There was no way that Ada'la could get mad at me for this fight. I didn't start it. Well, I suppose that wasn't true - I did show up at his completely ineffective prison unannounced, but he was the one that threw the first punch and blatantly ignored the people I was traveling with. If he hadn't, then maybe there wouldn't have been a need to fight at all. About my arrival. I knew Hal well enough by this point to know that we'd fight about something or another.

There was just too much bad blood between us and it was time to spill it on the carpet.

My head snapped back, my nose flattened by the unexpected punch as I was sent blasting through the ship we had arrived on. Even as I flew back, I was prepared for the fight that Hal started. Strength surged in my veins, my hair shifted before becoming golden, matching the aura that seeped from me like a flickering flame. Hal was upon me, his expression completely devoid of any emotion, something that struck me as completely unlike him, before he raised a hand.

He threw a titanic fist at me, the bottom of it scraping the ground, carving deep furrows, while I caught the fist with a hand, feeling the jarring impact as he was pushing me away. My eyes narrowed when the fist began to sprout smaller fists that surged around me, encasing me. Even as I backed off, determined not to get hit, I felt one strike me in the cheek, and instantly the familiar taste of blood could be found on my tongue.

That was different. Either bonding with Ion had made Hal so powerful that being a Super Saiyan meant nothing to him, or something else was at play here.

Hal continued his onslaught, his main body traveling up the fist until he stood before me, the excess of the mountain-sized punch funneling back into his body. "I didn't come here for a fight," I told him, searching Hal's face. Two ki spears formed in my hands, making it clear that I was willing to.

"Then you should have not come here at all, Tarble," Hal spoke, his voice reverberating with power. I would have found it more impressive if I hadn't dealt with gods already. My eyes narrowed at his face, not seeing any trace of human emotion on it.

"You aren't Hal Jordan at all, are you? I'm dealing with Ion in his shape," I voiced and I got a sliver of the reaction that I expected from Hal. His eyes narrowed a fraction, a frown tugging at his lips. "That's disappointing. I expected better from him."

"I am Hal Jordan," the willpower entity spoke, sounding defensive. As if he were trying to convince himself of that. He didn't seem to do a good job of it and a worse job of convincing me. I hadn't seen Hal since the battle for the Vega System, when he bonded with Ion and sent Freiza packing. I'd say with his tail tucked between his legs, but Hal had cut it off. The formation of the New Lanterns was something he would do, but I was wondering how much Hal was left in there.

I couldn't imagine bonding with the concept of willpower would do wonders for his mental state. Though, I suppose it could explain his actions. Or, rather, his lack of action in regards to Earth. Earth was Hal Jordan's home. Not Ion's.

"I don't believe you," I told Ion, throwing a ki spear at him, and Ion chose to accept the blow, the ki spear striking his chest. I was shocked to see it break against his torso like a metal pipe would shatter upon mine. Hal surged forward, not exactly flying, but his body moving forward through the air as if he was willing the distance between us to shrink. That was interesting, but not a thought I had time to pursue as one of Ion's arms shifted into a dozen different things - buzz saws, swords, hammers, and even brass knuckles - before he sent them flying at me.

I weaved between them, aware that Ion didn't have a true body and he could emerge from his weapons. "So, this is why you chose to ignore Earth? I don't think I did anything to Ion to deserve the cold shoulder," I remarked, curious if there was anything left of the Green Lantern I had known, however briefly.

"I. Am. Hal Jordan," Ion uttered, his face twisting into an exaggerated scowl. As if he knew what it was, but didn't know the limitations of human facial features. Forming two more ki spears as we sailed through the air, rising up into the atmosphere and then through it with little difficulty. I used the spears to block a buzz blade and saw that it didn't instantly cut through the dense ki, even if it did quickly saw through it. Condensing the spear into a ki blast, I lobbed it at him and Hal accepted the blow, letting the ki wash over him.

"I told you, I don't believe you. You have his shape, you have his voice, but it's obvious to me that you have nothing else of him in you, and I hardly knew him," I told Ion and with each word, his attempts to apprehend me became more erratic. The buzz saws became nets that I was forced to weave around, and the swords and axes became guns. Human guns. "Though, I suppose you do have his lack of imagination."

Ion scowled at me, following me as I led us away from the planet. I was starting to wonder if I needed to use god ki to beat him. Super Saiyan was just water off of his back. It was actually a little unnerving. "I hate you so much, Tarble," Ion spoke, making my eyes widen a fraction and, despite myself, I smirked.

"There you are. I guess there's a little of you left in there after all," I amended my statements. I wasn't entirely certain how I should handle the situation from here. Going for a straight-out fight was a possibility, but it wasn't a good one. Not if I wanted to use the New Lanterns. In a way, it could be considered a blessing that Hal was being subsumed by Ion. After all, Hal hated me. The bad blood between us was going to be a huge obstacle to deal with and, if I didn't have to deal with it, then it would be nice not to.

That thought didn't sit right with me, however. I didn't even particularly like Hal. Throughout the war, he was either an annoyance or a useful tool, because while his heart was in the right place, his head wasn't. Without him, I would still possess the Indigo Lanterns and I wouldn't need the New Lanterns at all. His pathological hatred of me was annoying during the war, and I'm sure it would cause me no shortage of headaches in the future.

But it still didn't sit right with me. I didn't like Hal but I did acknowledge him. He was so stubborn that the Willpower Entity took note of his bullheaded nature. Beyond that - Hal was the man that Kilowog, a Green Lantern I did respect, sacrificed his life to save alongside everyone else in that ambush. It would be a very poor ending if Hal survived all of that, only to lose himself to Ion.

Throwing my hands out wide, I formed two Destructo Disks with a mocking smile on my face, "Remember these?" I asked him before I launched them at him. Ion growled in response, a distinctly Hal sounding growl before his body lost its human shape as he lunged for me. His body grew taller than mountains, becoming a net that he threw out wide and within that net that was lined with either chainsaws or buzzsaws. I reacted instantly, darting towards one of the gaps in the net, knowing it was a trap.

As I did, I let the Super Saiyan transformation fade while I pulled up on the god ki within me. Breathing in deeply, I pinched the distance between myself and the gap, hundreds of saw-like instruments lunging and missing as I managed to slip out of the net before the trap could close. With new eyes, I looked upon Ion and saw his consciousness within the mountain-sized net that was rapidly reforming into something else.

I couldn't quite sense Ion. His presence was simply too… big to be quantified into something like a power level. However, looking at him was worse with divine eyes. It was like seeing sounds, but the sound was a deafening chorus of one note - Willpower. It was no shock at all that Hal had been subsumed into that orchestra of noise. It deafened everything else out - including the flashes of anger that Hal felt when I mocked him. To put it simply, if I did want to bring Hal to the forefront of Ion, I had to find ways to make him louder than the hum of willpower.

The god ki faded from view, lasting but a short moment as I faded back into being a Super Saiyan. "I suppose I should be honored," I remarked, flying up and considering my options. We were getting further and further away from the prison world for the Guardians. "Out of all the things that are left of you Hal, the last remaining shred of your personality is how much you didn't like me," I continued, ki funneling to my hands and becoming a condensed ball. We were far enough away that I had options that I wouldn't be willing to use on a planet.

"You are my enemy, Tarble," Ion uttered, echoing Hal's settlement.

"Because I killed people close to you during the war? It was war. Get over it," I callously responded, throwing my hands forward and bombarding Ion with hundreds of small ki blasts. Intermingled with the ki blasts were Gravity Balls. Ion surged forward, either oblivious to the smaller ki balls that hovered around him as he closed the distance or uncaring of them. Clenching my hands, I activated them all at once.

A thousand times the galactic standard of gravity. An intensity that I couldn't withstand, even if I could produce it. Ion's body was pulled and twisted in a hundred different directions as the competing gravity wells. His arms were pulled, stretching like taffy, before curling into themselves, his legs folding like pretzels, and his torso twisted like a screw. The Ion entity allowed himself to be pulled in every direction to grab hold of the Gravity Balls.

"Not enough," Ion uttered, grabbing hold of the Gravity Balls before crushing them in his palms like they were made of glass. My eyes narrowed at the remark, knowing that it was true. My glimpse with divine eyes allowed me to glean a little of Ion's nature. While he was powerful in his own right, what made him dangerous was the fact he could will things to happen. In theory, he couldn't have crushed my Gravity Balls as if they were tangible no matter how strong he was, but Ion was the physical manifestation of willpower.

If he wanted to grab hold of something and crush it in his palm, then it would be crushed within his palm, all physics aside. Likewise, I imagine the same could be applied to a person. It was a low level type of reality manipulation, not entirely dissimilar to how my engravings worked - they allowed me to touch something that was intangible. Only with Ion, it was far broader in scope.

"I believe that's my line, Hal," I spoke, clasping my hands together as I channeled ki to them, flying back at high speeds. "I imagine it must have bothered you to be one step behind me every step of the way during the war. From the ambush to the Vega System, you were never quite smart enough to stop me from doing anything." I told him, trying to get a rise out of Hal so he would grow louder against the hum of willpower.

I sent a spark of god ki into my Spiral Buster, the core of the attack becoming a brilliant red while the rest remained a dark blue. Ion surged forward, and I used another spark to pinch the distance between us, appearing right before him before thrusting my hands out and sending the Spiral Buster drilling into his chest. This time, I noticed, Ion didn't just ignore the attack.

Ion threw his head back and howled in pain as I launched him away, unleashing an attack that would punch right through Earth as if it were nothing. Ion was flung away, and I imagined experiencing pain was a rarity for him. With Hal's absorption, I wasn't certain if Ion had Hal's memories or just snippets of his personality. It didn't seem to matter because it was clear that god ki was able to hurt him.

All the while, I didn't let up with the verbal assault. "I should take the chance to thank you, Hal. If it wasn't for you, I don't think the Frieza Force would have won the war." I told him, feeling the exhaustion begin to build in my gut. Using sparks of god ki was a compromise, but it was a dangerous one. "Without your timely rebellion, I would have been left dealing with not just the Green Lanterns, but the Red, Indigo, and Blue as well. If you hadn't rebelled against the Guardians, why, I imagine I would have lost." I told him, not certain if it was true or not, but that didn't stop me from saying it.

"The reason I never hated you, Hal, is because you were always my greatest ally during the War of Light. So, I thank you for all of the aid you gave me during those long years," I continued, digging the point home. And when I heard Ion howl, his shout reverberating through the void of space, I knew that was Hal. There was no mistaking him.

"Tarble!" Hal screamed, lunging upwards hundreds of miles away before he was suddenly before me, his fist slamming into my face hard enough that I felt every tooth in my head rattle. I used the momentum to spin sharply, lashing out with a foot, but Hal knew how I fought and his left arm became a kite shield that protected his head while his other arm became a boxing glove that slammed into my gut, folding me around the fist. "I know what you're doing Tarble. You're trying to piss me off. Well, sucks to fucking suck, because it worked."

I smirked, Hal's body shining brightly with ethereal green energy, and I felt that Hal was currently louder than Ion's hum of willpower. Hal scowled at me, his expression a mask of hate, "You conquered Earth!" He shouted and I righted myself, power flowing through my veins.

"You're more than a little late about that. And I didn't attack Earth. Earth attacked me," I corrected.

"Fuck you," Hal responded eloquently. "You know that's a half ass answer and a bullshit justification. You conquered my home planet. You shouldn't have come here, Tarble. I could handle you when you were half a galaxy away, but now that you're right here?"

"You weren't answering my calls," I responded, ki flowing to my hands. The sparks of god ki were few. The one I used to hurt him had been a single second of my natural god ki. As was the moment that I pinched the distance. Meaning, in practice, I had seven sparks left before I had to start cannibalizing my natural ki reserves. Before now, there had never been any doubt in my mind that I could defeat Hal Jordan when it came to a fight. Even after he merged with Ion and defeated Frieza, I had still been confident.

But, now, it seemed that the scales were far more even than I originally assumed.

"Gee, I wonder why," Hal retorted, his tone scathingly sarcastic. His body began to shift, weapons and tools shimmering under his translucent skin as if he wasn't sure which one he wanted to use on me.

"I didn't come here to fight you, Hal. I need to speak with the Guardians about what they did to my species. As well as the Dragonballs," I told him outright and I watched as his eyes narrowed ever so slightly.

"You are the very last person that should get their hands on the Dragonballs," he stated in no uncertain terms.

My eyes narrowed in return, "I wouldn't be so sure about that. I was one of many that the Lord's of Chaos leaked the information to,and whatever you may think of me, I'm hardly the worst being on the long list of very motivated entities that are about to start looking for them."

That was news to him, it seemed. Hal's hands clenched into fists, warring with himself as much as he was with Ion. Given that Ion was the embodiment of Willpower and stubbornness, the fact he could put up a fight at all was very indicative of his character. By that, I meant Hal was a stubborn idiot that wouldn't change his mind so easily.

"I get what you're saying. I do," Hal said, surprising me. "Bonding with Ion messed with my head pretty good, but not in the way you seem to be thinking. Ion's as old as the universe itself. Earth is… so damn small when you put it up against the entire universe, and that's my concern now. The entire universe." I had no idea how true that was. The New Lanterns had seemed to be focusing on the Trade Organization, but my empire's reach didn't expand beyond our galaxy, which was only one of trillions.

It was possible that for every move I saw of the New Lanterns, there were hundreds that I didn't see. "Meaning that you're willing to be the bigger person?" I questioned, not believing it for a moment.

"Fuck no," Hal answered without a hint of shame. "It means, after I kick your ass for everything that happened in the war, I might be willing to listen to at least some of what you have to say."

Well then. It was time to spill some bad blood.

...

The next chapter is currently available on my Pat re on and Subscribe Star, so if you want to read it a week early, all it takes is a single dollar in the tip jar. Or, for five dollars, you can read the chapter after that two weeks before its public release! I hope you enjoyed!