Gosh, if there's one thing I can't stand, it's pointless ressurections. So, naturally, I decided to write a fanfic with some!
Sodam Yat stood on the cold stone of Shanghalla, a place he had never had cause to visit before now, as the dead he honored were buried in so many other places, and so long ago.
And yet, here now lay a Green Lantern, and it was to that grave he walked, eyes flitting over the memorials to heroes whose names and legends meant nothing to him. Truly, he knew little more of Rond Vidar, having been all but unaware of the man in life, and only learning of him from his ring, when it returned to the ruins of old Oa, to power down and await a new ring-bearer. He had thought, at that time, that the ring would wait forever, that there would be no more Green Lanterns, but the universe had spun around him while he sat still these past centuries, had spun itself into a shape he did not recognize, in truth. There was a place for Green Lanterns still, and he had resigned himself to allowing others to take up the charge, no matter how weakly he felt it in his own heart. Perhaps hearing young voices speaking the Oath again with conviction in their voice would return a flicker of hope to his own. Perhaps not. In any event, it was selfish of him to allow his own doubts and despair to deny the universe the justice and heroism that the Green Lantern Corps had for so long signified.
He stood, looking down at the grave of Rond Vidar, this man, this hero, that he’d never bothered to know, until it was too late. The death of this last Green Lantern, in name, if not in fact, as Sodam had long since considered himself unworthy of that name, heralded the rebirth of the Corps. He laughed bitterly. ‘The brightest flowers grow from the darkest soil.’ It was said. Here, from the grave of a last hero, came the seed of purpose that would light the stars again with the spirit of heroism.
But that wasn’t why he had come. He opened his hand, which had been clenched in a fist the entire flight from old Oa, to reveal the ring that he had gripped so tightly. The ring whispered dark whispers, and he could feel it reaching out, seeking someone to fill it with purpose again. No Green Lantern ring this, the band and its sigil were black as night, and grim and ominous in relief.
The ground shuddered before him, and as something moved beneath the surface of the asteroid, pushing its way to the surface, the ring in his hand throbbed and pulsed with a light-absorbing radiance as it rose trembling from his hand to float above the surface of the ground, until a white gloved hand, streaked with dirt thrust upward to claim it.
Sodam Yat involuntarily stepped back, surprising even himself, as he knew he had nothing to fear from this revenant. The dead face of Rond Vidar glared at him with a hatred stronger than death itself, “What have you done! This horror was to be destroyed, forever! How many lives were lost to stop this madness, and you would start it all over again?”
Sodam Yat raised a hand to stop the advance of the Black Lantern, his Daxamite strength easily halting the outraged man. “The rings were destroyed, time and again, and every time, one returned, somewhere in the universe, and found itself a host. I spent centuries tracking down ‘the last Black Lantern’ and destroying the ring and its host, only to hear rumors years later of another ‘last Black Lantern.’ I do not know where it is written, but it seems some universal law that there must always be a Black Lantern, and so I stopped seeking them out and destroying them, and instead captured and restrained the last Black Lantern. For six hundred years, the universe has been spared their scourge, as the last of them raged impotently within the prison of my will.”
“Why this? Why me!” growled the fallen hero, closing his eyes as the realization set in. “Say it.”
“It has been six centuries I have sat watch over this prison, and in that time, not once did I find a man whose heart I would entrust with this power. I am not immortal, and the time has come for my power to once again make a difference in this universe, not be chained to eternal watch over this evil.”
“I will not become a murderer to feed this thing.” Rond said, with conviction, his eyes flaring an unnatural red.
“I know. That’s why I chose you.” the Daxamite said softly.
“And so you free yourself of an eternal prison, by handing the duty off to me, is that it?” Rond said, stepping forward again and staring up at the taller man. “You curse me with this task, when your will grows weak?”
“Yes.” Sodam admits, shrinking visibly as he cringes before the justified anger of the other man, “But never think that you must take life to power the ring. Never let the ring convince you of that. I have had a dozen mortal lifetimes to learn its lies and its ways. It feeds on death, it is true, but not necessarily on *killing.*”
“I feel it.” Rond said, a wondering look on his tight face, as he stretched his hand out towards the graves of Shanghalla. “Death, all around me.” The ring on his hand pulsed and a wan radiance, if it could be called that, since it seemed to absorb light and cast the area in shadow, instead of illuminate it, shone forth to sweep over the graves.
“And that is the secret. Places of death, and the bodies interred within them, have a power that you can tap. Creating death is unnecessary, when the universe is already so filled with ancient deaths, each a source of power to be tapped.” Sodam explained. “Each of these graves contains a fallen hero, whose death is a source of power for you.”
“For the ring you mean, not me.” Rond corrected. “And you are mistaken. This grave holds no power, nor this one, next to it.”
Sodam Yat looked at the stones and their inscriptions, but the names meant nothing to him. “Legionnaires, both. Perhaps their bodies were destroyed, or interred elsewhere.”
“No. The ring has an affinity with death. If these two truly died, there would be power here, even if their remains were a thousand light-years away, or lost within a black hole.” Rond concentrated. “Every other grave here is true, save these. Someone went to a lot of trouble to construct memorials for a pair of Legionnaires who never died...”