Tales of the Green Lantern Corps: Carsta Vager
The Ghost of Green Lantern 1101
A planet is invaded by a small force, and Carsta Vager, the local member of the Green Lantern Corps, is killed in the opening moments of the fight. Who will protect his home planet?
I had served the Green Lanterns of space sector 1101 for many years before I briefly took on that honor myself. It came about in the following fashion.
My previous master Carsta Vager had been the latest to serve the Green Lantern Corps, defending his home planet and sector for many years as an example of the best of his species. He had never known defeat, except once; it proved to be a most costly defeat for Carsta.
That day started like any other. He awoke before sunrise, engaged in his physical regimen, and set out on patrol duty with me. As we left the atmosphere of the planet, scans alerted me to the presence of ships stealthily approaching.
We flew closer to see who these newcomers were. Carsta Vager was slightly disconcerted to see that the hulls of the four ships he confronted were painted yellow.
“This is the Green Lantern of sector 1101,” Vager said calmly into a radio he conjured with his power ring. He was wary but hopeful that the ships’ stealthy approach could be put down to unfamiliarity with the star system. “Do you need assistance?”
The four ships halted their flight. The captain of the fleet came on the screen. He was a Sorthian, who are, as a species, not known for friendly greetings.
“Hello, Lantern,” said the captain. “We are fine.”
I noticed a ship approaching from behind us. Even as I warned Vager, the craft’s guns opened fire with yellow bursts of energy. Carsta was cut in half by the beams.
“Better than you, it seems,” the captain said with a rumbling laugh.
Carsta Vager was mortally wounded. We both knew it for the truth.
The yellow fleet descended toward the planet far below. The populace had no defense against the threat. The local Green Lantern was their sole defense, and he was now floating dying in the blackness of space.
“I want you to listen,” Vager whispered, calling on the phenomenal willpower that had made him who he was. “You will defend the planet from any threat until someone more worthy than I can be found and appointed. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” I said back to him.
“Then go about your business,” he whispered.
Now wearing the uniform of the Green Lanterns myself, and equipped with my master’s power ring, I left Vager in an energy bubble as I flew off to carry out his last command. I had served many Green Lanterns, and I drew upon my experience while deciding on my tactics as I flew after the yellow fleet.
That fleet descended toward Vager’s homeworld quickly. I knew the emerald light would not work against their yellow hulls, so I needed an indirect approach.
Flying past one of the moons on an intercept course, I scooped up part of a mountain as I went. My years as a servant of the Corpsmen had given me a working knowledge of combat tactics.
The yellow fleet saw my burden coming on their screens and began to fire their lasers at me as they tried to separate. I swung the rock through them one at a time, feeling small satisfaction in seeing the lifeboats flee the wrecks.
Beaming an image of Carsta Vager for them to see, I said, “This world is protected. Go and never return.”
I grabbed each boat and accelerated it out of the system into hyperspace. Then I returned the rock to the moon.
There was only one thing left to do now. I returned to collect Carsta Vager’s body from where it floated, and gathered all of it together after a search. I buried the corpse on the moon where I had ripped up the mountain, and I erected a simple stone for him.
Then I began serving as a Green Lantern in the interim, and each good deed I managed to accomplish was performed in Carsta Vager’s name. My own name, face, and identity were set aside and forgotten, replaced by those of my late master; all that mattered was that the entire sector knew their chosen Green Lantern was still serving and protecting them.
All the while, I searched for someone to live up to his standard of being more worthy than he. It has been a long search, taking me to several inhabited planets in my sector, but I think I have found someone at last. It is time for a new Green Lantern of space sector 1101, not the ghost of a dead one.