Paging Dr. Wilson

November 10, 2018:

Guy Gardner, infected with a malicious microscopic threat, reaches out to the most professional assistance he can think of in the universe … Deathstroke.

East End, St. Martin's Island, Metropolis

A restaurant rooftop at night.

Characters

NPCs: Despotellis Jr.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

There's a ring from one of the burner phones in one of Slade's safehouses. It's a bit odd in that this burner is still in the package.

"Wilson!" comes a hoarse voice. "This is Guy Gardner. Don't hang up or delete this message - I have no idea how I'm contacting you. Ring's doing all the legwork here.

"Listen," the voice continues, "I'm in need of a contract killer. The target - it's me. Kind of. Got an uninvited guest rootin' around my insides. Really, really not fun.

"Anyway. Ever wanted to get in the cape community's good graces by saying you took down Guy Gardner? Now's your chance. Meet me at the provided coordinates in an hour. I'll be comin' in hot."

What follows is a synthesized voice that offers a set of geospatial coordinates to the rooftop of a restaurant currently under renovation on the east side of St. Martin's Island.

An hour later, a bright ray of emerald light screams down toward said rooftop, which as it fades reveals the hunched over form of Guy Gardner. He groans and then punches himself hard in the temple with his left hand.

"Stop! That!" he growls, his voice nearly gone.

Deathstroke eyes the phone and for a full ring's worth of time, lets his mind crunch the possibilities present. Given how eventful his life is, even he can't quite work out all the possibilities. That said, he does work out a large percentage of them, and before he's torn the package open and answered, he's begun planning the steps of the most likely outcomes.

All those 3 seconds of his life are wasted as he listens to Gardner talk. He blinks.

"Understood." he offers flatly before closeing the phone and snaping it into peices. "Well." he says to no one. "Huh." He stands there for a few moments, trying to let his mind adjust to how insane this is… then he shrugs and heads for the armory. A lantern is calling, which means you don't bring the little shit…. And maybe leave the guns at home.

By the time Gardner beams in, Slade is waiting in the shadows, the sleek ninja like suit he wears causing the shadows to fold in around him comfortingly. He waits as Guy punches himself in the wait, giving the sky, the ground, everything he can, a solid once over, eying it all. This could clearly be a trap after all… … …Nothing. Huh. He steps from the darkness and eyes the Lantern, "Stop hitting yourself." he quips flatly.

The Green Lantern looks up toward the voice, one of his eyes sealed shut by bruising and inflammation.

"Wuzza …?" Guy begins, his head still wobbling a bit from the force of his own punch. "Sluh - Slade?" He swallows a lump in his throat. "Thank … Thank God."

Guy collapses to his knees. "Need your help. I - nghhhh," he groans behind gritted and bloodied teeth, "- I'm in a bad way. Got a microscopic intruder. Assassin. Doin' me in with my own muscles, man."

He turns his head and spits out a phlegmy spoonful of blood.

"Tried to get it myself, but …" Guy sighs deeply. "I'm just not good enough at this sort of thing." He looks up at Slade with his good eye.

"But you, you're a flippin' natural. And I need you to take this thing down." Guy chuckles before he groans at his body's movement. "You don't want some /competitor/ being the thing to take down a future target, do ya?"

Deathstroke eyes Guy for a long moment, assessing things, "This is usually where I'd make a snide remark about how I only take the best contracts, and you're not the other ring wearing fella… but I don't think we have the time required for me to work at hurting your pride. So." he steps the rest of the way into the light, showing the power lance still in his hand as it snakes down to a more reasonable carrying size, "How are you going to pay my fee?" he says, walking over and staring at Guy as if he could see through him and was already planning the coming conflict.

Guy chuckles again, his face showing immediate regret. "Yeah … I figgered the question of payment was gonna come up. I assume you don't take Aldebaraanian gelatinated crystals?"

The Lantern slowly pushes himself to his feet and hugs his stomach. "You ever accept IOUs? Believe me," he adds quickly, "I hate askin' as much as you hate hearin' it. But at the moment, that's all I got. If I had /anything/ here on Earth to leverage, I'd have ponied it up in the call fer help I made."

Guy sighs, his breath wheezing a bit from what might be a broken nose, as he stares at Deathstroke. "So, an IOU is what I offer. And, yeah, that means bein' willing to deal with it whenever it gets cashed in. No expiration date."

Deathstroke stares at Guy, and with the mask in place, it's a cold and emotionless stare that lasts for more seconds then is likely comfortable, "Done." he says, having considered the transaction thuroughly. "You know what happens if you attempt to break this agreement." it's not a question, just a statement of fact. He then walks forward, the lance slidding into it's place on his back next to the sword there.

"Tell me about your friend and what I can only imagine is your idiotic plan to be rid fo it."

"Yeah," Guy mutters quietly before speaking up. "I'll be in at least as bad a spot as I'm in now."

His body suddenly stiffens, and then Guy drops to his knees and cracks his head on the roof surface. "Aghhh," he coughs, rolling himself onto his back and flexing the fingers on his right hand.

"It's a … ahh, you tell him," he says.

The synthesized voice from the burner call speaks up from Guy's ring. «Suspect designate 'Despotellis Jr.' is a virus currently attempting to override Lantern Gardner's muscle groups through stimulus impersonation. This is believed to be a brute-force attack with the goal of accessing and assuming control of his neural system.»

Guy raises a finger. "That."

«It may be possible to remove suspect with the aid of surgical equipment. This ring can guide a skilled agent to suspect location. Lantern Gardner, however, lacks the capacity to exert precise control over the equipment, and this ring will not enable him to inadvertently kill himself in the process.»

Gardner takes a deep, hissing breath. "I'll - I'll use my will to bring the device to life, Slade. You just have to use it." He closes his eyes and clenches his right fist.

From his ring, a large, incredibly sophisticated machine appears, something that might either be a state-of-the-art medical device or an alien's sexual torture apparatus.

Deathstroke waits until the ring is finished before nodding his head, "Can you pin point it's location and give me a visual?" he asks, whether to the ring or the bearer is anyones guess. He then lifts Gardner with a hand and tosses him back against the machine's only flat surface, "While I may possess the required atributes to pull off this surgery, I feel I should point out that my medical training is exclusively battlefield related. So man up, this is gonna hurt."

He then reaches out to check the machines various armatures and attached tools, hrming thoughtfully at something that's more reminicent of a serrated three fingered knife like claw then a medical device. "I like this one."

"Heh," Guy says more than laughs, bloody spittle escaping his lips. "My old man used to tell me … life is pain. So it's gonna hurt. What else is new?"

A large flatscreen monitor swivels toward Slade, a conical laser shooting out from the back of the monitor into Guy's chest. On the screen face is a high-resolution, if green-tinted, real-time MRI display.

Skittering about between muscle masses and bone is a virus that appears to have a small circular logo branded about the center of its body.

Guy sniffs. "It givin' you the finger or anything?"

Deathstroke watches for a time, his eye narrowing, "It's fast." he says, reaching out to adjust a few more things, "Strap down." he says firmly, "Where I'm going to be digging you're not going to want to be making any sudden movements." he pauses, "Unless you're one of those leaguers who can survive with several punctured usually vital organs." he shoots Guy a glance as if to check on that, then looks back to the screen. "Prepare yourself."

His tone is flat, blank, cold. Slade is known for being cold and distant, but the Titans hare reported his being warm, charming even, and others have sworn they've seen him smile. Maybe it's just his idea of professionalism. Either way, having given his warning, he reaches up to grip the controls on the machine and seems to wait, still and silent, not unlike a hunting cat.

When the motion comes, it comes surprisingly slow, the blade of a scalpel opening a two inch incision in Guy's side just between two ribs, just wide enough that two more articulated arms and press in between the puckered skin flaps, pressing through connective tissue and tough cartiledge, digging into Gardner's chest. "A rooftop on St. Matrin's. You'd think with the number of hospitals available in the /world/ you'd have chosen some place more sanitary." he says in the same even measured tone, his focus on the screen and the controls.

A series of thick solid restraints materialize from green light energy over Guy's limbs and stomach as well as across his forehead. "Do it," he mumbles, a green biteguard muffling his words.

He twitches - barely, thanks to the restraints, but still twitches - at the incision, and a low groan reverberates from his throat.

The monitor shows the virus still seemingly unaware of the surgery, zapping at a muscle nearby. Guy chokes for a moment. "Can't … breathe …" he attempts to spit out. "Guh - guh - get that … fuughh …"

Deathstroke sighs behind the mask, "Yeah yeah, cry me a river." he says as the arms, small as they are, begin to dig through more muscle tissue, twice narrowly avoiding larger blood vessels. At first he's… not hessitant, but perhaps a bit clumsy, at least for Deathstroke, but as the seconds pass, he grows increasingly skilled in the use of the machine. His mind equating the motions to more familiar ones, like opperating a fighter jet or one of Luthor or Doom's turret defense systems.

It takes a little bit, longer then is likely comfortable for poor Guy, before the blue eye narrows firmly, "Gotcha." he says, and the arms twist first one way, then another. One, a sort of suction device, and the other a microscopic blade, work in sudden perfect harmony. One cutting a small tear in side tissue causeing blood to 'gush' out slamming into the virus' form, and the second tool kicking on the suction at the same time, 'gulping' down a whole quarter ounce of blood in a single second.

The microscopic figure thrashes about at the sudden attack, its spindly limbs flailing and attempting to contact as many of Guy's nearby muscles and organs as possible.

Gardner's eyes fly open and he begins to shudder beneath the restraints. His vital readings on the monitor go haywire.

When the invading virus is captured, though, Gardner's body begins to settle down, an arm from the medical device placing an oxygen mask over his nose and mouth until he coughs and hacks.

"What … the … hell … was /that/?!" he groans, blood trickling from the corner of his mouth. "You'd better … have taken care of … that thing, given how much that just stung."

Deathstroke reaches out and plucks up a small sample vial with one of the mechanical arms and then reaches over his back for the broad sword that traditionally hangs there, "I gave you a bit of torn connective tissue between the muscle groupings of your left anterior pectoral. /It/ thrashed around in you like an eplileptic breakdancer. I imagine you should blame it." he says as the blade glints in the light, "You want a bandaid or something?" he asks, the blade rotating in a tight circl in his grip as his free hand tugs a pouch open on his belt, tossing Guy a combat preassure wrap for his open wound.

His restraints disappearing, Guy fumbles to apply the wrap to his torso. A deep scowl appears permanently locked on his face, but it might be a side-effect of him beating the hell out of himself.

"This an additional fee?" he asks before sitting up slowly.

"Also," Guy adds, pointing to the vial, "Hope you don't mind givin' that up. I gotta make sure that the Corps can make some sense of it, maybe rig up a vaccine or the like." He raises an eyebrow. "After all, don't remember spoils of the event bein' part of the payment."

Then, it seems like Guy notices the sword out of its sheath. "But, you know, we can talk about it."
Deathstroke eyes Guy and then the vial in his hand, "I thought you wanted rid of it." he says, and from the shift under the mask it's clear he's quirking a brow Guy's direction. Then, he shrugs and tosses it over to the Lantern, "You're the client." Don't drop that one….

He slowly slides the sword back into it's scabbard and turns his full attention to Guy, his arms crossing his chest slowly and his body language taking on a more curious tilt then anything else, "Why?" he asks suddenly, and it's clear he's looking for a solid answer.

A large green baseball mitt appears to gently catch the vial tossed Guy's way.

Still clutching his gut, Guy shuffles to his feet and takes the vial from his construct.

"Why what? Research a vaccine? So this crap don't happen again!" he says with a snort before pausing. "Oh," he says with a sag of his shoulders.

"Why /you/, you mean?" Guy tries to clear his throat and spits out another bit of blood. "I wasn't sure I was gonna survive, and I needed action. I got a lot of … uh, colleagues. Not many friends. Time constraints I was under meant if I couldn't call on a friend, I needed to call on a professional. Someone who would look past hatin' my guts so long as the bill gets paid."

He tries to arch his back but his face spasms in pain and he stops. "As much as I didn't want to … you're the person to call in that situation."

Guy looks back up to the night sky with his good eye. "Now I'll have to make a trip across the universe. But nobody ever said a Gardner didn't pay his debts. So I'll be checkin' in as frequently as I can so I don't snub you on this."

Deathstroke is quiet for a long moment, staring at Guy as if trying to find the lie or manipulation in his words. Finding none… he nods and steps forward, extending a gauntleded hand, "I wouldn't worry about that. When I need my favor, I'll find you." the eye in the mask crinkles slightly, a sure sign that Slade is smiling. Which, somehow, is way more ominous then when he was holding the sword.

"Don't die in a space traffic stop before then. I'd be… cross."

Gardner takes a pair of stoccato steps forward, reaching out to accept Slade's handshake.

"You know, I believe it. And that concerns me far more than a lot of the meanest bastards I've met in the most toxic environments in the galaxy," Guy replies.

Then, he holds up the vial and smiles. "Thanks again fer a job well done. I won't hold it against you if it turns out I got an ex out there who wants to get you on my case at some point in the future. Til next time, though."

Floating up into the air, Guy begins to glow green. "Arrivederci, Wilson." Then, he is rocketed upwards in an emerald burst of light, disappearing up into the stars.

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