by Dan Swanson
Doctor Fate, as the longtime former host of a Lord of Order, had resisted the growth of Chaos in the universe and had battled to advance the cause of Order over the decades. One of the tools of Order was the ritual. Part of the life of a Lord of Order was consumed in observing the various rituals of Order. And even though the Lord of Order named Nabu had departed from his mortal frame, Doctor Fate continued to perform these rituals as an agent of the Lords of Order.
Periodically, Doctor Fate would perform a ritual of search. During this ritual, his astral self wandered through space close to Earth, searching for signs of the expansion of Chaos. During this particular ritual of search, Ekluabdyalbker’s flight had finally brought it into Doctor Fate’s sphere of interest. Noticing the new rogue planet, archaeologist Kent Nelson — one-half of the composite being — was fascinated by the discovery of the abandoned base of the Galactic Patrol.
What an amazing find! thought Nelson. It could provide amazing insights into life in the galaxy thousands of years ago. Diverting his attention to the base, Doctor Fate stopped his search and spent several seconds flitting through the long-abandoned corridors. When he found no signs of Chaos, he returned to his ritual search, planning to study the base at length sometime later.
On the rogue planet, however, the sensitive guardian machine noted the passage of Fate’s astral self. Analyzing the minuscule traces of mystical energy that Fate’s astral self left behind, it interpreted these energies as a sign of Order returning to Ekluabdyalbker. The guardian machine thus initiated the final phase of Iredok’s plan. The clone was awakened, provided with the glove and globe, and was encouraged to join the forces of Order in the galaxy.
But Iredok Jur Diah had never expected a lapse of 100,000 years to pass before his clone was finally awakened. Small imperfections in the suspended animation process — imperfections that would make no perceptible difference over tens or even hundreds of years — had built up during the long sleep, and when the Iredok clone was finally awakened, his brain was considerably damaged, and he was unable to make the glove work for him.
Whatever portion of his brain had been used to communicate with the glove had seemingly been destroyed. No matter how hard he concentrated, Iredok was unable to use his glove. When he commanded the glove, he could feel it quivering, as if it was trying to respond, almost as if it was begging to be commanded. But the Iredok clone was unable to break through whatever barrier kept him from controlling the glow. He felt as if he was on the edge of success, that, if he had time, he might once again regain his power, but he didn’t have time. He needed to find the Lord of Order whose activities had led to his revival. Perhaps this Lord of Order could restore his mind. If not, certainly this Lord of Order would help him find someone worthy to whom he could pass on the power of the glow.
Working with the sensitive detection instruments the original Iredok had built into the guardian machine, the clone of Iredok was able to determine that the Lord of Order who had awakened him came from the distant planet Earth. Quickly refurbishing one of the Galactic Patrol spaceships that remained on Ekluabdyalbker, Iredok headed toward Earth. And once again he was betrayed when Patrol technology, unused for over 100,000 years, failed.
As the spaceship bearing the clone of Galactic Patroller Iredok Jur Diah, along with his glove and glove, approached Earth, something in the hyperdrive unit failed. The ship abruptly shifted from hyperspace into normal space, and the uncontrolled transition left Iredok stunned. He wasn’t surprised at the failure, given the age of the ship, but he had hoped it would last long enough to get him safely to Earth.
Although he could see the planet approaching at a dangerous speed, Iredok Jur Diah could do nothing to regain control. The ship plunged almost instantly through the atmosphere and smashed into the planet’s surface at tremendous speed, crashing at the base of a mountain. The ship was totally destroyed, and only the advanced passenger-protection devices kept Iredok alive. But he knew he was fatally injured and would die soon.
Up until now, Iredok had been unable to activate the glove due to the damage his brain had sustained during his long sleep in suspended animation. He knew he was going to die soon, and only the power of the glow could aid him now, so he painfully slid his glove onto his hand. He then made a fist and pressed the face of his fist against the glowing globe, which was set on a conical stand. His hand sunk slowly into the globe about an inch. He felt the power of the glow flow from the globe into the glove, and bright white light leaked out of the globe around the edges of his fist.
Suddenly, he felt the glove start to stretch, and within a second, his entire body was covered in a skintight black and gray bodysuit. He felt his own life force slowly leaving him, and he knew he had only seconds to act. He focused all his concentration, heightened as it was by his desperation, and gave his last command to the glow.
“Find me someone who can be trusted to control this power!” he screamed weakly in his thoughts. For a short time, nothing happened, and Iredok felt despair. It wasn’t going to work. But then, weakly at first, but steadily growing stronger, a glowing thread grew from the glove and started to stretch away from him. The thread was a pale, off-white color, much as the color one might see if a white pearl were brightly illuminated from the inside. The thread stretched and formed into a giant hand, which flew away.
Moments later, it returned, carrying a black human male clothed in hiking gear and wearing a backpack. The power of the glow allowed Iredok Jur Diah to read the hiker’s mind, and translated his speech into English.
“James Chisholm! The power of the glow has selected you! When you wear this glove, you will command mighty powers! If you can will it, the power of the glow can make it happen. The glow has searched your mind and shows that you will always use this power wisely and for the purposes of good!”
Days later, when Jim would think back on this instant, Iredok Jur Diah’s final words would seem corny, almost like something out of a comic-book. But Iredok Jur Diah knew he was dying, and he didn’t have time to find more elegant words.
With almost his last thought, Iredok Jur Diah commanded the glove to leave him and go to James Chisholm. Before Jim could even react, the glove left Iredok’s hand and slipped onto Jim’s hand. Jim was immediately covered in the same skintight black and gray bodysuit that Iredok had been wearing.
Jim was stunned and amazed at all of this. He wished that he could read Iredok’s mind, and suddenly he could. In the last second before Iredok’s life faded, Jim was able to examine his entire life in his mind. When Iredok died, the memories suddenly snapped away from Jim’s mind, and he knew as little about Iredok as he had before. And as he wished that he could recall these memories again, he found that Iredok Jur Diah’s memories had somehow been stored in either the globe or glove, and he could access them at will.
Wanting to understand what had happened to him, Jim took a long time to examine Iredok Jur Diah’s stored memories. Iredok had been a member of the long-vanished Galactic Patrol, or had he? Jim was confused; this Iredok actually seemed to have been a clone of the original Iredok. It was the original Iredok Jur Diah who had been a member of the Patrol, and who had, in the end, destroyed the Patrol.
Jim slowly absorbed the history of the Galactic Patrol, from the beginning through to the invention of the glove and globe, and then, many centuries later, Iredok himself joining the Patrol and receiving the highest honor possible — control of the glow. Then he saw the contamination of the power of the glow by the chaos virus, and finally, the destruction of the Galactic Patrol by Iredok Jur Diah himself. Of course, there was no memory of the thousands of years since the Patrol had been destroyed, since the Iredok clone had been in suspended animation during those years. Jim also realized that he couldn’t even be sure that the Galactic Patrol had actually been destroyed — the Iredok clone was sure it had been, but he hadn’t actually seen it happen.
Learning from Iredok’s memories the theory of how the glove and globe worked, Jim found that the wearer of a glove could fly, create and shape force-fields for offense and defense, and use the glow to read minds and automatically translate between the language of the wearer and anyone of any species that he might be talking to. The glove and globe were created with highly advanced technology. Although their manifestations appeared to be magical, there was actually nothing magical about them.
Iredok also knew that it took some time for the glove-wearer and the non-sentient artificial intelligence in the glove to adapt to each other, and that unfortunate commands given the glove during the learning period could be dangerous. He had trained long and hard with the glove before he was actually able to use it safely. Jim, on the other hand, had little choice — he was already wearing the powerful artifact, so until he removed it, he had to guard his every thought.
Jim was an architect, sculptor, and artist, as well as an accomplished athlete. For whatever reason, early in his life, Green Lantern had fascinated him. He had studied everything that had ever been written about Green Lantern, and had often daydreamed about having his own power ring. He had managed to be introduced to his hero at a charity event, and had talked with him several times since then. Although they couldn’t be classified as friends, Green Lantern knew Jim well enough to recognize him whenever they saw each other.
As he paged through Iredok Jur Diah’s memories of the history of the Galactic Patrol and the glow, Jim started to realize that, although he hadn’t just been handed his very own power ring, what he did have seemed like a very acceptable substitute. Although he had just started mourning the loss of the valiant Iredok Jur Diah, a man he had never known, Jim began to get very excited about his own possibilities. The glove and globe could exceed even his wildest imaginations.