Life went on nothing changed for me after that night. I wouldn’t even nowhere to begin actually. Who would I talk to? Who would believe me. The last thing I wanted was to worry my mother, but I still the fact that I was able to help people, make a difference in a big way. It wasn’t lost on me that I did more than help people I saved them. Me. Kyle Rayner. Who would’ve ever thought anything like that was possible still I couldn’t help but wonder how it happened. Why it happened.
I took the ring off and stared at it for the longest time attempting to understand how and what happened. What I did to make it work the way it did. I spent most of the day curious about it. Classes dragged on as did work for the school’s magazine. I had art that was due for it and I needed to get it done. That came first. It had to come first or my mother would kill me. Nothing about the ring caught anyone’s attention and I didn’t really encourage it to come to life. I don’t know if I was ready to know.
I didn’t know what questions to asks. I guess it had no reason to speak to me. I wasn’t speaking to it. Perhaps I was in shock. Perhaps I experienced a waking dream a hallucination. Problem with that? I didn’t do drugs or drink. If this was a product of my too fertile imagination, as it was put more than once I think it shifted into overdrive.
Perhaps I was in shock. After all this time…after the crash I carried something with me that could do so much, but before I let myself travel down that path I knew that I couldn’t have changed what happened. I didn’t possess the ring thing. I came into possession of the ring after. After I woke up it was with my effects when I woke up in the hospital. I never gave it a second thought that it didn’t belong to me. Instead I became my good luck charm, but it was apparent that this was more than a good luck charm. It was..I don’t know. It felt familiar, but I couldn’t quite piece it together so until I was ready I slipped back into my routine, because that was good. That was easy. That was safe…also I had a portfolio to put together. Art school wasn’t cheap still a week was long enough right? Had to be, because no matter how hard I tried to focus on everything else the ring was starting to invade my thoughts, my dreams.
While I may have consciously set it aside my subconscious refused to let it be. Perhaps it was because I started dreaming of the crash again and the voice. It always led me back to the ring. So much so that I couldn’t get it out of my head. Sometimes when I drew, when I painted it helped relieve my mind of the images that would never fade. I had enough of the fireball and twisted metal. Instead I drew something different something that made no sense what so ever.
The voice was no longer a voice. It slowly came back to me. Not all at once more like a puzzle that had finally decided that it wanted to be solved. Piece after piece it came into view until the parts were made whole.
I could remember the sounds around me, voices…no screams of the other passengers. How could I forget them? There was a time that they were a constant companion that was often unwanted as they remained a permanent reminder of what I had been through. Much like a ringing, but ten times worse, because it was all in my head, but even there was one voice that rose above the chaos. In the beginning it was faint, but as time marched out it continued to stand out the rest until I could recall it easily. I could even remember the words, though according to what the doctor told him that memory was a funny thing. The brain usually played tricks filling in the missing gaps. Still it was the first time that I put a face with the voice at least what he thought was a face. Lines were gathered in the corner of the eyes and along his skin. Hair that was thin and receding, but not to the point that it had vanished. It was void of color, not grey, white, white as freshly fallen snow.
As I looked over the landscape of the man’s face I realized that I had been searching for something without even being aware of it. “Blue.” The man had blue skin and it was unlike any blue I had seen before. There had been a project I had been working on months ago that had long since been submitted, but I remember commenting to my instructor that it wasn’t right. That something was missing that it wasn’t right. I had said it several times. Mister Paulson and several of the other students thought that I was attempting to be a perfectionist, Furthest thing from it actually.
The blue I wanted could not be found nor could I make it. It was like it eluded it me. I felt like I was chasing a dream and now I know I was chasing a memory, a fleeting one at best and now as I sat staring at the picture that had drawn I knew where the origin of the elusive blue had come from. It wasn’t conjured from the random weaving of a dream, but from my own memory. Lost or locked away I didn’t know all I knew is that the blue was real and it belonged to a person, but how was that possible.
I wanted to paint the face upon the wall I stared at, but the blue was still lost to me. I had no idea how to bring it into being. To have forgotten it would be one thing, but it was never mine to have. It was frustrating as much as the mystery of the wrong. I looked down upon it as I moved to my feet. I was on a rooftop again ready to drape another wall with the contents of mind whatever they be, but right now I wanted answers.
“You will do.” I whispered, it’s what the voice had said right? Sliding my eyes shut I thought upon the memory exercise that I had been taught in attempt to recall everything that happened during that night. In the beginning I simply told the doctor what he wanted to hear, but he quickly explained that it didn’t work that way. If I couldn’t remember then I couldn’t remember. When my mind was ready, when I was ready it would share what was meant to be shared. There were some things that couldn’t, that should be forced.
“You…” I started, but rather than speak the words I kept my mind focused on the images. Build the story. Set the scene. That’s how it should begin. I moved back to sit on the roof reaching for my pencil and did what I did best. I drew, recreating the moments as my eyes opened. Page after page turned as the story, my story unfolded as I let the memory spill from my mind to paper. Unlike the wizards and witches of Harry Potter I had no wand that could draw the memory forth placing it a silver dish for me to view. Instead the tip of the pencil moved across the paper as quickly as my hand would allow revealing the events of my past to me. Flipping the page of the sketchpad I continued as the man came into view again this time it was more than just a face there was body which was the size of a child with a head that seemed far too large for it, but as it came into being my pencil stopped allowing me a moment to taken what I had drawn.
There was no color, but my mind filled in the missing parts, the red of his robes, the blues of his skin, the white of his hair and the green that surrounded him. Green much like the green that was created by the ring. Beside him I drew word bubble and filled in the words as drew at them like a thirsty man drawing water from the ground in the middle of the desert.
Untwisting and turning the back around they revealed themselves to me as if they had been waiting for me to find them like hidden treasure that was just left of <i>X</i> marks the spot. It wasn’t ”You will do.” It was,
“You shall have to do!” My voice had a touch of eureka vibe to it.
Password…wait what? I glanced down at my hand as green glow began to spread out from the right.
“What password?” I asked aloud looking around turning my attention back to the ring. It was glowing and the voice that I heard before from the other night had spoken again. Was it the ring? Did ring speak? There was something that I wanted to remember, what I needed to remember and that phrase seemed to be part of it.
As the glow continued to grow it began to take shape. It was nothing more than glob but it quickly change gaining features that were much sharper than the forms that that I had made the other night. The other night all I was thinking about was saving people so he didn’t have anyone in mind, but this was something different entirely. Despite the fact that it was all green I could make out the different hues of green as the blob quickly became a person that seemed to spring forth from his ring.
Holding my arm out from my body I stared at the person that had been hugging at the edges of my memories for the last year. For a while I thought I was going crazy, but I knew that there was someone there. Except he wasn’t angel far from it unless angels are child sized blue guys.
”Kyle Rayner if you are viewing this then not only have you successfully demonstrated that you are capable of overcoming great fear you have provided the correct passphrase to access this message.”
You shall have to do was the passphrase? Seriously? Of course given everything that happened I could see how that would be the case. It’s not like it happened immediately. I couldn’t remember the phrase correctly. Even more the ring hadn’t gone active yet so perhaps it was a two-step activation like a two-step authentication. I wonder if it was keyed to my voice or biorhythms.
Everything and the kitchen sink began to pass through my mind when I remembered that there was a man of light floating before me, well a recording of a man. If he was a man he definitely wasn’t human.
“Right.” Great Kyle that’s the perfect answer to all of this.
“Sufficient time has elapsed for you to grasp that this is a pre-recorded message that I meant for you and you alone to access. Humans have always been clever creatures and despite the circumstances I believe that I have chosen wisely.”
He believes that he chose wisely. “I shall have to do right? Who are you?”
”I am called Ganthet and I am a Guardian of the Universe and yes, you shall have to do, Kyle Rayner. While our exchange was brief I know that I have entrusted the last power ring to the right individual. I wish there was more that I could tell you, but my time is limited. However, I wish for you to know that I sensed within you all the traits that are desired for those who wield a Lantern’s power ring. Let it be known that hence forth from this moment you are the Green Lantern.”
My eyes widen and I could feel my head shake, because I heard those words before but only in passing. Green, but I didn’t know who he was or what it meant. My focus was elsewhere. Did he say Guardian of the Universe? Ok he needed to back up.
”I offer you my apologies as I am not able to provide as much information as I would like, but my presence will not go unnoticed by the Fallen One. You have been entrusted with a great legacy, Kyle Rayner. One that larger than your wildest dreams no matter how vivid they may be.”
There was a bit of a smirk almost like an impish grin that accompanied statement that made me wonder exactly how much this little blue guy knew about me. Perhaps this was one of this interactive type of messages one where all my questions were going to be answered. I mean he couldn’t just drop that bit of knowledge on me and be all, Go out and save the world. Peace out.
”Perhaps our paths will cross again, but if not know that both I and the ring have chosen wisely. Until then may your ring and power battery serve you well and you them. Farewell.”
Questions so many questions and what did he mean fallen one.
“Ganthet…” Before I could get any more questions out the image disappeared fading from sight. They had an exchange? I couldn’t recall anything that was said. Perhaps it was more like I was in and out of consciousness and Ganthet did most of the talking. It was entirely possible, but I needed more than that.
“Green Lantern? Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Ganthet?” I brought the ring near my lips like bring it closer would bring him back out. “Just like that he’s out?” That literally gave me nothing. He totally just…I can’t. What the hell?!
“Are you serious?!”