Silver Lantern #1
Written by Kenny Seghers
The Home Trilogy Part 1:
I'm sitting in a typical New York diner , drinking coffee at the counter. There's only one other customer, an old guy sitting two stools over. And he compliments my ring. "That's a nice looking ring you got there.", he says. Without thinking I blurt out, "Thanks, it's my Power Ring: I'm Silver Lantern." He doesn't believe me; why should he? (I look human enough with my wig on, make up and clothes courtesy Macy's). He makes remarks like, " Mr. Silver Lantern here needs a refill.", and, "Your board must have been stolen, or got towed away for being double parked." (The waitress just shakes her head and continues mopping the floor.) Why not tell him? He won't believe me and I gotta tell someone the truth.
"You wanna hear my story...how I became Silver Lantern? I'll buy you another cup of coffee.", I offer. He says sure; I order 2 more coffees and he says, "I'm all ears, Mister Lantern."
Let me ask you something. Did you ever have a dream that when you woke up, you wish you hadn't woken up? Maybe you wished the dream could have lasted a little longer? Well, that's sorta what happened to me.
I woke up, and the dream continued.
"Silver Lantern" was a nickname I had when I chatted on the internet at a comic book website. We all used "alter egos." It was fun. Anyway, one night I had this major headache from work; you know how it is. I took some aspirin, climbed into bed and finally fell asleep. Then...I dreamed.
I dreamt I was Silver Lantern, flying through space on my green surfboard. It was great! I was free from all the cares of the world. It was great until I bumped into an asteroid. Actually, it was more than a "bump"; I PLOWED into it! A real wipeout! I fell off my board, the asteroid shattered, I was knocked out. How could I have been so careless as to run into some dumb rock?
Then, I woke up. Damn, my head still hurt! My whole body hurt; I must've fallen out of bed. Only...there was no bed...There was nothing! I spun around. I was floating! In space! I was still dreaming ... still asleep.
"Where's my board?", I asked. Then, I was standing on it. It was beautiful, like an emerald. One BIG emerald. I looked at my hands...green shiny gloves. I looked at my silver ring, it was beautiful too.
"So when do I wake up?"
You're not asleep.
"Who said that?"
I did. (The ring glowed.)
Son of a bitch! You can talk!
No, I cannot.
Well, what do you call this!?
Okay, you can communicate. How?
I am the ring of Silver Lantern.
Yeah, but what are you...some kind of machine?
I am the ring of Silver Lantern.
Okay. You're the ring. But what ARE you? a radio? computer? A microscopic being? What?
I am the ring of...
OKAY!! Let me think..., ring, HOW did you become the ring of Silver Lantern?
You made me.
I made you? How?
When Galacthet gave you The Battery of the Power Oan, you made me from It.
Right! So I wouldn't have to carry The Battery around all the time to be Silver Lantern!
And you get charged from The Battery.
Okay...umm...where's The Battery?
"Here" where? I don't see it.
Okay, "The ring of Silver Lantern", listen up.
(And the ring glowed bright, and I knew that The Battery was there, inside the ring.)
Okay, ring, get it out.
I am the ring of
Shut up already with that! How doI get it out?
You will it.
(So, I willed it out and held it in my left hand.)
WOW!! THIS IS GREAT!! I'M...I'M SILVER LANTERN! And this is my Battery, you're my ring and this is my board! (Luckily, there was no one around to see me freaking out.) This is great!! How long will I be Silver Lantern, ring?
You will be Silver Lantern when you wear the ring. You will be Silver Lantern when you possess The Battery. You will be Silv
STOP! Trick question, I guess. Ring, where are we? ( I was getting a little scared; standing in the middle of nowhere. And really feeling lost in space!)
You are here.
Be more specific!! (I was starting to panic, but the ring was specific and I knew exactly where I was!) Okay, ring, take me to Earth. ( I was relieved knowing I was going home.)
I am th
I Got it!
You're the ring of me, and this is my battery. (I willed it back into the ring.) And this is my board!! (I headed for Earth.)
If you've seen pictures of space, forget them, they suck!! You should see it with all the spectrum!! And at warp speed!! At least, I guess it was warp speed, 'cuz space got kind of weird looking and I saw it differently. Nevermind!
I learned a lot from my ring. I just had to ask the right questions! Like, how long ago had it been since I first became Silver Lantern? 34 bleegs ago. (or 9 years, when I taught the ring to convert to The Earth's orbital year) Could the ring detect that I wasn't the "same" Silver Lantern? That I had changed somehow recently? No, I was Silver Lantern. Was my homeworld still okay? Yquem-La was fine. Galacthet was there as its Protector, retired now from wandering the cosmos. Was my Earth still okay? The ring said I had no Earth. Stupid ring. It couldn't tell me much of Earth. I knew more than it did! (I should have asked why.) I figured I was ready for my homecoming.
We... I... made it to Earth. The most beautiful marble I had EVER seen! Home sweet home! I slowed down as I approached. I didn't want to "plow" into it! There was the Moon, no big deal to look at after I had travelled half the Galaxy to get here! It was a mistake to pass on the Moon, I KNOW!
I took my time approaching the ground, like a feather I floated down. Nice and easy. (I felt like I was being watched.) I landed in my parents' city. Nice and easy.
Ring, can anyone else hear you?, I thought.
No. I communicate only with you. (I wouldn't call it telepathy. Telepathy takes 2 minds minimum. And it's a ring.)
Okay, ring, if I take you off my finger, I'll be me again, right?
You will be Norrin Sur.
What about me?
You are Norrin Sur, Silver Lantern.
(Crap! I hadn't asked ALL the right questions in advance of coming home. My parents would never believe that I was me. My friends wouldn't believe me either. Dammit! What else had I forgotten to ask?)
Can Norrin Sur "breathe" this atmosphere and live without getting sick?
(I wasn't taking any chances now.)
Norrin Sur can breathe this atmosphere and survive unharmed. The ring and The Battery of Silver Lantern will protect you.
(I took off the ring slowly. Nice and easy. And I was human again! Flesh on my bare hands, but wait! My flesh was now red! Weird... I was wearing some weird alien-looking jumpsuit. Heck! It WAS an alien jumpsuit. And I was still 6 feet tall and some inches, like when I was Silver Lantern! I was still buff! I touched the top of my head; I was still bald too. Crap.
So now I was a red humanoid alien standing there while people were pointing at me! I went into the nearest store; it was Electronics.
"May I help you, sir?", asked the young woman.
"Yeah, do you understand me, or am I speaking some alien language?", I asked. (Should have asked the ring some more questions earlier. Dammit.)
"I understand you.", she chuckled, "Why? Are you from Europe or somewhere else?"
(Okay, here goes.) "Actually, I'm an alien from another world.", I said.
"Really? I thought you might be, judging by your clothes and skin. Though you could have a bad case of sunburn. I never met an alien before. Seen them on the news a lot, though." she said.
(I was stunned. What was she talking about? Maybe my ring was translating English into Norrin Sur's language and was playing a joke on me. I shook the ring in my breast pocket.)
"What do you mean, 'On the news?'" I asked.
She got annoyed, "Don't you watch the news? There's always some alien that comes in peace, or some menace that the Justice Avengers are fighting."
"THE JUSTICE AVENGERS? PAUL'S JUSTICE AVENGERS?", I yelled.
"Who's Paul, their manager or something?", she asked.
"Paul CREATED them. He CREATED me. I mean... he created Silver Lantern.", I stammered.
"Well, good for Paul the Creator! I like the Justice Avengers, and Superion is my favorite. He is so hot!", she said jokingly.
(I laughed along, said bye, and left. The Justice Avengers were real just like me! Then that meant that their headquarters would have to be...)
"Okay, fella. Please put your hands on your head real slow like."
(What? Oh great. A cop coming up behind me! And the streets were looking mighty devoid of lifeforms too. I could hear police sirens getting louder. I put my hands on my head. Nice and easy.
"Something the matter, officer?", I tried to sound innocent. (A 6 ft + bald, red guy in an alien jumpsuit is probably NOT innocent in Arkansas!)
"I seen yuh hover down tuh thuh ground, and change intuh human, yuh damn alien spy! And I called for back up!", he said nervously.
"Officer, I'm NOT an alien or a spy.", I laughed, "I can prove it. I have my Driver's License here in my pocket.", (I gestured to my breast pocket,and he drew his gun.) "Take it out real slow like, you hear me?", he ordered.
(I heard him. And I took my ring out real slow like. When I showed it to him, he had a question forming on his lips, but I didn't wait. I put my ring on REAL FAST LIKE!) I transformed in an instant! He swore! He stumbled backwards! HE SHOT ME!! laughed. Where was my board? Oh, yeah, I had left it laying on the sidewalk. I summoned it. And I left. The cop kept shooting at me even though he had emptied his gun. I laughed about how dumb I had been to just land on a busy street, transform to human (Yquem-Lavian, whatever), and didn't consider how people might react. (I was the only one laughing. That quiet little town had almost been invaded by Martians...one bald martian.
I decided not to visit my folks. I flew towards New York, Metropolis; I would visit The Avengers. I could join up!
I landed quickly in Central Park, took off my ring and walked out into the city. I asked a doorman the address of the Avenger's Mansion. He laughed at me because everyone knew The Justice Avenger's base was on the moon! (Amalgam!! Gotta think Amalagam!) I asked him if any superheroes lived nearby. He told me that "The Wizard" lived 2 blocks down. I had never heard of him before, but if he was a superhero then maybe he could introduce me to some others. Maybe he would call the Moon for me. A little networking.
Naturally, he wasn't home. The security guard said he was always away, either physically or astrally. I left a message. I explained that I had just arrived on Earth. I meant no harm and wanted to meet him. (The note sounded ridiculous, I know.) I walked down Broadway, and stopped cold outside a store selling TVs. I was on all the TVs! The continuing news story was about an unknown alien being who had landed in Arkansas, threatened a police officer, and had been chased away. According to the reporter, this "being" had been detected in orbit and had not identified him/her/itself to the transmissions by The Justice Avengers. (The satellite camera picture of me was not so clear; must have been an old camera?)
The Pentagon spokesperson went on and on about security and to remain calm. He said that the Justice Avengers were investigating. (Their group picture scared the hell out of me: I counted 11 or 12 of them!) I felt sick to my stomach; I hadn't been smart about my homecoming. Why hadn't I answered the Justice Avengers' transmission? I didn't have a radio to HEAR it. Why did I threaten that town? I didn't. Who would believe me?) I figured someone could get hurt if me and the Justice Avengers were to have a "misunderstanding" at our first meeting, so I decided I should go visit them on the Moon. Nice and easy.
I had just cleared New York, heading up, up, and away...when I saw them. I counted 4 jet fighters coming my way. I didn't wait for them to get near me.
I poured on the speed and was in orbit. Where was the moon? Oops, other side. I circled the globe, past a few satellites (One was a camera; I was tempted to wave hello.), and made for the Moon.
FLASH! Something exploded silently 20 yards to my starboard! I turned and looked behind me; some sort of mini-Space Shuttle had fired a missile at me. Poor aim. My aim was better; I fired a warning shot across its nose. Crap! maybe his missile had been a warning shot, too!
Whoever they were they didn't like that one bit... they fired again, and I blasted the missile to bits RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE SHUTTLE. The pilot was good; he pulled through the explosion and banked port. He didn't want to get to close to me. I spun around to face the Moon again, and "bumped" into another mini-shuttle! It was just a bump, thank God; but the ship did some spinning out of control. I went to steady it, and got nailed in the back!
Actually, I got HAMMERED... by Thorzam's mighty mallet! He was grinning and had fire in his eyes. He wanted this battle; I didn't. Then, I saw
Steel Man rocketing at me and Superion! I didn't even wave goodbye as I sped for the Moon!
I left them in my dust. I knew they would catch up soon enough, so I had to think fast. WHAM! An energy-generated massive fist floored me! I got up, and there he was! Green Quasar! It was all happening as Paul and I had discussed on the internet months ago... a lifetime ago! The two Protectors of the Universe in battle; both possessing The Power Oan! It was great! He was as good as me, maybe not, I don't know. It was pretty close. He put me in an energy bubble, and I busted out. I through some Power Oan at him, and he through up a barrier! I had gotten him in a headlock; he was on the ropes...
And then I saw all the other Justice Avengers surrounding me, about to strike!
And you know what I did? I let GQ elbow me in the chest so I could fall "defeated". He slapped an energy cage around me, and energy shackles on me so fast, I couldn't believe it! And what did I do? Nothing. I was "defeated."
I could see them yelling at me, shouting back and forth at each other, but of course I couldn't hear anything: No air, no sound. And I didn't have a radio.
I asked my ring, "Hey, ring! How can GQ hear them and talk without air or a radio?"
He wills to hear. He wills to communicate.
(Crap. Maybe if I had "willed to hear and communicate" when I first arrived in orbit, I would have "heard" that first transmission! I could have avoided all of this! Well, I knew what to do now. I willed.
"...don't care if he DOES have Power Oan, Quase. He's evil!", Bat-Knight said from inside one of the shuttles on the radio.
"He's probably a member of Zemo's Masters of Injustice!" Silver Flash said from the other.
Thorzam boasted, "He is a coward! He ran from the might of Thorzam!"
"Easy, everyone. The question is: will our detention cell be able to hold him or not?", Captain Glory asked.
(It was my turn. I new what to say. I knew this speech by heart.)
I spoke, "PLEASE! LET ME EXPLAIN. I AM SILVER LANTERN, PROTECTOR OF THE UNIVERSE, GUARDIAN OF WORLDS. I CAME TO TEST GREEN QUASAR." (Not so loud, ring!)
"Tall, bright, and handsome can speak!", Shemmie said....I mean...She-Martian Manhunter said. "Test? You nearly KILLED me!", GQ blurted. "Maybe, you should test MY metal, pal!, Steel Man shouted. "It's my turn.", Superion said. "He's telling the truth!, Heracles overshouted them all.
They all shut up and looked at Heracles. She continued, "He speaks truthfully; we must hear him out."
(Okay, I had to make this good.)
"Justice Avengers," I began, "I am the successor of Galacthet, the first Guardian of Worlds. He granted me The Power Oan to safeguard the cosmos in his stead. (They were listening.) I perceived The Power Oan emanating from this planet, your "Earth". I had to find the Possessor; I had to know that The Power was being used properly, with honor, for good.
(They were eating it up! I was on a roll.)
"I had to see how Green Quasar would react to an unknown powerful intruder, with haste or caution. I had to know with what company he was allied. I had to remain silent. I had to cause fear...then confront him. I had to know that he was indeed a Protector...and not a Destroyer.
(I looked at GQ. Here came the kicker.)
"I am pleased, Wendell Jordan, ... my Brother."
Well, we were all pals. We went to their Moon Mansion and shared the news with the world ...a slightly different version. The Pentagon, The President, the Justice Avengers, etc. had conducted this "exercise" to gauge the readiness of the military, law enforcement, and the general public. If this had been a real emergency...blah blah blah... Silver Lantern is an ally of the Justice Avengers...had been for some time...because of his shared heritage with GQ...blah blah blah. Oh yeah...the country passed the test with flying colors.
"That's a beautiful story, Mister Lantern.", the old man said. (He didn't believe me; why should he?) He added, "But as you said yourself, Silver Lantern is BALD... in any form." (I lifted my wig.)
He cackled, "Nice try, buddy! But where's your space suit?"
"It's an alien jumpsuit... not a space suit. GQ gave me some money so I could buy clothes; blend in. My jumpsuit is in my suitcase, on my board, hovering outside in a cloaking field...quite safe."
(He started laughing uncontrollably; I thought he was gonna die...or wet himself.)
"You okay?", the waitress asked from the kitchen's window.
"I'm fine", he choked, "Just chatting with my pal, Norrin, here. What a kidder!" (He slapped me on my back, and got up to leave.)
He stopped at the door, "Hey, Mr. Lantern. You've been on Earth for a week now. How do you like it? Are you homesick?, he chuckled.
" It's taking some getting used to... this world...but I really like it. And maybe I'm a little homesick, I guess...I haven't really thought about it much. No. I'm not homesick " I answered. (He must think I'm a real nut.)
"Well", he said, "Thanks for the coffee, and... 'welcome home'... Kenny."
(He opened the door, stepped outside, and vanished.)
To be continued
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