SOMEWHERE in the deep reaches of space a mysterious object is hurtling through the stars. It emits a glow so bright its true form is obscured by its own radiance and appears as an orb of pure light. Even in the vast expanse of the cosmos it does not go unnoticed and its course is being watched from all directions.
On planet Oa, the home world of the Guardians of the Universe and headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps, the object's very existence has become a cause for alarm. Two Green Lanterns have sought out Ganthet to discover what has the Guardians so concerned.
"The other Guardians are in the process of communicating the trajectory of the object to all Corps members as we speak. They must be warned to avoid it at all costs," said Ganthet in a tone far more troubled then his usually soft demeanor. "But I wanted to make the time to speak with you about the situation."
Hal Jordan's face filled with dread at the chill in Ganthet's voice. "Where is it heading?" he asked, knowing he wouldn't like the answer.
"Sector 2814… Earth," Ganthet said gravely, and with that Hal Jordan turned and flew off with such speed the force of his takeoff pushed the Guardian back as he floated.
"Always the hothead," grumbled Kilowog as he turned to the spot his friend had stood just a moment ago. "He didn't even stick around to find out what this thing is."
By then Hal Jordan was far enough away from the planets atmosphere that the only trace he had been there was a tiny green trail of light, already fading off into space. As Kilowog stood staring off in his direction, Ganthet had already turned and was moving away as he spoke. "I'm afraid he will find out far too soon."
* * *
MEANWHILE on Earth, the object had caught the curiosity of a handful of the planet's greatest minds. In New York, Reed Richard's laboratory in the Baxter building was abuzz with activity. The action scientist zipped around, stretching to run tests on one side of the room while he accessed the controls of equipment in other parts of the lab. Assisted by doctors Bruce Banner, Ray Palmer and joined by the Oracle, Barbara Gordon, Mister Fantastic had been probing deep space to scan the object.
With a massive network of super computers at their disposal, they had been trying to break through the object's energy barrier to discover its purpose ever since they'd been alerted to the approaching threat by the Green Lantern who had sent a message earlier that day.
"Hal's right, it's heading straight for us and emitting massive amounts of some form of cosmic radiation I've never seen," Richards said without looking away from his readouts.
"I'm sorry I haven't been more help, Reed. I can't make heads or tails of the energy this thing is cranking out and quite frankly I'm out of ideas," Banner said as he removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes. Reed stretched an arm across the room to Bruce's workstation, resting a hand on his shoulder.
"Nonsense, Bruce. You've been a great deal of help as always. This entity seems to defy analysis and that's no fault of yours. None of us have been able to crack this mystery."
"So what's our next move?" asked The Atom, frustrated at their failed attempts.
"We need to bring more of the community in on this," Richards answered, still staring at the limited data coming in.
"I've already spoken to Guth, Penrose and even Hawking. Everyone's in the dark on this, Reed," Palmer said as he collapsed in his chair and looked out the window.
"That's not the community I was thinking of," Richards stated as he finally turned to face his colleagues.
Barbara Gordon turned and began to wheel her way towards the communications terminal. "I'll contact the Watchtower; they can get the word out. Then I'll head back to Gotham and get the 'family' up to speed."
"Yes and quickly, Barbara. I believe we're going to need all the help we can get," Reed said as he returned to his scans.
* * *
HIGH above all the efforts of our heroes, a solitary figure stands on our only true satellite. He watches as a brilliant green streak of light heads straight for the shining blue marvel that is his obsessive assignment. As he stares, the tiny watchtower passes through his gaze in Earth's orbit as it too begins teeming with activity, a stark contrast to the quiet contemplation he usually enjoys on his lunar outpost. Uatu sees all and though he struggles with his vow of non-interference in our affairs, he often speaks aloud to himself in the hope that someone will take heed of his words. He whispers a riddled warning into the void of space, like a child pleading with the dark.
"Dark days are ahead for you, heroes of Earth, and the future you build for mankind will now depend on your grandest designs…"
TO BE CONTINUED…