THE RETURN OF A HERO
by Chris McIntyre -- firstname.lastname@example.org
As a Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner has super powered villians and psychos
trying to kill him every chance they get, but right now that's the least
of his worriess. Right now he has twenty minutes to finish the art for an
ad campaign and get it to their offices, or else he looses a mighty large
commision. Times have been tough, and without this, he might not be able
to pay his rent.
"Soder-Cola can quench your galactic thirst". He was supposed to design a
giant monster looking alien drinking down a cool, refreshing bottle of
Soder-Cola. It's modled after a Gabtin, something he saw on the other
side of the universe with the Titans. They're actualy quite calm and are
kept as pets, but it fits the ad perfectly.
Those were the days. As much as he's honored to be in the Justice League,
Kyle sometimes misses the sense of camaraderie he had in the Titans. With
the League, it's more of a mutual respect than a friendship, and he still
feels as if the others tend to look down on him, being the new kid and
all. Sure, being Green Lantern is one heck of a responsibility, and he's
got some mighty big shoes to fill, but he finally feels up to the task. It
will take a while to earn the amount of respect Hal had though. But look
what happened to Hal. For all the respect in the world, he was still just
as fragile as anyone else.
"Done, now I just have to deliver it, and I can finally get some rest,"
Kyle muttered to himself as he charged up his ring. With traffic the way
it is now, ringing it over would be the quickest way. And besides, it's a
beautiful day for a flight around New York.
"So you're having money problems, Guy?" John Steward asked his old
friend as he nursed his club soda. He and Guy never used to be that
close, but the events that happened since Hal went... since the Corps was
disbanded, have brought them close. He can't even bring himself to think
about what Hal did. As angry as he is at Hal for doing what he did to the
Corps and endangering the Mosiac cities, and everything else, he'll
always feel indebted to Hal for all the things he's done for him over the
years, not the least of which is giving him his legs back. John will
admit it, he was afraid. He just couldn't live the rest of his life in
bed, not being able to move. He was left with nothing to do but brood,
and John Stewart had done enough brooding for several life times.
"Yeah, with all these big super-powered rumbles that are always happening
aroud here, the insurance is a killer," Guy answered after pouring
himself a beer. "Those guys are worse than crooks like Goldface. At least
he's honest about what he does," he said, sounding more than a little
"That's why they're in it, Guy. To make money. After all, isn't that what
it's all about?" came the voice from the door. They both knew that voice
and turned to welcome Carol Ferris. She walked in with Kyle and sat down
at the bar. "Hello, Guy... John." She had trouble looking John in the
eyes. She knows that he still blames her for Katma's death, and he has
every right to, but she wishes that he wouldn't look at her like that.
When she came in, he stared right through her, seeing straight into her
soul, looking for any trace of Star Saphire. Then, he smiles as if he
realizes that Carol was not Star Saphire, and that he has no reason to be
angry with her.
"So, Carol, you can't do any better than this bum, huh?" Guy says
"I ran into him a couple of blocks down, and we figured we'd stop in here
and see if anyone was around. So, what are you two doing here, sitting
around talking about old times?" she asked, looking for something to say.
"It's no use talking about the glory days. Time goes on. Things change,
people change. You've got to accept that and move on. Still, there's
nothing wrong with a couple of old friends getting together once and a
while, is there? So why are you in town?" John asked.
"I'm trying to get a loan. I want to restart Ferris Aircraft. Tom Kalmaku
has designed an engine that could cut fuel consumption in half, and we
want to produce it together," Carol said.
"You got here just in time," Guy said, pouring Carol a drink. "It'll get
dark soon, and this place will get too busy."
"I can't watch the sun without..." for a second, Carol chokes on her
words, forcing them out, "without thinking of Hal," she finally brought
herself to say.
"Well Hal's gone now, and watching the sun set ain't going to bring him
back," Guy said, turning away, obviously wanting to get off the subject.
After a long silence, Kyle finally spoke when Guy went to clean the
tables. "Carol, I have to ask, what was Hal really like? I never had much
of a chance to talk to him. Whenever I went up against him, all I could
think of was everything he did, all the times he saved the world. How
could he have canged like that? What could do that to a man?"
"To tell you the truth, Kyle, I don't know what happened to him. I talked
to Hal right after Coast City was destroyed, and he seemed to put it
behind him. But then again, Hal was never an easy man to figure out,"
Carol told them while staring out at the sun, trying to convince herself
that Hal died a hero.
When he heard this, Kyle couldn't understand how this could be. "Wait,
you said Hal had put this behind him? He sure didn't seem to me like
someone who had put this all behind him," Kyle said, still trying to
figure out how a man could change so drasticaly in a matter of minutes.
They all sat there, silent, thinking to themselves. Guy couldn't stand
all that silence and turned on the TV.
The TV came to life and blurted out "... that the being known as Extant
is attacking Metropolis. Superman is trying to hold him off, but Extant
seems too powerfull."
Just then, Kyle got a message from the Justice League. He heard J'onn
Jonzz's voice next, saying "Green Lantern, there is a situation in
Metropolis. You are needed urgently."
"Yeah, I see. I'll be there," Kyle said as he changed to his uniform. He
started to run out the door, when he was grabbed by the shoulder. It's Guy,
looking as Vuldarian as ever.
"You're not going without me. I want to get a piece of Extant after what
he did during that whole Zero Hour thing. He's gonna get what's coming to
him," Guy told him.
"Alright," Kyle said, and zapped up a couple of flying scooters for them to
get to Metropolis.
Superman was in a very tough spot. He tried to use his new energy powers
to control Extant, who is, essentially, time energy. Unfortunately for
him, Extant was much more experienced with controlling energy, and was able to take over Superman's whole being.
He held Superman down, laughing at his attempt. "You think that you can
take my power? Do you truly believe that you have any chance of stopping
me? What happened to you, Superman? Where did these new powers come from?
You certainly aren't very experienced with them, or I wouldn't have been
able to turn the tables so easily. And now that I have taken control of
you, I can disperse all your energy across the universe. I can..."
Just then Extant was blased into the next building. When he got up, he saw
the face of Guy Gardner, Warrior looking over him, grinning. "I never got
the chance to repay you for what you did, almost ripping my guts out.
Don't worry, that'll seem tame compared to what I'm going to do to you."
Warrior created a huge blade from his arm, using his Vuldarian powers.
Just as he was about to slice him open, Superman grabed his arm saying "I
can't let you do it, Guy. I'm not going to let you kill him."
That gave Extant enough time to blast Superman and Guy with a stream of
energy. Kyle came up from behind him, seeing Guy and Superman stunned,
and encased Extant in a ring created cage.
"Alright, this has got to stop. What are you doing here? I thought you
were killed when you jumped into the time stream," Kyle asked, trying to
get some answers.
"Okay, I'll tell you," Extant started. "I wasn't killed at all, I just
went outside the timestream. It's amazing the amount of chronal energy you
can amass out there. Eventually, I had absorbed so much energy that I was
as powerfull as Parallax ever was. I wanted to finish what he started.
You see, I'm just toying with you. I can get out of this poor excuse for
a prison any time I want to." With the wave of his hand, the cage Kyle
had created disapeared.
As Extant was about to do away with the three heros, the Justice League
arrived. Flash, Batman, J'onn J'onzz, and Wonder Woman showed up to stop
Extant. They were no match for him, though. Extant used his powers to
slow the Flash down to a crawl. Batman was knocked unconcious by a bolt of
energy. Wonder Woman and J'onn tried to attack at the same time, but
since Extant had power over time, he was able to be in two places at once
and managed to fight them off.
All the while, from a roof top, they were being watched by a funny little
blue man in a red gown.
He used to be a Green Lantern. One of the 3600 finest men, women, and... whatever else in the universe. He's traveled the cosmos, gone to other universes, and even destroyed and then tried to recreate this one. Now, he washes dishes in Silent Springs, Nebraska.
It suits him, though. Hal Jordan had always been a wanderer. Even as a child, he felt the need to stray. When his father died, he wanted to run away. All he wanted was to hit the road, with the asphalt under his feet and the wind in his hair. But he couldn't. His mother needed him to be there for her.
Most of his life, when times got tough and there was nothing he could do, he started to wander again. He had companions with him from time to time. Ollie, Diana, the Old Timer, but in his mind, it was always just him and the road.
Now, after all that happened to him, he went back to the one thing that stayed
constant in his life. The road.
Hal travelled a lot after almost dying to save earth and stop the Sun-Eater. Eventually, he found Silent Springs, and decided it would be a good place to start a new life, away from all the super powered beings that he had been around for the past 10 years, ever since Abin Sur first gave him that ring.
Silent Springs is a very small town whose main source of commerce is the truckers and tourists that are travelling on the Interstate that runs through town. The people there are used to strangers coming through so they didn't pry when Hal told them he didn't want to discuss his past. They knew when to leave well enough alone. Hal likes it there, and is going to stay for a while. Or at least that's what he thought before Ganthet showed up in the middle of his shift.
When he walked in, the people working there pretended not to notice a 3 foot tall blue man, each thinking that they were hallucinating. Then he walked to the back and started talking to Hal. That was when Hal realized that he wouldn't be staying there very long.
"What do you want?" Hal asked, dragging Ganthet out back.
"The world needs you. Extant is going to finish what you started. He is planning to take control of the universe, but first he wants to get revenge on the heros of Earth for stopping him. He has stopped most of them already. You are the last hope," Ganthet told Hal, who did not believe what he heard.
"How can I help? I'm powerless. The Sun-Eater completely drained me. I'm lucky to be alive," he replied.
Then, in a flash of green, Hal had a power ring on his finger and was in his old uniform. It feels good to wear it again. It feels right, he thought.
"Aren't you afraid that I'll try to destroy the universe again," Hal asked him.
"No," Ganthet replied. "That was not truly you. Do you remember not long before you were exiled into space? A powerfull Qwardian being brought out your evil side with a mere touch? In fact, you almost killed several Corps members, didn't you? You thought that the combined will of the Corps had drove the evil out of you, but it didn't. It just pushed it down deep within you. You were not able to deal with the tragedy of Coast City being destoryed, so you let it loose subconciously to sheild youself from the pain you felt. I noticed this while we were merged. You and I are connected in ways you can't imagine. I tried to suppress it, but your rage was too strong. The real you gained more control gradually, and finally when the Sun-Eater drained your power, it also drained that evil from you. Take the ring and become what you once were."
Hal looked at his ring, and looked deep into himself. "Do I still have what it takes?" he
thought. "If I fail this, earth suffers. Can I risk it? How can I afford not to? It looks
like if I'm going to have any chance to beat Extant, I'll just have to rely on my
instincts. I won't be able to out muscle him, but I can out think him and out finess
him. There's enough of a Green Lantern left in me."
"Here, you'll need this," Ganthet said as he handed Hal a battery. He placed the ring to the battery and once again said those words that come so naturally to him;
"In Brightest day
In Darkest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let thoes who worship evil's might
Beware my power...
Green Lantern's Light"
Extant watched the captured heros, taunting them as they laid there in chains of pure energy somewhere on a deserted plain. "I expected more of a challenge from the mighty heroes of Earth. I mean, you did defeat me before. I guess you couldn't pull off one more win against all odds, could you?"
"Enjoy breathing, because you won't be able to much longer. I was going to take over the earth and rule it with an iron fist, but that's too much work. I'll just destroy it. One less little thing to worry about. I used to be content to just get a world of my own,
but now I want more."
"Jordan was an idot. He could have beaten you easily, but he didn't want to kill you. He was soft. Destroying the universe he had no problem with, but he just couldn't be the one to directly kill you. I guess even then he still had some hero left in him. It's just as well. I wasn't going to take orders from that guy forever. Once the new
universes were created, I would have taken over. He didn't know how to run things. I can do a much better job than he ever could have."
"We'll never get a chance to see that, Extant," came a voice from behind him. He turned, shocked to see Hal Jordan, Green Lantern there. Everyone of the heros who was still concious laid there with jaws dropped in amazment. "Is this really Hal Jordan?" they asked themselves.
"Well, looks like you're still around. What's the matter? Jealous that I'm going to
succeed where you failed?" Extant asked, acting even more arrogant than before.
"No, I'm here to stop you. I've done some... bad things, but I'm back, and you're not getting away with this," Hal replied.
"Do you think you can stop me? I'm even more powerful than you were. And look at you. A broken old man. There's nothing you could do to stop me!" Extant screamed, seemingly trying to convince himself as much as Hal.
"Maybe that was true before, but my will power is stronger than ever. I spent a lot of time trying to recreate the past. I was living in a time that doesn't exist anymore. Now I know I have to put it all behind me. I can't keep trying to bring back what I used to have. I'm going to start living for the future again. This ring comes with a huge responsibility that I forgot about, and I'm going to live up to that responsibility by
taking you out, no matter what."
In a fit of anger, Extant blasted Hal with a powerful stream of energy. Hal managed to dodge it just in time. Hal put up a sheild before Extant got a chance to fire another blast. The sheild held, even though he was being hit with yellow energy. The new ring must be like Kyle's.
Hal managed to get off a shot of ring energy, and it knocked Extant far back. Then, he saw someone coming in a streak of Green Energy. It wasn't Kyle or Alan, since both of them were trapped by Extant. Hal realized who it was and grinned. John Stewart must have learned to use that "gift" Hal left him. As Hal and Extant battled it out, John managed to free the heros.
Hal sent a ring beam right into Extant, right into his very being. "If you won't
surrender, I'll just have to take your power," he said. As the energy drained from Extant,
Hal started glowing a bright green, and buckling with pain. Kyle, Alan, and John came to take some of the load off.
"We need to supress his will. Everyone focus your will power into one. One mind. One will," Hal said. John and Alan are able to do it without much effort. After years of experience, manipulating their own willpower has become second nature. Kyle, however, is struggling.
"Kyle, stop trying to keep so much control. You have to just let your mind go with it. Let it flow. Relax. Don't think about it. Just go on instinct."
In a flash of light, Extant sat there in the form of a human, powerless, and they've
won. All the heros came running up to Hal, asking questions; some just glad he's back,
others suspicious and wondering if he was working with Extant the whole time. After
things settled down, Hal Jordan realized that he had gotten a second chance. He was just given the ticket to put his life back together. After years of wandering, Hal just wanted to find a home.
Through his travels, Hal learned one thing. You just have to flow with it. You can't
change who you are any more than you can change what's happened. He had to accept the past. He does have blood on his hands, and he has to learn to take responsibility for it, but he still has to plan his life in the future. All you can do is be who you are. And that's just what he's going to do. He's going to be who he's always been meant to be. He's going to be Hal Jordan, but he's also going to be a Green Lantern. It's time to accept it. He is a Green Lantern, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
Back to GL Fan Fiction
Back to the GLC Web Page
all characters copyright 1998 DC COMICS INC.