Red Arrow: Aftermath

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Vox
Adenn Mirshko
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Red Arrow: Aftermath

Post by Vox » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:57 pm

Story takes place after the following storylines:

Huntress: Diventare Un Angelo
Batman / Red Arrow: Welcome to Wonderland
Arrow: The Hunter



Ruins of Downtown Star City

Red Arrow stood looking down at the rubble that was his city. Massive steel girders from former towering buildings lay twisted amongst large chunks of concrete, pieces of broken asphalt and shattered glass. Automobiles dotted the fractured roads while their alarms bleated rapidly for help or waned as their batteries died giving an easy to relate metaphor to the lives of those buried in the rubble that made up a good portion of City Core. First responders crawled over the obstacles to the best of their ability trying to extract the easy to reach victims that various canines had located.

Focusing his eyes he saw a group of three individuals he recognized looking weary, defeated and a woman he didn’t know standing on a roof top of a beaten but not broken building. Taking a step, he let gravity do its work while lining up his grappling shot. With most of the taller buildings having fallen his shot had to be perfect. Pulling the trigger his human arm screamed in protest as he swung toward his target and the grappling hook found its home. Thank you Batman…

Letting the line wind back he landed noisily on the rooftop behind the group of people and the unknown woman turned aiming a gun in his direction. Raising an eyebrow, he ignored the woman and approached the two members of his team that were present and a rather abused looking Connor Queen. Moving toward the edge of the building Red Arrow looked down on the public defenders, the firefighters, policemen, and other public servants and tilted his head slightly as his mask zoomed in using its infrared scanning to search through the wreckage for anyone underneath the rubble. Without turning around Red Arrow nodded toward the citizens below. “We need to help them, there are people buried in that rubble.”

“Not even an introduction?” The brown haired tattooed woman’s response came back with a sarcastic wit that carried an edge of judgment.

“You can either help or you can leave. I recommend leaving because once we finish down there I will be asking you questions about why exactly you held Connor Queen captive for the past three days.” Stepping on to the ledge Red Arrow set himself and looked at the woman passed the edge of his hood. “This is the last time you’ll hear me be polite in our greeting. Leave now.”

Raising an eyebrow the woman pulled a second gun and shook her head pointing the handgun toward Red Arrow. “I leave when I have Andromeda Queen in my possession. Until then, I will not be leaving. You can stay out of my way or I can move you.”

Turning quickly Red Arrow fired a shot that took the gun out of the woman’s hand and she gasped audibly. Taking a step back the woman looked at Connor and spoke. “I’ll take Queen, he can lift heavy things.”


Star City News – City Core

“This is Becky Sommers reporting Live from City Core in downtown Star City. As you can see from the feed we are showing you first responders are hard at work clearing rubble from the collapsed Furtain Tower. Early estimates put the death at nearly three hundred but that number is definitely going to grow as more bodies are found.”

Switching to a split screen view the camera now showed the image of a slightly greying man in a dark blue suit his face built for television as if he existed for the nightly news itself. Looking down at his notes quickly the man turned his gaze back to the camera. “Becky, we are looking at an overhead view from our News Chopper and we see the arrival of what appears to be Red Arrow and his team. Can you confirm that they are there helping?”

Jogging further toward the rubble Becky spun to look at the camera while she slowed her backward walking pace. “Yes Jordan, they are helping. If you watch the footage you are receiving from the helicopter you will see that Red Arrow is moving rubble that is frankly inhuman for any normal human being to move. The others on his team appear to be using their equipment to look through the concrete to locate those trapped in collapsed building.”

Changing to a split screen of Becky and the helicopter the overhead zoomed in for a moment. In that short video shot a yellow streak shot across the screen catching Huntress in the chest spinning her around. It took a few moments before the team noticed what had happened. A voice cut across the video as the female co-anchor spoke. “Oh—Oh my God! Huntress just got shot!”

“What!” Scrambling up the rubble, Becky crawled over a large piece of concrete before she and her cameraman saw Red Arrow leaning over Huntress blood coming from between his fingers as each compression of CPR pushed blood through the wound in the woman’s chest. Holding a hand to her face Becky’s hand shook. “Oh my God…she’s…dying.”

“Come on! Stay awake!” Red Arrow’s voice was as steady as it could be as he continued CPR on the woman lying on the ground before him. Blood poured out of a wound in the upper left of her chest with each downward push on her chest. Each violent push to force the woman to breath caused a cracking sound to come from her ribs as they gave way under the pressure. Red Arrow’s voice was on the edge of control as he spoke instructions to a tattooed woman under his breath that the camera barely picked up. “Breath, breath for her dammit!”

The woman performed mouth to mouth while Artemis readied an injector of some kind. Watching it all take place Becky stayed quiet even though the voices in her ear were asking questions. Red Arrow pulled his hands free and Artemis shoved the injector into the wound filling it with some kind of gel. Taking a second, Red Arrow stabbed an arrow into the Huntress’s chest and an electrical charge shot through the arrow jump-starting the woman’s heart. Turning quickly Red Arrow looked into the air and saw a figure dressed in black looking down at the wreckage below. Pulling an arrow the red hooded man aimed and fired at the man while Artemis launched another arrow straight into the sky. Grabbing Huntress Connor Queen picked her up and ran across the rubble while Red Arrow and Artemis stood looking in the direction of the man who had now disappeared. Stepping up to the two Becky found herself feeling dwarfed by the size of both vigilantes. Holding up her microphone the reporter asked a simple question. “Red Arrow, do we know who shot Huntress?”

“Yes,’ his voice came back altered but determined. “A.R.G.U.S.”

“You are aware they are an advanced technology and scientific research company correct?” Becky moved to follow the man when Artemis stepped in and stopped her.

“Yes,’ Red Arrow pulled out a gun of some kind motioning for Artemis to join him. “I’m also aware that A.R.G.U.S. is responsible for the destruction of this city and everything that happened tonight.”

“How do you know that?” Becky lowered the mic as Red Arrow wrapped his arm around Artemis and fired his grappling gun.

“A bat told me.”

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Re: Red Arrow: Aftermath

Post by Vox » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:23 pm

Star City General Hospital

Time seemed to stand still when tragedy struck those who you cared about. It seemed to distort, slow and speed up all at once. Time moved too fast to get doctors to the person who was hurt yet it also moved too slow to let you know they were okay. Red Arrow stood at the end of a cordoned off hall of Star City General Hospital. Police officers stood guard keeping the press and any other would be fanatics away from the cluster of masked heroes that stood waiting for news from the surgeons trying to save the life of Huntress. Looking down at his hands the man behind the mask saw blood yet thought nothing of the fact it also adorned his face, chest, upper thighs and arms. He took in the grim condition of Connor Queen, a man who simply fell into the category of ‘right place, right time’. Blood covered his chest, borrowed zip-up hoodie, jeans, hands and even face. He had attempted to give the female vigilante CPR while running with her toward a waiting police car. Red Arrow had literally out run the police car to the hospital while Artemis traversed the city through the air.

Each of the people in the hallway had a vested interest in the woman just on the other side of the double doors, including the newly arrived stranger whom Huntress had brought back from her leave of absence. Clearly of Eastern European descent the young woman looked out of place next to two well built men and their female counterpart. While Connor did not have his suit on his physical presence was still impressive. Pacing and projecting emotion like a ball of fury waiting to explode Red Arrow took up the middle of the hall while Artemis stood off by herself observant but introverted. Standing awkwardly the Eastern European woman’s Ukrainian accent cut through the silence, “Can someone please tell me what is going on? I don’t know what happened and I don’t know any of you. Huntress is the only person I know in this city and outside of her everyone else has either been protecting my life or trying to kill me.”

Taking a moment Red Arrow took a breath and crouched in front of the teenager but Artemis stopped her. The red and black hooded woman knew that her partner would mean well but his bedside manner was lacking, especially since he had spent time recently with Gotham’s Demon of the Night. Sitting next to the young girl Artemis turned her head to show her a face that was as calm as would be expected but betrayed both worry and apprehension. “Huntress has been shot, by who or what we don’t yet. What we do know is that they work for A.R.G.U.S. and she’s hurt badly.”

Interrupted by the surgeon coming out of the operating room Artemis turned her head and felt more than saw Red Arrow tense. Waiting for the police officers to clear the hallway and after ALICE had turned security cameras off the team of crime fighters allowed the surgeon to speak with baited breath and nerves raw from hours of waiting. Pursing his lips, the surgeon took a breath and the team could already tell the news was not going to be good. “We have done all we can. There was a toxin injected into her body, something we have never seen before. Blood work comes back negative but shows signs of poisoning, antibiotics are attacked by whatever this thing is and it simply won’t leave her system through any means, including transfusion.”

“What does that mean? Will she live?” Red Arrow’s voice was gravely, coarse like a knife being drug across a whetstone.

“Physically she is going to live, barely. You saved her life with that emergency clotting agent and foam. Without you, she would be dead. That being said, I have no idea what to do regarding her actual illness.” Truly at a loss the surgeon seemed more disappointed than baffled though it was easy to tell he knew nothing else to try.

ALICE piped in quietly suggesting a test. “Sir, use your glove’s biometric scanner on her body and send me a sample of the blood. I may be able to find out the source or a cure. I have access to the world’s database on pathogens, including the WHO, something this hospital does not have the ability to use directly without quite a bit of red tape.”

Approaching the surgeon Artemis touched his shoulder. “Thank you for doing everything you could. Can we see her? Is she stable? We have resources this hospital may not and would like to put them to good use.”

“Certainly, go ahead. Whatever you need, there are plenty of people in this hospital who don’t agree with what you are doing because of the massive amounts of individuals you send through here but you saved my wife’s life three months ago, whatever you need you get.” Stepping to the side the surgeon watched as everyone walked into the room except for Anastasiya. Looking down at the young girl the surgeon motioned to the room. “You can go in too you know.”

“I…don’t know if I should. I’m not exactly part of the team.” Anastasiya looked at her hands for a moment and the surgeon chuckled slightly.
“You’re on this hall. Notice anyone who isn’t a police officer, doctor who has access to that room or part of the team that is here?”

Shaking her head Anastasiya saw the surgeons point. “Guess I better get in the room them.”

“I would recommend it, considering you appear to be part of the team to me.”

Sliding into the room Anastasiya watched as Red Arrow ran his hand over Huntress’s entire body while Artemis drew blood allowing it to be analyzed and sent to ALICE. Approaching Huntress’s head she saw the woman differently now, her face had all of its natural color but none of its fierceness. She had yet to see the woman ‘off duty’ and her beauty caught the young girl off guard. Pushing a strand of hair behind the woman’s ear she watched her head move for a moment but stay asleep. Looking at Red Arrow his focus seemed unbreakable while Artemis seemed almost clinical. Connor Queen sat in a chair, head in his hands for a moment before simply watching the whole scene take place. Lifting his head for a moment Red Arrow stopped his hand movements and then glided his gloved human hand to Huntress’s stomach. “ALICE, are you sure.”

Only a few moments had passed and ALICE had identified the pathogen in Huntress’s system, or more correctly the pathogen and tracking nanites it had deposited. Sending Connor get the surgeon it took only moments for an injection of the corresponding drugs to enter Huntress’s system to neutralize the invaders. Once destroyed the real challenge began as Huntress’s system began to try and fight the pathogen itself, a nasty disease not seen since the early seventeenth century. Taking a moment to look at each other Red Arrow and Artemis realized that while Huntress may not have been meant to live both the tracking nanites and disease were part of a larger plan that A.R.G.U.S. had in place and that made them all the more dangerous. Sitting down the team of vigilantes watched as the nurses came and went treating their partner until it was just before dawn and they knew they had to leave. Connor took it upon himself to stay due to his unmasked, out in the open cover there was no reason for him to leave. After speaking with the surgeons about her condition one last time they worked out a plan to have Huntress removed from the hospital the next night and how to do it without much attention.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Star City
Arrow Cave

Watching the news from the Arrow Cave, Brendan stood, arms crossed, as Becky Sommers turned A.R.G.U.S.’s attack into her chance to win every reporting award she could. Looking disheveled, tired but still able to sound upbeat the woman was positioned outside Star City General Hospital reporting on what information had been released about Huntress. Replayed over and over again the overhead view of Huntress being shot caused the team to analyze every aspect of what had happened and ultimately come to the conclusion that their enemy had used their want to help those that needed it most for their advantage. Sitting next to him was Valentine, stripped of her suit she had on a black cotton tank top and jeans while barefoot. Finishing the news update for the fifth hour in a row Ms. Sommers ended her broadcast with one last update on Huntress’s health. “Well, at least we know that Becky Sommers is dedicated to keeping us updated on the health of one of our cities beloved heroes.”

Rolling his eyes Brendan sipped a bottle of water and watched as Anastasiya padded into the main area of the Arrow Cave, barefoot and in a pair of his flannel pajama pants with a zip up hoodie on. Yawning the teenage girl sat in a seat with a thud and curled her knees to her chest while her hair fell or stood wherever it felt the need to. Watching the television for a moment Anya spun the chair she sat in and tapped one of the keyboards in front of her looking at several different screens. After a few moments she took a mug of coffee from the woman she only knew as Artemis and sipped it before explaining what she was looking at. “I’ve hacked the servers for news station to find out what information they have regarding Huntress. Right now, their Teleprompters are showing all they know is her injuries were substantial enough to require surgery. A few emails back and forth are stating that there is no security footage to show regarding her being brought in, something about the hospitals system crashing leaving no ability to identify her. Thanks to ALICE, they will have all the security footage they want, except for every corridor Huntress ever went through. Also, they apparently have some sketch from a nurse and they are trying to use their police sources to find out who it is…”

Pausing her sentence Anya trailed off as both of the other occupants in the room stared at her blankly. After a moment the teenager hit a button and nodded. “…and the computerized version of the sketch has been altered significantly to change the profile protocols of the search without any sign of it being done.”

Looking toward Brendan Valentine nodded approvingly. “She’s good, makes me wonder if we need ALICE.”

Smiling Brendan shrugged and the A.I. spoke derisively for a moment not aware of the humor implied in the statement. Walking around the Arrow Cave for a moment Brendan turned before settling into a chair and looking at a set of new arrows ready to be customized. “Have we found out anything more about what or why A.R.G.U.S. wants her dead? They are very focused on her specifically. That shot could have taken any one of us out but that archer was aiming at her.”

“ALICE has been running a search to find any connection between Huntress and A.R.G.U.S. and all she keeps coming back to is something to do with the death of someone named Kaia Artemis Queen? It also mentions the name Samantha Moore. Is that Huntress’s real name? Who in the world is Kaia Artemis Queen? Wait…it also mentions the death of someone named Andromeda Queen. Okay, wait a minute, what does this have to do with the Queen family?” Never taking her eyes off the computer screens newspaper articles kept popping up while the young woman searched at an incredible speed through the data ALICE had when finally Artemis put her hand on the woman’s shoulder as Brendan came to join them on the raised platform.

“Anya, stop for a minute.” Artemis’s voice was calm, cool and held a hint of pain.

“Wait, I can figure this out.” Oblivious to the goings on behind her the young woman slowed as ALICE froze the screens and halted her search at Brendan’s command. Spinning in her chair Anya was clearly irritated. “What the hell is that about?”

“Anastasiya, we know what they’re doing. They are pursuing Huntress to try and get to her father. What they don’t know is her father is dead.” Raising an eyebrow the dark haired teenager looked skeptically at the pair.

“I’m new to the team so you’ll have to elaborate on that bit of vagary.”

“Huntress’s name was, at one point in her life, Samantha Moore—“

“—but its not now?” Anastasiya interrupted.

“No, it isn’t.’ Brendan held up a finger to stop her from asking another question. “Her father was a hit man for a large crime family that vocally opposed the Green Arrow and what he stood for. When Oliver Queen went public with his identity as the Green Arrow, he placed a target on his back. This crime family waited for years to finally strike at Oliver Queen and did so after he had died. They planned an attack on not just his daughter, but also his granddaughter. Hiring Jeremiah Moore they staged a hit to look like an accident.”

“The drunk driver wasn’t really a drunk driver.”

“He was, but it wasn’t until later that he was found to have been drugged after being found at a bar. It wasn’t until three days later that Andromeda Queen was gunned down and the bullets traced to a gun Moore had used to kill three other individuals that the real motivations were found out.”

“That doesn’t explain why they are hunting Huntress though and more importantly how they found out she was the Huntress, unless…” Anastasiya’s voice trailed off and she pulled up a program and began running a hack with ALICE’s help.

“Unless?” Brendan waited for the answer while Artemis finished the story.

“They don’t know that Jeremiah Moore is dead so they are trying to capture, or kill, Huntress in order to gain leverage against him. He knows Star City and would still have connections in the city. He also knows how to fight the Green Arrow and anyone who fights alongside him, he would be the last living person who remembers how that crime family kept the Green Arrow from taking them out for good.” Anastasiya continued to talk as Artemis looked at Brendan who was watching the screens as Anya worked. For a moment, her gaze softened knowing there was far more to the story that Anya would probably connect in one way or another without actually knowing the identities of everyone in the room with her.

Stopping her hack Anastasiya looked at her secondary screen and watched as name after name scrolled past and she touched the list with her finger. “ALICE, we need to erase this, kill it and whatever program they are using. Is there a way to plant a worm without them knowing? They have a security system that would take me at least four days to design something to stay undetected but I’m sure you can do better.”

Mrs. Belova, a worm should work, I will give you the keys to the castle as it were though we will have to work quickly.” Brendan took a step backwards and watched as the teenager worked and looked at Artemis. Motioning to move away from the girl Brendan followed Artemis and walked toward the garage where the motorcycles and a newly acquired assault vehicle were parked.

Holding up her hand, Valentine counted to ten while Brendan waited for her to give him the go ahead and then she spoke before he could. “She’s trustworthy Colt, Kat wouldn’t have brought her here if she wasn’t.”

Grinding his teeth Brendan tilted his head slightly in disapproval. “That is Kat’s opinion, not mine. Who knows what she knows? Right now were lucky she doesn’t recognize you, or Kat or thankfully me. As soon as she sees me out in public it won’t take long to put it together though.”

“She’s a kid Colt,’ Valentine stated as if it explained everything. “She’s naïve, a hacker and someone who clearly is trying to help us. Give her a chance; what’s the worst that happens? She finds out who you are? I trust Kat and so should you, she shares your bed every night.”

Shaking his head Brendan looked toward the computers and saw the teenager launch her hands into the air in celebration of something. “Got it,’ She exclaimed.

Walking back over to the computer screen the two vigilantes listened as she spoke about what she had just accomplished. After a few more moments, they both congratulated her. Brendan then typed a few buttons on the keyboard and ALICE pulled up the file on Huntress one more time. “Huntress trusts you, in fact left a message for us about you incase something happened to her. She thinks you’ve got what it takes to be on this team. There is more to this team than hacking and stopping crime. Sometimes we have to do things we aren’t proud of, most of the time we are dealing with people who the police have a hard time even thinking about approaching. This isn’t an easy job, in fact it is downright lonely but if you want in, I’ll trust Huntress’s judgment.”

Nodding slowly Anastasiya kept working and Brendan pulled up the file on Huntress which distracted the teenager from her task. “This is a file that ALICE keeps as she pulls valuable information from HIVE, The Hand, SHIELD, NEST and a few other entities that try to find our identities that we don’t want having them. This is everything you could possibly know about Huntress, everything, minus her name and birthdate. We make sure no one as those. Read up.”

Taking a moment, Anya instinctually reached for the keyboard and then stopped. Rotating in her chair the young woman tilted her head slightly. “This is a test right, you’re asking if I am willing to trust you over what I see on that screen because I think you won’t tell me anything, right?”

Artemis smirked slightly at the teenager’s brightness but did her best to hide it as Brendan stayed stoic. Nodding to herself Anya tapped a button and the information about Huntress disappeared. “Alright, what’s the full story?

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Re: Red Arrow: Aftermath

Post by Vox » Sat Sep 17, 2016 2:44 pm

“You don’t get the full story just yet.” Walking away from Anya and down the three steps toward the showers Brendan heard her coming up behind him slowing purposefully.

“You said you’d tell me what I wanted to know if I didn’t look at that information.” Anya’s voice strained behind her accent as she stressed her displeasure.

“No I didn’t.” Brendan turned to keep walking and Anya followed. “You assumed, or at least though that is what I meant.”

Stepping onto a padded mat Brendan spun quickly moving to punch the woman but deliberately slowed his swing, which the teenager barely avoided. Pursuing her Brendan threw a left kick, a right slap and a left body punch in her direction and only connected, on the slap, before the teenager fell over holding her face. “That was no where near full speed, or power. If you want it, you are going to have to earn it.”

“Earn what? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Artemis stepped onto the mat in athletic shorts, a black tank top and her hair pulled back in a pony tail exposing her shortly cut hair on the right side of her head. She motioned Brendan to get out he did and continued his walk toward the locker room.

****************************

Katherine Kyle flexed her hands and tried to take a breath as her mind woke unsure of where it was. Opening her eyes slowly, she winced against harsh lighting and looked at an unfamiliar, sparsely decorated and sterilized room. Looking slowly from side to side, she saw an unexpected face as Connor Queen sat watching the television in her room while simultaneously watching the door. Facing away from her, he did not know she had woken up until she carefully moved her legs and he turned to look at her. Taking a brief second to send what appeared to be a text, he held up a finger for her to stay quiet. “Doc says to limit your talking, he’ll explain it better than me when he shows back up.”

Voice raspy and whispering to her best ability Katherine looked around the room. “Where is—“

“He’s on his way,’ Connor assumed she was talking about Brendan but saw the look her face take on a look of perturbedness. “Ah, her, she’s safe. They took her home to get cleaned up. I didn’t think he would leave but apparently being here with the sun up in full uniform would be bad though it seems a moot point now.”

Turning her head slightly Katherine watched the news behind him for a few minutes watching the cleanup effort continue and talk of a mystery shooter regarding her own shooting. An image of the hospital appeared with news vans filling the street out in front waiting for word on an update of some kind. “Who died?”

Snorting Connor checked his watch for a minute and then looked at the television. “No one, thankfully. They’re all waiting to hear if you’re alive.”

The gravity of the statement took a few moments to set in for Katherine and then she started to cry quietly as footsteps filled the hall. First through the door was Anastasiya followed by two suited up individuals that wore the masks of vigilantes. Connor ducked out of the room and shut the door allowing both Red Arrow and Artemis to remove their hoods and masks. Looking at the camera in the corner of the room, Katherine tried to point at it and Artemis smirked. “ALICE and Echo have it covered, no need for us to worry, or you for that matter.”

Katherine looked at Anastasiya and saw bruises on her hands, cheek bones and a cut across her nose showing it had been at least partially broken. “How did you get hurt?”

Anya blushed and dropped her head for a minute and Red Arrow spoke. “Training.”

Looking passed the teenage girl the woman furrowed her brow disapprovingly. “Already? She doesn’t even know if she wants in.”

“Yeah, I do.” Anya spoke up still unsure of her role in the conversation but sure of that answer. “I want to help and that means I have to at least know how to defend myself. He’s still not sure if he can trust me but I’ll prove him wrong.”

Smiling the teenage girl sat on the bed and the two crime fighters stepped outside for a moment to let the two women converse. Katherine sat up a little bit higher and turned off the television. “You’ve been around this team for less than twenty four hours and you want to get involved already?”

“I don’t really have a choice do I?” Anastasiya’s question made Katherine cringe internally, which clearly carried over onto her face.

“You do, and you need to make it for yourself. I didn’t and now I’m not sure this life is for me.” Katherine realized she said her thought before actually processing it. Dropping her head for a moment, she took a breath and began to elaborate for the young woman.

“I joined this team because I am infatuated with the man under that mask. I stuck by his side because he was, is, all I know. I had a good life before this, until my father killed Andromeda Queen and her baby. I ran into him randomly on a rainy day. Soaked through, he was wandering the city looking like he’d lost everything near and dear to his life and we just sorta hit it off. After a few months things changed, a lot changed. We went on the run and had to fight to survive. Wars, stealing, lies, and then we came home. That’s when things got really interesting. That’s when the bear attack happened and he lost his arm. After all of that we’ve gotten…comfortable. We don’t love each other, at least how normal people do. We’re just used to having each other around I guess. Tragedy will do that to you. I never grieved my father or what he did to those people. I haven’t ever had to face it, not until recently. Now, I have to decide for myself and that means I need to take some time away from this life to find out who I am and face what I’ve been running from.” Taking Anya’s hand Katherine looked at her and she seemed overwhelmed and confused but accepted it.

“You don’t understand now what I’m saying but you’ll understand soon enough, it will all click together for you.” Smiling Katherine waved Artemis in and she hugged Katherine before turning to leave motioning Anya to follow. Shaking her head, Anya chuckled awkwardly.

“You don’t say much do you?” Looking at Artemis the teenager watched as the blonde haired woman shrugged.

“I’m more of an observer than a talker. I’ve learned that life is easier when you wait for it to explain itself than ask a lot of questions.” Stepping out of the room Artemis made room as Red Arrow walked in, hood and mask back in place waiting for Anya to step out of the room.

“You look awful.” Katherine smiled as Red Arrow shut the door and pulled his hood off, mask going with it.

“Yeah,’ Brendan said. “ At least I’m not in a hospital bed.”

Grabbing Katherine’s hand Brendan sat down on the bed and could immediately tell that something had changed. Trying to look Katherine in the eye he felt her avoid his gaze. “Alright, what is it.”

Shaking her head Katherine growled a laugh. “I hate that you know me so well.”

Patting Brendan’s hand the woman nodded once to herself. “I can’t do this anymore Colt.”

“Us? I we can find you a place if it is what you want. I mean I figured this was gonna come—“

“—No Colt,’ she said grabbing his jacket. “This. At least for right now.”

“Oh,’ Brendan seemed confused and hurt and she hated the fact she was going to hurt him more.

“I love this city, it is in my blood. I just can’t be a hero right now. Since Valentine came back, it is very hard for me. I don’t know what to say to her, ever. My father killed her child Colt. My father nearly killed her. I can’t process that and try to deal with you and me and this hero stuff all at once. I need a break.” Katherine let out a breath and saw Brendan trying to come up with a solution by the facial expressions he was making.

“No, Colt. Just no.” She cut him off before he even started. “I need to leave for a while. I need to go sort this out on my own. I’m not disappearing forever, I’m not giving up on the team. I will be back but I need to handle this on my own. Right now A.R.G.U.S. thinks I’m dead, or at least that I could be. It is the perfect time for me to leave town for a while. It will let me get my life back together and…it will let you two get back to what you should be.”

Tilting his head Brendan didn’t understand the insinuation. “What?”

“This love triangle has got to stop. We aren’t in love Colt, you and I both know that. It’s awkward.’ Katherine looked out the window to catch Artemis looking in on the two of them. “She still loves you Colt, you still love her. Me leaving will get the love triangle out of the way as well. When I get back it better be sorted because otherwise I’m gonna finish what my father started.” A certain level of matter of factness in Katherine’s statement that added seriousness to the already intense conversation.

“So now what?” Brendan knew her well enough to know arguing was a futile effort. “What happens now?”

“Now…now Huntress must die.”

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Re: Red Arrow: Aftermath

Post by Vox » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:01 pm

Story takes place simultaneously with: [One Shot] Death of a Heroine


“You want to kill Huntress? You sure about that?” Brendan was disappointed in the decision kill Huntress and the tone in his voice betrayed that. Moving to the door Brendan opened it motioning for the rest of the team to enter.

“No,’ Katherine stated as the rest of the team filed back into the room. ‘I hate the idea of killing off Huntress. This isn’t a character in a novel. Huntress is a living, breathing person and even though I wear the mask, I see no other way out of this. I have to die for this to happen, really actually die and the only way that happens is if Huntress dies. There will be no explaining it away if my alter ego dies but Huntress disappears from the city. We have to do it this way.”

Brendan looked around the room as the team stood silently and saw the bloodied folded suit of Huntress lay stacked on an empty chair in the room a tinge of sadness hitting him and leaving as he focused on the task at hand. “It’s your call, how do we do it?”

“By having Red Arrow make a statement out in front of the hospital with Artemis by his side.” Turning Brendan looked at Valentine as she looked through one of the rooms’ windows out into the dusk covered sky. “Make it personal, make it honorable. Give an impassioned speech. Pay tribute to her, make the country morn her loss, but make sure that the city knows they lost a hero. Do it whatever way you want but the announcement has to come from Red Arrow. No doctors, no nurses, and no bodies wheeled through the city. Red Arrow, standing like a sentinel before his city announcing the loss of one of its defenders.


********

Pulling into the garage the motorcycle that Red Arrow rode came to a guttural, sudden stop. Stepping off his matte black motorcycle the man pulled down his hood and walked into an eerily quiet command center as both Valentine and Connor were loading duffel’s for Katherine while the woman sat quietly in a hoodie and jeans, her hair back in a ponytail, folding her Huntress suit. Leaving her for a few moments Brendan hung his red leather suits jacket on its mount before moving the various pieces of black armor that made up his torso, arm and leg armor. Pulling on a Star City Stags hoodie the millionaire turned vigilante saw Anastasiya shake her head at the sight of the hoodie. “Lost again last week, we’d be in the playoffs if it weren’t for that dumbass general manager. Who the hell trades Bell and drops Ajayi and Matt Ryan in the same season? Seriously, we’d be 9-3 at a minimum with those players.”

Brendan raised an eyebrow and took a mental note of her frustrations realizing he might want to play greater attention to his professional football team, and that Anastasiya clearly did not know who the owner of the Stags was. Placing the last bit of gear into its place Brendan padded barefoot over to Katherine who stood looking at the Huntress suit both hands touching it as she placed it into a drawer. Putting his hands on her shoulders she leaned back into him for a moment and then pulled away. “I’ll miss it, but it’s time for me to go.”

Walking toward the exit Echo came downstairs after helping load Katherine’s bags. “Taxi is here, he’s got enough cash to be happy waiting for a while.”

Nodding Katherine stood looking around the room for a minute not sure what to think given she had made the decision only a few hours before. Connor walked up to her and held out an envelope. “Passport, airline ticket vouchers and an unlinked card. ALICE verified everything, the card will always have money on it and no one, not even us, will be able to see where you are spending the money. ALICE will have access to monitor it but only in an emergency will she provide us access to it. Has a few fail safes to keep any one of us from checking in on you on our own.”

Katherine took the envelope and stuck it in her backpack while Valentine stood awkwardly off to the side and Brendan made himself look busy. Approaching Valentine Katherine handed her an envelope of her own, letter sized. “Been trying to give this to you for a while, figured I should probably do it before I take off.”

Taking the envelope Valentine nodded to herself and went to walk away and Katherine stopped her by touching her shoulder. “Do me a favor?”

Turning around Valentine shrugged. “Sure.”

“Take care of him.” Katherine took a deep breath and nodded toward Brendan who was idly checking something on a tablet waiting his turn for his good-byes. “He’s more of a man than he thinks he is, he doesn’t ever give himself enough credit and deserves to be happy so make him happy.”

Dropping her head for a minute Valentine nodded before looking up. “I think I can do that but what makes you think it’s me who is supposed to take care of him and not you?”

“Because you’re the name he says in his sleep.” Katherine’s eyes welled up and she hugged Valentine for a moment before throwing her backpack on her back and walking down the hallway towards the side exit. Putting one foot in front of the other she heard the footsteps of a jogging man coming down the corridor and resolved herself to keep going pulling her jacket tighter around her and he spoke.

“I don’t even get to say good-bye?” His voice carried the twenty feet between them and she stopped biting her bottom lip trying to fight back the tears building up.

“No,” she said. “you don’t. Because if you say goodbye then that means it’s the end of this.”

Holding out her arms she motioned at the Arrow Cave. “I won’t say goodbye to you Colt because if I do that means that I give you closure before I get it and that’s not fair. I need my closure first.”

“Kinda selfish don’t ya think? I deserve closure, especially if I’m going to keep on living once you step out that door.” Brendan took a few steps towards Katherine and she took one step back.

“You’ve been my hero long enough Colt. It is time for me to be my own hero. You’ve made so many decisions for my life because I wasn’t capable of making them, you’ve provided for me when I couldn’t do a thing.” Katherine steeled herself against the emotions and saw Brendan hold his hands up exasperated.

“So that’s why I don’t get to say goodbye to someone who has been my better half for over five years? You’ve been part of my life longer than anyone else outside of Andromeda!” Brendan’s voice rose in anger and Katherine blinked jumping at his anger.

“You don’t get to walk out of here just because its too hard to see her.. She’s still here, I’ve been next to you, I’ve shared my bed with you for years and guess what? I know that your father killed my daughter. So does she but we deal with that and don’t blame you. So if you are going to walk out that door you better have a better reason than ‘I feel guilty for my father.” Brendan shook his head and then just shrugged it off.

“You know what Kat, whatever.” Turning around Brendan turned to go and stopped. He let out a breath and turned around and saw his lover standing still, shaking because he had finally done it, he’d exploded with all his pent up frustration. Walking toward her he hugged her and she broke down into his chest. “It’ll be okay Kat, go find you and we’ll be here when you are ready to come home.”

Sniffling Katherine stepped back and looked up at Brendan for a moment. “I’m not leaving because of you or her, I’m leaving because of me. I need to find me. After everything…I just can’t let that go. I’m not complete in me Colt and I have to be that before I do anything else.”

Putting her hands on his chest the woman pushed away and walked toward the door. “I love you Colt.”

Stepping through the door Katherine pulled up her hood and saw Anastasiya sitting on the trunk of the taxi. “You’re really leaving me with these people?”

Katherine smiled and nodded giving the teenage girl a hug before tossing her pack onto the backseat of the cab. “Yeah,” turning she looked at Brendan who was leaning against the doorframe holding the door open for Anastasiya. “They’re good people. You’ll find your place, just don’t let them boss you around too much.”

Walking towards the doorway Anastasiya turned around hands in the pockets of her jacket. “Don’t forget me, I just got used to not being an orphan.”

“You’ve got a family,’ Katherine stated. “They’re just inside that door.”

Slipping into the taxi Katherine pulled her pack to her chest and looked at her phone seeing a picture of Team Arrow as the background smiling slightly. The driver started the cab moving down the road and asked her where she was headed. “Airport please.”

“Where ya headed from there,’ the man asked.

“No idea,’ Katherine said. “I guess I’ll figure that out once we get there.”

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