In His Footsteps

Busted

The Black Lantern Ship…

While still being guarded by two Black Lanterns, Razer is taken by surprise to see Bleez again, who was once his comrade in the Red Corps, and then his enemy before the Manhunters,

"What's the matter Razer, never thought of ever seeing me again after all those years?" Bleez walked over and stood next to her husband, Black Hand,

"It has been a long time since I last saw you… though I never considered to think a Red Lantern be married to this Black Lantern," Razer said. The next thing he knew, Bleez grip over his collar, giving him a deathly glare,

"Saids the one who's married to a Green Lantern you treacherous fool," she yelled at him, filled with anger and rage. Then Black Hand stepped in as he placed her hand on her shoulder,

"No need for that my love, let's not forget things have changed over the years," he said, and made Bleez to let go of Razer,

"We both know his wife is not a Green Lantern as before… considering she was rescued by 'you know who' and restored her in a new artificial body which is also carbon-based, thus making her a half organic life form, but with a possession of a special energy within her." Black Hand explained,

"What does Aya have to do with me here?" Razer demand to know,

"It is not your wife I'm referring to, but rather… your daughter," Black Hand answers,

"Rayza…" Razer said as his eyes grew wide.

Meanwhile at the Lantern Corps Academy, Red Sector, Quarter 3…

Rayza stood near the ledge, keeping her eye on the disguised Green Lantern, to make sure he doesn't do anything stupid enough to blow his own cover.

At the court, Harold, aka 'Beat Knuckles', is huddled up with the group of Red Lanterns, as they're about to play some rounds against Krog's group of Red Lanterns.

"So Murex, what's the strategy this time?" the buff female asked the team leader,

"Q'uayk will take the back corner on the left with Vaja covering him," Murex said to both Q'uayk and Vaja, they nodded in agreement,

"Rhekow will take the right with Hugorg covering her," he said to Rhekow and Hugorg,

"Why do I get to cover Rhekow, make Beat Knuckles cover her," Hugorg complained,

"He will be covering me near the front perimeter in case of any tricks they'll try to pull… and we don't want a repeat of what happened to Yowong," Murex explained to him,

"Who?" Beat Knuckles asked,

"Our last player," Vaja answered.

"So be ready for any counter-attacks and block out as many blast as possible; are there any questions before the game start?" Murex asked,

"Yeah, I have two… what game are we playing?" Beat Knuckles asked, which caused the group to look at him all surprised,

"Have you ever played Dodge, Block n' Blast?" Q'uayk asked him,

"… Not… really, I never- I mean, nobody ever had me as their team member in this game," Beat Knuckles said to them,

"Well you should consider yourself lucky you're in our team," Murex said with a sneer,

"Just watch what we do and you'll get the hang of it, no sweat," Rhekow said with a smirk,

"Saids Ms. Stink-pits over here," Hugorg said which cause Rhekow to growl at him and shoot him a deathly glare filled with Red flaming energy.

"Okay then… and about your last player, what ever happened to him, did he got into some kind of accident?" he asked. The group looked at him for a moment and then they burst into laughter, leaving Beat Knuckles clueless of what's so funny,

"You're hilarious," Rhekow said while laughing,

"That's a good one Knuckles… thinking it was an 'accident'," Q'uayk chuckled.

Harold's eyes grew wide and his mouth half opened after what he heard, he doesn't know what they're talking about, but too afraid to ask,

"Alright, everybody in your positions," Murex said, then he and his team break from their huddle and positioned themselves to start the game.

Harold stood near Murex, next to the line that separates them from Krog's group, who are already in their position,

"So… how does this game start, does someone set out a signal or som-" 'Beat Knuckles' asked until…

Blast!

"Woah!" he yelled when he almost got hit by a Laser Canon by Krog, then saw another Laser Canon coming right at him, he dodged it, though…

Bam!

"Argh!" he moaned in pain from the surprise boulder attack from Krog's group members that it hit him to the his torso, he clenched in pain from that impact.

"You're suppose to block it," Murex said and has his Red Energy Shield to block the incoming blasts,

"I wasn't ready at that moment," Beat Knuckles said to him and stood back straight,

"Well you better be ready for the Meteor Shower," Murex said before he starts shooting his Laser Canons,

"Meteor wha-!?" Harold said after what he heard. Then…

Buzz!

Harold heard the buzz coming from above him, he looked up and saw… numbers of fired up meteors dropping right at him,

"Oh Geez!" he said, starting to regret playing this game.

The Black Lantern Ship…

"By the time I discovered your daughter's existence, I knew she too possesses the energy she inherited from her mother, and since she's an ultra rare hybrid of an organic life form and an artificial intelligent, she will make the perfect weapon for my plans," Black Hand stated,

"I don't know what sick plans you're up to, but you leave my daughter out of this," Razer glare at him.

"It's already been done," Razer turned back to Bleez as she continues,

"Considering she's now a Red Lantern, she show much service to the Red Corps, a whole lot more committed than you ever were," Bleez glared at him before she turned to the stars, she folded her arms and continued,

"Plus, she shows her loyalty to me as her mentor, following my orders as she's gathering inside information at the ship known as the Lantern Corps Academy, owned by Three members from the Guardians of the Universe, currently posing as one of the students as we speak," Bleez explained.

The Lantern Corps Academy, Red Sector, Quarter 3…

Rayza stood where she is, still watching Harold playing with a bunch of Red Lanterns, and so far, he is doing very... very bad in this game.

Harold kept dodging both meteor and Laser Canons, he got hit by some canons, and almost burned by some meteors,

Blast!

Harold fell to the ground after he got hit again by a Laser Canon,

"Is there a time-out in this?" Harold asked as he gets back up,

"Hey Knuckles," he turned to Murex,

"Catch!" Murex tossed him a Silver Shield, he caught it,

"It'll deflect any attack," he said before he went back blasting his Laser Canon,

Harold looked and examined the shield, it's a bit heavy, and he can tell by the structures and metal, it's stronger than adamantium.

"Deflects any attack," Harold said,

"Knuckles! Incoming!" Murex yelled, Harold saw another Laser Canon is coming right at him, only this one is bigger and enough to take him out!

At that moment, Harold used the shield to finally block the blast, but instead it deflected right towards the ceiling and…

Blast!

That Laser Canon blasted to the ceiling, and created a huge boulder as it fell right from above and…

Crash!

The ceiling crashed right onto the other group, it caught many of the other lanterns attention as there was smoke in that area. By the time it cleared up, everyone saw Krog's group badly hurt from the impact Harold caused,

"Oh man! I'm so sorry!" he said after he dropped the shield, he never meant to create such cause to Krog and his group. But then he noticed everyone is looking at him with puzzled expressions, forgetting that Red Lanterns like to cause unmercifully pain and they don't feel sorry for what they've done! So Harold thought fast and cleared his throat,

"So sorry that… it didn't hit you hard enough, you pathetic excuse for a team!" Beat Knuckles said to Krog's group. Because of that, it made Murex and his group laughed, Harold sighed with relieve, almost blowing his own cover,

"So Knuckles…" Harold turned to Vaja, as she wrapped him arms around his arm again, only her second and third arm are around his arm, while her fourth hand holding his hand, and her first hand place gently placed on his cheek.

"You got a girlfriend, or a mate?" Vaja after she fluttered her eyes, vertically, at him, which kinda creeps him out a bit,

"N-no not really… though I do have my eyes set on one… well, two actually," Beat Knuckles said, thinking about a certain Red Lantern and Star Sapphire. Then noticed Vaja moving closer to him,

"Do they both have two arms, because I have extra pairs right here," she said and placed her three hands on his front chest, Harold sense her coming on to him, well, 'Beat Knuckles'. He slowly backs away from her, until he bumped and turned to Rhekow, who is also coming on to him,

"Unless you prefer a girl with strong muscles," Rhekow said while flexing her buff muscles,

"Nah, not really," he said, and then more female Lantern appeared behind him.

"Are you into girls with one eye?" said the female with one eye and crab-like claws, appeared from his left,

"Or six?" said the other female alien with six eyes and numbers of tentacles, appeared from his right,

"I… uh…" Harold slowly back away from them, when he turned and got startled by another female alien, but with two heads in one body,

"How about girls with two heads?" the first head said,

"Better than one," the second head said,

"W-wait…" Beat Knuckles said, backing away from numbers of female Lanterns; as much as Harold likes hitting on girls, he's not too crazy about be crowded by all of them at once.

Rayza noticed many of the female Red Lanterns are cornering him,

"Jordan," she said and thought of a way to talk to him without others discovering him, so she left the area,

"Ladies ladies, as lovely as some… I mean, all of you are, I'm just not ready for any type of relationship, if you know what I mea-" he said to them until, he felt a Red Energy Whip wrapped over his torso from behind, and got snatched away from the female Lanterns, it led him away from the court towards another area, he turned around and discovered he got pulled away by Rayza with her Power ring. She released him,

"Rayza…" he said, surprised to see her, then quickly he cleared his throat again,

"I-I mean, hello there, fellow Lantern, sick party we have here, right?" Beat Knuckles said trying to act cool, but then Rayza just grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him through the crowds, leading him to the dance floor where some Red Lantern couples dancing, she placed both his hand on her waist and placed her hands on his shoulder, facing each other while 'dancing' like the others around them.

"You know, if you wanna dance, at least you can do is ask," he said with smile, though Rayza just stared at him with her glare, though Harold didn't pay much attention to it as his mind is filled with a thought of him actually dancing with her. With that, his hormones kicks back in and slowly moved his hand towards her hip,

"Though I… wouldn't possibly say no to someone like you, so talented, so skillful, and incredibly beautif-" he stared at her beautiful blue eyes, while he moved his head closer to her face, until…

Grip!

"Aah!" he groaned in pain from his hand being tighten and gripped over by Rayza's grasped, and moving it away from her hip; she doesn't like be touched that way.

"How about you quit with this 'Beat Knuckles' act Jordan, you may have everyone here fooled but not me," Rayza said to him, before she released his hand,

"Wow! You have a very strong grip," Harold complimented her as he shook off his hand from the pain.

At the other ledge near the corner, Antroy, along with his group were hanging and messing around, until one with the Lanterns said to Antroy,

"Hey yo, Antroy…" Antroy turned to him,

"Some punk is dancing with Rayza," he directed him to where Rayza is,

Antroy saw Rayza in the arms of some Lantern he never saw before… and he doesn't like it,

"What the…? She rather be with him than to hang with me?!" he is flaming furious to see Rayza with someone else than him. He growled while glaring at them with his Red Flaming eyes,

"I rather not know what made you decide to come here, but you should leave now," Rayza said to him,

"But… why? You guys have awesome music, a good dance floor, and a cool place filled with Red Lanterns and everyth-" Harold said until Rayza cut him off,

"You see, that's just it! This room is filled with Red Lanterns, and if they discovered who you are, you'll get mauled," Rayza warned him.

"Only it won't be problem, because I still have my Power ring to protect myself," he said with a smirk,

"Only there is a problem, because your Power ring won't work now that you're here," Rayza said which made Harold to turned his smirk into a frown,

"Come again?" he asked in confusion,

"The Red Sector has an operated system to create a surrounding energy, function to block out all Power rings, except the Reds, preventing them to use their Power energy once they set foot in the interior territory, thus making them powerless and vulnerable. Why else do you think no other Lanterns ever to come here?" Rayza stated, while Harold's eyes grew wide of a complete shock of what she just told him,

"…I…uh…" he stuttered, and thought back about what his roommates told him before he came here…

("No other Lanterns have ever access over to the Red Sector…" Walter enlightened…

"…if you even think of stepping into the Red Sector, they'll tear you apart…" Kihwog warned him…)

After remembering, Harold realized that his roommates were not kidding as they really did tried to warn him about coming here, and now he learned that since he can't use his ring to protect himself, he's a sitting duck! Rayza can tell he's shock, so they stopped dancing,

"Now listen… I've been watching you, and so far, nobody has the slightest idea of who you really are, so as long as no one is looking you can sneak out the way you snuck in, leave this sector, and never return here again," she explained to him, right before she turned and walk away from him. A thought occurred to Harold, and quicky he went after Rayza,

"But wait, Rayza…" he said before he stopped her by grabbing her hand, she turned to him,

"Now that you're here, there's something I need to tell you before I leave," he said,

"I don't want to hear whatever it is you're going to say, because you should be leaving now," Rayza said to him,

"But it's important, it's about what I said to you earlier back in the-" he got cut off again, only this time, a Red Energy Whip was wrapped around him and he got snatched away from Rayza, off the dance floor, and got slammed against the wall. After the Red Whip disappeared, Harold discovered himself facing against some huge male Lanterns, and to make matters worse… Antroy stepped out of the group, looking down at him,

"So… you think you can waltz in here just so you can dance with my Ray-ray…" he said while looking down at him,

"I DON'T THINK SO!" he growled at his face, he's mad as ever. And Harold is completely defenseless after learning his Power ring won't activate here, he is in absolute trouble now.

The Black Lantern Ship…

Razer was off the chair but was apprehended by the two lanterns,

"YOU'RE USING MY DAUGHTER AS YOUR SPY?" Razer yelled, Bleez turned to him,

"A well-trained, undercover spy, she only did it just so she can come 'rescue you', and since she wanted to find you so badly, she's willing to do anything to bring you home, so… I seized the opportunity and made a deal with her, she accepted it as I simply took her under my wing and taught her everything I know," Bleez said. Razer took a moment to think through his thoughts after listening to everything they told him,

"Just like Atrocitus did to me, only…you planned this…" he said to her and then he turned to Black Hand,

"Both of you… the reason of my captured was so you can lure my daughter into becoming a Red Lantern… all being a part of your sick plan," he said before the two Lanterns made him sit back down on the chair,

"Congratulation, you figured out the first phase of the plan, but there's it more to it than you think," Black Hand said,

"Plus, you should be proud, she's been following in your footsteps back when you were a Red Lantern," Bleez said to him,

"I never wanted Rayza involved in any of this," Razer glare at her,

"Well you know kids these days, they get themselves involved in anything, and they are very easy to manipulate… as your daughter is completely unaware of what plans we have in store for her," Black Hand said,

"If you two ever lay a hand on her, I'll-" Razer growled at them until Black Hand cut him off,

"You'll what Razer? You'll what...? As memory serves clearly, you don't have your Power ring, and from what I'm seeing, you're not a Red Lantern, you made think you're something but to me…" he got close to his face,

"You're nothing," he said to him. Then suddenly…

Bam!

"AAH!" Black Hand received a surprise head-butt to the face from Razer, as he just caused his nose to bleed,

Black Hand's glows flaming black and activating his ring, he's super pissed, and about to slap him, until his wife caught his arm,

"Take him to the other chamber, and be sure to strap him in tight," she ordered the two lanterns, they followed her orders as they begin to take Razer away from the main chamber,

"And by the way Razer, despite on everything between us in the past, it was good seeing you again…" she and Razer looked at each other , he stepped out of the chamber,

"Alive at least," she said to him with an evil smirk on her face right before the door closed between them.

The Lantern Corps Academy, Red Sector, Quarter 3…

"I don't know who you are, or where you came from, but nobody gets to make time with my girl while I'm around," Antroy said to Harold, still in disguise, and noticed many of the Red Lanterns surround them,

"He goes by the name Beat Knuckles," Q'uayk said,

"He said he's from Beetlgoob," Hugorg said,

"I never heard such planet," one of the Red Lanterns said,

"Or some Lantern, who goes by the name 'Beat Knuckles'," the other said,

"How do we know if he's really one of us?" Antroy said while staring at Beat Knuckles, as Harold can tell he's suspicious of him.

"Show me your ring," Antroy ordered him, Harold's eyes grew wide as he hide his 'painted' Power ring behind him,

"Oh geez… I would, but… I have somewhere else to be, so… I should be on my way," Beat Knuckles said as he backing away from him and about to leave, until the two big Lanterns blocked his way,

"You're not going anywhere until I see your ring… or better yet, you make a simple construct from it," Antroy said with his armed folded,

"I…uh…well…" Beat Knuckles stuttered,

"Has anyone seen him make any construct?" Antroy asked the Lanterns around him,

"…Now that you mentioned it, I never saw him make any construct," Vaja said,

"We never even saw him use his ring back in the court," Rhekow said,

"So Beat Knuckles, if that's really your name… show us all, your construct, right here, right now," Antroy said, he and the rest of the Lanterns are staring at Beat Knuckles, waiting for him to use his ring to make a construct. Though, Harold is at a deep end, sweating inside and his heart racing fast, of all the times he got himself in trouble, this out-beats all. Then suddenly…

"He can't…" everyone, including Harold and Antroy, turned to Rayza, walking over to them,

"How so?" Antroy asked her,

"His ring is very low on power, therefore, he is unable to make a single construct," Rayza answered to him,

"So the reason of it is that he's a fraud!" Antroy turned back to Beat Knuckles with a glare, until Rayza stepped in his way,

"The reason of it is that he is on his way to the Battery source to get his ring recharged, which he is unable to do with you people blocking his way," she turned to the other Red Lanterns, they all looked back at her.

"So unless you want to answer to me…" her body is powered up in Red Flames and her eyes glow red and black,

"MOVE!" she yelled, and at a split second, many of the lanterns moved aside, and made a pathway for Harold to leave through. Harold slowly turned to Rayza, who is still flaming red, he's frighten by her wrath, but mostly amazed by her performance. Rayza stopped glowing in red as she turned to him,

"Knuckles… you were on your way," she said, signaling him to make his escape,

"Right-right," Beat Knuckles said, and starting to leave,

"I'll be at the Battery source place to get my ring all charged up and all, so in the meantime, you all go back to whatever it is you were doing and I'll be on my way," he said to the Red Lanterns,

"My way out of here," he whispered while running up the stairs, about to be home free. Until…

Bump!

Harold bumped into someone, he looked up and saw… the big buff alien, along with the four-legged one and the disfigured one, all looking down at him, mad and furious,

"So you're the punk who stole our stuff!" the buff one said,

"I should've known there was a thief among us," the disfigured one said,

"Oh geez!" Harold completely forgot about the three Red Lanterns back from the men's locker room when he took each part of their stuff,

"Give me back my boots!" the four-legged one grabbed and snatched his boots from under him, which caused him to fell down the stairs and hit the ground, thus made the cloth and helmet slip off him, revealing himself… in front of everyone!

"Hey… he's a Green Lantern!" a male Lantern said being shock,

"Is that… Harold Jordan?" a female Lantern said, now they all have discovered a Green Lantern crashed into their party,

"It's the senior party all over again!" Harold said, looking at all the Red Lanterns surrounding him once again, only this time, they glare down at him.

He is so busted!

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