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The Reclamation Project

TITLE: Guy Gardner Reborn (Again)
AUTHOR: Gil Carter
CHARACTER: Guy Gardner

Prologue 1:    Every movement was agony as he pulled himself from the wreckage. The Ring had kept him alive, but just barely. Its wondrous power was nearly gone and he knew his own life force was ebbing as well. Even worse, the ground was beginning to tremble and The Ring told him the world beneath him was about to breathe its last, destroyed by its evil master. With his remaining strength, he forced air into his pierced lung and began to speak. "I am Hammeroon," he began…

Prologue 2:    It was the dream again. He was starting to have it more often and he did not like it even a little. The dream was always the same. He was walking down a hallway lined with people he knew. Or rather had known, since they were all dead. Tomar Re, Kilowog, Mace, his dad, even Tora. They all had that same disapproving look he'd lived with most of his life. The last was the worst. Hal stood before him and pointed in that infuriating, self-righteous way he had. Like He had a right to be smug after what He did. Hal was pointing at the tombstone at the end of the hallway. Before he could read the name on the stone, Hal grabbed his wrists and held them to his face. They were covered with blood and he knew it wasn't his own. He turned to look back down the hall and found only corpses of those people. He raged at the smell of death in his nostrils and at the rising tide of blood lapping at his ankles. The fury he felt tore a scream from him that rang out until it was extinguished by the flood over his lips.

He awoke drenched in sweat and trembling, the first rays of sun streaming through his window. The man had known very little fear in his life, but now he was scared he was losing it. Despite his altered physiology, he felt cold. Never one to ask for help, he knew things couldn't go on much longer like this. Luckily, the only men on the Earth he trusted would be at his place tonight. Maybe he'd talk to them about the dreams. Maybe.

Tonight:    Guy Gardner owned a superhero bar called Warriors. A rich old pal of his bought it for the former Justice Leaguer so he'd have a place to hang out and it blossomed into THE place for the spandex crowd to relax when not busting bad guys. Guy had filled it with real memorabilia from his days with both the Green Lantern Corp and the Justice League of America. Even more of it was donated by patrons and old comrades. Comrades, Guy thought, not friends.

The only people he thought would be even close to being called "friends" would be there tonight. Maybe he would muster the courage to confide in them about his nightmares.

Maybe I won't shake when I tell them. Maybe they won't laugh. Yeah, right.

Warrior's had begun to empty when The Game was getting ready to start. There was a bit of trouble evicting two of the patrons. Booster and Beetle wanted to get in on The Game, but were promptly told the consensus on that idea was negative. Guy watched his two old JLA comrades leave and breathed a inward sigh of relief. He'd never live it down if those two found out he'd been having conscience pangs. They'd blab it to everybody. Not true of the three men at the table with him.

Alan Scott, original Green Lantern, was shuffling the cards and using his own emerald energies to lock the door as it closed. Though Alan looked fiftyish, he was probably thirty years older. Guy shook his head at the thought that the man across the table had fought in WWII, led the legendary Justice Society, and was still fighting beside the new JSA as Sentinel. Guy would never say it aloud, but he looked to Alan as the older mentor his own father never was. He was probably the only man alive, other than General Glory, who Guy actually listened to when they talked.

John Stewart, former Green Lantern and Darkstar, was counting out chips and shaking his head at the two men who'd just left.

"What were they thinking?" he chuckled. "I don't know anyone on the planet who'd let Blue and Gold play poker with them. Weren't they kicked out of Vegas and Atlantic City?"

"Dunno anything about those guys", Kyle Rayner, the present and only Green Lantern, replied as he pulled beers from a paper bag. "They were before my time with the League."

"You didn't miss anything, kid", Guy interjected. "They were bozos then and they only got worse with age."

"Don't we all?" John asked, patting his legs.

Guy could not help but glance at John's wheelchair as he took his own seat. It just didn't seem fair. John had been able to overcome his old injuries and walk until recently. The power that had allowed him to do that had been exhausted saving lives. To stop a stone cold killer, he'd given up his ability to ever walk again and almost died. That made him an okay Joe in Guy's book. Plus, Guy knew the guilt John carried around from his causing the destruction of an entire planet through arrogance when he was a Lantern. Guilt was something they had in common.

Kyle, the "baby" of the group, was using his green power ring to reduce the temperature of the beers at the table. There was no more Green Lantern Corp, just Kyle. The kid was green (Guy shook his head at his own pun), but had a lot of heart. Since he'd received the ring, the most powerful weapon known, Kyle had made mistakes, but learned from them.

Though loathe to admit it, Guy envied that trait. He seemed to keep taking the wrong roads and had always taken arrogant pride in his unchanging nature. The nightmares were making him re-think the directions his life had taken. It always felt like he was reacting instead of acting. Like when Kyle recently offered him an extra Green Lantern power ring, Guy's pride shot down the idea without a thought. After all, he was doing all right wasn't he? Since he found out about his alien ancestry along with the powers that came with that knowledge, he'd had some adventures. He didn't need to be a part of the "hero" crowd anymore. He was a warrior and always had been.

Maybe that's why I wasn't considered for even a lousy part-time membership in the new League. Besides, they've got the Big Guns so why would they need me?

"Uh, Guy? Earth to Guy.", Alan chuckled, "It's your ante."

"Yeah, yeah", Guy growled and threw in his quarter. He started to look at his cards when Kyle tossed something besides twenty-five cents onto the table. It was a green rock chip that flickered in the lights of the bar.

"Earth cash only, runt", he smirked, reaching for the stone.

"Something for your collection, Guy. After that Corp rebuilding fiasco in outer space, I decided it would take a much better man than me to try to outdo the Guardians of the Universe. Even though all the rings were destroyed, I thought this piece of my battery would go great with all the Lantern stuff we found on Fatality's ship."

"Good idea, Kyle", John added. "It would be much more fitting for those items to be honored here than with that psychopath as trophies."

"She really dusted Trel and the rest?" Guy asked, slipping the stone into his pocket. He'd not gotten to know many of the other Green Lanterns of the Corp, but he never met one he didn't respect. At least THEY were heroes. Each of them probably died like heroes rather than surrender who they were. The boys were right. These guys needed a monument just as much as he needed a reminder of what he'd given up.

The memory came back unbidden of his first adventure with Kyle. Major Force had killed the kid's first love and was responsible for killing Guy's brother as well. He had even left the girl's body in Kyle's fridge as a present. Between the two heroes, they had subdued the murderer. Kyle wanted him dead to pay for Alex's brutal death, but stopped short of killing the monster. Guy didn't stop. Force was subdued when Guy formed his hand into a blade and drove it deep. He could still feel the rush of the warm purple blood, the tensing of his prey's muscles as he shuddered his last breath.

Nobody blamed him. He'd put down a mad dog. He had rationalized the deed as being justice and told people he did it because he was a warrior. The hero crowd shook their heads as they always did and walked away. His action didn't surprise anyone, but it moved him into a new realm. Killing was a no-no to the spandex crowd no matter what the cause. People who did were either criminals or on the edge, both of which could not be trusted. Guy had to wonder if the three men at the table with him allowed trust to enter into their relationship.

Kyle knew the REAL truth. Truth that took away everything that Guy had built his life around. The truth that Major Force died, not a warrior's death in battle, but was executed. Guy had held the subdued villain by the throat and taken his life without a struggle. That made it feel like murder. Guy had been judge, jury, and executioner and that truth was eating him alive. He had fought Doomsday beside Superman. He'd been a member of the Justice League of America. Now any respect he'd earned over the years was erased in a moment of rage and Guy Gardner became a rogue element. It seemed like all he did now was tend bar. There were no calls to adventure. The people he liked and looked up to the most would not associate with him because of what he'd done. It had been a step off a building and he'd been dropping ever since.

"Two cards, dealer", Alan said, interrupting Guy's reverie. Their eyes met and Guy knew the older man saw his pain. Alan Scott did in that moment what heroes did. He gave Guy a nod and that simple action sparked an ember of hope long thought extinguished. For the first time in years, Guy smiled.

    "Gardner, you are so lucky", John laughed as he wheeled toward the door of the bar.

"No luck needed. Pure skill m'man"

"Right. We'll see about that at next month's game. Goodnight, Guy."

Guy opened the door for his friend and asked, "You gonna watch the Star Trek marathon tonight, John?"

"Trek?" Kyle called out as he joined the two men. "Which one?"

Stewart and Guy looked at each other and shook their heads, chuckling.

"Kid, there's only one Star Trek," Guy answered.

"Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. The one and original, Kyle. It was groundbreaking stuff. Check it out and you'll be surprised," John explained.

"Ground AND head-breaking, kid. Kirk wasn't scared to fire some phasers when needed."

Kyle looked to Alan for help, but the older man held up both hands in neutrality. "Sorry, guys, but I don't watch that much TV. It's sort of before and after my time."

"I always thought it was a little too 'cowboy' for me," Kyle interjected. "DS9 is more my style. Dark and gritty with tons of character development." A small, green facsimile of the space station appeared over John and Guy.

"Kyle, you are hopelessly young," the ex-Darkstar laughed. "That being said, can you give me a lift home?"

"Sure thing! Seeya, Guy."

In a flash of green, they were gone into the air. Guy felt Sentinel purposely stalling to give him time to spill his guts. After a moment of silence, Alan moved toward the door and began to leave the ground even as he touched the latch. He hesitated and glanced back at Guy.

"You know where to find me if you need something," he told the younger man.

"Yeah. I appreciate that more than I can say. Maybe some other time."

"Okay. See you next month."

Guy watched the original ring slinger disappear into the night and sighed to himself. As he turned the lock to Warrior's and looked around the empty bar, he felt incredibly alone. Alone and old. Maybe telling Alan what was bothering him would have made things better, but he found he couldn't take the chance. Not that Alan would have laughed, but he might have given Guy that look of disappointment that had become so familiar. Guy didn't think he could take that from Alan Scott.

Suddenly, there was a sound from behind the bar that shook the walls. Guy's old instincts flared to life and his right arm morphed into a plasma cannon as he moved toward the noise. Kicking the door open, his left hand generated a flash of continual light that made the alley seem like day. Smoking in the middle of the passage was a small crater. In the middle of the impact, something gleamed in the light. Guy leaned to see it better and froze. It was a ring. More incredible, it was an old style power ring like he used to have when he was with the Corp.

Looking around to see if anyone else had investigated the sound, he saw the alley and street outside were still empty. Tentatively, he reached toward the ring.

"Geez!" He yelled as he leaped backward. Emerald energy erupted from the crater upward and coalesced into a short humanoid form. It appeared to be a Green Lantern, but nobody Guy had met before.

"I am Hammeroon," it began.

"That's one of the kid's group he told us about when he tried to form a new Green Lantern Corp," Guy mused aloud. "I thought he said this guy croaked during the fight?"

" If you get this, Kyle, I've been dead for a while." Guy nodded. " I just hope the Ring has enough power to get to you. It kept me alive as long as it could, but the Vann planet is about to blow and I know I won't make it. That's okay cause I know you guys won. This Ring needs to be used so I'm sending it to Earth and I hope it has enough power left to make it to you. Thanks for letting me be a Green Lantern, a hero, for a day. Tell the others I said good-bye. Even the Judge. Take care of yourself…" The image faded.

Guy picked up the ring and felt no energy at all. This was reinforced when he tried to slip it on only to find it too small. If there was power left, it would change size to accommodate the new wearer. He rolled the ring back and forth between his fingers and an excitement built within him he'd not felt in years. As he shut the back door and locked it, he felt the warmth of power reach outward from his pocket.

"Oh, yeah!" he exclaimed, fishing the stone Kyle had given him from his pants. It pulsed as it got closer to the ring. Using a half-remembered push of will, the stone shifted in shape to form a battery. His fingers trembled as he brushed the ring against its surface. There was a brief, familiar flash of energy exchanged and he felt the ring warm.

Months ago, before Kyle left for outer space, he'd asked Guy if he wanted a copy of the ring and was refused. The older man had rationalized that he did not want to take a step backward. Looking at the battery and ring, he knew a step back was what he needed. He glanced through the skylight of the darkened bar at the stars above. Nobody knew Guy Gardner out there. He knew from what the kid and John Stewart had said before that there was a tremendous void left behind in the galaxy when the Green Lantern Corp was destroyed. There were billions who depended on the Corp for protection and justice when that happened. They needed somebody.

Slowly, Guy walked to the display case that held a statue of Hal Jordan. Hal had been arguably the greatest of the Corp before he went mad from grief and frustration. In those dark days, he'd destroyed everything he'd held sacred. That's not how Guy remembered him. To him, Hal would always be a self-righteous, stiff, know-it-all. He would also be the hero Guy'd always wished to be. After all the deaths and grief he'd caused, Hal Jordan still evoked respect from even those who opposed him. Respect was something that had eluded Guy, especially since executing Major Force. That included self-respect. Maybe that could change now.

As much as he hated to admit it, Jordan was someone to be emulated. As Guy touched the case, he thought that this maybe a chance to redeem two lives. The thought brought tears unbidden to his eyes. There was nothing holding him on Earth. His life revolved around Warrior's and the monthly card game. He no longer made a difference.

Guy took a deep breath and slipped the ring on. It enlarged to fit and pulsed with the small amount of energy received from the battery. He also noticed the standard Green Lantern uniform had appeared on him. He started to tear off the mask and change the style to his old JLA era uniform, but he stopped. Staring into the cold eyes of the statue, he shifted the style to something completely new for him.

The gloves became fingerless even as the arms were bared. The torso changed to resemble armor more than cloth. He even included a pocketed belt. The mask slowly dissipated as he brought the ring to the battery again.

"This is for both of us, old friend," he whispered and pushed it against the battery.
    "In brightest day,
    In darkest night,
    No evil will escape my sight,
    Let those who worship evil's might,
    Beware my power,
    Green Lantern's light."
    Was it Guy's imagination, or did the statue smile for a moment?

He wrote a quick note to Buck Wargo.

    Don't know when I'll be back this way so the bar's yours. Tell my poker buddies they'll have to find someone else to take their money. Tell them not to sweat me being gone. I'm happy for the first time in a long time. Tell them I'll see them later. Bye.
 After one last look around his home, he willed the skylight open and shot through it. In flight, the battery shaped itself into a wristband and he willed an identical one for the other arm. As he increased speed, the night wind caressed his face. Guy had forgotten how much he loved flying. His alien powers made him pretty tough, but he was earthbound. Now, with a thought, he sped out of the atmosphere.

It's been a long time. He glanced down at the planet rotating beneath him. Hope I still have what it takes to be a GL. I haven't slung a ring in years. Some practice would be nice. A friendly scrap with somebody I could cut loose on without worrying about hurting them. Big Blue's out. He thinks low enough of me now without me starting a fight with him. Wonder Woman? Nah, couldn't pick a fight with a skirt, 'specially a babe like her. Orion'd want to fight until one of us was dead. Batman would probably still find a way to beat me and that'd be real embarrassing. There's gotta be somebody who'd…..

Guy smiled as a name came to mind. The smile broadened as a green copy of the original Enterprise 1701 appeared around him. He spun in the captain's chair and faced the viewscreen. An emerald Mr. Sulu turned to him and asked, "Course, Captain?"

"The Vega system. Warp 8." Guy almost chuckled when the stars stretched behind him.

    Three days later, Guy found what he'd been looking for. The pseudo starship approached a herd of creatures that appeared to be dolphin-like in form. They ignored the ship and continued playing like they knew no danger. On the bridge of that ship, Guy turned to the science station and asked, "Any ionic traces?"

A green being with pointed ears replied, "Yes, Captain. Picking up an ion trail bearing 187 mark 23."

"Any habitable planets in that direction?" Guy inquired, grinning broadly. Even three straight days of this acting had not begun to get old to him. He almost laughed aloud as the science officer's slanted eyebrow shot up. He knew the ring was generating what he wanted to see, but it was still great to watch.

"Scanning. Yes, Captain. There are at least seven M Class planets within scanning range."

"Helm," the Green Lantern ordered, "lay in a course at Warp Three." Things were about to get interesting.

    T'Chodi's was devastated. Once a premiere watering hole for every desperate criminal along the Khund frontier, the walls now barely held up the roof. Bodies and parts of bodies littered the floor. The wreckage of no less than ten Cadre-class security droids were piled in one corner. T'Chodi his/herself, a mammoth saurian, trembled behind the bar as he/she handed a mug of brew to the only standing customer. Once, she/he cleaned the floor with a squad of Khundish Sabres, the elite of that warrior race's special forces. Now he/she wished nothing more than to be parsecs away from the source of his/her establishment's destruction.

"Will there be anything elssse, Mr. Lobo? On the houssse of courssse!" she/he whimpered.

An incredibly loud belch was all that answered him/her. After a tense silence, the long haired engine of destruction asked, "Snake-face, how long did this fight last?"

"Lessss than 40 ssstandard unitsss, Sssir."

"That's a fragging shame!" he roared. "There just ain't no real mean bastiches left. I didn't even get a hangnail fragging these mooks." Suddenly, he whirled and gripped the bartender's huge neck and pulled he/she close. "Were those droids top of the line? You wouldn't send no junkers at me would you?"

T'Chodi looked at the pile of mangled metal that used to be her/his bouncers and a tear ran down his/her snout. "No sssir. Thossse were the bessst creditsss could buy."

Before he could throw the saurian through the wall out of boredom and disappointment, Lobo heard the sound of metal slide across the floor behind him. Dropping T'Chodi as he spun, the bounty hunter stared at the source of the noise. His mouth opened and shut without a sound as it struck him what the item was. He was stunned. His eyes had to be deceiving him. On the floor at his feet was a set of handlebars.

"Yep, those are off your bike alright," a voice from the doorway answered Lobo's unasked, incredulous question. The owner of the voice was standing alone in what was left of the opening to the bar. Dressed in a standard spacer's overalls was a human who very calmly pulled the breather hood from his face.

"Gardner!" Lobo roared. The walls creaked with the vibrations of his rage. "You can't be that stupid!"

"Me? I'm not the one who doesn't play well with others."

"I…don't…play," the former L.E.G.I.O.N. member growled as he launched himself across the room. T'Chodi covered his/her eyes in expectation of more bodily fluids splashing about.

Guy shook his head to clear it. He had just passed through the bar wall and those of two other buildings in the settlement. Big as he was, Lobo was fast. To further illustrate that fact was his club of a fist suddenly gripping Guy's coveralls.

"Oh, I get it," the bounty hunter grunted as he picked up the man and crashed him into the road. "You got some kinda terminal disease."

He threw Guy through another wall.

"It's, like, really painful and you want outta your misery. Well, the Main Man's ready to frag you outta the kindness of his heart. That, and," he slammed a speeder into him, crushing the human against a freighter, "NOBODY TOUCHES MY HOG!!"

Guy pushed his way out of the burning plasma leaking from the ship he'd been thrown into.

"You still kicking, Gardner?" Lobo grunted as he stepped over his foe. He pulled his fist back for another blow. "You got tougher since I saw you last."

"You have no idea," Guy retorted, wiping the flames away.

The bounty hunter paused a moment when someone tapped on his shoulder. He turned to look up into the eyes of a green facsimile of Doomsday. Running a hand over his face in exasperation, he asked, "A Green Lantern?"

"Yep," Guy nodded.

"Thought so," Lobo affirmed before a blow sent him through the walls of the same two buildings and the adjacent three beyond the bar. As be battered his way out of the rubble, he heard the evacuation alarms sounding. Starships visiting the settlement for various reasons began to lift off in a frenzy to escape destruction. He started to grin at the chaos when a set of emerald rockets appeared attached to his back. They ignited immediately and sent him crashing through buildings, crafts, and any vegetation big enough to do damage.

Guy lost sight of him when the fuel tank he'd slammed the big jerk into erupted. He was using his ring to scan for his opponent when he was grabbed from behind and pummeled. Between punches, he saw Lobo had somehow found and immersed himself in some kind of yellow liquid.

"Ring don't mean didly now, Gardner," he shouted as he threw blow after blow. "You oughtta know better than scrap with the Main Man with nothing but a ring."

"I did," Guy replied, both arms morphing into tachyon bazookas.

"Vuldarian?" Lobo asked.

"Yep," the Green Lantern answered as he blew the Czarnian hundreds of meters into the air.

When the bounty hunter pulled himself from the crater his body had made on impact, Guy Gardner hovered in front of him. Lobo reached for his chain when he heard an increasingly loud whine.

"So, Fuzzhead, do you think this planet's gravity is about like Earth's?"

Looking up, Lobo mumbled, "You gotta be kidding me."

That was when the fifteen meter wide asteroid Guy had pulled from orbit hit him. The impact shattered viewports and windscreens all over the settlement. The shockwave alone flattened everything within 100 meters around him. For a second, the Green Lantern thought he'd overdone it. Then the asteroid debris shifted. Finally, a white hand broke the surface and pulled the bounty hunter free.

Guy was impressed. His new strategy of not just going toe to toe with Lobo had worked great. Jim Kirk would have been proud. As powerful as he'd been in the past, it was nothing compared to his levels now. He could give the whole Justice League a run for its money. As long as Bats wasn't around. Lobo also impressed him. As bashed up as he was, the guy never quit.

"I ain't done…yet…Gardner," Lobo breathed. He was obviously weakened and disoriented by the damage he'd taken. His arms trembled as he pushed to his feet. Swaying to and fro, he kept shaking his head to clear it. His body still smoldered from the heat of the impact.

"Okay, Lobo, before we keep dancing, I need to tell you something," Guy began when suddenly an explosive charge blew them away from each other. Using the ring to navigate through the smoke, he shot into the sky above Lobo's last position. The sight below him made his blood boil.

A medium size starship of a configuration Guy had never seen before was hovering 50 meters from the bounty hunter. There were six cybernetic mechanoids of some kind forcing Lobo on to a floating platform connected to the ship by a massive cable. He was struggling, but hadn't recovered from his fight with Guy. There were two small reptilian beings supervising the operation.

"Excuse me," Guy shouted as he swooped toward the group of intruders, "but what do you think you're doing with my sparring partner?"

He barely raised his shields when the ship opened fire on him. The first salvo knocked him from the air and drove him two meters into the surface. When he flew out of the hole his body had made, the robot-things had activated something on the platform. Lobo seemed pinned to it and unable to move a muscle.

One of the reptile beings turned and addressed Guy. "Our task is completed thanks to you. If our analysis is correct, you are a Vuldarian/Terran hybrid possessing a Guardian-class ring weapon. You were sufficient to subdue the Czarnian, but do not think you will interfere with us."

"Whether I 'interfere' or not depends on your answering my questions. Who are you and what do you want with biker boy here?" the Green Lantern retorted. While speaking, he was scanning the bots, ship, and platform as well as reinforcing his shields.

"We are Psions," the creature talking to Guy replied, gesturing to his comrade and himself. "If you are not familiar with that name you soon will be. Our culture worships science and the power that comes with mastering it. In years past, we controlled much of this part of the galaxy, but lost it due to being complacent in our level of technology. That is about to change."

Pointing to Lobo, he went on, "Some time ago, this, the last Czarnian, had his physiology modified so he no longer spontaneously cloned when blood was shed. We mean to resurrect that ability, but under our control. Imagine an army of soldiers like this creature. We would sweep away all resistance in weeks. All our previous attempts at capture proved ineffective. Our patience was rewarded when surveillance picked up your battle with him. He had finally been weakened to the point he could be restrained. That sled is generating the gravity of a star and will hold him during the dissection process."

"Do you think a Green Lantern would allow that to happen?" the Earth man asked, emerald energies flowing all around him.

"Irrelevant. Any attempt to interfere will result in your termination. Your weaknesses are well known and will be exploited."

"Yeah, yeah. Resistance is futile"

"Yes, that would be correct." Turning to the mechanoids, he ordered, "Place him in the hold for transport."

Now's where I see if I can truly change the way I think. Gotta play it like Hal would. Like Kirk.

As the airlock to the cargo bay opened, three green starships swooped down from the sky, rocking the Psion craft with their attack. At the same time, Guy rocketed into the midst of the cybernetics, his arm cannon blasting away.

The Psions seemed only irritated and punched controls on a data pad they carried. Their ship's weapons ignored the Birds of Prey Guy had generated and focused on the man. Though two of the six mechanoids were destroyed, the remaining ones powered up a yellow spectrum field around them and turned their attention to him as well.

Guy continued trying to damage the Psions' ship while keeping the artificials between him and the ship so it couldn't bring full power to bear. It wasn't working. Especially when the cybernetics' rocket pods activated and all four converged on him. Their tinted fists passed easily through his shields and he was taking a beating while trying to maintain his attack on the ship. The pain was making it harder to focus and the savagery of his blasting of the ship lessened.

Suddenly, his rage tore a howl from his lips. Plasma cannon muzzles, blades, and other weapons sprouted from all over Guy's body. He concentrated all his power at once and managed to finish all the droids in one huge blast that shook the ground for miles. Before the dust cleared, the Psion ship opened fire.

Guy suddenly found himself barely conscious at the end of a trench his body had made. The Psion ship lifted into the sky overhead and their weapons locked on to the defeated Green Lantern. The two Psions on their hovering platform moved to observe the demise of the Terran.

"Interesting," he commented. "We did not calculate you would destroy our security droids before being destroyed."

"That's not all I 'destroyed'," Guy spat.

At that moment, the hover platform shifted. Both Psions whirled to see a hook attached to a chain had dug into its side. The Psion who had been speaking snapped around to look at Guy.

"That's right, boys. I weakened your shields with my big attacks so I could use my fight with the bots to cover my severing the power line to your gravity sled thing. I might buy it, but you guys are gonna get it much worse."

As a set of white fingers gouged the platform's lip, a voice growled, "Oh yeah, ladies. Let the Main Man teach you some Dismember 101."

Lobo had his hand around the quiet Psion's throat when the other squealed in terror at his communicator, "Emergency transmit now!" His form shimmered and vanished as the other began to scream.

    T'Chodi was trying to reinforce his/her bar when Lobo and Guy Gardner stepped inside. The sealant dropped from her/his fingers as he/she fainted and slid to the floor.

"This don't change nothing, Gardner. You busted up the Main Man's hog so I gotta tear out your spleen after I get a brew. Got a rep to keep."

"That's what I was trying to tell you when the Psions showed up. I hid your bike and made a piece that looked like your handlebars to get you fired up. Seemed the best way to see if I still had what it takes."

"You're a sneaky son of a bastich. I gotta give you that. Well since I don't gotta eat your heart on principle, I can track down that science wimp and frag his whole planet. You want to come and blow up some stuff?"

Guy smiled. Once that would have appealed to him, but there was a new life out there waiting for him. A green cowboy hat and duster appeared on him. A star with the Green Lantern logo was pinned to it. He pushed the hat back with his thumb and said, "Like to, but I've got things I've gotta do. There's a new sheriff in town. His name is Guy Gardner, Green Lantern."

As his emerald horse reared and leaped into the sky, Guy thought of Earth. He thought of Hal. Suddenly, he realized he'd slept like a baby ever since putting the ring on again.

I got a second chance at this hero thing. I WILL make it count this time. For me AND Hal.


All characters are ™ DC Comics
This story is © 1999 by Gil Carter.