The "World of Heroes" DC RPG Season VII

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Before I could answer, I see Oa up ahead. We'd be arriving soon.

"I guess you can ask them that yourself."


Oa.

It's very different from how I knew it. When Rayner rebuilt the Corps, he decided to make some aesthetic improvements, among other things. I must say, I applaud his decision. This planet feels like an actual world, rather than the barren rock it used to be. Unfortunately, one thing didn't change. The one thing that's the same on every world.

Prison cells.

I'm certain it's more for show than anything. The Guardian's last little reminder of who is actually in charge, which they will claim is just equal treatment. I haven't been in here long, but it's been more than long enough to have to tolarate the torrents of abuses, threats, and even applause from the multitudes of other prisoners confined here.

"Well, look at this poozer."

I groan inwardly. "Kilowog."

"Back where you should be."


"If you say so."

"You know that the Guardians have authorized lethal force."

I look at him, bored. "Which you won't use against me since I surrendered voluntarily, and am currently anything but a threat."

Kilowog steps up against the field that contains me. "I don't believe you've changed one bit, Sinestro."

I step right up to him, not backing down. "I do not care what you believe. The fact is that I have changed. And what I do now is so that I can help everyone again, and atone for all that I've done."

Kilowog grins. "If I didn't know better, I'd almost believe you were sincere."

"Like I said, I do not care what you believe. I only need to convince the Guardians."

Kilowog grunts. "Ring?"

"No deception detected."

I raise an eyebrow. "I remember how you helped against the Dark Lanterns. And Jordan's apparently on your side."

"Are you?"

"...No. I remember everything you did to us in the past. But...I'm the last one to deny someone a second chance. Don't blow it if you get it."

"A second chance is all I ask."


With a grunt, Kilowog lowers the field and chains bind my wrists and ankles. "You're about to get it."

***

The massive crowd of Lanterns creates a steady murmur in the giant amphitheater. I can't help but be amazed at the assault on my senses. But I stay focused on the matter at hand. If Sinestro is going to have a chance against this crowd, he's going to need us to be at our best.

Suddenly, the sounds drop away as a multi-armed alien walks out in front of everyone. "All Lanterns will come to order for the Guardians of the Universe." And as if someone flipped a switch, the room goes silent as the small blue beings float behind the large balcony. They all carry a distinct air of nobility and arrogance, and for some reason it sets my teeth on edge. No wonder they get on Hal's nerves.

When the Guardians take their positions, the alien standing at the center speaks again. "Bring out the prisoner."

From the center of the floor, a lift raises up. A large Lantern stand on it, and the shackles extending from his ring bind Sinestro.

And the crowd erupts...
 
The massive crowd of Lanterns creates a steady murmur in the giant amphitheater. I can't help but be amazed at the assault on my senses. But I stay focused on the matter at hand. If Sinestro is going to have a chance against this crowd, he's going to need us to be at our best.

Suddenly, the sounds drop away as a multi-armed alien walks out in front of everyone. "All Lanterns will come to order for the Guardians of the Universe." And as if someone flipped a switch, the room goes silent as the small blue beings float behind the large balcony. They all carry a distinct air of nobility and arrogance, and for some reason it sets my teeth on edge. No wonder they get on Hal's nerves.

When the Guardians take their positions, the alien standing at the center speaks again. "Bring out the prisoner."

From the center of the floor, a lift raises up. A large Lantern stand on it, and the shackles extending from his ring bind Sinestro.

And the crowd erupts...

I've been a lantern for a few years now, but I ain't never seen anything like this. The grandstanding of the Guardians almost makes me sick to my stomach. As bad as Sinestro was, there ain't no reason to do it like this. He's being made an example of.

"We shall begin the trial," one of the blue men says as they call the shots.

"The criminal Sinestro will here by be tried for murder and mayhem, along with numerous violations of the sacred book of Oa. If found guilty, the punishment for his crimes will be death. Lantern Salaak."

Salaak floats to the top of the crowd, a dozen emerald consoles floating around him.

"Begin bringing forth the witnesses. We shall start with the Earthlings Sinestro has worked with."

Salaak nods and punches a few buttons.

"Members representing the Justice League and other Earth heroes, please step forward to give your testimony in the trial."
 
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"What the hell happened here, Chyre", Zolomon looked around at the destruction.
He and the detective were standing in the middle, of downtown Central City, of which a good block was completely obliterated. The only building left standing was a small duplex that was only have torn apart.

"Why am I here, Detective", Hunter asked as he turned to regard Chyre.

"Because", the detective paused as he contemplated his words, "I think you've shown enough since you've reformed to deserve a second chance."

"And you're still the best Rogue profiler in the cities."


"Okay", Hunter nodded.
"So I take you've got no leads?"

"Not a ****ing thing", Chyre said with a bit of frustration.

"How long ago did this happen"
, Zolomon asked as he started walking towards the duplex.

"Earlier this evening", Chyre replied.
"Happened real quick like. By the time emergency got on scene they were gone."

"Really", Hunter paused after Chyre's statement.

"Give me a few minutes to look around, detective?"

"Sure, knock yourself out", Chyre shrugged.

Zolomon entered the ruined duplex, carefully scanning the entire living room as he entered. Most of the furniture was destroyed, and there was a large room light embedded in the wall.
Hunter looked around and ran his fingers over the couch as he walked past it. It felt rough, like it got singed.

Hunter moved into the bathroom, which was completely exposed, having lost all but one wall and the roof. The only things left standing were the pillar section of the sink attached to the sole wall, and a mangled bathtub covered in dust.

Zolomon walked up to the tub, shining his flashlight inside it. There was blood caked everywhere. Just the sight of it made Hunter's heard drop. Whoever this was lost a lot of blood. Chances of them surviving...

"Hunter? Hunter are you there? It's me, Wally. I need you to meet me back at the Flash Museum ASAP. I need your help..."

"****", Hunter said under his breath as he looked around and took out his communicator.

"Yeah, I'll see you there in fifteen. Zoom, out."

Zolomon sighed as he took one last look at the crime scene and ran back to Chyre.

"I have some theories, detective", Hunter began, "but I'll need to do a little more research first. I will let you know as soon as I find something. Also, I'll need the blood results you got from the bathtub as soon as you have them."

"Yeah, I'm sure I can arrange that."


"Good"
, Hunter said.
"Right now I've got somewhere important I have to be, so, if you'll excuse me..."

Hunter suddenly vanished before Chyre's eyes, and the detective just shook his head.

"Speedsters."
 
I've been a lantern for a few years now, but I ain't never seen anything like this. The grandstanding of the Guardians almost makes me sick to my stomach. As bad as Sinestro was, there ain't no reason to do it like this. He's being made an example of.

"We shall begin the trial," one of the blue men says as they call the shots.

"The criminal Sinestro will here by be tried for murder and mayhem, along with numerous violations of the sacred book of Oa. If found guilty, the punishment for his crimes will be death. Lantern Salaak."

Salaak floats to the top of the crowd, a dozen emerald consoles floating around him.

"Begin bringing forth the witnesses. We shall start with the Earthlings Sinestro has worked with."

Salaak nods and punches a few buttons.

"Members representing the Justice League and other Earth heroes, please step forward to give your testimony in the trial."


We all take a step forward, forming a symbolic line. Wonder Woman, Dinah, Booster, Marvel, Arthur and myself. And then Wonder Woman takes another step forward. "If I may?"

The Guardians nod in unison. "Creeeeepy..." Booster whispers to me out of the side of his mouth.

"Shhhh..."

"Guardians, thank you for allowing us to speak on behalf oh our fellow League member."


"Sinestro is a member of Earth's Justice League?"

"He is. And he has been for some time now. We are all fully aware of Sinestro's history after being banished to Qward," she says, speaking to everyone in attendance, and not just the Guardians. The mass of Lanterns stir, with more than a few angry shouts. "But his history is not at question here."

"It very much is," one of the Guardians says.

"If you will forgive me, but I beg to differ. The question is not whether Sinestro committed crimes in his past. The question is if the good he has done in recent years has started him towards the road to redemption. And if he should be allowed to continue following his new path. The Guardians are no stranger to second chances."

This time a different type of murmur rumbles amongst the crowd. And I notice Hal stiffen. But I also see the Guardians stiffen and Kyle hide a grin. And then I understand Diana's subtle reminder that the Guardians are currently enjoying their second chance at life with Kyle's help.

It's Dinah's turn to step forward. "When Sinestro returned to Earth, none of us trusted him. None of us believed him. And even he would agree we had every right to not do so. But he came to us, not as an enemy, but as someone asking for help. He had lost his way, losing himself while still a Lantern all those years ago. And he asked us to help him."

"Help him do what?"
a female Guardian asks.

"To learn how to be a hero again."
This illicits a roar from the crowd, and angry shouts of disbelief.

"Quiet!" Another Guardian shouts, using his power to amplify his voice. This brings the Lanterns back under control, barely.

"Yes, please continue," a Guardian at the end says. He sounds nothing like the others, and the expression on his face...while all the other Guardians look the same, this one doesn't. "I would like to hear more of Sinestro's deeds while on your world. Please elaborate." Some of the other Guardians look at him with almost disgust.
 
"Quiet!" Another Guardian shouts, using his power to amplify his voice. This brings the Lanterns back under control, barely.

"Yes, please continue," a Guardian at the end says. He sounds nothing like the others, and the expression on his face...while all the other Guardians look the same, this one doesn't. "I would like to hear more of Sinestro's deeds while on your world. Please elaborate." Some of the other Guardians look at him with almost disgust.

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The other heroes are silent for a moment, perhaps because they are still waiting to have the audience's full attention or perhaps because they are unsure of where to start. But Aquaman knows exactly where to. He was indeed skeptical about Sinestro turning good, and even lashed out at him during one of the League's first meetings after the team reformed. However there is one thing Orin knows for sure.

"When Darkseid attacked the White House--the capital of the American Government--many heroes came to stop him. There are few I can name that got there any swifter than Sinestro. He defended that ground just as hard as anyone did. And while it was for one small piece of land, really he did what he did to defend the entire planet. Earth. For had Darkseid not been defeated there and then, he would've eventually proceeded to consume the rest of the planet."

Orin had not received the same kind of reactions that Dinah and Diana had gotten from their testimonies with Sinestro. What instead he observed was whispering among the Guardians, with the rest of the Green Lantern Corp becoming silent. They clearly know of the tyrant ruler Darkseid, so perhaps this tale of his weighs heavily with them.

Very well, so he shall give them more.

"Then, just a little over a year ago, a team of villains merged together to reform a deadly group we heroes had long thought to have been disbanded: The Dark Alliance. They swept across our homes and backyards so easily as my shadow casts itself on this floor right now before you; entire under our noses. They were without mercy and with no remorse...and who among the heroes aided us proudly? Sinestro yet again. When the time of aid is needed, he answers the call. Countless times after that, he would again aid us in various Justice League missions. Each and every time he continued to amaze me more with how much he had changed for the entire time I kept doubting myself, just waiting for the moment when he would turn on us. But that day has yet to come. And I have understood why the day, has yet to, and will never come to pass..."

The Marine Marvel purposely leaves the audience, and more importantly the Guardians, hanging with his unfinished statement. He takes a moment to take in their facial and body language responses, just waiting for the right reaction.

"...And what would that be?"

"You see...Sinestro has found a new home. And in finding his new home on Earth, he has once again found his heart. A heart he had lost long ago when he lost his ways. And it is through the restoration of his heart, that he once again sees how precious life is. He once again sees the purpose in defending it."
 
The Dawn of the Fifth World: Part 1 of 2: The Devil and Wiloughby Kipling

Maybe,

The flick of the match is heard. A small light appears before being waved out of existence. A lone man takes a drag in his hotel room. The TV is on but there is nothing but static. The sky is blood red that causes a shadow that covers the entire world.

"Looks like the world is going to end...again. Reality death should be achieved in about a few months," he raises a bottle to a man tied up in the corner of the room, "chin chin." He drinks. The man who is tied up is able to spit out his gag.

"Kipling, you sonova*****! Untie me we can fight them off together!"

"Fight? I will do no such thing. Why in the world would I want to help the bait?"

"Bait?! For **** sake, Kipling, don't do this to me!" The man started to cry, "please Kipling!"

"Too late. Nobody says that about Mother Kipling. I've done worst but I had use for you. Now quiet I'm trying to concentrate." Pages of Alice and Wonderland where scatter around Willoughby Kipling. He lit an unlucky rabbit's foot and dropped it in the center. First the fire turned green, then white, then red. The static on the television transformed to flame. The fire flowed around the room like a snake before turning into a portal near some drawings of Jack the Ripper. A grotesque face appeared.

"Listen Constant....oh it's you. Bugger, well the hell do you want, Kipling?"

"Constantine?! That philistine! That thief! That..."

"What do you want before I turn you into a slug and feed you to my children."

"Passage."

"Where to?"

"The past."

"The past?! No way! I'm trying to stay under the bloody rader from the new cosmic bosses and you want me to send to the past. No, no, no."

"Fine then how about a message for my past self. A warning."

"Even dreams are heavily monitored but I think I could swing it. What you got for me?" Kipling pulled the man over.

"This guy. Real peace of work. He's in some shaddy ****. I think he killed a man before too."

"Tasty! Deal. I will deliever your warning to your past self. Any damage to the time stream is your fault. And you are a true bastard, Kipling"

"The best." The portal disappeared and the static returned. There was scrapping in the hall. They found him. Who was it though? The Cult of the Unerving? Jusitifers, if he was lucky. The Ones of the One Eye. Or worst Granny's Children. The world was seperated in many different cults all worshipping one god. It seemed like chaos. This, though, was chaos made out of order. Everything went by one note.

There was a polite knock on his door. He took out a rag and placed it in his bottle. Another knock, shave and a haircut. Then a voice.

"Knock is Darkseid. Door is Darkseid." All in unison. The door bursted open revealing what weeks of genetic mutation a boring nightmare hymns have turn them into shambling monsters. They walk jerky. Each movement seems to be forced by some unseen hand. Alien starfish cover their faces.

"Kipling?" Their voices are innocent. They sound like children voices distored through a very old record player.

"Kipling? Granny sez you been a very bad man. Bad man bad man. Kipling is Darkseid Granny is Darkseid man is Darkseid. wWe gots to get you Kipling. Granny sez. Yum yum eat him up." Kipling pops up, bottle in hand.

"Damn you all! This is my last bottle of what's keeping my sanity together!" He throws as the three are engulfed in flames. He grabs a blanket and leaps through them. He makes it to the hallway A lumbering giant with a hunchback run towards him. He wears a black helmut that covers his vision. An omega symbol is painted on him. Kipling runs the other way. A jusifier opens a door and opens fire. He hits the monster and Kipling tumbles into him. He whispers a few words and the justifer starts to throw up.

"Vomit is Darkseid...green is Darkseid." Kipling continues to run down the stairs and into the lobby. He reaches the doors when a black light surrounds the building. The doors throw themselves open and two black hands reach up from the ground holding him in place.

"You look like an idiot." A black dagger made of energy stabs his shoulder.

"I am what my god has made me."

"And your god is destroying reality. Don't you see? No of course you don't you are too ****ing stupid."

"The death of this reality will lead to the birth of a new age, the Fifth World. My master will shape the infinite into his image."

"You're nothing more than a bloody mouthpiece. You're worst than talk radio." Black Hand raises his ring. A black square fires out. Before it reaches him it shatters turing into light shards. It stabs Kipling who falls over. Curses and swears words from thousands of years are heard.

"I am the first of the fallen, Kipling, the killer of light, Oa's bane, the champion of the gods of ignorance. No one will oppose us," He raises the skull and smashes it over Kipling's head.
 
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I stand their silently, trying to retain what dignity I can despite the chains binding me to the ground. I'm not about to show any weakness, especially in front of the Guardians. Let them know that I will stand here and let them judge me without fear. Just like a Green Lantern.

Captain Marvel steps forward. "Everything these people have said is true. Sinestro is not the man he once was. Would you like to know how much he has changed? Not long after arriving on Earth, I happened to be in the city of Metropolis when the Qwardians attacked. Why did they attack? Was it to strike at Superman and his city? No. It was to strike at Sinestro? They attacked their former emissary, their former leader, because he had turned. Because he had decided to be exactly what they didn't want him to become. A hero."

This bring murmurs in the crowd. If the Qwardians were trying to kill me, it makes them wonder just what the means. I even notice a couple of the Guardians glance at one another.

"And that is not the only evidence. Not long after that happened, an entity called Unity tried to take over every person on Earth. Making all the people part of its collective consciousness. And when that failed, it tried to kill everyone with a virus. And who fought with the Justice League against the Unity? Who created the cure for the virus itself?" Captain Marvel points at me.

"Sinestro of Korugar."

The murmuring becomes a distinct buzz. And Garrick decides it's time to add his voice.

"And that's not all this man has done. Multiple times he's been there when a hero was needed. He helped me and the other Flashes stave off an attack on Keystone City, and repair the damage. Most recently he helped Captain Marvel and myself stop an attempt by one of our planet's most ruthless villains to subjugate the world."

"And what of his past?"

Garrick looks at the Guardian unsure. "How do you mean, Guardian?"

"This man's past crimes. What of those? Shall they be ignored? Expunged? Is there justice in doing that?"

The buzz of Lanterns is drowned out and replaced by the shouts of others. And the League looks momentarily unsure how to address the question...
 
The Dawning of the Fifth World Part 1 of 3: One More Cup of Coffee or The Battle of the Infinite Wonderworld

Mike Miller was in a bad place. He was just released from prison he thought it should be having a great time but the nightmare continue. Years ago he decided to put on a costume that shot flames out of his chest and go rob some banks. This didn't end well. Jail was fine up until the last week when the nightmares started. Some woman was a the jukebox. She placed in her quarters and the muisc played. She started to sway before blinking out of existence. Mike was startled there was never a woman there...not again....please make it stop.

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The waitress came over cheerfully smiling. Mike looked up and was horrified. The rest of the diner seemed to have their volume level down. The waitress was mouthing something. Words and math symbols. Mike raised his cup. His arm was shaking.

"Just....just coffee please."

"Whatever you say, sweetie. If you anything else just ask." A bell rang and Mike looked up. A tall well built man step in. He was wearing a blue suit with a hat to match. The sides of his head were grey. He peered at Mike through his glasses.

"Just sit where ever you like, hun. Can I get you a cup of coffee to start you off?"

"Black, please."

"Sure thing. Anything else?"

"Do you have any apple pie?"

"The best."

"I'll take a slice of that. Thank you." The man sat down and opened up a paper. The bell rang again. This time is was his brother. The only member of his family that would talk to him at this point. The good son, the one who went to college, got a job. Not the one who put on the flameboyant costume and thought he could be the next Luthor.

"Hello Michael."

"George..."

"You look terrible," They both forced smiles and some awkward laugh. The Waitress came over.

"Hey, there can I get you anything?"

"Ah just a cup of coffee. Is it alright if I smoke?"

"Smoke 'em if you got em." The waitress turned back to Mike, "can I get you anything yet." Of course Mike had another strange vision. The volume turned down again and the waitress was replaced with a dominatrix whose face was covered in a horrible mask.

"nobody leaves the tearoom of despair all paths lead to no where only granny will let you leave she won't won't won't won't....."

"Mike, Mike!" His brother was shaking him, "what's a matter with you?"

"I don't know...I can't figure it out."

"You just came out of prison. I know it's going to be tough..." He continued with his patronizing tone. How he could get him a job, a new house, the family can be together again...

"...the nightmares."

"What?"

"I've been having this I don't know nightmares but when I'm awake. It started when I was in prison. These three headless men in suits carrying daggers chased me one night...."

"Mike, I think you should see a doctor." His brother was getting uneasy.

"No! Don't you understand, I'm not cra....the man from my dreams. There is a man who lives in the back of the diner. The man in the purple robe. He stole the dream doctor from the asylum and now he is going to use him to shape the world...Then one out back laughing."

"Mike, I think we need to go..." The waitress came around and placed a plate in front of Mike.

"Compliments of the chef." Mike looked down at it, horrified. Various unreal insects crawled along meat. He looked around him. People in bright color costumes covered in blood looked at him. He fell out of his seat and scream.

"The dead gods are here! Their souls are trapped here on Earth by the devil. I went to go home! Mother!" A cackle came from the kitchen. The man in the purple robe held a bone saw covered in blood. A creature out of Lovecraft with an old woman's face sewn crawled out of a back booth. It slithered over.

"You're my children now..." The man in the blue suit came over and started to help Mike up.

"Are you alright, son?" The monsters stopped and stared at him. He could see it in their eyes, the extreme hatred.

"No, my brother is very sick. I'm sorry, sir. We must be going."

"What about the man in the back?"

"Leave us alone." Mike made a break for the door. His brother and the other man followed. Mike ran into a dumpster out back and heard the laughter. He looked at a shadow coming from behind. A thousand claws made grabbing motions.

"nO!" A short man dressed in raggedy clothes came out holding a handgun.

"We got what we want from your mind." He pulled the trigger but the bullet flatten and bounce off something. The man in the blue suit had taken the bullet. His chest now revealed a S.

"Sleez!" He pressed him up against the dumpster. The two ran off.

"You're not suppose to be here!"

"I am. Now tell me, where is your master?!" His eyes were red.

"I don't know I'm telling you the truth. They don't tell me nothin'!"

"What were you doing in the diner? What were all those images?!"

"Nightmare projections from our technology! We had to scan his mind for the pieces of the equation. We got most of it from the Asylum." He tossed Sleez to the ground.

"You will die Superman! All will belong to Darkseid. Anti-life will engulf your entire world and an infinite more!" There was a bright blue light in the sky. "oh no, not you..." Sleez escape his grasp and ran off.

"You must be the one feeding me all this information. I can see a strange frequency and what I gathered it is made up of living information."

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"You are correct, Superman of Earth-2. I have come to tell you that pressence is need elsewhere."

"This Earth needs me, Metron. I can't leave it to fall."

"Do not fret Superman. This world has it's heroes. When the time of crisis is at hand they will rise up to the challange."

"Who needs me?" They both disappeared and reappeared on a new Earth. A wonderous futuristic city was laid out before them. Hundreds of figures flew through the air.

"You're late, Metron. Oh he's gone! Well, they say gods work in mysterious annoying ways. Rubbish. I can pin point where he is. He thinks he's smarter than me. Well, it's an honor to me you, my name is Brainiac 5. This is New Metropolis on Hyperworld 10."

"New Metropolis?"

"Keep up," Brainiac flew forward, "we are on a world where the Superman dynasty had steer the world to a brighter world of tomorrow. It started with Jonathan Kent the 2nd and had reached a turning point when after the Brainiac, the evil one, Wars, Kris Kent ushered in Herioc Age Year Zero." The two hovered over a large battle. Thousands of costumed heroes fought against the forces of oppression.

"Welcome to the last stand of reality."
 


"This man's past crimes. What of those? Shall they be ignored? Expunged? Is there justice in doing that?"

The buzz of Lanterns is drowned out and replaced by the shouts of others. And the League looks momentarily unsure how to address the question...

I've kept my temper long enough.

"Wait just one damn minute!"

In record time, 7,200 Lanterns fall quiet as I hover above the crowd.

"Honor Lantern Gardner, it is not your time to speak. When we wish for your comments we will ask them."

"Brothers and sisters...let him speak."

I curtly nod at Ganthet and cross my arms as all eyes turn to me.

"First off...I want to get something clear. I don't like Sinestro, never have and probably never will. After fighting him for so long, can you blame me?"

I turn and look at Sinestro. He remains calm as we lock eyes. Damn his eyes, they always make me think he's sizing me up.

"And....as much as it chaps my ass to say this.......the ****er has turned over a new leaf. I haven't been on Earth much lately, but these people who are standing up and talking for him, I know that they mean business. All my life, the attitude I've tried to take is that the past don't mean dick. What matters is the here and now and what's to come. He's got his sines, he knows that. But he has become better, you can't kill him for that."

I take a deep breath and swallow hard. This next part is going to be hard.

"If.....Hal Jordan can be forgiven of his crimes and reinstated into the corps, then why the hell can't Sinestro?"

I cast a regretful look at Hal and continue on.

"I've never liked the pink son of a *****, but this goddamn dog and pony show you're putting on is ridiculous."

"Thank you, Honor Lantern Gardner."

"You talk about 'Justice' but all this is is revenge, pure and simple."

"You little SOBs can't take the fact that one of your greatest failures has actually managed to prove you wrong by becoming a decent human being."


"That is enough, Earthman! One more word and you face severe punishment."

I hear the murmurs and looks on all the faces in the crowd. I know I shouldn't....but I just can't help it...."
"Yeah? What are you little fascist bastards going to do?"

"Your impunity knows no bounds. Very well, Earthman. You shall become a lesson to all the Lanterns. Guy Gardner of Earth, you are hereby banished from the Green Lantern Corps."

"Bull****. You can't ban me for speaking my mind!"

"We have already done it. Farewell."

I feel my ring tugging off my finger, I do my best to grab at it as it slips off and I start to fall into the crowd.

"No..."


Before I hit the ground, a white light envelopes me I disappear.
 
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Space Sector 2814

Ysmault

He sits and he waits.

In the cold and the dark, the emperor of this wasteland looks out upon his domain. The fires of rage spread forth consuming and devouring those who would let the cold spark take light in their soul. It was from his feet and from his own hand that the seething animalistic power had ravaged and torn, rending his kingdom of crimson from the dust and bones of times past.

He had raised an army. A Corps of monsters fuelled by a unifying desire. He had led them into battle and fired the first warning shot into the galaxy. But the galaxy shot back. They upped their power and resolve and drove the Crimson Emperor back. But he would not be cowed by them. He would not admit such a thing as defeat. For the Crimson Emperor there was no such thing and so now he sits and he waits.

His Corps has swelled to impossible numbers. And still, minute by minute, day by day, more rings venture out into the blackness of the universe, casting out their promise of blood and fire to those with rage in their hearts and fire in their eyes. Recruiting them, transforming their bodies into living weapons and making them a part of this collective beast.

And from his throne the Emperor of this crimson nightmare gathers his strength. He entertains the ghosts of the past so that they may feed the fuel of his resolve. The once vast darkness of the universe was being torn asunder by new light, from flashes of colour from all corners of its breadth. He knew, from his own experience and from his own pain and anger and rage that the universe would suffer for it.

His fiery wasteland pulsed with energy. The Power Battery, in it's lake of gore shone brighter than ever. The universe was almost ready for his cleansing fire. But until that time comes, he sits and he waits.

 
Earth

Guy Gardner of Earth, you are hereby banished from the Green Lantern Corps.

Those words have played through my mind for the last few hours.
I'm done. With the Corps., Green Lanterns, heroes, all of it. Those bastards stripped me of my ring and sent me packing back to Baltimore...suppose it's better than having been sent to Qward. But right now I don't give a **** what they did.

My thoughts and feelings are a jumbled mess. But one emotion outweighs them all and that's sadness. Being a Lantern is the one thing I really cared for in this world. I didn't want to be back here on Earth, beating the crap outta purse snatchers. I wanted to be out there, on the front lines and protecting the galaxy. That's all changed now.

I guess that's how you explain where I am right now, sitting on a stoop in West Baltimore, crying my eyes out. I can't even remember the last time I cried. That's a testament to how bad I feel.

Sounds kinda corny, but my heart is broken. I don't know what the hell I'm gonna do. I'm not being Warrior again, I know that. Just the thought makes me cry that much harder.

I'm so caught up in myself, I don't see the streak of light coming down the street, nor do I hear the small object cutting through the air. I only realize what's happening before it's too late.

<Guy Gardner of Space Sector 2814. You have great love in your heart. You have been chosen.>
 
The Dawning of the Fifth World, The End: The Black Hand of Fate or The Death of Good

My machines have been stolen, twisted, and perverted.

I have failed my friends...Clark, Lois, Kal.

I have failed the world and countless others like it.

I have seen gods die, the light of willpower snuff out like a candle, the world dragged into the darkness reaches of a new hell.

My name is Alexander Luthor. My body is being prepared to house that of the strongest being in the known galaxy.

I have damned the universe.

My name is Alexander Luthor and I am to become the Devil.
******

The Black Hand appears from the graveyard and into a building. It was dark and silent. It looked like a lab owned by the most brutal monsters of the galaxy. A door opens off in the distance and the outline of man stands there.

"You're late."

"Where are the others?"

"They're dead William. Died serving our lord. When they are need they will be call back but these human bodies can only sustain us for a short time."

"Who are you? Why am I here?"

"I am Mokkari. The survior of the Great Purge of the Gods. I am the perverter of science. You're here to fufill your destiny, William. Raise the armies of the gods!" The lights came on. Unusually, unearthly, and possibly unholy machines populated the room. In the middle was a steel table, more like an alter, with a man strap to it. A ball gag was in his mouth. He was struggle but it was no use. Mokkari smiled.

"Go William."

"Yes..." Before William could go forward another figure appeared. He was wearing a suit of blue armor. His eyes were crimson red.

"Ah the new son, the Prince of Apokolips. Black Hand meet Superboy..."

"Superman," He interuppted.

superboyprime.jpg


"Superman Prime."

"No more time to waste. William go now." Black Hand move forward. He leered over the table. He was sickly. A costume which was far too large for him was drapped over very skinny body.

"Master? Master, your servent has come. I have come to free you of this jail of flesh. I have come to lay waste. I have come to be used as a tool of your never ending holocaust." The skull was twitching and Hand's ring was cackling with black light.

"Do you hear me master? I will die for you! Die! Die for Darkseid!" He placed his hand over Luthor's heart. The ceiling opened up. A tower reached up into the sky. Black light shot out from it.

100%
******
Epilogue: Heaven Cracked, Hell Broken

Dan Turpin was not a cop anymore. Retirement was a hell of a thing. Sure he was old but he still liked chasing down ***hole gangbangers. Now look at him. Following some ******* who might be cheating on his wife. Hell, he needed to eat and his back felt like ****.

The husband work at the docks. Some supervisor there or something. He was hoping for...hell he didn't know. What did happened, though, I never could have expected. He was wandering the grounds when suddenly something, like a missle, came from the skies. He went right through a building completely destroying it. Turpin saw a body. He ran over to it and touched it.

final_crisis_preview_page_2.jpg


******
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord.

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"Your impunity knows no bounds. Very well, Earthman. You shall become a lesson to all the Lanterns. Guy Gardner of Earth, you are hereby banished from the Green Lantern Corps."

"Bull****. You can't ban me for speaking my mind!"

"We have already done it. Farewell."

I feel my ring tugging off my finger, I do my best to grab at it as it slips off and I start to fall into the crowd.

"No..."


Before I hit the ground, a white light envelopes me I disappear.

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Oa
Sinestro's Trial


And within seconds, Guy Gardner vanishes before everyone's eyes. The room is silent and full of fear it would seem. Ironic, for what makes a Green Lantern is their powerful to overcome fear with their strong wills. There's something Orin has notice to steadily change with the Green Lantern Corp ever since the presence of new power rings: even the powerful Guardians of the Universe are starting to realize what it means to feel. And the emotion that has stirred highest amongst the rest?

It's fear.

Fear has caused them to make all of these rash decisions. The emotion has struck them so strong that they have just banished one of their best space officers: Honor Guard Lantern Guy Gardner. And who knows what Fear will make them do next.


Poseidonis, Atlantica
Center of the City


Taking aim with his javelin, the maroon-armored clad guard strikes the cell of Triton between the bars, and Triton grabs hold of the energy searing weapon. Struggling to pull the weapon back from the Godling's tight grip, the guard is unable to do so. Triton merely smirks and forces the guard to strike the magical bars instead. The combination of the energy heated weapon and the magical bars makes an explosion within the cells. The smoke clears, and through the murky dark waters comes Triton's arm, now gripped around the guard's neck.

"To be honest...I know not who I killed that was dear to you. For you are all insignificant. To a God, you are no more than mere krill."


Clenching his hand, the villain breaks the guards neck and drops the body. The other guards of the royal dungeon rush towards the godling to stop him, and Triton chuckles as he counters their attacks.

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The spell is almost ready. The Atlantean sorcerers have finished channeling the spell and siphoning the magical energies to Tempest. Now, he merely has to start the incantation and Hagen will have finally paid for his crimes: paid with his life.

But something stirs in the shadows. Silently, Atlantean guards left and right are being taken out from behind without the slightest bit of notice from anyone present at the execution. Guards whose sole duty was to guard the outer perimeter of the execution should Hagen somehow break free now float unconscious, some dead. A faint devilish laugh whispers through the water as Triton cannot help but relish in his work. The time is quickly approaching. Just below from the Atlantean building he now resides on is Hagen, Tempest, and Royal Family, Mystics, and the Atlantean Council.

Now...Triton merely awaits Hagen's signal.


Oa
Sinestro's Trial

The Marine Marvel can stand it no more, he breaks the silence as he walks to the very place Guy Gardner formally stood.

"Is this the way a Guardian should act?"

"Earthling, we have already heard your testimony about Sinestro's changing of ways. We surely do not need a lecture about what we choose to do as far as disciplining a soldier who is out of line."

"Oh, but I think you do. I was King of Atlantis for years. My Kingdom, was of size much larger than your small planet of Oa for I had domain over three fourths of Earth to watch over and protect. While my jurisdiction was not as large as yours however, for your Green Lanterns police 3,600 sectors I can teach you a thing or two about disciplining a soldier. I understand that you have officers such as the one known as Kilowog to train your men. Well I hand-picked and trained every soldier of my Atlantean armies. And when you train a soldier you learn things about them, and create a bond with them. And with said bond, you learn a thing or two from them that you never thought to be possible. And things have changed lately within your Corps that Lanterns such as Gardner have made clear to you but you think so highly of yourselves, that you proceed to--"

"THAT IS ENOUGH, ARTHUR CURRY OF EARTH!"

The Guardian outraged the most points to two Green Lanterns, Lanterns Laira and Green Man. Immediately their rings ignite and they fly down to the floor and approach Aquaman. Green Man's ring glows brilliantly as he cracks his knuckles and Laira creates a green construct of a color and chain that floats before her. Before the Guardians proceed to give the two Lanterns another order, the Aquatic Ace replies.

"You are wasting your time with the hostilities. Even if you were to proceed with what you have in mind I assure you you'd find yourselves unconscious, lying on the floor without me even making a move, say for a telepathic one should I desire to retaliate. There is no need for anymore un-needed acts of fear and rage. If the Guardians wish me to leave this room, so be it."

Orin walks up to Laira, his hands pressed together. She pauses for a moment, and then gets a hold of herself and locks the construct around his bound ends. Seconds later, Aquaman has left the room.


Poseidonis, Atlantica
Center of the City

Magical energies surge and begin to shoot out of Garth's body, all around him, sporadically. The spell is now ready, and if Tempest does not release it now he runs the risk of the spell consume him rather than Hagen. He takes a good look at the villain's face, full of fear. Fear of the unknown. Garth knows the purpose of this spell, but he cringes at the thought of having to endure and experience it. Even just summoning its powers has begun to disturb his mind as he holds onto this negative energy.

But then, Hagen's look of fear shifts to a smirk and a look of confidence. Garth wants to cry out "no" as he notices this, but he's having so much trouble controlling this energy.

hagenbreaksout.jpg

"NOW!!"

Triton descends from the building, and immediately takes out the remaining guards. The godling is swift and cunning, it's as though he moves at a speed only seen by that of Aquaman. The surprise attack successful, the old mystics try to conjure up a counter attack but they are still drained from the powerful spell Garth now harnesses. Tempest turns, with Triton smiling at him as he comes at him. He grabs Garth by the throat just as Garth was in the middle of speaking the incantation, the magical energies surging through him now too, but the godling endures.

"Yes, minnow. For all your precautions and all your planning, this indeed is happening. Hahahaha!"

Taking control of the energies, Triton unleashes the power like a bomb.
 
"Guardians, stop this!" The sight of Gardner and Aquaman being treated as nothing more than flotsam stirs my anger.

"The prisoner will not question the orders of the Guardians."

"Please," I start, "I only brought these people here to testify on my behalf. They have done nothing to warrant-"

"Honor Lantern Gardner has been long due expulsion from the Corps for his constant disrespect. And while King Orin may be royalty on Earth, he certainly has no authority over the Guardians."

"But I am the one to be judged, not them. Judge me!"


"That is the intention of this tribunal. And that is why the Guardians call the following witnesses to testify against you." The Guardian nods to the one called Salaak looks down at a construct of a screen.

"The following Lanterns and their constituents will appear before the Guardians." Salaak proceeds to recite a list of names. A long list. A very long list. A line of Lanterns begins to form before the proceedings. Many of the Lanterns are escorting members of various races. Some I recognize. Others I don't. But I have no doubt that in some way I've inflicted pain on each of them. These are my accusers.

And as the accusations begin rolling in, I am treated to a host of crimes I have committed. Many I don't even remember. But those I do fill me with such rage and remorse that I can hardly contain myself. The members of the League try to look at me, but most can only look away as each crime is described in horrific detail.

After over an hour, I can take no more. "Enough, Guardians."

"You dare-"

"Let us hear what the accused has to say," Ganthet speaks up.

I give him a nod. I look around at my accusers, my victims. And at all the Lanterns surrounding us. "I...do not deny any of these crimes. In fact, I would gladly plead guilty to all of those where proof of my actions can be presented." There's an audible gasps, and a round of cheers and angry shouts.

"But!" I say, raising my voice as loud as I can to make it heard. With a motion from one of the female Guardians, the din dies down. "But," I start again. "I am not here only to answer for any crimes I committed."

"That is indeed true,"
the female Guardian says, giving Ganthet and myself a slight nod. "We are not at this tribunal solely to determine Sinestro of Korugar's guilt. But also to weigh those against the changes he has made, as well as his heroic deeds, both present and to come."

"Agreed," Ganthet says The other Guardians don't look so happy. "This trial is about second chances. And to that end, I would like to here testimony from two individuals in particular. Honor Lantern Rayner, and Lantern Jordan."
 
"Good", Hunter said."Right now I've got somewhere important I have to be, so, if you'll excuse me..."

Hunter suddenly vanished before Chyre's eyes, and the detective just shook his head.



Mere milliseconds after my distress signal was sent, it didn't take long for Zoom to arrive at the Flash Museum, where I waited for him outside it's doors.

"Hunter. Thank god you're here. We have a problem..."
 
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Oa

The Marine Marvel stands in the hall, mere feet away from the large doors that separate him from the meeting room of the Guardians of the Universe. Also, several feet away from him are Lanterns Laira & Green Man who guard the door. Orin merely remains quiet, arms crossed, and raises his eyebrow at them before chuckling under his breath.

"Something funny, fish man?"

"You do not have to actually stand guard...Laira, is it? I have no intentions of trying to get back into that room. Talking sense into those beings is just like talking to any other omnipotent, all-knowing, creatures."


"Sinestro's getting what he deserves."


Poseidonis, Atlantica
Royal Infirmary


"Uh....uh...Triton. Triton, he..."

Tempest finally starts to come to, and he wakes up in the infirmary. Vulko, Mera, Kym, and more importantly his wife Dolphin and son Cerdian are present. He sits up from his bed, and before he even needs to ask what happened, Vulko speaks.

"Triton escaped, my King."

"...And Hagen too I presume?"

"...Yes."

The stress swelling in Garth's head is the strongest it has ever been. He rubs his forehead, trying to grasp that is greatest fears came to life. Even after all of this planning. Then again, there was a flaw to his plan; a piece missing. But before he dwells more on that, Mera speaks up.

"When Triton released all of that unstable magical energy, I shielded us with a hard water bubble. But when the water cleared and I swam out to pursue him, both him and Hagen were gone. Where Hagen previous stood, lied three dead guard bodies."


Oa

"Lady, you seem to think that you and your group of 7,200 lanterns are the only ones who ever dealt with Sinestro as your foe. You are sadly mistaken. I, and the rest of my colleagues, consistently found ourselves battling the likes of Sinestro the countless times he used to team-up with other villains of our world. Said former criminal has been my teammate for the past year and a half."

"Doesn't change what he did."

"I sense much hate in your voice, and so it is from your heart. You speak with much bias. Hal Jordan was forgiven and re-accepted into the Corps, why should--"


"You surely don't know my history with Jordan, fish man. For if you did, you'd see that you're wasting your time. A dark deed is a dark deed."

Seeing as this talk is going no were, the Aquatic Ace merely sighs and approaches the two lanterns. Green Man arches his brow, his ring shining brilliantly as Orin draws near.

"Well, if you two could open a wormhole to send me back to Earth I'd appreciate it. I have no desire of waiting for this trial to end. I spoke my part, and it seems that your Guardians went into this trial having already determined his fate regardless. I just hope that I am wrong and Sinestro walks away alive."

Both Laira and Green Man are silent, and Green Man looks at Laira. She sighs and shrugs her shoulders, nodding at Green Man to give him the ok. Activiating his ring, a wormhole opens several feet behind Aquaman. Showing his appreciation with a bow, Orin bids the lanterns farewell and walks through the wormhole.


Poseidonis, Atlantica
Royal Infirmary


"...Orin..."

"What is it, love?"

"Yes, Garth. What does Orin have to do with--"

"This is all Orin's fault!"

Tempest gets up from his hospital bed, but Vulko tries to restrain him as Garth is not fully healed from the blast seeing as he was point-blank in front of it when Triton released the magical energies. Baby Kym starts to cry, and Mera starts to feel uneasy and shifts her eyes, looking away. Dolphin puts her hand on Mera's shoulder as she holds Cerdian in her other arm and Garth's outrage continues.

"I TOLD him that I needed him here. The chance of Hagen's escape was incalculable and he KNEW that. And now even Triton is roaming the Seven Seas again. By POSEIDON, if he were here this WOULDN'T have happened. Once again he puts himself, and others, before his VERY OWN PEOPLE! I, I--AARRGGH!!"


"Calm down, Garth. You're still not in the greatest of shape. You need to rest, my King."

Tempest fast breaths start to slow down as he starts to take deeper breaths to try to calm down. He looks at Mera, and she still looks away from his sight. Then he looks at his wife Dolphin and she merely gives him a look of disgust at his outburst before she guides Mera out of the room.
 
"Agreed," Ganthet says The other Guardians don't look so happy. "This trial is about second chances. And to that end, I would like to here testimony from two individuals in particular. Honor Lantern Rayner, and Lantern Jordan."

I lift my head up and look along the assembled Guardians, hearing my name. It was an effort not to take a swing at the assembled freaks. I stand up and make my way up to the front. This could be my chance to tell the Guardians what I think of their stupid rules, and how unfair they were to Guy. Of course, doing that would only make things worst, and probably land me with the same fate as Guy. Something must really be bothering the Guardians, for them to be this tetchy.

I face the assembled Lanterns and heroes of Earth. Huh. This is harder than it looked.

"Sinestro of Korugar is a good man. Sure, he's done wrong in the past, but I'm sure everybody's done something. A wrong decision. An angry outburst. Maybe even something worst. But for somebody to admit they've done wrong, and come and face the consequences for that, that takes some guts. Sinestro's saved lives, when he could have saved his own skin. As a member of the Honor Guard, I see stuff from all over the Sectors. Wars. Murders. But also heroics and bravery. It's the Sinestro of today that shows these qualities, as a good and loyal man."
 
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The Pacific Ocean
200 Miles off the Coast of San Diego


The wormhole dropped Orin off in the Pacific Ocean. No matter. For there is nothing as swift and cunning in all the seven seas as Aquaman; none can match his speed. Though, he has no true desire to return to Atlantica quickly. He had left before the execution had taken place. The last thing he wants to do is return and perhaps catch a glimpse of Hagen's actual demise.

A school of indo-pacific sailfish swim by, circling the former Sea-King. They require his attention on a small matter, which the Aquatic Ace quickly learns of as he telepathically reads their mind.

"Haha, sure thing."

aquahappy1.jpg

A mother is giving birth, and they simply wish that he be in the presence of the birth as a sort of blessing for the baby. The timing is perfect, and they only ask him of it since they have crossed paths. Telepathically, Orin accepts their request, and they continue to lead the way to the birthing mother.


Poseidonis, Atlantica
The bedroom chambers of Aquaman & Mera


Some would think it strange that any vile villain would have a desire to enter the bedroom chambers of their foe to commit an act of theft. When said chamber resides in a grand Atlantean palace, why not the armory? Or the very throne room? The reason is simple:

Within Aquaman's bedroom chamber lies the remains the bones of his severed hand.

Resting on a pedastal behind a glass cover in the room is the item Hagen desires. And with the city still at panic in the aftermath of the attack, and with Triton fulfilling other duties elsewhere, it is the opportune time for Hagen to steal the bones.

aquabones.jpg

"To think, by the change of the tides, my revenge will be complete."


Poseidonis, Atlantica
Royal Infirmary


"I really do think you are over-reacting, Garth."

Nuidis Vulko, previous Royal Advisor to Aquaman and current advisor to Garth ever since Orin stepped down acting as Garth's advisor, is the only person still present in the room Tempest recovers in. Dolphin and Mera left after tensions grew to be too much and Dolphin insisted that Mera and her leave.

"I've never known you to be so naive, Vulko. This has been an on-going problem; that you cannot deny. How many times during his reign as King did you get into quarrels with him about his priorities? Heck, in the past even I got a bit ticked. I was a member of the Teen Titans for years, but no matter what, it didn't matter, no matter what Atlantis was always my number one priority. If she needed me, I'd transport myself from Titan's Tower immediately and be at her aid as quickly as I can. I ask Orin to simply perform a public service should anything go wrong with today, and he cannot put his own personal views aside for the better of his city."


"We knew that he would take the news the way he did, Garth. Some men simply cannot be swayed to new ideas. But that doesn't give you the right to speak of him in such a way, King or not. You are his friend, Garth. He has been like a father to you."

"...A fact I'm now wishing were otherwise. Were our situations different, I could've forced him to remain in Atlantis."

Vulko shows no obvious reaction to Garth's remark, but inside he is indeed shock and devastated. Ever since Garth has worn the Crown, the stress and responsibility has seemed to change him. Not to say that he is a bad King; he is a great King. Atlantica is truly under great leadership...but still Vulko remains a bit worried in the back of his mind.


The Indian Ocean
600 Miles off the coast of India


omaster3.jpg

Orm Marius has been outrunning an unknown foe. Or at least, he believes to have an unknown foe on his tail. Could it be Aquaman? No. For he would not play this game of taunting and haunting the Ocean Master for this long; it's just not his style. And so Orm grows tired, teleporting away and re-appearing elsewhere, only to still feel as though he is being watched.

Finally, Orm stops himself in his tracks, and channels a spell to increase the volume in his voice.

"Who stalks the Ocean Master?! Will you not show yourself, and face me? Surely you crawl closer and closer to Death the longer you continue to toy with me!"

"Hehe...hehe....hehehahahahaha!"

Out from the murky depths rises Triton. Alongside the godling is the sorcerer Hagen, arms clasped behind his back with a most serious look on his face. Orm lowers his defenses, and grows mighty curious as to what is going on.

"Forgive the theatrics, Ocean Master. Triton's idea...that I assure you. You see, I needed him to keep his eyes on you while I retrieved something."

"...Retrieve something? And what does this have to do with me?"

In uncanny unison, both Triton and Hagen smile.
 
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The Indian Ocean
600 Miles off the coast of India


hagenpersuades1.jpg

"I am more than aware, that my colleague Triton hear once came to you and proposed to hand over what you desire most. But there was a flaw, and you discovered the flaw first hand for Aquaman in the end came to the rescue as he always does. Triton and I are here before you, to show you how we desire to eliminate said flaw. So long as Aquaman roams the oceans, you will forever be Atlantis' rejected son. The solution is quite simple: a spell."


"Hahaha...Hagen, is it? I've heard of you. During my short reign when Aquaman was presumed dead, I read about your little endeavor to turn the power of the Crown to the Magical Caste of Society in the Atlantean Chronicles. After what you and your mages learned back in the Obsidian Age, you drugged Queen Mera and turned all of Atlantis against my dear half-brother. Such a powerful sorcerer as you, a legend, and you come to me for help?"

"Your blood is key, minnow. It is your tie with Aquaman, by being his half-brother, that makes this spell possible. And your hatred for him, amplifies it 100 fold. This is surely, and entirely, a win-win situation."


Orm remains puzzled. Both Hagen and Triton have a certain degree of seriousness above their faces. The godling for one doesn't even chuckle or smile his famous goofy smile that the Ocean Master never cared for each time he visited him when he briefly ruled Atlantis. Hagen starts to channel magical energy, floating closer and closer to Orm.

"But there is something you will need to channel the spell. You see, when you took up the dark arts of Shalako, you made a mistake by absorbing your staff. You fully delved yourself into those dark arts in doing so. Had you kept your staff, to channel the dark arts from your body and into your spells your mind wouldn't have gone berserk. I am going to briefly need to cast a spell, and re-unite you with your old staff."


Hagen floats closer and closer to the villain, but Orm does not get defensive or retaliate of any kind the closer the sorcerer draws near. He understands that this is no mere trick, and instead puts his trust in Hagen.

"This...may tingle a bit."

The magical glow around Hagen's body draws away from him and latches itself onto the Ocean Master instead. Orm experiences some mild pain as the magical energies are drawn from his body, and as the green glow turns into a golden one, the energy splits apart from Orm.

omstaff.jpg

The golden energy takes form, creating Orm Marius' old staff that Neron originally gave to him when he sold his soul for power. The staff levitates to Orm, resting before him, awaiting his grasp. The Ocean Master remains shocked, shocked that as he no longer holds the staff he doesn't suffer the excruciating pain he originally did when not holding it. He finally takes hold of the staff, and Hagen signals Triton.

"There is another key ingredient to this spell. This is what I was retrieving while Triton kept a watchful eye on you, tracing your every move recently."


Triton comes forth, with a piece of cloth resting over his two hands. Hagen flips back part of the cloth, revealing what was concealed.

"These bones are the bones of Aquaman. The bones from his severed hand. You want to be finally rid of that blonde-haired guppy? You want to become Atlantis' favorite son and champion? This is the last missing piece."

"The power of this spell will re-write Atlantean history...so to speak. She will be well looked after in Triton and I's hands. You will have no memory of this meeting after the spell is cast, but I can assure you that we will make sure your new life is comfortable. This is a second chance offer we offer, only to you Ocean Master, in return for your assistance. And Aquaman...will be no more. Do you accept, Orm Marius?"

Oh the number of times Orm Marius had thought about what it would be like without the yellow-hair. He nods, floating over to Hagen, and the sorcerer whispers the incantation into his ear. The Ocean Master then goes over to Triton, who holds the severed bones on the cloth in his hands.

"So long...brother."

The bones start to quiver and shake about. In unison they arise, with a brilliant and green glow about them. Just before Orm speaks the incantation, a smile creeps over his face.

omaster2.jpg


The Pacific Ocean
216 Miles off the Coast of San Diego


The Marine Marvel smiles as he watches over the conception of the baby sailfish. The temperature of the water is just right, the sky is a clear blue without the slightest chance of a storm arising, and the school of indo-pacific sailfish are gathered around the birthing mother. Before the former Sea King lies a community brought together to witness a beautiful thing.

"Playing witness to the giving of life, is so much more pleasing than--GGNNNN....AAHH....AARRGGHH!!"

Aquaman starts to feel this unusual pain at the pit of his stomach. That pain then travels upward, striking him in the heart. He grasps his chest tightly, and swims away as he causes a certain degree of discomfort with the surrounding sailfish. Resting on some coral fields a short distance away, he looks into the distance. He starts to wave his hand in front of him, as the lights seem to all grow so much more dimmer.

"GNNN...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!"


The pain finally shoots up to his brain, and he lets out a telepathic cry uncontrollably. Easily the most excruciating pain he has ever felt, it feels like his mind and body is being split apart.

"ARRGGHHH!"

Swirling about at such a great speed as he spasms in pain and lashes out out of madness, a magical whirlpool forms around Orin and he tries to signal help. Telepathic waves shooting uncontrollably, as the Aquatic Ace finds himself desperate and helpless, and cries out to the one person he loves the most.

~MMMMMMMEEEERRAAA!!!~

Orin's mystical hand starts to glow brightly, and soon, the hero's entire body starts to glow.

aquagone1.jpg

~MEE--~

Seconds later, he is gone.

Vanished.

As if he was never there.
 
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I lift my head up and look along the assembled Guardians, hearing my name. It was an effort not to take a swing at the assembled freaks. I stand up and make my way up to the front. This could be my chance to tell the Guardians what I think of their stupid rules, and how unfair they were to Guy. Of course, doing that would only make things worst, and probably land me with the same fate as Guy. Something must really be bothering the Guardians, for them to be this tetchy.

I face the assembled Lanterns and heroes of Earth. Huh. This is harder than it looked.

"Sinestro of Korugar is a good man. Sure, he's done wrong in the past, but I'm sure everybody's done something. A wrong decision. An angry outburst. Maybe even something worst. But for somebody to admit they've done wrong, and come and face the consequences for that, that takes some guts. Sinestro's saved lives, when he could have saved his own skin. As a member of the Honor Guard, I see stuff from all over the Sectors. Wars. Murders. But also heroics and bravery. It's the Sinestro of today that shows these qualities, as a good and loyal man."

Once Kyle is finished, I realise all eyes are now on me. I step forward, my eyes taking in my peers and colleagues. I glance momentarily at Sinestro, and nod. And then I look up at those who would never want to be a peer or colleague to us mere mortals. Those who have held themselves up high on a pedestal for so long, they've forgotten what it is to truly feel anything. I address the Guardians of the Universe.

"Second chances. That's what you say this trial is about. Fine, okay. That's all good and well, but when I see you expelling Guy Gardner, one of the greatest ringslingers I've ever had the honor of fighting alongside, and you throw my friends outside like they were garbage, all for providing testimony that doesn't fit the frame you want it to... it makes it seem like you're out for blood to me."

"Lantern Jordan!"

"You will cease this insubordination, unless you wish to meet the same fate as Honor Lantern Gardner!"

I stare bullets at the little blue turds, but I bite my tongue. No use me getting expelled too, I won't be able to do much good for Sinestro then, will I? And besides, I may have my problems with the management, but I still believe in the Green Lantern Corps. This is who I am.

"We heard a whole lot of witness testimonies today, listing all the terrible atrocities he committed over the years. It's quite the formidable list of crimes against the Corps, and in fact I can only think of one person who had a list of crimes more unforgivable. Me. Yet here I am. I was forgiven. I was given a second chance."

Is it a waste of time trying to appeal to The Guardians' heart? Surely they still have them, buried deep down somewhere. You can have all the knowledge and power in the world, but it's nothing if you don't have heart.

"You let me be a Green Lantern again. That must surely mean that you still believe in my willpower, still believe I am worthy of the ring that now rests on my finger. If you trust in my will and trust in my worth, trust in my judgement now. Sinestro destroyed me, he ruined my life. If there's anyone who should want to see him burn for his crimes, it's me. But I don't. I have forgiven him, because in his heroic deeds, he has earned forgiveness. He has fought and clawed his way back from the darkness, and like me, I believe he has earned another chance at being a Green Lantern."

I hesitate. With what I am about to say, I am really putting myself out on the line. It is not the kind of thing I would ever say unless I believed in the words unwaveringly. Not so long ago, Sinestro was my greatest enemy. And now here I am, in a position to save him. I turn around, and look at Sinestro. He smiles weakly. But in his eyes, I see the familiar look of an old friend, one who I thought was lost forever, who now needs my help. Why did I even hesitate?

"I vouch for Sinestro, personally. I knew Sinestro back when he was a good man, a hero, the greatest Green Lantern of them all. And that's the man I know now. That man has returned. If you're telling me that this is a lie, that Sinestro is as evil and monstrous as he ever was..... then I guess I am too. Because if Sinestro can't find redemption, then no one can. Sure as hell not me. Expel me? I'll gladly hand you over my ring myself, because if Sinestro isn't worthy of a ring, if a monster can't become a hero, then I can't be a Green Lantern any more than he can. But hell, I'll go further than that. If you find Sinestro guilty.... you can lock me up right alongside him. Because if he's still a threat to the universe, that means I am too."

I take a step back. I don't know what else I can say to help, I only hope it's enough. Once more, I look over at Sinestro. He is my friend. He is a good man. We're in this together now, whatever happens.
 
Rayner's and Jordan's words stir the entire audience. For the first time it's virtually silent. Even the expressions on the faces of several of the Guardians soften as they glance at each other. And I could swear I see Ganthet and one of the female Guardians smile slightly. No matter what the Guardians would have us believe, they respect these two above all others.

Jordan's words especially seem to have an effect. And I don't doubt why. While Rayner may have reignited the Corps, Jordan destroyed it. And yet the still allowed him back within the fold, despite the protests of so many others.

"Does the accused have anything he would like to say in his defense.

I take a breath. "I do. I'm guilty." The roar tears through the crowd, but the Guardians quickly silence them. "I have said before that I do not deny what I did. But now I realize it was my fault. The reason I was banished from the Corps was because I forgot what it meant to be a hero. It's not enforcing order at the cost of freedom. It's instilling order to preserve freedom. To make it safe for innocent. To stand with the strong, and stand for the weak. I forgot that...and sometimes I'm not sure I ever knew it."

"But these heroes from Earth, and more like them, taught me what I had lost. What it means to be a hero. To be a Lantern. And I spent every day since trying to make up for what I had done. To redeem myself, at least to some degree. Not to you or anyone else. But to me. I know what I need to do. And if I am allowed back in the Corps, I now know how to make things right. If I am not allowed back in the Corps, I only ask that my ring be returned to me so I can continue my work. But I will continue to do it even if I am left only with my bare hands."

"And if I am to die, then I will willingly submit myself in the name of justice."

My words die out, and only the sound of the occasional whisper floats among the crowds.

"We will consider the testomony given by all today." Without any more warning, the Guardians float up and away. Two Lanterns lead me out of the auditorium and back to my cell.

***

I sit in my cell for an interminable amount of time. Despite what the Earthers said in my favor, I have little hope for my future. I suppose there are second chances, and then there are miracles.

"You..." a slathering voice says from a few cells away. "You're Sinestro..."

I glance over at the creature, in what I could swear was a red Green Lantern uniform. "I am."

"When the Guardian's kill you, I hope I get to watch."

"And if they don't?"

"...I hope I get to kill you myself."

"And what did I ever do to you to deserve such anger?"

"...you live."

***

When the trial resumes, and the Guardians float back to their positions, the room goes silent. An eerie silence that's deafening in and of itself.

"The decision has been made,"
one of the Guardians speaks up.

"The testimony given by both sides was very compelling,"
one of the females says.

"We find the accused, Sinestro of Korugar...guilty!"

The crowd roars with both applause and a surprising amount anger. I see the faces of my friends from Earth fall at the decision.

"And we have decided to give him a second chance."

Ganthet's words shock the crowd, which again errupts in anger and applause.

"Silence!" one of the Guardian's demands.

"We did not come to this decision easily. But we feel the potential to once again be a Lantern is there."

"So we will grant Sinestro probationary status as the new Green Lantern 2814.4, under the authority of Lantern Jordan."

This time, the Guardians let the crowd express themselves for some time. My chains dissolve into nothing, and the rest of the League circle around me to offer their congratulations.

"Does the accused wish to say anything?" Ganthet asks.

"Yes." For the first time, I let myself smile. "When do I start"

***

The Guardians float over head. The Corps surrounds the area. The League stands behind me. And the Central Battery stands before me.

Ganthet drops down to my level. "Sinestro of Korugar. You have the ability to overcome great fear." He opens his hand, and Gardner's old ring floats up, and then plants itself on my finger. My uniform morphs and changes into the one I wore so many years ago.

"Welcome to the Green Lantern Corps."

There's a cheer from the crowd. Not the whole crowd, of course, but more than I expected.

"Thank you," I say to everyone, relishing the familiar energy once again.

"Now, Lantern Sinestro. Charge your ring."

I smile, and point my fist at the Central Battery.

"In Brightest Day,
In Blackest Night."


Far below the crowd in a secure container, an object starts bouncing around violently.

"No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil's might,"


The object bursts from it's containment and drills its way towards the surface.

"Beware my power."

There's a small explosion in the distance as the object bursts to the surface. I smile and extend my other hand, calling my yellow ring to it. It takes it's place on my finger.

"Green Lantern's light!"

"NO!" Ganthet shouts.

I shove both fists at the Central Battery and the area erupts in light and power. When the area clears, and everyone's sight returns to them, they are stunned by what they see.

6gj703.jpg
 
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Epilogue:

"Uh...what? Where...am I in--"

Yes, Garth. You are in my home.

"Atlan..."

Tempest hears the old mystics voice, echoing throughout the chambers of hsi home. Something is strange though, for their was a hint of weakness in his projected voice as it boomed through the halls. Following where the sound of Atlan's voice seemed to originate from, Garth finally spots the mystic.

"Atlan!"


Looking as though he was as old as he actually is, instead of the spitting image of a young Atlantean male, the father of Aquaman tries to get up from his chair and fails to do so. It takes all of his energy to merely budge his several centuries old, and now frail, body. Tempest attends to the his former teacher, helping him up and walking him over to the table as Atlan seems to suggest and point with his hand.

"What happened to you?"

"I used all the magical energies I possess...to shield both you and I from what has transpired. I felt a disturbance in the realm as a crude and powerful raw amount of magic was being siphoned and channeled uncontrollably."


"The execution."

"No. By the time I was able to pinpoint the precise location, learning where all this power was emanating from, my time was almost already out. Using a creature of a deep as a spy, through the animals' eyes I saw what was being transpired. Hagen and Triton have persuaded my son Orm Marius to do a horrible horrible deed. I was too late to save my son Orin from his half-brother's act of hatred. I knew I could not challenge the power of the spell when he was the sole target, so I sought you out, and now here you are."

"But...you look so old."

"I had to literally use ever ounce of power at my disposal, Garth. The spell that I have used for the last 40,000 years to prevent my body from aging has been depleted. My age is slowly starting to keep up with me, and I fear that if we do not fix things quick enough the power behind my spell that shields the both of us will too fail; and then I shall lose you too."

"Lose me too...WHAT are you talking about, Atlan? What did Triton, Hagen, and the Ocean Master DO?!"

Then Tempest sees something...he has never seen before. The Great Atlantean wizard Atlan crying. He weeps for reasons unknown to Garth, which means that it can only be something horrible. Truly, utterly, and completely horrible.

"Wait...you said...you couldn't...save Orin in time? Atlan, what has happened?"

Gathering himself, and taking control of his emotions the great mystic waves his hand over his table. An artifact lights up, and a pinkish purple energy starts to surge from within.

atlanspell1.jpg

"This...is Atlantis, but not how you or I knew or remember it. The spell Hagen had passed onto Orm, was Olde Magick which holds uncanny strength and power. They have altered history and time itself and molded it to their own personal preference. Hagen now rules Atlantis with an iron-fist, and Triton is worshipped as their God and protector of their city. All in the matter of a few seconds, to you and me, they have achieved this. But to the Atlantean people...it has been this way for 35 years. Forget everything you ever recall, and forget everyone you have ever known, Garth. As for your wife, if she is still alive or if she is even in Atlantis for it was Aquaman who originally brought her to Atlantis...she would not remember you. Forget your friends and colleagues, for they have never met you. My spell has shielded you from being altered by this spell so you must do everything in your power to undo Hagen & Triton's treachery."


Tempest is speechless, he truly does not know what to say. His entire life just...erased, even though he can recall everything. The day he first met Aquaman, and how he welcomed him with open arms when his own people cast their backs to him for the mere purple color of his eyes. Forming the Teen Titans with Dick, Roy, Donna, and Wally...gone. It's gone. All of it. The Teen Titans did form, but without Garth. Dolphin...his wife...their wedding and everything they had experienced together. Cerdian, their son...now just a memory as well.

"Wait a second."

Garth backtracks through his memories of the first day he met Aquaman. Arthur. If Atlan could only protect himself and Garth, that means that Orin may still be there somewhere.

"What about your son, Atlan? What about Orin? How could Hagen and Triton have been ruling Atlantis for the past 35 years? Surely at one point in time, Orin would've rallied a resistance and--"

That is when Garth truly looks into Atlan's eyes. And the old mystic's eyes start to swell up. Walking up to Tempest in a sluggish and slow pace, the best the several century old man can do, Atlan falls on his knees pleading to his former pupil.

"That is the core of the spell. With the help of the Ocean Master and his blood-tie to Orin, Hagen and Triton have completely erased him from existence."

"No."


"He had my smile, you know. And he had his mother's laugh. I wasn't always present and there for him, I know that...but seldom times I'd watch him from a distance, just to perhaps catch him at a time when he was feeling joyous and smiling."

"...No..."

"Garth..."

"...No."

"I cannot sense his presence anywhere. All locator spells have failed me and I have since then as I said before run out of almost all of my power. You must undo this evil that Hagen and Triton have cast upon Atlantis. Please..."

atlanplea1.jpg

"Bring my son back to me."

In a dimension outside the regular world, a forty thousand year old father weeps. And sitting upon a throne room, basking in the power and glory meant not to be his, in the greatest city and Crown Jewel of the Ocean, Hagen smiles.


TO BE CONTINUED IN SEASON VIII...
 
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The Guardians float over head. The Corps surrounds the area. The League stands behind me. And the Central Battery stands before me.

Ganthet drops down to my level. "Sinestro of Korugar. You have the ability to overcome great fear." He opens his hand, and Gardner's old ring floats up, and then plants itself on my finger. My uniform morphs and changes into the one I wore so many years ago.

"Welcome to the Green Lantern Corps."

There's a cheer from the crowd. Not the whole crowd, of course, but more than I expected.

"Thank you," I say to everyone, relishing the familiar energy once again.

"Now, Lantern Sinestro. Charge your ring."

I smile, and point my fist at the Central Battery.

"In Brightest Day,
In Blackest Night."


Far below the crowd in a secure container, an object starts bouncing around violently.

"No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil's might,"


The object bursts from it's containment and drills its way towards the surface.

"Beware my power."

There's a small explosion in the distance as the object bursts to the surface. I smile and extend my other hand, calling my yellow ring to it. It takes it's place on my finger.

"Green Lantern's light!"

"NO!" Ganthet shouts.

I shove both fists at the Central Battery and the area erupts in light and power. When the area clears, and everyone's sight returns to them, they are stunned by what they see.

6gj703.jpg

"Sinestro! What the hell are you doing!?"

I fly up to confront Sinestro, my mind telling me that I know exactly what he's doing. I understand, deep down, I know, but it can't be true. I don't want it to be. I...

"I... I don't understand."
 
"You're correct, Jordan. You don't understand. I-" Before I can explain, I'm struck from behind be a series of beams. I'm smashed into the ground and and dig a trail before I can call up a barrier. These powers, so familiar, yet so strange.

"Cease this, Sinestro. It is not yet too late for you,"
Ganthet warns.

I pull my hands inward, and then shove them at the Guardians, reflecting their attack back. They all fly backwards and land on the ground from the impact. "You do not understand either, Guardians. I want this. I need this, and so does the universe."

Then the Lanterns attack.

A wedge of Lanterns blast their rings at me, but I protect myself with a field. Another group strike from the other side. I rip up a massive section of the ground and toss it at them. Should keep them busy for a few seconds.

Then my head snaps back as a fist slams into my jaw. I go flying into the air, but stop myself, dodging to the side just before Marvel can connect with another blow.

"What are you doing?! We vouched for you!" He lunges at me again, and I deflect every massive punch he tries to land.

"And you were right to. You don't know what I'm trying to do."


A collar appears around my neck, choking me, and I'm slammed into the ground hard.

"I don't need an explanation, poozer. Yer tryin' to be a god. You haven't changed at all."

My eyes snap open, and I grab Kilowag in a giant fist. "You're both right and wrong about that!" I throw him into another cluster of Lanterns trying to flank me.

"Enough!" With my power growing each second, I wave my hand and drain the energy from the rings of the next wave of Lanterns. They fall from the sky, but I create a safe landing pad for them. "Do you see now?"

My ears are assaulted by a sound that breaks my concentration. The Canary, no doubt. But there's little I can do about it. By the time I start to fight through, a yellow lasso is around my body, binding my arms. I'm spun around and slammed into the side of the building. As I try to mount a defense, and pulled into another arc, hitting the ground.

"You betrayed our trust, Sinestro. We believed in you."


"I've...done no such thing. I just knew you wouldn't understand," I say through gritted teeth. I pour pure energy back down the lasso, lighting Wonder Woman up.

But she bares the pain and holds on tight. "Do not lie to us."

I glance at the lasso and smile. "I'm not." Changing tactics, I pull her in using her own lasso. To her credit, she goes with the change, and readies an attack. I just put a sphere around myself, which she promptly slams into.

Pulling the lasso off, I prepare to ward off the next wave of Lanterns. So I create my own army of constructs to keep them busy. And yet I don't even see the attack coming.

"Stop this Garrick! Let me explain."


"I'm not sure I'd like to hear it!"


I fruitlessly try to attack him, but miss every time. "STOP IT!" I reach out in all directions with a field, instantly freezing everything in place. Garrick is caught in mid run.

The battle between the Lanterns and my constructs continues to rage overhead. I surround the both of us in a bubble as others try to reach me. "I am not like Jordan was, Garrick. I am in control, not Parallax."

"I don't believe you."


"I did not forget the lessons you all taught me. I'm the same person you vouched for. I'm here to good."


"How's that?"

"I can change...everything."

"Change the universe? That's what Hal tried to do."

"I know. I know everything Parallax knows. And I know how wrong Jordan was. Changing the universe, restarting it from the beginning under his own image, that's no different than what I did to Korugar. It's enforcing his will upon all others."

"And you're different how?"

"I don't want to change everything. I want to fix everything. I can correct all the mistakes, but leave the universe the way it is. I can bring about order without sacrificing freedom and history and the future."

"I...don't understand."
Garrick continues to struggle, but I hold him fast in place.

"Just...watch." Looking off to the side, I raise my hand and tap into my powers in a new way. I extend my will into another dimension, reaching out backwards. Green mist forms around an emerald portal. "I can put right what once went wrong."

A dark shadow forms in the center of the portal. It soon takes the shape of a man. And the shape, dressed in dark blue, steps out from the green, into the light.

"Just what in the holy hell is going on?"


Garrick just stares in disbelief. "T-Ted?"
 
"NO!"

I grab Sinestro by the shoulders, trying to shake some sense into him, hoping against hope that all is not lost. Sinestro redeemed himself! If he could do it, I could do it, that's what I kept on telling myself...

"Don't you see? I didn't set out as Parallax to remake the world in my own image! But that's how it starts, that how it gets in your head. Fixing things! Righting a wrong here, removing a bad element there, and before you know it you're playing God. Nobody should have that much power, "in control" or not. And Parallax is too dangerous to ever be allowed to be free - I know that better than anyone! Give this up, I can help you return Parallax to confinement. It's not too late... please!"
 
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