Too Many Long Boxes!
   
   

End of Summer
 

Legacy

by Michael Rees

Kyle stared at the ring, watching the green tendrils snake from it, bathing the room in their unearthly light " When I got this ring it wasn't only great power I gained, it was a legacy. Do you know how many Green Lanterns there have been? I take it from your involuntary spasms you don't. Well Mr. Prime Minister there have been billions. Imagine having to live up to all of that, as the one true Green Lantern."

Walking round the room Kyle examined the leather bound books on the shelves, the ring continuing its work on the Prime Minister, snaking its way into his nervous system and reprogramming vital sections of his brain " I am sure that you are well aware of the weight of responsibility that's placed on your shoulders when you step into another person's shoes. No doubt you want to be remembered with the same amount of fondness as Winston Churchill. I have the same aspirations, but the guy before me is a pretty hard act to follow. They called him the man who didn't know fear, and out of all those billion Green Lanterns he is remembered as the greatest."

Tony Blair tried to speak or move but the invasive alien presence was superseding his command over his own body. All he could do was watch as the American Superhero sat on the edge on the Prime Minster's desk.

"How do you live up to that? The man tried to wipe out the universe, destroy time all together. Is there even a word to describe the murder of all life that ever existed or was going to exist? If there isn't it should be called Hal-icide," Kyle ran his hand over his unshaven chin as he chuckled to himself " that man was evil all right even if he did wimp out at the end. Still, if I am going to prove I am worthy of this ring I've got to beat that. After all, this isn't a bad start is it Mr. Prime Minister?"

The politician felt his heart beat faster as the Green Lantern leant forward so his face was only inches from his own. The ring continued to extend a web of tentacles that multiplied as they passed through windows and walls.

"My ring is reconfiguring the brains of everyone in Britain, turning them into walking bombs. I only have to think about it and their heads will explode in a burst of electricity. How is it doing it? Because it does whatever I will it to. They don't call it the most powerful weapon in the universe for nothing you know," with little effort Kyle Rayner pushed the immobilized world leader out of his seat and took his place in the chair " Do as I say and nothing will happen. One person steps out of line, answers back or looks at me funny and everyone suffers a fatal headache and I'll amputate your legs and arms leaving you a torso ruling the land of the dead. Of course, I could just turn you into willing slaves but where is the fun in that? Having unwilling servants is much better."

"What are you doing to me?" Tony Blair managed to say, the tendrils slowly removing themselves from his body.

"Turning you into a telepath, you should thank me. All your thoughts will now be broadcast to my ring which will alert me should you decided to do something foolish like trying to stop me," Kyle stood up laughing and withdrew the tendrils, causing them to vanish into the deep green of the ring " just like the thoughts of the American President, the French Prime Minister and several other heads of state are. Its like having the brains of the UN on my finger."

Standing up he delivered a powerful kick to the prone figure's stomach causing the Prime Minister to groan in pain. Pleased at the response Kyle opened the door of the office to see two police officers getting to their feet, holding their heads in pain.

"Hey guys, I run this place now and my first order is to beat the prime minister until he passes out," Rayner pointed to Tony Blair who was still lying on the ground, holding his stomach.

"Sir?" Asked one of the police officers quizzically, unsure how to proceed.

" Do it," the words were bitter and painful for the Prime Minister to say and he closed his eyes " do it or we're all dead."

Reluctantly the two officers enter the room, rolling up their sleeves. Kyle watched the first few blows and listened to the stifled cries of pain before using the ring to allow him to pass through the ceiling of Number 10 Downing street and fly into the night sky.

" Not a bad start at all," the Green Lantern said, staring at the moon.

*******************

"Damn him," Superman punched the wall causing the whole JLA Watch Tower to shudder " it's happening all again J'Onn. Kyle has created a burning inferno in Paris, turned the Sahara desert into a deadly plane of glass and melted the Polar Ice Caps causing flooding all round the planet. The amount of destruction he has caused, the amount of pain. None of the governments will help because Kyle has engineered it so they all die if they do."

The green skinned alien solemnly watched his teammate slump against the wall, his head resting on his arms " this is not Kyle's fault. Do not judge him by his actions."

Superman looked up and concentrated his attention on the Martian Manhunter, noting the rapid heartbeat as he struggled to maintain his humanoid form, the virus attacking his shape shifting cells " You don't need to keep that form if it is to much for you J'Onn. You can revert to your original shape."

" No, I will not allow my condition to dictate my actions," the Martian Manhunter snapped through gritted his teeth before relaxing "although I appreciate your concern. We should be concentrating on the matter at hand."

" If only we weren't trapped here but we can't risk returning to Earth. Both of us are ticking time bombs. I hate to think what damage we would cause," standing, Superman used his telescopic vision to bring Metropolis into focus, searching for his wife " You know what I've noticed since this virus was released? How much more powerful we heroes are. We're causing much more destruction than our enemies combined. Its only a matter of time before the killing starts."

Nodding in agreement, the Martian Manhunter pulled his cape around him, covering the involuntary morphing of his torso " It is a strange turn of events that results in the Scarecrow as the directing force in saving humanity. None the less, I cannot fault his tactical discussions. His skill for identifying and exploiting a weakness is matched by only one man I know."

Superman nodded and chuckled " It's just like Bruce feared, that one day the heroes would turn bad. Now he's one of them, causing havoc. If only he had remained unaffected, he could have come up with ways to stop them."

Turning his back on Superman, J'Onn walked towards the opposite wall " I suspect he already has procedures to stop them, somewhere, but I doubt he included plans on how to stop himself."

After sweeping his gaze across the Daily Planet, their apartment and the restaurants that Lois liked to frequent, Superman finally found her interviewing witnesses to the Booster Gold's rampage. Even from this distance he could hear them describe the shoppers' terror as Booster had smashed into stores, scooping up goods and money.

" She is safe?" J'Onn could detected the happiness and relief spilling from Superman even without his telepathic powers.

" Yes, for now," with a sigh Superman rubbed his eyes which were becoming sore, no doubt a side effect of the virus " as I see it we have to stop Kyle first. We both know what that ring can do in the wrong hands. Does the Scarecrow have any idea how to stop him?"

" Crane should already be putting his plan into practice," the Martian Manhunter looked at his hands that were rapidly becoming ill-defined lumps " we must hope it works."

*******************

Another skyscraper buckled and crumpled sending shards of glass and rubble tumbling towards the crowded streets below, people screaming and shouting as they knocked each other over to get away. The giant green lizard threw back its head and let out a piercing roar that rumbled throughout the whole of Tokyo.

" Come on people, you should be used to this by now," the Green Lantern shouted as he floated over the monsters shoulder.

As the building was about to fall on a crowd of people below, a wall of ice formed, providing a protective barrier. Surprised Kyle looked for the source of the ice and found it in the form of a bald man in a protective suit, standing firm while everyone else dashed around him.

" Mr. Freeze? They sent Mr. Freeze after me?" Grinning the Green Lantern dispersed the movie monster and started to fly towards the Gothamite, a protective green shell forming around him as he picked up speed " I am going to rip your ice projector off your dead body and use it to chill my beer."

"How droll, how do you think of this material?" Mr. Freeze sidestepped, creating a wall of ice.

Green flame covered Kyle allowing him to melt straight through the ice turning it into water. Circling around he decided to keep increasing the heat.

"Its time to defrost this refrigerator," Kyle pointed, and a ball of fire whooshed towards Mr. Freeze as the former villain tried to seek cover behind a car " burn."

The blue sports car exploded, the force of the blast sending Mr. Freeze crashing into the wall of the one still standing buildings, his eyes wide with fear as his suit caught fire.

Closing for the kill, the Green Lantern suddenly found himself catapulted backwards as a metal fist collided with his face. Whoever his attacker was he had been strong enough to cause the shield to buckle and break his nose. Blood streaming down his face, Kyle concentrated on his ring, to stop his uncontrolled flight and give him control before he was struck again.

"Killer Croc, get Mr. Freeze to safety, I'll handle junior," Major Force ordered, the flames from the wreckage of the car highlighted in his reflective purple skin " you've gone AWOL soldier and I am just the man to get your green ass back in to line."

The military man launched himself into the air, a determined look on his face and fists clenched. The Green Lantern was ready for him, using his ring to create a sledgehammer, swinging it into the approaching opponent.

"I am not a soldier, I am not going to follow orders," the sledgehammer made contact, producing a satisfying clank.

Continuing forward Major Force shrugged off the pain of being hit by the huge green hammer. He was upon the Green Lantern in seconds, a hand around his throat. The Scarecrow had been right; this former hero had a psychological aversion to the military and Major Force. The anger was making it harder for the Green Lantern to use his will power to fuel the ring, making him more vulnerable.

"Everyone has to follow orders son. So eat all your vegetables, do well in school and surrender," with perfect timing Major Force head butted the Green Lantern, keeping up the pressure on the other man's obviously broken nose.

The taste of blood filled Kyle's mouth, the outside world becoming dull and distant in relation to the stinging pain in his head but he managed to reach up and grab hold of Major Force's face " come here."

With that Kyle dropped from the sky like a lead weight, keeping a tight grip on Major Force, a green flare on his back offering protection to the Green Lantern. They hit the pavement and went straight through as it was shattered by the impact. Down and down they went, continuing through the sewer system, electrical wires, pipes and into hard stone beneath the city. The ring protected the Green Lantern but the obstacles around them were battering Major Force as he was physically pulled hundreds of miles underground.

"Welcome to your grave, Major. Here's your twenty gun salute," the shield around Kyle's chest changed, forming gun barrels.

Already in great pain the force of being shot almost caused Major Force to pass out and so he was powerless to do anything when the Green Lantern suddenly let go of him letting him crash into the bottom of the shaft they had created.

Groaning he managed to look up in time to see the Green Lantern flying upwards pulling the walls of the shaft down around him. Major Force threw his arms up but it did him little good as he was buried beneath tons of earth and stone.

*******************

On the surface the city block had been evacuated, police shepherding people to safety while medics treated people who needed immediate attention. At the crater in the street the converted criminals set up their plan, hoping that they wouldn't need to use it, that it would be Major Force who emerged victorious. They were not in luck.

In a flare of green light Rayner flew into the night sky. He floated there for a moment, a shower of dirt and rock falling from him, his rage filled eyes studying those that had gathered.

" You've made me angry, you won't like me when I am angry," the Green Lantern bellowed and thrust his hands forward in the direction of the strangely dressed people beneath him.

Killer Croc scooped up Dr Spectro and Dr Light, bounding away as two giant emerald hands collapsed more of the street. Dr Light was extremely frightened but still managed to activate one of his light constructs as Killer Croc set them down a safe distance from the ever-widening crater.

Multiple Killer Crocs, Dr Spectros and Dr Lights filled the area, running in and out of the still standing buildings, taunting the Green Lantern. Kyle watched them, idly wiping the blood from his face, using his ring to quickly repair the damage done to his face.

"This would be a problem if I had to find the "real" freaks but all I have to do is level the entire area," with a gesture Kyle pointed towards the hole in the ground, a shriek emerging from the inky blackness.

"What is he up to?" Dr Spectro held onto the wall of a clothes shop as everything started to shake.

" Nothing good," Killer Croc growled flexing his claws.

Erupting from the ground came a vast green worm, its giant maw wide open, swallowing the rubble it had sent into the air. It continued upwards until it almost reached the Green Lantern who was floating high in the air. Letting out another shriek it fell back, crashing into the road, causing the surrounding buildings to collapses around it.

"Understatement of the year, Killer Croc," Dr Light solidified the light around them, providing a platform to keep them aloft.

Like a freight train the worm continued towards them, smoke and dust left in its trail. It opened its mouth to swallow them, welcoming them to the darkness of its insides. Wasting no time Dr Light caused the light platform to float upwards, the huge beast passing harmlessly beneath them but its path was taking it straight towards the emergency vehicles parked nearby.

"I'll handle the worm," Killer Croc jumped down on the creatures back.

"That leaves me the Green Lantern," Dr Spectro unleashed a beam of light that struck Kyle in the face.

Momentarily blinded the Green Lantern reacted defensively, unleashing hundreds of spiky globes that crashed into buildings causing further destruction. Dr Light created more light barriers but they only served to deflect the rubble causing it to land nearby.

"I said this was too dangerous," Dr Light whined " I am out of here."

Leaping onto what survived of the street, Dr Light began to climb over the rubble, searching for an escape route, his white costume quickly becoming stained. The light barriers he had constructed began to fade forcing Dr Spectro to seek another means of cover.

On the back of the giant green worm Killer Croc was finding that his claws were actually causing damage to the huge beast, its hide falling away in huge chunks as they surged through Tokyo, scattering parked cars like toys. With the Green Lantern distracted the worm was falling apart and Killer Croc was speeding up the process. The animalistic desires inside his scaly skin soared, as he indulged a passion that he had recently felt was wrong.

Looking up, Killer Croc saw Dr Light fleeing the scene " Get back there, if you don't concentrate you'll reveal "

Before Killer Croc could complete his sentence three figures started to appear among the ruins of the buildings surrounding the dazed Green Lantern, the light bending camouflage Dr Light had provided melting away. Blinking his eyes Kyle could just make out Deathstroke, Dead Shot and Black Bolt aiming their guns at him.

"No!" Rayner shouted but it was to late, the gunshots punctuated the air, all he could do was surround himself in a green bubble.

Two of the bullets bounced harmlessly away but as his concentration was divided between multiple attacks the third struck his leg, putting a hole in his calf. The blood streamed out and pooled at the bottom of the sphere. In agony Kyle tumbled to the ground on the edge of crater.

The Green Lantern's own cries of agony were joined by the last cry of the Green Worm as its head was cleaved away by Killer Croc. His lizard like form leapt from its back just as it dissolved.

Watching them close in on him Kyle cursed them, while he held his bleeding leg, his hand turning red. He cursed them for hurting him, cursed them for ruining his plans. The ring caused green flames to circle him as the hate was given form.

" I am going to remember the way you look," the Green Lantern said as the shooters approached, weapons pointed at him " because in five minutes you're going to be nothing but ash."

Pushing himself upwards the Green Lantern took to the air, a line of green left in his wake. He curved through the air and out towards the sea. The former villains watched powerlessly as he left.

Dr Spectro activated the communication bracelet on his wrist and spoke into it " Scarecrow, the Green Lantern's gone. All we succeeded in doing was making him mad."

" Understood," came the muffled voice of the Scarecrow, " we'll have to proceed to plan B. Is there any one who can follow the Green Lantern? Someone who can delay him?"

"Major Force is the only one who could and he's down," hissed Killer Croc into his own communication bracelet.

There was a bang and the purple and orange form of Major Force sped out of the crater, showering everyone in dirt. Wasting no time he followed the twinkling green light that was heading out to sea.

"Correction, Major Force is up," Dr Spectro coughed.

*******************

Seething with rage Kyle flew as fast as he could, the waves beneath him torn apart by the slipstream he was producing. The opposition had shown him as the rank amateur he was and undone all his efforts at world tyranny in one fell swoop. It had taught him an important lesson, that he would have to kill them all, if he was to succeed.

A bolt of energy narrowly missed Rayner and glancing over his shoulder he saw it was Major Force, refusing to stay dead. Peeling off, Kyle rolled lower, towards the waves and behind him his pursuer dipped down, keeping level with him.

The two combatants weaved through the air exchanging fire. Major Force knew he was lucky to be alive and it not been for the sudden and unexpected appearance of a giant worm that cleared a way to the surface he wouldn't be. This fight needed to be finished quickly.

"Earth didn't finish him, how about water?" Kyle reached down into the water and flipped over, behind the huge wave his ring had produced.

Major Force was hit by the wave as it rolled over him and he let out a shout of pain as he realized the Green Lantern had super heated the water, steam poured off his metal skin as it absorbed the heat.

"Too hot for you? Too bad," Kyle waved his hand and a large green pot appeared around Major Force along with a large volume of seawater, sealing him in with an airtight lid " tonight on the Iron Chef I'll be cooking boiled soldier. Won't you try some?"

Boiling water surrounding him and searing steam filling his lungs Major Force looked for a way out. With all his might he punched the semi-transparent wall of the pot but it held firm. He tried again but it didn't give an inch. Choking, the military man started to slip beneath the heated water. The only consolation was that if it had been skin on his arm instead of alien alloy Major Force would already have burned to death. It was a small consolation.

"Once you're done maybe I'll force feed your remains to the heads of the Pentagon. They made you, they can eat you," Kyle was enjoying watching the man who broke his nose convulse.

Barely hanging on to consciousness Major Force looked about him for an escape route. His training had taught him to survive no matter what, that the fate of the nation could rest on the actions of one man. Having only just realized what that meant he wasn't going to die now.

Seeing the steam filling the upper portion of the green pot Major Force pushed himself upwards with some difficulty as his limbs had become numb, the nerves shutting down to prevent his brain overloading from pain. As he came into contact with the lid he unleashed an energy bolt. Unable to cope with the combined pressure the lid shot off, unleashing a thick cloud of steam, and Major Force.

" You'll have to," Major Force floated in the air but felt everything going black and he started to drift downwards " you'll have to do better than that to beat a member of the American Army."

" Oh I have something in mind, but you have to be in the right place first," Kyle concentrated and a green cross hit Major Force in the chest and started to carry him back towards Tokyo.

*******************

Shifting through the wreckage, the costumed men looked for survivors trapped in the rubble. Killer Croc used his impressive strength to lift up a section of floor while Dr Spectro carried out a young child who, despite a broken arm, was completely bedazzled by the multicolored circles that covered the mans suit. Black Bolt was using his teleportation suit to pop in and out of enclosed spaces, occasionally returning with a confused civilian.

By the ambulance, Dr Light looked downhearted and rejected as Mr. Freeze belittled him for his cowardice while a medic patched up his containment suit as best as he could. Deathstroke was giving a briefing to Scarecrow over the communication bracelet.

" Scarecrow, this is the last job I do for you. After this I am heading to Africa to establish a nature preserve for endangered animals. I've had enough of killing," Deathstroke tossed away his pistol.

" If you leave, people could die. Innocent and good people, people like your son," came the Scarecrow's voice.

" Damn you, stop preying on my fears," Deathstroke shouted.

" Sorry, hard habit to break," Scarecrow could be heard to sigh.

The conversation was interrupted by a loud whistling noise coming from the night sky. The collected costumed men looked up to see the shining form of Major Force plummet into the ground, carried by a large green cross, pinning him to the ground.

" I think we have a problem," Deathstroke said, speaking into the communication bracelet.

Killer Croc strained to free Major Force from under the green construction, his claws scratching the pavement. Doctor Light was shaking with fear and looking for an escape route while everyone else drew closer, like moths to a flame, looking for a way they could help.

As they watched a female figure rose out of the top of the cross, dressed in a uniform, not unlike those worn by air hostesses, a small hat balancing on her long green hair which caressed her jade colored, almond shaped face.

" Good evening gentlemen and welcome to Green Lantern Historical experience. We endeavor to ensure that chosen experiences are as authentic as possible to provide the most enjoyment. The experience you have chosen is," the lady consulted her clip board and then smiled broadly " ground zero in Hiroshima."

The figure merged back into the green cross leaving everyone in silence apart from Major Force's groans and Dr Light crying. Eyes turned upwards, awaiting their fate.

Deathstroke lifted the communication bracelet to his face " Scarecrow, we need to proceed with your plan immediately."

*******************

With great care Kyle sculptured the bomb he could see in his mind, forming its curves and paying attention to include screws and seams running across the weapons surface. He was using the form of a missile he remembered from an old Warner cartoon, its fat nose and tail fins having more to do with aesthetic tastes rather than any demands of aerodynamics.

Despite its comical appearance the effect would be the same, the total destruction of Tokyo. Taking a moment to savor the moment the Green Lantern ran a finger over its surface, feeling the power it contained, before he lifted it up and prepared to throw it.

"This should push me a few notches higher on the evil meter," Kyle commented to himself and thrust himself forward, his grip loosening on the weapon.

Before he could release his construction a tingling feeling covered the Green Lanterns body, a feeling of being pulled away, the distraction caused the missile to melt away harmlessly. At last Kyle recognized the feeling, it was the JLA teleportation beam. Usually he would use his ring to fly to the moon base and was not as familiar with the system as someone who had to rely on it, like the Flash or Batman. Now it had him in its grip and he was helpless to stop it pulling him, atom by atom towards the celestial satellite.

"Now this really sucks," Kyle's words drifted away from where he had just been floating.

*******************

Sweating, Superman tried to concentrate on the controls of the teleportation tube. To his side the Martian Manhunter was resting against the wall, using it for support as his legs fused together.

In the tube the yellow light resolved itself into that of a young man, a black and white costume covering his lean body, a green lantern symbol on his chest. The mop of black hair shook as the man looked around, his fingers pressed against the inside of the tube.

"Hey, Superman! Great to see you," Kyle leaned forward expecting the tube door to slid open but it stayed firmly shut " what say you and me go and cause some trouble. I am sure some one like you could show me a thing or two about killing. Do a couple of fly bys at super speed mowing people down with heat vision, cause a few tidal waves and earthquakes. Heck, we could even throw a few losers into a junk yard metal compactor."

Taking deep breaths Superman found he was sickened, both by what the Green Lantern was saying and the fact that he was finding the ideas appealing. He looked up and stared hard at that grinning face, so full of enthusiasm and boundless energy.

"You're ill Kyle, we're going to help you," Superman said, low and slow.

Rayner punched the tube, the ring allowing him the strength to crack the transparent surface " I don't want to be cured. You had better kill me now because once I get out of here I am going to show you I am capable of things that Hal never was. Beam me into the center of the planet or into the Sun because if you don't.."

"You will do nothing," the Martian Manhunter slid forward, his skin rippling as it underwent further changes " we are your friends, your peers and your betters. We know what is best for you and you are going to see a doctor."

With that the Martian Manhunter took over the controls from Superman and activated the teleportation tube, sending the Green Lantern to another location.

*******************

Water ran down the cavern walls, the drips echoing through the stony tunnels. Disoriented Kyle staggered through the darkness, his ring providing only a faint green searchlight, as he continually tripped and slipped on the rock-covered floor. To break the silence he had started to laugh maniacally, both at his relief that he hadn't materialized in solid rock and that Superman and the Martian Manhunter hadn't had the guts to finish him off.

"Come out then, show me what you've got," Kyle blasted at the wall with his ring sending rubble everywhere and making the air hard to breath " hit me with all that you've got. I'll take it all and come back for more."

A muffled explosion from behind him caught the Green Lantern's attention and he spun round to see two black cylinders bouncing towards him. Recognizing them for what they were Kyle formed a gas mask around his face as gas filled the area, swirling around him.

" Fear gas?" Rayner couldn't believe what his ring was telling him " you think a few chemicals will stop me? I would expect better of you Scarecrow."

Leisurely, a gaunt figure stepped into the green searchlights beam, hands folded behind his back. The eyes that stared out of the mask were calm and assured, filled with confidence, the gas having no effect on him.

"I am glad you have such esteem for me Green Lantern, I hope that you will listen to me," the Scarecrow slowly advanced towards the young man.

" Sure, I'll listen. Feel free to talk while I tear you apart," Rayner pounced forward, green claws forming over his hands, slashing into the other mans costume.

"You've done many bad things, things you shouldn't," with some ease the Scarecrow spun back on one foot, his other leg raised, continuing his circuit until the foot in the air made contact with the back of the Green Lantern's head " all of it very public. You could have created an incurable disease with your ring, created a vast army of microscopic creature to devour the population but you didn't. Everything you did was big."

Clutching his head with one hand Kyle squeezed off a hail of bullets using the green auto cannon that had just appeared in his hand " maybe I'll do that after staking your lifeless body out in a field for the birds to peck at you. Big is just the scale I work on, sorry if that's too much trouble for your tiny minds."

Leaping away from the glowing bullets, Scarecrow continued along the tunnel and into a large chamber, stalactites and stalagmites crowding its roof and floor " I think you want to be noticed. You're insecure and want people to pay attention to you. You want acceptance."

" What are you? A psychiatrist?" with a thought the auto cannon changed in a sword and its blade stretched out and sliced the stalactites from their perch high above them.

" Yes," Professor Crane said simply as he dodged the falling rock, fragments cutting gashes in his costume " Why would you feel that you're overlooked? Unless you're in someone's shadow, unless you feel you'll never be any better than a predecessor. The Green Lantern they say didn't know fear."

Huge emerald boxing gloves filled the chamber, knocking the Scarecrow into the wall, a crack signaling the breaking of bones. Barely containing his rage Kyle picked up the Scarecrow, an array of gleaming blades appearing around him.

"Leave him out of this. Why does everyone go on about him? You know, not everything is about that Green Lantern," Kyle pushed the Scarecrow into the wall again and again.

"This is," Crane said as pain shot through his body " this is what it all comes down to, you don't think you're as good as him. You think the fact you know fear is your weakness. You're wrong."

Using the ring Kyle catapulted the Scarecrow across the floor, causing him to crash into stalagmites, their rocky points piercing his body " what would you know? This ring works on will power, if I have any doubts then it doesn't work as well. How can I live up to the other Green Lantern knowing he never had this weakness?"

Rolling on to his side, blood soaking his costume Scarecrow managed to look Kyle in the eyes " its not a weakness, it's a strength. Fear causes those doubts; doubts that make you question your actions. That's a conscience. You have the most powerful weapon on your hand, your conscience is the safety lock."

Turning his hand to regard the band of green on his finger Kyle began to feel numb, a sudden coldness filling him " I have doubts. I am worried."

"You're worried that what you are doing is wrong," Scarecrow saw Rayner nod, his head hung low as he studied his hand " listen to those doubts. Be a better man than he was."

Slumping to the ground Kyle stared at the symbol on the ring " what if killing everyone isn't the right thing to do? What if being more evil that Hal is wrong?"

Scarecrow turned his head to his broken arm, speaking towards the communication bracelet hidden under his torn sleeve " everyone, the plan worked, we need to restrain him quickly. Oh, and some medical attention for myself would be nice."

With that he lay back in the darkness, the Green Lantern whimpering as everything he believed in fell apart and it felt horribly good.

*******************

" Repairs under way, so far no fatalities reported and medical aid is on the way. Hammond has managed to use his mind powers to defuse the British population, so things are almost back to normal," Scarecrow shifted awkwardly, his arm fixed in a cast and bandages wrapped around his chest " relatively speaking."

"So your fear gas managed to affect him after all," Superman squinted at the view screen, his eyes watering.

Scarecrow shook his head " no, he created a gas mask to block the effects. I appealed to him Superman. I just talked to him. The virus might change the way a victim's brain works but it couldn't change the fact that he is a good man at his core. He should take solace in that."

"If we survive this crisis I think he will punish himself more severely than the virus," the Martian Manhunter flexed his hand, stretching and bending the individual fingers " where is he now?"

"In a cell at the moment, he handed over his ring so he should be safe for now," a flashing red light in the background caught Scarecrows attention and he turned away to read from a monitor at his side " I am sorry to call this meeting to an end but we've just got reports that Wonder Woman is making an assault on the White House and Aquaman is planning to destroy New York with a tidal wave. I'll speak to you later."

The picture winked out and Superman rubbed his stinging eyes "If there is a later."

The two super heroes sat in silence on the unchanging moon as beneath them the virus altered the face of the Earth.

The End

 
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