Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris have spent years dancing around each other, to the point that Hal had resigned himself to thinking there would always be something in their way. However, surviving the Crisis on Infinite Earths has motivated Hal to give their relationship a final try.
Recently, Carol had been taken over by the Predator, a split personality subconsciously created by her Star Sapphire gem, after which she moved to planet Zamaron to be crowned queen. Hal leaves for Zamaron, accompanied by John Stewart and John's wife Katma Tui, determined to meet Carol and ask a very important question. Whatever Carol's answer will be, he'll abide by her decision.
It will not be easy, though. The Predator wants to see Hal Jordan destroyed, is backed by the Zamaronian army, and has joined forces with Hal's old enemy Hector Hammond.
This story is set in the same Fan Verse as the Hellsister Trilogy, Dance with the Demons (taking place concurrently right before that story), Funeral for a Flash, A Very Kara Christmas, Kara of Rokyn, A Force of Four, Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation and Superman and Man. Dark Mark has also written The Vampire of Steel, The Unfantastic Adventures of Bizarro No. 1, Here There Be Monsters, A Prize for Three Empires, X-Men 1970, FIRE!, Devil's Diary, Everybody's Gotta Leave Sometime, and Maybe the Last Archie Story.
This fanfiction provides examples of:
- Alliterative Name: Hammond names his current "team" the "Triumvirate of Terror". Hal isn't impressed.Hector Hammond: "Now, Green Lantern, be sure to tell your fellow Corpsmen on the other side that the last foes you fought were known, collectively, as the Triumvirate of Terror."
Hal Jordan: "Go to hell, Hammond."
- Anguished Declaration of Love: After reaching Zamaron and fighting his way to the throne room, Hal makes a passionate public speech to Carol.Hal Jordan: Like what you see, Carol? If there's anything of Carol Ferris still left in you, and there has to be, I don't see how you could. Do you remember what you used to see in the mirror, Carol? The face of a compassionate woman? The woman who loved me, and whom I loved in return? I can remember, Carol. I think you can, too. If you can remember her, Carol, I want you to remember how she felt about me. How I felt about her, too. Because I still feel that way, Carol. I want you back. I want to take the real Carol Ferris back home with me, and make her my wife. Failing that... I at least want the real Star Sapphire to take over again. Not the woman I see before me, not somebody who could be a female Hitler, given enough time... but the woman who fought me, at times, but who was never evil. I'm not asking you to do this for me. Do it for the people you rule. And do it, more than anything, for yourself. Do it, Carol. Now.
- Are We There Yet?: John has to restrain himself from constantly asking: "Are were there yet?" during their journey to Zamaron. It's a long, boring trip, even for a Ring-wielder, and it doesn't help Hal and Katma are ignoring him while chatting between themselves.<Jordan,> said John, <are you ever gonna stop thinkin' at my woman, and start thinkin' with me? It gets boring out here. I keep wantin' to yell, "Are we there yet?">
Hal grinned. <I'll give you a hint, John. We're not.>
- Attack on One Is an Attack on All: When Remoni-Notra challenges Carol to a duel, Hal warns if she attacks Carol she'll be fighting all of them.Hal Jordan: I warn you, lady, a move made on this woman will be considered a move against all of us.
- Bathing Beauty: Predator-possessed Carol teases Hector Hammond spitefully by taking a bath in front of him. To add insult to injury, she ostentatiously lifts one leg out of the water."Does the queen think the water too warm, or, perhaps, too cold?" asked Namita, one of her attendants. "We can adjust it with a simple action."
"The water is fine, Nami," Star Sapphire replied. "Just do what you do, and all will be well." She lifted one bare leg out of the water, ostensibly for the girl to soap it, but really for the effect it would have on Hammond. She saw his eyes bulging. That was the one part of him that moved... voluntarily, that is... and she took sadistic pleasure in it.
- Battle Couple: John Stewart and his wife Katma Tui are both Green Lanterns. They join Hal in his journey to Zamaron and fight alongside each other when a Zamaronian squad tries to intercept the team.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Hector Hammond is so engrossed in attempting to crush Hal Jordan inside a telekinetic cage that he doesn't realize he's broadcasting telepathically. Realizing Hammond has created a mindlink to his unprotected mind, Hal turns himself into psychic energy, speeds up the mindlink before Hammond can shut it, and knocks the mentalist out.He concentrated on compressing the green walls about his foe, and withdrew his telepathic extrusion...
...or tried to.
Again, Hector Hammond tried to close down his mind link. It could not be done. The thing remained open, like a telephone that couldn't be hung up, or a pipeline open at both ends.
The metaphor hit him like a tidal wave and he tried to shut everything down. Too late.
First the Lantern was in the cage, then he was out of it. Hammond saw the walls collapse beyond what a cockroach could have comfortably fit into.
Then he felt a pressure in his own mind. A pressure which rivalled any to which he had subjected a foe. The mentalist's defenses went into operation, but it was a bit late. After all, when an enemy has transformed his body into an analogue of mental energy and sped up the telepathic pipe into your mind, such an action is closing the gate once the horse has bolted.
A flash of green light permeated his mind.
Hector Hammond slumped even more in his chair, completely and totally unconscious.
- Big "NO!":
- Exclaimed by Hector Hammond when Hal takes advantage of his low mental defenses to escape his death trap and retaliate.Then he felt a pressure in his own mind. A pressure which rivalled any to which he had subjected a foe. The mentalist's defenses went into operation, but it was a bit late. After all, when an enemy has transformed his body into an analogue of mental energy and sped up the telepathic pipe into your mind, such an action is closing the gate once the horse has bolted.
- Screamed by the Predator when he gets blasted into oblivion.A purple burst of light cleaved through the roof of the throneroom, smashed into the force-ball, and crushed it into the Predator's body.
A light of terror went on in his eyes as he shouted, "NOOOOO!", before finally and totally combusting out of existence.
- Exclaimed by Hector Hammond when Hal takes advantage of his low mental defenses to escape his death trap and retaliate.
- Big "WHAT?!": Hector Hammond is crushing Hal telekinetically without realizing he's broadcasting his thoughts telepathically, which is because he shouts a loud "What?" when he hears Hal's voice in his head.This time, the Lantern was doomed.
<That's what you always think, Hammond.>
- The Cameo: Carl Ferris hires Jonny Double, a private investigator created by Marv Wolfman and Len Wein in 1968.
- Casual Interplanetary Travel: Subverted. Green Lanterns are able to travel between planets quickly, easily and cozily thanks to their power rings, but even so, Zamaron is a far, far away planet.The planet of Zamaron is a hell of a long ways from Earth, but if you know the right shortcuts (through spacewarps) and have the right vehicle (a power ring), it can be made in less than a day. Provided your will power doesn't run out.
Katma was carrying the Power Battery with her on a tether. Both it and the battery were invisible. Hal wanted to get the thing finished in under a day, but the trip up and back would take over 24 hours. When they got tired, they just put the rings on automatic and slept, surrounded by their protective green auras.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: As fighting Hal, Hammond gets an "Uh-Oh" reaction when Hal smiles at him. Seconds later, Hal has knocked him out.He looked at the Lantern, huddled there in his green cube with the walls pressing in on him. A bit more, and you'd probably be able to see the juice spurting.
But the Lantern was looking at him, and smiling.
Hammond hadn't fought the man more than a dozen times without learning something about him. A smiling Lantern was a dangerous Lantern.
- Continuity Nod:
- Dating What Daddy Hates: The only reason that Carl and Yvonne Ferris put up with cocky, reckless Hal Jordan is that their daughter Carol is dating him.It was also attended by Carl Ferris, who gave the bride away, and by Yvonne Ferris, both of whom were damned glad to have their daughter back, even if they dressed her and Hal Jordan down for eloping like that without even giving them a phone call.
- Designated Girl Fight: In Zamaron, Hal fights Hector Hammond, John has a quarrel with Guy Gardner, and it's Katma Tui who fights Carol.
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Variant. Hector Hammond is so engrossed in destroying Hal he doesn't realize he's telepathically broadcasting his thoughts.Thus, Hammond frequently worked through pawns against his foe thereafter, choosing first the Lantern's Modoran enemy, Sonar. But Sonar failed him, as did all the others. Now, with a combination of the right choice of allies and handling things more directly, he had hit upon a winning combination. This time, the Lantern was doomed.
<That's what you always think, Hammond.>
Hector Hammond cursed himself at hypermental speed. He must have been literally thinking so hard he was telepathing to the Lantern. Damnably dangerous in a fight, telegraphing one's punches.
- Enemy Without: In the past, Carol Ferris had developed a split personality called the Predator, spawned from her darkest traits, which had been given physical shape by her gem and later merged back with Carol. As fighting Katma Tui, Carol manages to throw it out and destroy it.Part of her seemed to be spinning away, like ectoplasm emerging from a medium's flesh. Her original mass wasn't visibly affected, but another self was being brought forth. It was vaguely coalescing, dummying up into a homuncular shape.
And it was the most horrible thing Hal Jordan had ever seen, but he knew it had to run its course.
It took all his strength to hold Carol back, for her physical self was being drawn to the power-burst. More than that, it took the might of two power rings and her star sapphire gem to keep them apart. The Zamaron guards below watched in terrible fascination at what was happening to their queen, and wondered if they should shoot the Lanterns down, or if the aliens were trying to save her.
And then the only connection between the meta-being and Star Sapphire was a thin silvery thread, which broke like a severed umbilical. It retracted quickly into the main mass of itself, which hardened, coalesced, and defined itself into a humanoid being. One which cupped its hands beneath the purple and green ball of fire. One which was all too familiar to Hal Jordan.
"The Predator," he said, softly.
- FaceHeel Turn: Guy Gardner joins Star Sapphire and Hector Hammond out of resentment towards Hal.John Stewart: So what made you side with the enemy, Gardner? I never liked you, but I thought you had more class than that.
Guy Gardner: The enemy I've got is Jordan. I lost a woman because of him. I lost a mind because of him. Now I've got a new mind... and I like it just fine.
- Fight Off the Kryptonite: The Zamaronian soldiers are armed with yellow weaponry, but Hal, John and Katma have developed all kind of strategies and tricks to fight around their weaknesses.
- Fix Fic: Due to the events of this story, Katma Tui doesn't get murdered, Hal Jordan doesn't go nuts, and Hal and Carol get married.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Hal tries to convince Star Sapphire to beat the Predator's influence, not for him, but for the Zamaronians, who don't deserve to be ruled by a merciless, ruthless queen.Hal Jordan: I want to take the real Carol Ferris back home with me, and make her my wife. Failing that... I at least want the real Star Sapphire to take over again. Not the woman I see before me, not somebody who could be a female Hitler, given enough time... but the woman who fought me, at times, but who was never evil. I'm not asking you to do this for me. Do it for the people you rule.
- Gold Digger: Invoked. One of the theories brainstormed by detective Jonny Double on Hal and Carol's disappearance is Hal wanted Carol's money and Carl Ferris disapproved of their relationship.The case seemed simple enough. Carol Ferris had run off with her lover, this hotdog test pilot. Her for love, him for money. Carl Ferris didn't want the guy's hands in his wallet. Maybe. But maybe it wasn't that simple.
- Green-Eyed Monster: On the one hand, Carl Ferris is proud of his very capable daughter. On the another hand... he won't say it out loud, but his daughter being a better businessperson than he ever was stings his pride more than what he's willing to admit.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: As using his telekinesis to crush Hal, Hammond taunts telepathically the Green Lantern, giving Hal the chance to send his own mental attack through the opened mind-link.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: As dueling Star Sapphire, Katma uses her Ring to help the real Carol fight the Predator.Both women were panting as if they'd run a marathon. Their costumes were sweat-stained, and their muscles trembled with effort. They alternated closing their eyes in concentration and trying to stare the other one down.
Katma could see what Hal meant about the Predator in Carol's visage. It had twisted her face into one of the most cruel and arrogant aspects she had ever seen on a woman, on Korugar or elsewhere.
But in the depths of her eyes, Katma seemed to sense something more. Something a bit trapped, a bit different.
Encouraged, she tried pouring on more will. It had to be enough. It had to reclaim Carol from the Star Sapphire.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Carl Ferris isn't a drinking man. After his daughter has gone missing again, he wishes he was.Carl Ferris wished he was a drinking man at times like these. Sometimes, so did his wife, Yvonne.
- Interspecies Romance: John Stewart (Earth human) and Katma Tui (Korugaran alien) are married.
- Kill It with Fire: Star Sapphire finally gets rid of her evil split personality by burning the Predator into oblivion.A purple burst of light cleaved through the roof of the throneroom, smashed into the force-ball, and crushed it into the Predator's body.
A light of terror went on in his eyes as he shouted, "NOOOOO!", before finally and totally combusting out of existence. Small flaming embers of him fell towards the floor. They smouldered in green and purple fire for a few seconds before going out.
- Klingon Promotion: Remoni wants to fight and kill Carol to legitimize her claim to the Zamaron throne. Carol sidesteps the issue by saying she can have the throne.
- Meal Ticket: Invoked. When private eye Jonny Double is hired to find Hal and Carol, his first theory is Hal talked Carol into eloping because he wanted to get his hands on her money.The case seemed simple enough. Carol Ferris had run off with her lover, this hotdog test pilot. Her for love, him for money. Carl Ferris didn't want the guy's hands in his wallet. Maybe. But maybe it wasn't that simple.
- Modesty Towel: Subverted. Out of spite, Star Sapphire parades in front of Hammond wearing a towel which covers nothing but her shoulders.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: After checking Carol's house and finding a slashed picture of Hal Jordan, detective Jonny Double starts suspecting someone wants to kill Hal Jordan out of jealousy.
- No Honor Among Thieves: Star Sapphire and Hector Hammond team up to destroy Hal Jordan but they can't stand each other. Carol delights in deliberately and relentlessly screwing up with Hammond's mind, and Hammond would love shutting Carol's brain down.
- Noodle Incident: Private Investigator Jonny Double never found out why there was a defaced Hal's picture in Carol's house.Even Jonny Double managed to make the list. He was rather glad that it turned out the way it did, before he even had to tell anyone other than Carl that there might have been foul play. He was even more glad that Mr. Ferris wrote him a check for two thousand dollars.
He never did figure out why Jordan's picture had all those scratches in it, but life is full of little mysteries.
- Older Than They Look: Star Sapphire is in her thirties. Her handmaidens look in her twenties but they're in fact older than her.
- Power Crystal: Carol's star sapphire gem, is her power's source and symbol.A large star sapphire gem, the symbol of her power, levitated from her table nearby and flew to her hand. Its power reinforced her own, and she formed a psi-shield against him.
- Psychic Link: Green Lantern Rings can open telepathic links between their wielders, allowing Hal, John and Katma to talk in space during the long trip to Zamaron.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Hal tries to reach Carol out by pointing that, as long as she lets her Predator personality control her, she will not be a queen but a tyrant.Hal: You are what you are today because you embraced the persona you once expelled from your body, the Predator. Do you know why you expelled him, Carol?
Carol: Because of my emotional conflict over you, Hal Jordan. Acting upon the powers of my sapphire gem.
Hal: Not entirely. I think you expelled him because he was unfit.
Hal: That's right, Star. Not just because he was the part of you that had to be hard. God knows, Carol Ferris had that. She couldn't have run Ferris Aircraft all those years and not have had that. The Predator was more than that. He was the part of you that was—dark. Evil. More than an agressor, Carol. He was the being who hated everything Carol Ferris loved.
Carol: I warn you, Jordan—
Hal: No, Carol. I'm warning you. Without the check of compassion, without the ability to love, or give a damn about the people you're supposed to rule, you'll be anything but a queen. You'll simply be a tyrant. That's what the Predator wants you to be, and that's what you're handing him. I could create a mirror here, and show you. As a matter of fact, that's what I'll do.
- Removed from the Picture: As checking Carol's house, detective Jonny Double finds a picture of Hal Jordan slashed by the Predator.Double pushed two rows of clothes aside from a closet rack and stopped dead when he saw what was on the wall behind them.
It was a picture of Hal Jordan, in his flight gear. A head shot, smiling.
The picture, and the wall around it, was scored with triple diagonal cut-marks that formed an X, meeting in the center of the photo. The cuts were evenly-spaced, as if three barber's razors had been strapped together to do the job.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Hector's attempt to scare or impress Hal doesn't work.Hector Hammond: Now, Green Lantern, be sure to tell your fellow Corpsmen on the other side that the last foes you fought were known, collectively, as the Triumvirate of Terror.
Hal Jordan: Go to hell, Hammond.
- Spared by the Adaptation: In mainstream canon, Katma Tui was murdered by a Predator-possessed Carol. In this story, Katma helps Carol to expel out and destroy the Predator.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Katma ponders Hal and Carol have been through a lot, and still life always seems conspire against them to keep them apart.
- Surveillance as the Plot Demands: The three Green Lanterns are watched during their adventure by the Guardians of the Universe, who certainly possess the means to observe anyone at anywhere and at any time.
- Tempting Fate: Hammond ponders that THIS TIME Hal Jordan is inevitably doomed seconds before being pummelled him into uncosciousness by Hal himself. Hal lampshades Hammond is always counting his chickens before they are hatched.This time, the Lantern was doomed.
<That's what you always think, Hammond.>
- There Can Be Only One: According Zamaron custom, the four Star Sapphires must fight each other until only one remains. The victor is proclaimed Queen of the Zamarons.Remoni-Notra: I congratulate you on your victory, Green Lanterns. Nonetheless, I must prove my claim to the crown, as is our custom, by combat.
John Stewart: Now, wait a minute. This woman's just been through hell and a half. You can't expect her to just get up and fight you like that. I don't care what kind of customs you've got. You do that, and we're gonna show you an old custom from my old 'hood—the gang fight.
Carol Ferris: It is the tribal custom, John. There are four Star Sapphires in each generation. They battle until all but one is defeated. The one who remains is the true Star Sapphire. By their law, I am required to... to fight her.
- Trash Talk: John and Guy taunt each other several times during their brawl.Hal Jordan: Come on, Gardner, if you think you can do it.
John Stewart: Back off, Hal. Mr. Moe Howard Haircut 'n' me started this fight. And we're gonna be the ones to finish it.
Guy Gardner: Wrong, boy. I'm gonna be the one to finish it.
- Villain Team-Up: Star Sapphire and Hector Hammond join forces. It isn't a cordial partnership, though.
- Weddings for Everyone: At the end of the story, a triple wedding is held:And it came to pass that, on Earth, not more than a week later, a triple wedding ceremony was held, at which Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance, John Stewart and Katma Tui, and, yes, Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris said the words "I do," which, in themselves, may possess quite more power than the Guardians dreamed of in their lifetime.
- "You!" Exclamation: Spouted by Guy Gardner when Hal defeats Hammond.Guy Gardner, still fighting with John Stewart, saw Jordan standing there and guessed what had happened, or something like it. "You!" he seethed.