Disclaim or Die: Read Or Die, Read Or Dream, and R.O.D-the-TV is copyrighted by and the property of Hideyuki Kurata, Akitaro Yamada, Studio Deen/SME, Sony, and currently licensed by Manga Entertainment, Geneon, and VIZ Media.
Paper Lantern's Might!
In the very heart of the ancient Hidden Library, Yomiko Readman waited for the newest additions to the Paper Lantern Corps.
The name didn't really make sense, since the power source for their bookmarks was a book shaped battery. Of course, the book itself seemed to give off a glow, so that could have been where the lantern bit came from... And it was very practical for the book shaped battery to double as its own instruction manual, mission log, communicator, any other word related function that was essential to being a Paper Lantern...
Sighing and putting the thought out of her mind, Yomiko touched her glasses, then slid her hand down over her red tie. Her bookmark was still secured along the length of it. The bookmarks could have been worn in any way by each member of the corps, and she chose to have hers along her tie, which was tucked into her vest. Perfect so that no opponents would be able to grab it away from her. Unless, of course, they intended to hazard a grope while they were at it!
She wondered if she'd been a good teacher. She thought her own teacher, Donnie. She remembered his diligent care, guiding her and nurturing her, even up until his-
It was hard to think of his death, after all these years. It still seemed fresh.
With his last breath, he told her how proud he was of her.
From letter curt to epic ramble,
From senseless series to profound drabble,
Books and people consume my love,
Paper lanterns, rise above...
He swore his oath for the final time, and helped her recite her own. He had held her hand as she shakily cradled his body, helping her get the words out as he passed his title onto her. She remembered her own faltering voice, each syllable ringing past her tears:
A wordless sheet or tale-filled tome,
Books will always be my home.
In the library's storm, I am the eye,
A paper lantern, I read or die!
The shuffling of the walls of the living Hidden Library alerted her that the new recruits were coming.
These three girls had developed their own powers together, forging their own niche and working as an effective team. Each one specializing in defense, offense, and strategy. Yomiko knew that it was out of the question to split them up, but in part of her training with them, she had helped each of them build up a little bit in each of the areas they lacked, so that way if one was incapacitated, the other two could cover in a pinch.
Yomiko was a little envious of the girls' strong bond. They had grown close, calling themselves sisters and adopting each other as such.
As much as her power, duties, and love of books had brought her to meet some wonderful people - like Nenene, Nancy, and Donnie - the existence of a Paper Lantern was also lonely and painful.
Chasing such thoughts away (and hoping they stayed away), Yomiko brought a smile to her face as she greeted the Three Paper Sisters: Michelle Cheung, Maggie Mui, and Anita King. The three of them crowded together in a close triangle, with Michelle and Maggie backing up Anita.
They stood proudly, wearing their bookmarks in their own individual style. Michelle's bookmark was wrapped around her wrist, peeking out coyly from her ruffled cuff. Anita's was displayed proudly, dangling with the streamers from her right head bun. Maggie wore hers with the tassel tied to her thumb, easy to grab and point for her familiars.
Michelle beamed. "Paper Sisters reporting!"
"Ah... I am very proud of the progress the three of you have made, especially Anita. She's come a long way and learned so much for someone her age and overcome her dislike of books."
Anita turned her head up and sniffed. "They're not so bad."
"Yes, well, since the three of you are the very first team to enter the ranks, I think it would be nice that if you were inducted by reciting your pledge together. Do, um, do you have one?"
Maggie nodded. "Mm."
Michelle raised her hand. "Sensei, we had a meeting and thought really hard about what we wanted to say for our oath! So right now, all in favour of the all new Paper Lantern Sisters oath?" She kept her arm up.
Two others joined her without hesitation, and were raised high as they spoke in synchronicity.
"We were lost and now are found,
By love of books we are bound.
Sisters three, we are a team,
Paper lanterns - read or dream!"
Yomiko clapped. "Welcome to the Paper Lantern Corps! Shall we go and introduce you to the League?"
Inspiration was taken from the Read Or Die LJ community, for someone had likened the paper user powers to that of the Green Lanterns - it's the same basic power, but how it's used is unique to the individual. I decided to use the Hidden Library from the Read Or Die manga as a stand-in the home planet Oa instead of the British Library because I wanted to give the Paper Lanterns a very otherworldly base of operations. Plus, I wrote the oaths first and then built the one-shot up around them. Tee-hee!
Written for Section 8, based upon our strange conversation about an anime-based Justice League. As he has said, "My word, this was silly. Although I like the idea of power bookmarks; they could let you teleport (like a website bookmark), stop time (hold your place in a book)..."