April 24, 2016:

And the Headline reads: Oliver Queen and Melody Kenway were brutally murdered last night…

Melody's Brownstone


NPCs: Five Mercenaries



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

So, the Red Maple.

It seems that Melody finally found some worth in her life. Something that needs to be fought for. She's gotten used to the staff and the day to day operations of helping with running a restaurant, including hanging out with someone who was locally famous and who accepts the mantle of Mayor with no thought of the danger -she- and -he- had gotten himself in with just that announcement. She may or may not have lost a friend through it all, but it didn't matter. There was something about working a simple 6am to 6pm (maybe) job that was all worth it. But the near two hour commute to and from work was starting to get tiring. Melody needed to move back into Gotham just to make this work. To give it the true try. So when she mentioned that she was moving and the offer to help was given, both of the two pack up their resolve and head straight to New York. Where the people were mean and it smelled like pee, according to a certain television character.

"I'm glad you offered to help. I can't get into touch with anyone and lately.. I don't know. Being alone feels kind of good." Melody admits as she jiggles her keys. But little did she know, as soon as she pushed the key into the hole, she set off a chain of events that'll pretty much.. well… mark the end of her times in her brownstone for good.

The key was twisted and the door pushed open, boxes mounting the wall, sheets bundled up upon the couches and bubble wrap with extra empty boxes lay around. The boxes themselves were labled, a necessity when moving. And there was tape. Lots of tape. Nothing really looked out of place.

And the house smelled great!

"Want some water before we get started?"

Oliver had multiple reasons for needing to go to New York. Meetings with a few people, making sure he got in touch with the law team, but highest on the list was helping Melody with the transition. He knew how hard it could be and so he was readily present to assist.

"Water would be good, and of course I'd offer to help. You're one of the few people of late who aren't trying to get something out of me." It was true, she'd have seen the number of people coming through the Red Maple or approaching Ollie for an exchange of votes for this favor or that; all of them rejected (even if they were good offers or ideas) out of the purpose of integrity.

"I've… I know it sounds weird, since I'm doing the whole political thing and meeting people but after years alone on the island, I actually need to be alone sometimes. Away from everyone. It's the only place I truly feel at peace and sane. I have a room set up for just that in fact. Nothing in it, dark, sort of like a solitude room."


If he follows, Melody would lead the way into the kitchen. But the way her brownstone was set up, sound travels easily. It wasn't as if she were going too far away to not hear him. "Well, you're one of the few people who really don't make me angry. Plus you're pretty nice, and don't look at me like a junkie who's just waiting to fuck up." For a moment, she really didn't even want a paycheck. She was pretty much going to work for free but.. she had to make her own money somehow. Some kind of way. And this was earned, it felt like a reward. "I think it's pretty cool you're not asking for help or even taking it. Though I do wonder, what idea are you going to actually get behind? Isn't there something out there you're willing to snatch up the offer for?"

She moves towards the cabinents, opening them without worry, snatching off two glasses then moves to the sink to turn them on. There was a soft clicking, one that catches her attention almost immediately, but she shakes it off and dips her hand in the water to check for the chill.

"That.. actually sounds nice." Melody quietly remarks. "It sounds kind of like.. a death of sorts." Her gaze nearly falls vacant as she stares ahead, her eyes nearly glossy as she slowly looks up towards Oliver, immediately snapping out of her stare. "I bet you're tired of fish too."

"I'm not opposed to ideas. But taking votes for them or what not… eh. I'd rather say what I believe and if people like it, then they like it." That has become so horribly complicated however. It is nerve racking for the man and it's shown in some strain around his eyes. Lack of sleep, worry and all of the threats about all the time.

"The Island was a death. Not even of sorts. It has a name actually given to it by those that knew of its existence. Purgatory is the rough translation, the prison of death a bit more accurate." It is the most Ollie has spoken to Melody about that cursed place to this point. "And raw fish yes. It's taken time to be able to even look at Sushi."

He has followed the woman into the kitchen, looking around as he does so. "Thank you, for trusting me by the way."

"Well, that's a good point. I don't know how far that's going to get you but.." She smiles a little. "I got faith in you. I think once they see that there's someone out there who's doing the honest thing.. maybe everyone will just get it and rally. I'm not great with politics, so I'll shut up now." Both glasses were soon filled and Oliver's was passed on. In that brief moment of silence, she could still hear the random clicking, which has her eyes drawing left and a little behind Oliver, and then towards the opposite wall. Just what in the hell was that?

"Hm? Purgatory.." Melody comments. "I'm sure some parts of it was beautiful. Where you'd just wake up and go.. 'Wow.' Even though there's just a chance that you just may die there." She does look wistfull, then shrugs happily. "But, sushi's gross anyways. Don't eat that crap."

She downs her water quickly, immediately placing her glass upon the counter top. "Trusting you with what?" She looks around. "It's just a house. My parents house, really." There was that clicking noise, and it was bothering her. "Come on, lets go move the bed." As in, lets get out of here. She was starting to get annoyed.

The clicking noise is noticed by Ollie as well, but he writes it off mentally as one of those quaint traits of old houses. He works on his own water before shaking his head. "There wasn't any time to appreciate anything like that. It was constant trying to survive. A couple hours of sleep was a risk that could barely be afforded."

Sounds pleasant, doesn't it. Years not even sleeping because of what might happen if you did.

His glass is set down on the counter as well before he nods, "Not trusting me here. Trusting me that I'm not completely insane trying to change things for the better." The man smiles, that good Oliver Queen smile as he follows Melody to help her start moving. It would have been so much easier for Queen to just hire someone to do it, but he'd rather do it himself it seems.

"Oh…" Well, that sucks. "..but you're here. You made it back. And it's obviously a good thing. I mean, you're rich as shit but you don't let it get to your head. Like that Bruce dude. He wouldn't dare hire someone straight off the street." She grins just a little as she heads up the stairs.

"Oh, I think you're insane. But its the good kind of insane. And trust me, I've met worse. A lot worse. Your insanity makes me.. well, want to fight -for- good. Which reminds me, we should probably get you a bodyguard."

The ticking fades as they approach the hallway, obviously, Melody still in the lead as she makes her way into the room, her sleeves immediately rolls up as she gestures towards the other side of the mattress. It wasn't heavy, she had meta-human strength. Oliver still didn't know the calibur of her mutation and nanites there-in, "Alright, you get that side. So, if you weren't running for Mayor, what else would you be doing?"

"What else would I be doing?" Oliver asks as he moves to the far side of the mattress and picks it up; the business playboy apparently not a weakling (by normal human standards of course) as it lifts. "I don't know, maybe I'd start a moving company?" He offers, a grin on his lips as he hoists.

"In reality, I'd probably be focused on close to the same things. Trying to help get people on their feet. Setting up halfway houses and the like. Maybe find time to date a model."

For once, Melody actually laughs. It was a weird little heckle with a few little snorts thrown in. Nothing like what anyone would picture her to do. And it hurts. She tries to cover by hoisting up her own end, keeping herself just below Oliver's strength as she begins to move it to the side.

"OH bullshit Mr. Queen, you don't seem like the type to da—… "


The crack of the mechanism that was underneath her mattress was loud enough to cause her to scream. Bits of plaster and ceiling fall down upon where the bed used to be, the metal crank clacking and firing off another round of nails that nearly demolish the entire surface. The shock of it all causes to let go of the mattress, her eyes wide as that ticking sound picks up again. This time, it was behind Ollie, the ticking speeding up for a few seconds then growing considerably slow. Like a countdown..

"Uh…" What the hell do you say to that? "Shit."

The explosion of nails firing upwards has Oliver immediately dropping his half of the mattress, the tottering of it catching the last edge of nails to shred it into a flurry of cotton and springs.

He moves. The explanation will have to come later most likely but when Oliver moves it is very fast and acrobatic as he springs over the edge of the mattress and tackles Melody.

"Get down!" The classic line, always a winner. How come whenever someone yells get down they really mean fall over, or get flat? Regardless he sends himself flying at her as the clicking behind him grows louder.

It was clear that Oliver was well trained and a fast thinker. Melody was just a little bit stunned in the moment to do anything worth-while. Like take possible hits and protect the soon-to-be-hopefully Mayor of Gotham. Especially after that dust-up with Two-Face. She was just going to tell him what happened and offer up to keep him safe. My how the tables have turned!

With there being little time to react, Melody braces herself for the tackle which was well timed for the mechanism in the wall to go off. The shattering boom breaks down the retainer wall to reveal the bathroom, metal rods shot out like bullets from the machine gun which crash and slam into the wall and brick of her brownstone. The bedroom was a death trap. They needed to get out.

"What the hell.. what the fuck.." She stammers out, covering her head as best she could while being flattened by Oliver. "We need to get out. We need to get out!" Melody.. her anger was mistaken for panic. But who could tell under these circumstances?

"It's a trap of some kind." Oliver says to Melody as he rolls off her after the tackle, laying on his back for a moment eyes looking up. "How many entrances are there to this place? Just the front door? If it is, we're trapped here and that's precisely where the next hit will happen."

The words sound eerily calm, perhaps to put the anger/panicked Melody at ease. Eyes looking up at the ceiling, Oliver cannot help but lament the fact he has nothing with him to help with this situation.

"Second floor? Basement?" Options being spouted out quickly towards Melody to see if the woman can think of any.

"Two. Front door and.." Yup. The basement. The cellar door that leads out into the sideyard that rests in between the brownstones. If Melody was alone, she'd just jump out of the window. But with Oliver, and guessing that he weighs a lot more than she does? Yeah. He'd crush her. That little egg would be a little too hard to put back together again in a timely manner.

"Basement. If we could make it to the basement, we could probably get out." At least the ceiling was alright. Though save for the holes and the dust that slowly falls, off to their sides.

"Though, I don't know how risky that is but.. lets go." Oddly calm? Melody wasn't. She was slowly, slowly feeling the burn of the anger at her personal space being invaded. She wasn't even really aware that anyone knew where she lived. She rolls onto her belly and begins to crawl, belly to the floor, using her knees and elbows to push herself forward. "Stay behind me.."

Ollie blinks then shakes his head, "Wait. Stairs could be trapped. Make sure to throw something down them first so that you aren't testing it out." The words of wisdom come as he does move to follow Melody but not so much in a snake crawl. Rather he springs up into a very low crouch to move that way. A bit more comfortable a position for him at least and he can jump if need be.

As they move, he grabs a couple of pieces of debris, a pair of those metal rods that had been part of the superstructure and holds them in his hands. Nothing like rebar weaponry to help them out from a bad situation.

"They're probably after me. Sorry."

"Wouldn't they have been trapped on the way up though? Like.. " Well, if that person was smart, when the first set of traps went off, they could have activated the others. And there was that ticking yet again. With Ollie crouched low, and Melody possibly looking like a plum idiot upon the floor, she waits for a solid moment, her eyes darting left and right as she slowly moves to her side to issue a kick to the closed bathroom door.

An axe snaps from it's hinges and swings forth, reaching out into the hallway and back into an idle swing, until it stops. Good thing no one had to pee.

She reaches up to try to snag it from it's spot, using it's hang to lift herself upon her knees as she finally tears it free with a crack, then proceeds to crawl again. "I was afraid of that." She mutters. "I accidentally.. kind of sort of.. threatened Two-Face when he said he was going to melt your face. I don't know if he's going to go after you or not but.." She shakes her head. "New York.. this is not his scene nor his style.."

At the top of the stairs, she throws caution into the wind, the tosses the axe ahead. And waits.

"Not Two Face." Oliver observes the axe swinging, the statement being pretty obvious after that fact. "This is a professional feeling hit. Every room, set up until after we're inside then working out. Unless… you piss anyone else off lately?" The commentary is meant to pass time while waiting for the axe to finish its bouncing journey.

"I don't hear anything… that makes me actually more nervous now." Oliver reaches up a bit to look around above the level he was crouching to check for windows or the like, just to see what might be beyond.

"I'm sure Harvey could cook up a professional hit…" Nothing. The axe clatters to the ground, and it was a pretty decent toss, but nothing was set up and they were all in the clear. Slowly, she begins to rise, her hands out at each side of her, making sure that if she feels a wire she'd immediately back off. Nothing. She's even studying the floor in case the axe itself bounced. "Probably? But not really. Snowflame, some weird guy I stole cocaine from. But if he was going to make a move, I don't thin.." She pauses. "..I think he probably would have killed me with his bare hands."

She glances back towards Ollie, then slowly begins to take a step, tense as she was. He didn't have to say it. She was nervous. Even when he glanced through the windows there was nothing there that would catch his attention. "I -was- shot at by a gang of thugs last week. May have been in the news. Or maybe SHIELD cleaned it up because the Hulk went nuts." She reaches the middle of the stairs, waiting. Watching, both hands upon the wall now, the front door in sight.

"You should meet him. He's a really cool du—.."


It perhaps was just an itchy trigger finger, for that shot rang through the front door well before her head would have became leveled, pelting a generous sized hole in her stomach. And, it dropped her like a pile of bricks tumbling down the stairs. One down.

One to go.

"Let's move in, boys!" And that voice didn't sound as if he was from here.

"Mel!" Ollie exclaims as the shot rings out and catches the woman in the stomach. His rebar sticks still in hand he starts to slide down the stairs behind Mel just as the sound of the voice upstairs calls out about moving in.

His first task at the bottom is going to be checking on Melody, there is no mistaking the concern or fear he has for the woman. Pulse checking, wound checking. He doesn't even hesitate. The shirt he is wearing is ripped off and placed on the stomach (whether needed or not) out of instinct to stop any potential bleeding. "Mel. I gotta move you someplace safe." He's whispering to her, listening upstairs, and trying to figure something out.

There were at least three of them in total; three that trailed them from far away from Gotham to New York. Another set that remained in New York tapped in and trapped up Melody's house, and hung out in the spare bedroom that Melody doesn't even dare go into. It was obvious, the cleared out space held nothing but clean walls and carpeting, all because the girl preferred to live alone. Oliver could hear the ring-leaders voice behind him, while those behind the front door began to lock and load up.

'Fuckin' traps didn't get them.'
'Yeah, but what'ya expect?'
'That crazy bitch needs to do this on her own.'
'Whatever, lets do the job, get it done.'

Melody could barely hear Oliver, she could only hear the swarm of the nanites working within her blood. That same swarm that fought to keep her together while she trained hard as hell with Deathstroke. Where was that training now?

Well.. if he would have shot her in the stomach, she would have been up soon. But she says nothing.

Oliver finishes checking the woman over and feeling that she is at least still alive. "Alright, so plan B. Not going to be leaving this place any time soon." The problem was, he was Oliver Queen. He couldn't be Oliver Queen and do what he needed to do. That tips too many things off.

"This is a basement." The words are spoken quietly towards Melody and he leaves her side to start looking through the basement for something, anything. Finding a towel, because what basement doesn't have a towel, he grabs it and starts tearing it into shreds to wrap around his face some. Now he at least looks like … ok, he looks like Oliver Queen with a towel around his head. But it might be enough to confuse someone. "This is why I need a body double, so I can pull this crap off." Picking up the rebar rods again he moves to the side of the stairs to wait for the impending arrival of the hit team.

"Oliver.." Melody murmurs weakly, moments after they reach the basement. "..don't.." Thankfully, the nanites were already working, that dim glow within her skin flashing a brilliance of colors that at least add a little light to the dank and slightly dark basement. She keeps herself propped upon her elbow, which was soon dragged back and into the corner, hearing the sounds of the rips and nothing else as she fades in and out..

But upstairs was another matter, the loud crack and clang of the door that was busted open from the main level, the rush of boots from the top level to meet, and then silence. Ultimate silence.

But it wasn't like they couldn't follow the blood trail.

'That mutherfucker took her. That was our proof.'
'Yeah, but that's fucking Oliver queen, that pussy can't do shit.'
'Let's get this shit done and over with. I got stuff to do.'
'Aw, gotta go take care of your mama?'
'Man, you worse than Mr. Queenie-bitch down there..'

The bootfalls were quiet, but not quiet enough to where Oliver couldn't hear. One set fans off towards the kitchen, the series and clicks slowing down and stopping to a crawl as they were disengaged, the other series of boots falling towards the stairs. They assemble properly, militant style, guns raised high, postures stout. The first creak of the stairs give credence to their slow descent, all the while Melody gets into a mild panic. "O..oliver.." Shit. She had to get up. She had to move.

Oliver hushes towards Melody, motioning with his arm, the scar on his shoulder visible to the woman when he makes the movement. Hell, all of the scars visible. No one ever pieces those together. He remains hiding in the shadows of the basement waiting for the armed militants to get downstairs, patiently biding his time.

Oliver Queen was never one for a board room, the business side of his existence was a failure really. But this side, this he could handle; even with a rather stinky towel covering his face.

Patient… Patient…

When the last militant comes down the stairs, Queen moves.

Dashing forward, the rebar swung with a fast overhand motion towards the weapon arm of the back soldier followed by the opposite hand of Oliver lashing out towards the figures head. This was done while moving quickly across that back row and attempting to get back into the bare darkness of the basement a bit better.

Got it. Melody was going to hush. Even if she looked pale as hell, but slowly regaining what strength she could. But this was bad. Oliver was going to take down the dudes and eventually he was going to be shot and killed. All for what? It really, really wasn't clear who they were after (to her), but what was clear was that they both were wanted -dead-. There was only one thing to do…

The men in the kitchen check the windows, unlatching the rigs and even unhooking the fridges plug. The other, slams the butt of his rifle into the hose line of the gas stove, then gathers a few aresol (spelling?) cans into a metal bowl, which was soon stuck into the microwave.

'What the fuck are you doing?'
'Making things interesting. When I said I have shit to do, I meant it.'

The three that filter into the basement were ready. But what they weren't ready was for Oliver Queen to fight back. The first one gets a knock to the head which sends him sprawling forward, fingers clutching his noggin as the other uses the rifle to defend. It was loud, the shots that ring out, but Oliver moved so fast that the shots themselves were missed and pelted against the wall close to where Melody had lain. She rolls just a little, her hand upon her stomach and holding it there, soon tossing it aside as she slowly draws to her knees. She crawls slowly, coughing, hand reaching out to rest against a pipe that extends from the floor to drag herself up towards her feet.

And then she watches. Waiting for the perfect time..

Oliver actually feels the scraping by of bullets and catches his breath, nervous. Those were close, too close. He doesn't waste any time. The rebar rods are thrown in quick succession towards the one that fired off the shots. Then Olivers body is flying towards the last with an attempt to tackle him. It is desperate, because that's the situation he is facing.

Even while he's flying, he is calling out. "Get out of here!" The words are meant for Melody, whom he is assuming is capable of moving or getting away somehow. At least he'll leave a beautiful corpse.

Melody springs into action. As best she could. She was still healing and she was stitching up fine, but she moves towards the stairs with a limp and a reach into her back pocket to dig her fingers into the loop, retrieving the kunai from their place which was soon flung upon her fingers and grasped by the hilt. She was slow, putting one foot against the other, looking back towards the fight until a shadow eclipses the light from her exit.

Why, oh why, was she thinking about going out of the front door?

'Oh shit, that bitch is still alive! CHARLES!'

Charles was busy tussling with Oliver, who loses the grip on his rifle as Oliver tackles him to the ground, the metal clacking against the floor and over towards the stairs.


No shit, right? The man immediately arms himself, the rifle raising, firing off shots towards Melody that has her backing up and curling, one foot still upon the stairs, both arms closed against her stomach as she heaves hard enough to eject a goblet of blood.

'She's not going down!'

"Too bad for you, mutherfucker." Everyone knows she had a bad mouth, but the shots kept going, her head twisting just a little to the side as she waits for the break in the pull of his trigger to dash up the stairs. Whatever light came from the hallway that the man obscured was seen for the briefest moment until the door slams shut.

A hard elbow from Ollie, then he's grabbing for the rifle to slam the butt of it into the last guy. Now he's armed; and although he prefers the ol' bow to an assault rifle, it'll do. He moves to start going up the stairs but then studders and falls down. His ankle must have busted up some when he was tossling and he didn't notice until right then.

With a grumble, he picks himself back up and starts to hobble back towards the stairs, the direction Melody had went with the rifle at his shoulder. "Hold on Mel, I'm coming." The words are muttered as much for himself as for her since she couldn't hear them.


It was a scuffle, even as the shots ring out and the sounds of groaning from the three of them were heard as Ollie hits the stairs. Bodies were dropped, that much was clear. But what wasn't clear was the who. But by the time he reaches the top of the stairs, armed to the teeth, the fight was all over. Melody, in the middle of the mainroom floor, bloodied by her own bullet wounds, hair matted against her face, kunai high into the air which was aimed at a downward stroke, stabbing the man clear through the body armor that he wore. The hits sounded sickening, yet she continued to wail on the man even though his lifeless body remained upon the floor, jerking, jumping, foot twitching, it was the most horrible display that even /she/ had taken part of. And Melody had seen some shit.


The first man who was dropped onto the floor by the smack against his head slowly begins to crawl towards the stairs, sidearm drawn and weakly held on to as he reaches the bottom.. the gun slowly raising towards Oliver's back, but he was too dazed.. he couldn't see. So he just.. shoots…


The expression on Oliver's face was… well he was shocked, but not disgusted. He was expecting the situation to look far more reversed than what it was. Although the excessive use of violence should have sickened Queen, it doesn't. The only thing that takes him by surprise in fact is the sound of shots from behind him.

Turning abruptly, Oliver levels the assault rifle at the bottom of the stairs and fires off a trio of rounds with the archer's eye that he has, intending to put down the assailant in as efficient a manner as possible.

Attention sated, he turns to look back at Melody and offers a smile to her, of all things, just a nice genuine smile. "It's ok Melody."

The look would be better if there wasn't a small bit of blood starting to creep from the corner of his lip towards his chin.


The sound of the shots had her stopping almost immediately, twisting her waste ever so harshly as the lost glare forms upon her face, ready to fight and defend.. nothing. Oliver with a gun. Oliver fought. Oliver moved like Taskmaster did once. Oliver aimed the rifle like Deathstroke. Oliver Queen did.. that.

And for a moment, her features crumbled into confusion, the kunai dropped to the floor as she slowly slumps over and off towards the side. The pain was managable, but obviously her lung was punctured and even though the nanites wouldn't let her drown in her own blood, she could still feel it, that and the panic.

"I.. I'm tired.. I'm tired.." She repeats, "..get out. I'm done.. I'm so done.. run.."


Oliver shook his head, the words of Melody coming to him and he again shakes his head. The motion causing the room to spin. "Can't. No running for me." The towel over his features had fallen off long before, he turns some. One of the bullets must have scraped him since he's bleeding from the back of his arm and the tackling must have hurt him more than he's letting on.

"Besides, I'm not leaving without you. So we either walk out of here together, or not at all."


"I hate you.." Melody spits out, slowly rolling onto her side, angry, her feet catching against the floor as she slips in the pool of blood in the conjoined creation. " were my last hope. If.. if I could save you.. I could die happy.. I could leave here knowin.. knowing that I've done something.." She couldn't even finish, the rush of blood thrown up upon the carpet as her back begins to hunch. She couldn't move. She just couldn't. And yet. She could smell it. The smell of gas. Even if she died right here on the floor, Oliver would be left behind. And when the men don't check in? They'd come right here to look for him.

"FUCK!" She shrieks out. All she needed was that one, last push.

Whether it was clear resolve, high pain tolerance, or just a desperate need to keep that hope alive, she rises, taking off at a slow run which soon speeds up in a way that causes the lights within the brownstone to flicker and the microwave to slow and pick up again. That little hiccup in it's time was all that she needed to hook an arm around Oliver's waist in a reckless drag to the door..



Melody crouches, using the power of her legs to jump from the porch, keeping Oliver wrapped in her arms (which looks rather silly, she's practically a midget and bigger than her)..



Windows shatter, the entire block rocks from the shockwave of the blast that comes from her brownstone, pieces of furniture and boxes soon flying out of every egress to little the street, even a piece of mattress that shoots from the opened ceiling and splatting onto the brownstone behind. It was like a cacophony of pressure. Whomever was still alive in that house was definitely not going to make it out.. as intended.

…as for the two?

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