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Annual #1



Green Lantern

Annual #1

FDC presents "The Smallest Spark" by Dale Glaser 



      CHAPTER ONE     

The Guardians of the Universe stood before their Citadel in Coast City Memorial Park, arrayed in an arc shape near the structure's foundation. The wizened, diminutive Malthusians raised their hands in a synchronized gesture, and the various surfaces of the Citadel began to bubble, allowing globes of glowing green light to escape from the edifice's mass. Each globe floated toward the outstretched hand of a Guardian, losing cohesion yet gaining speed as it moved through the air, until striking pale blue fingertips as rays of emerald light. The Citadel had been constructed of the pure Oan energies which the Guardians commanded, and was now returning to that primordial state to be reabsorbed by the self-appointed universal caretakers.

The entire process took less than five minutes. When it was over, and the last auras of green had receded into the Guardians' small robed forms, only two small remnants of the Green Lantern Corps's base on Earth remained standing on the grassy field. One was the energy statue paying tribute to fallen Green Lanterns. The other was a connected pair of translucent jade spheres, Sciencells containing threats deemed exceptionally dangerous by the Guardians: a white Martian named T'Amm S'Amga, who had once been the member of the Hyperclan known as Zenturion, and the tyrant of Kalanor called Despero. Both interstellar villains were monstrous, one deathly pale with cadaverous limbs and a serpentine tail, the other heavily muscled beneath violet skin, head dominated by three glowing eyes and a spiny fin; both glowered hatefully through the curvature of their Sciencells and favored the Corps with malevolent sneers full of sharp fangs.

The entirety of the Corps had assembled on the grounds for the dismantling of the Citadel, including all of the Green Lanterns and the two aspiring Guardians, John Stewart and N'Lasa, a tall white-furred leonine biped. With the ritual deconstruction complete, Hal Jordan broke the reverent silence. "I still think this seems ... sudden," the veteran ring-wielder stated, shaking his head.

"So it may appear to you, Hal Jordan," the Guardian called Ommek Obobo Ok replied serenely, "but natural endings often seem sudden to races such as your own. Nevertheless, the Guardians' time on your homeworld has run its course. We must return to Oa, to the center of the universe, to reestablish our presence there. And the Green Lantern Corps will shine its light across every sector once again."

"I understand all that," Jordan acknowledged. He turned to John Stewart and asked, "Are you sure about this, about your role in it specifically?"

"I'm sure that the Guardians are better off with a human influence around than without one," Stewart answered confidently. "And I'm sure that I'm the man for it. Which is not to say that I won't miss this planet. But this isn't goodbye forever. I'll be back."

"You'd better be," Kyle Rayner put in, extending a hand, which Stewart shook heartily. After a moment's hesitation, Jordan offered his hand as well, and Stewart reciprocated.

"Do not suppose that this departure is tantamount to an abandonment of your homeworld, Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner," the Guardian named Poggepgee Pego Pau advised. "Not only will my brethren and I be as aware of its needs as of all other sentient worlds in the universe, but our utmost trust resides in the two Green Lanterns who represent us here, two of our finest."

"I appreciate it," Jordan nodded.

"I appreciate that Guy wasn't here to argue the point about who's 'finest', either," Rayner mused.

"Then let us be on our way," Mikaba Mylla Mi announced, speaking for the Guardians as a whole. A halo of verdant light united all of the Guardians and Green Lanterns into a single mass which began to rise off the ground, with the Guardians at its center and two dozen of their emerald champions ranging around them, aliens of all shapes and sizes, from the small grasshopper-like Xax to the stone giantess Brik, who gave Jordan a small, wistful wave as the Corps floated ever higher.

"Wait! Wait!" a newcomer's voice begged frantically as a streak of mottled green light cleared the nearby treetops. "I want to go too!" The late arrival came to a halt, hovering awkwardly, shook off its ambient power signature like green rainwater and revealed a bipedal alien with brown fur and muzzy canine features, clad in what appeared to be green pajamas and a loose black vest.

"G'Nort," the Guardian known as Zafaacha Zik Zzo identified the newcomer, and although his inflection was as implacable as always, his bushy white eyebrows crinkled skeptically. "Is it not clear to you that this voyage is being made by the Guardians and Green Lantern Corps alone?"

"But ... but ... I want to join!" G'Nort protested, struggling to keep his voice from breaking into an outright whine. "I mean, not the Guardians, I can't join your eminences, that's crazy talk. But the Corps! I want to be a real Green Lantern! I'm ready!"

"Indeed?" Poggepgee Pego Pau asked.

"What about Extreme Justice?" Rayner asked from below. "I thought you were on board with the Detroit contingent these days."

"Oh yes, that is, I mean, I was," G'Nort stumbled. "But there was a recent ... ah ... difference of opinions, and the team split up. Everyone went their separate ways, and I haven't got anyplace else to lay my head!"

"Be that as it may," Ommek Obobo Ok, "you are still not a true Green Lantern."

"But I can be!" G'Nort pleaded. "I'll prove it, start at the bottom, go through training, anything you say!"

Inexorably, all eyes turned to the hulking frame of Kilowog, the Bolivax Vikian nominally responsible for training new recruits. "I don't know, poozer ..."

"Please?!" G'Nort howled, shaggy tail wagging urgently.

"Guess it couldn't hurt to give you one more shot," Kilowog consented with a rumbling sigh. G'Nort spun in a delighted circle and insinuated himself into the Corps's flying formation. The Guardians and Green Lanterns once again ascended, this time gaining speed as they diminished to points of dazzling emerald light which soon disappeared in the upper atmosphere.

Jordan and Rayner lowered their eyes from the zenith of the Corps's flightpath and regarded one another. "And then there were two," Rayner half-shrugged. "Weird."

"It'll take some getting used to," Jordan agreed. "First things first ..."

Jordan was interrupted by a stentorian voice that spoke directly into his mind as well as Rayner's. "Kyle ... Hal ..." the telepathically broadcast thoughts of the Martian Manhunter resounded within the two Green Lantern's skulls. "We have a League Level Seven situation."

"That's what you were gonna say, right?" Rayner asked Jordan. "First things first, we handle the obligatory massive threat to everything we know and hold dear."

Jordan smiled wryly as he waved off Rayner's snark. "Where's the hot spot, J'Onn?" Jordan inquired.

"Everywhere," J'Onzz answered mentally. "There is a global outbreak of metahuman appearances ongoing."

"You mean disappearances?" Rayner asked.

"No, appearances," J'Onzz insisted. "Figures seem to be literally falling from the empty sky, none of which are identifiable in any of our networked databases. The pattern of the appearances, in frequency, intervals, geographic location, all seem random as well. Oracle is of course analyzing on the fly, but for now the League's primary concern is the new arrivals who show evidence of hostile intent."

"Which I'd guess is most of them," Jordan surmised.

"Unfortunately, yes," J'Onzz indicated. "We're dispatching individuals to intercept as quickly as we can. Currently we need someone on the ground in Seattle, Washington, and someone in Douala, Cameroon."

"Kyle can head to Seattle, I'll fly to Douala," Jordan decided. Rayner nodded in agreement.

"Thank you. I'll be in touch as we learn more," J'Onzz assured the two ring-wielders as they blazed off along perpendicular green paths.

      CHAPTER TWO     

The flotilla of Green Lanterns and Guardians soared away from the gravity well of the star called Sol, leaving the planet Earth in the distance and quickly passing through the orbital space transited by the planet Mars as well. Mere minutes after their departure, the emerald voyagers had entered the asteroid belt separating the inner planets from the gas giants, weaving gracefully through the swirling miasma of free-floating space rocks.

A lance of golden energy slashed through the airless darkness, originating behind a large asteroid and striking at the Sciencell containing the white Martian T'Amm S'Amga. The energy bolt was powerful enough to tear the glowing green globe away from the photon-connector which bound it to Despero's, and sent T'Amm S'Amga's cell spinning away from the formation of Green Lanterns.

"We were not aware that this segment of the asteroid belt was inhabited," the Guardian called Yimyi Yadidis Yy noted, his words conveyed via Oan energy to the rings of the various members of the Corps. "Green Lantern Medphyll and Green Lantern Galius Zed, you will retrieve the prisoner T'Amm S'Amga. All other Lanterns will proceed with the Guardians directly to Oa."

Obediently, the two Green Lanterns so tasked broke ranks and darted among the asteroids like neon fireflies, as the Guardians and the other members of the Corps made their way to edge of the protoplanetary disk. As the glow of the flotilla receded to nothingness, Medphyll spoke to his comrade. "The Guardians seem determined to allow nothing to delay their return to Oa," the frond-haired alien from J586 observed.

"Aye," Galius Zed confirmed. "But do not think to ask me why t'would be so, nor why now and no sooner nor later, for that I do not know." The short and squat Lantern, really only a wide and broad-featured cephalothorax from which jutted two foreshortened arms and three equally stubby legs, set his jaw squarely and swooped under a stream of chondrite rubble. Medphyll blinked his large, soulful single eye and followed, the arc of his flight carrying him over the ribbon of unaccreted fragments.

In a moment the Sciencell came into view, spinning like a gyroscope as it skimmed past the shadowy side of a heavily cratered planetesimal. Medphyll and Galius Zed swiftly converged on the Sciencell and moored it to their respective power rings with luminescent green tethers. The Sciencell came to a halt, and the white Martian confined within snarled aggrievedly. The shapeshifter had assumed an arachnidesque form, a spiny central mass with over a dozen long and slender claw-tipped appendages splayed in all directions, allowing the Martian to remain oriented more or less upright as the Sciencell had careened through the asteroid field. Now that the Sciencell had been robbed of the blast's momentum, the Martian resumed its more traditional reptilian configuration, although it crouched defensively against the inner surface of the photonic sphere.

Medphyll and Galius Zed exchanged a wordless visual appraisal of one another's readiness to resume their progress to Oa, but before they could reorient themselves towards the solar system's limits, two massive nearby asteroids exploded in silent cataclysms. A small spacecraft, only large enough for a single passenger, plowed through the dissipating debris of the asteroids on a direct course for the two Green Lanterns and their prisoner. The sleek vehicle's curved metallic blue and red hull gleamed in the diffuse starlight. Shedding some velocity, the craft opened its canopy hatch, and a figure leapt out, a humanoid wearing battle armor of identical composition as the spacecraft, including a stylized centurion helmet. Held in one gauntlet was a colossal broadsword, its hilt long enough to accommodate a two-handed grip, its crosspiece dominated by a singular, perfectly circular jewel, and its blade over a foot wide and composed of a strange spectral white material. The swordsman's face, which seemed to be that of an adolescent male Earthling, was darkened with furious purpose as its mouth formed several inaudible words.

"Is he trying to speak to us?" Medphyll asked.

"'Tis a battle-cry, if I do not miss my guess," Galius Zed averred. "Should I read his lips correctly, the lad screams 'Die, white Martian, scum' as he comes."

The sword-wielding youth crossed the airless void between his ship and the Sciencell and brought his blade down on the emerald globe with all his might. The impact shed tongues of flame the color of molten metal along the length of sword, accompanied by emerald sparks. Within the Sciencell, T'Amm S'Amga gnashed its teeth confrontationally and swelled the thickness of its alabaster limbs. A gargantuan second mouth opened across the Martian's midsection, crowded with saber-like teeth. The youth rebounded away from the globe, flipped, and kicked off against a small asteroid to approach once again.

"'Twas a palpable hit!" Galius Zed proclaimed. "The Sciencell may not long withstand such smiting."

"Agreed," Medphyll said, raising his ring hand. Light fountained from the lantern-shaped face of the power ring, carrying the Sciencell away. The stream of photons solidified into a colossal green tree, its gnarled glowing roots wrapped around a large asteroid, its limbs spreading a luminous canopy nearly a mile above Medphyll and Galius Zed's heads, with the Sciencell dangling like a single fruit from one of the construct's branches.

The sword-wielder floated within range of the two Green Lanterns and looked back and forth between them, nakedly appraising them each in turn as targets. As Medphyll continued generating the solid-light tree, Galius Zed turned his own power ring on the youth, but refrained from making an overt attack. After a tense moment, Galius Zed's power ring communicated with the two Lanterns: "Dissonance of transdimensional vibration interference detected. Residual mystical energies of ataxic nature detected."

"Our attacker shows signs of having come from another universe?" Medphyll asked the ring.

"Probability of non-native dimensional origin: 96.7%" the ring confirmed.

"So the lad was magicked away from his universe and into ours?" Galius Zed asked. "And do they not have Green Lanterns from whence he came?

"Probability of mystical means of arrival: 82.3%" the ring assessed. "Existence of Green Lantern Corps in dimension of origin: unknown."

"Well, let us try to find out," Medphyll suggested. Galius Zed bobbed his entire body in a gesture approximating a nod and connected the youth's helmet to his own ring with a beam of emerald light. "We are no friends of the white Martians," Medphyll explained, as the sword-wielder was connected to the communication circuit of the power rings. "But this creature is nevertheless under our protection, in order that he may face the justice of the Guardians of the Universe. Do you know of the Guardians of which I speak?"

The youth nodded. "Little blue guys. Green Lantern's bosses, right."

"Aye," Galius Zed spoke next. "So then, will you still quarrel with us, or will you give us leave to escort the prisoner onward to Oa, sir ...?"

"Vulcan." The youth shook his head, as if clearing it and coming out of a daze. "No quarrel, I guess. I'm not ... not even sure how I got out here in the first place. Last thing I remember was ..."

The glowing green tree was shrinking behind Medphyll, bringing the Sciencell back within reach of the two Green Lanterns. "I fear your sudden and disorienting appearance are the result of destructive forces at work," Medphyll said. "As my compatriot has indicated, we must resume our voyage to Oa. I suggest you make your way to Earth and attempt to ascertain how you came to find yourself in this reality."

"And how am I supposed to do that?"

"If all else fails," Galius Zed offered, "avail yourself of the other Green Lanterns upon Earth. They will aid you, be they able."

Galius Zed and Medphyll flew toward the outer edge of the asteroid belt, with T'Amm S'Amga's Sciencell once more tethered between them. Vulcan floated back to his craft, and set a course for Earth's orbit.

      CHAPTER THREE     

The port of Douala was primarily utilized by commercial shipping concerns, but a small marina on the southern side of the harbor mouth offered berths for luxury yachts. A garishly opulent example of that class of vessel docked in the marina had become the center of frantic attention, due to its apparent seizure by a lone metahuman.

"All right, listen up!" the creature called out from the yacht's bow. It was vaguely humanoid, its bulging mass completely covered with pale green skin. Its face was featureless except for bright red eyes and a slitted mouth. "I need someone to steer this boat and get me back to Qurac! So one of you sailors get back here!" the creature screamed down to the dock, which was crowded with most of the yacht's crew and passengers, as well as other marina workers including a few private security guards. None of the onlookers appeared to want anything more than to keep their distance from the monster on the yacht.

Two people remained on the yacht, young women who had been sunbathing on the bow. Both were gorgeous, dark-skinned and lithe, one with coal black hair and the other with tresses dyed a deep mango shade of orange. Both were held prisoner by the green skinned creature, who wrapped thick fingers tightly around their throats. "I may have scared you off showing up like I did," the creature yelled, "but at least one of you better come back, or I will pop these babes' heads off! Don't test me!"

"I'm not going to test you," Hal Jordan called out as he bolted down from the sky. "I've already decided, you fail." Raising his power ring, Jordan unleashed a torrent of green light which forked as it approached the monster in the bow. The two prongs of glowing green struck the upper arms of the creature and solidified into riveted shackles.

The creature gave an angry, barking laugh and fissures appeared in an inverted Y shape across its torso, as if the pale green flesh were dissolving from within. The Y-shaped cleft deepened rapidly until the creature was cut into three parts, each of which soon reshaped itself into a smaller but otherwise identical version of the original. Each sunbather was now held by a separate creature in the process of slipping its narrower arm from the photonic restraint, while the third homunculus sped into the air to meet Jordan in flight.

"You should know better than to go stirring up Hyve, Lantern man!" the creature shrieked as it tackled Jordan around the waist and drove him back through the air.

"If I knew who you were, maybe I would," Jordan grunted in response.

"Dissonance of transdimensional vibration interference detected. Residual mystical energies of ataxic nature detected. Non-native dimensional origin probable," Jordan's power ring informed him.

"Duly noted," Jordan replied. He willed his ring to project a stream of light which terminated in a gigantic green hand. The energy construct grasped Hyve's feet between its fingers, pulled the homunculus off and flung it back through the air. Hyve stopped in mid-air, smiled crookedly, and divided again into four smaller versions. A pair of the Hyves, now only about two feet tall, flew towards Jordan, while two others dove for the docks below.

Jordan trained his ring on the incoming Hyves and lobbed a solid light construct at them. A jade canister with the words BUG-BOMB emblazoned across its surface met the two homunculi and exploded between them in a dazzling nimbus of viridian force. The green glow faded and showed no sign of the twin Hyves.

As Jordan turned to find the other duplicates, he was blindsided by a sheet of yellow, as the other two Hyves returned carrying a yellow ship's flag between them. The two Hyves quickly wrapped the flag around Jordan's head and neck, and pulled at the corners in opposite directions, constricting the flag around Jordan's throat. "All I wanted was to get home!" the Hyves screeched in eerie unison.

"Join the club," another voice said. "While you're at it, meet the sword."

The Hyves swiveled their heads in identical shock to behold Vulcan, burning in a fiery red aura like the heart of the forge, as he swung his sword in a flaming arc which bisected each of the homunculi in turn and set the yellow flag ablaze. The Hyves howled in agony, as their ruined bodies tried to regenerate missing halves to form more diminutive duplicates, but were prevented by the cauterizing effect of Vulcan's sword on their pale green flesh. The burnt remains of the two Hyves plummeted into the harbor water below.

Jordan shook off the charred remains of the flag and eyed Vulcan warily. "Who ...?" he began to ask.

Vulcan held his sword out to the side and raised his other hand peaceably. "You looked like you needed some help," Vulcan said. "And you may not know me, but I helped you, and there's still some more of those weird lime-headed guys down on that boat, with hostages, so maybe we can deal with that before you give me the third degree?"

In reply, Jordan flew down toward the yacht, with Vulcan following close behind. The two sun-worshipping women, perhaps emboldened by the dispatching of the other homunculi, struggled with their respective Hyves, who were barely able to maintain a hold on their captives. Jordan projected a giant glowing green fishhook from his ring and snagged one of the Hyves around the waist, while Vulcan alighted on the foredeck and sliced the other Hyve's head cleanly from its neck, leaving a smoldering stump atop a body which soon slumped against the rail of the bow. The bikini-clad women wasted no time running aft toward the yacht's ladder.

"Uh, you're welcome?" Vulcan called after them, as the flames that wreathed his body subsided and revealed his blue and red armor.

Jordan landed beside the young sword-wielder and captured his gaze. "Not that I don't appreciate the assist, but if you're part of this invasion of new metas ..."

"I wouldn't call it an invasion," Vulcan cut in. "If so, it's gotta be one of the worst plans of attack ever. I don't know how I got here, or what anyone expected me to do once I did get here. It felt like someone had messed with my head, but that was only temporary."

"It could be that someone simply wanted to sow as much confusion and destruction as possible," Jordan theorized, "by transporting as many villains as possible from your dimension to ours."

"Yeah, except I'm not a villain!" Vulcan protested. "None of the Vulcans are, right?"

"There hasn't been a Vulcan here for several decades," Jordan countered.

"Well, where I'm from there's always been one," Vulcan explained. "Just like there's always been Green Lanterns."

"So you know me, in your world?" Jordan asked.

"Know of you," Vulcan confirmed. "I'm, ahh ... still new at this. Havenít gotten around as much as Iíd like."

"Hyve seemed to know me, as well," Jordan mused. "But I wasn't familiar with him, or you. Our respective home dimensions seem to have at least some overlap."

"Think that means I'll be able to find a way home, then?" Vulcan asked.

"I hope so," Jordan answered. "Let's go meet up with my partner and see if we can't get any closer to the root of what's really going on."

      CHAPTER FOUR     

As the Seattle skyline came into view, Kyle Rayner could easily make out the Space Needle, as well as the phenomenon surrounding it. A glittering, pestilent black cloud swirled around the steel halo of the rotating restaurant and observation deck. As Rayner soared closer to the landmark, he could see a Hispanic woman in a black leotard, her bare arms and legs covered in snaking trails of organic but alien-looking moraines. Wide, leathery pteranodon wings sprouted from the woman's shoulders. She passed her hands back and forth through the air, evoking some hybrid modern dancer/symphony conductor, and the swarming mass of tiny flying creatures, their bodies as strange and violent-looking as the grafts vining the woman's limbs, pulsed and throbbed around the Space Needle in response to her movement.

Rayner enclosed himself in a verdant photonic exoskeleton, including a domed helmet, and drew nearer to the woman at the center of the maelstrom of beasts. When he was only a few feet away he noticed her eyes, yellow with vertical irises like a snake, as well as the expression on her face, devoid of any human sentiments. She regarded Rayner stonily. "Hey there, chica, new in town?" Rayner asked experimentally.

"Don't call me chica," the woman hissed. "I'm Menagerie." With that she leapt from the observation deck, as the unearthly ridges along the flesh of her arms surged forward and swelled into jagged claws jutting from her fingertips. She slashed at Rayner, and while the solid aura of his power ring deflected the blow he still felt the thudding impact deep in his bones.

Before Rayner could respond in kind, thousands of the tiny winged symbeasts around the Space Needle clustered tightly around his head, completely blocking his vision in all directions. Disoriented, Rayner willed his ring to project a succession of miniature killer satellites, tiny emerald spheres with jade solar panels and sidemounted laser cannons. The satellites orbited around Rayner's body and fired thin but potent green beams indiscriminately into the swarm of symbeasts, thinning the cloud enough for Rayner to get his bearings. Rayner rocketed away from the densest part of the symbeast cloud and aimed his power ring at Menagerie, who hovered a hundred yards away on her thrumming wings.

A brilliant cone of green photons emanated from Rayner's ring, coalescing as it expanded into a larger-than-life space marine in full battle regalia, including heavy cybernetic battledress and an enormous plasma assault rifle. The luminous soldier sprayed the area with slugs so energized that they burned a pale green that was almost white. Menagerie looped and twirled through the air to avoid the incoming fire, while hundreds of symbeasts turned on the construct with their natural weapons, barbed pleiopods and venomous stingers and serrated mandibles.

"Xenomorphic symbiont scan complete," Rayner's ring alerted him. "System of origin: unknown. Probability of non-native dimensional origin: 96.7%"

"That's great," Rayner acknowledged, "but at some point I have to figure out how to shut this freakshow down."

"Not to worry, Kyle," Hal Jordan said as he glided into view. "We've got your back."

"We?" Rayner asked, only to be answered a moment later as Vulcan's Justi-Flyer roared out of the clouds.

The two Green Lanterns and the dimensionally displaced youth decimated the cacophonous swarm of symbeasts. Jordan brandished a colossal beryl torch and gargantuan malachite pitchfork of solid light, while Rayner replaced the fallen space marine with a towering chartreuse lizard-man clad in kelly samurai armor and carrying a wicked jade kitana. Vulcan maintained an aerial perimeter 500 feet above the Seattle streets, strafing the symbeasts with energy lances even as the power ring constructs thinned their ranks. Soon the few remaining symbeasts were retreating, hurling themselves towards Menagerie and burrowing fearfully into her skin in a process which rendered Menagerie herself nearly helpless, as she thrashed and twitched involuntarily in great pain.

Jordan projected an emerald box, which aside from its color resembled a reinforced steel crate, around Menagerie and sealed her inside. Rayner pointed to the Justi-Flyer and asked "So who's your friend?"

"Another out-of-thin-air meta," Jordan answered, leading the way toward Vulcan's spacecraft, hanging in mid-air on unseen propulsion jets. "Your ring told you about their extradimensional point of origin?"

"Yeah," Rayner nodded. "So we've got visitors from a parallel universe, but not all of them want to wreak havoc? That's encouraging."

"Somewhat," Jordan agreed. "But they're all here against their will, and they don't know how they got here, or why."

The hatch of the Justi-Flyer opened, revealing the two occupants of the cockpit: Vulcan, and a smartly-dressed woman with long chocolate-brown hair and a blank expression on her immobile face. Vulcan removed his helmet; a hand-shaped burn scar was visible on his right cheek. "Hey," Vulcan said, "Green Lantern ... Two? How'm I supposed to get one of you guys' attention as opposed to the other?"

"I'm Kyle," Rayner supplied. "He's Hal."

"I'm Miguel," Vulcan replied. "You can call me Mikey."

"And your passenger?" Jordan asked. "Is she ... all right?"

"That's Pandora," Vulcan said. "And ... it's a long, complicated story."

"Well, Mikey," Rayner said, "Hal here says you don't know how you ended up in this neck of reality, is that right? No clue at all, nothing we can work with?"

" 'Fraid not," Vulcan shook his head. "One minute I was just cruising along, the next I was in the asteroid belt facing off against a couple other Green Lanterns, alien ones. It's not like I was fighting someone or investigating something. I wasn't doing anything."

"I believe you," Jordan assured him. "But my ring's been analyzing your energy signatures and definitely picking up something magical. Not my strong suit, but I know that more often than not a repeated effect has to be the result of a conscious magic-user."

"Like multiple cross-dimension abductions?" Rayner asked.

"Exactly," Jordan said. "And if someone is doing this on purpose, we have to figure out why."

"And we have to keep putting out fires," Vulcan added, raising a fist which promptly burst into dark red flames. "So to speak."

"Right, whatever's going on, I doubt it's over yet," Rayner concluded. "Maybe if we can find who or what's responsible we can stop the flow of angry transplants into our reality, but we're all going to have our hands full until then."

"So, are you in, Vulcan?" Jordan asked.

Vulcan donned his helmet once again. "Let's do this."




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