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Old 06-26-2008, 03:50 AM   #15
Michael Heide
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cologne, Germany
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Tomar Tu, the keeper of the Book of Oa, stood solemnly before the newest batch of Green Lantern recruits. Ever since Corps History became a mandatory part of Green Lantern training, he had been their teacher. And the Guardians established the curriculum.

“Okay, everyone. Today we will talk about emotions. As you all know by now, green, the color of willpower, is located in the center of the emotional spectrum. And the Guardians decided to harness that specific color, because it gives you the most control over your rings. The farther you move away from the center, the more you risk being overwhelmed by your emotions.”

“But I don't get it. If I'm overwhelmed by hope, or love, how is that a bad thing? Isn't hope something good?”

“That's a great question, Mark. And yes, hope can be something good, especially when you are confronted with the other side of the spectrum, fear. You can harness hope, transform it into willpower and overcome fear. The same can be said for compassion when faced with greed, or for love when faced with hate. But you have to be very careful to control your hope, your compassion, your love. Because if you don't, it's nothing but a distraction. And trust me, you don't want to be distracted when you're holding a planet together with your willpower. Besides, hope, compassion and love are tempting. They seem to be good things, so how can they be bad? It's not like you're succumbing to fear, or hate, so where's the harm? But that is a very slippery slope. And before you know it, love controls you. There's nothing worse than false hope, empty compassion and mad love. Besides, when love isn't mutual, it's not love at all, it's desire.”

“Okay... that makes sense, I guess. But what if it is mutual? What if the other person loves you back? And what if the one you love is a Corps member as well? Wouldn't that fuel your willpower when you're fighting alongside each other?”

“There have been cases of couples who were both Green Lanterns. Katma Tui and John Stewart, for example. Or Amnee and Matoo Pree. But for every couple where it works out, there are dozens where it doesn't. Let me read you a story from the Book of Oa. It will prove my point much more eloquently than I could phrase it:”

Yad Tsethgirb Ni

“In the millennia since its creation, the Green Lantern Corps had hundreds of thousands of colorful members. Some were as big as planets, some were as small as bacteria. Some were abstract mathematical equations, some came from the backwater planet its inhabitants call “Earth”. Some became traitors, some found redemption. But in all that time, the strangest Green Lantern of them all had to be Ollehto, the Lantern of sector 1221.

“His story began (or ended, depending on your point of view) during the fight against Bodono, the lost moon of Mogo, whose gravity field was wreaking havoc on Oa. It was the biggest disaster since Superman Prime broke out of his rubersolar prison. Inexperienced rookies and seasoned veterans alike were maimed and killed in action everywhere, rings were flying left and right in search of new bearers. In the middle of the heated battle, what appeared to be a stray blast came out of nowhere. When the smoke cleared, Ollehto was suddenly standing there, unscathed. He was wearing a customized Green Lantern uniform and wielded a power ring, and yet nobody was able to recognize him. Even the usually emotionless Guardians were caught surprised, an event that had not happened since the blind Rot Lop Fan, also known as the F-Sharp Bell of sector 911, was recruited by Katma Tui. However, Ollehto turned the tables on Bodono. His moves were awkward, there was something strange about the way he fought, like sped-up footage of a man running underwater, and yet he always seemed to know the sentient moon's next move. In the end, he won the fight almost singlehandedly and destroyed Bodono, spreading his atoms across the Megaverse.

“He seemed sad for a moment, like a huge weight was resting on his shoulders, but his mood immediately changed. He turned to his fellow lanterns, who still did not recognize him. When he finally spoke in an unknown language, his ring translated the words into the ancient language of Karkinikrak – a dead language that consisted of nothing but palindromes. He introduced himself politely as Ollehto, the last survivor of the planet Dnuorg. A planet that had never been in the Guardians' archives. Mistrust spread like wildfire. Accusations were made that Ollehto was a mole, planted by the mischievous Ultraviolet Lantern Corps, or by Mongul's disciples, or by Bodono himself. Others thought that he might be a shapeshifting Durlan or a Pale Martian in disguise.

“Guy Gardner of Sector 2814 was already starting to form a lynch mob out of the regulars in his bar, when once again, it was Saarek's unbeatable logic that finally made sense of the situation: It turned out that Dnuorgs like Ollehto had a different perception of time. To be more precise, their time moved in the opposite direction as our time. He theorized that they didn't witness Ollehto's sudden manifestation out of nowhere, they actually witnessed him being killed by Bodono. And Dnuorg did not appear in their databanks yet - because it had yet to be destroyed. Once that point is reached from our point of view, it will be around until its creation a million years from now. Everything on Dnuorg or from Dnuorg was moving backwards, and so was Ollehto. He knew what Bodono would do because it had already happened to him moments before. And yet he had no recollection of what happened in our past, because it was in his subjective future. Saarek was fascinated by this apparent paradox. He volunteered to become Ollehto's sector partner to further analyze the situation. The Guardians agreed.”


“Uhm... I can't quite see what this has to do with love?”

“Patience.

“In the following weeks, it did not take long for Ollehto to become a loner, accompanied only by his sector partner Saarek, by April Nox from Colu and by Stel, the robotic Lantern from Sector 3009. Other lanterns with lesser brains were irritated by the fact that Ollehto seemed to forget the beginning of a conversation in mid-sentence, but he always knew how the conversation would end, which took the fun out of most discussions. Besides, his dinner manners were upsetting his fellow officers in the Corps: In the cafeteria, Ollehto would pick an empty tray, sit at a table and regurgitate food that he would then return to the cooks.

“But social problems aside, Ollehto proved to be a highly valuable asset to the Corps. Every now and then, he would leave Oa to fly to a seemingly random planet in sector 1221 (the sector was given to him and Saarek because it was a palindrome in itself, making conversation about it a lot more simple), fight a menace before it became dangerous – and flew back to Oa. There, he discharged his ring (which would regain power when he used it) and visited the Guardians to get the mission that he just completed. The Guardians gladly played along. They were eager to use his talents to gain knowledge of the immediate future. And it payed off. Due to Ollehto's knowledge, the Corps thwarted the attack of the Subscientists of Dhor, the rise of the Silent Empire and the spread of the psychovoric virus Kah-Rinn.

“When the young Lallorian Mah Ruia joined the Corps, Ollehto was heartbroken for a while. Then one day, he approached her. His ring played a pre-recorded message:
"'You don't know me, but I know you. I have spent my last two years at your side. And I loved every single minute of it. The sunssets of Thanagar, the picnics on Mogo, waking up next to you. You complete me, and I would do anything to stay with you forever.'


“Boring!”

“Once again, patience, this is the part where it is getting interesting:

“Mah Ruia didn't know what to say. She knew of his condition, but was this a lame pickup line, or will she really spend the next two years with him? He was cute, in a way.
'Two years from now by your standards, I will be a rookie fresh from Kilowog's boot camp, and you will play this exact message for me, only backwards. It took me a while, and it will take you a while, but I regret that now. Because my time with you is over now. But your time with me has just begun.'

“A few days later, she decided to give him a chance. And as days became weeks and weeks became months, they grew to love each other. The Guardians tried to intervene, but it was too late. Their love was too strong already. And for a while, it seemed like they gained willpower out of it. Together, they were unbeatable. Separated, they did everything to get back together. They even managed to defeat Kryb once and for all. They were on their way to become the greatest Green Lanterns in history.

“But nothing lasts forever, and so eventually, the day came that she had to say good-bye. When he kissed her, she realized that it would be their last kiss. Well, her last kiss. His first. After that, he became awfully distant. She didn't see him for days. The next time they met, he acted weird, treated her like a stranger.

“Now she knew what he meant when she first met him. Now she realized that she shouldn't have hesitated those two years ago. Because every day that she waited back then will now be a day that they didn't have together. With tears in her eyes, she ordered her ring to play the message she recorded two years before. Backwards.

“'Nugeb tsuj sah em hitw emit ruoy tub. Won revo si uoy htiw emit ym esuaceb. Won that terger I tub, elihw a uoy ekat lliw ti dna, wlihw a em koot ti. Sdrawkcab ylno, em rof egassem tcaxe siht yalp lliw uoy dna, pmac toob s'gowolik morf hserf eikoor a eb lliw I, sdradnats ruoy yb won morf sraey owt. reverof uoy htiw yats ot gnihtyna od dluow I dna, em etelpmoc uoy. Uoy ot txen pu gnikaw, ogom no scinicip eht, raganaht fo stessnus eht. Ti fo etunim elgnis yreve devol I dna sdis ruoy ta sraey owt tsal ym tneps evah I. Uoy wonk I tub, em wonk t'nod uoy'

“She watched him forget her. She watched him go through Kilowog's training, only backwards. She watched him lose his badge and succumb to fear. She watched him discover Karkinikrak, then helplessly stumble around because nobody understood him anymore. She watched him being taken away by the ring, back home to Dnuorg.

“It broke her heart and warped her mind. She decided to go with him, to visit Dnuorg, to meet him again, even if she had to play him the message again and again and again. But there was no Dnuorg, it wasn't destroyed yet. Ollehto was nowhere to be found. That was the moment when she fully succumbed to love. It became more powerful than her, overrode her willpower. And when the purple ring approached her, she gladly accepted it. With her limitless love powering her ring, she would become the most powerful Star Sapphire in history. And she tried to rewrite Destiny's book. And she created Dnuorg.

“And then she saw what she had done. And what it must have looked like from his perspective. And she tore out her own heart.”
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