“Tracking Hostiles. Looks like your hunch was accurate. These are the same guys on Brick’s payroll from two weeks ago. At least the merchandise they’re irresponsibly pointing at nice people look the same.” He was holding down his personal comm in his ear-piece, connecting him directly to Green Arrow.
“But if Brick was footing the bill, what would they need more money for?”
“Good question kid. Makes you think maybe it’s not the money alone they’re after. That’s Star National they’re robbing. Chances are good they may be looking for something else.”
The boy in the Red Hood narrowed his eyes. Ollie was always up to something under the surface. Although his wit and charm could be exhausting, it was also disarming. He wasn’t a leading member of the Justice League strictly because he could shoot straight.
“You already know what they’re looking for, GA?” he asked the veteran hero.
“At this point, just a hunch. But if I’m right, the League will be glad that I had back up.” The hooded boy in Red waited for Ollie to explain. He could tell when he was teeing something up.
“You know that teen team? The one you’re so fond of? They’re en-route.”
The boy’s eyes narrowed. He nocked an arrow – red with dark red fletching - and fired it across the building’s rooftop, the metallic hook digging into the cement of Star National. In one quick movement the boy slid down using his collapsible compound bow as a zipline.
“Did you have to ask for them?”
“I think it’s time they met you, Will.”
Hearing his name over comms like that still made him bristle. It was a little uncomfortable. It was a little comforting. But he wouldn’t argue. Ollie had helped him through a lot. Through his recovery. Through growth.
The boy in the Red Hood and domino mask reached the rooftop and made his way into an open industrial vent. He’d go the stealth route. Something familiar. He collapsed his bow and secured it to his side.
He wasn’t far along through the vents before Will started to hear commotion from outside. Either the Star City police were engaging, or Ollie’s back up of teenagers had finally made the scene. Inside however, Will couldn’t hear anyone, hadn’t spotted any of the robbers either. If Ollie’s hunch was correct, they’d be on a lower floor with the safety deposit boxes. He should make his way down th-
His thought process was interrupted by a ringing phone beneath him. It stopped Will in his tracks. He looked through an opening in the vent and peered beneath to the floor below. There was a girl there. It wasn’t possible he knew this girl, was it?
She got closer as she approached the elevator at the end of the hall, and Will got a glimpse of her. Brown hair in long loose waves. Will could make out that she had pink tights. He felt voyeuristic looking down at her from his vantage point in the vent. He shook the surprise at seeing her away just as the elevator dinged. Someone was going to get off this floor. Undoubtedly one of the perpetrators. He looked back down at her and saw she was looking left and right for an exit. The both of them, boy above and girl below, realized she didn’t really have one.
Against his better judgement and his own personal anxiety, he did what he thought he should do. He lifted a vent entryway for airflow up into the shaft and reached his hand, archer glove around it, down out of the vent, and he called to her.
He was speechless (it was something he was used to) as she seemingly exploded into beautiful petals, and floated up into where he was. For a moment she swirled around the vent and around him – there wasn’t a lot of room, maybe enough for Will to be crouching down. As she flew past him, he could smell almost a hundred different flowers, cherry blossoms, roses, it was almost euphoric. She reconstituted and was then in front of him, the two of them nearly face to face.
Her domino mask was two pink petals.
Will’s own domino mask was simpler, and with his hood it left most of his face obscured. Good. He was immediately self-conscious and embarrassed for her to see him. Why? No time. There was work. He lifted his finger to his lips to ask for quiet. Which you think would be obvious considering they were stuck in a vent together now, in such close proximity.
Daphne held in her breath, almost touching noses with the stranger who saved her from getting spotted. She got away just in time.
"I told him the top floors were empty already, what does he want us scouting around for here. There's nothing..."
"Do you smell that...?"
Both goons stopped a few steps short to first set of cubicles.
"It smells floral, like a women's perfume or something..."
She tensed and backed away a little further into the cramped space.
"Maybe the boss was right.."
The men started to investigate the cubicles, throwing back chairs and emptying desks carelessly. If someone was hiding the ruckus would likely draw them out. Luckily they were unsuccessful, Daphne had already made sure there was no there, just minutes before.
After what seemed like ages they finally left the way they came, taking the elevator down. Daphne took her hand off her mouth, a move she didn't even remember making. She looked at the person right next to her. His getup seemed to point to him also being a superhero of some kind. It was nearly impossible to determine any distinguishing features with both the hood and the domino mask. Still there was something familiar about him, something she couldn't explain.
Daphne got out the phone she retrieved earlier, still being careful not to speak. She typed up a message for him to read.
"Thanks for the save, who are you?"