifted her hand for another whack on the table, but someone caught her hand. She turned her head and saw Ryu.
"Calm down Hawkgirl," Ryu said. He was holding her hand.
"Ryu!" Arkkis said as he and his fellow lantern stood up. They brought their arms up and pointed their rings at him.
"What are you doing here?" Kilowog asked as his ring started to shine.
"You really want me as your enemy now." Ryu smirked.
Suddenly, six pinch black chains erupted from the ground, wrapping around all lanterns, pinning them down. All Green Lanterns lost their brightness as they felt powerless. Struggling, they looked source of chains and saw chains coming out of Ryu's right hand. All lanterns tried to use their rings, but nothing happened.
"There's no use trying. This chain can suppress any energy," Ryu said. "Now, shall we talk civilly?"
Seeing there wasn't any way, all lanterns nodded their head.
"Good." Ryu retreated all chains back to his body. He walked forward and sat down on a chair, placing his hand under his chin.
"So what do you want to talk about?" Kilowog asked as he and his fellow lanterns took seats.
"About John," Ryu said. "Do you really think, he responsible for Ajuris-4's destruction?"
"Yes," Arkkis said. "The witness says this."
Ryu asked, "And who is this witness?"
"Kanjar-Ro," Zed answered. "You already know this, so why are you asking?"
Ryu ignored his question and asked another question, "What is he?"
"A space pirate," Kilowog said, narrowing his eyes.
"A pirate means a criminal...So you believe in a criminal's statement, but you don't have confidence in your friend's abilities. You don't believe in him." He looked at each lantern. "Do you really think John is that irresponsible, which could kill three billion people?"
Had he just convince them with his words? Hawkgirl thought, shocked after seeing most of the lanterns were looking down in shame.
"Did you even check other possibilities?" Ryu asked.
Zen asked as looked up at Ryu, "Other possibilities?"
"Like, is that pirate telling truth? Or he is lying, and responsible for Ajuris-4's destruction," Ryu said, shocking everyone even Hawkgirl.
He is twisting the truth, Hawkgirl thought because just a few hours before he called Kanjar-Ro a small fish.
"What?" Arkkis said, shocked.
Ryu said, "It's a possibility... Maybe, he blasted the planet with powerful bomb or device, but simply, put the blame on John, he chose the time when John's beam hit the planet."
Kilowog suddenly stood up.
"Kilowog?" Zen said. He was confused like the rest of the lanterns.
"John is one of us, and I'm going to help him!" Kilowog declared as he marched out of the Cantina.
"Kilowog stop! We're also coming with you!" Arkkis said and the rest of lanterns followed after Kilowog.
Ryu noticed Hawkgirl was looking at him with surprise expression. "Is something on my face?" he asked.
"Nothing." Hawkgirl shook her head and thought, he just manipulated the whole Green Lantern corps.
Superman and J'onn had already begun their exploration of the moon of Ajuris-4. They donned gray and gold spacesuits.
"Now, can you tell me what's wrong with this picture?" Superman asked as they stood over the edge of the crater just outside the Javelin.
"The echoes of our pasts, the tragic loss of life..." the last Martian began.
"No, not that," Superman said as he pointed at the moon. "This."
"It can't be!" J'onn exclaimed as his eyes widened.
"This moon is still in orbit of a planet that no longer exists," Superman said.
J'onn turned to Superman and said, "This moon should have shot off into space the moment Ajuris-4 was destroyed."
"This is the mistake of this illusion," Ryu's voice said beside Superman.
Both heroes turned to look at Ryu and saw his outfit had turned into his spacesuit.
"Where is Hawkgirl?" Superman asked.
"She is with my real me; I'm just a clone," Ryu said.
Superman nodded as he knew about his cloning power. "So, you know about it?" he asked.
"Not really. I was unsure about it, but I can see a clear picture, now," Ryu said as he looked at the place where Ajuris-4 was. "It's like an illusion. Someone using a device to generate a projection over whole planet." He looked at both Heroes. "If I'm correct, It must be somewhere on the moon."
"Let's go. We'll have to find it, soon," Superman said.
"Go ahead. I'll inform the boss," Ryu said before vanishing in a puff of smoke.
After finishing their business with the Green Lantern corps, Ryu and Hawkgirl were leaving the Cantina when suddenly Ryu got his clone's memory.
"You will not believe it what I found?" he said as he stopped walking.
Hawkgirl asked, "What?"
Ryu started to tell about the Ajuris-4's moon and the illusion over Ajuris-4. "…There must be a holographic generator somewhere on the moon," he finished.
"Then we must go there to help them to find it," Hawkgirl said.
"Take my ship. It is in the spaceport," Ryu said. "I have to take care of something."
Hawkgirl gave a nod before flying towards the direction of the spaceport. When she disappeared from his view, Ryu sank into the ground.
Kilowog and John's other fellow Green Lanterns came to the trial to help John and prove him innocent.
"John is respected by all Lanterns around the Universe. His reputation is one of the best. And when you're in a team with John, you know you got a real friend watching your back," Kilowog said, proudly.
"Thank you, Kilowog," Flash said. He then turned towards the Judges. "No more questions for this witness."
"Councilor!" the Tribunal Chief said, indicating the Public Prosecutor could begin his cross-examination.
"Kilowog, can you tell me exactly what a Green Lantern does?" the Public Prosecutor asked.
"Oh, that's easy, we catch bad guys," Kilowog replied.
"Commendable, but how do you know who the bad guys are?" the Public Prosecutor asked.
Kilowog shrugged, "Um, we just do?"
"Oh, so you're saying you use your obviously superior intellect to arbitrarily sort out matter of life and death." This time the Public Prosecutor raised his hand towards the judges to make his point known.
"I didn't say…Well…yeah…kind of," Kilowog answered, getting confused.
The Prosecutor continued, "And then you and the other Green lanterns enforce these decisions with those incredibly deadly rings." He was obviously trying to tarnish the reputation of the Lantern Corps.
"I guess you could put it that way."
Lobo saw how easily the prosecutor twisted the truth to his favor, so he activated his blaster. He was ready to start mayhem in the court to buy some time for others.
The Prosecutor shouted, "Who said you could do this? Who gave you the right?"
"We did," a voice rang out through the courtroom.
The small, blue-skinned humanoids entered the court. They wore robes with black going from the collar to the shoulders and chest going in a V shape stopping at the center of the chest, ending at a symbol of the green lantern, and going down covering their legs with red. They all were the same size but had different faces and hairstyles.
"Great, a Smurfs squad came to save the day," Lobo murmured under his breath.
So the Guardians of the Universe are here, Karasu thought. I'll have to tell Master about this.
Superman and J'onn stood facing the massive complex device that Martian found hidden within a fissure on the surface of the moon of Ajuris-4.
"Do you have any idea what this is?" Superman asked.
Before J'onn could answer, a black colored space ship appeared nowhere in front of them. The spaceship was very familiar to both of them.
"It's Ryu's ship," J'onn said.
The door spaceship opened and Hawkgirl came out. She wore a black colored space suit. She flew up and landed beside Superman and J'onn.
"Where is Ryu?" Superman asked.
"He said he had to take care of something," Hawkgirl answered before looking at the machine. "So this is the machine that made illusion."
Suddenly, a light projected from Hawkgirl's spacesuit and M.E.R.L.I.N. appeared there. "This is a hologram generator," he informed. "It's generating an illusion to hide Ajuris-4 from the universe."
"In short, someone wanted to make it look like John destroyed Ajuris-4," Superman said. "It would explain why this moon is still in orbit."
"Then let's destroy it," Hawkgirl said as she lifted her mace to destroy the machine.
Suddenly, the cracks appeared on the ground in front of them as the area started to shake. The reason soon appeared in front of them as four massive robots tunneled to the surface from underground. The four massive purple-gray machines stood nearly eight feet tall, with a pair of sporting drill bits for hands and the others having massive pliers-like pincers.
"Interesting welcome committee," Superman said.
"No need to worry about them," M.E.R.L.I.N. said, lifting his hand. His eyes flashed blue and then all robots like froze in their place before falling on the ground.
"What did you do to them?" Hawkgirl asked.
"I deactivated them," M.E.R.L.I.N. said. It was his simple answer.
"You can do that?" Superman asked. It was his first time to see something like that.
M.E.R.L.I.N. said, "Well, because I'm that awesome."
"Let's destroyed this machine," Hawkgirl said, lifting her mace again.
"No need to be hurry," M.E.R.L.I.N. said, stopping her from doing something reckless that could cost their lives…but not his. "First, let me scan it for precaution."
All mechanical peacekeepers, the Manhunters, filed into an empty warehouse, where they lined up like a platoon of soldiers in front of their leader.
The Head Manhunters said, "It is time brothers, time to avenge a thousand years of grievances. It is time to regain our power and dignity!"
The gathered hunters let out a collective roars of approval to his sentiments.
"The plan was worked out flawlessly so far. With the help of our new brother, we have sown dissension amongst the Lantern Core and stained their reputation forever. Furthermore, we have succeeded in drawing out the leader of our most hated enemies away from their stronghold and home planet of Oa. Yes, they're here, the Guardians!"
"Destroy them! Destroy them all!" the gathered hunters roared.
"No my brothers, not here, not yet. Our destiny lies back at Oa, but rest assured, the Guardians will burn! For we are the Manhunters!"
"No man escapes the Manhunters!" the Manhunters bellowed in unison.
Interesting, Ryu thought, who was hidden in the shadow. He had found out all he needed to know. But who is this new brother of these rejected hunters.
"Master," Karasu said, telepathically.
Ryu responded, "Yes, Karasu-chan"
"The guardians are here."
"Thank for information."
Ryu was ready to teleport away from there when he heard M.E.R.L.I.N.'s voice.
"Master, we have found out the holographic generator."
Ryu looked at all Manhunters again before sinking into the ground.
Back on Ajuris-5, one of the Guardians had taken the stand in defense of John.
"You provide the Green Lanterns with their power, but are you in control of it?" the Public Prosecutor asked.
"It is true; we Guardians control the Lantern Core's power source, but the individual Lanterns have complete autonomy with their power rings," the Guardian replied.
"So if one of them does something wrong, it's not your fault," the Public Prosecutor said, trying to twist the answer.
The little blue guardian caught off guards and tried to clarify. "You misunderstand. We give them autonomy because we trust their experience and—"
"No other questions, I have no further questions for this witness. How much more can we hear? We demand an immediate judgment," the Public Prosecutor said, getting annoyed at the constant interruptions and prolonging the inevitable.
"I object!" Flash shouted, undignified.
"Overruled!" the judges shouted, getting tired with his constant objections.
The main judge said, "Having heard all facts, we will—"
"Hold on," Ryu interpreted as he rose from the ground like a ghost. He dropped Kanjar-Ro's unconscious body from his personal dimension in front of the Judges. He had captured the space pirate when he had been leaving the alley after meeting with the Manhunter.
"Finally," Lobo said as he was getting bored. He stood up from his seat while Karasu flow up and landed on Ryu's shoulder.
"What's meaning of this?" the Public Prosecutor shouted.
Ryu ignored him and walked towards Judges as the guards tried to capture him, but he just passed through them. "Could tell me what John Stewart's crime is?"
"He killed three billion people," the Public Prosecutor answered.
"Merlin, are you ready?" Ryu asked using the link.
"Yes, Master!" M.E.R.L.I.N. replied. He typed some command on the holographic screen to neutralize the barrier that was around the holographic generator as the barrier disappeared. "Hawkgirl, do it!"
"I'm just waiting for this," Hawkgirl said as she lifted her charged mace and threw it at the holographic generator, rendering it to space junk.
"How did he kill three billion people when Ajuris-4 is still there?" Ryu asked as the illusion on Ajuris-4 dispelled, causing the blue planet to reappear in the skyline of Ajuris-5 to the shock of the public prosecutor, the Tribunal, and the gallery, even Flash, the Green Lantern corps and the Guardians.
Ryu decided to answer their unasked question. "Ajuris-4 was never destroyed. It's right where it always was. It was all an illusion, a frame-up," he said. He then turned towards the bounty hunter. "Lobo, wake up that pirate."
Lobo picked up Kanjar-Ro and shook him to wake him up as the space pirate opened his eyes, but he terrified seeing the infamous bounty hunter face to face. Lobo dropped the pirate to the ground.
"Tell them everything," Ryu said in a cold tone.
"The Manhunters... they gave me money for this," Kanjar-Ro said, loudly.
His voice echoed through the courtroom and everyone was visibly shaken by this new revelation, the Guardians were no exception.
"Very well, John Stewart is innocent," the judges said. "He is free from all charges."
"Hey! The Smurfs are leaving!" Lobo said, loudly, pointing at the guardians.
While Flash tried to not laugh, all green lanterns sweat dropped hearing the Guardians' nickname.
"But where are they going?" Flash asked.
"The Manhunters' base," Ryu answered.
Ryu, Flash, Lobo and the Green Lantern corps reached at the Manhunters' base. A few seconds later, the rest of Justice League members joined them. They saw the guardians leaving again.
"We're too late; we have to go back immediately," One Guardian said, worried. He and his fellow guardians were floating a few inches from the ground.
Flash ran and stopped in front of the guardians, blocking their path. "Not so fast!" he said.
The Guardians ignored Flash and floated up to pass him, but Superman blocked their path. "What's going on?" he demanded.
One Guardian said, "We don't have time for this. We'll have to return Oa, immediately."
"Then use my ship. It's much faster than yours," Ryu said. "And you can also explain everything in the way."
The Guardians agreed with that. It was a really good option.
All heroes, bounty hunters and the guardians were inside of Ryu's stealth ship, which was really big from inside.
"The Manhunters are headed back to Oa," One Guardian said.
"Back to Oa? They've been there before?" Kilowog questioned.
"The guardians created the Manhunters," Ryu answered.
"What?" Flash said in disbelief. "And how do you know this?
"I love to collect the information," Ryu replied.
The Guardians nodded their heads.
"It was before the Lantern Core. We thought robots would make good peacekeepers, but they were flawed. They unable understand the subtle gradations between good and evil," One Guardian explained.
Hawkgirl shook her head, "And you didn't scrap them all together?"
"We reprogrammed them for lesser duties like tracking, hunting, and guarding. They didn't show any objections," the Guardian replied.
"Not out loud anyway, but enough for someone twist them up like a bunch of windup toys and set them loose on Oa," Ryu said.
John asked, "What do you mean?"
"The Manhunters are not alone. Someone is helping them," Ryu explained.
Superman asked, "Who?"
"Maybe, this will answer your question," M.E.R.L.I.N. said, materializing in front of them. "When I scanned the holographic machine and the robots that had attacked on us on Ajuris-4's moon, I found this symbol."
He opened a holographic screen to show the symbol which was very familiar to Superman. The symbol had three circles in a triangle formation, connected by two lines forming a 'V' with the circles at the angle and ends.
"Brainiac," Superman said. His eyes winded. "Brainiac is helping the Manhunters."
"But why is Brainiac helping them?" Flash asked.
"His goal is to fulfill his programming by consuming all knowledge in the universe and destroying it in the process. What could help more with that then both the knowledge and power of the guardians," Superman explained.
John declared, "I doesn't matter why he's doing this, we need to shut him and those Manhunters down for good."
Flash turned towards the Guardians. "How are we going to beat all of them? I mean back on Earth most of us were getting our butts handed to us," he asked.
"The Manhunters are directly connected to our superior computers in Oa via an online subspace frequency. Thus, it is able to provide the best course of action on the field," the Guardian explained. "The remaining Guardians must have disconnected them by now. So there is a better chance at defeating them."
"Hey, Flash! Catch!" Ryu said, throwing something towards Flash.
Flash caught it and saw it was a metallic cylindrical object with one small button on it. "What is it?"
Ryu asked, "Have you ever seen the movies Star wars?"
"Yes, why?" Flash asked, confused.
"Because it is a light-saber in your hand," Ryu said.
"Really?" Flash asked before he pressed a button and a long, white colored energy blade formed on the top of the device. "Cool!" He swung the blade two-three time in the air. "I feel like I have become a Jedi."
"Do you really think giving Flash something like this is a good idea?" Hawkgirl asked Ryu.
"Nah, a light-saber is one of my safest weapons. Relax, nothing bad will happen," Ryu told Hawkgirl.
Suddenly, Hawkgirl nearly avoided being impaled by the light-saber.
"Sorry, it's just slipped from my hand," Flash said.
Hawkgirl turned towards Ryu. She folded her arms. "The safest weapons, Yeah, right?" she said, glaring at him.
Ryu said, "Well, it's safe for the person who is holding it."
Due to the trial and other various incidents across various sectors, practically the entire core was off base at the moment, leaving only half of the Guardians as the only line of defense against the Manhunters invasion. The furious battle raged on with the remaining Guardians powering the automatic defense systems of the Core's stronghold. The various guns and laser turrets were able to destroy the Manhunters with a single blast, but the sheer numbers of the robotic invaders were overwhelming. The Guardians were barely managing to maintain their current positions protecting the central core. The Manhunters soon spread out to break into the interior of the towers housing the larger cannons and hacked in their circuitry to bring them under Manhunters' control.
This was the scene when helped arrived as they stepped out of the stealth ship. While the Guardians went to help other Guardians to maintain the barrier around the core, the heroes and the lantern corps spread around to fight with the Manhunters, leaving only Ryu and Lobo near the spaceship.
"So, Ninja man, what's the plan?" Lobo asked.
Ryu smirked. "Destroy every tin cans," he said.
"Main man likes the plan," Lobo said and he took his spacebike and flew towards the Manhunters. He unloaded his full arsenal on them.
Ryu summoned a single chakra chain and engulfed it with the black flame. He ran towards his nearest Manhunter and swung his chain. The chain cut through him like a knife through butter, splitting the Manhunter in the half. Ryu smirked and started to cut the Manhunters.
While Ryu was cutting the Manhunters using his super-hot chakra chain, Lobo was blasting through every robot in his path with his blaster. Not satisfying with the result, Lobo whipped out a grenade and chucked it right into the middle of a stationary group of Manhunters opening fire on him. The explosion sent robots' parts everywhere.
Flash wasn't behind them. With his new Jedi light-saber and his super speed, he was doing as much damage as possible to the Manhunters. "Cool!" he said as he blurred across the ground towards an area heavily invested with Manhunters. The robots were chopped into pieces before they could even contemplate reacting. The Manhunters firing from a distance at the speedster found all their blasts deflected by his energy blade. "I am a badass Jedi!"
"Is he ok?" John asked when he saw Flash's odd behavior. He deflected lasers using energy shield.
Superman sweat dropped. "Maybe, he likes Star wars too much," he said, throwing one Manhunter towards another.
Utilizing his strength and invulnerability, Superman plowed right through Manhunters where John cut down the enemy numbers with concentrated laser blasts of Lantern energy. The last Martian, J'onn, became intangible and phased into the Manhunter controlled cannons, drawing fire away from the ground assaults. Hawkgirl made a beeline for one of the Manhunter that controlled cannons, skillfully dodging incoming fire before bashing the turret to pieces with her mace. The rest of Lanterns were using their rings to destroy the Manhunters. Only the superior numbers of the Manhunters keeping them from losing.
Ryu was standing in front of ten Manhunters, whom were guarding the way that led to the entrance to the core battery. He lifted his right arm slightly before flattening it out with all fingers next to each other leaving no gaps between them. There was a black spark between each finger. He smirked and ran towards the Manhunters. He was phasing though robots and their all attacks. He stopped when he phased through the last Manhunter. Without looking back, he flew towards the entrance to the core battery.
The Manhunters, which he had left behind, were laying on the ground. Each Manhunter's upper body was separated from his lower body like someone had cut him with a sharp sword.
This was something Ryu had developed to overcome flaws in the dimensional phasing. The one of the flaw of the dimensional phasing was that you could not harm your target without solidifying yourself. But this technique allowed the Ryu to postpone the dimension in which he existed and enabled him to go through all matter and created the ultimate blade. In short, this technique was like a saw, moving back and forth between dimensions, which meant that it couldn't cut if Ryu couldn't move.
Ryu was flying towards the entrance to the core battery when Superman and John joined him in the mid-way.
Deep inside the central core, the main barrier had already fallen. Only the shielding around the entrance of the core battery left. The outside it stood the head Manhunter and Brainiac himself, having shed his Manhunter disguise. He was tall, and had purple colored metallic body and white eyes. He had his symbol on his forehead. Brainiac used energy draining devices embedded in his palms to drain the weakened Guardians of their remaining energies to fully unlock the central core. The head Manhunter stepped inside, but before Brainiac could follow him, Superman came flying, slamming into him.
Superman pushed Brainiac away from the entrance before punching him. The blow sent Brainiac flying backwards as he slammed into the wall.
"John, Ryu, Go ahead! I will handle him!" he said. He then watched Ryu and John nodded and they flew toward the core battery. He turned around to see Brainiac stood up on his feet.
"Kal-El," Brainiac said.
When Ryu and John reached in the core room, they saw the Head Manhunter entered huge lantern shaped reactor.
"No!" John screamed as he tried to stop the head Manhunter, but it was too late. The robot was already inside.
The Head Manhunter screamed. The bolts of green energy started to be released as the energy began to gather around the robot.
The remaining Guardians finally arrived, but they could do nothing as the robot shed his metallic skeleton and became part of the energy itself. He began to grow and grow until he became hundred meters tall.
"I have the power!" the giant screamed as he continued to gather energy from every ring around.
Well, he stole lines from He-man, Ryu thought, thinking about the cartoon, muscled hero who had always shouted like this when he got the powers.
The energy of John's ring left him as well as the aura. The Guardians' energy also drained away as they felt weak.
"All is lost..." the last Guardian gasped before losing consciousness.
"Not while I'm still standing," John said.
Let see what John can do, Ryu said, looking at Green Lantern. He could always corrupt the energy, but he had decided not to do.
John pushed his arm forward and closed his eyes to concentrate and he began the oath. "In brightest day, in blackest night..."
The Manhunter's body began to distort and the energy started to absorb into John's rings. "No! I won't let you!" The monster turned and sent a flurry of energy blasts at John, which blocked by a black energy shield that made by Ryu.
John continued his oath, "... No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might..."
"No! I was close!" the monster shouted as he pulled into John's ring.
"Beware my power..." John aimed his ring and fired a massive collective blast of energy back into the core as he finished the oath, "... Green Lantern's light!"
The Guardians could now gather the energy again. Their power and vitality was restored. They approached John. "We chose wisely when we offered you the ring," the head Guardian said.
The remaining Heroes and the lantern corps gathered around them. Lobo was also there. The last one approached there, was Superman.
"What happened with Brainiac?" John asked.
"I've took care of him," Superman said, showing Brainaic's destroyed face.
"So it's finally over," Flash said as he sighed in relief.
"Sorry to say this, but it's far from over," Ryu said, suddenly, to catch everyone's attention.
"What are you talking?" Hawkgirl asked. "Brainiac and Manhunters are gone. There is nothing left of them here."
Ryu looked the guardian and said, "Brainiac is in your system."
They all in the room which the guardians used to control all Oa's systems. It was a big room filled with many holographic screens, which were broadcasting Brainiac symbols.
"Hello, Kal-El," Brainiac said. "You stopped me from obtaining the lantern's power, but I've now all their knowledge and whole Oa."
The guardians approached towards computer and tried to control it.
"It's useless," Brainiac said.
"Let me try," Ryu said, walking towards the guardians. He placed both his hand on the computer.
Brainiac scoffed, "What you can do where they failed!"
Ryu smirked. "More than you think," he said, activating his sharingan.
"What?" Brainiac shouted when one screen replaced by a red symbol. The symbol had four concentric circles in a ripple pattern with nine tomoe in the three circles closest to the center. "How did you do that?"
Naruto didn't answer. He smirked and two more screens replaced by a red symbol.
"Ok, how is he doing this?" Flash asked.
"Your friend has cyberkinesis power," one Guardian said. Being immortal, he and his fellow Guardians had pretty much knowledge of many things. "He can manipulate technology around him."
"Wow!" Flash said. He turned to look at Ryu and saw only one screen was left.
"No! I cannot be defeated!" Brainiac roared.
Ryu concentrated as he found harder to delete Brainiac from the system completely. "Merlin!" he called.
M.E.R.L.I.N. materialized beside Ryu. He placed his hand on his Master's shoulder.
Ryu's eyes flashed red. His normal Sharingan changed taking the appearance of five-pointed star or pentagram. His both eyes contained opposite design—the ordinary (point-up) pentagram was in his right eyes while the inverted (point-down) pentagram was in his left eyes. In the center of both eyes had symmetrical, but straightened version of Madara's Eternal Mangekyō Sharingan design.
Both Ryu and M.E.R.L.I.N. found themselves inside the system. The place was completely white. They could see, nothing else existed here except themselves, a green dot and the endless white void of light that seemed to stretch out into eternity all around them.
"So where is Brainiac?" Ryu asked.
M.E.R.L.I.N. pointed at the green dot that was far away from them. "He is there!" he said.
Ryu said, "Then let's go!"
They disappeared and reappeared in front of the green sphere which was holding Brainiac's symbol inside.
"You!" Brainaic's voice came from the sphere. "I'll delete both of you."
"We'll see it," M.E.R.L.I.N. said. He summoned a small ball made by zero and one and threw it at Brainiac. It never reached Brainiac as it hit some sort of barrier that rippled and deflected the ball.
"It's useless," Brainiac said. "I'm strongest here." Many metal tentacles came out from his spherical body and tried to wrap around Ryu and M.E.R.L.I.N.'s bodies.
Both Ryu and M.E.R.L.I.N. jumped back to avoid the attack.
"Then time to change it," Ryu said as his eyes flashed red.
The empty white world around them started to fill with red sky with blood-red moon, trees made of crows, squirming and cawing and rotting as well as worms and maggots. There was no ground...no earth just death and decay, grinning skulls and nibbling rats.
Brainiac tried to summon his tentacles again, but nothing happened.
"There's no use trying," Ryu said. He floated up in the air. "This is my world. Here, I'm the god."
Brainiac said, "Impossible!"
Ryu waved his hand as Shuriken rained down onto Brainiac. They pierced his barrier like it wasn't even there and stuck in his spherical body.
"Merlin, do your work," Ryu ordered.
M.E.R.L.I.N. summoned a ball made by zero and one and threw it at Brainiac. But this time, it hit Brainiac.
"No!" Brainiac cried before become a data.
M.E.R.L.I.N. held his hand as the data gathered over his palm in the form of a sphere. "We have not only most of the knowledge of the guardians but also Brainaic's all knowledge," he said as he lifted the sphere up. "With this, we can easily take our technology to the next level."
Ryu nodded and said, "This is one of the highest achievements in our life."
All people in the room watched Ryu and M.E.R.L.I.N. standing in the same position from past five minutes. Neither they nor Brainiac said anything.
"Argh, he is taking too much time!" Flash said, frustrated.
"Be patient, Flash," J'onn said.
Suddenly, the last screen which was showing Brainaic's symbol, replaced by Ryu's red symbol. Ryu removed his hands from the Oa's main computer.
"Is Brainiac gone?" Superman asked.
"Yes, we won," M.E.R.L.I.N. said, pulling his hand form Ryu's back. He gave a victory sign.
"This A.I. is really energetic," Kilowog said. His fellow lanterns nodded their heads in agreement.
"So, Brainiac is finally gone, forever," Flash said.
"We've only destroyed single fragment of Brainiac. There are still many copies of him moving around in the universe," Ryu told him.
Flash slumped his shoulders. "That sucks," he said.
The head guardian approached Ryu. "Thank you for savings Oa," he said.
Ryu thought something before looking at the guardian. "Well, here is the cost of my service," he said, giving the guardian holographic pad.
"Huh?" the guardian said in confusion, but he took the pad from Ryu's hand.
John sweat dropped. "And here I thought he had changed," he said.
"Main Man thought Ninja Man had become the Big Chees. But thanks, he is still same," Lobo said complete opposite to Green Lantern.
"John, we are lucky. He is a not bad person," Hawkgirl said, ignoring what Lobo had said. She looked at Ryu, who was collecting his payment from the guardians. "Because it is not easy to handle someone who has several powers like him."
"And devilish mind," J'onn added.
"I must admit he is not a hero material," Superman said, eyeing Ryu. "But still, he is a good person and much better than most of the villains we've faced."
A few days had passed since Oa's incident. Everything was running smoothly for Justice League. Other than small regular crimes, nothing major incident had happened on Earth. As for Ryu or Naruto, in this time period, he had been working on his new project.
Naruto was in his underground lab, standing in front of two glass tanks. The first glass tank was holding the body of the white-skinned alien while the second tank was holding the body of its master, Imperium. The shuttle that reached the Mothership was empty. He had captured the Imperium before he could enter his shuttle. He had used his and Karasu's illusions on the Justice League's members to accomplish it. Both aliens were in hibernation state.
"With our new knowledge, I was able to extract all secrets of their bodies," M.E.R.L.I.N. informed.
"Good!" Naruto said. "Dispose them. We've no use of them."
M.E.R.L.I.N. nodded and he injected a red liquid in both tanks. The liquid started to melt both aliens' bodies.
Naruto turned around and walked away. He didn't wait for the process to finish. He walked towards a highly secured area of his lab. He placed his hand on the door and the door slid open. He went inside and saw another two tanks. They were holding Zetsu's two halves—White Zetsu and Black Zetsu. They both had short green hair, yellow eyes. White Zetsu's was completely white. While he possessed human-like facial features and a proper eye, Black Zetsu had no visible orifices at all and only his iris is visible. He was almost entirely black.
Naruto walked toward the tanks, and placed his hand on White Zetsu's, which was on his right side. The tanks were filled with a murky, green liquid. Zetsu's both halves were alive, but they were in a state of suspended animation.
"Merlin," Naruto called and M.E.R.L.I.N. materialized beside him. "It's time to start Project Zetsu."
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