Kals looked Rachel up and down. “Your sister?” Then she said, “It’s not that I’m not pleased to meet you, but how did you get here? Have you been staying on the ship?”
Rachel glanced to the right and left, barely moving her head. I couldn’t give her a full costume like I had everyone else, but I had been able to improve hers. That glance had been enough to use her HUD to check around nearby.
“This isn’t the sort of thing you should tell people about, but I have to tell you and this is as good as anywhere. You called for help from the Cosmic Ghosts and it turns out that Nick and I are indirectly descended from the Ghosts through Grandma Vander Sloot.”
“Indirectly?” I thought I knew the answer, but hoped she’d confirm it.
Rachel shrugged. “The Abominators used some Cosmic Ghost genes from when they took human form. Even weirder, we’ve got genes from Lee’s people in our family and they mixed with the Ghost genes. In fact, they filled in some of the gaps. So I’m almost a Ghost—not quite, but closer than I ought to be.”
“It’s weird that Lee’s people’s genes mix with the Ghosts at all,” I offered.
Rachel met my eyes. “I know. I asked them about it and they told me that the Ghosts are related to Lee’s people somehow. It’s kind of like us and Neanderthals—if the Neanderthals survived somewhere else. And it’s not like it’s the first time either. The way I understand it they were uh… cross-fertile.”
I thought about the implications of that for a second. There were far too many and they led in too many sometimes contradictory directions.
I didn’t even get very far in when Marcus stepped up next to me and said, “What are the Cosmic Ghosts all about and how did you get here? I’m glad to see you but it’s pretty weird to have you show up.”
“Tell me about it,” Rachel said. “I was in bed sleeping when they told me you all needed help. When I agreed to help them, they showed me how to use my ability to turn intangible to fly faster than light. You know how I can slip into alternate realities? It’s like that.
“So I flew with one of their fast response teams. They’re scouts. The main force is behind us. We just have to be ready to tell them what’s going on when they arrive. They’re not always an army, but they are when they have to be. The Ghosts think of themselves as a police force that defends against Lee’s people and whatever else shows up. I don’t think they’re as powerful as any one of Lee’s people, but they are more of them.
“I’m here because they think I’ll do a better job of communicating with you than some random Ghost.”
“Sure,” I said. “We’re more likely to listen to you than someone we don’t know.”
Marcus laughed. “You know what you are? You’re a Green Lantern. You’re part of a big police force that’s also an army. You can fly through space. Basically, you’re a Green Lantern. Do you have members from all kinds of different planets?”
Rachel shook her head. “Not really. There are a lot of us, but it’s not like everyone’s from a different planet. I think more of them are fully Ghost, but I’m not the only one from a more recent race.”
“That’s all pretty strange, but, I’m glad you’re here. We need one more voice of reason in this crowd,” Jaclyn stepped up and gave her a hug. Rachel let her, growing fully solid for the first time since we’d seen her.
Kals turned to me. “Your sister is a Cosmic Ghost and you didn’t know?”
I shrugged. “Our world has a lot of people with unpredictable genes from just about anywhere. I feel like the Abominators were using our planet as some kind of big experiment where they threw in everything they knew how to do and waited to see what would come out on top.”
She laughed. “I wouldn’t put it past them to do that for real.”
Marcus, meanwhile had stepped in to talk with Rachel and Jaclyn. Tikki had stepped up and stood next to me. She watched Rachel with undisguised interest. Noticing that I’d seen her, she said, “She is quite close to a young Ghost. She reminds me of many that I knew before our peoples fully diverged.”
Kals frowned. “What did she say? I missed it.”
Tikki grinned and stepped forward to put her hand on Marcus’ shoulder.
I shook my head. “I don’t know. I missed it too.”
Meanwhile, from the other side of Kals, Cassie said, “Hey Rach, I’m glad to see you too, but we ought to get moving. We were going to go find a couple of people and go try a plan that we’ll probably regret immediately.”