Earth, Antarctica Storage…
Hal is led by his old friend, who he guided him inside the storage, they appeared at the bar edge, where they viewed how huge this place is, the entire storage is built underground. Almost everything is filled with numbers of boxes and crates that has been stored and kept away for years, decades even.
"We hid yours very well, it's been years since I last saw it, though some of my co-workers hid it from different place to place, here and there. It's here somewhere, though it will take a certain amount of days, weeks if necessary to find it," his friend explained to him,
"I don't care, the sooner I find it, the sooner I go find my son," Hal said, not gonna give up until he finds what he came for.
The Lantern Corps Academy, Mess Hall…
The three roommates sitting at the same table, enjoying their meal, Harold had himself a sandwich, Walter had some salad and fruits, and Kihwog a large beetle stuffed with steamy larva's. He already cracked it opened, and let out a hot steam from it,
"Whooh! That's hot," he said as he looked as his meal.
"Yes she is," Harold said, which caught Kihwog and Walter's attention, they noticed Harold rarely even touched his sandwich as he looked distracted with a smile. They both turned to where he is looking at, and discovered Harold is glancing over to the Red Lantern Volkregian girl he also likes, sitting at a table near the corner, eating her meal by herself, (Like her father)
"Don't tell me he still fixated about Rayza," Kihwog said,
"He hasn't took his eyes off her ever since we came here," Walter point out. After that, Harold got off his chair,
"Listen guys… I'll be right back real quick," he said to them, then he started walking to where Rayza is, they watched him,
"I won't be surprise if he gets his heart broken," Kihwog said,
"I just hope there won't be any trouble," Walter worried a bit.
"Okay Harold, you are about to approach a very attractive, highly skillful alien girl, who is... apparently out of your league, and seem more... experience. But you can do this as long as you don't say anything stupid, you can do this," Harold whispered to himself, before he finally reached the table,
"Hey Rayza, how's it goin'?" he approached her with a smile, Rayza carelessly looked at him for a moment, then looked away, Harold cleared his throat a bit, and begin to act all cool,
"I couldn't help but notice you sitting here all by yourself, maybe, you would like accompany?" he asked,
"No," she declined, that didn't work, so then he asked,
"Okay then… if you're not busy, we could hangout sometimes, perhaps work together?"
"I work better alone," she declined once more. So he of complimenting her by saying,
"Well… I'm up for a training buddy, and I wouldn't mind having someone… both amazing and talented as you to train with," which finally got her attention, but not what he had hoped as Rayza gave him a stern look,
"Instead of wasting your breath with your pointless words, you should be training more to prepare yourself when you're up against an enemy where you at least expect... plus, your absurd flattery will get yourself killed in combat," she said to him before she looked away again and drank some of her glass of water,
"If only you told me 'that' sooner," Harold whispered to himself. when he recalled that crazy Yellow Lantern girl he encountered back in combat practice. Not much progress as he planned, so instead he thought of something to get her attention again, then a thought occurred to him which would definitely get her full attention,
"I've been told from my dad that he once encountered your dad years ago… Razor, is it?" he said. A very bad move, which instead…
Harold startled when he saw Rayza breaks her glass cup with her grasps, and noticed her whole body suddenly glow flaming red. It caught some lanterns attention, including Kihwog and Walter, as she got up from the chair,
"Go away!" she said angrily,
"I-Is it something I said? Did I-" Harold asked until he stepped back when Rayza gave him a deathly glare with her red and black eyes, filled with rage and hatred,
"GO AWAY!" she yelled at him as her ring activated, ready to attack him. Until…
"There you are Jordan, we've been looking all over for you," Kihwog said, before he quickly grabbed him from behind,
"Excuse us," he said to Rayza before he immediately took Harold away from her. As they left, Rayza, slowly calmed herself, causing the glowing Flaming Red disappeared, back to her original form. Then afterwards, she immediately left the table and flew out of the mess hall to clear her mind.
Kihwog placed Harold down, back to their table,
"What did you do?" Kihwog asked him, wondering what he said or did that almost caused Rayza to nearly go in full fury on him,
"All I did is talked to her and asked her she needed company and hanging out later, she said no both of them. So I brought up about my dad and her dad, and then she turned all Red and everything," Harold explained.
"Oooh, you shouldn't have done that," Kihwog said, making Harold look confused,
"I forgot to mentioned, she gets very upset when her father is brought up," Walter said,
"How is that?" Harold asked with his arms folded,
"She displayed her rejection of sharing any of her social life involving any communication of her parental relatives," Walter explained,
"Come again?" Harold didn't get that,
"She doesn't wanna talk about him… I was told from my pop that nobody had seen Razer since they defeated those Manhunters years ago," Kihwog explained,
"I heard he went out through space to search for his lost love," Walter point out,
"Which is ridiculous, I was also told she disintegrated into space after she released that virus, there is no way she still be alive out there," Kihwog said with disbelief.
Meanwhile in the Forgotten Zone, Volkreg…
At the central lake, where the onced artificial intelligent being, Aya, is sitting on the stone alone, staring at the lake. She is saddened as today is the anniversary of her marriage with Razer, she misses him dearly, and this place reminded her of their first anniversary years ago…
(20 years ago…
Razer and Aya are walking through the forest, with her eyes closed and Razer guiding her from behind,
"Can I open them?" she asked,
"Not yet, we're almost there," Razer said as they continued walking. After a minute, they made it to the spot, and Razer turned to his wife,
"You can open your eyes now," he said, Aya opened her eyes, she was astonished to see a huge lake, it sparkles, enlightening the beauty of the surroundings,
"What is this place?" she asked,
"This is the central lake, a place filled with nature and peace, I use to come here as a child years ago, it used to be my secret place, until I decided to share it with you," Razer said.
"It's beautiful," Aya said staring at the lake, then felt Razer's arms wrapped around her waist, as he pulled her into an embrace,
"You're beautiful," he said to her,
"Happy Anniversary," he said, she turned to him,
"What's an anniversary?" she asked,
"Oh right, you don't know much about the tradition," he said, forgotten she has yet to learn when it comes to holidays and traditions.
"An anniversary is the celebration for a special day. Like celebrating the day on someone's birth, or the day of the war ended. In certain cases, the husband and wife celebrate and exchange gifts on their day, such as today, is the anniversary of our first year in marriage," he explained. At that moment, he noticed Aya looked away from him, with a sad look on her face,
"What's wrong?" he asked,
"You've given me something special, such as this…" Aya looked at the lake,
"And yet, I failed to give you something special in return," she said, Razer smiled as he turned her body towards his, and said,
"I don't need you to give me anything, because I already have something special," she looked at him as they face each other,
"Having you in my life," he held her close, comforting her.
"I love you Aya," he said, as he brought a smile on her face,
"I love you Razer… and Happy Anniversary," she said, right before Razer placed his hand on her cheek as they gazed into each other's eyes, and not long as their lips were pulled into a kiss, celebrating their love for one another.)
Those years of celebrating was the best thing in her life, even better by the time their children were born, until that time when 'they' came and took Razer away, she ended up celebrating their anniversary apart from him… alone, which saddens her deeply. Plus, unaware of her daughter's whereabouts, by the time Razer was taken, Rayza ran away from home two years after, with her possible guess that she's somewhere in the galaxy searching for her father. She worries deeply for them, as she wishes she could have done something, but… with the body she has, she is unable to pursue. Her new body is very different from her previous, instead of her skin being green, it is pale skin tone similar to Razer's, instead of her systems filled with wires and powered systems, it is filled with senses and procreation. She's not fully artificial like before, but she's not completely organic either, for that, her children inherited certain 'parts' from her, especially her daughter.
"Mother," she heard a voice of a 10 year-old artificial Volkregian boy, she wasn't completely alone, as she still has her second child and only son, Blayd. She turned to him as he appeared with his small dark gray tunic with long black sleeves, black-graying pants, and gray boots, he almost look like his father, minus the markings since he's too young to have those yet, though he has his mother's artificial blue eyes, and her personality. Even though he works as a small farmer, his skills relates to technology similar to both his parents, but mostly inventions. When he finds certain parts and devices from certain places, he converted them in his own invention, something he considered a hobby he learned from his mother over the years. He walked over to her with a smile,
"I made you something," he said, as he pulled at a wrapped box from behind his back, he handed it to her, Aya unwrapped and opened it and saw… a small crafted bowl, handmade and decorated,
Even though Blayd loves to invent things with high-tech devices, he also likes to make homemade things, such as a special gift to his mother.
"It's wonderful, I love it," she said, and she hugged her little inventor,
"I thought this might cheer you up," he said to her,
"Cheer me up?" Aya is confused,
"You'll… see what I mean, I'm about to gather some crops and then start supper," he said, he's also a good cook. Then he started leaving, "I'll see you home," he said as he left.
Aya is still confused about what he said earlier, then she looked at the bowl before she pulled it out of the box, and analyzed her son's craftsmanship, by then, she turned it over and discovered a small writing craved under it, she scanned it as it reads;
"Everything's going to be okay."
Aya shed a tear when she read the message her son left her, she sometimes forget he can see right through her, and has his way of comforting her. Such a clever boy she has, much like his father.
At that moment, Aya slightly pulled down her right sleeve, where she revealed a 'mark' on her wrist; it symbolize a tradition of married couples sustain their love with a mark on both wrist, like wedding rings. "Happy Anniversary… Razer," she whispered, thinking of her husband.
Throughout the galaxy, in the ship's cell…
Razer sitting on the floor, looking at his 'mark' on his right wrist,
"Happy Anniversary… Aya," Razer whispered, thinking of his wife; to think, after all those years, when he thought he lost her after the Manhunter's invasion, but was able to find her alive in the far galaxy and brought her back to his home planet where they wed and built a life together. He was happy to be reunited with his love, even happier when their children were born, part of him regrets leaving his family all those years, but he was giving no choice as he did it in order to protect them. By the time he rolled his sleeve back up, he heard a voice…
"Hello Razer…" he turned to the bars as the captain appeared, along with his two crew members,
"Do I have a surprise for you," the Captain said while giving him a sinister grin, Razer doesn't know what it is, but knows he's going to find out soon enough. And it ain't going to be pleasant.
The Lantern Corps Academy…
After another long day, the young Lanterns begin to return to their quarters, Harold is walking with his roommates, exhausted from all the courses he went, and from the two Red Lanterns trying to kill him.
On their way, Harold noticed all the colored Lanterns are heading the same direction, though all the Red Lanterns across the other side from them are heading in the opposite direction.
"Say… why are all the Reds going to the same sector?" he said his roommates,
"Because of their irrational behaviors, the Guardians are more comfortable of having Red Lanterns placed in their own sector, and in a far distant away from the other Lanterns," Walter explained,
"Plus, some of them get to have their own quarters, those lucky poozers," Kihwog is a little pissed,
Harold looked back to the Reds, and was able to spot Rayza with them, he watched her following the other Red Lanterns to their sector. By then, a thought occurred to him,
"Ever wondered what they do over there?" he asked them, the two stopped and turned to him with an unsatisfied expression,
"What?" Harold asked, wondering why they're looking at him that way, Kihwog went first,
"Don't… even… think about it," he said,
"About what?" Harold is confused,
"About going over there," Kihwog said.
"I was just asking what they even do over there," Harold said,
"No other Lanterns have ever access over to the Red Sector, and even so, there is a high possible chance they come out severely wounded," Walter enlightened,
"You don't say," Harold raised an eye-brow,
"Harold, I'm warning you, if you even think of stepping into the Red Sector, they'll tear you apart and you'll get in major trouble from the counselors if you trespass their turf," Kihwog warned him,
"Geez, worry much," Harold rolled his eyes.
"I'm telling you, this is no joke, don't get any ideas about going over there," Kihwog said,
"It is more than best not intrude their territory… at least, for your sake Mr. Jordan," Walter backed him up,
"Fine, if you guys worried about it that much, I won't go over there," Harold said, though they don't seem convinced. So Harold did they the old 'you have my word' pledge as he raised his right hand,
"I promise, as a Green Lantern, I won't cross over to the Red Sector," Harold said, which seems convincing enough for them before they both continued their way back to their quarter. However, from where he's from, they are completely unaware of Harold's left hand behind his back, with his fingers crossed. Oh boy.