A bounty hunter, driven by his past, stalks the most dangerous game in the universe: a Green Lantern.
He had been waiting for hours and would wait for hours more if needed. It had been years since he last saw his target. He wondered how he would react.
He checked the charge of his battle staff again. He stopped when he realized that he had checked it for probably the fifth time within the past few hours; he was nervous. The quick dose of stimulants injected into his skin snapped him awake and alert in an instant. He would need all his faculties when he confronted his prey.
He was getting on in years, not as fast as he used to be, though many times as cunning now as when he first took on the name “Fatality.” His training, weaponry, and name had been her legacy to him. His mother.
He had never known Xanshi, never actually seen the planet of his mother’s birth. But she talked about it endlessly. How beautiful it was, how her mother missed it so much... how her mother seethed with rage at the memory of its destruction at the hands of the Green Lantern. From the moment he could first remember, he had his mission: to continue her mother’s cause until the last Green Lantern and any former Green Lantern was dead at his hands.
He remembered that it had been a task that seemed overwhelming at first, his mother said. Seven thousand two hundred Green Lanterns spread out across the universe--two for each sector under the Guardians’ protection--how could one woman ever hope to complete such a vow?
His mother, Fatality (for he had never known her other name), did not let the enormity of her task dwindle her resolve. She allied herself first with other bounty hunters, though that enterprise failed. She allied herself with Earth’s super villains and found herself in defeat after defeat. She failed but continued on.
Then, the Blackest Night occurred. Fatality was not aware of it, she had told him, but only heard of the fateful events through rumors after the fact. The events of the Blackest Night, where Lantern fought against Lantern throughout the universe, may never be known to her, but Fatality felt its effects almost immediately. Of the entire Green Lantern Corps, only a squadron remained. With the planet Green Lantern called Mogo destroyed in the Blackest Night, the rings failed to automatically seek out new recruits. The Green Lantern Corps tried to rebuild, recruiting each member personally as they did once before, but the rebuilding was hard and slow. Mistakes were made and some choices made had been less than promising.
His mother used the time that the Corps rebuilt to strike. Allying herself with the remnants of another Corps, the Sinestro Corps, Fatality was instrumental in keeping the numbers of the Green Lanterns down despite their recruitment efforts. They would have succeeded in defeating the Green Lanterns and finally obliterating them if not for the untimely return of the Sinestro Corps’ leader, who wrested control of his followers from her. Left for dead, his mother survived again, as she always had.
Gagged and bound to the chair beside him, his hostage looked up at him and pleaded with her eyes. He smiled and stroked her white hair lovingly. Her expression changed to anger and disgust as she tried to wrench her head away from his hands.
The Green Lantern’s mother... a simple enough trap. He had spent years tracking the two of them down, but they had been good at hiding their tracks. It was perhaps mere chance that he saw her when he did. The holographic disguise she wore was top-notch and undetectable by conventional scanners; if she had remembered to keep it charged, it would not have failed at the crucial time.
Would the Green Lantern attempt to attach him head-on or sneak into the building, he mused. Many years could change the way a man thinks and he had not fought with this Lantern for a long while.
Still, there were some things that were predictable: a man’s love for his parents, for one.
Fatality had never known his father. He only knew of the endless days in training with his mother. He suspected he didn’t have one or, if he did, his father had not been a willing partner.
His mother, a fierce warrior and harsh teacher, drilled him in the martial arts skills of a dozen different worlds and the battle tactics of a dozen others. His memories of her were either of her teaching him a new technique or her telling her stories of her past.
He had looked forward to those stories. They were the reprieve from the pain of practice, from the bumps and bruises of mastering his arts. On the rare occasions as well, they afforded him glimpses into the woman his mother had been before she became a warrior. Those moments were rare, but he distinctly remembered one such instance when his mother smiled, however briefly, when talking of Xanshi before its destruction.
He remembered her smiling warmly on another occasion: when he made his first kill. His mother had captured two Green Lanterns and rendered them helpless without their rings. Bringing the two back with her to their ship, she offered him his challenge: kill the two with his bare hands. Without their precious rings, they didn’t stand a chance against him. He could still remember the feeling of one of the Lantern’s trembling jaw as the alien begged him to spare his life before he twisted its neck. As the rush of the murders left him, he remembered feeling contented upon seeing his mother’s proud face.
His last memory of his mother had been one of grief. She had tracked her ultimate prey, the Green Lantern known as John Stewart, and engaged him in combat. He watched in a ship at a safe distance away from the combat. He knew her mother would not be pleased if he interfered; for John Stewart was the Green Lantern she hated most in the entire universe: the Green Lantern who destroyed Xanshi.
And so, he was not able to reach her in time as she took both herself and Stewart out with a bomb within his protective green bubble. It was her ultimate revenge fulfilled.
He made his way to the explosion site, eyes brimming with tears. It was the first time he could remember crying without any wounds inflicted on him, though the pain in his heart hurt more than anything he had ever experienced. No bones left, the bomb’s work was thorough. Nothing left except a young teenager shouting to the heavens his vow to continue his mother’s work and name.
From then on, his own name was forgotten and he was merely Fatality.
Footsteps approached him from the front. The Green Lantern was coming at him straight away. How arrogant, Fatality thought. Of course, he should know that characteristic of this Green Lantern by now.
Fatality smiled as he thought back. Yes, it had been so long since he last saw his prey. He hadn’t changed.
This was it. The Torchbearer, the Green Lantern called Kyle Rayner, was lying prone at his feet. He had dreamt of this moment.
“That was a rotten trick, Fatality!” Kyle swore as he struggled to get up despite his wounds. “Using your own son to--ARGGGH!”
Fatality gave his staff another twist as the sharp edge dug into Kyle’s thigh. Blood gushed out of the new wound even as Kyle’s ring struggled to keep its owner from dying from the blood loss.
“Do be quiet, Rayner,” he said as he continued to add wounds to the Lantern’s body. A sharp thrust into Kyle’s right shoulder generated another round of curses from the Lantern. He smiled and turned to his son, sitting near a wall where he had tossed him earlier. The boy was nearly as old as he was when he made his first kill. His body trembled, but his eyes showed none of the fear Fatality knew he felt. The boy stared at him with hate.
Like his mother before him, Fatality could not outlast the years. However, instead of siring just one, he thought it best to spread his seed to increase his chances for a good heir. He was not an ever present father, though; he had no time for such nonsense. His mission was foremost on his priorities.
Instead, on each child’s tenth year, he came to test them. If they satisfied, he would take them away and train them to become his heir. If they didn’t... well, they were not worth it. This was now the fourth and last child he would test.
However, a stroke of luck found him trapping both the Green Lantern and his child at the same time. Apparently, his streak of dead sons had led the Lantern to the fourth child, who knew nothing of what happened. The boy tried to find and fight him after learning of his dead step-siblings, but all that led to was the situation they found themselves in at the moment: a Green Lantern and a child trapped inside his ship.
“He is a useful tool, isn’t he?” Fatality said. “He is perfect to carry on my legacy after I take him away from his mother and train him.” He paused as he twisted his staff again. “But, with only a handful of you Green Lanterns remaining... I’m beginning to wonder if I should even bother.”
“You’ll n-never destroy the Corps!” Kyle said defiantly through gritted teeth.
“We’ll see about that!” Fatality raised his staff, ready to deliver a killing blow to Kyle’s chest. Suddenly, a large green bat swooped from the ceiling and grabbed the staff away from his hands. A small green alien dog ran up and swept Fatality off his feet. And a comical anvil landed on him, pinning him to the floor of his ship.
At the same time, Kyle willed his ring to fly him at full speed towards the corner and the boy. As he reached the corner, he grabbed the boy to his chest and braced himself. A green aura surrounded the two of them instantaneously and battered through the ship’s wall. The blackness of space welcomed them.
The green construct dematerialized as Kyle escaped. Fatality stood up and, seeing the situation, rushed towards the ship’s controls and triggered the emergency buttons. The ship’s secondary wall sealed the breach and the pressure within stabilized.
Fatality seethed as he realized that the Green Lantern had escaped, along with his son.
“Welcome, Green Lantern,” Fatality mocked as the figure appeared in front of the doorway.
The Green Lantern stopped and pointed at Fatality. “Let her go, Fatality! She has nothing to do with this!”
“Ah, but she has absolutely everything to do with this, don’t you?” Fatality tapped the knee of the woman on the chair with his battle staff with a sardonic grin. The woman continued struggling. “I should never have left you with this woman. I still wonder what could have been if I simply raised you myself, like my mother raised me.” His expression changed. “Why do you approach so bravely, boy? Haven’t you learned to fear me yet?”
The Green Lantern crossed his arms across his chest as he spoke. “I do not fear you, Fatality.”
“A pity. Your master Rayner should have learned and taught that lesson to you before I killed him,” Fatality taunted.
“He was a hero, Fatality! Unlike you! You’re nothing but a killer,” the Green Lantern shouted. He did not move from his position.
“I am also your father, boy!” he sneered. “You only exist because I let you. You live and die on my say! And I say, today you die!”
Without another word, Fatality leapt at the Green Lantern and swung his battle staff while in midair. A wave of yellow energy shot out from the staff and flowed towards the Green Lantern. The Green Lantern uncrossed his arms and willed his ring to create an energy barrier. The yellow wave met the green shield with a jolt as the shield held.
Fatality landed near the lantern, crouched and swung his legs underneath, attempting to sweep the Lantern. The Green Lantern flew up to evade the leg sweep, but ended up tripping Fatality’s trap. An energy net launched from a hidden cannon and captured the Green Lantern, pinning him to the opposite wall.
Fatality grinned and charged towards the trapped Lantern. He grabbed two darts from his belt and threw them with force at the Lantern. The Green Lantern howled when the darts scored on his leg. Fatality’s charge continued and he poised his staff for a straight thrust to the Lantern’s heart.
The Green Lantern fought through the pain and deflected the staff’s lance point with a large green rock construct. Before Fatality could regain his momentum, the Green Lantern materialized several small green mirrors that deflected the energy net’s form into different directions and rolled away. Fatality lost his balance for a moment trying to compensate for the deflection of his staff and swung overhead, targeting his son’s head.
The Green Lantern crouched and brought up his arm to shield himself from the blow. The lance struck the Lantern’s ring-generated gauntlets and triggered an electric attack that passed through the gauntlets and sought flesh. The Green Lantern had only a second to get a skin-layer shield up to protect himself, but ended up absorbing most of the attack. He howled in pain.
Fatality saw his chance and brought the other end of his staff towards the Lantern’s ribs in an underhand strike. The Green Lantern gasped for his breath and attempted a kick to the side. Fatality saw the move coming and dodged back, before thrusting his battlestaff’s head towards the Green Lantern. The Lantern managed to narrowly evade the battlestaff’s hard edge, but it still managed to hurt him. Willing his ring to heal himself, the Lantern generated an exoskeleton around himself in the form of a reptilian battle-armor. After evading a few swipes from his now larger opponent, Fatality reacted by grabbing a sonic bomb from his belt and triggering it.
The Green Lantern shouted in pain as the sonic bomb wreaked damage on his equilibrium and concentration. His construct lost form as he struggled to put some distance between himself and Fatality. Fatality, sensing victory was near, pressed on his attack. The Green Lantern ended up cornered and in an extreme amount of pain from all his wounds.
Fatality drew his staff up, readying a killing stance. “Beg for your life, boy! This is your last chance to join me in my crusade!”
The Green Lantern stared at him with those same defiant eyes as he did back when he was but a child. “Not on your miserable life!”
Fatality struck. The blow was true and quick.
The Green Lantern’s ring struck as well, creating a hole in Fatality’s side that rivaled the one he made in his son’s chest.
“Hnn... got you,” the Green Lantern gasped out before he drew his last breath.
The Green Lantern was dead. But the Corps still existed. Its members, no matter how few, still thrived despite his efforts.
His son was dead. And now, he had no one to carry on his name.
And Fatality, after the euphoria of victory left him, realized that, soon, he would be dead as well.