#24 (35): A Day Like Any Other (Wilkins / Byrnes) Jan 21, 2010 21:59:03 GMT -5
Post by Charlie on Jan 21, 2010 21:59:03 GMT -5
Superman had been and gone. it was Clark Kent that was sat at Chloe Sullivan's bedside, holding the newborn Baby Sullivan as Chloe herself slept, exhausted after the day's events. "Hello you," he whispered, as he watched the child sleep, "hello, you beautiful little girl you." He arched his neck toward the window, and gazed as far as he could, in every direction, but he couldn't see any sign of the Green Lanterns anywhere. "Your daddy will be home soon, don't you worry," he said, "don't you worry."
"Wonder Woman--?" Green Lantern 2814.1-- Hank Henshaw-- was on monitor duty with Wonder Woman. Simultaneously to his overseeing the world and ensuring that it was in no danger from threats beyond normal human responses to handle, his ring was reviewing hundreds of Justice League files. He was learning about Injustice, Unlimited, Thanagar, Despero, Kanjar Ro, Amazo, all the amazing threats the team had faced, and had suddenly stumbled upon a very interesting fact when reviewing the known data on the Amazon people.
"Diana, please," replied the Queen of the Amazons. "What is it, Hank?"
"I'm just getting myself up to speed while Hal's on Oa, you know this, and I was just wondering... what's a Purple Healing Ray?"
"It's an ancient Amazonian device that heals at a rate much faster than humanly possible."
"Interesting," said Henshaw, nodding. His neck arched back toward the Monitor Womb, and a large red light went off above one of the screens, just as his Power Ring began to speak:
<Tidal wave approaching Japan-->
"We're on the clock," Green Lantern said with a grin, before shooting out of the flying Justice League headquarters side-by-side with Wonder Woman, and heading toward the potential disaster.
Issue Twenty Four: "A Day Like Any Other"
Written by Charlie Wilkins
Cover by Jessica Byrnes
Edited by Don Walsh
Issue Twenty Four: "A Day Like Any Other"
Written by Charlie Wilkins
Cover by Jessica Byrnes
Edited by Don Walsh
"You have been AWOL for two, going on three years, former Lieutenant Gardner. What can you possibly say that would make the Air Force forget such an act?"
Colonel 'Ace' Morgan was quite surprised to find Guy Gardner outside his office at Edwards Air Force Base, in Coast City. When Morgan had come into view, Gardner had sprung up in a salute, and this, along with the fact that Gardner had lost a whole lot of weight, grown his hair out some what, and had a thick stubble over his jaw-- basically becoming the anti-Guy Gardner of old-- surprised the old Colonel. Gardner has politely asked to come into Morgan's office, and 'Ace' had ushered him inside. Before Guy had a chance to speak, Morgan was already in his face, Gardner standing to attention on instinct.
"Permission to speak freely, sir?"
"Permission granted, Gardner."
Guy moved his hand in front of his face, and his emerald ring began to glow in the early morning light. Within seconds, his civilian clothes had been replaced by a green jacket, and trousers, a thick white belt, and a glowing emerald insignia floating above his chest.
"Oh, not you too," muttered Morgan.
Gardner nodded, a half-smile forming on his face. "Highball told me you knew, and I had to explain to someone... it wasn't my fault, sir, a whole lot of business went down, I went MIA in myself for a while, and I've only just resurfaced."
Morgan shrugged, and sank into his large, leather chair. He motioned for Guy to sit opposite him. "So what is it you want, Gardner? Your old job back? You want back in the Air Force?"
"No, sir, no, I..." Gardner sat in the chair offered to him, and leaned forward. "I wanted to apologize. I've lost nearly three years, like you say, but, even though it wasn't entirely my fault... I feel like I let you down. I wanted to apologize, and also resign my commission-- though I assume that's already been done for me."
"I'm afraid so, Guy. You went AWOL. you're no longer part of the Air Force. You're wanted too, for abandoning your post. I can sort that out though. You have been in a coma, correct?"
Guy rested his chin on his latticed fingers, and then nodded slowly. "...Yes."
"And the appropriate medical charts and files would be obtainable to me by, say, 0800 tomorrow?"
Guy leaned back in the chair, and continued to nod. "They would."
"Then that would be sorted. Guy... what you got planned now?"
"Life of adventure, I think, sir," smiled Gardner, as he stood up. "Plus, I always wanted to open up a bar. With some free time on my hands now... I think that could become a distinct possibility in materialising."
"I'm really grateful to you, Martha," said Chloe Sullivan, as she rocked her daughter back and forth, "I couldn't think to go back to the DEO headquarters with her in tow."
"Chloe, you always were like a daughter to Jonathan and me, you don't have to worry one bit about this," replied Ma Kent, as she prepared for dinner. "So... what are you going to do?"
Chloe looked up from her child. "How do you mean?"
"Well, it's been a month, and you've not seen the father... I don't know, I just worry sometimes."
"Clark's already told me what's going on with Hal. And--"
"Excuse me," said a voice at the door. A man in a white shirt and jeans, his jacket over his shoulder. He smiled as he removed his flat-cap, and Chloe smiled. "Ms Sullivan," he said with a nod, and then turned to Martha, "Ma'am."
"My, oh, my," said Chloe. "Martha Kent, this is Hank Henshaw, a friend of Hal Jordan."
"A friend?" said Martha, "you mean he's... a Green Lantern?"
Hank straightened up. "Uh, I feel as if I'm at a distinct disadvantage."
"Chloe's a friend of the family, son," said Martha, as she put out her hand. "I'm Martha, this is my general store you're setting foot in. You can call me Ma."
"Well Martha," started Hank as he took it, "I have a message for Chloe, from Hal... and..."
Ma nodded and smiled. "I'll wait outside."
Hank and Chloe were left inside Smallville's General Store, and Chloe continued to cradle her daughter. "She's beautiful, Ms. Sullivan."
"What's the message, Henshaw?" asked Chloe, her demenour changing.
Hank opened up his hand, and a sphere of emerald energy popped out of his ring. "It's a recording."
"Could you take her outside, please?" Chloe handed her daughter to Hank, and Henshaw smiled.
"Of course, of course." Henshaw left the store holding the baby, and Hal Jordan appeared before Chloe.
"Chloe..." he started. He looked rough. Chloe tried to ignore it. "Clark got word to me about your... our daughter. And I... well," he managed himself a smile, "I'll be there however much you want me to be. I want to be a part of our daughter's life, you know? And I know that I've not treated you as best as I could, but I'll change. I'll be back on Earth soon enough, and we'll talk. I promise you that. We'll have the talk we should have had months ago. Heh, I can't believe I'm nervous, you know? Right. I'll see you soon. Both of you. Soon."
The hologram disippated, and Chloe simply continued to stare into empty space. "...Jessica," she finally managed. "I called her Jessica. After your mother."
Geosynchronous Orbit Above The Dark Side Of The Moon:[/b]
"The plan is simple. Lay waste. Wreak havoc. Murder. Kill. Savage." The giant of a thing paced the main deck of his space ship. "You may slaughter as many as you wish. Torture if you must. But this is just foreplay, you must all understand that." He smiled a killer's smile; thick, white teeth on show, his yellow lips thinning at the edges. "This is about revenge. It always is. This is about Green Lantern dying by my hand, and all the things that come with that." Mongul's smile didn't fade. His crew roared in agreement, and he turned to the other passenger on his ship. "What do you say to that?"
"I'll kill whoever you put in front of me, Mongul," said Lobo, as he flicked a flake of dried blood from his book, "simple as."
"'Simple as'," repeated Mongul, almost laughing, "yes, we shall see about that."
Coast City/Ferris Air:
Carol Ferris was sat in her office, shuffling papers. It had nearly been a month since she had last seen Hal Jordan. An entire month spent waiting. She'd pulled herself away from her bed, from her apartment, and returned to work. Things had moved smoothly along in her absence, she'd set up her business well enough to ensure that. But right now she was merely trying to distract herself, and failing miserably at it.
Hank Henshaw knocked at her door, and she called him inside. "Hey, Carol, how are you holding up?"
Carol mustered a smile. "I'm fine, Hank. Thank you. Any word...?"
"The Guardians want to make sure he's completely free of the Legion virus, and it's taking some time, but he sent this through Kilowog." Hank moved his hand over where his ring would be, and the emerald weapon appeared, uncloaking with a thought. A small globe of energy popped out of the centre jewel, and floated toward Carol. "I'll leave you to it, I have to try out the new X50."
"Fly safe, Spaceman."
Henshaw closed the door, and left Carol alone. The globe billowed upwards, and became a holographic representation of Hal Jordan. He looked tired, drained, and she could see his cheekbones very clearly, even through the holographic projection. Was he ill?
"Hey, Carol... I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to get to you, but I wasn't allowed near a power ring, just in case. The tests are winding down, and I'll be home soon enough. Kilowog was kind enough to visit me, and get this message to you through Henshaw. Anyway... I love you, Carol. I do. And I'll see you soon. Funny thing... I realised that I'm getting lazy with my ring... letting it feed me nutrients instead of just eating. I need to get on top of that again, I think. So when I get home, I'm taking you out. I got some pull in Coast. I'm thinking a night on the town?"
She smiled, and didn't say a word.
"See you soon, sweetheart. Be well." Hal faded away, his smile the last thing to leave Carol's sight. The message did nothing to make her feel better.
Guy scratched his beard, and walked the streets of Coast City, contemplating what to do next. The Guardians had debriefed him, scanned his power ring, and allowed him home. He wondered, every minute that he was awake, why it was easy enough for him to return to Earth, and not Highball, but decided that it was too much trouble to challenge the new bosses so early in the day. He'd brought up his concerns with Kilowog, and the drill-Sergeant had shrugged. Hal had been deadly under the influence of Legion. Maybe Guy should take the disregarding of him as an insult? Nah.
Three years since he'd been on Earth. Weird, that. He walked the streets, and when the fancy struck him, into DVD stores, and perused the recent releases. He scanned the contents of many a disc and stored them on his ring hard drive, and then left whistling to himself, content that he'd have some deep space entertainment next time he was headed back to Oa. That's the way, he thought.
Geosynchronous Orbit Above The Dark Side Of The Moon:
"Lobo, here's the thing. I don't want you to be part of the main strike force. Oh, no, I have a special treat for you."
Lobo shrugged. "Yeah? You're payin', Mongul. Give me a face an' a name, and they'll be a corpse before mornin'."
”The so-called ‘Justice League’ shall be locked out of the battle by an impenetrable energy cage, keyed to only allow my troops to pass through. Their biometric data is the key, and only you shall be the one to exit the field.” Mongul's smile faded into a sad expression. "And do you know why? A little fold occurred to my plans. A little upset. Someone who isn't supposed to be on Earth is on Earth."
Mongul's face changed expression once more. "Warrior is on Earth. Your dear friend, yes?"
Lobo's finger nails dug into the metal hook he was holding, and his teeth creaked as they ground together. "That... bastich..."
"Get him out of Coast City, Lobo. That's your task." Mongul took Lobo's hand, and placed a small metal card in his open palm. "Your payment. Double what I said previously."
"I... woulda done this one... for free."
Guy Gardner's ring blared a warning into his head. The familiar voice of his ring gave him the location, and he ducked into an alley and transformed into his uniform, before blasting out of Coast City, and into orbit. The projectile was coming in too fast for his eyes to fully see, so he slowed his perceptions using the ring, and tracked the direction of the thing-- until he realised that it was careening toward him, and it wasn't a projectile, but a humanoid on a motorbike. In space. "...Oh, no."
"WARRIOR!" Lobo leaped from his bike and collided with Guy, and sent the two of them into reentry. "I'M GONNA KILL YOU THIS TIME!"
"Yeah," said Guy, "no."
Darkness came to Coast City early, that Wednesday. a massive shadow covered the skyscrapers, the apartment blocks, everything. The ship had warped directly above the City, and without warning, a wall had descended down from the edges of the ship, comprised of pure energy. The wall dug into the Earth, burrowing beneath the foundations of the city, and then burrowed toward the center, enclosing the entire City in an impenetrable cage. Then the warriors descended, their energy weapons firing off at anything that moved. Mongul floated down on a white, circular platform, and landed in the center of the city. "I want Green Lantern. Kill everyone else." He pressed a button on his belt, and then the black spheres began to drop to the ground. They buzzed when they landed, and Mongul smiled. "Now or later, it does not matter."
Hank Henshaw removed his helmet, and looked up at the ship that was now hovering over the entirety of Coast City. "Holy..."
"Slay the humans!" came the alien cry, as a squad of killers flashed into view. Energy blasts flew every which way, destroying buildings, planes, and people.
"No!" howled Hank, throwing up his ring and blasting the weapons out of their hands.
"Green Lantern!" shrieked one of the aliens, waving about it's hands. "This is his hovel! This is his hole! Summon the master! Summon the kill-squads!"
One of the aliens went to grab his communicator, but Hank blew off his hand with an emerald thought, blue blood spewing from the wound. "No, you don't." He shot toward the aliens, his flight suit transformed into his Green Lantern uniform, and he separated the creatures in individual bubbles. "Who is your master? What's going on?"
"Tell you nothing," spat the apparent leader of the group, "the master will kill you. Strip you of your life like nothing!"
"I don't have time for this. You just killed good men, and you will give me answers."
"Pah--" the leader spat again. Hank simply grunted, and a small pair of scissors removed one of the alien's fingers. "--aaaahhhhh!"
"Who. Is. Your. Master?"
"--Mongul! He is here for you, Green Lantern! Here for your life!"
Mongul. Hank had downloaded the files from Hal's ring. He knew all about Mongul. His mysterious nature. His apparent ties to the Guardians of the Universe. "Guy?" Hank said, whispering his thoughts into his ring. "I need back-up. Guy?"
A small hologram of Guy flashed above his ring. The Honor Lantern was fighting some black and white monstrosity, bleeding profusely, and swearing like a sailor. "Busy!"
"Coast City has been locked down by some guy called Mongul, a powerhouse that Hal couldn't take down... I..." Hank stopped speaking. He was Lantern 2814.1. Kilowog himself had said he was better than Jordan, right? Mongul. Just another thug with a power trip running through him. He'd remember his training. His combat drills. He'd send him back to his people in a pine box. "Keep me posted, Guy. Henshaw out."
<Power Levels at 95%>
The aliens, with their long, lanky limbs and large, black eyes, scraped at their prisons, and Hank thought how easy it would be to knock them out if he didn't allow any oxygen into the spheres. They were out within seconds. Hank stripped them of their weaponry, buried them up to their mouths in the dirt, and then shot toward the devastation.
Hank didn't notice the aliens that had swarmed into Carol Ferris' office. Hank didn't notice them steal her away, kicking and screaming...
The former and current bounty hunters had turned the desert into a warzone; sheets of shattered glass where energy blasts had scorched the sand, blood covering dunes. Lobo was grinning as he pummeled into the Green Lantern.
"So, yer a Green Lantern now, are ya, 'Warrior'?" Lobo's knuckles were covered in Guy's blood and liquefied emerald energy, his inhumanely powerful blows pulverising Gardner's forcefields. "Ain't you lucky?"
"I don't figure it to be luck, Lobo--" Lobo's fist was caught by a vice, and it began to spread up the monstrosity's arm. "--I figure it to be that I'm pretty damn bad ass." The vice transformed into a weapons array, and dozens of concentrated rounds of cannon fire was released into the bounty hunter's face, causing the Last Czarnian to howl. "And you and me, we need to have a chat!"
"I'll kill ya, that's all the talk-talk you and me need to share!" Lobo headbutted Gardner, sending him sprawling. "Mongul paid me the good money to take you out, and I like to think I'm gonna' get paid for a job well done!"
Guy spat blood through gritted teeth, and then looked up at Lobo. "I'm thinking this wasn't such a good idea on your part, Lobo."
Lobo laughed, and moved toward Guy, taking his long, chained hook from his belt and swinging it around. "Oh yeah, Warrior? Is that right?"
"Too true," snapped Gardner, and with a long, concentrated thought, the desert exploded upwards, as a green mass of tentacles and chains lashed at the bounty hunter, capturing him in midair and binding him tightly.
"Now open your ears, you ugly sonofabitch! 'Cause we're gonna' have us a pow-wow!"
Lobo flexed his muscles, and the construct began to crack. "Ain't gonna' happen."
“Well, how about that. You’re a stubborn mother-- hrrnff--” Guy’s construct was beginning to falter. Lobo was too immense a threat. He winced as he tried to concentrate, pooled all his energy and then--
Mongul grinned as the carnage began to unwind in front of him. The world was locked out of the city, and even now, his operators could hear the chatter of panicked military groups building on the outside. They'd never get in. He was stood atop an invisible float-platform, overseeing the murder that was taking place. Hal Jordan's home would soon be a hole in the ground. Step one toward his ultimate revenge against the-- "What is this?" He looked down again, and saw a Legion of emerald foot-troops rise up from nothing and battle his own Legion. They rose up in defense of the endangered citizens of Coast City, and fought back tooth and nail, shrugging off energy beams that pierced their green bodies. "...The game has begun."
"MONGUL!" The yellow-skinned monstrosity turned at his voice, and was surprised to see a different Green Lantern than the one he'd parted ways with months before. It wasn't the Torchbearer, it wasn't Jordan, and it wasn't one of the Corps that he was aware of. This was someone else completely. "LAY DOWN YOUR ARMS--!"
"No. Die." The energy matrix buried within his chest exploded with power, and Hank Henshaw was sent spiraling down to Earth, hitting the floor hard as his forcefield shorted out. His soldiers were no longer fighting the construct army Henshaw had thought up. They began to crowd round the street that Henshaw had fallen down in, their weapons aimed and their licks smacking with anticipation.
<Power Levels at 75%>
Henshaw looked up, his vision doubling and then melding back together. "Whuuhh..."
"Your Green Lantern Corps is such a disgustingly noble organisation. You should have killed me, human. You shouldn't have floated like a target, and allowed me such easy pickings." Mongul looked down at Henshaw from his platform, as the Lantern struggled to climb to his feet. "And what kind of turn of phrase is 'lay down your arms'?" He smiled smugly, and the device in his chest triggered again, hitting Henshaw head first and sending him careening into the concrete. "You're pathetic. Where's Jordan? Where's the challenge?"
Henshaw looked up through the darkness, at the crackling source of light up above, and aimed his ring sluggishly. "Bite me."
The beam he released was vicious-- it grew in size the further it got away from the ring, and it consumed Mongul in a emerald fury. "Hhhrrrghhh." Mongul wavered from where he stood, and toppled from the platform, landing on the ground with a mighty thud. "I'm surprised that you have that left in you, to be perfectly honest. This device--" He tapped his chest. "--is giving you a bit of a headache, correct? Just as planned. Have you got any more?"
Henshaw was on his feet now, attempting to mainline his consciousness into the ring to keep him steady. "I've... got more... if you're willing... to take it!"
<Power Levels at 55%>
"I know!" screamed Hank, as he rose to his feet.
Mongul roared with pleasure, and clicked his fingers. Energy beams flew from the weapons of all his men. "These soldiers of mine, Green Lantern, are recently freed inmates of the worse possible prisons across the galaxy. They owe me their freedom. And I've given them a playground to slaughter within. Isn't it wonderful?"
Henshaw's concentration was taken up with holding up a forcefield as different frequency beams shot into him. He struggled to think, every thought ending prematurely, and each blast he received was like taking a gut punch from Ted Grant. "Concentrate," he mumbled to himself, "concentrate you stupid sonofabitch..."
<Power Levels at 50%>
Mongul watched as the Green Lantern suffered. "Beautiful."
"Mongul..." grunted Hank, his thoughts moving under the city, "Mongul..." he repeated, his voice rising. "Mongul...!" he shouted again, this time barely audible over the din of the chaos being unleashed upon him. "Mongul!"
"I don't care," Mongul said simply, as another platform whisked toward him, "I simply do not care."
Hank cried out as the beams began to break through his forcefield, and Mongul just floated away, back toward the space-ship.
The alien turned and grinned as Lobo patted his blood-matted hook. He was covered in blood from head-to-toe, and he held a Green Lantern ring in his spare hand.
"You killed Warrior. I wasn't sure you had it in you."
Lobo scoffed, and tucked his hook into his belt, before wiping his hands on his leather trousers. "I'm the Main Man! Slaughtered my entire race, Mongul. You think I couldn't kill one, little man? One little bastich? ...Bastich?"
"...Shame on me for doubting you."
Hank Henshaw's fingers dug into the concrete, blood dribbling from wounds all over his body. "Just... about... enough..." He closed his eyes, and his forcefield strengthened, and changed composition-- beams ricocheted back toward their origin points, frying weapons. He roared, and he sent out a hundred boxing gloves, an old favourite Hal had taught him, and knocked his attackers to the ground. "...You... bastards!" The gloves continued their assault, beating their targets senseless. Hank rose up into the air, faltered for a moment, and then straightened out. He headed toward the mother-ship, and grunted, an awful feeling hanging in his gut.
<Power Levels at 37%>
"Where's the body, Lobo?"
"All over the desert, Mongul. Why? Don't ya' trust me?" Lobo grinned from ear to ear. "Don't be such a bastich."
"No, frankly, I don't."
Lobo nodded at this, and put a finger to his bottom lip. "Hmm. Ya'd be right to do that, too, bastich." He opened his palm, once more revealing the Green Lantern ring, and slipped it onto his finger. Lobo melted away, and Guy Gardner reeled back his fist and a massive construct crashed into Mongul's chest-- "What is a bastich, anyways?" -- knocking the monster back a few inches, but not knocking him down. "...Huh."
Mongul's chest beam crackled, and blasted outwards. Guy threw up a forcefield, and dodged it, but it sent a shiver through him, and he lost his trail of thought for a second. "Where's Lobo, Lantern?"
"Homeward bound, big, yellow, an' ugly. I concentrated, good and proper, and thought about a wormhole. Now, back when I last fought him, I had the Legion virus mainlining all kinds of dirty thoughts in my head, and I sent him to Qward. Didn’t have to this time. Just sent him to the fringe of the galaxy, and when he comes back for revenge… because that’s what he does… the whole Green Lantern Corps will be waiting." Guy laughed, his thoughts heating up. " Good luck to him then, right?"
The hull began to melt beneath Mongul, and then it burst, causing Mongul to fall through back toward Coast City. Guy followed him out, but Mongul's platform returned to him, and he began to blast at Gardner. "Your masters killed my people, Lantern! And so I'll kill--"
"Shut up." Henshaw careened into Mongul, and the two of them plummeted toward the ground. Henshaw was at Mongul's throat with a razor sharp construct, breathing in and out sharply, and Guy was darting down from up above to provide back up. "...Die."
<Power Levels at 27%>
"Oh, please." Mongul's chest device opened up again, and flipped Henshaw heel over head, with the beam continuing up and sending Guy straight back into the ship. "You can't stop me. You can't think. But in case you needed some kind of incentive to stand down..."
<Power Levels at 17%>
Mongul pressed a button on his belt, and Carol Ferris materialised before Hank. "Hank! Oh, God! Help me--" Mongul's chest buzzed, sparks flying from the centre mass of his weapon. "No! Don't, you shouldn't--"
"Silence, woman. Lower your forcefield completely, Lantern. Or she dies."
The buzzing increased, and Hank's head throbbed. He was barely able to hold a thought in his head. "Carol..." his forcefield withered. "...I... lo..."
<Power Levels at 7%>
"Fool." Mongul's beam split his chest open, and Carol watched as Hank Henshaw stood staring, his mouth opening and closing, unable to utter the words in his head. Mongul looked at Guy Gardner, who was shooting toward the alien maniac. Mongul put up his hand, and pulled a trigger that was nestled in his hand. The black spheres that littered Coast City began to writhe in the open air. Shimmering as whatever powered them started up. "Stop me or save your city or save your friend."
Guy's eyes opened wide as he saw Hank fall on his side, a smoking crater in his chest. "No...!"
"No option, is there?" Mongul grinned, and triggered the teleport on his ship, collecting together all his men and folding them back into the space-craft. Mongul vanished in a blast of white light, and then the rumble of his ship departing filled the skies of Coast City. They were gone before Guy could think to help his partner.
Then the city exploded as the black spheres began to blow. Decades-old skyscrapers fell. The world burned. Guy Gardner didn't know what to do. He didn't know where to go. He didn't know what to think. He struggled to perceive safety-- but did his best. Every nearby civilian was scooped up into an emerald sphere, safe from the mayhem that Mongul had unleashed. Millions died in that salvo of horror. If the explosions didn't catch them, the falling buildings did, the fires scorched their skin within minutes--
"I don't know what to do!" screamed Guy, as he looked at his partner. He worked to maintain his thoughts on saving the citizens of Coast City, but his concentration strayed as he thought about how to save his partner. "Hank... Hank, dammit." Guy covered the wound over with an emerald construct, and Carol Ferris was at Hank's side, his hand in hers.
"Goddddd..." Hank's ring sparked with excess power, the further away Mongul was, the more he was able to concentrate. "Needa... needaaa helllllp." Hank's hand darted up to catch Guy's own, and he joined his willpower with Gardner's, and the world began to glow green as explosions were defused before they had a chance to unleash more damage. Fires went out with a whistle, and falling buildings were halted in their tracks.
<Power Levels at 1%>
At that moment, Wonder Woman descended on the scene, eyes opened wide. "The forcefield keeping us out has been disengaged-- The Justice League is here, Green Lantern," she said. "Keep thinking, true and green."
Guy's head twisted to face her. "He's dying. There's a hole in his chest and I can't... I can't knit flesh back together if it's not there to be worked with, I can't... I... you must have something, right? To save him... Wonder Woman... save him while I save the city. It's the only thing I can think to do..."
Wonder Woman thought back to monitor duty, she thought back to Hank's questions about the Purple Healing Ray, and she bit her lip-- a tool that would heal immortals... could she risk it? She placed her hands on Hank and Carol, and looked to Guy.
"I'll try my best."
She disappeared in a burst of light as a teleport flare enveloped Carol, the injured Hank and herself, and Guy turned his attention to continuing what Henshaw had help start. He closed his eyes and felt his fist begin to shake. His ring vibrated as he thought his most potent thoughts, and helped contain the chaos. Superman and the Martian Manhunter were in his periphery, whisking civilians away, and Firestorm worked to contain the blazes. Animal Man, Hawkman and Doctor Light helped move the innocents out of the way, and Aquaman held up a building as The Flash worked to free those trapped inside. "Come onnnnn," grunted Guy, holding onto his wrist as his knees began to feel as if they were buckling. "Hold it together, you sonofabitch... hold it together!"
Wonder Woman had the Purple Healing Ray at hand, and urgently configured it, all the while Carol watched. Before a minute had passed, the Flash was at Ferris' side, his hand on her shoulder, and she hugged him, tears in her eyes. "Carol, I'm going to speed up his metabolism, get that wound closed... then the Ray... it should..." He fell silent, and hurried into the lab. By now, Wonder Woman was ready, and the Ray was active-- short bursts stimulating Hank Henshaw's ability to heal. The Flash placed his hands on Hank's shoulders, and vibrated for a moment, the flesh beginning to knit back together, but not fast enough. The Purple Healing Ray throbbed, and Barry shook his head, before leaving the room. "Carol... all we can do is wait. You understand? All we can do now is--"
Alarms began to blare, and the Flash vanished. Hank's heart had stopped, his body was still, and try as he might, Barry couldn't resuscitate him. Wonder Woman amped up the output of the Purple Healing Ray, but Hank's eyes were pale, his skin white, and his heart no longer beating.
Hank Henshaw was dead. His ring shot off his finger, and vanished out of sight.
Guy Gardner arrived in the room too late, and he slumped down in a chair next to Henshaw's lifeless body. "What... what..."
Wonder Woman looked to The Flash, and then to the mourning Green Lantern. "Guy, we tried our best, but--"
"Our best?" snapped Guy, rising out of the seat. "Our best? If I tried my best then he would be alive! I should have thought harder, thought big thoughts and stopped Mongul in his tracks. I shouldn't have played around, I shouldn't have gotten cocky, I shouldn't have..." Wonder Woman watched as Guy screamed in anger, punching through a glass partition and embedding shards into his white gloves. Blood trickled through open wounds. "He won’t get away with this,” Guy finally said, breathing in hard, “I won’t let him. I won’t let Mongul live after this.”
Wonder Woman said nothing, she merely placed a hand on Guy’s shoulder and squeezed, trying her best to silently comfort the seething Green Lantern.
"Jordan," Salaak opened up the large construct that contained Hal Jordan, and handed him his ring. The large construct was medical in nature, used to quarantine, and Hal's observation period was over. "Lantern 2814.1's ring has gone dead. You are clear of the Legion virus, and are fully reinstated. The Guardians of the Universe return you to your duties at hand."
Hal slipped on his ring, and he felt alive again. His costume slipped up his body, "Hank's ring is dead? He's no slacker... that..." Hal's mask fizzled up his face, and his expression twisted. "...Oh, no."