by Vendikarr DeWuff
Alex DeWitt sat near the top of the Gotham State Building, trying to figure out the best way to get the attention of Green Lantern. She had tried asking the ring, but it didn’t talk.
“Duh!” she remarked to herself, remembering that the headquarters of the Justice Society of America was also in Gotham City. She decided to present herself to the JSA and ask them to summon Green Lantern.
But first, she decided she had to make herself look presentable. Most heroes had flashy costumes, and Alex thought she should have one, too. She thought up a basic design and concentrated on it. The ring then reworked her clothes to resemble the costume she imagined — yellow and white, with a yellow starburst-type design. Alex admired herself in a window, gave herself a satisfied smile, and was off to find JSA Headquarters.
Driving home from GBC, Molly felt inspired. “Alan, I just had the greatest idea.”
“What’s that, hon?” he replied, nibbling on her fingers.
“Alan, stop that, or I won’t be able to think.”
Alan Scott stopped nibbling and looked into his wife’s eyes. “I’m all yours, dear.”
“Hmm, don’t I know it.” She paused, lost in thought. “Umm, anyway, I came up with the solution to your going to work. I can’t come with you every day, so how about you wear the old Harlequin specs? That way you can let the entire world see you as an older man,” Molly finished, feeling rather proud of herself.
“That’s a good idea, hon, but they’re really not my style,” he said, then flinched from the slap on the shoulder he received from his wife.
“Silly man. You make then look any way you want them to. We can swing by the bank. They’re in my safety deposit box.” Molly paused. “Oh, dear, my purse. I must have left it at the office.”
“No problem.” Alan then used the phone in his car and called the office. “Marcie, it’s Alan. Yes, I just knew you would still be there. Could you do me a favor? Mrs. Scott left her purse in my office. Could you find it and bring it to the bank? I’ll wait.” He then turned to his wife. “She’s looking for it.”
“Did you ever remember to invite her over this weekend?”
“Oh, shoot. I’ll do it when she gets back on the phone.” He listened and said, “You’ve got it. Great. Our bank is First Gotham. We’ll wait. Oh, and Marcie? Mrs. Scott and I would like to invite you to come out to the house this weekend. Jennie-Lynn and Todd will be there, too. That’s great. See you at the bank in about fifteen minutes. ‘Bye.” He turned to his wife. “Molly, she’d love to join us.”
“Wonderful! Now, do we tell Todd or just let it be a surprise?”
“Surprises are great. Let’s leave it at that.”
“That’s just great!” Marcie Cooper commented to herself as she ran down the hall. “I as good as have it in my hand, and then they figure out it’s missing. Plus, they trust me. I feel like such a heel.”
Outside the building, Marcie hailed a cab. “First Gotham, please,” she told the driver, and she was on her way. She then thought to herself, Maybe it’s not in the bank. Maybe it’s in the house. Being invited out may be the excuse I need to search the place.
Marcie then sat in silence until the cab reached the bank. She saw the Scotts standing there. Alan walked over and paid the fare, and Marcie exited the cab.
“Wait here, Marcie. We’ll give you a ride once Molly gets something out her safe deposit box.”
Marcie stood still and thought to herself, Great. She’s getting it now. I’ll be so close to it but can’t do a thing about it.
After about ten minutes, the Scotts exited the bank, and Marcie assumed that it was in her purse. So close… so damn close, Marcie thought.
Then Alan said, “Marcie, why don’t you come back to the house with us now? We can start the weekend early. Jen and Todd should be there by now.”
“That would be great,” replied Marcie Cooper, wondering how she could get the glasses and keep from running up against the Wall.
Alex knocked on the JSA Headquarters door and got no answer. Someone should be here, she thought. Even though she knocked harder, still there was no answer. Beginning to feel frustrated, she went to knock again, and the ring accidentally knocked down the door, setting the alarms off.
She felt like running but decided it was best to apologize and do what she came to do. She watched as the Atom and Wildcat ran down the hall toward her. She screamed down the hallway, “I’m looking for Green Lantern!”
The Atom, leading the charge, ran at her and screamed back, “I don’t care who you’re looking for, but you’ve found trouble.” And he launched himself at Alex.
Damn, she thought, this is not what you’d call making a good first impression.
“Atom, wait!” screamed Wildcat as the Atom went charging toward Alex.
She pointed her ring at him, and a yellow hand appeared and grabbed ahold of him. She then created a transparent, yellow-tinted jar about six feet high and placed him in it. Then a large screw lid appeared on top of the jar with air holes punched into it. Wildcat started walking down the hall, and two young people peeked out of the lounge to see what was happening down there.
“Please, Mr. Wildcat, I don’t mean any trouble. I am just looking for Green Lantern. I came into possession of this ring, and I want to learn from him how to control it.”
Wildcat stopped next to the oversized bug jar, looked at his longtime friend pounding on the glass, and laughed. “Looks to me you know just what to do with this thing already, girlie.” He looked at Atom again, laughed, then said, “Come on, kid. Let’s sit down and talk, and I’ll give G.L. a call.”
The new teenage heroes called Damage and Coral came down the hall, and Damage asked, “What about the Atom, sir?”
“Here’s a test of your abilities, kid. See if you two youngsters can get him out of that jar.” And Wildcat laughed again. He turned and waved to his friend, who was screaming some very un-hero-like words at his friend.
Wildcat and Alex sat down in the monitor room, and he called Green Lantern, who indicated he would be at brownstone shortly. Wildcat then poured a cup of coffee for himself and Alex.
“So ya want to be a hero? I like the union suit. Did ya pick a name yet?” asked Wildcat.
“Yes, sir. I chose the name Corona.”
Wildcat sputtered and said, “Corona? You named yourself after a beer?”
Alex gave him an irritated look, and replied, “Umm, no. I named myself after the yellow halo or ring that appears around the sun during an eclipse.”
“Ahh, interesting choice. Look, kid, from what I’ve seen, you have a handle on this ring already. But it takes smarts to come to look for training.”
“Thank you, sir.”
Just then, a loud laugh could be heard from the hallway outside the monitor room.
“That’s G.L. He must have just seen Atom in the jar.”
The door opened, and Green Lantern entered, laughing still. “OK, who do I owe for the best laugh I’ve had all week?”
Wildcat and Corona stood up, and Wildcat said, “G.L., let me introduce you to our new friend, Corona.”
Alex looked at him and smiled.
“Corona? As in…?” began Alan.
“No,” replied Wildcat.
Alex walked up to Green Lantern to shake his hand, then stopped and said, “Please don’t take offense, but I thought you were much older.”
Wildcat took a better look at Alan and said, “Ya did the Karkull/Starheart energy trick, didn’t ya?”
Alan replied, “Guilty as charged, both me and the missus.”
Looking somewhat puzzled, Alex looked back at Wildcat, and said, “I don’t understand.”
Wildcat replied, “Don’t let it worry ya, girlie. This sort of thing happens around here all the time. Why, if you don’t get yourself killed, you can live forever.” Then, silently to himself, he added, Ya can live forever even if you do get yourself killed.
Alan then said, “So the bug jar is your handiwork?”
“Yes, sir. My, uh… roommate got this ring from some guy he said was carrying lightning bolts. When I asked him about it, he gave the ring to me.”
“Let me take a look at that,” Alan said as he took her hand in his to view the ring closer. “Good God, this is Sinestro’s ring.”
“Whose ring?” asked Alex.
“He’s a major baddie on Earth-One. Uses this type of power ring to menace my counterpart on that world.”
“Earth-One? This all ties in with that trouble the papers called the Crisis, doesn’t it?”
“Sure does, girlie,” Wildcat replied. “Let’s just hope this guy doesn’t come looking for his ring.”
“Well he’ll be in for a fight if he does. It’s mine, now, and I want to use it to help.” She turned to Green Lantern and said, “I’ve been reading about heroes all my life, you especially. When this came into my life, it was a dream come true. Mr. Lantern, I want to help. And I would really like your help in learning how to use this.”
Alan looked at her and saw the fire and determination of youth. Then he said to Wildcat, “Were we ever that young?”
“Can’t remember. But I will tell ya, if you don’t train this kid, I will.” He turned to Alex and said, “I know more about willpower than anyone on Earth, except him.”
“Now wait a minute, ‘Cat, I never said I wouldn’t help her.” And to Alex he said, “Where are you staying?”
“I really didn’t plan that far ahead. I just flew into town this afternoon.”
“Then you’re coming to stay with me while we train. It’ll be great. My kids are in town, too. They’re about your age.”
They heard a crashing sound in the hall and saw the jar containing the Atom turned on its side. Damage was unscrewing the lid.
Wildcat and Green Lantern laughed some more, and Green Lantern said, “I had better get you out of here before he gets out of that jar. I doubt the Atom will be in a good mood.”
“I could just make the jar go away,” said Alex.
Green Lantern and Wildcat replied, “No,” at the same time.
The Lantern and Alex walked to the door, and she called out, “Sorry, Mr. Atom.”
Her apology was greeted by more un-hero-like language. Wildcat said, “I’ll smooth it over with him. You guys just go.” He turned to Damage and said, “Great thinking, kid. I’m proud of ya.”
As they walked out the door, Green Lantern said, “Since you’re going to be staying with me, you might as well know who I am.” He took off his mask and said, “My name is Alan Scott, President and CEO of Gotham Broadcasting.” And he shook her hand.
“A pleasure to meet you, sir. My name is Alex DeWitt.”