| ASTEROID BLUE HEAVEN | Sector 2814.9G From out of a pocket at the back of his hip, the H'lven Green Lantern produced a thimble-sized flask from which he put a little kick into the wharmpess that had gone cold about two hours ago. Swirling the dark liquid around in the miniature cup, the veteran law enforcement rodent tested the potency of his concoction before putting the flask away again. It still tasted like swill, but at least it took the edge off a little bit. Grimacing slightly at the bitterness, the squirrel-like Lantern put the cup back down and stuck the well gnawed, stub of his earlier cigar back into his mouth in order to try and get the saccharine taste from his mouth. Wharmpess was a Bolovaxian drink that Kilowog had introduced Br'r to several years before. What he'd discovered about it was that wharmpess looked good, smelled better, and tasted like hammered trog swill. A perfect metaphor for humans. "How's our poozer doin', Aya?" the miniature Green Lantern inquired gruffly, pushing the cigar stub over to one side of his mouth so that it dangled from the corner as he spoke. A holographic rendering of the interior of the space station was overlaid in front of the usual cockpit HUD. The projection depicted Kai-ro struggling to restrain a multi-armed robot from assaulting a waste disposal unit, which had Kai-ro in a headlock, and using one leg to hold back an automated food processor, which was cat fight slapping at the first robot. Various ring construct hands were attempting to pry and pull and seperate the lot of them, but to no avail. "I believe that Trainee Kai-ro may require assistance," the feminine AI voiced sympathetically. "Eh," Br'r uttered with a shrug, as the cigar traveled to the other side of his mouth and he picked up the cup of coffee again. "Green Lantern, I am receiving a transmission." The porcelain mug stopped just a half inch away from the H'lven's face. Turning his furred head back slightly, the diminutive Lantern asked, "From?" "The transmission origin is tagged as Oa." A colorful string of words in a variety of languages were muttered under his breath, as the H'lven looked down into his coffee cup and then tossed it. Running a hand through his scruffy face, the Green Lantern finally gave a nod. The holographic projection of Kai-ro was then replaced by the face of a reddish alien with a rather elongated cranium. "Clarissi," Br'r stated politely, addressing the Slyggian by his title. "Green Lantern," Salaak intoned in kind. "We show you to be in Sector 2814. What's your present location?" "Asteroid Blue Heaven," the H'lven supplied evenly, his tone becoming gruffer still as he asked, "Why?" "Good. You're close to Gemini in Sector 2815," The Slyggian remarked cryptically, turning as though to acknowledge someone who was off screen. When he'd turned back to the H'lven Lantern, Salaak explained, "The Graxions have requested our assistance with a homicide." The H'lven frowned, the cigar again trailing over to the other side of his mouth. "Homicide?" the Lantern echoed, plucking the stub from out of his teeth and waving it around as he spoke. "What the frell? When did we become the galaxy police? It's a murder. They've got detectives. I'm sure they can find the smoking gun." "The Graxions have... reason to believe this might be a Consortium hit, Br'r," the Clarissi stated, nonplussed by the H'lven's insubordinate barking. "Arisia's handling a treaty negotiation at the moment. I'd prefer that she handle this, but if it is the Consortium then we have to get out in front of this one." The H'lven was speechless for a moment. But only a moment. "Frell fracking hell, Sally, I'm training a fracking poozer here, not leading an Alpha unit," Br'r argued, anger slipping into his voice as his cigar-augmented hand gestures only grew more articulate. "This is a Consortium job? How bad?" the Green Lantern demanded. "An entire family. Kids. Even the pets." Were it not for his fur, the H'lven would have appeared to have blanched. He'd seen enough murder scenes to know that they weren't pretty to begin with. And when kids were added to the equation, nasty business only got that much more disturbing. Now tack on the Consortium's so-called business rules and it wasn't as simple as just killing someone. "Frack, Sally, kid's ring won't work for a month if he sees that," the small Lantern uttered flatly. To be quite honest, Br'r wasn't all that certain his would either. "He'll be witnessing worse if we don't stop this now," the Green Lantern administrator stated matter-of-factly, folding all four of his arms down on his desk as he stared down at the small chipmunk and said only, "Good luck, Green Lantern." And then he hung up on them, leaving Br'r staring at an empty field of stars. In which he caught his own reflection and wasn't all that certain he liked what he saw any more. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The young Chinese monk was struggling. His protective aura kept Marty's arms an inch away from his neck, but he could still feel pressure pushing up against his throat. And the food processing unit's wildly slapping arms were beating against his leg and, occasionally, smacking between them, sending inadvertent shudders of phantom pain through him created by his own subconscious in sympathy for the abuse that his body was taking. Large, green constructs in the form of a pair of hands were holding back Bertha, as Kai-ro felt his foothold beginning to give way. It wasn't his balance. His own will was starting to falter. The eruption of green energy was startling to everyone - including Kai-ro - as a massive backhand issued a pimp slap that sent all of them scattering across the floor. As the robots and Kai-ro looked up, standing in the doorway to the bar was mighty mouse himself. "You." the H'lven barked, pointy a stubby finger at Bertha and then directing his attention over toward Marty with equal vitriol. "And you. Get a fracking divorce." With that said, the Green Lantern turned to the automated food processor. "And you. A waste disposal unit? Do you have any idea where that's been?" The three robots got to their servos, shamed into silence by the short, furred rodent. Kai-ro's mouth was hanging open, speechless as the H'lven's dark gaze fell next on him. "You, back on the ship." Nodding, mouth still agape, the young Green Lantern got to his feet. As he started to obey, the boy paused and looked back at Bertha for a moment, then back at Br'r. "But... the weapons discharge..." "What?" the H'lven uttered sharply, then spied the rifle on the bar. Turning to glare at Bertha again, the squirrel-like Lantern growled. "You're gettin' a warning this time," "WHAT!?" Kai-ro snapped in disbelief. "Don't make me come back here," Br'r growled, pointing at the three robots in turn. "I'll be angry. And you wouldn't like me when I'm angry." With that, the H'lven turned and marched back out the way he came. Jogging to keep pace with the short Lantern, the young monk fell into step beside his partner and trainer. "Why are you..." "Shut up," Br'r barked shortly, offering only. "We've got a job to do."