"You must learn to wait properly..."
Connor had been waiting on this rooftop a long time. Like, a really really long time, the kinda wait that would make a meditating Bodhisattva feel vaguely uncomfortable. So far he had nothing to show for it but leg cramps and a newfound appreciation for the diversity of rats that could scurry through a single back alley in a night.
Did he misunderstand the old homeless guy grumbling to him last night, that this was the place and time that some of Brick's foot-soldiers met every week to count up their take from the neighborhood stores they'd extorted and the homeless people they'd robbed? A dingy alleyway between a chop shop and an old Italian restaurant in the Triangle seemed like a weird choice, and counting money and valuables in the open seemed like a bad idea even to a newbie in the criminal underworld like him.
Still crime had
gotten plenty sloppy and brazen since his father vanished and someone had to do something about it. Why else would Connor be here, crouched on a rooftop in a green hoodie and a child's mask and about to use the parting gifts his teachers had given him to commit violence? Yeah, this was a great
plan, the best
He bet Oliver Queen never had to get his information on crime in the city from a hungover vagrant in exchange for a breakfast sandwich, or foil a crime while wearing a bad Halloween takeoff on his own costume. He had all sorts of sweet gadgets and information and-
Connor's mental rant got interrupted when he noticed his targets had actually decided to show up on the street below him when he wasn't paying attention, a backpack off to the side stuffed with ill-gotten goods.
"-an' then I sez to him 'I hear cheek meat slices real nice!' an' the old geezer practically vomits on the deli slicer! He coughed it up real quick after that!"
"Hahahahaaa! Hey Johnny! Tell cold cuts over here about-"
Aaaand that was enough listening in. Raised by Buddhist monks or not there was only so much violent boasting he could take in a night before he had to tune out or else risk doing something very
against Dharma. Instead Connor did his best to tune out their words, draw an arrow from his quiver and nock it. For ease of aim in the darkness he focused on the one currently bragging, Johnny. His drunken and wildly gesturing form was simple to pick out.
This was the sum total of his world, now. Just him, the bow and the target. He fixed his eye and mind on the goal, at first letting movement and specific features guide his aim. A trace of moonlight glinting off of the beer bottle in the hand, a gold watch shifting out from under the cloth, all leading to a baggy sleeve raised high...
Connor fixed the point in his mind, breathing slow and controlled, one hand outstretched and gripping the bow while the other pulled back to his cheek, tension mounting through staves and string for the inevitable as he let fly and-*Twang!*
Crap, missed the sleeve and broke the beer bottle. It was too dark for any of them to notice the arrow just yet, but while the first mobster was stunned and cussing through broken glass and booze in the face his friend had already pulled a gun soooo...*Twang!**Crack!*"Ha, nice! I did it! Disarmed!"
Well, that got their attention in the wrong way. If looks could kill Connor would be dead twice over, three times once his practice round got his eyes clear. That gun would still do the job soon enough, he was just now realizing that since he hadn't pinned the guy's sleeve or plugged his barrel he could just pick the pistol back up. Feeling kind of stupid for giving away his position so easily on top of that, the would-be Emerald Archer slung his bow onto his back and leaped down off the rooftop to land boots-first on the remaining thug before he could draw his own pistol, taking him out even though the impact was killer on his knees.
As he stepped off his impromptu cushion's back the one who'd gone by Johnny was still struggling to clear his eyes, but the remaining thug, 'Cold Cuts' stopped going for his fallen gun to stare at him skeptically and snicker.
"The fuck are you supposed to be?""Uhh...Green Arrow?
"Ha, cute. Well tell ya what kid, it ain't Halloween yet so the only thing we're handing out is beatings!"
Before Connor could react to any of that mess, 'Cold Cuts' charged him and swung a wild right haymaker. But Connor was always much, much better in close combat than with a bow. Without even needing to think about it he stepped in to intercept the punch with a jolting elbow to the man's arm, capture it and then absorb the momentum of the charge and throw him hard to the opposite wall and pavement.
Which just left him and Johnny glass-in-the-face, eyes clear now and full of hate and somehow in possession of a very
big knife."Do we really have to do this? The beer bottle thing was an accident, I mean it!"
That did no good, not that he really expected any of them to just give up quietly. The thug apparently named Johnny tried a prisonyard bullrush and now Connor was the one slammed up against a wall, gripping his opponent's wrist to keep the knife from jabbing in and fighting the other hand to keep from getting his lights punched out. He drove a rising knee hard into Johnny's solar plexus to take some of the fight out of him then followed up with a palm strike to the jaw, reaping his leg out and dragging the knife hand out and high at the same time to drive him headfirst back into the pavement."Haa...haa....wow, I'm actually kind of sorry, I didn't mean to take you guys down so rough. I'll do a softer, cleaner job of it next time, promise!"
With that done Connor scooped up the bag and started to leave and redistribute some wealth. If he was lucky he could finish the 'taken from the rich and give back to the poor' routine before-""Die you little-"
Connor dropped the bag and whirled around. The guy he'd goomba stomped at the start of the fight was awake, propping himself up on the ground with his pistol from earlier in hand. Reacting without thinking, Connor nocked, drew back and released.*Twang!**shnk!*
Connor stared and so did thug number one, equally surprised. Without really needing to aim, he'd plugged the gun barrel and jammed it to uselessness.
"No way...""Ha! Told ya! Green Arrow! Tell all your friends and spread the word! Star City's under my protection now!"
Even as he finished yelling he was trying not to flush from embarrassment at his own bragging and surge in pride, weird as it felt. Still, maybe he was entitled to just a little lapse in humility? His Sensei and his father would be proud!
Well, at least he liked to think Oliver would've been, considering they'd never actually met...
But still, not bad for his first night out, right?