Ultimate Knights #5: Nightwing vs. Deathstroke Mar 16, 2015 20:27:23 GMT -5
Post by Drake on Mar 16, 2015 20:27:23 GMT -5
#5: Nightwing vs. DeathstrokeBy Drake and Adrini
Well, this is freaking fantastic! Deathstroke, the Terminator, on my first night out with Damian! Bruce is going to kill me.
“Drop the sword, Deathstroke, and get the hell out of my city,” Nightwing demanded, just a few feet from the Terminator and his contract: Jimmy Falcone, prodigal cousin of the great Carmine Falcone. Damian stood at his partner’s side, hand concealed under his cape, ready to reach for a birdarang at the slightest provocation.
“Make me,” Deathstroke retorted, his blade hovering an inch over Falcone’s neck. Nightwing couldn’t see behind the merc’s orange and black mask, but he had a feeling there was no fear in his eyes, quite contrary to what the vigilante was feeling. However, Bruce had long since taught him to overcome that fear. It gave him an edge, his mentor had always said; it provided adrenaline.
Nightwing lobbed to birdarangs at Deathstroke, but the mercenary managed to draw his pistol and shoot them both out of the air before they reached him. Nightwing leaped for the Terminator while Damian tossed a freeze grenade. Lord only knew if Damian actually had a clue what it was.
Deathstroke spent the next second flipping backwards to dodge both attacks and blowing Falcone’s brains out with his pistol. The next was spent firing at Nightwing, who managed to dodge the bullets and swing an escrima stick at Deathstroke. The merc blocked the blow. Damian wasted no time trying to help, aiming a flying kick at the murderer’s head. Deathstroke ducked, and the teen landed on the remains of the freeze grenade. He slid over the slick substance and fell over the edge of the roof.
“Robin!” Nightwing shouted. The time spent worrying about the boy resulted in him ending up face first on the ground, Deathstroke’s katana at his throat.
“Give me one reason not to kill you,” Deathstroke demanded.
“You can’t,” came an all too familiar voice.
The merc barely dodge rolled away from Damian’s kick in time. The returned trained assassin instantly continued his attack, using the force from his kick to push himself off the ground and towards the Terminator, whom he promptly kneed in the side of the neck. Before Damian could gain a proper advantage, Deathstroke kicked the boy away and rolled back, sword at the ready.
Damian recovered and stood beside Nightwing, both ready to continue the fight.
All focus ended up on the source of the voice: the Dark Knight, Batman! The black-clad vigilante first glared at his two wards and then turned to Deathstroke.
“Your contract is fulfilled, Terminator. Get out of Gotham before I make you my priority,” Batman growled.
“You won’t hear an argument from me,” Deathstroke said, already running away. Nightwing tried to follow him, but Batman stepped between him and the mercenary.
“You can’t let him get away!” Nightwing shouted.
It was in that moment that Dick had had enough of Bruce’s self righteous, protective behavior. He slugged his mentor without a second thought, sending the Caped Crusader crashing into the ground. Dick paused only for a moment, looking down at the shocked expression on his mentor’s face, before leaping after the Terminator.
Much to Dick’s chagrin, Deathstroke had already disappeared. That wouldn’t stop him. He would find Deathstroke and he would make him regret ever stepping foot in Gotham. Forget Bruce.
“And you thought my embarrassment at the hands of Pennyworth was humiliating,” Damian chided, stepping towards his father.
Batman stood up, his gaze never straying from the distant form of his one time protégé. The silence was all the response Damian needed, leaving him to silently inspect his father. Never in a thousands years did he expect him to be so…well, the boy wasn’t sure of the word.
“You need to stop, father,” Damian stated, “Stop being so protective. My grandfather always said, ‘the finest way to train a man is to…’”
“I don’t care what Ra’s said, Damian. Dick is my…” Batman paused, looking down at his feet, and continued, “He’s my problem. I will protect him at all costs.”
Batman turned to his son, and before he could speak, “Get in the Batmobile.”
The lights of the sleek armored car flashed in the alley below. Damian grinned.
“Don’t even think about it,” Batman interrupted as he dropped ten stories into the driver’s seat. Damian’s face sunk as his father started the car. He reluctantly jumped down after him.
Dick had long since transferred from an on foot investigation into a freewheeling motorcycle chase. Of course, he wasn’t exactly sure where or what to chase. That’s what Babs was for.
“Thank you so much for doing this,” Dick said through his helmet’s communication system.
“You owe me,” Babs retorted.
“Big time,” Dick agreed, “So where is our Mr. The Terminator-comma-Deathstroke?”
“Well, according to his phone’s GPS he’s on his way out of Gotham…fast. Really fast. He’s at the intersection of 40th and Empire, no that’s 41st—42nd. You get the point.” Barbara finished.
“I’ve got this,” Dick said, revving his cycle and speeding up.
“Nightwing, just…be careful,” Barbara reluctantly managed.
“You know me. Careful’s my middle name,” Dick quipped.
“I thought you told me it was Danger.”
“Semantics!” Dick laughed. Barbara, however, didn’t. He wasn’t even sure if she smiled. That was fine. Things were still rough between them after what he’d done to her. Or rather, what he failed to do.
The comm clicked as Barbara hung up. Dick sighed.
“I’ll make it up to you, Babs, someday…”
Deathstroke sped towards Westward Bridge, his one-way ticket out of the hellhole named Gotham. His ride was a motorcycle, small and aerodynamic, maximizing his escape times and allowing him to slide between cars on Gotham’s crowded streets. Just a few more blocks…a few more…
Son of a bitch!
Deathstroke swerved to the right, tagging a Corolla, in order to keep from running full speed into Nightwing, who’d pulled out just ahead of him. The vigilante followed him down the street between cars, matching his speed easily. In comparison to the Terminator’s sleek cycle, Nightwing’s was built like a tank. Even still, it was thin enough on the sides and fast enough to match Deathstroke’s every move.
“Come and get me, kid,” Deathstroke whispered, revving his cycle and swerving to the left. Nightwing followed him without hesitation. This was where the chase got interesting. Deathstroke tapped a button on his ride and a volley of metal balls shot out the back. As soon as they touched the ground the balls exploded, sending cars onto their sides and cracking the road.
Nightwing’s response was simple. He hopped his tank-cycle onto one of the flipped cars, and then drove onto a wall. Yeah, Deathstroke was seeing that correctly. The kid’s cycle was literally driving on the walls.
The Terminator reached for his machine pistol and aimed it back. He fired a volley of bullets without even looking, but his aim was still on point. With a flick of his wrist, Nightwing flipped his motorcycle back onto the street, now just a few feet behind Deathstroke.
The two continued to trade blows for what felt like an hour, but was closer to five minutes. Swerving, tires screeching, the vigilante and the merc ended up pulling onto Westward Bridge. The chase continued until it couldn’t anymore.
Beeping caught Deathstroke’s attention. He looked back. One of Nightwing’s birdarangs had been lodged into his tire, and it was flashing. Faster, faster, faster…
“Nice one, kid,” Deathstroke muttered, and leaped off his bike as its back tire exploded, sending it flying through the air. The merc managed to land his jump, rolling to a stop amidst traffic. As Nightwing stopped his bike further down, a car raced towards Deathstroke, traffic too tight for the driver to move one way or another and Deathstroke too close for her to brake.
Gaze cold, Deathstroke blew out the car’s tires with his pistol and the vehicle slowed down. However, the situation only worsened when it started to tumble towards the merc. Deathstroke slid over another car to avoid the impending disaster. Eventually the car came to a stop, but not before crushing two other vehicles and splashing gasoline over a five square yard section of the bridge.
“You idiot!” Nightwing roared, running towards the accident, “You fucking idiot!”
The vigilante’s first instinct was to help the injured. Ignoring any possibility that Deathstroke might get away, Nightwing focused on saving the lives of those caught in the accident. He struggled to open the door to the initial crashed car, and was reaching for his explosive gel when he was surprised to discover Deathstroke helping him.
“Out of the way,” Deathstroke ordered, and then proceeded to rip the door off its hinges. Together the two men helped to carry everyone to safety.
“This would’ve never happened if you hadn’t resorted to shooting the damn car,” Nightwing said.
“Yeah, well, accidents happen.”
“That wasn’t an accident,” Nightwing retorted.
“Shut up!” Deathstroke, an injured man slung over his shoulder, pulled his pistol on the vigilante hero. The man in his arms squirmed, struggling to get away. Nightwing simply faced Deathstroke, a woman in his arms.
“Don’t give me your self righteous bullshit. I’m trying to be better!” Deathstroke roared.
“What? By injuring civilians and fighting heroes?” Nightwing said.
“No! I only accept contracts for murderers, rapists, and hardened criminals now. I don’t…I don’t…” Deathstroke lowered the gun, “I’ve got a daughter to take care of.”
“Said every idiot drug dealer or mobster ever. Face it, Slade. You like killing. You’re a monster,” Nightwing stated.
Deathstroke raised his pistol again and stepped aggressively towards Nightwing, “I am not a monster!”
Gun inches from his head, woman in his arms, Nightwing didn’t even flinch. He looked Slade eye-to-eye, any fear he had of the man gone. Now he could see Deathstroke for what he really was: a pathetic, delusional man.
“Prove it, Slade. Turn yourself in.”
Sirens roared in the distance. Deathstroke’s armed hand shook. He cursed quietly and threw his gun onto the ground. Setting the injured man onto a car, Slade Wilson paused to look at Nightwing one last time.
As GCPD cars blared their sirens and stopped just a dozen yards away, Slade said, “See you around, kid.”
And with those last words, Deathstroke the Terminator tossed his cellphone to the side and fired his grappling gun at the arch of the bridge. He was gone before a cop could even draw their gun, leaving Nightwing to hand off the injured to paramedics and the police.
“This…costume could not be any more ridiculous.” Babs heard the brat say as she tried to look up a lead in the Batcomputer. “I need a proper uniform.”
“Quiet down, will you? I’ll get you a new suit soon enough,” Dick said, now back in the Batcave and recovering from his battle with Deathstroke. Luckily for him, Bruce hadn’t returned from patrol yet. “Lord knows I’m sick of hearing you complain.”
“Tt. With your taste in costumes, Grayson, I’d hate to see your idea of proper.” The kid was making noise again. She would really prefer he stop doing that. She knew kids who had been properly parented, and this brat wasn’t one of them.
“If you could spare me the overt idiocy for a moment, I am trying to work over here.” Babs said, just loud enough to be heard.
“Babs!” Dick said, surprised. He hadn’t noticed her in the cave when he first arrived back. Bruce always did leave the computer on.
Dick lost his tongue for a time before saying, “Barbara, Damian al Ghul. Damian, Barbara Gordon: the woman from the roof.”
“It’s good to see you, Ms. Gordon,” Damian greeted. Dick’s jaw dropped.
After a short while without a response, Damian approached Babs. “I will not be ignored—“
“Still working on that respect thing, huh Dick?” Babs said and slowly turned to face the little mongrel. “Let me set you straight here, little prince. I couldn’t care less what your parentage is if I tried. Respect here is won through blood, sweat and tears. Your teacher over there has been through his own hell and so have I. You have the monumental achievement of walking through the door and being born. If you want a place here you’ll have to earn it like the rest of us.”
Dick winced at the speech. Babs was in rare form tonight. He fully expected Damian to go all ‘trained assassin brat’ on Barbara. Instead he was shocked to see what he would have thought was impossible. Damian was nodding and respectfully walking to the side of the chair to wait for her attention. After a few moments she looked over with a raised eyebrow.
“Miss Gordon, I am Damian Wayne. It is a pleasure to meet you.” The young man said evenly. “I hope that in the future you might consider assisting me as I work to improve myself here.”
Barbara looked at him for a moment before responding, but understood the message. Dick wasn’t entirely sure he got all of it.
“Show me you’re worthy. Respect your teacher, respect the suit, and we’ll see. “ She said firmly, Damian offered no complaint. She nodded in approval. “Barbara Gordon but you can call me Miss Gordon here in the cave, Flamebird in the field. I’ll be watching.”
The kid actually bowed and walked back, grinning. Dick was fully confused by that point. He’d never seen Damian act like that, even around Bruce.
“More info for you.” Babs walked over and handed him a new datastick. “I’ll keep covering my end, you cover yours. Good luck with the kid.”
It might be silly, but Babs did insist on having a place outside of Wayne Manor. Alfred kept a room for her, of course, and she was welcome to it whenever she liked. After her return the man had even expressed reservation about her having an outside place after the last time. She could certainly see the point.
But nonetheless she needed her own space. She had memories in that manor that she really didn’t want to relive at the moment and that part of her story was well and truly over; she needed a room of her own. It was a quick trip to the mini mart and then the drug store to pick up supplies before she took the final turn home. The small boxes of mail were the last thing to do and she grinned as she saw a sizable box with her name on it and the iconic Star City postage stamp.
“You’ve made fortunate friends.” She heard a voice say and only her training allowed her not to jump. “Useful too.”
Turning she saw a man in long trench coat and fedora hat leaning on the rail, his face was obscured somehow.
“I’ve been lucky. Who are you?” She asked and put the bag down to deal with the man.
“That is the question.” The man said. “But one for another time. I’m here to help you with other questions, ones only for the Keeper of Delphi.”
He nodded and she looked down. There was a file on the box that had a few things in it, judging from the shape. Looking up again he was gone. It was official; she was in Gotham.
Babs loaded up the bag, box and file and made her way to the top floor apartment she called home. The place was a semi-mess just the way she liked it. Putting the tea water on she got to the file first. It was marked with antique cursive saying “darkness is coming, gather the forces of light”, and detailed the movements of the Black Masks that she had been trying to get intel on. The man might be a creep, but this was a real break.
The zip drive was tested for viruses first—this wasn’t her first time—and then she looked into it. Video feeds, photographs, all good information. She could actually start breaking this open. The last file was called “he who watches” and when she opened it there was a short meme of a blank face with a finger over its mouth simply saying “shhh”. She wanted to make sense of that but she also have a feeling it might be a calling card from the man who gave her the file. She did have enough to start groundwork, if that was as good as she thought.
The water started singing and she got up, making the evening tea. Grabbing the box cutter on the way back she picked up the box and put it on the table. It was more than a little heavy. She cut the tape and opened the box, then couldn’t help but smile at the contents.
On the top was a card, boldly decorated as “Missing you” and of course the whole family had sent thoughts. Under that were several boxes of cookies and treats, a new coat and winter set, and a burner phone to keep in touch with. The teens had sent a video game they wanted to play with her, and Miss Rivers had sent her own card with a card to get into Queen Tower for the next time she was in town. Additionally she also wrote to inform her that the manor security systems had been reprogramed. She was in the database and her room was waiting whenever she wanted it.
There was a wrapped package from Di, and Babs was curious as she looked at it. She had wrapped it very carefully. Inside was a framed old photograph from their time in Gotham together that the woman had somehow been able to dig up, and an updated picture of Robby. Gotham was home but she was suddenly somehow really missing Star City.
At the bottom of the box and almost missed was another file, thick. Babs opened one of the boxes of cookies and settled in to look at both of the new sets of intelligence. The first she had already looked through. The second, all gathered by a man she had met while there that now lived in Metropolis, was the break on the Red Hoods she had needed. He wasn’t able to gather names in his investigations, but he had narrowed down the areas and people. It was a small enough range that she could easily take it from there. And they had hid it at the bottom of a care package, scary brilliant.
“Mr. Dent.” The voice was terrified, and Harvey raced out at the call. His secretary was against the wall, her eyes wide.
Standing near the door was a crew of thirty Gotham blues stood at stiff attention, stepping into form. Lounged in the office chair nearby was the Commissioner. Seeing him Gordon stood up.
“Your untouchables.” He said simply. “No wives, no family, to ties. Here is your crew of honest men. I trust you will prove yourself worthy of them.”
The man got up and walked over to him, handing him three legal bags full of files before nodded curtly walking out the door. The files were cases, all ordered closed by prior officials. The cops here had been openly stopped from doing their jobs.
This left him with the officers before him. They were not cheerful men, but determined. He had a strong feeling at least a few of them had wives and families once. Today, however, they stood ready to serve and fight the shadow that cast the city in darkness. So was he.
“I won’t lie and say this will be easy, I will only say that it can be done.” Harvey said as he walked to the group. “It’s going to take more than just this army to take this place back, but this is going to be the best army in the fight. We join a growing storm, one that is only going to be worse as time goes on, but we will fight that storm. Though we only have a chance of success. No one will say that we didn’t try, no one will say we gave up.”
The men, at attention, nodded. They approved.
“I want you here at 0600 sharp tomorrow. There are a number of places I’ve been itching to knock out and we’re going to see how many we can get done in one day. It’s time we took the city back.”
Their eyes glowed, finally given the green light to do the work they had waited so long for and left. Harvey moved with a new sense of purpose to his office and made the call. He had lives in his hands now. There wasn’t room for games anymore. The phone rang for a few moments.
“Queen residents. Hello, Harvey.” Said the familiar voice, the woman who he knew was the gatekeeper. The mask of innocence hiding the sharpest mind he knew. The charming façade of herself and her husband masked one of the widest spread intelligence networks in the country.
“I have men’s lives in my hands, Di. I need to know what going on, and I don’t have time for the abridged version.” He firmly stated his position, and Di sighed. She had to know he was right. “I need to know what to hit.”
“Yes.” She agreed. “Yes, you do. You understand I can’t tell you how we know these things?”
“Need to know, I respect that. Now tell me.” He pulled out a legal pad and a pen.
“If you’re planning on hitting all of these in one day you’ll be disappointed, but a month should get you started so long as you can run on just a few hours sleep.” She explained, Harvey make sure he had clean pages. “Let’s start in East End.”
The storm that had once brooded over Gotham City had now found its way down to Blüdhaven and onto the already gloomy Cullen Row. The fifteen-year-old vagabond protected himself from the elements by leaning against the edge of a skyscraper and covering his head with the hood of his red sweatshirt. Expression darkened, Cullen held his flip phone against his ear.
“No, she wouldn’t budge. I keep trying but she…” Cullen stopped as the person on the other end of the line spoke up.
Cameron Snow, billionaire industrialist, philanthropist and the superhero vigilante known as Batwing, said, “I’m coming to Blüdhaven.”
“No!” Cullen exclaimed, “I mean…no. You can’t. It’ll only make things worse.”
“Cul, if she kills anyone then it’s on my head. I forged her into Bluebird,” Cameron argued.
“This isn’t Bluebird who’s a Red Hood, Cam. This isn’t even Harper. It’s someone else. Something else.”
“You think she’s been possessed?” Cameron asked.
“Kinda…no. I don’t. She’s just changed,” Cullen said, and before Cameron could speak, “Give me a week. If she hasn’t changed her mind in a week, I’ll call you.”
“Same time as usual?” Cameron asked.
Seeing a few suspicious people eyeing him at the edge of the block, Cullen hurriedly said, “Yeah…now, I gotta go. Phone’s dying. Bye.”
“Bye, Cullen. Be safe.”
The phone clicked just as the thugs stepped towards Cullen. The one in front grinned maniacally and flashed the knife under his jacket. Classic ‘Haven creeps.
“Hey, bud. Wanna show us whatchoo got in that backpack?” The leader teased.
“Wanna guess why I wear a red hoodie?” Cullen retorted, pulling at his sweatshirt to emphasize his point. The thugs instantly began to think better of it and looked at one another.
“I think he’s cool,” one said.
“Yeah, we should get going.”
“Sorry, dude. Don’t, uh, don’t tell anyone about this, yeah?” The leader begged, backing up.
“Five, four…” Before Cullen could even say ‘three’ they were gone, sprinting down the street. Maybe it would pay off to be part of the Hoods. ‘Haven’s general cowardly and superstitious lot sure seemed to be scared shitless of them.
“You’re not actually a Red Hood, are you?”
Cullen screamed and jumped, swiveling around to come face to face with a boy about his age. The young man wore a dirty purple hoodie, converse and torn jeans, but in such a way that Cullen could tell it wasn’t for style. His face was obscured under his hood.
“Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you. I’m not a mugger or anything,” the kid said, his hands hidden in his sweatshirt’s pockets.
Cullen didn’t feel any more relaxed. “What’s it to ya?”
The mysterious kid shrugged, “I was just gonna ask if you had any spare food? Haven’t eaten all day.” That explained the ragged clothing. Cullen took a deep breath and decided to bet on humanity.
“Sure, yeah. All I’ve got is a Snickers bar but you can have it.” Cullen dug through his backpack for the bar and tossed it to the boy. Immediately, the homeless kid snatched it out of the air with gloved hands and unwrapped the candy bar. With the Snickers just inches from his mouth, the boy paused.
“You’re homeless too, huh?”
“…Yeah,” Cullen admitted. The boy held the bar back out.
“No, I don’t even like Snickers.” Upon the boy’s continued refusal to eat it, “Seriously. Eat it. It was for my sister, but she…she’s not getting it anytime soon.”
The mysterious kid paused for a second and then shrugged. “Your funeral.” He then began ravenously eating the Snickers bar. After a few seconds of hearing disgusting slurping sounds, Cullen couldn’t help but laugh. The hooded kid looked up, his head tilted to the side with curiosity like a dog.
“Nothing. You just…I don’t know. Watching you eat is funny,” Cullen said.
“You’re one weird dude, you know that?” The boy said through a mouthful of chocolate and caramel.
“Yeah, I do,” Cullen paused before adding, “There’s nothing wrong with being weird.”
“Hah. Shows what you know,” the boy retorted.
That got on Cullen’s nerves. “Really? What are you, a bigot?”
“Where the hell did you get that from?” the boy fired back.
Cullen frowned, “What’s it mean to you to be different?”
“What’s it mean to you?”
Cullen had had enough. He turned around, ready to leave, but accidentally ended up hitting the boy with his backpack. The kid slipped on a puddle at the resultant force and fell onto his behind, his hood sliding down off his head.
“I’m so…” Cullen turned around and his eyes widened, “…sorry.”
The boy’s face was green. His hair was shaggy and long, and his canines stuck out over his lips like an animal’s. Cullen couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He could only think of one word to describe the sight before him—
“Sick,” Cullen said.
“What? No, I’m not sick. This is my natural skin color,” The boy replied defensively.
“I wasn’t saying you look sick. I was saying you look…”
The boy’s eyes brightened, “Sick.”
Cullen smiled, “Exactly.”
The boy flipped off the ground like a monkey and held his hand out to be shaken. “Gar Logan.”
Cullen took his hand, “Cullen Row. Just call me Cul.”
“Alright, Cullen Row Just Call Me Cul,” Gar leaned against the wall and pulled his hood back up, “What’s your story?”
Cullen shook his head, “You first. I’ve gotta know why you’re so…”
“Handsome?” Gar joked.
“Yeah. Exactly,” Cullen replied with a smile.
“Wouldja believe me if I told you I just woke up to find myself like this one day?” Gar asked.
“Well, it’s true. Foster dad, being the bigot asshole he is, kicked me out. Guess I’m what people around here call a Changeling. I can do things like…” Gar suddenly shifted into a hummingbird, his clothes crumpling to the ground. Cullen smiled. “This….or this.” Gar changed into a monkey and hung upside down off a fire escape ladder. Cullen laughed.
As Gar swung down and crawled back into his clothes, Cullen clapped his hands. “That was totally awesome!”
Changing back into human form, Gar bowed, “I’ll be here all week. Or year…”
Now back to his normal state, the jokes done, Gar continued, “Yeah, so there’s that.” Cullen laughed. “I also met this Riddler vigilante guy who saved my life. He gave me a card with what he said was his address. He claimed I could go to him for help if I ever needed it.”
As Gar spoke, he produced a plain white card marked only with a phone number and an address: 2583 Masterson Avenue. Cullen took it and looked it over.
“Thing is there’s no such street. Even worse, I called the number but the operator said it wasn’t in use anymore. Been looking for nearly two weeks now and I haven’t found a thing,” Gar finished with a shrug, “Guess the guy was a fraud after all.”
Cullen shook his head, his eyes still on the card, “No…no, what if he was…I don’t know, testing you?” He looked up, eyes bright with passion. “His name’s the Riddler, right?” Gar nodded, not sure where this was going. “What if the address and the phone number is, like—“
“A riddle,” Gar interjected, glowing with excitement. However, near immediately his expression darkened and Gar looked sullenly at the ground. “Still doesn’t mean I can solve it.”
“No, but that’s where I come in,” Cullen said.
Gar looked up, his hope renewed. “You serious?”
Cullen held his hand out one last time, “Let’s team up. You with the powers and me with the brains. Together we’ll solve this thing and find the Riddler.”
Gar shook his hand, smile wide, “Oh yeah, I’m so in. I just know this is gonna be great!”
United around a table, a map of Blüdhaven set out in front of them, the Red Hood Crusader leaders and Harper were planning something big. Something that would change the course of history in the Haven.
“We strike tomorrow at dawn,” Red Dart declared, “With Bane’s regime so young, the Black Masks will stand no chance against us.”
The Hoods around her cheered. Only Harper remained ambivalent, her hand locked in Davis’. The power, the threat they’d seen at Georgia Harlot’s wasn’t a joke. She was afraid Red Dart was making a horrible mistake. Then again, what could she say to convince the Hoods otherwise? They were bloodthirsty and power hungry. They wanted a decisive victory. This was it. This would change the game.
“Let the Punishment Fit the Crime,” Red Dart declared.
The others—including Harper—echoed, “Let the Punishment Fit the Crime!”