The Tides of Blood: Innocent Terminator

February 26, 2015:

Batman hunts down the number one suspect in the killing of Arthur Curry, one of the worlds most deadly assassins: Deathstroke the Terminator.

Juarez, Mexico

Streets of Juarez


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Juarez Mexico, the wild west of the so called 'war on drugs'. It's hot, oppressive, muggy, and perhaps one of the few places that not even Slade can disguise himself well enough to blend in. It's also where millions upon millions of dollars of drug money is filtered unchecked through the border. There are no tall towering buildings here, none of the US city largess, just the sprawl of poverty and shabby construction. Slade leans over his plate and cuts free a larger bit of enchilada and pops it in his mouth, chewing as he glances around the street at large and the relatively small Mexicans that eye his distinctly out of placeness.

Tracking down Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson is not an easy task. Not unless the man is being careless and even then it still requires contacts and hefty amounts of cash, fortunately for the Batman he has allies everywhere and the man calling himself El Gaucho is listed amongst that number.
The trip here was not an obvious one, it started off by means of a Wayne Enterprises subsidiary jetliner followed by jeep and then a motorcycle which has been parked and Bruce doubts it will be there when he returns for it.
The sun is just now going down and the Hispanic broad-shouldered man with the overly large beard is making his path towards Slade, indirect and casual. A backpack over his shoulder, ratty fatigue pants and a long-sleeve shirt. The E.M.P. Mask under low visibility is more effective in holding up against scrutiny - this is a plus. It should mean the element of surprise is on his side. Should doesn't mean it will be.

Deathstroke takes another bite of enchilada and leans back a little in his chair, seeming relaxed. Wayne may be attempting to blend in, though to what extent it's possible for a man of his height and size to blend in with a crowd head and shoulders shorter then him is arguable, but Slade is not. He's not dyed his hair, he's not hidden his face, he seems for all the world to be a tourist. In Juarez. Yeah. That's a thing.
A bend here, a slump of the shoulders, the correct setting on the projected face and it makes the man look puffy-bodied, a barrel chested goon who has too much facial hair and seen a bit much sun. It's not a disguise that is meant to hold out for long just to get close enough and maintain anonymity trained eyes can make it, it's after all only makeshift and set up not for anything other than the Batman to move around without having to show up as Bruce Wayne or fly his toys over Mexico.
The backpack hits the ground near his leg as he comes to a stop about eight feet to Slades left, "I hope you're scouting for a good retirement community here. This place suits you."
The voice is unmistakeable.

Deathstroke pauses for a moment, then takes another bite, chewing thoughtfully, "Naw." he says after a moment, "Picked up a contract to thin out a few corrupt Federalies and some rival cartel's goons. You know the sort of deal, someone willing to pay my fees for their shot at the big time. Have you seen this economy? Man has to take work where he can."

"I'm no idiot Slade and you're not needing work. You just enjoy what you do. A man with your talents could ply his trade to something with actual meaning and make a fine living sans wholesale slaughter and bloodshed." The E.M.P. Mask distorts and Batman reaches up to turn it off letting the image waver and disappear to reveal his masked face. The darkness should be cover enough to keep too many gawkers from wanting to stop and stare or inquire, plus, between Batman and Deathstroke not many will desire too much attention.
"Cutting the platitudes aside, when was the last time you were in the Tri-Cities?" A cut to the chase. He isn't here for a lecture on morality and Deathstroke isn't likely to care for one either. The man has been doing what he does longer than Bruce has been alive.

And it's Juarez. No one asks questions here ever. Cause that's how you end up headless on the news or nailed to a door wearing your entrails on the outside like a new style of accessory. "You mean like removing a handful of corrupt murdering Mexican law enforcement officers from the ranks to serve as warning to the rest to clean up their game? Or did you mean by decreasing the number of murders gun toteing thugs stalking the city streets at night? Because this particular job sounds more like a public service then not one. After all," he shoots Batman a look, "it's not like you're coming down out of your ivory tower to clean up Juarez now is it?" he asks blandly. He'd ask why Bruce is bothering with the mask, Slade's one of the few who worked out who Batman was ages ago, but he knows the answer already. It's not just a mask. He gets that.
He wipes his mouth with the napkin and sets it on the table, "Ah." he says, putting the pieces together, "Aquaman." he says picking up his iced tea and drinking. "That wasn't me." he shoots Batman a look out of the corner of his good eye, "And you know that. If it was me I'd have done it up close, personal, so he would /know/ who had beat him. So you would all know." he leans back in his chair, "Besides, the money wasn't good enough. Whoever did the hire clearly blew most of their wad on the tech to pull off the shot. You're a tech guy, do the math. Those are likely the four most expensive bullets ever fired by man."

"It's a cycle and you're feeding it, the moralistic high road is an ill fitting color on you, Slade. It sounds empty and hollow." Batman's glare drifts from Deathstroke to the city around them, the Dark Knights nose curls up - not in disgust but in sort of helpless rage.
"You might have lost. What then?" The backpack is picked up, one strap drawn over his shoulder again, "Confirmation was all I needed. Face to face and the moment I seen you I knew… " The man is fairly certain he knew before he even left Gotham but he had to be sure or maybe he just wanted a focus point for his anger, an easy out. Maybe.
"Someone lower on the list than you with comparable skill. That still leaves a handful. Expenses in the games of Kings and Queens are usually not an obstacle."

Deathstroke just grins at Bruce's impotent rage, "How long have you been fighting your war? Ten years? Twenty? Things getting better in Gotham are they? Was a time when all the thugs had rules, there was an order to the chaos, then you came along. Now poison gas attacks and terrorist bombings are a weekly hazard perpetrated by clowns drawn to your city by your madness. There is no winning the war, there's only choosing the side you're going to fight for. I chose me. You picked someone else. Funny thing though, you know what you've never once done?" he asks, setting his tea aside on the table, "Offered to pay my fees to help you keep Gotham safe. Man could make a good living dissecting that decision."

"Gotham is a work in progress and it's improved, it's still improving without the need to take lives. You're no cure, you never will be, you're just another problem and if you show yourself in my city again I'll make sure you're rotting away somewhere in a deep dark hole for so long the rest of the world will forget you ever existed. No one will come looking for you, no one will miss you and no one will remember you. That will be your legacy, Slade Wilson."
Batman gives one final hard look at Deathstroke and then is walking off. Gone away from Juarez and back on a trek that will lead him to his next suspect now more determined than ever to find Arthur Curry's killer so he can be truly tested, tested on whether or not he'll beat another human beings skull in…

Deathstroke simply smiles at Batman as he gets The Bat Speech, "That's your problem right there. You think there's a cure. There isn't. There is only the war, that's all there ever is, the fight." his grin becomes predatory, "You can lie to everyone Batman, even yourself, but the Demons you fight aren't unique to you. You /need/ the war, because without it your anger would eat you alive. It's why I like you, some part of you deep down understands the truth." he pushes himself to his feet, and unlike Batman he does nothing to shrink his size, slump his shoulders, he stands proud and tall as if he were daring someone to make something of it. "I liked Curry too." he says after a pause, "There was no give in that man, that's respectable. Far be it for me to teach the detective anything, but you're looking in the wrong places. You don't want the man that pulled the trigger, you want the one that hired him."
He tosses a few American dollars on the table top, "And like I said," Slade emphasizes it this time, his stare boring into Batman's back, "The money wasn't good enough." he makes it sound like that has meaning somehow. He turns and walks the opposite direction, a small smirk twitching at the corner of his mouth. Idly he wonders how many weeks in traction Lawton will spend after the truth gets out… he sets the over/under at eight.

Hours Later…

"A drink, sir?" Bruce Wayne smiles at the attractive brunette woman and pushes the arm of his seat up so the flight attendant can maneuver the tray in.
"Orange juice, please and thank you, Madeline." Bruce responds before tapping on the laptop in front of him.

"Atlantean currency. Yes, Alfred… "
"You seem worried, Master Bruce. Something else is off… "
"Something is and I can't place it. Slade is always smug, an air of confidence but I can't nail it down. I feel like we're playing a game and we don't yet know what it is."
"Perhaps you're tired is all. I have the updates from several of your contacts in regards to this Snakebite business."
"Yes. That is what the CC-CV1 nonsense is being called."
"Absurd name… Maybe, maybe I am over-tired but it still doesn't add up. We'll stay the course we're on, it's all we can do… for now."
"Seal up the cave, run an extra security sweep before you turn in and reconfigure the bio-kinematics scanners to detect and handle meta-human range 2 threats. Just in case."
Alfred hesitates, "Very well, your Darjeeling will be awaiting you. Penny One, out."
Bruce closes the laptop and steeples his fingers before his face, staring over the Gulf of Mexico towards the Atlantic beyond.

"Mr.Wayne, sir?"
"I have your orange juice…"

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