The three Green Lanterns went into action immediately, as did Silver Swan, Deadshot, and Signalman in their own ways. Arisia created a huge cage that closed in on the alien troopers like a vise. They remained unharmed but tightly pinned. Katma Tui sent a huge, ram-shaped energy construct to knock others off their feet.
John Stewart shielded his friends and thought of how best to free the United Kingdom. He knew enough about science from his experience as a Green Lantern and from plans Harbinger transmitted to him through their com-link to see the infamous shrinking ray. He activated it and watched the bottle explode as the entire U.K. returned to its normal size and location.
All right! I am glad I didn’t end up dropping it on France, or something, thought Stewart. He had a sudden impulse and enveloped the device with his energy bubble. He took it with him as his friends trashed the ship and its crew.
Deadshot was picking off aliens with ruthless skill while others were blinded by the strobing pulses generated by the Signalman. “Signs of a change, baby!” he laughed.
Silver Swan used her super-strength to topple a cannon while her allure attracted and froze others into inaction. She blew a kiss to the creatures, then raced off-ship with the others.
After forming a huge gun with their rings, the Green Lanterns let Deadshot aim and fire it. He hit exactly as desired, and the alien craft was disabled in blue fire. “Let’s see Luke Skywalker do better than that,” said Deadshot.
They returned to the Washington, D.C. facility of the Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency, where Captain Comet examined the shrinking ray. “It’s based on Brainiac’s, all right. I guess they copied it or stole it, since he’s not been spotted among the invading fleet.”
At that moment, a rumble shook the building. They rushed out to see Lesla-Lar battling a hulking monster with spiky, protruding bone-spurs across its body. She was staggered by its sheer power.
“I’d better help Lesla,” said Comet.
The aliens watched gleefully as their creation beat the pretty blonde called Lesla-Lar down into the street. She refused to give up, however, and continued to try to slow him down. Can’t let him get to the civilians, even if I have to die to stop him! It’s what I — what Supergirl would do, she mused. She tried flying up with him for miles and then dropping him, but the impact only shattered some bone spurs or gave birth to new jagged masses that cut even her powerful Kryptonian body. She fell beneath his latest punch and rolled aside, stunned.
Captain Comet ran out and charged the monster. He rocked him backward but could not hurt him. This is not going to be easy, he thought, falling to a left from the creature and ducking a second cutting slice. His attack slowed the beast barely, and nothing he did seemed to hurt him. He tried a new idea and blasted the beast mentally, only to find that, for all intents and purposes, Doomsday was mindless — just a destructive organism bent on murder and chaos.
He was knocked through a wall and shook his head as the Green Lanterns ganged up on the beast. Their power was amazing — and, ultimately, ineffective. He shrugged off their every blast and burst their every cage. “He’s practically unbeatable!” said John Stewart.
I wish Hal was here, thought Katma Tui.
Silver Swan’s mesmeric song did not affect him, either. He swung and sent Helena Alexandros flying into a stunned pile. Comet saw Lesla-Lar battle anew with true courage while foolish crowds cheered her on. “Get those people back!” he ordered Arisia.
Lesla-Lar landed a hard blow that did topple Doomsday, but the creature got back up again. Comet’s keen mind found the answer. He ran inside and emerged with the shrinking ray of Brainiac. He hit it directly, and a beam shot out to shrink Doomsday to microscopic size. Comet sighed in relief as he had beaten the alien killing machine.
The captive team of Golden Glider, Mayflower, Silent Majority, Plastique, and Pied Piper were being held in a prison ship. Their other companions were alien prisoners of many races, including a very odd one who spoke English. He looked like nothing so much as a rag doll. His features seemed stitched on, and his limber body also added to the overall impression that this was a living rag doll. “I am Brother Power,” he said woefully.
“How long have you been here?” asked Glider.
“I don’t know. I remember President Nixon, but he may no longer be President. You are from Earth, right?” he asked.
“Yes! You’ve been captive for a long time,” said Piper.
“True. But I’ve been doing T.M. and trying not to get bummed out,” he said cheerfully. He had been turned on to transcendental meditation during his formative years in 1960s San Francisco.
Plastique shattered her chains with an energy blast, surprising them all. “What? Did you think I needed the disks to create the explosions? I am the energy source, not them!” She smiled as if this moment in the spotlight was all too wonderful for her. Glider let her skillfully break the other chains, and all the aliens rushed out to attack the jailers.
The limber Brother Power made an effective ally, though he seemed to be unnaturally pacifistic. Piper seemed to form a bond with him, and they talked of rock and roll as they made their way free.
Glider skated to a group of aliens and dazzled all by how fast and agilely she dodged them. “Too slow, boys. You couldn’t even catch Dorothy Hammel,” she sneered.
Piper subdued the others with his pipe. “While he plays, they are helpless. Lock them up where they had us,” ordered Mayflower. She smiled as a scanner screen showed the now-returned United Kingdom. “Oh, me mum is back! Thank goodness.” She hugged the tacturn Silent Majority, and even he smiled slightly.
An orange-skinned beauty with white blonde hair seemed to be in charge of the newly freed alien captives. “I’m Stealth. How about a ride down to Earth?” she asked saucily. They agreed, and a small craft descended to Earth, leaving the larger prison ship manned by the freed alien prisoners who joyfully thanked the Rehab Squad.
As they raced home, they saw news broadcasts showing almost total victory for the Earth heroes, thanks in part to the help of Superman and the JLA, who joined the battle at the eleventh hour. The media had even given Lesla-Lar a new name — Valor. She smiled for cameras and felt truly as if she now belonged.
Captain Comet was trying to work in the lab. “No use. I can’t find a cure for Pariah’s condition. All powers and equipment fail near him. It’s reaching a crisis state.” The sad-eyed Pariah had vanished shortly after this result.
An alien bomber made a final effort to destroy Earth’s heroes by using a fusion weapon on New York City, where so many heroes lived. Before Comet could react, Harbinger ran in tearfully and said, “Pariah’s gone to the ship! I think he’s going to try to disable it with the very plague the aliens infected him with!”
Glider frowned at her. “You can’t stop him. It’s the poor guilt-ridden guy’s chance to be a hero.”
Cheetah nodded. “That’s a feeling no one would want to lose.”
The result was spectacular. Pariah crashed into the ship and made his way to the core. His plague did cause the fusion weapon to misfire, and the ship was consumed. His body was not found, and the invaders fled, defeated for good. The cheers of all rang out, and the names of Comet and Valor were celebrated the most.
After the events of the invasion, Harbinger was offered a job as the information source on heroes and villains for the Meta-Human Rehabilitation Agency and its Rehab Squad. The blonde readily accepted the job. “After working for the Monitor, I do know my meta-humans,” she said.
“You know more about the heroes and villains of several worlds than anybody,” insisted Comet.
“I guess I do,” she answered with a radiant smile.
Brother Power and Pied Piper headed off together, since the Piper had no jail-time to serve. The fiery Stealth also left, eager to see the Earth. Silver Swan had been hurt by Doomsday and remained in a hospital, but she could return to duty eventually. The missing Multiplex was AWOL, as was the crafty Deadshot who slipped away in the confusion.
“I guess that leaves Dolphin, Starman, Cheetah, Glider, and Mayflower, along with Valor, as Lesla-Lar’s been appropriately named.”
“I really feel at home here now,” Valor announced. Comet’s brief scan revealed that the lovely Kandorian was almost free of her Supergirl fixation.
“I guess the public acclaim in her own right helped her a lot,” suggested Dolphin.
“I know she really pulled her weight during the conflict,” said Arisia before she flew off with the other members of the Green Lantern Corps. She had already told Captain Comet and Rick Flag that she was returning to her own team. She loved the experiences and friendships she’d found in the Rehab Squad, but the GLC was her true home.
“I guess things are finally settling down,” said Colonel Rick Flag, director of the MHRA.
Little did they know Maxima the alien princess was watching eagerly and admiringly as Captain Comet made his every move. “He is truly exceptional! I will observe more, then claim him as my mate,” she declared.