Princess Protection: The Summit of Light
Synopsis: Arthur Light meets with former colleague Alan Scott to discuss recent events involving Koriand’r and the attempt by Lobo the Bounty Hunter to complete the contract that has been placed on her. Comparing notes both come to the conclusion that it is time for the Earth’s new Green Lantern to intercede as the attempt on her life has potential far reaching consequences for Starfire, and more importantly the state of the Corps.
ALAN: Ordinarily any request made for a meeting with ‘Former Colleagues’ would be met with an automatic ‘No, Thanks.’ That has been the normal since the semi-quiet retirement that Alan Scott took from the life as a spook. Okay. Let’s be honest, Alan was less of a spook and more of an administrator with field clearance. He’d held the line since the 1940’s, but the Invasion of Earth had left many things in question. What came later had made formal retirement all but certainty. Hal Jordan. His fall from grace had been destructive to so many things, it seemed only fitting that it also destroy any chance Alan had of opposing the new regime too.
Even if the Alan’s Lantern was different than Hal’s, it would make little difference in the ‘Court of Public Opinion.’ Which in itself was a bit of joke, given that he runs one of the largest media conglomerates in the entire world. They knew that too, of course. Which is why Alan’s retirement was a peaceful one. He may not be in the office any more but his holdings were useful and his own meta-human abilities had proven difficult to replicate or even understand. Despite all of that though, it has never been Alan’s earthly connections that ever bought him any good will from the likes of Amanda Waller or Lex Luthor. It’s the unearthly ones that has always been of interest to them.
You can say many things about Alan Scott, but it would be a mistake to call him stupid. He’s all too aware that the powers that be don’t want him in any position of authority, but they also do not want to alienate a potential resource. Once again, this leads to an all too uneventful retirement to a Manor on the outskirts of Gotham City.
Which is where Doctor Arthur Light must come if he wishes a meeting. No, this is not some power play, but actually something of a necessity. It is here beneath the mostly invisible dome ( unless you have a particular affinity with seeing different spectrum of nearly invisible light ), that Alan has been instructing a specific student on the ways of using a Power Ring. Leaving would mean the dome lowers and Kyle would be unable to continue his lessons. Given what Alan knows to be the most basic reason for Arthur’s requested meeting? Kyle’s training may in fact be something that should not be interrupted.
“Arthur, come in,” answering the door gives a personal touch, “Are you feeling more like a library meeting or shall we have some lunch out by the ponds?”
There’s no butler on Alan’s estate. No staff of any sort in fact. At least not of the physical variety. When needed there are specters of the Green that are created to handle various chores. Such as the ones that are, even now, insuring that Kyle remains in his room an out of sight.
ARTHUR: Arthur did not detest Gotham however, he rather avoid visiting the places where he knew things were a little less under the thumb of NOWHERE for these kind of summits. Truth be told he avoided visiting it not because of Batman and his ilk, but because it is where Alan decided to retire to. He made it his home. On some level, Arthur believed that the man had earned his retirement and his secrets, whatever they may be. It may not be the popular opinion, but it was Arthur’s and that was the only one that mattered to the good doctor.
He was reluctant to say much to Koriand’r about the Alan, because the less he said the better for his sake, Kori’s and Alan’s. Sometimes too much information was a bad thing. It had to be controlled and released at critical points especially in the type of work they were involved in.
When he arrived he was actually surprised that Alan agreed to see him, but then again, he had a feeling that the original Green Lantern was already a few steps ahead. When his car arrived at the manor he looked up noting the dome. He was probably one of the few people that could detect it unaided. He decided against letting his mind wander as to why it had been erected instead he made his way towards the door when.
Alan wasn’t the only one that masked themselves. Arthur simply advised that he would be off grid for a day or so. He was only to be reached out to in emergencies. Other than that, it would be radio silence, which was not a difficult thing for him to do when he wanted.
Upon reaching the door he reached out for the door bell waiting for someone to answer. When Alan opened the door Arthur’s raised a curious brow, but offered a smile nonetheless. Old friends, they were not. Colleagues? Perhaps at best. They had a working relationship. That would probably be the best way to consider it.
“Alan. Thank you for agreeing to meet with me.” It was a genuine sentiment. One that Arthur saw no issue with offering. Stepping inside the manor he glanced around attempting to recall the last time the two of them stood in the same building let alone the same room.
“As enticing as lunch sounds I’m afraid it’s more of a library type of situation.” He could go for something to eat, but better to focus on business. Best not to get to comfortable. He could say or infer the wrong thing and things could take a turn for the worse.
ALAN: The Scott family is not nearly so robust as the Wayne’s. Though the fortune has grown steadily over the years, thanks in no small part to the steady news feed that the Batman has provided, the Scott mansion is still a tenth of what the Wayne’s have. The sweeping grounds sprawl out in all directions, most of it as untamed wild forest. The entire place is actually a monument not to the people of the Scott Family, but the Green that purveys all around them.
All in all it makes for a very short walk to the Library. Which is cluttered. This is not your average library. It has been pieced together with care over the last century. Most of which was done by hand, by the very man that Arthur has asked for a meeting with. Despite the fact that Alan looks not a day over fifty, those files that Arthur reads and keeps would suggest that Alan was among the very first who came to work for Nowhere. One of the original so-called Mystery Men. Thus he has had a very long life with which to gather the collection of oddities that even now Kyle Rayner devours on a nightly basis.
That also explains the relative clutter that is being tended to by the green hued servants that manifest themselves upon the pair’s entry. “Honestly, after the recent events in Gotham, I was surprised that someone hadn’t called sooner. The business at the Mariposa was horrific. I half expected someone in the company to call me to get my help in explaining the attack. I mean. Meteors, Arthur? Really. Come on has the Company lost all of it’s imagination?”
“It hurt my soul seeing those words put in to print,” gesturing to the veritable glut of places to seat, from single chairs to a large sofa, while heading to the small bar to fix a couple of drinks. “When you didn’t contact me to help with the information flow, I knew it was only going to be a matter of time before someone came calling for something else.”
“This Bialya business, must be taking up a lot of resources if they’ve sent you, Arthur.”
ARTHUR: Arthur had poured over all the files. All the files that he was given access to. There were no doubts in his mind that there were some that were sealed away from him. Some would only be provided in cases of emergencies, others would probably never see the light of day no matter how hard the good doctor attempted to access them. There would always be some measure of restriction. Additionally, Arthur was one of the ‘them’. it wasn’t always apparent, but it was there. No matter how well he towed the company line he was still one of them, he just happened to be one of the more “management” ones.
At least that is what they continued to tell themselves. Arthur Light knew that there was always a target on his back, whether it was from within the Company or outside of the company. It did not matter, he was a marked man. A traitor to some, a resource to others, but the moment he stepped too far out of line then he would find himself in a situation that was all too familiar.
He admired the manor and all its untamed green outside. He was familiar with a little more than the basics of Alan’s story, but there were some things that would always remain a mystery. There was no communion with sentient beings for Arthur. It was all science in his mind though there were times he did wonder and often pondered about how it was all connected. Still he as not here to wax metaphysical or metaphysics. He was here to address the items that Alan was ticking off.
This is why the library was preferably to lunch at the moment.
“M’gann was thinking on the fly. Not the best cover story, but it did get the job done. However, that bit of business is far from over, I’m afraid.” He considered the way Alan phrased everything, placed the events. Perhaps he was seeing how much Arthur would corroborate, even more how much he would share. The tugs at the corner of his mouth hinted a ghost of a smile, because old habits die hard or never died at all.
Walking over towards one of the high back chairs Arthur slid into it almost as if it were an old friend. Perhaps because he enjoyed the style. One never knew.
“Bialya will sort itself out soon enough, but yes, we’re stretched pretty thin at the moment given the direction the President has given. Our more seasoned agents are half a world away. That has left us vulnerable to events such as the one that took place at the Mariposa.” The wring was on the wall there. Why try to dress it up. “However, it was not the Company that sent me. I came of my own volition. I’m due back at headquarters to deal with an inquiry.” After he speaks with another agent to address their response or lack there of. “I am anticipating their direction.” He may even be circumventing by engaging Alan first.
“The events that occurred in Gotham were inevitable due to the intended target. The company will see events one way which if argued they would be correct, but result in me breaking a promise.” Promise to who? That was of no one’s concern. “These events fall under the purview of NOWHERE, but the solution would be one that I would rather avoid. I believe if I have my information in order this situation would under the purview of the officer assigned to Sector 2814.”
ALAN: Oddly enough Alan and Arthur were actually much more similar than you might think at first. Arthur is not one for Human connections, nor is Alan is easily seen by the empty house. Though those beautiful files of Nowhere, whether Arthur had access to them or not, would undoubtedly tell the tale of a man’s life in constant tragedy. From a wife lost to a brutal pregnancy, to life-style choices later in life that did not make him a friendly aspect to the politically correct crowd of the Day. It has long since been the time that Alan preferred the company of another person to that of the Green.
“Mm. It’s been my experience, Arthur, never to think that a poorly made story crafted by a three hundred year old, is ever anything but exactly what she intended,” it is a slight correction, but one with a straight forward truth to it as Alan offers Arthur the drink that has already been poured. “She went with Meteors because it’s something that could be readily accepted by the minds of those she needed to influence. Something that could then be verified by Theodore’s beautiful little satellites -or- pointed to as their being faulty. More over meteor showers that cause damage and loss of life aren’t common. They’re predictable most of the time.”
“It’s the times that they’re unpredictable that is a problem. March 14th, 1977, Smallville, Kansas. Culverton, Gotham, December 24th, 1936. Perhaps most importantly, Coast City, September 19th, 2005. Each of these meteor showers share two common threads, Arthur. The first is that they weren’t actual meteor showers, but essentially the landing of extraterrestrial life. The second is that each time it happened, the results would greatly impact this world and change the course of History.” The opposite glass is raised in something of a salute to the Doctor, as Alan settles across from him on a the sofa. “Never. Confuse M’Gann’s seemingly random, teenage, thinking on the fly. For anything but complete and total calculation. She’s smarter than we are. Accept it first, the spend the rest of your time devoted to wondering if she picked meteors because it’s simply poetic or she has some inkling of larger circumstances that she has chosen not to share with the rest of the class.”
As Alan finishes speaking on the previously innocent topic of the cover story, the glass in his hands seems to become very important. It has his utmost focus for a couple moments. Long enough for the silence to almost become uncomfortable. This isn’t the first time that the Company has come to this very home and put forth the idea that something was happening. Something that shouldn’t be dealt with by the Company, but by people of a larger calling. One by one they’ve each been politely told that Alan Scott is retired. Each one took that to mean that he’d left the Project and wouldn’t assist them any further. Like Arthur they’d each been respectful for whatever reason they chose, whether it be decades of service and a desire not to permanently burn bridges or the knowledge that Alan Scott still holds the very power that keeps him eternally young.
The silence is then broken by him clearing his throat and looking away from the drink, “He’s not ready. Not for this Arthur.”
“The Company and the President think they defeated the entity that destroyed Coast City. They believe they drove it away and that it gave them time to build and re-equip. They did the right thing reassuring the entire world that we won and you might think Luthor is strangely allowing these kids to come out of the closet as Heroes, because it simply benefits him to control them through Nowhere. I’ve stayed quiet, because the truth is…? Luthor is unintentionally doing good work, by taking away the Fear that would come with the truth of uncertainty.”
“Because out there. Beyond Theodore’s satellites. The entire universe is at War, and they don’t even know what they’re fighting. Did your Princess tell you of the Daemonites? The Civil War among her people? Do you even know who wants her back? Who sent the Hunter for her? It wasn’t her people Arthur. They don’t want her back. Not truly.”
“He’s just not ready, damnit. Not yet. Give this kid a chance,” Alan actually comes to a complete verbal halt, blinking and looking up sharply from the the swirling drink with a sigh that seems to make him actually look his age for once. “The truth is, Arthur. You were right to come here. This is bigger than the Company. And you’re right, it should be the Lantern of this Sector’s purview. I just don’t think he’s ready. However, I also don’t know that he… or any of us… ever will be ready for what’s out there.”
“They’ll need to meet. Can you bring her here? Kyle should be the one to decide if he’s ready or not.”
ARTHUR: Arthur found M’gann to be more astute than most. She was the one that eased Kori into the idea of working with NOWHERE by maintaining her association with her associate in Gotham. It was a coup, but it was not done by bending the girl to their will, just a simple conversation that’s all it took and a bit of reasoning. Once upon a time Arthur Light believed himself to be the smartest person in the room, that was a long time ago, but now, he knew better to do so. What he could do is offer assistance and guidance as best he could and work through the system to continue to help the machine keep going.
As Alan prattled on about one thing or another, Arthur took a moment to listen to truly listen what he was saying. As always there were plots within plots and plans within plans. It seemed that this was yet another winding road that they were meant to be on by one person’s doing or another. Not that Arthur fought it. There were times and places for such things, and through his experience he found it best to choose his battles. Not every battle meant dying upon the sword. Sometimes they were waged to test, to gather information, but this, this was different.
Considering the dates that were selected. Each of those moments were the precursor of great changes, shifts in the way that humans perceived their world. The idea that there truly was life beyond the one we knew. That there were words other than our own were no longer theories and random thoughts, but reality. It was a sobering thought, but one that humanity needed to be prepared for one way or another. Hope or fear. They were strong motivators. The loss of <i>him</i> made one difficult, but this younger generation there are a few that carry the banner of hope while others champion the banner of fear, yet Arthur found it was good to have a healthy dose of both.
“Whatever her reasons it’s done, though the insight provided makes me wonder if it was done to subconsciously remind us of the dangers that lies beyond our skies and how significant an impact it might be. Actually, reminds me of a Who episode about the original of the primal fear of the dark.” Perhaps it was a nudge, a reminder that not all of the dangers that everyone should be focused on are the terrestrial ones, and the fact that no matter how hard we try to protect themselves the danger will find its way to them.
As enlightening a conversation this was that they were having he did need to get back on point despite the fact it was all related.
Alan did not think he was ready. Were they ever ready? When he spoke of Kori it seemed that he had gathered more information than Kori was willing to share. “She told me enough to pull at the heart strings, while keeping me at bay. There were tears, but at the moment I am unconcerned with tears. I prefer facts and she kept then held close to her chest,” he said honestly.
“I let it play to see how far it would go. If I press her too hard then she runs making this, more difficult than I desire it to be. I don’t know who wants her. I am inclined to believe that she was given away to the Daemonites.” Civil War.
“I was told her parents were killed. Her planet conquered, and her sister was placed upon the throne. An armistice of some kind was brokered, and she was taken as hostage to keep Tamaran under control.” Arthur’s very tone said that he found it to be an unraveling story.
“After the events at the Mariposa I had her repeat her tale once more to offer the opportunity for truth, but I received more of the same and claim of ignorance.” If he was upset, it did not show. It was merely an administrator reciting what had been shared.
“However, I had thoughts and it appears there are elements of what you have shared that seem to craft portions of a picture I had sketched for myself. I found it very odd that a dying race would be capable of so much destruction. That they were searching for ways to extend their lives, yet she was the only one from her planet selected for their experiments. They had the planet where they wanted yet they pulled back. Her sister rises to the throne. Something didn’t feel quite right about it all.” Then there were the tears so best to take a step back and engage another Arthur thought. Let her take comfort in her story being intact.
“What the larger story was I was not sure, but I would be remiss in my duties if I took everything she said in face value, but…” A promise was a promise and Arthur had to believe since he made that promise.
“I cannot say whether or not your student is ready. Only he can decide that, but if what I have been told is to hold true. He would not possess that which he does if he were not capable, and if I may go a bit further. He had the sense enough to seek you out when your name was shared with him. He went out on a limb. He placed his trust not only in you, but the person who gave him your name. He saw the good in others. The world has gained a good amount of fear just in the past several days. I think it is only fair that an equal amount of hope is offered.”
ALAN: “Careful, if you keep this up I’m going to think you’re actually paying attention.”
That may sound like a joke, but it is only a half-truth. There is always a sort of duality to a discussion with Alan Scott, but in this particular instance it is even more pronounced then normal. A thin smile speaks to his hospitality, but the way he keeps being drawn to that cup says he isn’t all there in the room with Dr. Light. At least not when discussing the potential of Kyle Raynor being given this assignment. There seems to be more than one discussion going on about that and Arthur is only involved in half of it.
He makes a good argument. Hope. Oddly it is Alan that dislikes it most. Is it correct? Maybe, but the damning part is that it doesn’t matter. The circumstances around all of this are questionable. “As for your Princess’ story, did she ask you about the Lanterns? Did she mention the lack of their presence when all of this happened?”
“My power is connected to them. The same, but apart from it. A sort of symbiotic bond between what they call their central battery and what powers me. If a Lantern had been in the vicinity of the conflict, that information would be in the battery. Which means I would be able to find out. It isn’t. Which means that whatever Lantern was assigned to Tamaran, was pulled away.”
“For that reason alone, Arthur, I’m forced to agree with you. Bring this Princess here. We’ll introduce her to the new Lantern and let events run their course from there.”
ARTHUR: Arthur offered a hint of a smile and actually took of the drink that had been provided. “I listen to the important parts. The rest of white noise.” It was good nature teasing, but given all that has occurred recently he needed a bit of humor in his life. He was capable of enjoying moments like these no matter what people tended to believe.
The moment came and went and the smile faded away as certain questions were asked and Alan already knew the answer to the question before he asked Arthur suspected. He had read enough to know that there were reasons for the type of conversations one typically engaged in when meeting with Alan, but this was the first time it felt so front and center so to speak.
“None. Given the story I was provided I wondered why she did not return home.” That quite out of place. She escaped she should be able to return home, but still no information that explained one way or another beyond the horrible things the captors had done.
“Then that is what I shall do.” This turned out to be far more agreeable than he expected, but he was grateful on one hand. The other, well the other was being smothered by metaphorical pillow that Alan had dropped onto its face.
“I shall have here within the day if not sooner. I have one more bit of business to take care off before I depart.”