"The Departed": On Ysmault, Atrocitus accosts Skallox away from the rest of the Red Lantern Corps – he is attempting to discern if his lanterns are plotting against him. As Skallox is incapable of delivering an intelligent answer, Atrocitus bites down on S
Synopsis for "The Departed"
On Ysmault, Atrocitus accosts Skallox away from the rest of the Red Lantern Corps – he is attempting to discern if his lanterns are plotting against him. As Skallox is incapable of delivering an intelligent answer, Atrocitus bites down on Skallox's neck, drinking his blood and tapping directly into a 'blood vision' showing Skallox's recent experiences. It is an unclear vision of Bleez addressing the lanterns prior to her recent return to intelligence, but Atrocitus is certain that he hears the words: "Atrocitus", "kill", and "possible". He hasn't learned enough, but his vision is interrupted by the arrival of Bleez in person. Ignoring her challenge, he determines to pitch Skallox immediately into the Blood Ocean. In a fit, Zilius Zox and Ratchet are also thrown in. Recognising that she herself only barely survived her Blood Ocean reawakening, Bleez questions Atrocitus' wisdom in possibly condemning to madness three of his most valuable lanterns. Underneath the surface of the ocean, we see Ratchet beginning to remember...
Prior to becoming a Red Lantern, Ratchet once possessed a pink, fleshy torso beneath his bulbous brain-like head. He had two 'arms' and 'legs' that were effectively main tentacles, and at 138 years old he considered himself to be in the prime of his life. His people had evolved to be isolationist in following the words of the Holy Voice of Braxx ("long may he be alone"). In fact, any physical contact among his people had become illegal – a harshly punishable offense. Despite this, Ratchet was determined to fraternise, arranging to secretly meet like-minded individuals. Their meeting is raided by the Isolation Police and all are arrested.
While the three lanterns are enduring the Blood Ocean process, Atrocitus has returned to the corpse of Krona to confide his concerns about Bleez. His conjecture is interrupted when he notices a hidden figure in the distance, watching him. In a rage, he assumes it to be Bleez and pursues the figure, but ultimately is given the slip. Sick of the complexities of leadership, Atrocitus takes his frustrations out on an evil sect in Sector 495 that blinds its daughters at puberty. He then moves to Earth, where he destroys an extravagant government vehicle of a starving nation and burns a violent husband who had abandoned his family. Once again, Atrocitus is forced to come to terms with the fact that he cannot single-handedly deliver retribution for all the rage in the universe. He now considers that Earth may provide him with some new recruits.
In Small Ockden, England, Raymond Moore is now seeking refuge from the police at "Jack" Moore's apartment. John hasn't forgiven his brother since their previous fight and refuses to help his brother, arguing that some time with the police might do him some good. The police knock on the door.
Meanwhile, in Skallox's Blood Ocean memories, we learn that he was once a loyal lieutenant to his criminal boss, Lancer. However, when a valuable product went missing, Skallox's well-earned trust earns him nothing when Lancer gives the order to torture him and find 'the truth'.
Neither of the three Red Lanterns have yet emerged from the ocean when Atrocitus returns to Ysmault. He considers their possible loss a risk worth taking, as he needs potential allies against Bleez. For the time being, he is forced to admit to himself that the only person he can safely confide with is his dead nemesis, Krona. It is a nasty shock that awaits him, therefore, when he discovers that Krona's corpse has disappeared.
Appearing in "The Departed"
- Red Lantern Corps
- Krona (Appears only as a corpse)
- John Moore
- Rxxt (Flashback only)
- Lancer (Flashback only)
- Raymond Moore
- Collected in Red Lanterns: Blood and Rage.