“Thank you for visiting the Metropolis Public Library. How can I help you today?”  The enthusiastic greeting came from the librarian at media lab. Kyle smiled over at him tilting his head a bit.

“I just need a computer to work on.  Working on research project.” Holding up his headphones he smiled again. “Brought my headphones so I won’t bother anyone. I might need to review a few video files.”

“Oh a research project.  Are you sure you don’t need any assistance?  Many of our reference materials have been made electronic and if you can’t find them there I’m sure we can locate them here in the Library. Just last year the entire Metropolis Library System received donation from LexCorp to ensure that we continue to lead world in library science.  The only way Metropolis can continue to be the City of Tomorrow is by inspiring young minds by providing access to the best information systems in the world and continuing to redefine how libraries are useful to the general public.”

Kyle wasn’t sure what he walked into, but it seemed that they had a bit of a spiel or someone was trying incredibly hard or something to the effect.

“Pretty intense there, but I think I should be ok.  My laptops down and I needed to do some work.” That’s all.

“Sure. Library card?”

That was easy enough. Kyle produced his card handing it over to the librarian who walked over to the desk and ran it through the card reader.  A few keystrokes later and he was walking back over towards Kyle.  “I put you at station five.   You have it for three hours.  If you need additional time check back with me and I will code in additional time.  If you have any questions I’m right at the desk. I’m Charlie.”

Kyle took is card back with a smile and let Charlie get back to manning his desk.  Turning towards the various computer stations he walked over towards station five dropping his book bag down lightly and pulling out the chair.  Sliding his fingers through his hair he thought about the pseudo conversation that he had with the recording that was in the ring.

Speaking of which Kyle had been unsuccessful in acquiring an additional information from the recording. It seemed limited in what it could answer. Which meant that he was going to have to do a little bit of digging. Why he was doing it at the library he didn’t know. He just felt that it would draw too much attention at school.  Last thing he needed was someone looking over his shoulder why he was trying to dig up some information.

If he could find some information. The last bit of information came from a little blue man.  He was still doing his best to absorb that reality. You know the fact that he got some kind of intergalactic message or some kind which meant that right now on his finger was alien technology and right now, today the world wasn’t exactly alien friendly.  The current President ran on a platform of Earth first, second, third, fourth and fifth.

Which sucked because Superman was pretty cool.  Cute too. Neither here or there, but he was, but now he was gone and it seemed like anyone that displayed anything that was more than human was in trouble. Contrary to my Kyle’s mother’s opinion he did pay attention to events happening around him.  He even started listening to NPR so he knew things.   He knew enough to know that the hardware on his hand would probably get his finger cut off by some fanatically anti-alien bigot.  Either way he needed to find out exactly what he had gotten himself into or…what Papa Smurf got him into.

G-r-e-e-n  L-a-n-t-e-r-n

He typed the letters, into the search bar, but he didn’t hit enter yet.  It was almost like he was afraid to. Part of him didn’t want to know. The fact of the matter is that the name sounded familiar he didn’t know why. Like he heard it somewhere.  Looking the letters over he glanced at the ring and decided to take the plunge and hit enter. Down the rabbit whole he goes and here comes the information. That’s if any information is out there.

Kyle didn’t know exactly what he would find actually, he thought there might be some odd links about green lanterns anywhere from camping gear to Chinese style lanterns, but the moment he list came up it was anything but that. There were links to articles about the Green Lantern.

It was a real thing.  Lifting his fingers off the keys he didn’t move immediately to the mouse, because he didn’t know what he wanted to click instead he began to look over the information scanning it quickly. The older looks alluded to heroic acts that were undertaken by the Green Lantern, but as he got closer to the present things changed.

“Coast City.” He took a moment to review some of the articles a few that talk about Green Lantern sightings and actual heroic deeds.   One article after the other he got additional information about this hero. Thing was that he felt like he was missing something.  He didn’t have all the information.  Chewing on his lower lip he leaned back in in his chair taking it all in.  There was a lot to consider.

He moved on to the next link noting that it was getting closer to when the accident occurred. The accident where he crossed paths with Ganthet apparently. He wished he could recall more form that moment, but he didn’t all he could recall is the voice and now that he had a face with the voice he was still at a lost.

Cross reference Coast City with Green Lantern Kyle got ready to bring up another set search results. Perhaps that’s where he was from or perhaps near the area.

Sadly, there wasn’t some type of database he could check that would give him more information. There weren’t that many articles that gave him the information he was looking for.  No splashy expose like it was with Superman.  Everything that Kyle reviewed was more after the fact and eyewitness accounts.  What he did find was promising.

That’s until he did the cross reference and saw that there was a major altercation in Coast City. Accounts were sketchy but there was a significant loss of life.  It wasn’t a natural disaster either.  Someone had deliberately attacked the city.

Reaching into his bag he pulled out his sketch pad and began to work out a few dates while typing a few things out.  He needed a timeline, something that would help him put it all into context.   Superman left in 2013 the events that took place in Coast City occurred in 2014. There was a drop in the Green Lantern sightings at the same time until shortly after the events in Coast City.

Scribbling down a few notes for himself Kyle started to craft a picture for himself. He didn’t want to rush himself.

Coast City disaster tragedy. That was around the time that that occurred so it might be best to get some context given the sightings.If there was another Green Lantern either something happened to him. Of course, there was a very off chance that maybe he might be able to locate him and he could tell him more about the ring and the little blue man. Maybe.

When the results came up he clicked the link for the Planet’s article by the paper’s very own Lois Lane.

The moment he clicked the link and it all came flooding back.

“Fuck.”  Kyle looked around to make sure no one heard him. Last thing he wanted was to get kicked out of the library, but the picture that accompanied the story was pretty telling. The city had destroyed.

Kyle slumped back in the chair recalling the events.  How could have forgotten. He always thought Coast City, but he didn’t make the Green Lantern connection. It was odd that it didn’t come together like that. Thing was that he didn’t remember the Green Lantern dying or getting hurt if anything. Rather than spend the next few minutes going over article after article, Kyle did something rather novel he sent PDF copies of connected articles to his phone.

It was better if he read this away from everyone else.  He needed to get an idea of who Green Lantern was. At least the one that was before him. The message contained in the ring made it sound like Green Lantern was a big deal, but if that was the case how was he not able to stop Coast City from being destroyed?

That bothered him, but whatever happened it led to the events where Kyle was entrusted with the Power Ring even if it seemed that he was a seemingly random individual. Though he could have considered a dozen other people that probably would have been far more suitable given the fact that he was in a plane crash.  Kyle considered it for a moment as he waited for the articles to download. Once they were done he searched for a few more downloaded them and checked to make sure they were on his phone.

Shutting the browser down Kyle gave himself a moment before he headed back to the desk to let Charlie know that he was done. He smiled over at him handing him his library card so he could scan it again. No need to keep the computer reserved if he was not going to be using it.

“I trust that you found all the information that you were looking for?”

“I…” He considered it for a second before giving it a bit of thought. “I think I have.” He could always come back look up a few other things. He had also gathered some information about a Green Lantern that appeared before the one in Coast City, but he would review that information later.

“Just have a lot of reading to do that’s all. “

Nothing wrong with that right?

“Well, if there’s anything else that you need feel free to comeback. We’re here to help you with all your questions and curiosities. There’s nothing that can’t be found in a book or article and here in the media lab we have records from news programs that were broadcasted on the radio, television or the internet. Our podcast library is also quite extensive.” World class library through and through it seemed.

“I’ll keep that in mind.”  Sliding his sketch pad into his back pack Kyle was about to leave after he was given his library card back.

“Are you doodler or an artist.  Not to pry, but I noticed some of the search criteria that came up and wondered if you had an interest in superheroes.”

Kyle thought about.  “A bit…Superman’s my favorite.” He said deciding to make small talk.

“Then you saw Superman and Wonder Woman giving a press conference a few weeks back.” He pulled out a flyer holding it up.

“It seems that Metropolis has decided to embrace our local heroes. Unlike the vigilantes that you hear about in Gotham and all over they’re legitimate heroes. People we can trust. That said the city government is sponsoring a poster contest. Local artists all around Metropolis are being invited to create a poster or artwork that encapsulates the spirit of Metropolis and our heroes. Something that says that says welcome and we appreciate all that you do. I thought with your interest there you might be interested. Especially since you’re an artist.”

Kyle took the flyer looking it over. It could give him a little more exposure as an artist. Before you knew summer would be here and he was hoping to gain a summer internship or even be able to take some classes or participate at one of the programs at the university.  His mother would be proud.

“Sure why not?  Thanks.” Charlie nodded while Kyle looked over the information while reminding himself he had a few other things he needed to do. Like you know continue his research.