Oliver Queen: Mr. Queen! Mr. Queen. Can we get a comment on your thoughts of what is happening in Bialya?
“Sure! Sure. I think what’s happening in Bialya is a travesty. Those innocent sand people in Kandyduk. Really. Bialya should be ashamed.”
“Wait. Biayla invaded Canada?”
No. It’s pronounced…
“…it really doesn’t matter, those people down there deserve better, but what could they expect. Propping themselves up with some vigilante lord as their King? This is really the problems with Vigilantes, in any form. You see it starts small. Maybe you’ve got a Batman today, but that Batman gets a Joker. A Penguin. A Black Masque. Eventually your Batman has to become Superman. Then what does Joker become? Well, then you’ve got yellow-ringed freaks and whole cities going missing. Now? Now we have a whole nation under siege.”
So. For clarification, you’re saying that Biayla’s attack on Kahndaq is because of Black Adam?
“I’m sure there are other things at work, but let’s face facts here. Would the attack have gone the way it did if not for Black Adam? If not for his reputation? Absolutely not. You’ve got a guy who claims to be powered by the Gods and for all we can see he just might be telling the truth. How do you protect your own borders from someone like that? Absolute power corrupts, right? I’m just saying. If we let these people. These Unlawful meta-humans run rampant in the world? Eventually they’re going to take it away from us.”
Uh. Okay, Mr. Queen. Anything else?
“If President Luthor had any Balls he would make the Vigilante bill a Federal one. Play that on Sports Center would you?”
Later that same evening.
Ring. Ring. Ring.
“Hello, Dinah. Listen, I know you’re busy and there’s no telling when you’ll hear this message, but I figure that I owe you at least a heads up. I’m going straight Dinah. I’ve already signed the immunity papers. But I had to give them Names. They’re going to be coming. For Diggle, for Roy. For everyone. Maybe even you, I… I don’t know.”
There’s silence for a brief moment. Then another voice. A familiar voice telling Oliver that it’s time to go.
“I know you’re going to be mad, but listen to me. Actually hear me. Roy’s out there. With a Baby. Trying to be the goddamn Arrow, with a baby counting on him. This world is insane. I can’t take it anymore. We’ve got to stop all of this insanity. It starts with us. When they come… you sign the papers. Don’t fight it. For once in your life, just suck it up and knuckle under like your Grandmother did.”
Dinah: There’s any number of reasons why I don’t answer my phone. Sometimes I can’t be bothered to explain to someone that didn’t get that I really meant it when I told them ‘so long, thanks for the good time, but I got what I wanted and have a great life.’ That excuse hasn’t been in the rotation much lately, mostly because I’ve had my plate full with a few other things, and random hookups have not been one of them. Sometimes, my cell phone is silenced and I’ve just forgotten that turning the ringer back on is a thing, or it’s fallen under the couch and been forgotten. Occasionally, I just don’t want to talk to whomever is on the other end, even if it is someone regularly in my life. Last but not least, there’s the times when the universe is in line, I have my phone, it’s making noise, and I’m actually busy with something else. Which relegates phone communications to lesser importance in my book.
Right at the moment, that’s beating up a teenage girl. Who’s asked for it, and voluntarily shows up damn near every night for the dubious privilege. And tonight I happen to be a little more dedicated to it than I have been previously. If anyone actually questioned my methods, which they don’t but… God they probably should…I’d tell them it’s because she’s been improving, so I have to scale up the difficulty. Which is actually, shockingly and amazingly true. Spoiler apparently doesn’t have any quit in her, which some nights I think may be her only really endearing quality, and at the same time her most obnoxious. Depends if it’s useful effort or talking that doesn’t stop. Have I mentioned she doesn’t get to do much talking if the training’s hard? It’s turned out to be a pretty good meter stick for when she’s ready for more.
Deep down, I’m also very aware that it’s just a little bit of punishment for facilitating Red Robin’s not resting his shoulder and getting it taken care of like I think he should. But we don’t talk about that. I’m pretty certain, however, that the fourth time that the prone and gasping girl on the mat has pointed out that I have a message it’s because she’s ready for a break and isn’t going to say as much until she passes out.
Look. I can be a bitch. But I’m not a one hundred percent a bitch. And there does hit a point where no more ‘lesson’ is going to be absorbed, and muscles are too fatigued to even make an attempt at making any sort of memory. As I step over a sprawled limb, I feel a moment of what I think might actually be a teensy bit of guilt, and make my way to the flickering led light on the screen of the phone that I barely use for more than you would an old rotary. Sometimes I use the timer, too, though.
The name attached to the missed call is enough to make one side of my mouth draw upwards, though it’s not a smile so much as as an unhappy sneer. Normally I’d like to say I’d feel differently about it, despite my abrupt departure from Star City. That hadn’t been because of Ollie, or anything he’d done, so much as what was going on here in Gotham and the call of ‘family’ I just couldn’t ignore. I am really not sure if I’m glad I missed that call or not, because I’d love to give the person on the other end a piece of my mind. I know it’s not ‘my’ Ollie. That this is some plant of NOWHERE’s. One that I was already intending to deal with, even before the anti-vigilante bill, but I just hadn’t acquired the leverage I felt necessary to make them pay for it, and to make them hurt so the lesson would stick.
Clearly, I have an M.O..
I don’t actually get all the way through the message. Eventually white knuckling it gives way to pivoting on the ball of a bare foot and hurling the thing as hard as I can at the closest wall. Right about the time I’m being told to suck it up and… if there were any question of whether or not I’m in control of myself in the moment, it would be answered by the fact that my enraged shriek doesn’t knock the stunned looking Spoiler caught mid crouch into an insensate pile of deaf blonde on the floor. There’s no concussive force to it, just feelings I don’t know what to do with.
Well. That’s not true entirely.
“…seriously what is it with you guys and throwing things at…”
“We’re done, Spoiler. Out.”
“Like…done like for now or done like…”
“For tonight. Out.”
“…is there…something that I can ooookaygoingbye…”