I think I'm ready for this. It took a while to figure out how to project my own armor everyone could see, but at least then everyone would not have to worry about trying to explain that I'm not what I seemed to be. My armor was a dull gray, practically stone grey, except that no matter how hard I tried, it's always super reflective. Stupid ring made me into a walking mirror. Hal joked about using me to style his hair after fights. Not that I joined them on those. Two pirate attacks and a hunter-killer drone attack and they still don't want me to fight. They thought I was still too untrained to fight. I might only have a little experience but I had already proven myself. I finished all of Kilowogg's pre-programmed lessons and I didn't cheat. Maybe I skipped a few, but I still watched them so it's not cheating. Aya had been more than forthcoming with anything she could tell me about anything, including Earth customs and all she could about the galaxy in general. Who would have thought that a Lantern would need an AI to teach him how to do his job? But then again, I don't think I'm the average Lantern either.
Kilowogg was a patient teacher. If patient meant screaming himself hoarse every day trying to make me feel bad. I didn't blame him, considering I was just learning how to use the green energy and I kept being unhittable. The second one was probably more annoying for him than me. Getting Razer to help me train with red energy, now that had been a trick. After I figured out how the red energy worked, Razer and I would leave the ship to train with it so we wouldn't hurt the ship… or rather Aya…. Or… never mind, I'm confusing myself. Anyways, we figured out that I could switch between the two colors with ease, allowing me to bypass defenses specific to each color; so long as they were all there to watch. Proximity was apparently the key to color choice and my other abilities.
After a final inspections from Kilowogg, he declared me active for duty. Took him long enough. Just in time for a mission too. A GL was apparently on this planet called Betrassus, and we were planning to convince him to help us. Well, Hal and Kilowogg were planning on convincing them. Trust issues much? Jerks.
"Oh no, you three are staying here. That includes you Aya. You guys are going to stay here and try not to draw attention." Hal ordered before leaving. Jerk, leaving me with the poozer. No clue what poozer means, but I know it fits Razer. Thank you Kilowogg for teaching me that. Waiting was so boring. I tried chess with Aya and was proficiently stomped; really should have seen that coming. I tried talking with Razer about his past, to which he immediately threatened to feed me my teeth; definitely should have seen that coming. And all the while Hal and Kilowogg were out there having fun, being the Green Lantern heroes. Jerks.
After a while, I decided to experiment with my ring's abilities in the multipurpose room, away from Broody McGrouchypants. Juvenile, I know, but I don't remember ever being told to stop being a child. In truth, Razer might have even been a bit older than me, and he's probably about 20ish. They also never said anything about respecting my elders either, so that's fair game. Anyways, back to what I did. Since there were no Green Lanterns close enough, I shouldn't have been able to access the green energy they used. When I tried, I was surprised to not only see it worked, but it automatically turned my suit into a Green Lantern uniform! Score one for me! I next tried it with the red energy from Razer and it worked just as well, evil armor and all. Elated, I went in to show Razer, because Aya had been watching using that eye-ball mounted thing she did when she wasn't in her humanoid form made it kind of redundant to tell her. Razer seemed more annoyed than ever when I showed him I could now switch between colors at will. Okay, maybe annoyed was a strong word. Apathetic was a closer approximation. Eventually I calmed down enough to really start thinking about things I should ask that might get an answer.
"Hey, Razer…" I asked, only for him to shoot me with that glare of disapproval. Poozer still doesn't like me. Good to know the feeling's mutual.
"What is it now?" He snapped back, his nerves thin from my constant pestering. Can't blame him for once. I know, shocker. He's still a poozer though.
"What's it like to know that someday, you don't have to be a Lantern?" I sincerely inquired, the danger of removing my ring still painfully fresh in mind. I think this was the first time I saw Razer seem shocked. I saw some other emotions flash across his face. I think I even saw sympathy mixed in there, but that could have just been my optimism acting up. Luckily, he was spared answering by the explosions outside, making me jump.
Actually, jump is an understatement. I'm pretty sure my head hit the ceiling. Quite hard, considering the dent I ended up staring at. Typical Razer didn't even look to see if I was okay, instead turning to locate the source of the explosions. Serious poozer. Then he started laughing at me, and I was certain I got a concussion from the way my head was ringing. But when Aya came in, and asked Razer what had given him so much cheer, he could only point to me and then out the windshield and continue laughing. Like full-body, knee-slapping, can't control it laughter. Mega poozer. When the room stopped spinning enough for me to sit up in my chair, I looked outside as more explosions filled the night sky with color. Fireworks, I remembered, normally used to mark a grand celebration. The realization I had panicked at the sound of mere fireworks brought a little extra blood to my face. Luckily, the others didn't notice as they were too busy watching the light show. Aya's face was full of that cheerful curiosity she seemed to have perfected. Razer's eyes were intense and his face as inscrutable as a fresh slab of granite. For a second, I thought I saw flickers of emotion, only to miss them before I could read them. With that embarrassing moment over, I decided I might as well enjoy the fireworks.
I watched for a little while until my vision flashed purple-pinkish for a second. I turned away from the fireworks to see the last thing I expected. Razer and Aya holding hands, making puppy-dog eyes at each other. I blinked, trying to drive the illusion (please let this be a hallucination!) from my eyes. Another purple flash and the scene was gone, replaced by what I expected to see, Razer slouching to hide his enjoyment while Aya stared with rapt attention. Maybe he isn't as bad as he seems. What am I thinking, this has to be a serious concussion for sure now. I told them I was going back to the med-bay to make sure I didn't have a concussion (Which I'm certain I do have, mind you), but they seemed too preoccupied with the fireworks to respond.
A quick scan confirmed it, I busted my own brain. Bravo to me. The thing suggested I wait and let my ring's natural healing enhancement to care of it. Suggested I just sleep it off considering it would be fully healed in about 6 hours. Better than sitting and doing nothing I guess.
(So this is probably a good time to point out that I don't sleep. Not like I'm an insomniac or anything, my ring keeps me from needing to sleep. At least that's Aya's and mine theory. And until we had a definite answer, I convinced Aya not to tell anyone. They already think I'm weird enough, don't need to keep adding to the pile of "Reasons why he ain't Human" list, you know?)
Any who, I went to sleep and had some dreams. I kept seeing things writing the weird symbol on my ring on things. I saw hands, flippers, claws, blades, talons, fingers, tentacles, even a few robotic digits do it. Then I watched my own hand start to write the symbol, but then go limp. I sat up, panic and fear still gripping me. Aya was standing there, seemingly waiting to talk to me.
"How was your first sleep cycle since joining this crew? I did not think you required sleep." She said, her usual calm observations bringing me some normalcy. Hey, no one else had noticed. Probably because they weren't there.
"Terrible. And I don't actually need to sleep. You know, like when Hal naps when he should be piloting. I just wanted to. I miss anything?" I replied, and Aya quick filled me in on what I had missed. Hal and Kilowogg had found the Green Lantern and something about a Queen and a tournament. Sure, leave it to Hal to find something like this. Apparently he and Kilowogg had already left and Razer and she were just waiting. Jerks. Keep leaving me with them. At least we had the ship all ready to leave once they grabbed the guy and brought him back. So Aya decided to disassemble and I decided to go bother Razer. Once again, childish I know but shut up I don't care there's nothing else to do! So I walked in to find Razer arguing with Hal.
"Why aren't you back here with the Lantern we tracked?" Razer asked the red hologram of Hal. Apparently even he got bored.
"He's gone missing." Hal stated, clearly perturbed. I decided now would be a good time to jump into the conversation.
"How about we go find him? Anything to get off this ship for a while." I yelled, while standing right behind Razer. Two birds, one stone as Razer started and Hal noticed I was there.
"What he means is I can easily find him." Razer said, shooting glares to both Hal and me. I swear I've seen him make six facial expressions since I joined up. And that's assuming three of them aren't just varying degrees of a fourth one.
"No, are you kidding me? You can't just go around in that Red Lantern get-up. We got enough on our hands without you starting a panic." Hal explained, clearly trying to act like the leader. Okay, maybe he is technically the leader but still.
"My talents are wasted waiting here."
"Stay with Aya. Have her run a scan for Dewlokk's power ring." And then Hal hung up. Okay, even for Hal that was a little jerkish to blow off Red Poozer like that. So naturally, I immediately started concocting a few schemes and looking for loopholes in his orders. Learned how to do that one from the best.
"Sensors have picked up a weak energy trail. It is possible that it is Green Lantern Dewlokk's power ring. The energy trail is too distant to make that determination with total confidence." Aya interrupted as we walked into the multipurpose room. For the first time I've ever seen, Razer smiled. At least as close to a smile he could approximate without shattering that piece of granite he called his face.
"So you're saying we need to be closer?" Razer said, just as it clicked in my mind. Oh, clever Razer, very clever. Aya apparently missed that train of thought. Is it a train if we're talking about an AI? Confusing myself again, skip it.
"It would aid me. However, our orders are to stay on the ship." Aya replied. For as smart and sophisticated as she was, she sure didn't understand that sometimes orders need to be…. Re-interpreted.
"I was ordered to help you trace the power ring. Which is exactly what we'll be doing if you put yourself together and go with us." Razer explained. Apparently he knows how to make Aya understand.
"I will need 2.1 seconds to assemble." Aya stated as her pieces formed her humanoid form. Razer was nearly out the door and I was sure as hell not going to be stuck on this ship alone.
"Are my components properly aligned?" Aya asked, to which I had to resist the urge to flirt. Hal's rubbing off on me. Got to a get a hold on myself there. Razer turned to her, giving her a quick once-over.
"You look fine."
"You also look fine." Did Aya just flirt? I'm chalking this crazy line of thought up to lingering concussion problems. I hope.
They practically left without me. Jerks. Why am I part of this crew again? Anyways we made our way to the energy trail and my new ability really helped. Especially when I used it to make Razer look like a Green Lantern. Wish I had a camera for the face he made when I did it. But hey, it saved him from being mobbed by the general populace so I think he's over it. Two to one that Hal is hitting on the queen or screwing around in general. Okay, the odds are more like one to one but I still find myself giving Hal something of a chance of not being… well, not being his usual self. But that doesn't really matter considering what Aya, Razer and I were up to.
We ended up following the trail into some kind of catacombs. When we spotted guards coming, Razer took Aya and hid with her in a dark alcove while I jumped and suspended myself on the ceiling. When the guards passed by, Razer and Aya came out of the dark and I dropped down.
"For future reference, when in my physical form, I prefer not to be pushed into the dirt." Aya coolly noted. I laughed, it was just too priceless. Aya telling Razer what to do had to be my favorite moment since I had met all of them, including when Kilowogg threw Hal right into Razer as he was coming out of his room. Ah, classic physical comedy. After that little moment of levity, we continued deeper into the catacombs.
Something felt off as we went deeper. After a few minutes, Aya broke the silence.
"My sensors indicate the energy signal is getting stronger. But it seems our search is over." Aya said as we hit a dead end. The weird feeling I had just kicked itself into overdrive as Razer stepped up to the wall. Something was there, but I didn't know what.
"Not quite." Razer replied, immediately slashing at the wall with his ring. The only thing of note in the room was the crypt. Oh great, just our luck. Razer slid open the crypt, fearless of anything waiting for him.
"Dewlokk." Razer stated, confirming my fears. Aya activated her scanners, searching for a cause of death.
"There don't seem to be any indications of a struggle."
"So he didn't go down fighting. Odd. His ring is gone. Has it gone back to Oa?"
"The Interceptor's sensors would have noted that. The signal is still near here."
"It's time we notify the others."
"Why bother? So Hal can keep hogging all the glory when we do all the hard work? The jackass is probably halfway to being the queen's consort right now." I muttered, full of unusual jealousy. Sarcasm is definitely more me than jealousy. I shook my head, trying to figure out where it had come from.
"Are you okay? That doesn't exactly fit your usual annoying sarcasm." Razer said, not out of concern of course. Just curiosity. Though he seemed to recognize I was out of sorts. Weird.
"I don't detect any anomalies in your systems. Perhaps your head injury is not sufficiently recovered." Aya guessed. I tried to figure why I had said that. Could I really still be hurt? Maybe the stupid med-scanner was wrong.
"Anyways, I'm going to tell Hal Jordan that we found Dewlokk." Razer said, backtracking so he could get a signal to Hal. Great, now I'm not only useless to them, but crazy. This sucks. This really sucks. With nothing better to do, we went to meet up with Hal and Kilowogg to tell them what had happened.
"Great job obeying orders, do I need to write them down from now on?" Hal asked when we caught up to him in the coliseum-stadium thing. Guess initiative isn't allowed unless it happens to be Hal's initiative. Jerk.
"A warrior acts." Razer fired back. Can't believe I'm saying it but I agree.
"A warrior listens to his superiors." Kilowogg responded.
"Then glad I'm only a passenger then." I joked. No one like that one. Tough crowd.
"Enough. I'll give them the insubordination lecture later. What have you found?" Hal interrupted. Wow, Hal got serious. Mark the calendar, declare it a universal day of remembrance!
"We found his body in the catacombs. We're still trying to locate his power ring." Razer answered.
"If it hasn't chosen a new bearer already." Kilowogg said. Jerks, every single one of them excluding Aya. What? She hasn't been mean to me yet.
"My sensors indicate the ring is somewhere within the castle walls." Aya said, doing her thing.
"My gut instinct says the killer is too." Hal followed up with. Leave Hal to trust the thing he stuffed every day.
"Then we must find this murderer, and bring him to justice. It is what Green Lanterns do." Aya replied.
"We will. But we'll have to do it carefully. We'll need proof." Hal ordered.
"Go back to the ship. We'll call if we need back-up, but we might need a quick exit. Kilowogg and I have a trap to set." So Hal can plan ahead. Something I prefer seeing than his usual fly by the seat of the pants. Well, back to the boring-ass sidelines.
Needless to say, Hal saved the day and found who the ring had chosen. It's a shame she couldn't come along with us. Ruling a planet does seem like a good excuse though.