by PDebord, with CSyphrett
“I can’t believe it! Those little blue wackos put an APB out on you? You’re their top guy!” Green Arrow said not long after as he paced around the monitor room in the JLA Satellite.
“It’s something like that, Ollie,” said Green Lantern. “The Guardians weren’t involved in this, since they’re not even in our dimension any longer. It was actually the Old Timer — who’s still the mortal he’s been since the little blue wackos took away his life-powers after he traveled through America with us a few years back — and the Honor Guard of the Green Lantern Corps who accused me of this heinous crime. It sounds just like what Kyle said — that I headed to Oa and ripped the place apart. For some reason they think it’s me, and I would say that Kilowog, John, Guy, Arisia, and Katma will think it’s me, too. I have to get to Oa and stop this guy and clear my name.”
“You go do what you have to — what does my opinion matter? I’m just the dumb schmuck you called up here to cover your monitor duty,” Green Arrow said, grinning.
“I knew you would understand, Ollie,” Green Lantern said as he phased through the wall.
The real Hal Jordan flew like a green streak toward the distant planet of Oa, the headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps and the once and future home of the Guardians of the Universe. He slowed down as he saw something in front of him. The man who knew no fear turned sick at the sight of what had once been at least three Green Lanterns. Each of the bodies had their right hands missing and their power rings as well.
“It’s just like Kyle said — he’s killing every G.L. he encounters and taking their rings as he goes,” Green Lantern said to himself. “Was this what happened on his world? Did his Hal Jordan get stuck with another man’s crimes? I’ll figure that puzzle out later. I have only one shot at beating him to Oa. I only hope he doesn’t know the star charts like I do.”
Meanwhile, on a world not so far away from Oa, a slender, red-faced alien flew up into the sky in a flash of yellow. Sinestro was on a mission of his own, and he would not be stopped.
William Hand looked down at his right hand as he flew through space. His captured power rings had all merged into one, and it was tracing the power ring energy back to its source: a small planet just ahead. The only obstacles in his way were five more Green Lanterns: Kilowog, John Stewart, Katma Tui, Arisia, and Salaak. He encountered them as he entered the planet’s atmosphere.
“Oh, good! I need another snack,” said the man whose face was identical to that of Hal Jordan, except for the wicked smile he now wore. “And that which does not kill me makes me grow stronger!”
“You’re not getting past us, Jordan!” Kilowog said.
“I’ve left a long string of broken hearts behind me,” the former Black Hand said with a smile. “Well, that and the broken heads, hands, arms, legs, et cetera. You don’t really think you can stop me, do you?”
“I can,” said a nearly identical voice from William Hand’s right.
The villain turned just in time to see a giant green fist wrap around him. The power ring that had created the fist belonged to the real Hal Jordan.
“Now I’m really confused,” Arisia said.
“But you can’t be here! I left you on Earth hours ago!” Hand said angrily. “Time flies when you’re having fun!”
“No wonder an alert was sent out for me,” said Hal Jordan. “The energy you’re using was siphoned from my ring. I’m no Batman, but only one man comes to mind when I think of that trick — Black Hand, AKA William Hand. Those hackneyed clichés you’re spouting only confirm this.”
The gloves on the villain’s hands turned from white to black. “Oh, well. You can fool some of the people some of the time,” Hand said with a shrug. “However, I will help myself to some of your energy.” Suddenly, the giant green power ring-generated hand around him disappeared as the villain absorbed it into him.
“Which one do we fight?” Kilowog said. “The GLC alert said Jordan had to be stopped at all costs!”
“You don’t fight either one of us, Kilowog,” said Hal. “This guy’s a living power battery in reverse. He’ll absorb your ring and you if he touches you.”
“So he’s here ta do what Kyle said you would do — absorb the power battery?” Kilowog clarified.
“That’s right,” said Hand. “I’m here to send you to the unemployment line or the morgue if you get in my way.”
“So Hal’s not Parallax — he is!” John Stewart said happily, pointing at Hand.
“Parallax? I like that — has a nice ring to it,” said the former Black Hand.
“Perhaps you will like this less,” Salaak said as he created a giant church bell over Hand’s head. A will-powered swing of the clapper later left Hand holding his ears and howling in pain.
“He doesn’t have the experience with power rings that we do,” John said. “If he had, he could’ve taken this fight out of the atmosphere, where there’s no air to carry sound.”
“There are many ways to beat him without actually touching him with the energy,” Katma Tui answered.
“Exactly,” Salaak asked.
“Too late,” William Hand said as he reached toward Hal Jordan.
The black glove of Parallax was just inches from Green Lantern’s chest when it stopped suddenly. Green Lantern and Parallax could both just barely see an almost invisible but faintly yellow barrier between them. They simultaneously traced the source of the barrier back to a yellow power ring on the right hand of a newcomer.
“Sinestro!” Hal said, surprise heavy in his voice.
“No! I have not come this far to be stopped!” Parallax said angrily as he streaked past the other Green Lanterns on his way to Oa’s capital city.
Suddenly, Sinestro used his yellow power ring to project a force-field barrier around the city, which Parallax was shocked to learn he could not penetrate. “Those rings you wear are Green Lantern rings,” Sinestro said calmly. “They have only one weakness, as I’m sure you’re aware of.”
A bright yellow cage suddenly appeared around Parallax, and it dragged him after the retreating Sinestro.
“No way did that just happen,” Arisia said as Sinestro flew out of sight, still carrying Parallax captive.
“Did Sinestro just save Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps?” John Stewart asked.
The six Green Lanterns’ rings then projected an image of Appa Ali Apsa, alongside K’ryssma of Etrea and Apros of Minus Seven Pi. “The Green Lantern of Earth has been cleared of any wrongdoing,” said Appa through his Honor Guardsmens’ rings. “Hal Jordan, will you please come down to the Central Hall so that we could apologize in person?”
“Nothing like a universal threat to make you feel better about the future,” Hal said as he turned and flew toward the city.
Hal Jordan and Kilowog landed on Oa’s surface near the central power battery.
“You didn’t mention how you managed ta get here just as he did,” Kilowog said.
“There’s a space warp not too far from Oa that leads directly to Earth,” replied Jordan. Kilowog nodded; he and the others had used the same warp to arrive before Parallax entered the system. “It takes minutes instead of hours to get here. My only hope was that Parallax didn’t know about it.”
“He may look like you, poozer, but he definitely ain’t you,” Kilowog said.
In deep space, Parallax paced in his yellow power-ring-created cage like a wild animal. “Why? Why did you do this?” William Hand screamed. “You hate them as much as I do — so why did you stop me?”
“Jordan is mine to destroy, not yours. I will not be denied my revenge by an inept Earther,” said Sinestro, who flung the cage out into the cosmos.
“I won’t forget this, Sinestro. You haven’t heard the last of Parallax — any of you! I will have my dish of revenge!” Parallax screamed as he vanished into the cold dark night of space.