Tales of the Green Lantern Corps: Ch’p
Monk on a Mission
by Doc Quantum
The furry, squirrel-like Ch’p has been reunited with his onetime arch-enemy, Doctor U’bx, and as the only ones of their kind who remember each other any longer after the Crisis they’ve befriended each other. But what is Ch’p to think when U’bx disappears through a dimensional vortex?
At the Green Lantern Citadel in the hills outside Los Angeles, two former enemies were chatting about old times. One was the member of the Green Lantern Corps named Ch’p, a short, furry, sentient creature from the planet H’lven who looked like nothing less than a cartoon squirrel. The other was his former arch-enemy, the infamous Doctor Ub’x, who was of a similar species but wore a robe, looked older and more wizened, and slightly resembled a beaver. The one thing they had in common was that, thanks to some quirk of the recent Crisis on Infinite Earths, their world no longer remembered them. All traces of their lives as hero and villain had been wiped out of existence, and each only survived because of the weapons they wielded — Ch’p’s power ring and Doctor Ub’x’s powerful sucker stick.
Shortly after the Crisis, Ub’x arrived in secret on Earth to destroy his arch-enemy. However, after realizing that killing Ch’p would merely leave him alone on a world of biggies — and in a universe where no one else remembered him — he decided to spare him. The last wave of the Crisis hit soon after, almost blinking him out of existence, when Ch’p saved him using his power ring. (*) They were now fast friends, two so-called funny animals on a world of towering humans.
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Diabolical Doctor Ub’x,” Green Lantern Corps #203 (August, 1986).]
“I really miss her, Ub’x,” Ch’p moaned over a short glass of cider. “M’nn’e was one of a kind.”
“You know,” Doctor Ub’x replied, still sober, “you could always go back there and win her back. She may not remember you, but there’s no reason why you can’t befriend her now.”
“No, she’s remarried to my old friend, D’ll. And neither of them remember me at all.” Ch’p’s head hung low. “I don’t know if I’ll ever find another one like her.”
“Well, you won’t find another one like her on this planet, that’s for sure.” Doctor Ub’x’s intense, large eyes stared off into the distance.
The next day, Ch’p awoke under the tree just outside the Citadel, where he had fallen asleep the night before. Doctor Ub’x was already gone.
“Where did that rascal go?” he wondered.
Inside, he went into the room designated as Doctor Ub’x’s laboratory. Now reformed, the former criminal scientist put his genius to work for the Green Lanterns. There he saw Doctor Ub’x, goggles over his eyes, staring into a bright blue vortex before him.
“Wow, I’m impressed, Doc. What is that thing?”
Doctor Ub’x apparently hadn’t heard him, for in a moment, he leaped through the portal.
“Doc!” Ch’p cried as he saw his friend disappear into the vortex. Without thinking, he flew after him before the portal closed with a popping sound. After what they’d been through together, he wasn’t about to lose him now.
The Green Lantern called Ch’p and Doctor Ub’x fell through the portal right into a large trash bin. This was the latest in a long series of worlds they’d traveled to since they first jumped into that dimensional portal in what seemed like several weeks ago now.
“O-oooh…” said Ch’p as he pulled himself out of the garbage-filled trash bin. “This doesn’t look like a happy world — it looks like Hal’s Earth.”
“Not quite, my young ally,” said Doctor Ub’x as he studied the dimensio-readings from his Sky-Hole Hatcher, as his dimensional-traveling device was called. “Judging from the relative size of these trash bins compared to us, the inhabitants of this world are much closer to our size.”
“Well, that’s a relief, anyways,” said Ch’p. “I was getting tired of meeting giants and ogres on every second world.”
“Yes, not to mention that world with that crazy bunny and that daffy duck!” replied Ub’x. “They were positively looney!”
“Let’s get a good look at ’em! C’mon, Doc!”
The two walked out of the alleyway, Ub’x a little more cautiously than the bold, young Monk from H’lven. Ch’p took a good look around him. “Hey, Doc! We could really fit in here! Everyone looks just like us!” And it was true. As they surveyed the area, two-footed bunnies, ducks, dogs, cats, and chipmunks walked around, dressed in suits and going about their daily business. “I may have been wrong about this world, after all.”
“First impressions aren’t always correct, Ch’p,” Ub’x replied. “However, let’s make sure to step with caution. We don’t know what they’re–”
“Greetings!” Ch’p said to a passing turtle before Doctor Ub’x could finish his sentence. “My name is Ch’p. Could you direct me to the nearest wizard, mayor, or chief nut-bearer in this fair town?” At this, Ub’x merely shook his head at the young Monk’s boldness. Oh, well. That was partly why he had been chosen as a Green Lantern.
“I… don’t know about… the wizard or… the nut-bearer part… bud,” the turtle drawled, an amused expression on his beaked face, “but I could sure… show you where to meet… the Mayor!”
Three blocks away, and a couple of hours later — the turtle walked very, very slowly — they arrived at City Hall and were shown to the Mayor’s office.
The Mayor was a heavyset rooster wearing a double-breasted suit, a top hat, and a ribbon strewn diagonally over his chest that had the word MAYOR written across it in bold lettering. He harrumphed at the sight of the two.
“Hmph. Bok-bok. Well, now, how can I be of assistance to you fine folk? — bok-bok — Hm?” As Ch’p opened his mouth to speak, the Mayor interrupted, saying, “Bok-BOK — Well, speak up now, son. Don’t be shy! We’re all friends here! Isn’t there something you want to say? Hm? — bok-bok.” Ch’p made another doomed attempt to speak. “BOK-bok — Well, my time is — BOK — valuable, indeed! I’m the Mayor of Beantown, and I can’t afford to have my time wasted, so speak your piece, son! Come on — bok!”
“What is it, son? Bok-BOK! I’ve been standing here, and you haven’t said a word! Is there something I or one of the citizens of Beantown can help you with? If there is — bok-BOK — just say so. Don’t stand there like a sack of beans, son, say something — hm-BOK!”
Ch’p was becoming impatient. “Uh–” he began, and as the Mayor was about to interrupt him again, he formed a green paw from his ring and used it to cover the Mayor’s still-flapping beak, much to his distress. All the others jumped back as they saw the green energy of the ring at work. But Ch’p left the paw there, at least until he had his say.
“Hello, Mr. Mayor. I’m sorry about this, but I wanted to introduce us. I’m Ch’p! I’m a Green Lantern, and this is my friend, Doc Ub’x. We’re here to offer our services in return for food, shelter, and friendship! We’ve traveled a great distance to get here, and we’d like to help you out with anything we may be able to. As you can see, I have a magic ring that I can do many things with, and my friend is a great scientist. We may be of use to you. So what do you say?”
At that, the green paw covering the Mayor’s beak disappeared. For the first time in his life, the Mayor found himself utterly speechless.
To Be Continued in DC Universe: Crisis of Infinite Animals