His voice was tired, his throat dry and sore. He had not been given a drink for several days, forced to lick rainwater from the ground to survive for the two weeks he had been in prison. His hair was a mess, the ginger bangs falling over his face. He was tired. His lips were cracked, his skin was bruised and he had small cuts and wounds all over his body, his bare torso had the barely healing marks from blades and whips. He had been tortured, a lot. He was tied to the iron pipes of the chair, the wooden seat pained his backside and if he could speak, he would've. He would've told them he could taste the chair with his ass. And he wanted to speak to the manager. But given how the six men in the room were all strapped with Kevlar vests, C4 strapped to the vest, balaclavas on their head and decked out in tactical gear while armed with AK-47's, it didn't seem like the kind of 5-star resort Harper had expected. They were serving the local Warlord,
Al-Muhalim of Qurac. Al-Muhalim wasn't a fan of Harper...
My name is Roy Harper... The, uh, first. Yeah. That makes sense. See, it's not that I have a son who's also got my name, no, that'd be far too believable. Let's just say that while I was born 1989, I am not breaching my thirties. Not really. I missed seven years of my life while someone else took my place. It's a hard thing to get a grip on. But during my abs cense it seems the Quraqi warlords have gotten a lot tougher on Americans... Which leads me to why I am in this situation to begin with...
That was what Harper wanted to say, but, well, his throat wouldn't let him get out anything but dry gasps. The man standing in front of him was Al-Muhalim's right-hand man, and the only one not wearing a face mask. His face had been hit with a chemical attack, the left side covered in chemical scar-tissue. He was really, really, ugly. He said something in Arabic that Roy couldn't understand. Then he said it again, this time far more angrily. Roy still couldn't understand him. His head pounded and it was hard to focus.
The man hit Roy with the back of his hand, making the chair tip over. One of the goons lifted the chair back up, the leader dusted his hand off, blood seeping from Roy's newly re-burst lip. He groaned in pain, while the interrogator rolled up his sleeves.
"I know who you are, Mister Harper. Red Arrow they call you, huh. I thought you were taller. And had two arms." The man spoke and Roy groaned. It wasn't his fault that they had cut off his arm 9 years ago, and that his prosthetic arm had been destroyed when his former teammates betrayed him.
His throat groaned as he tried to speak again, begging for water. The boss nodded to one of his guys to bring out a jug of clear, clean spring water. Holding it above Roy's face, the man smirked. "Talk and I will let you drink your fill, boy."
"Be.... Be..." Roy got out, but couldn't form words beyond that. The man rolled his eyes. "Fine, a sip, then." And poured half a cup of water into Roy's mouth who greedily drank it, letting out a satisfied groan as he did, to him, that was the greatest taste he had ever felt. Well, he probably would've rather it had been a sip of whiskey.
After he collected himself, his tormenter grabbed his chin. "Now, tell me. What are you doing in my Qurac?"
"Beh... Behind you." Roy told him, smirking as the leader raised an eyebrow, only for Roy to be met with a spray of warm blood from the Quraci's face bursting open, a bullet from a sniper rifle up above him on the roof of the building, looking in through the makeshift skylight. The body fell limp beside Roy as the thugs all aimed their guns and fired at where the sniper was perched.
Tried to warn you.
See. I am a man who's thrown just about everything away. And what I didn't willingly give up, the world took from me. I don't get along with people, I'm uh, not exactly a people person. But that man up there? The one who's currently kicking the asses of these goons? I can recognize his patterns anywhere. His vantage points and his choice of weaponry. That was a .50 cal hollow point with a diamond tip. Only the Russian Bratva has access to those bullets in this hemisphere. And Oliver Queen doesn't use sniper rifles. That leaves only one guy who would have the means to get these. The unprodigal son of Gotham.
Explosives detonated around the room, filling the room with smoke as their guns ran out of ammo, while they were reloading, a shape landed, armed with a curved short sword, a kukri and a .45 he domed and sliced every last one of the goons he could get his hands on, the only thing Roy could see was the blasting of gunfire lighting up the room in the smoke and the brief reflection of the ruby quartz material making up is would be saviors helm.
See. He was murdered and came back from the dead. He made death his bride and then kicked her out of the bed and onto the curb. He's got the stuff of heroes - true heroes in him if he wanted to. He's the Red Hood, the most dangerous man in the world. And he hates to admit it even more than I do, but he's my best friend and maybe the only person in the world who gets me. He knows what it’s like to disappear and to have someone else carry on your name in your place, the world not knowing who you are.
Roy’s thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a rocket launcher getting readied behind him, trained on the Red Hood in front of him. Roy yelped out a ‘oh shit’ and ‘watch out’ at once, combined with his still sore and dry throat, all he let out was a “Which shiii” as he nudged his chair onto the floor, dodging the rocket being sent. Red Hood had rolled to the other side, the rocket careening through the room, destroying one of the pillars in the far end, rumbling the already damaged roof. Jason let out a bullet and the man who carried the launcher was laying in a pool of his own blood.
Jason grabbed the chair and with one hand pulled Roy back up, producing a knife from his boot and slicing Roy free from his bondage.
People say Jason’s many things. A murderer, a criminal, a maniac. Lately, people have been calling him a mercenary, but he’s more than that. He’s not a mercenary- His internal monologuing was interrupted by Jason handing him a handgun and speaking through the voice distortion in his helmet.
“Get up, Harper. Cover my ass. I need your help for a job. Big payout.”
All right. So maybe he’s a little bit of a mercenary.
Roy checked the gun in his hand, while being disarmed like this a handgun was honestly kind of a sick joke – he could barely reload the gun. The two former sidekicks fought their way out of the compound, watching eachother’s backs. Jason was doing most of the fighting, Roy mostly watching the flanks as he was in no shape to really be fighting paramilitary separatists today. He had had a very long week.
One of the soldiers snuck up on them and had Jason dead to rights, but a swift bullet from Roy’s gun into his neck countered any plans he had of ending the reign of the Red Hood. Finally, they reached the last roadblock before they were out. But, much to their dismay, the Quracis had setup a 50-caliber machinegun on the barricade in front of the door. Jason pulled Roy to the floor and they both slid behind cover as the gunfire. Each shooting to their own flank, keeping the enemies from getting around them till Roy’s pistol made the sound no gunman ever wants to hear. Out of bullets.
He let out an aggressive ‘HMM’ to Jason, able to produce a single word
Jason firing off a salvo looked at Roy and swiftly pulled a new mag from his jacket, sliding it across the floor to Roy.
“Yeah yeah, quit bitchin’.” He groaned at his friend. Whom let out another angry sound. Gesturing to his left arm, ending shortly after his shoulder.
“Hey man, you’re the genius inventor. Get inventive, stumpy.” Roy rolled his eyes and produced a sound that was the closest he could get to a ‘fuck you’. Nudging the mag with the grip of his pistol, he made the mag stand up, he swiftly ejected the old clip and slammed the gun down onto the new one, pulling the slider back with his teeth. A shard of glass on his side from a shot-to-pieces mirror revealed that the machinegunner was focusing on Jason’s side, as Roy had stopped firing for a few seconds. He rolled out of cover and Jason shouted at him to get back here but had to return to shooting on his flank. Roy stood hunched, fired one bullet, and then rolled back behind the pillar on the other side of the cover. His sole bullet careened through a small opened in the barricade and swiftly embedded itself in the skull of the man firing the machinegun.
Jason threw out a flashbang and while everyone was blinded, Roy including, his helmet protected him from the flash. He ran to Roy, pulled him up and pushed the blinded foes, easily getting past their now neutered defenses and shooting anyone who got too close. Dashing out into the courtyard, they ran past three jeeps that Roy got unamused by, Jason tossing Roy into the backseat of a far shittier looking jeep than the ones in the compound as he got into the drivers’ seat, putting the pedal to the metal. Jason threw a four pack of sunwarm water bottles at Roy from the passenger seat, who immediately tore the cap off one and downed the entire thing and then another one, and then poured the third one onto himself.
“All right, Jason. What the fuck?! I appreciate the water. But why did you take this piece of junk and not those pristine sand racers?!”
Roy’s tone got more annoyed as he peered behind them, seeing the jeeps behind, gaining on them. Each jeep packed to the brim with angry gunmen.
“See, those jeeps have a disadvantage.”
“Oh yeah? What’s that? More weight because they don’t have as many rust holes?!”
Jason’s helmet pulled back into it’s collar-mode, his black and white-striped hair blowing in the wind as he turned to Roy and smiled, pulling up a detonator in his hand.
“I planted explosives in them.” Pressing the button and the pursuers exploded.
Roy’s expression was blank with shock and surprise. Then he cracked into a laugh and after just a few short moments Roy began coughing which was when Jason started laughing.
“Shut your cakehole and drink water. We’ve gotta get over the border. I’ve got a safehouse in Bialya.” Roy was downing another bottle of water and as soon as the bottle was dry, the asymmetrical archer was asleep.