Contract Maiming

February 21, 2017:

Deathstroke lures a familiar, if changed foe, into a trap.

Metropolis - Electronics Shop

A small electronics store.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Spoiler Superman

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The problem with supervillains is that they never think things through. Which is funny when you consider so many of them got their start as theives, a professions which requires a great deal of planning in general. Then they got a freeze gun or a flame thrower, a fetish for lasers and reflective surfaces or whatever and all that went out the window in exchange for brute force. Which never works long term. Especially against a speedster. They ignore all laws of physics, all known forces of science, and in exchange they leave every opponent wrong footed, every fight off balance. Deathstroke would know, he's been fighting them for years. Successfully. It's not because he's stronger then their usual foes, or faster, or more powerful, or has laserbeam eyes. It's because he understands the fundimental truth about superspeed. It makes you arrogant.

Why anyone would want high quality lenses from a place called Refracted Reflections (people in Metropolis are just the worst at naming things. Except Gotham. Gotham is always the worst. At everything.) Slade will never understand. A better laser gun? As if ordinary guns weren't useful enough. He's offered free security to the those making the heist, in exchange they have to trigger the alarm, an action that is certain to call one of two heroes. The first is the Big Guy, which in this town is always a concern, and should that be the case Deathstroke will merely melt away into the shadows and leave his bait (the theives) to wriggle on the hook. The second is the Target. This is the only portion of the encounter Deathstroke has no control over, he's making a calculated risk in expecting the name of the location will draw out the Target over the Big Guy.

*

Barry Allen was coming home from work when the alarm went out over the police scanner. He made a turn around a corner into an alley, and a blur of red and yellow comes racing from around the corner. It takes only twenty seconds for the speedster to easily beat the police to the scene, running into the shop and with a blur of motion, the criminals that are serving as the bait du jour are quickly wrapped up and tied for the police.

"Refracted Reflections?" Flash asks as he's finally actually looking at the sign as he glances towards one of the criminals. "Nope, you're not Mirror Master. Who are you working for?" the speedster asks, noticing the bag of money that was broken into.

*

The theif, who still looks somewhat shocked more then anything else, struggles against his bonds for a moment before looking up to see who… and slowly he grins beneath his balaclava, "It es funny." the guy says, his accent vaugely eastern european, "He vas right. Dat es first question you ask." there's a soft snickt sound and the ropes fall off of the theive's wrists as a blade slides up between them, "He also said you vould not search oos for knives during tie up ef we left rope from burglary out for you to find. Said, you vould like symbolism of tying oos up with own rope." The burglar bends double and starts to saw at the bonds on his anckles in no particular hurry. "You are fast. I suggest you run now. Maybe fast enough?"

"No." comes the voice from behind Barry, it's faintly metalic, echoy, as if it were coming through a mask of it's own, "He's not. Nor is he going to run away. They rarely ever do." there is another snikt, a metalic hissing noise that's longer then the last one, the sound of a collapsable staff extending to full length.

*

A trap? Flash blinks as he finds himself within the compact shop. "Well, if you wanted my attention, you could have just asked." the speedster says as he looks behind him, moving quickly to the defense. Though he does take a moment to punch the man that he tied up as he was running by. Because after all, if he can take one of the pieces off the board, maybe he can even up the odds as he turns to face the figure behind him.

"Uh. So. Who are you supposed to be? Steel head? Staff man? Captain Mismatch?" he asks as he starts to back up slightly to take in his surrounding and trying to figure out exactly what advantages he can play with inside the cluttered shop front.

*

Deathstroke tilts his head to the side as he watches Flash move. "You're different." he says right off the bat, the long staff, metalic, slowly sliding through his fingers with an ease that speaks of skill and time. It's not the only weapon the man carries either, there are at least 3 knives on him, a trio of grenades, four pistols and a compact SMG all lashed onto him in different places. And a sword. An honest to god sword. And not one of those little katana numbers that are so popular with the sword set, this is a legitimate English bastard sword. That's old school. You just don't see that anymore.

"You're shorter. Lost weight." a pause, "I'd say fifteen pounds give or take." he seems to be considering something, "You didn't die and pass your mantel onto your protege did you?" he asks curiously, "No. He'd recognize me and know better then to mock. You're someone new. Very new." the man's voice sounds intrigued, interested. "This might be harder then I thought after all." and now excited.

*

Apparently the Convergence hasn't completed for Barry, or he would know exactly how much trouble he's in. "New? Guess you could say that. Maybe your just behind the times." he offers as he studies Deathstroke. Lots of melee weapons. But the grenades. Get in close, risk the blades. Stay far away, risk the grenades.

And of course, there's the robbers turned hostages. Barry can't just leave them here. "Right, so should I just advise you of your rights now, or wait until after I take you down?" he asks. Different Flash, same confidence.

Not knowing how fast Deathstroke can react, Barry hits speed quick and blurs at Deathstroke, looking to catch the veteran mercenary in the middle of his solar plexus in order to knock the breath out of him and bring this fight to an expedited end. Which would be the expected result - if this was anything normal.

*

Deathstroke's eye crinkles at the corner, the only peice of his face that Barry can see. He's smiling. "New Flash," he says and grins wider behind the deathshead mask, "same old mistakes." The blow… doesn't land. It's not that it misses persay, it just doesn't hit where he was supposed to. Solar plexus, center mass, instad Barry's knuckles skitter across a hard plate of metal armor turned to glance the blow to the side rather then stop it fully head on. It was a shift of two inches, a minor twist, but it was made in the same amount of time Flash started and ended the attack. Which is /not/ the sort of thing people do. Ever. Nor do they manage to incorporate an attack into a dodging motion so that no effort is wasted. As Flash's fist skids along the Nth metal armor, the end of the staff is wipping upward from low, opposite from where most people would expect a staff attack to come from, it's end headed for the point of Flash's chin. Fast. Really fast. "Oh yeah. This is gonna be /fun/."

*

Admittedly, Barry was expecting slow and heavy, not ninja mcninja. As his fist skitters across of the plate of the armor, unable to find a purchase, the speedster's eyes widen in shock - and that's when the staff comes up and catches him under the chin. The skin splits under the mask, bruising and cracking the chin and jaw as he's knocked backwards and slides along the floor.

He takes a couple of seconds to recouperate as he starts to move again. There comes no retort this time, it seems that the master assassin made Flash bite his tongue hard enough that he

*

Admittedly, Barry was expecting slow and heavy, not ninja mcninja. As his fist skitters across of the plate of the armor, unable to find a purchase, the speedster's eyes widen in shock - and that's when the staff comes up and catches him under the chin. The skin splits under the mask, bruising and cracking the chin and jaw as he's knocked backwards and slides along the floor.

He takes a couple of seconds to recouperate as he starts to move again. There comes no retort this time, it seems that the master assassin made Flash bite his tongue hard enough that he actually lost the ability to talk for a moment.

Sliding to the side, the speedster tries a different approach. He feints coming in high and tries to go low, attempting to take Deathstroke's legs out from under him in an attempt to get him knocked down to the ground.

*

Deathstroke tracks the motion and seems almost disappointed by it, "Rudimentary." he says, bringing the staff up high in a block to the feint, though the motion also provides him the upward momentum to lift his foot /just/ so, letting Flash pass beneath it by the barest fractions of an inch, his boot heel dragging between Barry's shoulder blades as he passes. "You have super powers, are a founding member of the Justice League, protect an entire city from a rogues gallery so infamous they coined the term." He finishes the oddly graceful twisting leap in a three point stance, which is what the upward thrust of the staff turned into, and lands lightly facing the opposite direction he was, or more accurately facing the Flash. He begins to circle now, slowly, his feet sliding silently over the ground, his hands adjusting their grip on the staff into a new possition. "What? No mockery now? I thought you were going to read me my rights. Here, I'll start." he says as the staff twists slightly in his hand, "You have the right to remain silent." and from the end of the staff, with no warning, a lance of energy erupts, aimed not at Flash's face or chest, but at his feet, at the ground in front of him.

*

The counter to his sweep was entirely unexpected, and Barry finds himself sliding under the boot, the back of it catching his shoulder blades and sending the fastest man tumbling end over end where he collides with the glass case, supplies falling down upon him as the shards rip into his uniform and skin, leaving Barry more than a little worried. And with a rip on the top of his head, Deathstroke will see brunette hair, not the blonde of the Flash he knew.

With the concrete getting blown into a crater, Flash manages to move just enough to drag himself behind the counter before his feet are blown off. Grabbing some of the shards of glass, he moves to a sitting position and his hands blur as he starts to fling the sharp bits towards Deathstroke, attempting to push him back, and hoping to put enough speed behind it to puncture his armor. He murphs something, blood from the corner of his mouth. Remaining silent? Just give him a moment!

*

Deathstroke takes note of the hair color change and moves to follow before stopping and twisting to the side. It took him just a moment to realize what he'd seen Flash do, but he did realize it. The missles hiss through the air like shiruken, shattering on impact with the walls behind Slade. He ends his twisting dodge on one knee, and looks down to his arm where a shard of glass is sticking out of the meat of his bicep.

Two more are sunk into the armor at his shoulders, though neither quite punched through. He reaches up with a hand and pulls four and a half inches of glass from his upper arm and tosses it away with a flick of his fingers, "Semi-lethal counter." he says, something like approval in his tone, "You /aren't/ the other guy are you?" he stands and seems to ignore the wound even as blood bubbles from the links of armor there and a small trickle runs through the scaled grooves. "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." he continues undettered as something metalic bounces off of the wall behind the counter and ricochets towards Barry. It's round. Greenish. Looks a whole lot like the sort of thing that explodes when you pull a pin from it.

*

"No idea who you're talking about!" Flash manages as blood bubbles and baubles to trickle down the side of his mouth. He's hurting pretty good so far. And now Deathstroke just had to go and add the happy fun grenade to the mix. Other Flash? He may know that there's only a few seconds to respond and rush the grenade to try to throw it out of the store.

Barry's eyes flash as he realizes - that's exactly what Deathstroke wants the speedster to do - either to expose his back, or because the fuse on that grenade is much faster than expected.

Rotating his arm out quickly, Barry creates a small windstorm to blow the grenade behind the counter where it explodes, but the concussive blast is enough to throw Barry into the air and slamming into the wall on the other side of the store, falling behind the cash resgister. For the first time, Barry starts to realize that he may be out of his league on this one.

*

Deathstroke is moving before the grenade is, sliding down behind a concrete post and using it for cover as the room is rocked by the blast. He's up almost as soon as the wave has passed him and the staff swings in a tight arc, a glowing lance of stunning energy cutting through the room and the smoke, setting sparks off of every metalic surface it touches, like the worlds longest lightsaber. "I know who you are Flash, or rather, I knew. I know who most of your kind are, I have for years. But I respect the brand, the mask, because I am a professional." there's pride in that statement, "Which is why I don't use your names, attack you in your homes. There are rules."

A table from inside the room comes huteling end over end over the cash register counter, a large bit of debris that will make speedy manuvering impossible in the tight confines if he's still there when it lands, a special delivery via Deathstroke's foot. "The truth of the matter is that I even respect the choices you make, to put on the costumes and the masks. The call to serve generally falls on deaf ears these days. Still, a contract is a contract and as I said," there's the sound of something metalic clinking along the floor, as if he were brushing glass and shrapnel off of his armor or something, "I'm a professional."

*

"Like repeating youself, don't you." Flash says, catching the double talk about how much of a professional he is. Pushing himself to his feet, the smoke gives him a momentary advantage that he planned to use fully. That is before his foot sinks into that first metal spike, shredding the armor and thick sole of his foot and cutting the skin beneath. There's several of these as he was running towards Deathstroke, but his feet totally get shredded and he's falling and sliding, more of the caltrops cutting into his body as he screams out in pain, the suit and man both cut to ribbons by the metal.

But he tries to push himself up again. He's not giving up. Not yet. Even as Deathstroke is looming nearer and nearer. The speedster's blue eyes widen and then narrow as he spits on the ground. "What, not going to tell me about the attorneys, or is that a professional courtesy?"

*

Deathstroke seems to take his time walking over, but he does do just that, the bearing of someone who knows he's won broadcast across his bodylanguage, "You can only play the joke for so long before things get redundant." he says flatly as he looms over Barry. "Fast thinking with the grenade, good move. The other guy woulda made the snag and throw, or tried to outrun the blast wave." and probably make it despite that being impossible. Slade hates speedsters.

He reaches out with the end of the staff cautiously, trying to tap Flash's foot with it, knowing the end is loaded with a stunning charge. He doesn't get cocky or underestimate the speedster like other idiot villains do when they get the upper hand.

*

The staff traps Flash's foot and the electricity rushes through him. The speedster screams in pain as the charge rushes him. Deathstroke's right. He does know everything about the previous Flash. This Flash is a wildcard. And he thinks way outside of the box. This isn't his first tangle with electrcity up close and personal and as it races through him, the speedster embraces it.

It tears through his frame like static, clinging to him, before he slams his hand against the staff that Deathstroke is holding and unleashes the whole wave that he built up along with the electrical charge that Deathstroke fed him to cause it to doubleback, overfeed and explode it outright between them.

And give Deathstroke a whole new reason to hate speedsters.

*

Deathstroke rocks back as the staff cracks open like an over heated back of microwave popcorn, it's center flowering and bending the stick in half in a flash of light and power. The man carries an energy weapon into battle, of course there are saftey failsafes should it overheat or explode, designed methods for it to be directional and controlled instead of just a bomb. Still, it's bright and loud and causes Slade's arm to tingle and his hand to go numb. He falls back a pair of steps, a growl of annoyance on his lips turning into something like a grunt of acceptance.

He rights himself and reaches down to yank a twisted bit of metal from his thigh, apparently the safeties aren't perfect, and flicks it away into the shop irritably. "Ow." he says flatly, turning to face Barry. His foot lashes out in a vicious sweeping kick. It's /fast/, not speedster fast, it's not super speed, it's more like instant acceleration. The man moves perfectly, as though there was no lag time between thought and action as if everything about him worked in perfect harmony.

*

The fight is pretty beaten out of Flash. Even as his body is trying to rapidly repair the damage done to him by Deathstroke's attack, there's no way that the two of them are going to balance off with Deathstroke just continuing to come at him. Starting to backpedal away from the assassin, the speedster looks at him. "Such a professional, who hired you?" he asks as he manages to just barely avoid the sweep as the foot grazes his chest and he's knocked against the wall that seperates the sales area from the supply area and he slumps.

His hand drops to his side, fingers moving over his phone, praying that it was shockproof enough to hold up to the electrical blast as he sends a single text message.

*

Deathstroke stares at Flash for a fraction of a second, but for men like them it's a significant pause, time where minds that move faster then science should allow, take in details and pass information that others take seconds to go through. A small nod, very small, approval. "A professional doesn't tell. The contract isn't a kill order, lucky you. But if you're anything like your predesessor, the cuts and bruises you've sustained will only take you out of action for a day or two. Unacceptable."

He stands for a moment before Barry, dwarfing the other man in size, "So you can't scream to much." he says, though why he says it isn't clear, "So the pain will be bearable." again no reason for that but it's a bit unnerving, "And so your friend can find you." Then the big man is in motion. The Flash is fast enough to watch it all happen while most would only see a blur. He can see the stiffened fingers covered in their armored ends dig up beneath his ribs, spasming his solar plexus so that breathing isn't an option. He can watch as that motion is carried forward with the same momentum so that his knee drives upward and in, against the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve cluster, deadening the Flash's entire leg to thuroughly it crumbles beneath him. Before the breath wooshes from his lungs, before he can feel the deadness of the nerve strike spread, there's a loud echoing snapping noise as Barry's thigh grow a second knee, a bulge forming to the side of his leg, driven there by the hammer fist Deathstroke slammed into the side of his leg.

He was right. Barry can't scream because he has no breath in his lungs at the moment. The pain, while excruciating, doesn't knock him out because the nerves to that portion of the leg are numbed. And as he settles on the floor a small airhorn, like the kind you might buy at a dollar store, drops next to his hand. "So they don't waste time looking for you." he explains flatly. He stares down at the Flash and takes a step back, apparently satisfied with his work, "You shouldn't be out of comission for more then a week or two with that, it's a clean break, no tendon or muscle damage. Bit of advice? Take the full two weeks." and he's backing away from the hero slowly, keeping him firmly in his sights just in case.

*

Barry can't get his wits around him fast enough to call for a teleport or even to phase. Snagged by the assassin, he screams for only a moment before the work begins on breaking his insides and legs. Barry fights, oh how he tries to fight, Deathstroke able to easily shrug off the punches and such before he's dropped to the ground, his hands clutching the ground, trying to continue the fight, but it's clear all Deathstroke has to do is wall away as his breath ktchs in his heavily damaged chest, falling face first in the dirt.

One of the robbers, coming back conscious, is pulling out his knife. "No kill? He's the Flash! We can take out one of the originals!" he says, as he starts towards the scarlet speedster, intent on finishing him off because Deathstroke don't have the stones to do it.

*

Deathstroke really is fast. Which is how the barrel of a .45 1911 is in the man's mouth between his teeth before he finishes the word 'originals', making the second syllable of it garbled and muffled. Then there's the sound of a hammer being drawn back purposefully. Slade turns to eye the thief, "We?" he says, the word carrying more weight to it then any word that small should. "Respect your betters." he uses the gun in the man's mouth to steer him so that he's standing directly in front of Slade, which is a very good way to realize the extent to which you're outclassed.

"I told you if you played your part I would protect you from the Flash, gaurentee your escape. So escape. Otherwise you will need to find someone to protect you from me." He pushes on the gun, which forces the man to start walking backward or start swallowing. He chooses to walk, "Go. Take your friends and your loot. And hurry. He called for help before I dropped him, I'd guess you've got less then two minutes."

*

The man knows when he's bettered. Dropping the knife, he nods numbly his agreement before he's moving to grab the cash he dropped earlier, the small crew running out of the door with their ill-gotten gains to escape into the night. In the darkness, the first sounds and lights of distant sirens sound out. The crew may not get too far, but Deathstroke still has plenty of time to make his own escape.

As for Barry? The pain was overwhelming enough that he's in a bit of shock. His body is working furiously to repair the damage, but it's going to be a good long wait.

*

Deathstroke turns to glance over his shoulder at the speedster, "Don't let it heal." he says, his words sounding as if they were from experience, "Or they'll have to break it again to repair it. It's worse the second time." and then he's gone. Just… gone. Vanishing into the shadows in that way Batman does, between blinks or flashes of random light. There. Then not. Leaving Barry alone in his agony with nothing but questions and pain.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License