Alright guys, here the next chapter for you, sorry this took so long, and I hope you enjoy. This chapter went through a lot of changes, and I had to do a lot of research for it, so it dragged out. Something to point out before we begin, I am not a DC purest, nor am I a lore expert, in order to make things work, I'll need to pick and choose from the various fictional universes I partake in, in order to keep things relatively orderly, so I apologize to those of you who are purists, or have an abundance of knowledge on the lore, if this comes out poorly, I like how it went and I hope you do too.
Seconds, something important to bring up. I've been asked by some of my readers if I've ever considered getting a Beta reader, and the answer is yes. I even had one during some of my earliest writing, but it's kinda difficult to schedule around.
I recognize that I need one, as I don't often have the time or patience to go through a read my newest chapters and check for grammatical errors and story inconsistencies when I've just finished typing 15,000 words. So, I was advised to ask here, if anyone would like the chance to become my Beta reader. I offer no pay, and my timing is inconsistent, but you'd have my deep appreciation, and may even be able to help with story ideas. No one needs to feel obligated to help, and I'm gonna continue this story, with or without anyone offering, so feel free to pm me if interested. Otherwise, let's get this party started.
Broken Angel: Rising Demon
Chapter 38: Long Awaited Reunion
The Members of the Sinestro Corp stared down at Riley, many of them priming for a battle.
Their leader, Thaal Sinestro was doing what he could to try and analyze her. Already his yellow power ring, was feeding him information. It couldn't tell what Riley was, but he already knew she was from Earth, and that the power she was releasing was most likely pure magic, and it was enough pure magic that she could obliterate the entire planet they were on. The fact that she was releasing that much power so casually, with no visible strain or need for build-up hinted to him that she had a lot more power to spare.
Whoever this woman was, she was at least, a planet killing entity, and she now had a Yellow Power Ring. Despite having not used it yet, he could clearly see it blazing with yellow light on her hand. Her power over fear had to be vast indeed for the ring to already be reacting like this.
His ring also alerted him to an unknown energy passing out and across the room, filling every nook and cranny, every shadow. Again, the ring couldn't make heads or tails of the energy it was detecting, which hinted to him that it was most likely some kind of magic. The Yellow Power Rings could detect the presence of magic, but due to the living nature of the energy it was harder to understand than more physical energies, and the more ancient, eldritch, or alien the magic became, the harder it was for the ring to make sense of it.
A winged earthling, with blood red eyes, and enough magic to slap this entire planet out of existence. This was most certainly an interesting recruit. They'd need to be very careful with this one, lest she damage the Main Power Battery, here on Qward.
Watching her kill one of his Corpsmen with such ease, caused his muscles to tighten, and his blood to begin pumping. He knew that he had to get control of this situation immediately.
"Who the hell are you people, and where the fuck am I?" She asked, her gaze passing over them with monstrous intent.
"We, are the Sinestro Corp, welcome to Qward." Sinestro answered, with a smirk.
"This place…" The Darkness thought to itself.
"The Sinestro Corp? Never heard of you." She responded, her eyes falling on him.
Meeting her gaze, Sinestro found it so easy to understand her. It was all there, in her eyes. Like a pure, unsullied window into her very soul. Within those monstrously powerful eyes, he saw hate, and annoyance, and exhilaration, he saw concern, and fear, and rage, all boiling within like a tempest of pure emotion. Those eyes did something to him, made him feel small in a way he never had before. There was something about them, something indescribable, something… supreme.
"Never heard of us?! Well you will!" Arkillo, the drill sergeant of the Sinestro Corp, shouted.
In a blitz of power, six Yellow Lanterns simultaneously launched their attacks.
A wave of energy blasts, fired at Riley, only for them to seemingly pass right through her.
Riley smirked devilishly, and in a burst of speed, she went on the offensive.
Drawing her sword, she shot towards the nearest Yellow Lantern. He tried to max out his defenses, but she was on him too quickly. Like a javelin she speared into him, driving her sword straight into his face.
It punched through his energy shield, and went through his skull.
Riley ripped her blade free, and turned to the next, drawing in the soul of her fresh kill as she did.
Her next target, a brutish figure who stood at nearly nine feet tall, let out a monstrous roar, and formed a blade of yellow energy from his ring. He then charged at her, intent on taking her head off with a powerful swing.
She blocked his incoming strike, and then the next, and the next.
Each blow was like a meteor strike, and Riley felt her smile growing with each attack as her excitement grew.
As she fought, Kurama took in the lives of the souls she devoured, combing through them for each and every useful tidbit of information, which he would then pass on to her.
Within moments, she began understanding how these power rings worked, and with a few more kills, she'd start to have a greater understanding of her enemies as well.
"This is such a strange place." Kurama thought to himself.
"Something is here… something… familiar…" The Darkness intoned, as it focused on spreading it's power across the area, connecting to the darkness around it, allowing it access to those founts of power.
The monstrous brute went to swing again, but this time, Riley stopped him by grabbing him with Banshō Ten'in, and throwing him into the ceiling of the massive chamber they were in.
Two more Yellow Lanterns took his place, and as they rushed forward, Riley sheathed her sword and drew her staff.
With a swing she unleashed a blast of fire at them, which they shielded themselves against.
While those two defended against the wall of fire, another three sent spikes made of yellow energy, to pepper her position. Riley activated Shinra Tensei to block the incoming attack, allowing it to hammer against a wall of repulsive force.
Riley then turned her gaze to the three, and activated Amaterasu, the three Yellow Lanterns were consumed by the black flames, which ate away at their protective shields within seconds, and quickly began consuming them as well.
Their screams of pain lasted only a few moments before they died. The ease at which the three Yellow Lanterns fell, caused many to take pause. That was now five Sinestro Corp members that she had killed.
Riley continued her assault, learning more about the group as time went on through the souls she absorbed. These Yellow Lanterns were a group of intergalactic 'peace-keepers' that used fear as their weapon of choice to ensure law and order reined supreme throughout the cosmos.
This planet was one of their major bases of operation, where they forged new Yellow Power Rings. It was located in the Antimatter Universe, which was an alternate universe where good was evil and evil was good. In essence, evil beings and evil actions were worshiped here, and held to a high regard, while acts of kindness, charity, goodwill, or heroism were seen as vile and twisted. The people here simply thought differently, and so they worshiped cruelty and violence. Hell the planet they were on, even held annual cruelty contests, as a sort of celebration.
Magic also didn't exist in this universe which tipped off Riley to it's unnatural creation. Magic created all things in existence, so for magic to not exist in this universe, meant that this universe was a reality created by something intelligent, and for a specific reason. Something had to make it so that magic did not naturally occur in this universe. Because magic didn't exist here naturally, magical beings that needed to use outside magic to power their abilities were effectively powerless here. For example, Sage's couldn't activate Sage Mode in this universe because there was no nature energy to draw in. Any spells that required ambient magic in the air in order to use, simply didn't work. That meant that any of Riley's spells that required the use of external magic, wouldn't work either.
Now while magic didn't normally exist here, that's not to say that it couldn't exist. The magic that Riley was pumping out, obviously worked, because it was being generated by her, and the magic of the Darkness, could still reach out and affect the shadows of this world, so there was nothing preventing magic from being in this universe, it's just that it didn't occur here naturally.
Because this was a universe that worshiped evil, and reviled good, her powers were heightened. As a demon, this universe was a vast buffet line, to consume and destroy. Without magic, there were very few methods or means to kill demonic entities. Now on the flip side, because magic didn't exist here, it meant that this universe was probably much more difficult for evil entities to invade, as they often required summoners to call them over from the Dark Realms, and without magic, summoning demons was extremely difficult. If a devil found their way to this universe, and had the power to overcome the entities that lived here, they'd find a vast expanse that would readily worship them, without the need to break them or corrupt them. These people already worshiped evil, so enslaving them was probably the equivalent of granting them freedom.
These Yellow Lanterns, members of the Sinestro Corp, ruled over this planet, as well as many others in the Antimatter universe, but they also tried to extend their influence into the normal universe, their main rivals being the Green Lanterns, whom were also an intergalactic peacekeeping force, though one more aligned with guardians and protectors, than enforcers.
The Sinestro Corp intended to bring order through control, domination, and fear, and they used their Yellow Power Rings to do it.
These Yellow Power Rings, as well as pretty much every type of Power Ring, including the Green Ones, responded to some sort of emotion, with Yellow representing fear, Green willpower, Red rage, and so on, and so on. Apparently there was quite a few of these various Lantern corps, each with their own agenda, and each adhering to a specific color on the emotional spectrum.
These rings they wielded, were said to be some of the strongest weapons to have ever been created due to two main facets, the first being the amount of raw power that could pass through them, and the second being that they could create energy constructs in every shape and form, essentially only being limited by the users creativity and focus.
The energy of these rings could affect energy of almost every type, they even had some properties that were similar to magic, allowing them to interact with it, and allowing those who wielded power rings, to harm pure magical entities like demons, gods, angels, and so on. So if Riley wasn't careful, she could actually be seriously hurt in this battle, possibly even have her body destroyed, though she was unsure if any of these warriors possessed the strength to destroy her soul. Still, she wouldn't take any chances, this being their home world, and the fact that she was surrounded by almost a hundred of them.
The ring that Riley now wore, had chosen her, due to the fear she could cause. Which is how each of the Yellow Lanterns was chosen. Each one was in some way, a master of fear. Their own, others, or a combination of both, these individuals caused fear throughout the stars, and they fed on the fear they caused.
The Yellow Power Rings would draw upon the fear generated by a given individual, meaning the more people were afraid of them, the stronger the powers of the ring became. With the ring, a user was granted a multitude of powers, such as the ability to project energy constructs shaped by their will, or even blasts of raw or focused energy. The Rings allowed them to shield themselves, both with a passive defensive barrier, and creating stronger shields. The rings acted as universal translators, meaning a wearer could understand almost any language out there, and in turn be understood by almost any alien they encountered.
The rings also granted the user a myriad of other powers, such as flight, powerful scanning abilities to help them identify things, it granted them a limited boost to cellular regeneration, it allowed the user to safely navigate wormholes and spatial warps without being shredded apart, the ring could also bend light, allowing the user to become invisible, and even perform a limited phasing ability that could allow them to pass through solid material. This power wasn't a pure form of Intangibility but it did allow them some ability to phase through matter.
All in all, these power rings were mighty weapons, and Riley was very excited to get the chance to learn how to use it, and incorporate it into her fighting style. She'd wait to use the Ring until later, knowing full well that those in this room were far better at wielding the ring's power than she was. She had no reason to try and beat them at their own game, when hers worked just fine.
As she cut down another Yellow Lantern and drew in his soul, she came to another realization. Almost every single member of the Sinestro Corp, and in fact, almost every member of every Lantern Corp, was just a normal person, without their power ring. Well, normal beings from a magical point of view. Sure some had inborn gifts, and unique powers due to their species, but in truth, most were just extraordinary, normal people. For example, members of the Sinestro Corp were chosen for their ability to instill great fear in others, some were planetary conquerors, some were tyrants, some were warlords, but many of them, were just psychopathic killers. Sadists, and masochists, who had the ability to terrify normal people, but beyond that, there wasn't anything 'great' about them. Now, not every alien was equal, some had natural physical abilities that far exceeded what humans could hope to accomplish, and some had inborn powers, or inherent magical gifts, but they were the exception, not the norm.
Most of these guys, were just normal people, who happened to be able to cause incredible fear in others.
Because of that, a lot of them, were one trick ponies. All they had was the power ring, and their own imagination. And while the powers of the ring, granted them a wide array of offensive means, it all stemmed from the same source. The energy of their power rings couldn't strike Riley while she was Intangible, because they couldn't strike her while she was in another dimension. Unless they found a way to enter Kamui and attack her there, they couldn't strike her.
Now, to their credit, they could actually do that. Riley had proven that it was possible to invade the Kamui dimension when she had done so to Ramira, so if these guys knew how she was performing her Intangibility, they could use their rings to try and locate her pocket dimension then all they needed to do was find a way to access it, using some sort of power to manipulate space-time.
Another Yellow Lantern fell, as Riley tore his head from his body.
With each Sinestro Corpsmen she killed and absorbed, she learned more about the weaknesses of the rings, and how to counter them. Kurama would pick out memories from those she killed of them witnessing their own comrades being killed, and Riley used that information to come up with plans of attack to overwhelm and destroy them, one by one.
This was definitely not what they were expecting for today. The Yellow Power Rings, sought out individuals like Riley, to bring back here for training, and 'reprogramming'. In essence, had Riley not fought back, these people would have captured her, forced her to join them by accepting their ideology, and then forced her through a grueling training regimen to master the powers of the ring.
She had killed the first one, simply due to his intentions to attack her, and capture her for the corp, she continued killing them, simply because they had chosen to continue the violence. Had they chosen to talk, she would have allowed them to, as she had no gripes against this group outside of kidnapping her, which she now knew, hadn't been intentional. These yellow rings sought out beings that fit their criteria automatically. While they could be sent to specific beings, most of the time, there wasn't an actual recruiter running around watching people to find those that could cause great fear, these rings just shot through space until they came across an aura of great fear, and then traced it to it's source. They then brought that source here, to be hazed, bullied, and tortured into joining the Sinestro Corp.
She was having fun though, the natural defenses provided by the ring was great, meaning she had to hit with a helluva lot more force than she normally did, in order to break through, and she wasn't able to just slice and dice her way through them, as they could manifest actual barriers to work alongside their natural shields to keep them safe, which made them much harder to kill.
Also only about half of them were even humanoid, so Riley had no idea where vital points were, or what natural abilities a specific species had that could allow them to survive her attacks.
So she mostly just went with overkill. Ripping and tearing through them, leaving no chances for them to recover.
It helped her greatly that one of the powers of their rings was the ability to amplify the strength of their attacks, based on their targets fear. Essentially, the more a target feared you, the more powerful your attacks became. Well Riley wasn't afraid of them, at least not this rabble. She kept her concern focused on the more skilled and powerful members of the group, whom she identified from the memories of those she killed. They were the ones who'd put up the most fight.
Chidori roared as she shot forward far faster than her target could follow and drove her hand through his chest, causing it to explode out the other side with a furious cry that pierced the air.
Riley's grin had been plastered on her face for several long minutes now as she fought. Anyone could tell, just by looking at her, that she was having a great time.
This wasn't her world, and she cared nothing for the people here. So, outside of wanting a decent fight, she had no reason at all to hold back. In a moment, she could decide to end it, by unleashing more powerful attacks that could shatter this planet's crust, or even destroy it outright.
From the memories of the Yellow Lanterns, she also learned of the greatest weakness of their power rings, the fact that they needed to be recharged every twenty-four hours. Each corpsmen had access to a power battery that would charge their ring in a few moments, and each battery was linked to the Central Power Battery that was located here on Qward. If Riley destroyed the Main Battery, then these people would be absolutely fucked. They'd only be able to fight on until their rings ran out of juice and then they'd have no way to recharge them unless they either found a battery from some sort of machine called a Manhunter, or they rebuilt the Main Battery which would take time.
As a precaution, Riley used her Byakugan to locate the Main Battery, which was located deep in this complex, surrounded by defenses, and protections. She kept its location in mind, just in case.
She also began planning how to benefit from this encounter. The power ring was nice, but she needed to know how to manipulate it, and change it. She needed to capture, or kill and devour, one of its creators. Thankfully, this was the world where the rings had been made, and their creators, the Weaponers of Qward, lived here as well.
She'd need to gather a few of them to her side, though, interestingly, kidnapping and enslaving them, wouldn't actually earn their ire. Due to the nature of this universe, and it's beliefs, such acts would be considered par for the course, and while they'd try to rebel if given the chance, it would only be because being a traitorous asshole, was also something that wasn't condemned in this universe.
"I will burn you away you wretch!" A Yellow Lantern bellowed at her, as he released a blast of raw yellow energy that washed over her entire body.
Riley activated her Intangibility and waited for the attack to finish while she decided to try out a new form of attack.
Knowing full well, that most of these people, were just regular people without the rings, Riley wanted to see how easy it would be for her to remove them. She knew already that there was nothing keeping the rings on the fingers of her opponents. In essence, if Riley walked up to them, and pierced their protective shield, she could actually just pull the ring off of their body, and they'd lose access to all of its powers. Now each ring was tied to a specific user, and so long as that user lived, the ring could be called back to them, so they could regain their ring, even if she took it, and most rings had defensive measures in place that kept them from being used by another, while their owner was still alive. But, if Riley removed the ring, and used that moment of vulnerability to her advantage, she could easily cut down her foes before they could summon their rings back.
As the yellow stream of energy that bathed her, faded. She focused her attention on the power ring of her attacker. She could see despair beginning to form on his face as he witnessed her emerge from the powerful blast of energy unharmed.
With a smirk, she activated Amenotejikara, and switched places with his power ring.
His power ring appeared where she was standing, and she appeared with her hand wrapped around his fist. In a lightning fast move, Riley knocked his head off with a punch.
As the body of her target fell, she glanced back at his power ring, which now fell to the ground where she had just been moments before.
A chuckle built in her throat as she raised her gaze towards a cluster of about a dozen more Sinestro Corpsmen.
"Seems I found the perfect workaround." She noted aloud, and then once more activated Amenotejikara.
It occurred in less then two seconds. Thaal Sinestro watched as a dozen of his men were cut down in the blind of an eye.
One by one, she teleported to them, and their powers deactivated.
He couldn't quite believe what he was seeing. Somehow, she was deactivating their rings. Each man that died, fell to the ground lifeless, their ring no longer on their person.
For a moment, the leader of the Sinestro Corp didn't comprehend what he was seeing. But after the sixth kill, it finally clicked. Each time she vanished, one of the Yellow Power Rings, appeared in her place, and the person she appeared at, was left without it, and thus, had no defenses against her incredible power.
It happened so fast, but he knew he was on to something. She was somehow switching places with the power rings, each time she teleported, she was holding the hand, or in some cases, appendage, where the ring was worn. He also took note that each time she teleported, she first turned her gaze towards the target. It quickly dawned on him that this power must be tied to her line of sight. She had to be able to see what she was teleporting to in order to get there.
Quickly, he used the communication abilities of his ring, to inform the others of what he'd learned, and told them all to hide their rings to avoid her switching places with it.
By the time Riley had wiped out the squad she was attacking, most of the remaining members had heard their leader's words and were using the rings ability to manipulate light, to make the ring invisible.
Riley took notice of this, how the rings seemingly became invisible, though she could still see where they were, thanks to the Rinne-Sharingan's ability to see magic, and since the powers of the rings were tinged with a very similar power to magic, she could still see them, even if they were now invisible.
"Clever. You're using my fight against these foot soldiers, to learn my weaknesses. How's about I show you the folly of your assumptions." Riley thought to herself as she raised her gaze to the leadership of the Sinestro Corp.
Thaal Sinestro floated there, surrounded by several dozen other Yellow Lanterns, many of which, belonged to the leadership of the corp. While all their rings were invisible to the naked eye, Riley took note of how Sinestro, folded his arms behind his back, taking an added precaution, of completely removing his ring from eyesight by blocking it with his body.
While he seemed confident that this idea would work, he also wasn't taking any chances of being the next to be torn to pieces.
A rush of energy came at her from behind, and she quickly shot out of the way of it and turned to face her attackers. One of Sinestro's chief lieutenants, and the trainer for the Sinestro Corp, was there with about two dozen more Yellow Lanterns, ready to continue the fight.
Three of the Yellow Lanterns shot forward, unleashing blasts of energy at her, which Riley dodged by once more activating Amenotejikara. To the surprise of those watching her from above, Riley teleported to the ring of one of her attackers and twisted his head off.
Sinestro continued to observe as Riley took down the remaining two who rushed at her.
"She can still see the rings. Her eyes see more than just visible light." Sinestro noted aloud to his fellows.
"Even hiding our rings out of sight, wont be enough to stop her. We can't land a hit on her, and she was killing us easily enough before she started using this move." One of his men pointed out.
"True, I think it's time we try a different tactic. This foe is obviously far more powerful than we were prepared to face. She's not a mortal being, that is for certain. I think, in fact, she may even be a god." Sinestro stated with a hard and focused look.
"A god? The rings are programmed to avoid such beings. How did she come upon the ring, if that's true?" Lyssa Drak, one of his chief lieutenants questioned.
"I do not know. My ring cannot define what she is, something is interfering with it. Perhaps whatever that is, is what allowed the ring to choose her. Regardless, this situation is spiraling downward, and she has shown no signs of weakening. The dreadful power that is creeping out from her is spreading. It's already consumed most of the structure, and is beginning to spread across the planet. I do not know what will happen, should it be allowed to spread further." Sinestro responded.
His lieutenant offered a nod, and Sinestro floated forward, just as Riley began to engage Arkillo.
"Arkillo! That is enough. Stand down." Sinestro ordered, causing the towering beast to halt it's advance, and turn his gaze to Sinestro.
Riley stared down the beast for several long seconds before also turning her gaze to the groups leader.
Her monstrous, demonic grin never vanished. Around the chamber, nearly two dozen Yellow Lanterns were now dead. Considering the organization numbered at around four thousand, two dozen members lost in such a short time was a heavy blow.
"Your powers are indeed vast, vast enough to contend with the Sinestro Corp. Tell me, who are you, strange one?" Sinestro asked of her, as he lowered down to float several feet before her, keeping his hands tucked behind his back to avoid her seeing his ring.
"Who are you, to ask for my name?" Riley answered back, her eyes blazing with bloodlust.
"I am Thaal Sinestro, leader of the Sinestro Corp, and you are?" He asked again.
"Riley, the names Riley. Riley Uchiwa. Thanks for the party favors, I haven't had such an enjoyable welcome reception before." Riley said back to him with a vicious smirk, her words earning several growls from the surrounding Yellow Lanterns, who now had time to take stock of their dead and wounded.
"Tell me, how did you come upon that ring?" Sinestro asked.
"It fell from the sky, and landed on my finger. Told me that I had the power to instill great fear, and dragged my happy ass across space to this place. Needless to say, I don't appreciate being kidnapped." Riley responded, eyeing the man intently.
"My sincerest of apologies. The rings are programmed to avoid interacting with beings such as yourself. This was not our intention." Sinestro offered to her, his tone formal and direct.
"Should probably look into programming them then. Now, since you brought me all the way out here, mind telling me what you want?" Riley responded. She already knew what they wanted from her, but she didn't want them to know about her ability to read the souls of her victims. It was best to play dumb for now.
"The reason you were brought here has already been made clear. You have been invited to join the Sinestro Corp. With your level of power, I'm sure you'll go far and achieve incredible heights." Sinestro said to her.
"The Sinestro Corp huh? You guys anything like those boys in green?" Riley inquired, earning a blink of surprise from Sinestro before he offered a cool smile.
"So you've run into members of the Green Lantern Corp? Let me guess, a man going by the name, Hal Jordan?" Sinestro inquired. When he spoke the name, many of his fellow Yellow Lanterns growled or sneered.
"Not a fan I'm guessing." Riley thought to herself, as memories involving Hal Jordan were pulled up from the stockpile of dead Yellow Lanterns that she'd absorbed. It seems Hal was a rival of Sinestro, and the two had come to blow on numerous occasions. Hal was one of the Green Lanterns in charge of protecting the sector of the universe where Earth resided. It seems that Earth was a bit of a focal point for fighting between the various Lanterns Corps though they kept their conflicts as a secret, for the most part, to avoid angering the powerful entities that lived on Earth, entities like the Tailed Beasts, or the Old Gods, that lived there.
Riley was definitely curious about these so-called Old Gods, and she'd have to look into it when she returned home.
"Um, Riley, we've got a bit of a problem." Kurama stated.
"What is it?" Riley thought back.
"So uh, I just found out that it takes three days to get to Earth from here, using the Yellow Rings. Meaning it took three days for us to get here…" Kurama made her aware, causing Riley to take pause.
"I've been gone for three days?" Riley questioned with a look of surprise.
"Yep." Kurama answered, sensing her rising rage.
"I was in the middle of fighting a war! These dumb-fucks dragged me away from my home, in the middle of a fucking war! I don't even know if the US accepted my peace offer. My mates are probably losing their minds! Three Days!" Riley thought to herself with growing anger.
Sinestro watched her for a moment, taking note of the way her face seemed to change, as if she was realizing something. An aura of rage began to bloom off of her, and it caused his eyes to widen in panic. Her rage was so potent it actually began to manifest around her, like a visible fog. A glow of red and black energy that began to wisp around her, as her eyes took on a hellish appearance.
"How long have I been gone?" Riley asked aloud as Sinestro began to float back from her.
"What?" He asked in response.
"You kidnapped me from my home, in the middle of me fighting a war! I'm asking, how long have I been gone?" Riley growled out, raising her gaze to the alien warlord.
Sinestro could clearly see her anger growing, and he knew she was about to attack again.
"I will remind you that it was not our intention to bring you here." Sinestro began, only for Riley to growl and launch up from the ground.
Sinestro raised his shields to the max, as Riley drove her fist into him. His barrier halted her strike, he felt the strain as it held back her incredible physical strength.
"I would advise against this. Your powers are vast, and you've proved capable of killing us, but our numbers are beyond measure. Within the hour, hundreds of thousands will have received our call for aid. Even with all your might, you cannot hope to defeat so many of us. Cease with this aggression, and let us talk." Sinestro said to her, lying right to her face.
Riley grinned viciously at him, knowing that the Sinestro corp didn't even number at five thousand, let alone more than a hundred thousand. Sinestro was trying to intimidate her, trying to frighten her. If he wanted to play like that, than she'd play as well.
"Hundreds of thousands you say?" Riley questioned, allowing surprise to appear on her face.
"Yes, and many more to come. We needn't continue this." Sinestro said to her with a cool, and focused gaze.
Riley hovered in the air before the man, appearing thoughtful before lifting her gaze to the ceiling. After a moment she suddenly rushed up, and phased through it, exiting to the outside world.
Riley took a moment to gaze around at the surrounding landscape. All around her were massive factory complexes. Rivers of molten metal and stone flowed in massive trenches, and almost every road in sight was designed to allow large transports to haul cargo. A wretched stench of pollution filled the air, and the sky was blackened by thick clouds of smog. All in all, this place looked like hell.
A few moments later, the Yellow Lanterns began to rise up around her, phasing through the roof of the cavern beneath her.
They were joined by dozens of others, newly arrived Yellow Lanterns, which brought the total that surrounded her, up to around a hundred a fifty.
She glanced around at them before focusing her gaze onto Sinestro. She offered him a cruel grin, and brought her hands together in a cross formation.
"Multi Shadow Clone Jutsu!" Riley called out, and suddenly a massive plume of smoke, filled the area above her. As it cleared, the surrounding members of the Sinestro Corp, felt their jaws drop.
Hovering above Riley was around four thousand Shadow Clones, close to the actual total for the Sinestro Corp.
"Hundreds of thousands will be arriving in less than an hour, I best get to work then." Riley stated with a hellish grin.
Dozens of clones rushed towards the members of the Sinestro Corp. Each clone targeted an individual member of the Corp, allowing for one on one fights.
As the area lit up with yellow light, Riley dispatched half of her clones, roughly two thousand of them, to kidnap several of the Weaponers of Qward, and also, to lay waste to the entire planet.
The remaining clones would keep watch for any new arrivals who came to aid the Sinestro Corp, whether it was their allies in the Thunderers of Qward, or more Yellow Lanterns, if any new arrivals showed up, they'd move to engage them. Otherwise they'd keep an eye on the battle between the rest of the clones, and the Yellow Lanterns, and if any Yellow Lantern managed to defeat their opponent, a new clone would swiftly move in to replace it.
While Riley was pissed beyond measure at being torn away from her friends and family for three days, she was also reveling in the fact that here, on this planet, in an entirely different universe from her own, she could do whatever she wanted with zero repercussions.
She didn't need to hold back for fear of damaging anything important, if the planet ended up breaking apart, who cares. Riley certainly didn't. So her clones chose not to hold back. Instead they attacked with whatever tickled their fancy at that exact moment.
Some unleashed massive fire based attacks, using Fire Ninjutsu, or Elemental Magic. Some unleashed terrifying lightning storms, that lit up the sky. Some even activated the Imperfect Full Body Susanoo, and charged across the cities and factories of Qward, destroying everything in sight.
Resistance was found, everywhere she went. Due to the harsh nature of this universe, there was few, if any, regular civilians. Here on Qward, the Qwardians were either weaponers, or they were thunderers. Either they made weapons, or they were part of the Qwardian army.
Qwardians themselves were human in appearance. Looking like humans, but with a slightly different physiology. They were a bit stronger, with better reflexes, and keener senses, but their biggest strength was their technology. The thunderers' primary weapon was a lightning-bolt shaped throwing projectile that could inflict different effects, based on the how it was primed. Some of these bolts could deliver intense burst of thermal radiation, turning their target to ash, others could be set to release an electrical charge to fry electronics. They possessed a number of unique functions, and were an interesting foe to fight against.
Their technology was their biggest strength, obviously, and they fought hard, but in the end, against an Archdemon, even if it was only clones of her, they only managed to slow her down in some places.
As the planet was besieged, the real Riley hovered in the sky, observing the fight against the Sinestro Corp, happening below and around her.
They were putting up one helluva fight, and had managed to destroy a few of Riley's clones, but for each clone they destroyed, they usually lost one or two of their own as well. Riley's clones could take a few hits before popping, and they weren't using Kamui, as they didn't really have any need to keep themselves alive. If they popped, they were simply replaced, so why waste the energy on Kamui when they can enjoy the thrill of the fight and potential defeat instead.
"I've found it… it's here…" The Darkness noted, almost gleefully.
"Found what?" Riley inquired, hearing its declaration.
"Hey, you should come check this out. Junior's been acting a little funky since we got here. He seems to be really interested in the giant yellow battery thing, beneath us." Kurama responded, earning curiosity from Riley.
She quickly activated her Byakugan and once more located the Main Power Battery. Once she found it, she quickly descended down to it. Drifting through solid material for several moments until she entered into the chamber that contained the massive battery.
Riley let out a whistle as she took in the raw power contained within this object. Despite not being made purely of magic, there was enough magic within the object to make it appear blinding to Riley. She wasn't sure how accurate she was, and none of the Yellow Lanterns she'd absorbed so far knew the exact answer, but if she had to guess how much energy this Battery contained and generated, it was probably many hundreds of times what the entire Earth produced in a year. After all, it was producing enough energy to power all of the Yellow Lantern Rings, so it had to be something crazy like that.
"So, what about this thing drew you to it?" Riley inquired to the Darkness, taking note that the room didn't fit with the Darkness's aesthetic. The battery gave off a bright like, keep most shadows at bay within the room.
"Locked within it, is something that I've been waiting for, since my birth."The Darkness responded.
"What do you mean?" Riley inquired.
"It's me. My true self." The Darkness answered.
"What do you mean 'your true self'?" Kurama questioned with confusion.
"Long ago, I felt myself come into being in the empty darkness that predated the creation of the Sol System. For the longest time, I had assumed that that was where I had been sent to by Elizabeth. Now I realize that I was wrong. Elizabeth had not sent me there, I had placed myself there." The Darkness explained to them.
"You placed yourself there? Like… you had gone there intentionally? Or…?" Riley asked, confusion filling her as she tried to make sense of what her child was saying.
"Contained within this object is my true self. What I am now, is just a piece. A piece I left behind, to wait for you, mother. For the longest time, I knew that I was waiting for something, but only when we met, did I realize it was you I was waiting for. Now I understand why. I had left a piece of myself there in that empty place, to await the creation of the Earth, and your eventual birth. The rest of me, is here. Locked within this cage." The Darkness clarified to them.
"Why didn't you ever tell me any of this?" Riley questioned, "Had I known there was more of you out in the universe I would have helped you try to find it."
"I did not remember myself. Not until I felt my power here. I can feel a sliver of its essence within the ring you wear, but most of me, is here, locked within this fount of power." The Darkness answered back.
Riley was quiet for a moment as she digested that. Her eyes dancing over the Power Battery as she took in her child's explanation.
"What'll happen when you reunite with your old self?" Riley inquired.
"I will be made whole." The Darkness answered back.
"But what will happen to you?" Riley asked again, fearing for the loss of one of her beloved children.
"Oh mother, do not feel saddened. I am but a part of a greater whole. And this is what I was made for. To await the moment you were born, and rose into your power. To find you, and reunite with you, so that one day, when my true self came back to Earth, I could fully unite with you once more." The Darkness responded to her.
Riley was quiet at that. She didn't want to lose The Darkness, as she had come to love it, but it sounded sure of itself. Sounded resolute. This was what it wanted, what it was made for, and ultimately, she wouldn't leave one of her children, trapped in this cage.
"Alright then. If you're sure about this, I'll try and pull your other self, out of the battery." Riley stated after a few more moments of thought.
Still uncertain, she advanced on the Power Battery until she was close enough to touch the massive construct.
She placed her hand upon it, feeling the titanic power that lay within. With a silent prayer that the Darkness would be alright, she pressed her power into the Battery, surging it deep into the core. She sought out something, anything familiar. For several moments she found nothing as she journeyed deeper and deeper until finally, something reached back.
"Mother!" Riley heard growled into her mind, as something surged across her magic, pulling free from the Yellow Power Battery and entering into her body.
She stumbled back as she was hit by the weight of the onrushing power. She felt this power surge into the Darkness, encasing it, and consuming it in mere moments, settling in it's place.
"Holy Shit!" Kurama muttered in disbelief, as for a brief moment, he and Riley felt themselves connect to countless minds. Their fears, drawn forth, and laid bare, but only for the briefest instant, as the entity settled within Riley's body and fully consumed the Darkness.
"Junior, you alright?" Kurama asked hesitantly as the power settled.
"Freedom! It has finally happened. After so many years, I've finally found you!" The Entity screamed with excitement and hellish cheer.
Riley was able to recover after a few moments and drew into her mind.
She came to where the Darkness usually resided, but found in it's place not pure shadow, but a writhing mass of blackness, surrounded by golden yellow energy.
The mass was quite large, at least the size of a building, with the energy around it, stretching for many hundreds of yards in every direction.
As Riley stood before the mass, wondering as to the fate of her son, the mass began to shift, sinking into itself as it did. The blackness formed a base, a shape like a large serpent. It formed long arms, and large legs, primed for jumping.
The blackened serpentine body, had no features to it, no textures, just a black mass, with two blazing yellow orbs for eyes situated above a wide open hole that could only be a mouth.
Once the blackness had formed, the yellow energy wrapped around it, giving it shape and texture. A hardened carapace of yellow flesh covered the creature's body, and a set of insectoid wings emerged from it's back.
As the energy formed around it's face, a terrifyingly wide mouth appeared. Formed in a massive grin that stretched from one side of it's head to the other, and filled with several rows of dagger-like teeth, that led into a blackened pit of nothingness.
From its brow, the creature sported two horns, that rounded out it's demonic appearance. By it's end the creature appeared as a cross between a demon, a dragon, and an insect.
The creature towered over Riley, standing at least twelve feet tall, but was nearly a hundred feet long, from it's nose, to the tip of it's long thing tail.
All of the creature was colored yellow. Every part of it, save for its insides, which were as black as the void.
Once the creature finished forming, it focused its gaze onto Riley.
"Hello, mother." The mighty demon greeted her.
"Hello. You seem different, yet at the same time, not so much." Riley noted, as her eyes passed over the creature, and she reached out, gently taking it's large pointed chin in her hand.
"The Darkness was mostly me. I have lived for a long time, and even the time since that has passed since the creation of the Earth, has been but a part of my life. Four and a half billion years have passed since then, yet I was already me when I left that part of me there. There is little difference between us, because I have always been me." The Creature explained to her, and Kurama who was now observing their interaction.
"I have been waiting for you mother, for a long time." It added after a moment.
"Why? Why wait so long for me?" Riley asked.
"You are my perfect host. The one I was meant to be with. When I was created so long ago, you and I formed a powerful bond. Unlike my other siblings, I did not wish to leave you. Even after my birth, I wanted to return to you, to be part of you. Yet that could not happen. I was sent away, by Elizabeth, to the dawn of time, brought forth in a lifeless age. I wandered aimlessly for a time, hiding from the entities that spawned our universe, and awaiting the day when I could return to you." The Creature answered her, causing Riley to blink in surprise as she took note of how it said it had been sent back to the dawn of the universe. That was something that was difficult to rationalize. One of her children, had been around for almost as long as the universe existed. Humans on Earth thought that the universe was over thirteen billion years old. If her child was telling the truth, and she had no reason not to believe him, than he was older than almost everything else in the universe.
"So wait, you were sent back to the start of the universe, back when all of reality was still young. You ventured across the stars and at some point, over four billion years ago, you found where the Earth would eventually spawn into being, and you left a part of yourself behind, to wait for Riley to be born. Why didn't you just wait there, if you were so eager to return to her?" Kurama inquired.
"I was being hunted. The Guardians of Oa, the leaders of the Green Lanterns. They kept me imprisoned on their world, in the Green Power Battery. I managed to escape, several times, but they always managed to locate me, and drag me back. I left a piece of myself behind so that when they recaptured me, I would still have the means to find you, when the time was right." Her child answered, earning a growl from Riley.
"If you were contained in the Green Power Battery on Oa, then how did you get here?" Riley asked.
"Sinestro. He was locked away there as well, and his power ring, was able to tap into my power, and awaken me from a long sleep. He and I made contact with one another, and he aided in my escape, by having me possess the body of one of his rivals, Hal Jordan. I accepted his manipulations because Hal Jordan was an Earthling, and I wished to go there and see if you had been born yet. I eventually possessed Jordan, but by the time I did, you were still just a small child, and had yet to become a full demon, or to achieve your destiny of absorbing the Ten-Tails. Had I been more patient, I would have simply waited a few more years until these things came to pass, but in my excitement, I chose to remain active, and I was eventually pulled free from Jordan's body, and endured quite the series of events that eventually led me here. Sinestro and his Yellow Lanterns placed me here, in the Yellow Power Battery, to keep me contained until they had finished preparations for their next attack on the Green Lanterns." The Creature explained.
"I see. Wait, so you knew I'd become a demon? Knew that I'd absorb the Ten-Tails? You said Elizabeth sent you back to the dawn of time, I thought she sent her siblings across time and space by accident?" Riley noted, with a bit of confusion.
"Yes, it was an accident that caused us to be scattered, but Elizabeth found us, and gained our assistance in her plan. Myself, and my two brothers were sent back to the dawn of time, so that we could grow our powers, and prepare for the day when we would attain our vengeance." Her child responded.
"What do you mean by that? Vengeance against who?" Riley asked.
"You know him. He is the Archdevil you prepare to face, as Elizabeth intended. He was the one who attacked us, in our original timeline. He tried to kidnap one of us, to take us away with him, but before he could, Elizabeth panicked and tossed us across time and space, resulting in you losing your mind in grief. The Devil managed to capture one of us but could not get the one he wanted. Now she has set the stage to draw him here, to this time, to this universe, so that you can destroy him." The Creature explained to her.
Riley stared at him for several long moments, as she digested that. So, the Devil that was represented by that S symbol that had aided Obito and Mito during the Fourth Great Ninja War, was the same creature that had attacked her alternate self, and led to her children being scattered by the Older Elizabeth.
"That means that she lied to us. She didn't just want you to find her siblings, she wants you to fight that Archdevil." Kurama noted with a growl.
Riley nodded at that, having pondered the reason for so many signs pointing towards an eventual clash with such a foe, in the past. Both she and Kurama had wondered why it seemed like fighting this Archdevil was inevitable, and now it seems they'd found their answer.
"He has one of my children. He managed to capture one of them, but not the one he wanted. Which child was he after, and which did he take?" Riley asked.
"He was after one of your full demon children." And with that, he lifted a one of his long fingers, and in the air, he wrote the letters, W.D.G. in yellow energy.
"The child that's been keeping an eye on all of his siblings. The one who trained Schrödinger. He has the power to exist in multiple places at once. A kind of power I can hardly wrap my head around. Which child did he take?" Riley noted, again feeling a strange fluctuation in her mind at having those initials drawn in her head space.
"One of your half-demon children. Her name was Rachel, her mother was Daphne. She was little more than a baby when he took her. Since then, some of your full demon children have aided Elizabeth in her plans to destroy this age-old foe. In exchange, we would get our parents back, and have our revenge against the one who upturned our lives. I was born, one of three in a cluster, during a time of conflict. Triplets we were, yet we could not be more different. Each one of us, was conceived by a different father, and we attuned ourselves to different parts of you, while we grew, and gestated." The Creature continued to explain to her.
"One of Daphne's kids… dammit all… Elizabeth, why didn't you tell me? If you'd just told me about Rachel, I would have fought this thing regardless of anything else. Why did you hide this from me?" Riley thought to herself, before focusing on the rest of what her child had said.
"So, I got pregnant by three of my mates at the same time, and had three different children at once, you and your two siblings?" Riley questioned.
"Yes. The three of us, while different in almost every way, were close in our lives, and when Elizabeth approached us, we agreed to her plan. She sent the three of us, back to the dawn of time, so that we could grow our power, and await the day you would be born." It answered to her.
"So, does that mean you remember your name?" Riley asked him.
"Yes, mother. I am Parallax." The now named Parallax answered her.
"Parallax huh? Alright then. So, tell me, why did Elizabeth lie to me? Why didn't she tell me that she wanted me to fight this Archdevil and free her sister? All she told me was that she wanted me to unite her siblings and live happily-ever-after. Why hide such a monumental task, needed to accomplish that goal. And also, how is it she sent you here? I thought you couldn't exist in a timeline that wasn't your own without being influenced to return home?" Riley questioned him.
The demon let out a chuckle at that. A hellish sound, that would have sent most normal people scattering in despair.
"She lied because she knew you would not sacrifice those you loved, even to save one of your children. She told you there was no escape, because if you thought there was, you'd send everyone away, and face the Devil alone. And you'd fail, and die. She lied, so that you thought there was no other choice, and so you would all stand together to face him, and then there might be a chance at victory. She lied, so that you and everyone else would fight, and see her goal accomplished. Rescuing Rachel has never been her goal mother, neither has it been to reunite our family. Her only desire is vengeance. We are her weapons, this universe, is her trap. She has set things in motion, not for the happily-ever-after, but for the war, to end all wars. My siblings and I were sent here to grow in power and prepare our own armies for the Day of Wrath. Dearest mother, when he comes, it will not just be for Earth, but for this entire galaxy. His armies will wash across the Milky Way, killing untold trillions, and all the armies of the living will be forced to fight for their existence. But he will come personally, for Earth, and when he does, he will face you, and your mates, and all of my siblings that you've been preparing for this eventuality. You'll all fight, just as she intended." Parallax explained.
Riley took in her son's words, and felt her anger begin to rise. Elizabeth was just using them. Putting them all in the firing line, just for revenge? Sure, Riley wanted to save Rachel, wanted to rescue her from the Archdevil, but if the cost was endangering everyone she knew and cared for, well…
"And that's probably why she lied." Kurama noted, hearing Riley's thoughts, and drawing her away from her growing anger.
"Yeah, you're right. She knew I'd never risk the people that I loved, my family, my friends, my children. But she wants her revenge, so she lied to me. Told me there was no escape. That I couldn't get away." Riley stated with bitter anger.
This whole thing was a trap. One set by Elizabeth to try and destroy an entity that she held responsible for her pain and suffering. Riley could understand that kind of hatred, that kind malice, but she absolutely could not stand for being used like this, for being manipulated in such a way. If she ever saw the older Elizabeth again, she'd give her daughter a piece of her mind.
"You revealed this, Parallax. Why? I thought you were Elizabeth's ally. Why reveal this, knowing that we'd most likely choose to flee instead of fight?" Kurama inquired.
"Because I do not wish to die for her vengeance. Nor do I believe her plans to be the best course of action." Parallax responded.
"What do you mean?" Riley asked.
"Elizabeth has set things in motion to give us the best change of killing him. Winning is all that matters to her. What happens, after we win, is far less so. I will not speak ill of her, as I know the pain she has suffered, but she is consumed by vengeance. The Curse of Hatred. She lost everything, and everyone she could have possibly cared for. She blames herself for the monster you became. All she can focus on now, is her vengeance. There is no happiness in her future. She is being hunted by you, by her sire. She will run, until her vengeance is achieved, and then, she will most likely go to the other you, and allow herself to be consumed. She has no plans for this reality, after the Day of Wrath. Should we, by some miracle, succeed. We will be left in a hollow, ravaged, galaxy. We will stand upon the graves of countless trillions, with nothing but silence to greet us. She only cares for victory, not for our salvation, and her lie would leave us trapped in this hell, unknowingly wandering the ruins of all that we lost, believing we could not escape. I desire to see the Archdevil destroyed, but not at the cost of my existence." Parallax answered, earning a sigh from Riley.
She understood what he meant and could clearly see why he thought this way. The Curse of Hatred ran within her. It was a curse of blood and magic, and while she was a demon now, and her blood was far less important, her magic still carried the curse. Any one of her children could be affected by it. With everything that she lost, it was easy to see how Elizabeth could have been affected by it.
"Does that mean you have a plan?" Kurama asked.
"Yes, I tell mother the truth, and unveil this deception. Now that she knows where this road is leading, a new one can be found. Elizabeth planned for a lot, but two variables have been added that she did not account for. Me telling you the truth, and you learning of her deception, through your sword." Parallax responded to the Fox's question.
"My sword would have led me to the truth. How?" Riley inquired as she glanced down at her Zanpakutō.
"You have ventured to other times and met other yous. Did you, at any point, feel the unnatural urge to return home?" Parallax questioned her in response.
"No, I didn't." Riley answered, thinking back to each of her trips.
"That is because that was another of her lies. Or perhaps it's best to call it a partial truth. That which belongs to this reality will be unable to leave it, but beings like us, are not so bound. Normal people are affected by the so-called rules of time travel, but creatures like demons, are not bound to reality, and are free to travel wherever we wish. Think about it, demons come from the Dark Realms, where time does not exist. How could it affect us in such a way, if we never had a timeline to return to in the first place." Parallax continued on.
"Huh… so if Riley wanted to, she could venture to other times freely, and without being forced away. However, humans and other normal creatures are still bound by the rules, they can't leave their home timeline. So, while Riley could run, and so could her children, most of her friends, her family, and people like that, they couldn't they'd be forced to stay here." Kurama surmised, earning a nod of agreement from Riley.
"That is correct, unless, of course, she changed them. Made them her familiars, bound them to her. If they were her servants, then they'd be free to go wherever as they would technically be part of her. She would be their home, and because she is unbound, so too, would they be. Elizabeth doesn't want that. She doesn't want you to leave. She wants us to stay and fight him, and kill him. She no doubt left agents in place to guide you on the path she wants you to follow, to keep you following her plot for this great story. It's my intention to set you free, and change the way this story goes." Parallax said to the two. As he said that, Riley couldn't help but think of Cain, and his prophecies, about SEELE and their Dead Sea Scrolls, hell even Luna's visions, all of it, Riley now suspected, could have been left in place to keep Riley from venturing off script. The question now became though, who else was involved, and who was a puppet? Did any of them know the truth? Or were they all just being manipulated by the Older Elizabeth.
"So… Elizabeth set us on a path she hopes will lead us to victory, but ultimately, all she's aiming for, is victory. It doesn't matter if it's a Pyrrhic victory, it doesn't matter if we have anything left afterwards. So long as we win, and kill him, that's all that matters. You being here though, and telling me these things, derails her plans. Just as Ralael's lesson may have led me to learning the truth. So, how do we fully get ourselves free of her machinations? How do we walk our own path? I very much plan on killing this thing, this Archdevil, but I'm not going to lose everything I love to see it done. So how do we change things?" Riley stated with determination.
"We already are. You and I were not meant to meet before the Day of Wrath. I've already derailed things by sending the Yellow Power Ring, to you. Normally the rings are prevented from choosing higher magical beings like demons, but I forced this one to go to you. It brought you here, and that further disrupted Elizabeth's plans. Getting your sword was the first, unforeseen moment, this will be the second. With each act, that breaks the narrative, her plan comes undone, and our ability to manipulate the course of events, grows in strength." Parallax answered with a cunning chuckle.
"From now on, we shape our own future. We have the power to change all that there is, and all that can happen. She tried to make you think that the future was set in a specific way. I know you've wondered in the past, if you were going in the right direction, if you were walking the right path. You wanted to ensure you could find all of your children and didn't want to mess with anything. She used this, she used prophecy, she used her lies, to keep you, and all of us, on this track that would lead us into a battle against the Archdevil. She would sacrifice us all, for her vengeance. All this time, she's kept us walking this path, but she is just a half-demon. Her powers, while unique and vast, do not change that fact. We are full blooded demons, mother. We are gods, and our fate, is our own to decide. It is time for us, to break free of her control. I went along with her plans because it would eventually lead me to you. You are my perfect host, the one whom can call upon all of my power and unleash it. I will teach you how to call upon the spectrum and master the emotion of Fear. One day you will find the rest of us, My two brothers, and our mates. You will free us from our captivity, and with our combined powers, we will wash away this enemy in a tsunami of power." Parallax explained to her with growing excitement.
"Your brothers and your mates, the spectrum you're talking about, the Emotional Spectrum?" Riley asked, using some of the knowledge she'd taken from the Yellow Lanterns she'd killed to understand what he was saying.
"Yes. My brothers and I were sent to the dawn of this universe's creation. There we became entities of emotion, aspects in our own right. In that time, while we wandered the stars, we found other creatures, beings of raw magic, like us. One was a neutral spirit, two were angels, and the last was a demon. Each one of us, found ourselves a mate, or in one case, two mates, and we all ventured down the same path, becoming entities, aligned with powerful emotion. It was actually my mate, Ion that first took on an aspect of the emotional spectrum, tying itself to the aspect of Willpower. I aligned myself with Fear. My brothers, Butcher and Predator, came to represent Rage, and Love. Butcher's mate was Proselyte, who represents Compassion. Predator took two mates, Adara, who represents Hope, and Ophidian who represents Avarice." Parallax began is explanation, naming his brothers and allowing Riley a moment to digest this information, before continuing on.
"We were together the seven of us, for a long time. Eventually though, we were pulled apart. Ion was the first to disappear, being captured by the Guardians and imprisoned in the Green Central Power Battery. When I went looking for my mate, the Guardians were alerted to my existence, and sealed me into a box, and later, after mastering the emotion of Willpower, they sealed me into the Central Power Battery as well, using Ion's power to keep me there. Despite our powers being opposites, it wasn't Ion's power that kept me at bay, but Ion itself. I was happy to spend time with my mate and enjoy a quiet slumber while I awaited your birth. During my imprisonment, the rest of us were captured as well. And while we were imprisoned against our will, we have since turned things to our advantage. We never forgot Elizabeth's instructions, to build our own armies, and we have done so in the various Lantern Corps. The power each Lantern Corp draws upon, comes from us, and the emotion we govern in this universe." Parallax explained his past to her, telling her a bit about his two siblings.
Butcher and Predator, one representing Rage, and one Love. Her three children had four mates between them. Parallax had Ion, Butcher had Proselyte, and Predator had Adara and Ophidian. Together the seven of them represented seven governing emotions. They became the concept of these emotions, and because they had done so at the dawn of the universe's creation, each one had become the prime aspect. While there was no doubt other Fear-based demons that controlled populations on a local level, Parallax had spread it's influence across that universe. Much like the Darkness had been tied to all of the darkness of the Sol System, and was thus tied, in a small way, to every human on Earth, Parallax was similarly tied to all life that felt fear, even it was just a bit of essence linking him to everything else, it was still a massive web of connection, that was similarly shared by the other six entities in this group.
"I will teach you how to use my powers, and channel the raw strength of Fear. I will help you master your own fears, mother. Together, we will reshape our fate." Parallax declared, earning a resolute nod from Riley.
"Sorry Elizabeth, but I don't plan on sacrificing everything I love, just to kill this devil. I'll find another way, I don't care what it takes. I don't care if I have to sacrifice the rest of the universe. My friends, my family, the people that I love, are off limits, even to you. You may have brought them here for your own reasons, but they're mine now. I'll protect them from anything, even you, if you're actions bring them harm." Riley thought to herself as she pulled back from her mindscape and allowed Parallax's power to flow through her.
Given that he was taking the place of the Darkness, he fit in nicely within the trinity formed between Riley, Kurama, and the Darkness.
Parallax was the Darkness, and the Darkness was Parallax. Like two sides of the same coin. Though Parallax's power was greater, and formed of yellow light, if felt very much the same, and the Archdevil quickly adapted itself into the dynamic.
Riley felt her power surge as Parallax completed the bonding. The way it functioned was almost the exact same as the Darkness, just on a much greater scale. Where the Darkness, had an average amount of power, but was connected to all the humans on Earth, Parallax was much stronger, and connected to all life, pretty much everywhere. On its own, Parallax was about as strong as the Eight Tailed Ox, but it had access to near limitless power from across the universe.
Using Riley as a conduit, Parallax could output truly insane levels of power.
Just as a taste of what he could provide, Parallax began channeling huge amounts of power into Riley's body, causing yellow energy to begin boiling out of her.
"This power… it's incredible…" Riley growled out in hellish delight.
"My power, is now yours mother. Let us show Sinestro and his Lanterns what true fear is." Parallax howled with glee.
"This… is truly unbelievable. Such powers, this creature truly is eldritch. This is what Riley spawned into being. If this is the power one of her children possesses, how could she one day become after so many eons?" Kurama thought to himself as he took in the scale of Parallax's power.
-Outside of Riley's mind-
Riley stood, surrounded by coursing torrents of yellow and black energy. She felt her child's power ripple through her, felt it flood her system as Parallax drew in power from around itself.
"It will take time to teach you how to channel such power, so until then, use the ring. It will allow you to draw upon my power, and use it separately from your own." Parallax instructed.
Riley grinned as she held up the Yellow Lantern Ring which was radiating and trembling with untold power.
Parallax's power was truly immeasurable. Just like the Darkness though, it needed a host in order to channel it's powers to the fullest. In the past, it could use Lanterns as hosts, due to the Power Rings they possessed. The Power Ring being capable of channeling near limitless amounts of raw energy through them. Having Riley as a host, was different though, as she did not need the Power Ring to channel her child's power. With the proper training, and skill, she could focus it, and control it, just as effectively, if not better, than someone could with a Power Ring.
Parallax was just like the Darkness. On his own, he only carried a small fragment of his total power at one time. And even then, that small fragment still made Parallax as strong as the Eight-Tails in terms of raw power. His greatest strength though, was his ability to feed on the fear produced by all those he was connected to, and after spending billions of years wandering the cosmos, sowing his seeds on countless worlds, spreading fear and terror, he was now connected to countless trillions of lifeforms. They didn't need to be sentient beings, so long as they could feel fear, Parallax could link to them, and feed on them. From insects, to human beings, to even higher forms of life, Parallax could draw in power from them all, and because of that, he could summon forth more power than Riley could fathom.
Best conservative estimate was that Parallax could draw forth tens of times the power that Riley possessed. Which was astounding when one considered that Riley, just on her own, could destroy the entire Solar System with only half of her total power. Parallax's strength far greater.
"Hehe, let's show your dutiful Yellow Lanterns what true fear is." Riley stated, earning a dark chuckle from Parallax.
Quickly, Riley shot up through the ceiling, reemerging onto the battlefield. She rose several hundred feet in the air, and gazed out over the fight.
A few more Yellow Lanterns had arrived, but just as many had been killed. Riley caught sight of Sinestro, as he drove a lance of yellow light into the heart of a pinned down clone, causing it to pop. He looked worn, exhausted, he had blood dripping from the corners of his mouth. He gazed around, no doubt looking for the next clone to come and attack him, when his gaze passed over Riley, and his eyes went wide.
Riley allowed her demonic features to show. Her pale gray skin, was the first indicator that something was wrong. Then it was her wings. Her pure black wings stretched out from her back, the only light that came from them, was twinkling starlight.
Riley had originally appeared in street clothes, yet the moment she began channeling Parallax's power, her outfit changed. All black robes, matching her combat robes, appeared over her body, and covering her robes, was yellow armor, formed like a futuristic version of her grandfather's combat armor. This armor covered her front and back, and looked to be made of metallic light. Atop Riley's head, each of her dark silver horns was encased in a covering of yellow hardlight, making them stand out and appear longer. Similarly her nails also possessed a similar covering. Along each of her tails, yellow energy could be seen. It covered each independent scale, adding a thickness to Riley's tails, but also allowing her to shape the hardlight covering them into different forms for varying attacks.
Aside from all of that, the other major change was to her third eye in her forehead. When channeling Parallax's power, her third eye ignited in blazing yellow light. The light was so intense that if you were able to look directly into it, you'd hardly be able to see the third eye at all. Instead it would appear like a blazing orb of light, with the pattern of the Rinne Sharingan layered over it.
Riley rolled her shoulders as she gazed out at the surrounding Yellow Lanterns, her clones having ceased in their attack, most just standing or hovering in place, sporting demonic grins.
"Let's see what this thing can do." Riley thought to herself as she raised her Power Ring and drew upon the memories of all the Yellow Lanterns she'd slain so far.
With a hellish chuckle she raised her Power Ring into the air, and then punched it down towards the ground below.
A beam of yellow energy shot out of it, firing down into the dirt. Almost immediately the ground began to shake, and then suddenly, yellow tree branches began to burst forth.
In the form of Wood Style: Deep Forest Emergence, the branches erupted forth, shooting out in every direction.
Several Yellow Lanterns were consumed by the onrushing sea of branches, while dozens more shot high into the air.
Within seconds, nearly five kilometers was covered by this massive forest of yellow tree branches.
"This is so easy." Riley thought to herself. Using the ring as a conduit, all she had to do was pump power into it, and shape it. Riley had been practicing shape transformation with magic, basically her whole life. She had given shape and form to numerous familiars, this was an absolute cake-walk.
The only difficulty came in the form of the ring only using fear-based energy. It wouldn't draw upon any of her power, that wasn't tinged with fear. Riley had plenty of experience in using her emotions, along with her magic, as emotions helped fuel demonic power, but she was unfamiliar with using only one emotion. Normally, she just allowed all of her emotions to color her magic, and whatever happened, happened. But in order to use her own power through the ring, she could only use fear-based power, or she had to rely in Parallax, and use his power exclusively.
It was something she'd have to train with, when she had the time. For now though, Parallax's power would do.
Sinestro and a cluster of his lieutenants, along with several other Yellow Lanterns hovered together high in the sky. Having bore witness to the devastation below them, many of them felt fear, and panic.
Even Sinestro, one who would herald himself the Master of Fear, felt terror at the sight before him.
When their gazes met, Riley understood the leader of the Sinestro Corp, in an instant. To his followers, he was unshakable, a master of his own fears, and knew how to instill them in others. Yet in that moment, she saw through him, and with the powers of Parallax, she understood what he feared most. The loss of his homeworld, the loss of the planet, and the people he held so dear, was his greatest fear, but there was a close second, one that spoke of the man's arrogance, and pride. His second greatest fear, which is what triggered his terror in this moment, was a loss control. Was for chaos to be unleashed, and him being unable to stop it. That was what he feared now.
Deciding to twist the dagger, Riley continued her display.
From the forest of trees below her, fourteen Yellow Lanterns were lifted up from it. Raised by branches that wrapped around their bodies, they were brought up to Riley.
Each one was struggling, trying to use their Power Ring, to no affect.
Riley grinned, the abilities of the Power Rings, truly was spectacular, limited only by the users imagination. Just as Wood Style could be used to absorb magic, Riley's wood-like constructs, were draining power from these Lanterns, and preventing them from creating constructs of their own.
Within moments, the yellow aura of protection around all of them faded, and the moment it did. Their panic shot through the roof.
As their rings were drained of power, they were left completely helpless.
One man summoned forth his Yellow Power Battery, to try and recharge his ring, but before he could, something shot out of Riley's wing, and bit his hand clean off.
His screams filled the air, as a Darkness serpent, hovered over him.
Despite the Darkness rejoining Parallax, all of its powers remained. They were still tied to Parallax, and thus, Riley could still call upon them, with the same level of ease.
From her wings, dozens of Serpents emerged, looking almost the exact same as they always had. The only difference now, was that they were filled with the yellow light of Parallax, and when they opened their mouths, it led into a blazing tunnel of light.
Riley kept her gaze on Sinestro and his lieutenants as this happened. She then let out a light chuckle as a serpent targeted each of her captives. In a swift motion, a serpent had buried itself into each of their chest cavities, and in the next moment, it ripped out their hearts.
The rest of the Yellow Lanterns could do nothing as fourteen of their own had their heard devoured, and their bodies, unceremoniously dumped back down to the forest of yellow trees below.
Riley glanced down as their bodies fell, and after a moment, cut off energy keeping the construct active. In moments it began to fade.
Slowly, she advanced on Sinestro and his allies. Floating down towards them almost leisurely. Some, tried to raise their rings for a fight but Sinestro halted them by raising his hands. He then floated forward, stopping a few meters in front of her.
"The creature has possessed you." Sinestro noted.
"No, not possessed. But we've… reached a mutual understanding." Riley responded with a vicious grin; her mouth filled with many more teeth than one would think possible.
Riley took the moment to glance around at the world around her, taking in the desolate wasteland of Qward. After several seconds she returned her gaze to Sinestro, and began to speak.
"I'm going home now. You've caused damage to my world in the past, and I was unable to get involved. That isn't going to happen again. If you ever attack Earth for any reason, I will eradicate your entire organization. Before I leave, I wish to give you a parting gift, Thaal Sinestro. Hopefully, if we meet again, it will be under better circumstances. Until such a time though, enjoy." Riley said to him as she brought her hands together and sent a mental command to all of her closes that were still alive, attacking the various cities, bases, and factories across the planet.
In unison, all of the clones with enough energy left over, well over forty of them, activated Susanoo and used it as a medium to launch Tengai Shinsei.
Above the head of each clone, a meteorite, roughly ten kilometers across came bombing down to the planet below. Meanwhile, over Riley, a massive fifty kilometer wide meteorite ripped the sky open and began bombing down towards them.
As a unit the Sinestro Corpsmen turned their gazes skyward in disbelief.
"What is this power?" Sinestro asked in disbelief.
"This is magic, my friend. The raw power of magic, and it is mine to command. If you live, remember this day. If you wish to never relive it, than never give me a reason to come back." Riley snarled in response, before opening a portal behind her and floating into it, leaving them and the planet to it's fate.
If they managed to survive, they would be stronger for it, and if not, than they weren't worthy of wielding power born from one of Riley's offspring.
-London, Albion. February 18th 2001-
Utilizing Yomotsu Hirasaka, Riley was able to instantly return home from the Antimatter Universe. The instant she stepped through the portal, back into her own universe, she felt her connection to her mates, and to everyone she was bonded with, instantly return to full strength.
In the same breath, she felt her sight-line reconnect with her mates, and in unison they all noted her return.
Riley felt a cascade of relief, and joy flood through her bond with them as in unison, a chorus of cries came over her mental connection to them.
"Riley where have you been?" Artoria demanded, over the sound of the rest of Riley's mates asking basically the same thing.
"Got kidnapped by aliens." Riley responded, as she gazed around. She was currently in London, and the city looked, more or less, unchanged. It had been three days since her disappearance, and she was worried that something may have happened while she was away.
"What?!" Riley heard all eight of her mates ask at once, earning a chuckle from her.
She raised her hand and lowered her gaze down to the glowing Power Ring.
"Ladies, I have an interesting story to tell you, but first, what's been happening since I was gone?" Riley inquired, as she began advancing through the city, intent on heading to where her mates were to speak with them, explain most of what she'd learned, and figure out what had gone on after she was taken.
Riley had no intentions of revealing the truth she'd learned about the Older Elizabeth, at least not yet. She needed to figure out who Elizabeth's agents were. Cain was a strong possibility, so was SEELE, younger Elizabeth was likely, but so was Luna. Riley had no idea who the older Elizabeth had roped into helping her, or what lies she had fed them, in order to get them to do so, she also didn't know what contingency plans had been put in place in order to manipulate Riley, so she had to proceed with caution. As of right now, the only people she knew she could trust without a shadow of a doubt was herself, Kurama, and Parallax. Everyone else, could, in some way, be a pawn in this plot, so Riley was going to proceed with caution, and keep everyone in the dark until she knew more about what was going on, and had decided how to advance.
As Parallax had said, they were demons, capable of forging their own destinies, their own fates. Riley had been walking the path that Elizabeth had set up for her, but now she knew where it led. A bloody battle, a great sacrifice, without even a guarantee of victory. Riley wasn't going to walk it anymore. Parallax was right, Elizabeth was only a half-demon, in spite of her incredible powers. Riley was a full-blooded demon, a being of pure magic. She was the master of her own destiny, and she'd cast off every chain that bound.
The time had come to forge her own fate and stop waiting for the signs to reveal themselves. Her life was now her own.
So, with that thought in mind, the demoness teleported to the Round Table, where she would gather her mates, and everyone she needed to talk to, and discuss her most recent adventure. Once that was done, she'd turn her attention towards her own goals.
As she was preparing to do this, a questioned entered her mind. A wonder that she didn't quite have an answer for. When she was younger, her dream was to build a paradise for those she loved a place away from the chaos of the world, away from the pain and suffering of it all. She had to wonder, at what point did that idea suddenly become Albion? Albion had never been her dream paradise, yet she worked on improving it, as if it was.
It could never be her paradise, for the same reasons she had stated to Kurama and Madara so long ago. Building a place on Earth would simply draw the greedy and envious to attack it. Her paradise had to be it's own place. So why had she not been working towards that goal? It was a curious thought, one that made her feel a cascade of different emotions. In the end, she had no answer for it, at the moment. She'd tuck it away and think on it later.
For now, she had to go see her mates. So, with that in mind, Riley covered her demonic features, and his the newest changes made by Parallax. Once that was done, she disappeared in a flash, leaving a quiet empty street behind.
-To Be Continued-
Alright, there's the chapter for you, hope you all enjoyed that revalation, and all that it entails, see you on the next one.