Been a while since I've posted anything here but thought I could try again, mainly to get back to writing more. Hope you like it!
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This story takes place a few months after the death of Hal Jordan.
Chapter 1: The Devil Finds Work for Idle Hands
It had rained a few hours previously. One of those really harsh kinds of rainfalls when the rain drops looked more like needles hurtling from the sky and hurt like hell. He had to wait until the rain stopped, there was no way in hell he was going to walk out to face that weather. It had gotten dark, pitch black in fact. The clouds were thick and wouldn't late any moonlight through. The only light that managed to light up the quiet cemetery was a few flickering light posts further away. The light that was cast on the wet grass and tombstones made the site even spookier. A spooky cemetery doesn't need to get spookier, especially not in the middle of the night. But he rarely feared the dead more than the living. The dead were quiet, usually kept to themselves when not disturbed and often dressed better than the unburied. Without a second thought and without paying attention to the tingly feeling in his upper spine he began to trudge through the cemetery, stepping over graves, old as new. He carried a sack with much needed supplies in his hand and dragged a heavy shovel behind him in the grass while searching for his goal. When each and every tombstone showed the wrong name he cursed under his breath.
"Where the hell are you, you bugger?"
For about twenty minutes he searched in the dark, reading name after name and date after date. When he almost decided to give up he managed to locate the right name. The tombstone read with large letters: HAROLD JORDAN.
Satisfied with himself he threw the shovel to the side and sat down on Hal's grave, using the tombstone as back support. He opened the sack and looked through it, searching for a special item. He brought forth a pack of Lucky Strikes and a black lighter from the sack. Covering the flame from the harsh cold wind with his hand he managed to light a cigarette. He was cold and shaking. The cigarette didn't help to warm him up, rather it made him feel more uneasy about the situation.
"Come on, Will," William Hand said to himself while pressing down the cigarette in the wet mud. "Not the first time you've robbed a grave."
He stood up and grabbed the shovel once again, then put on his mask. He didn't want anyone to see that he was there and his black outfit was the perfect disguise in the black night. The ground was soft when he started digging, perhaps the rain turned out to be a blessing after all. It didn't take long until he struck something hard, so he kept digging until the whole casket was exposed. His heart started pounding as he started to look for a way to open it, but not of dread at the thought of the corpse he was about to come face to face with. No, it was from excitement.
He found a latch on the side of it and yanked the casket open. In the casket lay a decomposed body that once belonged to the soul of Hal Jordan, a Green Lantern who protected the Earth and the universe. William Hand, usually referred to as Black Hand, was going to make that body move again, soulless or not. Black Hand brought forth the sack he carried with him again, and again looked for an item within. When he found it he was delighted. He held it in front of him, a small black ring that glistened evilly in the darkness. Black Hand's breath became heavy. The ring was his dearest possession. He'd worn it himself countless times but now he was about to give it away to his greatest enemy. Unthinkable, but it was for the greater cause according him. Black Hand gently grabbed Hal Jordan's right hand from where it lay and slid the ring on his middle finger. The ring fastened tightly, and the decomposed hand of Hal Jordan took a firm grip around Black Hand's wrist. Quickly Hal sat up and his body was given new life. He looked at Black Hand with black eyes, studying him. Black Hand stood silent, finally fearful but steady. When opening his mouth to speak, all Hal Jordan could utter was an inhumane screech.
"I still have trouble getting my head around all of this," Kyle Rayner said. "I often feel like I don't belong here."
"Missin' Earth, are ya?" Kilowog asked, walking beside the puzzled Kyle.
"Yeah, lots." Kyle answered, looking up at his companion.
"Why?" Kilowog said, not meeting Kyle's gaze. "What's so damn good about your crummy planet?"
"Are you kidding me?" Kyle said, half-offended. "What's so good about Oa? During the whole time I've been here I haven't seen a single Starbucks."
"Hrmph...you humans and your caffeine." Kilowog said and made an almost unhearable growl.
On their path through the Sciencells, deep down in the Green Lantern's headquarters, they were met by furious or empty faces locked into cells. Faces of those criminals the Green Lantern Corps had apprehended throughout their history. The Sciencells functioned as a prison for the most dangerous criminals in the universe. Not a pleasant place to take a walk in.
"Why are we here, Kilowog?" Kyle asked, slowly walking further and further away from the criminals within the cells.
"I think it's funny." Kilowog answered shortly.
"Funny?" Kyle asked, confused by the answer he got.
"Yeah." Kilowog said and laughed. "Look at the miserable lot. Plus, it's a good way of teaching you about why we do what we do."
"Oh." Kyle said, still not understanding but didn't feel like asking a second time.
As they passed one of the cells on their journey the hairy monster within woke up from its daydreaming coma, aggressively punching the barrier between them. It shouted a horrible screech, which hardly could be heard by the onlookers outside.
"Pipe down, you filthy piece o' garbage!" Kilowog shouted back at the aggressive monster.
"Kilowog, please, do not aggravate the prisoners." Voz, the warden of the Sciencells, said as he walked towards the two.
"He aggravated me first, you know." Kilowog said defensively.
"Kyle." Voz said and ignored Kilowog, instead he turned to Kyle.
"Voz." Kyle replied.
"Why are you here and why are you disturbing the prisoners?" Voz asked, once again turning to Kilowog.
"Just tryin' to teach Kyle a few things." Kilowog answered, after having calmed down from his outburst.
"Oh yeah," Voz said. "With that ring he has he's got a lot to live up to, I'd say."
Kyle looked down at his green power ring. It looked just like theirs and everyone else's. But for some reason his was special and meant more responsibility. He knew the reason but he couldn't really understand it. His heart felt heavier now.
"Look," Kyle began. "That's one of the thing's I've wanted to say. I know this ring is special. And I know it belonged to this Jordan-guy. But why does it mean I've got more responsibility?"
"Eh, kid," Kilowog said. "Don't think of it like that. It's just that Hal was a friend of ours, he was a friend to everyone. Yeah, sure, he was a complete douchebag, but who isn't? Point is, he was a great guy and then Sinestro just killed him. In front of my eyes too. It just happened that you got his ring and maybe we put too much pressure on you from time to time because of that."
"Oh." Kyle said, finding the answer pretty clear. He looked at his ring again with a new pair of eyes. He started feeling almost privileged. At the blink of an eye the green power ring started flashing a strong green light.
"What you up to?" Kilowog asked as the light filled the hall.
"I-it's not me." Kyle said. It really wasn't, the ring seemed to have adopted its own life. It started pulling Kyle harder and harder as if the ring had somewhere to be. "I'm not doing anything, my ring is broken!"
"Cut the bull," Voz said. "The rings can't just break!"
The green light covered Kyle, head to toe. It forced him to fly and soon enough he was outside the Sciencells, not knowing where the ring was going to take him.
"Oh, son of a --." Kilowog muttered and flew after him.
Kyle effortlessly tried to break free from the rings powerful spell. When that didn't work he tried to go numb as he was hurtled through the skies of Oa, he'd rather die on the ground than to suffocate in the cold space. Heads were turned due to his immense speed and near-destructive flying. Twice he almost hit skyscrapers, but the ring seemed to be able to steer out of the way in the nick of time. Kilowog tried to follow the dangerous path they flew.
"I swear to God, Kyle." Kilowog muttered when he managed to dodge the other unbeknownst Green Lanterns.
It didn't take long until Kyle passed the atmosphere, and to his astonishment he noticed he could breathe without difficulty. But his fright didn't settle when he saw a dark figure floating up ahead. It seemed like the ring was taking him to the menacing creature. The ring suddenly stopped its wild behavior and stopped in front of the figure that Kyle didn't recognize. The figure was human and seemingly male and unlike Kyle he wore a black suit and a black ring on his finger. The figure's eyes were black and looked at Kyle without moving a limb. Kyle tried to break free and fly away, but the ring was still in control. Kilowog was nearing them, finally being able to catch up with Kyle.
"The ring," The menacing figure said with a hollow and dead voice. "It's mine!"
"Oh no," Kilowog said when he arrived, with sadness in his voice when he recognized who the figure was. "Hal..."
To be continued...