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DCU Green Lantern Corps #70 End of Everything (Blackest Night)

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posted by King Clown alias King Clown on Sunday 10th of July 2022 05:57:55 AM

To go along with the issue, here is the track for issue 11. If you care to, listen to it before, during or after the issue, I feel it elevates the experience :) Track Link: End of Everything -^- "They…. Are…. Here…." Hand mumbles, staring at his ring, twitching to the beat of his heart. "It doesn't matter though. They're too late. Nekron has all but risen… and all light will soon die." Spectre watches the acolyte as he talks to himself, kneeling before the black battery of death. The protective seal on the metal begins to fade into darkness, black light pouring from the cracks. His gaze then moves to Starr, rocking back and forth cradling his hourglass. Spectre attempts to move, but his body has become too weak. He is losing his grasp on the world. "You are running out of time, Commander," Corrigan says, his voice lower than whisper. "You can still stop this madness, you don't have to be a bystander." Starr's head turns slowly. A sense of dread washes over Spectre's ghostly form as he feels the manic grin that spreads across Starr's helmeted face. "Bargaining? Really, spirit?" the man asks, a hysterical chuckle spilling from his throat. "You… you're fading away, aren't you?" "You have a choice, John," Spectre mumbles as he loses control of his arms. "I wonder if this is how your victims felt…" Starr ponders, ignoring Spectre's words as he lifts himself to a stand. "Knowing their life was being ripped away… slowly losing their grip on reality itself… I almost pity you, spirit." "Even gods can not escape the Spectre's judgement…" Corrigan mumbles out once more before his body loses its form entirely, falling onto the asteroid's surface as a green mist. "Be warned, Commander…" "No one is afraid of the boogie man," Starr says, looking down at the green mist, "not anymore." Starr walks through the green mist, dispersing the particles in every direction. Spectre silently groans as his body tears apart. He watches the man leave, his hold on the mortal plane fleeting by the second. "Names Jim. Me and my wife just moved into the building a few days ago. I saw you climbing the fire escape and wanted to make sure you weren't… well, you know." "Oh, nothing like that. I just… I enjoy the view up here." "It is a nice view, isn't it? So, friend, got a name?" "John. John Starr." "Goodbye, Jim," Starr says, looking over his shoulder, his helmet covering his frown. As his spirit fades, Corrigan catches a small glimpse of light in the array of the stars. Just as he vanishes, as the green smoke is forever lost to space… he sees it. He sees that shining light. "The universe relies on you… my successor." -^- Hal's feet are planted firmly against the rocky terrain of the asteroid. His violet ring glows brightly as the bubble construct holding Kyle lands beside him. An object crashes into the ground next to him, causing Hal to raise his ring. Stepping out of the small crater is John, orange energy seeping off him, as if it were overflowing. "John…" Hal calls, earning no response from the man. "He'll be fine," another voice, Alan, says, landing beside John. "The ring… it didn't come easy." "Power always comes at a cost," Thaal adds, not touching the asteroid's surface. "Only those willing to pay that cost deserve it." Hal nods at his former partner, who gives a small nod of approval in return. His gaze then shifts to Simon, closely followed by Jessica. "Of course Guy is the last to arrive," Simon mumbles as the red haired lantern joins the group, Aya hovering just behind him. "Took you long enough." "Took you long enough," Guy mocks with a roll of his eyes. "Hal Jordan," Aya begins, placing a hand onto his bubble holding Kyle, "allow me to shield Kyle Rayner until the time comes." Hal nods, not missing Thaal's eyes stare at the android as she forms a green field around Kyle. Hal then turns, eyeing each of the paragons. Will, Fear, Rage, Hope, Compassion, Avarice, and himself, Love. They accomplished their goal, every entity was on their side. Now, all they need to do is… "Hey, so what's our plan?" Guy asks, tapping his foot against the ground. "I see the giant black ball of darkness, but what do we do? I thought we needed the kid." "Before the boy can summon The One," Thaal says, pointing out to two figures drawing near, "Death's Hand must be severed." The first figure takes slow, but unorthodox steps, his black cloak folding over his shoulders. His armor is silver, matching the helmet atop his head. The patterns along his suit are similar to that of a New Genesian, as is the shaping of the hourglass in his hand. The second is Death's Hand himself, Black Hand. He wears a deep navy uniform, silver and black highlighting the suit. A long black cape flows down his back, dragging along the asteroid as he walks. His right arm, the hand that bears the black ring, is in a constant state of fluctuation. His veins bubble and pop, blisters inflating and deflating along his forearm as black blood flows through his body… like the monster of a horror movie. "Great, more zombies," Simon sighs, a burst of blue energy seeping from his ring. "Alright, the lantern is Death's Hand," Alan says before pointing to the man with the hourglass, "but who's father time?" "That would be the Time Commander" Thaal answers, his face paling slightly as he forms an axe construct. "We'll need to split their forces apart, even with all the entities we won't stand a chance against both of them at once." "Jess and I will take the time keeper then," Simon suggests, earning a nod from Jessica. "Alan goes with you," John finally says, his eyes locked onto Black Hand, unmoving. "Your ring'll boost his, it's best you two stay together." "Heard," Alan agrees with a nod. "So all you guys need to do is sever his hand?" Hal watches as John's eyes shift to him, only for just a moment. Hal nods to Alan. "This is our one and only shot… let's make it count." -^- Hand stops his march, watching as Ion swings his arm upwards. A trail of green light follows his motion, splitting the asteroid they stand on in two. His head turns to see Starr on the other half, the rocks drifting apart from the attack. As he tries to bridge the two, an enormous yellow barrier rises between them. "Parallax…" he snarls, staring at the entity's host hovering above the asteroid. Hand leaps forward toward the host, his arm reeling back and forming a spiked gauntlet around his fist. Before he can make contact, an orange snake pierces his abdomen. The construct exits through his back and latches its teeth into his shoulder, black blood gushing from the wound. Hand reaches for its head with the gauntlet, but its tail wraps around his wrist. His head turns to see Ophidian's host scowling, an orange aura surrounding him. In an instant his body hurls through the void of space, crashing hard into a neighboring asteroid. He's only given seconds to move before The Butcher's fist slams down where his head had formerly been. He dodges a second strike aimed for his head, but is caught off guard by the violet blade that pierces his spine, leaving him open. The Butcher's host sends a rocket powered right hook directly at his jaw, shattering it and the violet blade. Falling to the ground once more, Hand finds himself at the feet of The Predator, who holds an axe construct. "The Blackest Night ends here," he says, swinging the weapon down. Hand's eyes grow wide as his ring begins to glow bright. The construct held by The Predator's host shatters and the man is sent flying across the asteroid. Light around Hand fades, his smile widening. "Nekron's Curse," he cackles as his body is lifted into the air, jaw snapping back into place. "The Black Hand!" -^- "I didn't think he'd have one of those," Hal mumbles, rubbing his shoulder. His eyes are fixated on hand, now smiling gleefully. "We need to be careful, attack t-" "He's mine," John whispers, orange energy amping up around him as he shoots off towards Hand. "John, no!" Weaved Purgatory!" Hand shouts out. Suddenly, an abundance of thin, wire-like beams of energy shoot out from Hand's ring. Hand laughs maniacally, sending the webs towards John. The orange lantern raises his ring and forms a shield in front of him. Hal feels a chill run down his spine as he watches the attack strike John's shield, shattering it instantly. The webs skewer John all across his body, blood spraying from his back like a sprinkler. Hand smirks, yanking the webs back towards him, John still attached. "John!" Guy shouts out, slinging a rocket construct at Hand then flying towards him. Hal watches as John is dragged through the air, his body lifeless and unmoving. His eyes fixate on the blood leaking from his torso, as well as his arms and legs. His eyes widen as he sees John's hand, as he sees the bright orange glow that only grows brighter with each inch travelled. "Jordan!" Thaal shouts, charging forward after Guy. Hal raises his fist and sends out two rope constructs, the first grabbing Thaal by the waist while the other catches Guy's foot. Hal pulls back, dragging both lanterns towards him. "What are you doing!?" Guy screams, attempting to break the construct. "He'll die!" Hal ignores Guy's shouting. He closes his eyes and grits his teeth. In front of the trio forms a large, dome-like shield. -^- John felt numb, cold. The web-like strands had shattered his shield as if it were glass and pierced every part of his body. They felt disgusting inside him, the strands constantly fluctuating in shape and they were so damn cold. He should be dead, but he isn't. It's a miracle, really, that the strand that shot towards his head missed, only clipping him. He couldn't see out of his left eye, he assumed it was gone, taken out by the grazing. It doesn't matter though. He's being pulled directly towards Hand. He was going to end this, here and now. The energy that had been around him like an aura shifts, the power redirecting to his ring. He can hear Guy shouting out for him, Thaal shouting to Hal to attack. John smirks through the pain at the sound of Guy and Thaal being pulled back. As John comes in contact with Hand, the villain grabs hold of John's throat, the webs still holding him in place. John grits his teeth, face to face with Hand. The zombie smiles, red eyes staring back at John. "You are a fool for choosing this man, Ophidian," Hand chuckles, pulsing more black energy into the webs. John's eyes bulge as the webs inside him begin to expand, branching through his body. He barely registers the way the black blood begins leaking from the corners of his mouth along with his own red. His body begins to tremble, his eyes staring into Hand's own. A flash of Katma pulses in his mind. An orange dagger forms and slashes through the webs holding John's right arm in place. He lifts his arm through the throbbing pain, placing his ring against Hand's forehead. "You took her from me," he whispers, the light of his ring blinding himself, "all over again…" The star system glows an orange rivaling earth's sun. The power of the blast tears John free from the webs, sending him soaring into space. John doesn't relent, adding more fire power to his strike with each second that passes. A crater begins to form where Hand previously stood, cracks forming along the asteroid's base. "John… I'm already dead, you can't save me. I love you… so, so much." A single tear falls down John's face. The blast from John's quadruples in size, the orange aura from before returning tenth fold. The cracks in the asteroid grow larger with John's blast, running from the top all the way through. His left hand grips his right wrist, holding his arm in place as he screams out. The blast bursts through the asteroid's underside, orange light piercing straight through before exploding the rock entirely. As the blast fades, John's right arm falls limp, his shoulder dislocated. His ring sizzles like butter on a hot pan and his body radiates and orange smoke. John stares at the debris from the asteroid, watching the destruction he wrought. "John!" His head turns slightly, spotting his companions flying towards him. Guy wears a large smirk, Thaal's own smaller, but still noticeable. Hal, however, frowns at him. "I didn't know you were packing that kind of power!" Guy exclaims, slapping John on the back, causing him to wince. "You just… holy shit, your eye!" "I too was not expecting you of all people to fester so much greed," Thaal adds with a nod. John doesn't answer. His eye locks onto a black energy swirling among the debris field. His fist clenches, orange flaring in his eye. He attempts to fly forward, but groans at the way his body resists. "John, relax," Hal orders, causing John to grunt. "Guy, Sinestro…" The other two turn, looking out at what John was staring at. John grimaces as the black energy begins creating a body from a floating arm. Both Guy and Sinestro quickly form constructs that float behind them. "I thought John just vaporized him!" Guy called out. "He said something as I fired," John mumbles as he snaps his dislocated shoulder back into place. "I think it was one of the curses." "Spectrum Split," Hal says, looking over to John. "He split his arm off before you could attack." Hand's body lands on one of the larger debris chunks, dropping to its knees. "YoU… tHinK yoUr SPecIaL?" Hand screeches, his voice like nails on a chalkboard, distorted and mangled from his still forming vocal cords. "ThaT YoU'rE dIffErENt frOm ThE reST? yOu ThInK yOuR pOwEr MeAnS sOmEtHiNg tO mE? yOu ThInK yOuR eMoTiOnS wIlL sAvE yOu? a PoWeR fRoM dYiNg BeInGs? It DoEsN'T mAtTeR! yOu'Re sTiLl FLeSh. YoU sTilL blEEd. YoU sTiLl RoT! I hAve kIlled mILlionS of LifE fOrMs. ThErE is No DiFfERenCe beTweeN SpecIEs… beTweEN ColOr… BEtWeEn sEx… YoU ARe aLl the sAme! You all… still… die!" "Everyone, hit him now!" Hal yells out. John watches as Guy and Thaal charge forward on opposite sides, Hal flying straight down the middle. His teeth grit together once again as he tries to push forward, but his body is frozen. The ring is healing his wounds, but it can only work so fast. The veins on his forehead bulge out as he lifts his arm into the air. "I can't move yet, but I…" he groans, before yelling out, "I won't standby and fill another coffin!" -^- Guy's fist slams hard into a black barrier. He floats backwards, creating a large minigun construct, and begins laying into the barrier. On the opposite side, Thaal's velociraptor claws at the shield. Hand smiles, placing his fist against the barrier. He cackles as he lets out a burst of energy, shattering the barrier as well as the red and yellow constructs. The blast sends Guy and Thaal careening through space in opposite directions. Hal rockets forward, propulsed by a jet construct on his back. As he gets in close to Hand, the black lantern raises his ring. Hal mimics the motion, ready to fire back, but pales as Hand opens his mouth. "Cursed Constellation!" he shouts out, causing bright white stars to form around Hal. Hal feels time slow as the white stars turn black, dark energy pulsing from each. He tries to put up a barrier around himself, but Hand charges forward, grabbing onto his left wrist. Hal cries out as Hand crushes the bone, smirking at him devilishly. "Die!" he cackles, before firing the stars. Hal closes his eyes, attempting to force all his energy to the ring. He thinks of his life. He thinks of the constant mistakes. He thinks of the people he's hurt. Those he's let down. The people. He thinks of Carol, how he hurt her. He thinks of Thaal, how he couldn't save him. He thinks of Tommy, how he disgraced him. He won't live, but he can still stop Hand. He can do one thing right. As he opens his eyes, they go wide. Hand's eyes are the same, like red stop lights. Giant, orange hands wrap around him, cradling him like he was a child and blocking the white star blasts. His eyes trail up the wrists, following them to the orange body. It's her, a construct of Katma. Looking past the construct, he sees John, tears streaming down his face as he screams out. Hal smirks, staring at the orange lantern. His smirk falls as he turns back to hand, eyes lighting up a brighter violet than before. "You made my friend cry," he says, catching Hand's previously occupied attention. Hal blasts Hand point blank. The blast doesn't match John's in power, but Hand is still sent careening through space. Guy, zooming back from the left, catches Hand with a two-handed downwards slam. Hand stops his momentum by blasting energy behind himself. Before he can attack, yellow chains wrap around his waist and legs. Thaal pulls hard, dragging Hand into the nearest debris chunk. The rock shatters further as Thaal continues to pull, slamming Hand into another. "Blackhole!" he shouts out, aiming his ring at the chains. A beast-like construct spawns, devouring the restraints before leaping at Thaal. The construct of Katma moves her hand, grabbing onto the beast and crushing it like an egg. Hand shifts his scowling gaze to John, bursting forwards at insane speed. Katma moves to block the attack, but Hand flies straight through her chest, shattering the construct. "Agh!" John cries out, the explosion sending him backwards. Before Hand can reach John, Guy digs a sickle construct into Hand's ankle. He pulls hard, tearing the construct and Hand's foot from his body. Hand attempts to flee, but Guy grabs hold of his cape, flinging him back towards Thaal. The yellow lantern juts out his hand, a yellow mist spewing from his ring. Yellow light begins radiating from Hand's body. "What is…" Hand starts, but is cut off by his own scream as a demonic face forms and lightning begins to strike within the mist. Hal watches sorrowfully as Thaal smiles, eyes burning of amber. "The others are paragons, lightbearers…" Thaal says as the yellow energy coming from Hand drains into his ring, the mist burning his skin. "I am different however. I don't use the power of fear… I am fear! I am not the host of Parallax, I am its master!" As the lightning strikes quicker, Hand's cries of agony become louder. Hal's eyes grow wide as Hand raises his arm, his ring glowing bright once more. "Sinestro!" "Sky of the Damned!" Hand screams. Thaal gasps as the cloud is absorbed into Hand's ring. Hal pulls him out of Hand's reach, stopping the follow-up attack from slashing through Thaal. "All of that effort…" Hand boasts with his arms stretched out in front of him, his body fully healed, "for nothing!" "That was… my ace," Thaal pants, looking at Hal. "Any bright I-" "Aghhhhh!" Hal's head whips back towards Hand. He's on his knees, hands squeezing his own head with all his might. The bubbling in Hand's right arm became more wild than before, now spreading throughout his whole body. His breathing is rapid and unorthodox, black blood leaking from his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. His body contracts, arms and legs snapping as the bubbles travel from his digits up to his throat. He screams out as a mass of darkness exits his mouth, flying into the air and towards the black battery. His body twitches, red eyes turning a milky white. Hal's gaze follows the black mass as it flies towards the battery. Hal reaches out, as if he could grab it, as if he could stop all of this. He can't though, it's inevitable. The mass plunges into the battery, causing it to roar to life. Black light bursts from the center, a long, skeletal hand reaching out from inside. "No…" Hal mumbles. Guy charges forward, slashing a red axe through Hand's fingers. A force akin to a sonic boom sounds out in the void as the severed fingers float away from the hand. Hal lands onto the asteroid, watching the ring intently. He can feel his heart beat faster than normal. His body is cold, even with the life support field around him. His face falls and a tear runs down his cheek as the fingers turn to dust, but the ring stays. Guy snags the black ring from the air, looking back at Kyle, still in Aya's protective bubble. "It's go-time kid," he shouts, giving the boy a thumbs up. Hal couldn't look up from the ground, teeth gritting tight. "N-nothing is happening… I still feel the same!" Kyle shouts back, patting his chest and stomach frantically. "Wh… what's wrong?" Thaal lands next to Hal, eyeing the man. "I thought the prophecy said we needed to get the black ring!" Guy says, looking over to Hal "What gives? Did we fuck up?" "Sinestro…" Hal calls, his voice barely above a whisper. "I need you to hold Nekron in place… for as long as you can…" Thaal's eyes bore into Hal. "Jordan…" he replies, the tone disapproving. "If you're-" "Thaal… please…" Thaal stands silent for a moment, his eyes shutting briefly. Hal stares at the pink man with a frown. He opens his mouth, but stops as the black gloved hand extends out in front of him. Hal stares at the hand, before looking Thaal in the eye. His eyes widen slightly as a single tear rolls down Thaal's cheek. "This is goodbye, Jo-" he starts before cutting himself off, inhaling through his nose, "Hal. Goodbye, Hal." Hal nods slightly, a tear of his own leaving his eye as he reaches forward, taking the man's hand in his own and pulling him into a hug. "Thank you…" he mumbles, smiling softly, "for everything." Thaal is frozen for a moment before reciprocating the gesture. "And I am sorry… for everything," Thaal says, pulling away from Hal. He gives a final nod before flying off toward the battery. "What the hell was that about?" Guy asks, staring at Hal. "What's with the farewell!? What are you sending him to his death for!?" "Guy," Hal booms, his voice commanding and strong, "give me the ring." "Why!?" Guy demands. "What the hell is going on with the prophecy! Why isn't he turning into the White Lantern!? We got the rings and beat Death's Hand!" Hal clenches his fist, gritting his teeth as he sharply inhales. "Guy…" "Tell me!" Crack!!! Hal's fist connects with Guy's face, the blow knocking the redhead out cold. Guy's body collapses onto the asteroid, the ring flying out of his hand mid fall. Hal exhales as he stares at Guy's unconscious form, clenching his fist. He wishes it was as simple as that. He wishes all it took were the entities. His head then turns widening at the sight. He watches the object roll along the rock until it stops… just in front of John. The man, wounds healed, stares down at the ring. "John," Hal starts, "give me the ring… it's time I end this." John doesn't move. He keeps his gaze locked onto the ring laying on the ground in front of him. "The ring… it doesn't just reanimate, does it?" he asks, kneeling down and plucking the metal off the rock. "The one who wears it… when they remove it…" John turns his head, now staring at the body of Hand, its decay beginning slowly. "John…" John looks up, his eyes meeting Hal's. His mouth quirks up into a smile as fake as a happy ending. "I guess it makes sense for me," he chuckles, holding the black ring up to his finger. "The ring of death fits perfectly for someone who lets everyone around them die." A blast of violet energy sends John soaring, the ring floating off into the distance. John is able to steady himself midair, his eyes locking onto Hal's once more. "John… please… please don't do this," Hal pleads, raising his arm up, aiming his ring at John. "I won't let you do this." John follows suit, his ring burning a bright orange. "And I won't let another person die because of me…" The Lanterns float across from each other, both orange and violet light illuminating the galaxy. "Then I guess…" Hal mumbles, his eyes narrowing at the man across from him. "I guess I have one last fight left in me."

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  • Published 02.02.23
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