Evening, Third Quarter….
The day was over as all the young Lanterns are back in their quarters resting for the next day, Kihwog snores as he is deeply asleep, and Walter is also asleep while in his meditation position. Harold slightly awake, as his mind still wonders about what he may have discovered, that Rayza might possibly be a machine.
“It just doesn’t make any sense, I mean… there is no way she could ever be a machine. There has got to be another explanation,” he thought before he rest his eyes, dozing off into slumber.
Harold found himself back in the exact same chamber the day he was first summoned,
He heard a familiar voice calling him, as he approached the door, flames suddenly appeared, surrounding him, and yet he felt no heat nor burn, as it formed a tunnel leading him towards the chamber door, ′Flame…Girl you light it up when I hear you say my name… yeah, you know just how to start it…′ He approached it and saw none other than Rayza, fighting the small droids, like before, and then, in a blink of an eye, he found himself right in front of her, ′You shine, and I just can’t wait to get you out tonight. Yeah, you know how bad I want it.′ She walks towards him while they gazed into each other’s eyes, and then, he noticed her eye twitching and head tipping sideways, like she is glitching out. ′Ride this Chevy like a Cadillac, with that one stop light, no lookin’ back, wherever we’re going gotta get there fast.′
Harold tried to reach out for her, until something pulled him away from her, and before he know it, everything turned black and yet… ′I’m talking red hot, red kiss, falling off your lips.′ Harold find himself falling into a darkness but then noticed red stars falling around him, ′I’m talking red hot, red dress, hanging on your hips,′ then the stars turned into bursting flaming meteors, ′I’m talking backseat heartbeat pounding in my chest, I’m seein’ red (I’m seein’ red) I’m seein’ red (I’m seein’ red).′ Then Harold begins to float in the air, and noticed the meteors clashed into each other to form a flaming red version of Rayza, as he gazed at it…′Can’t get you outta my head, girl, Can’t get you outta my head… the way you color up my world, I’m seein’ red.′
Within that moment that red flames dispatched and Harold once again falls into the darkness, until he fell right out of a locker which led to the Red Sector, Quarter 3. ′Damn, we can get that some place just outside of town, I’ll bring the bottle if you wanna,′ where he found himself surrounded by Red Lanterns, he tried to defend himself until he realized he is not in uniform nor have his ring on him. Then the Red Lanterns stepped aside to let Antroy out of the crowd, as he approaches Harold preparing to hurt him, and Harold is unable to defend himself nor escape. ′That moon, that moon ain’t gonna tell on me and you, just say the word and we’re gonna…′ Suddenly, a static shock appeared, electrocuting everyone except Harold, and then they all disappeared into smoke. By the time they cleared, he saw Rayza once again, ′Ride this Chevy like a Cadillac with that one stop light, no lookin’ back, wherever we’re going gotta get there fast,′ Harold approached her this time, until a thick glass appeared in front of him, then soon realized he is trapped inside a tube, and then saw Rayza about to press the button.
He tried to call out to her, but it was already too late as she pressed the button, and the tube fell down through a tunnel which soon because black again.′I’m talking red hot, red kiss, falling off your lips,′ the tube fell apart, leaving Harold falling right into the darkness again. ′I’m talking red hot, red dress, hanging on your hips,′ Harold rolled down to the dirt and landed on some vines, that are near a hole, realizing he is back in his uniform again, and found himself back in the obstacle course in the Yellow Sector, and then saw the monstrous flower emerging out of the hole. Then spotted Rayza standing right on top of it, looking down at him, ′I’m talking backseat heartbeat, pounding in my chest, I’m seein’ red (I’m seein’ red) I’m seein’ red (I’m seein’ red).′ Harold gazed back at her and begins to fly up towards her, ′Can’t get you outta my head, girl, Can’t get you outta my head. The way you color up my world, I’m seein’ red.′ Just when he is about to be close to her,
ROOOAAA!(Musical Instruments playing)
He looked up and saw one-eye dragon-like creatures appeared, charging at him, Harold quickly started blast some of them, he tried his best fighting them off, until one of them snuck up behind him and grabbed him from behind. He tried to break free until he noticed the change of it’s paws formed a hand, then he turned to the creature but his expression became shocked when he gazed at the large Rayza, who is the one holding him in her grasped, ′No, I can’t get you outta my head, girl, Can’t get you outta my head,′ within that moment, she brought her hand, along with Harold, to punched the ground hard, breaking through the crumbles and Harold once again falls to the darkness. ′I’m talking red hot, red kiss, falling off your lips,′ he hit the ground, and found himself back to the Target Chamber, ′I’m talking red hot, red dress, hanging on your hips,′ Harold turned and saw the Mecha-droid, and Rayza fighting against it, ′I’m talking backseat heartbeat, pounding in my chest,′ then the Mecha-droid blasted her with it’s electric blast and she hit the ground unconscious and defenseless, which anger Harold like before, ′I’m seein’ red (woah, oh, oh, oh) I’m seein’ red (I’m seein’ red).′ He charge at the Mecha-droid with his Green Mecha-droid, ′Can’t get you outta my head, girl, Can’t get you outta my head,′ he attacked it almost like before, ′The way you color up my world, I’m seein’ red.′
He punched a hole through the Mecha-droid, destroying it once again, then he immediately went to the unconscious Rayza, ′I’m seein’ red,′ just as he was about to say something. Rayza eyes opened revealing the color red, and that doesn’t just surprised him, ′I’m seein’ red red red red red!′
“Eliminate Target!” Rayza spoke in a Mecha-droid voice, which horrified Harold, and to his surprise,
Rayza punched a hole through his chest!)
“AAHHHH!” Harold screamed as he woke up from that, and accidentally woke up his friends as Kihwog rolled out of his bed, and Walter was startled thus breaking his mediational sleep,
“What the heck!?” Kihwog respond after he hit the floor,
“Mr. Jordan,” Walter turned to Harold as he pants, as Harold found himself a little sweaty and touched his chest to make sure there is no hole in it. Walter came down and sat by him for comfort,
“Have you awoken from an unpleasant sensation throughout the duration of your unconsciousness?” he asked him, Harold slight understood what he said,
“Yea… sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you guys,” he said,
“Well you best have a good excuse for waking us up this late, what’s the matter with you?” Kihwog said as he is slightly cranky after he got back up the floor, Harold became hesitant to tell them about his dream/nightmare; an amazing fantasy of being around Rayza and a horrifying thought of her being a machine.
“Mr. Jordan, I couldn’t help but sense you’re concealing something that appears to be a strain through your mental conscious, would you like to discuss it?” Walter asked, there was a brief moment of silence, until Harold spoke,
“Well… actually, I’ve been meaning to ask, why would Red Lanterns be allowed to come to this Academy?” he asked,
There was another moment of silence, until Kihwog spoke,
“The Guardians wanted to give Red Lanterns a chance to serve for the good and not evil, just like when former Red Lantern Razer willingly participate in the Manhunter invasion. They were inspired by his action, thus decided to recruit young Red Lanterns to this Academy in hope they will follow the same path.”
“Were any of them making good progress?” Harold asked,
“The only progress they’re making is their reputation, causing destruction and wrecking certain courses, and not to mention, their bad attitudes,” Kihwog said once he got back on his bed,
“Unfortunately I concur, plus they display lack of respect to other Lantern, thus makes it difficult to even compromise with them,” Walter supported.
“I see,” Harold said,
“But fear not Mr. Jordan, with any hope, there is bound to be good in many of them, or at least, one out of the rest,” Walter stated,
“And… I don’t suppose, there has ever been, I don’t know… an android serving under any Corps?” Harold asked out of curiosity, which slightly surprised them when he asked that,
“That is a strangely odd question you have there, howeve-” Walter spoke until Kihwog cut him off,
“The only android who served under the Green Lantern Corps. was the same android who disintegrated into space after the Manhunter invasion, after that there hasn’t been any androids serving under any Corps ever since,” he clarified.
“But what if there some, or at least one?” Harold asked,
“Even if there were some, or one, the Guardians wouldn’t allow it, for they fear the repeat of what happened years ago,” Kihowg answered,
“So what, may I ask, suggest you to ask such subjects involving Red Lanterns and androids?” Walter asked, Harold was once again hesitant to tell them about what he discovered, but chose not to tell them, not yet at least,
“It’s nothing, I… uh… trying to get over what happened is all,” he replied,
“Well I hoped we were able to ease your consciousness so that you will resume your rest with no more disturbance,” Walter said before he went back to his bed,
“Yea… thanks,” Harold said.
By the time his friends went back to bed, Harold lay back down and thought back about Rayza and the idea of her being an android. On one hand, she appears as a regular alien girl with a certain attitude which requires gaining her trust, though, on the other hand of her possibly being a machine, as he is unsure how to feel about it. Like the time he and his former friends went and saw a sci-fi film involving a female main character falling for an android man, some say it is impossible to love a machine on the count of it not being human, Harold however is unsure about it since the android does appear to develop human emotions thus reciprocated the girl’s feelings in the end. Then he started to recap his time with Rayza, of how she did helped him back in target practice, and how they worked together to defend ourselves against that Mecha-droid. But also when he was able to finally talk to her, despite how cold she was towards him, he can tell there is something special about that her that makes her different out of everyone else.
“I need to know for sure,” he thought.
After a long travel, Hal made it to Oa, after all these years, this placed hasn’t changed the last time he was here, though he has noticed some construction work as he passes by, as they’re fixing up some damage buildings and some technical problems.
By then he made his way to the entrance, there is a huge door and nobody is there,
“This is new,” he said as he approached it, he noticed a green screen displayed in front of him,
“Present your ring and state yourself,” the voice from it said, Hal did as instructed and present his ring towards the screen,
“Hal Jordan, Green Lantern of Earth, Sector 2814,” he said, and within that moment, the screen disappeared and the door opened, Hal walked in and spotted old four-armed ally/friend, Green Lantern Salaak, who is sitting in front of some screens typing.
“Never thought of seeing you again after so many years,” he said as he turned to Hal,
“But it is good to see you again, Hal Jordan from Earth,” Salaak said to him with a smile,
“It’s good seeing you too Salaak from a planet I still can’t remember,” Hal greeted him back, Salaak chuckled,
“You sound the same as I remembered, how have you been?” he asked him, though Hal a little in a hurry as he said to him,
“It is rather a long story, and as much as I would like to make up for lost time, but I’m actually here to find my son, is he here?” Hal asked him,
“No young Lanterns are permitted here but rather they’re all at the Lantern Corps. Academy,” Salaak stated,
“I’m sorry, did you say Academy?” Hal asked,
“That’s right,” Salaak said as he typed through the screen and display a picture of the Lantern Corps. Academy space ship,
“An educational academy where all the young Lanterns, including my son, are summoned to learn and train at an Interceptor while traveling throughout the galaxies,” he explained, Hal gazed at it as this is the first he ever heard about an academy for young teens to become Lanterns.
“Well, I was never aware of this Lantern Corps. Academy, and my son was never meant to be summoned there. But if he is there, do you know where I can find it?” Hal asked,
“Actually you came in a perfect timing,” Salaak typed through the screen, which now display a camera view of some Lantern setting up a space ship,
“The counselors are almost finish setting up the Interceptor that will lead straight to the Academy,” he said.
“How far is it? Will it take hours to get there?” Hal asked, Salaak shook his head,
“No… it will take days to reach to that destination. We used to get there within the same day until a young Lantern dismantled many of the database and damaged all the warp drives,” Salaak explained,
“A young Lanterns did this?” Hal asked, though it would explained the construction work he saw on his way here,
“Apparently so, and because of the incident she caused, no young Lanterns are permitted to Oa again,” Salaak stated,
“She?” Hal replied, before Salaak typed through the screen, and displayed a portrait photo of the young Red Lantern Volkregian girl,
“A young Red Lantern from Volkreg, though she does have a unique intellect in technology, she does display a highly negative behavior. Not to mention being the daughter of the former Red Lantern Razer,” he clarified,
“Razer has a daughter?” Hal whispered as he haven’t heard that name in years, and is surprised that he has a child himself, Hal looked at the Volkregian girl as there is no doubt she resembled Razer, based on the eyes, markings and race, however, he does seemed to notice a certain feature around her face, reminding him of a former, or rather deceased, ally from years ago.
“Hm… for some reason, she kind of looks like A-” Hal thought until a camera screen pop up, as one of the counselors appeared,
“All systems are set and ready Green Lantern Salaak,” the male Lantern said,
“Thank you for the status, I’ll inform the Honor Guards,” Salaak said to him before they disconnect, he turned back to Hal,
“I’ll also inform them that you would be joining them, by then you will be heading towards the academy with no problem whatsoever,” he said,
“Yes, I would really appreciate that,” Hal said, as he remained focus on his main mission; find Harold and bring him back home safe.
Lantern Corps Academy, morning at the Mess Hall…
Harold is with his friends, as they enjoy their breakfast before they start their courses, Harold kept his eyes on Rayza, as she is eating alone, also as usual.
Kihwog and Walter noticed Harold,
“It would appears Mr. Jordan is pondering while contemplating of Ms. Rayza,” Walter said,
“Well he should know by now she is out of his league and should you give up while he’s ahead,” Kihowg said,
“Not quite,” Harold stated before he turned to them.
“You mentioned nobody knows her that well nor her background throughout her time right?” he asked,
“Yea, what about it?” Kihwog asked,
“Surely there is more to her than just being Red, perhaps there is something about her that not many people noticed,” Harold said,
“Certain beings attend to concealed their backgrounds for varies reasons; some that maybe personal for the sake of themselves and others, or some that maybe… well, could lead to danger and deception,” Walter explained,
“Plus, we don’t really care about her personal life, if she doesn’t wanna share then that’s fine by me,” Kihwog stated before he continues eating his bug breakfast,
Harold turned his attention back to Rayza, “I know there is something about her, I just wish there is a way to... ” he thought, until another thought occurred,
“Unless...” he said.
“You wanna spy on Rayza!?” Voxlar said as he and Noles stood shocked upon Harold’s request,
“I know it may sound much, but if I could at least get close enough to her, I might find something about her and get to know her,” Harold said,
“Sounds rather dangerous if you ask me,” Voxlar stated,
“Plus, she’ll annihilate you if you even get close to her, and she had hurt this who don’t think twice about getting near her,” Noles said.
“Which is why I need your guys help so that she won’t even noticed me close by, maybe you have some sort of gadgets or devices that can help me,” Harold asked them.
“Hm... I don’t know, have you done something like this before?” Volxar seem reluctant,
“Technically no I haven’t, but I’ve seen a lot of spy movies, so I believe I know a thing or two about being a spy. If anything, I think of myself as ‘Secret Undercover Spy,’ a super agent who never gets caught, fighting bad guys to save the world, and the guy who always gets the girl,” Harold visualize,
“Which girl?” Noles asked, which did made Harold hesitant when he asked that, but kept his cool,
“…That part won’t happen til the very end of the mission, so I don’t suppose you guys have some gears I could use for a super-secret mission?” he said, the was silence for a moment until,
“Well, we do have some of our old prototypes we haven’t fully tested yet,” Noles said, before he went down under the table, and pulled out a small box full of old gadgets and prototypes that hasn’t been used in a while.
Harold pulled out a tan-brown belt device with some small buttons on this,
“What this do?” he asked,
“That belt was modify to form a hologramic camouflage, thus disguising as someone else,” Noles explained,
“That is… actually awesome,” Harold said as he decided to try it on, having it around his hip,
“Yes, however... there are some flaws on each of them you should be careful of,” Volxar said as Harold pressed one of the buttons, and the belt expand and wrapped around his waist, then…
“What the-!” Harold gasped as he felt the belt squeezing his waist (almost like a corset) and then, the hologram was activated as it disguises Harold as Green Lantern Kilowog.
“Such as the belt can only activate at a certain waist size, which nearly makes it difficult to breathe normally,” Volxar explained, before he pressed the other button to deactivate the hologram and loosed the belt for Harold to breathe again,
“That nearly squeezed the life out of me!” he said as he immediately took it off. Then Harold noticed an interesting looking pendant in a form of a lightning bolt,
“What’s that?” he asked as he picked it up,
“This device actually creates a form of invisibility and stealth,” Noles answered,
“Invisibility you say,” Harold is intrigued, and put it on him,
“However, it can only remain active just so long as both your body temperature and heart rate remain a minimum, otherwise, it would override and shut down immediately,” Volxar explained.
“That is good know. Is there any device that could help me translate some descriptions, or maybe a tracking down different sources?” Harold asked, then Noles pulled out a mobile-like device,
“We do have a transmission detecting device to detect and identify other devices,” he said as he handed it to Harold,
“Though it has to be no more than 10 feet from the distant, otherwise, it could cause an interference to other devices at a close range,” Volxar explained. Then Harold noticed Larreef is sitting alone at the far end of the table, holding a small device and screw a tiny part of it,
“What’s he working on?” Harold asked,
“His own project, he always prefer to create his own devices without our help, so we don’t bother him really,” Noles said,
“Well, besides him, do you guys by any chance have any info about, say… androids?” Harold asked,
“Not that much, sorry,” Noles said,
“But you could ask Larreef, he has studied the aspects and history of Artificial Intelligence,” Volxar recommend,
“Aw man,” Harold whispered hoping to avoid Larreef, but, unfortunately, he has no other option.
So… he began to approach Larreef as he continues working on his project,
“Don’t come any closer than that,” Harold stopped when Larreef spoke out but didn’t even bother to look at him,
“The last thing I need is anymore of your accidental incident,” Larreef said while focusing on his device, though that did insulted Harold, he kept his cool,
“I actually wanted to ask you some questions on… a project I’m working on,” he said, Larreef scoffed,
“You, working on a project, that’s almost a laugh considering your lack of intellects, which by the way, has not been improving lately,” Larreef insulted him again, but remain calm, but then thought of an idea which does work in some cases.
“Surely as the leader of this course, you must have some advice to help your fellow member in time of need,” Harold said, as he noticed Larreef stopped where he’s at, before he continues,
“Plus, I was told you know so much about artificial intelligence and machinery, which is why I want to ask to see if it’s true,” Larreef set his tool down.
“Unless, there is someone else who may know about it more than you do, which is no shame in that really,” Harold said and nearly snickered, which slowly begins to get on his nerve Larreef, and Harold pretend to leave,
“Perhaps maybe… Rayza may know, since I did heard she is quite the expert in type like thi-” he said until,
“If I answer your questions, will you speak no more about that Red Lantern girl, and leave me in peace?” Larreef spoke out, not wanting to hear anymore of it, especially involving Rayza. Harold smirked as his plan worked,
“You have my word as a Green Lantern,” he answered him, Larreef sighed calming himself down,
“Very well then,” Larreef removed his goggles and placed his project aside, then turned his full attention to Harold,
“Ask away,” he said, preparing to answer Harold’s questions.
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