In His Footsteps

Hang Out

Lantern Corps. Academy…

Harold and Khalia awaits as the Guardians and finishing up their meeting, Harold is pacing a little,

“Are they almost done in there?” Harold asked, feeling a little impatient,

“They should be finish at any minute, no worries,” Khalia said, calming him down,

“I just wanna to talk one of them,” he said,

“The twins, their cousin, or the human?” she asked,

“The human, the Gardner guy,” Harold stated.

“And you will, you just need to relax and be pa-” Khalia said until they heard the doors open, they turned and for the Class-Ranked Lanterns leaving the chamber.

“There they are,” Khalia said, as the the Class-Ranked stood in the open,

“I thought we never get out of there, all that talking and investigation are such a bore,” Roan said while rubbing the back of his neck,

“Will you quit with complaining, I’m not too fond of it myself, but there are major important things we must be informed of in case we need to prepare ourselves,” Iloyde said to his twin,

“Whatever, I couldn’t even careless about some ′unknown source′ causing some havoc across several sectors,” Roan said with his arms folded,

“Hush-up, we’re not suppose to let the other Lanterns know about thi-” Betra said to him before she spotted Harold and Khalia standing nearby,

“Visualizing two young Green Lanterns present, one female Boloxian and one male human,” Betra clarified,

“Human!? Did you say human?” Joey asked before he turned to where Harold and Khalia,

“I’m gonna talk to them real quick,” Joey said to them,

“Very well, but make it quick, we need to be present at the interior where our mentor should be,” Iloyde told him, before Joey left, heading towards Khalia and Harold.

“Here he comes, now is your chance,” Khalia said to Harold, before Harold started walking towards Joey, as Joey approached him, they both glanced at each other for a moment,

“I don’t believe it!” Joey spoke first, before….

“I just can’t believe it!” Joey embraced Harold and lift him off his feet, much to Harold’s surprise,

“Thank God, another human being,” Joey said while hugging Harold tight,

“I was hoping for a handshake, but I guess this is okay,” Harold said, as he can barely breathe, Joey set him back down,

“Pardon my behavior, it just that it’s been so long since I’ve last saw another human,” Joey said,

“Wish I could say the same, though… I haven’t been here as long as you have. I have a lot of questions,” Harold said,

“I would love to answer them but unfortunately my crew and I are needed back at the Facility, but we could talk around lunch, sound good, uh….” Joey said,

“Harold Jordan, and I would like that,” Harold said,

“Joey Gardner, and I’ll catch you later, my new best friend,” he said to him and punched him on the shoulder, before he went back to his team, and left the area.

“Aw, he likes you already,” Khalia said,

“I wouldn’t say that for sure, and he seems a little high-spirited,” Harold said while rubbing his shoulder where he punched him,

“Maybe once you get to know each other, you’ll be the bestest human friends,” Khalia smiled.

Faculty Quarter….

The three Guardians discussing after they spoke with the Class-Ranked Lanterns,

“I’m still uncertain of getting the Class-Rank Lanterns involved in the situation, we still have no details nor the identification of the source wrecking several planets in three sectors,” the Second appears worried,

“Well unless you have a better idea, we need to build protection to this Academy,” the Third stated,

“He does have a point, who knows if such catastrophe might strike that would threaten the young Lanterns here,” the First agreed.

Mess Hall….

Harold made it to the mess hall, where he quickly spotted Joey being surrounded by a small crowd of young Lanterns, many listening to Joey as he’s telling his adventure story,

“So over that last minute when my team were distracting the creature, I took the upperhand and go up against the leader,” Joey said to the Lanterns,

“That was so brave,” the female Lantern said,

“How did you manage to get away?” the male Lantern said,

“It wasn’t easy, that’s no lie, but with the help from the lovely Bebe, together we took down the leader and broke free from their prison,” Joey enlightened,

“That is so awesome,” the male Lantern said,

“So incredible,” said the other female Lantern,

“Wish I was as brave as you,” the other said. Then Joey spotted Harold as he approached him,

“Howard, you made it,” he said,

“It’s Harold actually, and is there a moment of your time so we can speak in private?” Harold asked,

“Hm…. I suppose I could spare a few minutes, I’m also in the mood for something sweet,”

“Course, not as sweet as you girls,” Joey winked at the girls, they smiled and giggled,

“Will you be able to tell us more about your adventure?” one of the Lanterns asked,

“As promised,” Joey said to them. Before he and Harold head towards the table,

“You mentioned about asking some questions,” Joey said,

“Yes, I have some. How long have you been a Green Lantern?” Harold asked,

“At the age of 16, first came here as a newbie, like yourself, and worked my way up to the big league. Or rather been ranked to one of the top-ranked Lanterns as you may know already,” Joey answered,

“Right…. Then how were you able to survive all of this?” Harold asked,

“It wasn’t easy, that’s no lie, but I wasn’t alone when some of my pals helped me out and I learned several things that will keep me going,” Joey stated. Before he turned to Harold,

“Now let me ask you something, I was told you’re the son of this Hal Jordan, is that true?” Joey asked,

“Yes I am, and I was told you’re the son of Guy Gardner,” Harold said,

“That’s right, I’m sure you heard all about my old man, being the best Lantern in history,” Joey said, Harold shook his head,

“No not really, my dad never mentioned your dad at all,” he said,

“Well he is, not to brag about it though, travelling from sectors to sectors, protecting the innocents, especially the gorgeous ones if you know what I mean. ′Wink-wink!’” Joey said, much to Harold’s discomfort,

“Yea…. well, I was also wondering if you coul-” he asked until,

“Green Lantern Joey,” they both turned to two female Green Lanterns,

“We were wondering if you could demonstrate your techniques in our course,” one of them asked,

“Anything to please my fellow Lanterns,” Joey accepts, much to Harold’s dismay.

“But we’re not finished yet,” he said to him,

“Don’t worry about it Howard, we can talk on the way there,” Joey said before he started walking with the girls, Harold scolded at him,

“It’s Harold,” Harold said through his teeth, before he follows him.

….

For the passed several days, Joey has been talking and showing off his techniques to the other young Lanterns, his friends, even the counselors, everybody was enjoying it except Harold, as he just stood by just watching, but not so easily impressed like the others. Joey telling everyone his stories about his adventures, and everyone was listening, all but Harold as he became so bored and impatient. Whenever he tried to talk to Joey, he brush it off as he keeps punching his shoulder and calling him ‘Howard’, which frustrates him more. Harold even tried to avoid hanging out with him, but somehow Joey was able to find him, and not on purpose. Harold doesn’t want to spend another minute listening to Joey and is mostly disappointed because he has to figure out another way back to his home planet.

….

Khalia just got out from her course, and spotted Harold sitting alone at a table, she approached him,

“Hey Harold,” she greeted him,

“Oh, hey Khalia,” Harold replied back,

“So?” Khalia asked,

“So what?” Harold asked,

“How did it go with you and Joey? I saw you two talking and hanging out these passed few days. I knew you two would get along great,” Khalia said,

“To be quite honest, he’s been talking about his missions, himself, his dad, and back to himself for days. I’m not so sure if I want to spend another minute with that guy,” Harold sighed,

“Now I get why dad never mentioned about his dad,” he thought, before….

“Howard, there you are,” they turned and saw Joey appeared,

“I was lookin’ for you, I was thinkin’ you and I hit the gym and work up a sweat, I could use a gym buddy,” Joey said before he punched him on the shoulder again, Harold appeared unpleased as he rubbed his shoulder again, he said,

“Gee, that seems great and all, but I….” Harold try to come up with an excuse until he spotted his Tech friends, Noles and Voxlar, passing by carrying some kind of huge device,

“I already promised my Tech buddies I helped them with a project we’re working on,” Harold lied,

“Sounds neat, maybe I’ll come with,” Joey said, Harold protested,

“No-no-no, it’s a…. private project we’re working on, plus I’m sure you have other people to please or maybe check with your comrades,” Harold suggested,

“You know what, now that you mentioned it, I should check with my comrades for some case we’re dealing with. But I’ll catch you later buddy,” Joey said before he left. Harold sighed with relief before he turned to Khalia, with a disappointed look on her face,

“What?” Harold asked,

“How could you do that? He wanted to hang out with you and you lied to him,” Khalia said,

“Well I’m sorry you had to witness that, but in this case, I would rather hang with Noles and Volxar than spend another minute with that guy,” Harold said before he left Khalia to catch up with Noles and Voxlar, and Khalia shook her head with disappointment after he left.

Outside of the ship….

Worzard, along with two Green Lantern counselors, stood in front of three young Red Lanterns,

“As you’re all aware, you will be fixing the damages of the ship caused by rock previously, you will be supervised by both counselor to make sure you won’t cause more damage than it had already,” Worzard said to the young Lanterns, as they all appear to careless about fixing the ship at all.

“Mr. Cuffbon, you’ll take the West side,” he assigned him,

“Tsk,” Cuffbon replied,

“Mr. Djumko, you’ll take the South side,” he assigned him,

“Hmph….” Djumko rolled his eyes,

“Ms. Rayza you’ll take the North side,” he assigned her,

“Whatever,” she replied, before they part way, heading to their assigned station.

Back inside the ship….

Harold hanging with Voxlar and Noles, as they’re about to test out their project, Harold placed a small pot with a flower in it on the table,

“So if I were to understand, this prototype suppose to create some sorta cryonics ice-crystal?” Harold asked,

“Correct, it took us almost a week, but with the proper calculations, we should be able to test it,” Voxlar explained,

“Is it safe?” Harold asked,

“We’re about to find out,” Noles said. They stepped away from the device as it activated and is positioned to fire at the flower pot, Noles holds the controller as he pressed the button…. but the device made a small circuit causing it to shut down,

“Hm…. it would appears we forget to carry the one and three,” Voxlar looked with his notes,

“Or four,” they heard and turned to Joey as he just appeared,

“Now that I’m here,” he said with a smile on his face,

“Green Lantern Joey Gardner,” Voxlar and Noles said at the same time, as they’re excited to meet him,

“Oh no,” Harold whispered, not wanting to see him again, Joey approached them,

“I was just passing by and noticed you guys working on what I do believe is a prototype of cryonics ice-crystals,” Joey said as Voxlar and Noles approached him,

“That’s right, you’re familiar with our construction,” Voxlar said,

“Construction and structures with advance technology, especially the types I’ve seen back in Oa,” Joey said,

“We would love to hear it,” Noles said, but the Harold intervened,

“No-no-no, we don’t, that won’t be necessary,” he said,

“I don’t mind Howard, I love to talk about my time at Oa,” Joey said,

“That’s all you ever talk about,” Harold gave him a tone,

“Big pardon?” Joey asked, Harold looked straight at him with a stern look on his face,

“All you do these passed few days was talk about Oa, then yourself, then this whole Green Lantern adventure and you never shut up about it!” Harold raised his voice, Voxlar and Noles felt the tension from Harold, as Joey stood silent as Harold continues,

“All I wanted is to at least ask if there is a way to get back home, and all you’ve been doing is talk about how great is being a Lantern is. Don’t you ever missed being back home with your family and friends? How could you possibly remain so calm and happy here when we’re galaxies away from our home planet?” he yelled. There was silence between them,

“We’ll leave you two alone,” Voxlar said as he backs away,

“Yea, don’t mind us,” Noles said and does the same, returning to their prototype,

Joey remained silent for a moment before he walked towards the window with both hands on his back,

“If you been here as long as I have, then maybe you would think otherwise. In truth, there were times I do missed being back home with my mom and grandparents. Sometimes I missed hanging with old friends at my favorite food place. But when I went to locate my old man, I stumbled upon here, in this Academy,” Joey explained, Harold stood silent and slowly calming down.

“Sure it’s something I never would’ve planned but then I never would’ve gone beyond the stars and galaxies, nor gain the opportunity of being a Green Lantern. Sure I’d encountered unexpected events and danger from time to time, but something like that is what makes life worth living and I know I have my crew with me all the way. And besides, who knows what life would be like if neither of us ever came here,” he said. After brief of moment,

“I…. haven’t really thought of it that way,” Harold beginning to understand, as he went to the window beside him,

“As much as I do missed our mother Earth, I wouldn’t dream of missing out on this. Believe it or not, we are one of the luckiest humans to ever experience something this amazing,” Joey stated,

“It is amazing,” Harold gazing into space, admiring it’s beauty,

“Hm…. for some reason I’m no longer mad, I guess after that talk, I’m starting to think maybe he’s not such a bad guy. Maybe, we could be friends,” Harold thought to himself, until….

“There she is,” Joey said, Harold turned to him,

“What’s that?” Harold asked,

“Oh, not you, I’m talking about that space gorgeous over there,” Joey said, which made Harold looked at window and saw…. Rayza, as she’s outside of space, as she’s carrying a heavy part using her Power ring, to fix the damage part of the ship while being supervised by Worzard.

“You know her?” Harold asked,

“I’ve been told by certain people and rumors from fellow Lanterns about Red Lantern Rayza. Daughter of former Red Lantern Razer, a pro-technician, a tough fighter, and one of the top hottest Lanterns in this academy. Even from this angle, she sure has a rockin’ body,” Joey checking her out.

After learning he have the hots for Rayza, that feeling he had earlier rose back up, with an add of jealousy. He slowly approached him, balled up his fist, just as he’s about to bash him….

Blast!

Harold stepped back when Joey was suddenly frozen with a cryonics ice-crystals,

“Oh Grotz!” Voxlar panicked,

Harold turned to his Tech friends, realising the prototype their working accidentally worked…. on Joey!

“I told you we should’ve calibrated the angle,” Noles said to Voxlar,

“What happened here?!” they heard Iloyde’s voice as they turned to the rest of the Class-Ranked Lanterns as they just arrived and found their comrade frozen-solid,

“We are so sorry,” Voxlar said,

“It was an accident,” Noles said, as the Class-Ranks approached the frozen Joey,

“Is he….?” Iloyde asked, as Betra has her device to analyze the frozen Joey,

“No, he is unharmed and alive, but rock solid,” Betra examined, they turned to Harold and his Tech friends, Harold approached them,

“Please don’t be mad at my Tech friends, they were fixing a prototype we were testing on and Joey kinda got in the way. But I assure you, it was an accident,” Harold standing up for Voxlar and Noles, there was a brief silent for a moment, and yet they don’t appear to be upset.

“I don’t know about you guys, but this sure does the trick,” Roan commented on the cryonic ice-crystals, Harold is both shocked and confused,

“You’re not upset about your comrade?” Harold asked,

“We couldn’t careless if he were accidentally get transported to another dimension. In case you haven’t noticed, he can be so annoying to be around with,” Roan stated,

“Unfortunately I must concur, although he is a good team member, there a moments I wanted to throttle him myself,” Iloyde said,

“Well you both are lucky he doesn’t hit on you all the time, he may charm some of these girls here but he can be so obnoxious,” Betra said to her cousins,

Harold stood surprised after learning the Class-Rank Lanterns themselves can’t stand Joey either.

“We’ll take it from here, this type of texture should wear out within than three days,” Iloyde stated as he used his Power ring to carry the frozen Joey,

“Three days without Gardner, sounds like a nice break if you ask me,” Roan said with a smile,

“Not to worry, we won’t report this to the counselors, we’ll come up with something on the way. For what is worth, you guys kinda did us a favor,” Betra said and winked at them,

“Huge favor,” the twins replied at the same time, before they started carrying their frozen comrade.

“Thanks and you’re welcome,” Harold awkward said before the Class-Ranks left them,

“Can’t you believe it!” Noles said to Voxlar,

“I know right! The Class-Ranks talked to us, and commented our project!” Voxlar is happy,

“Best day ever!” Noles cheered,

Harold is happy for his Tech friends and glad that he won’t be hanging with Joey for a good while, though slightly disappointed that he has to find another way to get back home. However, when Harold turned back to the window, gazing at the beauty of space once more, he thought about what Joey said earlier before he spotted Rayza, sure he never shuts up about somethings, but apparently he isn’t wrong about them.

“Maybe…. I suppose, I could give this place a chance,” Harold thought to himself.

To be continued….

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