The second Suicide Squad story concludes! Bang and Blame is over and the Squad begins to pick up the pieces. Rick Flagg looks into his past for clues.Oracle returns. Someone breaks into Belle Reve. Who it is might shock you!
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Rick Flagg is dead, the mysterious woman known as Dolphin claims to have been a witness to this event. Last week Nemesis was ordered by Sarge Steel to pick up Dolphin and bring her back with him to Belle Reve. Dolphin had been missing for several months but wouldn’t speak to anyone about where she was or why she disappeared. Steel had a hunch that she might talk to Rick Flagg. The two of them spent a couple of months together in a group called the Forgotten Heroes before Flagg moved on to the Suicide Squad. During that time they had grown close to each other.
It was just before the Squad went on their mission to Qurac that Dolphin and Flagg were reunited after ten months. When Flagg returned from the mission, Dolphin revealed that she saw Rick die. She couldn’t remember anything else that had occurred over the last ten months. The next thing she remembered was Sarge Steel’s men found her wandering around the Florida Keys.
It was obvious that Dolphin was still distressed, even after several days. Rick could see it in her eyes. Something had happened to her. Why else would she believe she saw him die? Rick knew he had to do something. He thought of contacting Steel but after what went down in Qurac and Washington, he didn’t trust him to provide much help. No, the only way to get to the bottom of this was to contact the only other member of the Forgotten Heroes he trusted, Buddy Baker, known to the rest of the world as Animal Man. But to do that he was going to have to revisit a part of his past he thought he had left behind for good.
One year ago
“Do you know why we called you in here today, Colonel Flagg?”
“No, sir, I do not.” Flagg replied.
He had been off duty for three weeks when he got a call to drive out to Maryland for a meeting at a law firm at this address. Do not ask any questions and tell no one where you are going. He was ordered by his superiors to tell them everything they wanted to know.
He now found himself seated across from two men he quickly assessed were government spooks the moment he walked into the room.
“Four months ago you were on a mission in Cambodia to liberate the daughter of a foreign prisoner who was extradited to the United States. Do you recall this?” The first man asked.
“Yes I do, sir.” Flagg replied.
“Do you recall as well, what you reported had occurred during your attempt to flee the country with the girl?”
“Yes. Everything was in the report I made when I ”
“We want you to tell us the details that didn’t make it into the report.” The second man said interrupting Flagg. “Tell us about the pyramid.”
With that, Rick Flagg told them everything. He was sent to pick up the daughter of a drug dealer who was willing to spill his guts about one of the largest drug trafficking operations in Cambodia. The man was going to spend the rest of his life in an American jail if he didn’t cooperate with the government. He was willing to give up names and shipping routes on one condition; he wanted his daughter given safe passage out of the Cambodia and brought to America. It was Flagg’s job to sneak in and rescue the girl who was being held against her will by the people who didn’t want her father breathing a word about their trafficking operations.
Getting in was easy. Getting the girl out was the hard part. They were three miles away from the rendezvous point. Neck deep in the jungle with over twenty hired mercenaries on their tail, it seemed like a lost cause. The sun was beginning to rise and once it was light out, they would surely be spotted before they could get to the pick-up location. It was then that the girl told him about a place they could go where no one would find them. She led them through the thick jungle until they came to a clearing. It was then that Rick saw a temple that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. It was at that point in Rick’s story, that one of the men slides a photo across the table at him.
“Did it look like this?” He asked.
“This appears to be somewhere other then in Cambodia, but otherwise it is exactly the same. What’s going on?” Rick asked realizing these men were looking for answers and not willing to give them.
“So you stayed in the temple and got the girl out the next day?”
“Yes. But what does this have to do ”
Rick was interrupted again, “That will be all for now Colonel Flagg.”
Rick sat there for a few moments, and then he got up and left.
A few days later he was being briefed on his new assignment. They told him that someone was attempting to round up anyone who’s encountered one of these temples. His assignment was to infiltrate the group. His cover story would involve him being discharged from the military. He would wait and see if they made contact with him.
Rick Flagg had just accepted the assignment that would eventually lead to his death.
Belle Reve, maximum-security prison, Florence, Colorado
The office of Amanda Waller:
Amanda Waller was a woman who insisted on being in control of every situation she was involved in. It was her determination and design that led to the formation of the Suicide Squad. But the Squad was a sham. Waller had unknowingly allowed Wade Eiling to use the squad to further the agenda of a criminal organization known as the Council. She was willing to acknowledge the fact that this occurred under he watch. She wasn’t going to apologize for what happened nor was she willing to roll over and play dead. Amanda had seen to it that Wade Eiling was locked up and the proverbial key was thrown away.
President Lord would not sit still for long knowing that the Council had influence over a high-ranking government official. She knew that it was only a matter of time before he ordered Sarge Steel to send someone here to put the squeeze on Eiling. He would want to know if there are others like Eiling who are involved with the Council. But Amanda knew that Eiling was not going to give up the Council so easily. Maybe some time in a solitary confinement cell will soften him up after he realized that the Council has cut him loose.
In the meantime, Amanda has other issues to deal with. Someone had infiltrated the computer network at Belle Reve. Someone claiming to be an ally, tipped her off about a leak in the Squad. It was this ‘Oracle’ that led her to discover that outside forces were responsible for sabotaging two squad missions. The obvious suspect at the time was Eiling. He was working with the Council and using the Squad and her all along. But protecting Marlo seemed to be in the Councils best interests. Why interfere with the squads mission to track down and stop his assassin? Marlo still ended up dead when it was all said and done.
Waller questioned Flagg as to why he killed Marlo before they left Qurac. She knew he wasn’t responsible for pulling the trigger himself, but he was unwilling to sell out Eve Eden, even though it cost him his position as missions’ leader. Amanda concluded that Eden killed Marlo because of what happened to her one time lover, Captain Atom. Marlo ended up being nothing more than an inconsequential victim to a crime of passion and Flagg an unknowing accomplice.
“So if it wasn’t Eiling, the Council, Flagg, or Eden, who the hell else is playing in my Goddamned sandbox without me knowing?” Amanda said out loud before picking up the phone and dialing a number.
“This is Economos.” The warden at Belle Reve said.
“John. It’s Amanda. I want Bernard Bonner sitting in the non-contact visiting quarters in one hour. It’s time to draw Oracle out in the open.”
June Moone had never felt more alone or frightened in her entire life. She cries herself to sleep at night and wakes up screaming. In her waking hours she ponders why she is afflicted with a monster inside of her? She could hear Enchantress laughing inside, taunting her to let go. What reason does she have to hold on? She feels like letting go, giving in to the witch inside her. Every time the Enchantress is unleashed, she becomes that much stronger. Appearing more violent and malicious. While June becomes weaker and more scared.
June clinched the pillow that she held over her face. She wanted to stop crying but she couldn’t. She tried to picture Mitch’s face. He would want her to be strong. He told her that he had faith in her. That she would get control. He was the only one that believed in her, and now he’s gone.
June never imagined it would happen so quickly. She thought she had more time to prepare. There is a reason to hold on just a little bit longer. It was just before her and the Squad went off to Qurac. She didn’t understand at the time why he was appearing to her like a phantom that wasn’t really there. But he was there, and he had a message for her:
‘I don’t have time to explain. It took a lot of energy to find you at the right time, before everything went wrong. So you have to listen to me closely. There is a crisis coming. I didn’t return in time, but you can stop him from destroying everything. Find Amazing Grace.’
“I won’t let you down Mitch. I will stay strong and when the time comes, I will do whatever it takes to stop the crisis. You have faith in me. I know you will return. Hurry back to me Mitch. Hurry back because I don’t know how much longer I can hold her back .”
Vixen lay sleeping in one of recovery room beds in the med center at Belle Reve. The doctors said that she is making good progress and is healing nicely from her wounds. It is unknown if the Tatu Totem was helping her heal, but Ben Turner had made sure it stayed around her neck. He hadn’t left her side since she returned.
“This shouldn’t have happened to you, Mari.” Ben whispered as he sat at the side of Vixen’s bed. ” I should have been there with you, not Shaw. Waller was wrong to let you go off to France. It was too dangerous.”
Ben wiped away the tears that were forming in his eyes. “I don’t know what I would do if I ever lost you. Flagg is gone and I am now field commander. I need you by my side. I need you there to make sure I do the right thing. I just need you ”
“Is she awake yet?” Mark Shaw whispered, standing in the doorway.
“No. She was awake for a few minutes but that was a couple of hours ago.” Ben said while keeping his eyes on Vixen.
“Well, let me know if she wakes up again and is strong enough to talk ok?” Shaw replied.
“Don’t you think you’ve done enough?” Ben snapped as walked over and faced Shaw.
“Slow down! I just want to thank Mari. I owe her my life.” Shaw said taking half a step back from Turner.
“She is owed a little bit more than your miserable life!” Ben yelled. “That should be you lying there, not her!”
“You don’t think I wish that was the case?”
“You were the ops leader! She shouldn’t have been in that situation to begin with! You should have protected her!” Ben cried out.
“Protected her? I think you have her confused with someone else. She is more than ”
Shaw paused. “This conversation is finished. I will come by later when Mari is awake, and alone.”
“She won’t ever be alone.” Ben muttered under his breath as Shaw walked away.
George Harkness reached over and snatched his pill bottle off the table. He opened it and quickly popped two pills in his mouth. He then tossed the bottle back onto the table. The doctor told him that he should make a full recovery from the gunshot wound he received last week. The wound was caused when Deadshot put a bullet in his thigh. The bloke just couldn’t take a joke could he? Well the joke is on them. He wasn’t afraid of Floyd Lawton. He wasn’t afraid of anyone. A psycho with guns wouldn’t bully him. Not an unsophisticated brute like Deadshot. But mama Harkness didn’t raise a fool either. Boomerang knew he had to be patient. Wait for the right opportunity. Then, once he had his way with Deadshot, only then would he make a full recovery.
Boomerang lay back in his bed and smiled. He was lost in the thought of sweet revenge when there was a knock on his door. He looked over as a folded piece of paper was slid underneath the door of his room. He struggled as he got up and went over toward where the paper lay.
“Bloody hell! Couldn’t you hand it to me! I am on the mend you know!” Boomerang yelled at the closed door and grimaced as he reached down to pick up the paper. He unfolded it and read the note:
I believe a man of your talents deserves more respect. I think our combined efforts could really shake this place up a bit. I know a way for you to get back at Deadshot and take down the entire Suicide Squad in the process. Interested?
Speak to no one of this. We will be in contact soon.
Boomerang smiled as he pointed his hand in the shape of a gun at the door. “Bang-bang! Your dead, Deadshot!”
“Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It’s been too long since my last confession”
Eve said as she sat down next to Father Richard Creamer in the back pew of the small chapel.
He looked over at her and smiled. “Eve, I am not catholic nor a priest.”
“Well this is a house of God isn’t it?” she said looking around the small chapel. “Even if we are in a prison.”
“That it is. And you’d be surprised how many hunger to hear the word of God, even in this prison. Though, you may also be surprised at how many excuses I hear as to why they miss Sunday Service. They always seem to have other commitments.” That got a slight giggle out of Eve as she slid closer to Father Cramer. He reached over and put his arm around her. She laid her head on his shoulder. They quietly sat there for a few minutes before either of them spoke again.
“Can I ask you a question Eve?”
“Why are you still hiding your beautiful blond hair under that black wig?”
“I am having a bad hair week Father. A bad week, period.”
“I heard what happened on the mission. Things didn’t go as intended did it?”
“They never do.” Eve sighed.
“Anything you want to talk about then?”
“What do you want to know Father?” Eve said sitting back up. “The mission was a disaster. I lost someone I cared about dearly. Another person I foolishly cared about ran off with a white haired chick. Oh yeah, I also killed a man.”
“You only did what you had to for the mission.” Father Creamer replied, not knowing what else to say.
“It had nothing to do with the mission. I killed Marlo because of what he did to Nate. I nearly ruined the mission.”
“Eve you are asked to do things on a daily basis that would send the average person running in the opposite direction. You can’t punish yourself.”
“I am not punishing myself. I think God is punishing me enough.”
“God has better things to do then punish his children. Open your eyes and you will see his forgiveness is waiting for you to receive it.”
“What if it too late Father? What if when I open my eyes and discover God has abandoned me like everyone in my life?” Eve began to cry as Father Creamer noticed the shadows in the chapel closing in around them.
“It’s never too late to pray Eve. It’s never too late.”
Nemesis sat in the visitation center at Belle Reve and waited. He was taking an enormous risk with what he was planning. But he believed the benefits outweighed those risks. But more importantly he felt that both President Lord and Waller were wrong in letting Eiling rot in a jail cell. He would see to that that his brother’s killers were brought to justice and Eiling got what he deserved in the process.
After a few minutes Wade Eiling was brought into the room and sat down across from Nemesis.
“Come here to gloat Tresser?”
Tom waited to speak until after the guards left the room. “You are not allowed to use my family name, ever!” he said glaring at Eiling.
“You can’t possibly blame me for what happened to your brother.”
“We both know exactly who is to blame so let’s stop this right here and now and get down to business.”
“What kind of business do we have? Waller knows I will not talk. So if she sent you down here to give me the bad cop routine, you can forget it.” Eiling said with a smug look on his face.
“Waller isn’t part of this. In fact, no one other than a select few know we are meeting right now. I am here to offer you a deal. Give me the name of my brothers’ killer. Give me the leader of the Council.”
“What do you possibly have that would even make me consider such an offer?”
“Because I can offer you something you don’t have…freedom.”
Belle Reve is touted as the most secure prison ever built. The dark figure who lurked outside of the thirty-seven acre facility was about to put that to the test. It was three a.m. and it took him twenty minutes to move past the three outer perimeters. He waited in the shadows before he was certain he hadn’t been detected. While he waited he scanned the designs to the facility he had uploaded into his mask. With one click of a button a 3-D map appeared before his eyes. Another click and it was gone. He determined which holding center he needed and headed to the nearest service entrance.
He was inside and moving toward the inner corridor. He paused and allowed himself a brief smile before moving on. There was one major flaw with Belle Reve that he has easily been able to exploit. Prisons are built to keep people in, not out. Everyone is looking in the wrong direction. The man stopped when he found the cell he was looking for. He was certain that the security cameras would pick him up once he opened the cell door, but it would be too late by then. He pulled out a small device and punched in a seven-digit number. The doors are controlled electronically and by remote control. Within seconds, the device had bypassed the system and the door in front of him opened. He promptly stepped inside. The woman inside quickly jumped out of her bed. The cell was dimly lit, but between the shadows she was able to recognize the figure that stood before her.
“I have come for you, Nocturna.” He said to her as he removed the cowl from his head.
“You’d think after all this time you would call me Natalia.” She said as she pressed her body against his. He leaned down and felt her breath on his lips.
“My love, my Batman.” She said before kissing him.
Daniel Murphy couldn’t believe his own eyes as he watched the live video feed from the security center at Belle Reve.
“Should we sound the alarm and go on lock down?” A nervous John Economos asked standing next to him. “Should we call the Wall?”
“No! If that’s who I think it is, we’ll have bigger problems if we do that. Get a hold of Ben Turner and Deadshot from missions and then get a group assembled on the rooftops and in the towers and keep it quiet. There is only one way out from where they are at and that’s in the courtyard. That’s where we take them down.”
“It’s the freaking Batman!” Economos responded. “The Wall is going to flip out!”
“John, you’re the warden here but I am head of security. We take down the Bat and Waller can flip out all she wants later, ok?”
Batman and Nocturna had swiftly moved through the prison and emerged outside. He knew they were already aware of his presence here but it mattered very little to him. He had planned for this. They would expect him to come out this way and head across the courtyard toward the fence line. But they weren’t going out the same way he had come in. No, now that they were outside, all they needed was a few more moments for the device to calibrate and they would be gone in the blink of an eye. He was lost in that thought when the courtyard instantly lit up from the spotlights above.
“This could be interesting.” Batman hissed before leaning over to kiss Nocturna on the cheek.
San Diego, California
Rick Flagg drove all night and most of the day that followed. Dolphin sat in near silence for most of the trip to California. They were now nearing the home of Buddy Baker, also known as Animal Man. Buddy, along with Rick Flagg, Dolphin, Cave Carson, Dane Dorrance, and Congo Bill, made up the membership of the group known as the Forgotten Heroes. Rick spent a little over two months with the group and secretly reported their activities to the federal government the entire time.
One year ago:
Rick sat on a private airplane heading across the country to California. The man seated across from him was his government handler for his current assignment, which was to infiltrate a group of people who had all come in contact with pyramids similar to the one Flagg had come across recently on a mission to Cambodia. He sat and listened as the man briefed him on the individuals involved with the assignment.
“Calvin Carson, nicknamed Cave because of his extensive cave explorations here and abroad. Dane Dorrance, a member of a group called the Sea Devils. They are mostly involved with research and environmental work. Congo Bill, his real name is unknown. He spent many years as a big game hunter before returning to the United States. We are still looking into his background. Buddy Baker, the self-named ‘Animal Man’. He has demonstrated the ability to mimic animal like powers. His abilities and the origin of his powers are unknown at this time. Finally there is a young woman whom we are presently unable to identify. It has been documented that she can spend prolonged periods of time underwater and can possibly communicate with some forms of marine life.”
“It seems like your people haven’t really done their homework on this have they?” Rick said surprising himself with how brash he was acting.
“Your job is to fill in the blanks for us, Colonel. Every one of these people has stumbled across locations similar to the one you found in Cambodia. Locations that each contained temples like the one you described. Temples that no one has been able to locate since.”
“No one has been able to locate any of them? Not even the one I found in Cambodia?”
“No. It’s as if the six of you imagined these golden pyramids. You are going to find out why.” The man said to Flagg.
” Why are these temples so important to the U.S. government?” Rick asked.
“This entire situation is bothering the top brass. They need to be able to have answers when asked of them.”
” And who does the ‘top brass’ answer to?” Flagg inquired.
“The people who never rest until they know everything that’s going on in the world.”
He stood there poised. They were closing in around him but he would not fall back. His weight was slightly shifted forward. He was ready for them. He was ready for anything.
“Let her go Bat-man. Neither of you are leaving here tonight.” Ben Turner yelled from across the secured courtyard.
He looked over at the Bronze Tiger. Did he know? How could he? He was Batman.
” I will say this for the last time. Stand down.” Bronze Tiger ordered as he moved closer toward the two dark figures. “There are over five trained snipers on the rooftops above us waiting for the word to shoot you both dead. The Batman I know wouldn’t allow for the situation to come down to that.”
He allowed himself to smile for the second time this evening, as he was certain he sensed fear in Bronze Tigers voice. Fear is Batman’s greatest weapon. Bronze Tiger was moving closer to where they stood. Natalia continued to clinch tightly onto his arm obviously uncomfortable with the bright lights that targeted them from above. The filter in his mask allowed him to see clearly. He was aware of every position the gunmen above held. He also spotted Deadshot off in the shadows. He was ready for them all. This was his element. He was a stalker of the night.
“Hold on to this and step aside.” He said handing a small handheld device to Nocturna. “This will all be over with momentarily and then we will be gone.”
The Bronze Tiger was a few feet away when Batman lunged toward him. His kick caught the Tigers chin and snapped his head back. Ben was on the ground and Batman was on top of him in an instant. Ben put both of his feet against Batman’s chest as he attempted to force himself back up. Batman struck a blow to his ribcage that forced Ben to gasp for air. He forced himself to roll over to avoid being pinned down. His left leg shot out with a blow that caught Batman’s temple. Batman was on all fours when Ben attempted another shot. This time, Batman caught his ankle and twisted it forcing Ben on his back again.
“You are not who you appear to be.” Bronze Tiger uttered as Batman prepared to pounce on him.
Ben quickly rolled out of harm’s way and staggered to his feet. It was a move that had caught Batman off guard leaving him vulnerable for a brief moment. Ben quickly took advantage of the situation. Another well placed blow to the temple and Batman was nearly down.
“Natalia my love.” He managed to utter before falling face first onto the ground.
Ben looked over toward the shadows against the building where Nocturna had moved to just moments ago. She was gone.
“Find the woman!” he yelled out as he leaned down toward the fallen Batman and turned him over onto his back.
“She’s not here!” Someone yelled back from the watchtower above.
“She has to be here! She…” Ben stopped himself. The device she was handed before the fight started; in all the commotion it somehow must have allowed her to escape.
“Send out a team to search the outer perimeter for her. Also get this guy out of this suit and in a holding cell now!” Ben hollered out before looking back down at the fallen dark knight, ” I hope she was worth it pal because you are not going anywhere now.”
Earlier that evening
Nemesis sat across from Wade Eiling in the visitation center at Belle Reve. In Tom Tressers eyes, there might as well be an invisible chessboard between the two men instead of three inches of bulletproof glass. The game had just begun and Nemesis had just put his first piece into play.
“Interesting.” Eiling mumbled. “You are offering me freedom if I give you a name.”
“Not just a name. I want the name of the person called ‘The Head’. I want the leader of the Council.”
Eiling sat there staring at Nemesis for nearly a minute before he spoke again. “Assuming I know the name of the person you are seeking, what kind of freedom do you think I would have if I gave it to you?”
“You would be placed in protected custody and ”
“Stop. Just stop right there. I know why you’re here. I also know if there was any real deal on the table we would not be meeting like this. You are acting on your own in hopes of what? You think a few nights in an eight-by-ten cell is going to make me roll over and play dead? I was in Vietnam for Christ’s sake.”
“You are an old man Eiling. You no longer exist in the outside world. Do you really want to spend your last twenty plus years rotting away in a prison cell?” Nemesis asked.
“So I just give you a name and all of this goes away?” Eiling said raising his hands and extending out his arms. “If you expect me to believe that you are a bigger fool then you have already demonstrated.”
“Well, when you are ready to reconsider ” Tom let the statement hang there as he pushed his chair back and stood up.
“So that’s you entire play? Eiling said chuckling. “Sit back down boy.”
“You know the offer. It’s the only one you are going to get from me or anyone else for that matter.” Nemesis said as he stood there staring down at Eiling.
“What if I was to offer you something?” Eiling asked as Tom slowly sat back down.
“You have one minute. Do not waste my time.”
Eiling smiled at him. “You are a man who claims he is out to balance the scales of justice. But in truth you are a desperate man only looking for revenge against an invisible organization because you lost your big brother.”
“I swear to God ” Nemesis growled as he placed his fist on the glass that separated the two men.
“The reality is the Council is already gone back into hiding, just like they did the last time when you and that freak show from Gotham got close, remember? The truth is, not even I could find them if I was to look. So if you truly seek justice you need to look elsewhere. You can start with Qurac and who wanted Sayid Marlo dead.”
“You and the Council manipulated that entire situation.”
“But killing Marlo was never the plan. Your people managed to screw that up royally. He was much more valuable alive. Besides he was untouchable.”
“Untouchable how?” Nemesis asked.
“Ever hear of the Ten?” Eiling asked. “They are the ten most powerful leaders in the world. They have been the guiding force behind every world event for over forty years. They are also untouchable. The significance of which means no one could kill them.
“And Marlo was supposedly one of these Ten?”
“He was the newest elected member and someone was planning to kill him.”
“So that was the reason you sent the Squad to Algeria in the first place. You knew Marlo was the target all along? Why tell me this now when Marlo is already dead.”
“You are missing the point. There is someone out there who is willing to take on the Ten by breaking their number one rule. That means there is someone who thinks they can start world war three and win.”
“Times up General.” Nemesis nodded and two guards entered the area where Eiling was seated.
“You’re a fool Tresser if you do not take what I have told you in earnest!” Eiling yelled as he was taken away. “You will be back and then we will discuss my deal!”
Tom Tresser stood up and exited the room. He began to walk down the hallway when a voice called out behind him. He turned around to see Amanda Waller standing there.
“Did you get what you needed?” He asked her.
“Not sure. But he did confirm my suspicions that he knew Marlo was targeted for death.” She said walking up to him.
“You think the rest was nonsense?” He asked her.
“What? That Marlo was involved with a group more powerful then the Council? That could be Eilings way of trying to cut a deal and avoid retribution from his Council buddies. Either way we are through for now. Let him cool off some more before we talk to him again. I will call you when I need you.”
“About that.” Nemesis said, “I quit.”
Amanda looked up at Tresser. “So that’s it? Off to chase the phantom Council again? Eiling is right about one thing. You aren’t out for anything more then petty revenge.”
“What kind of demons are you trying to bury here, Amanda? Because whatever they are I think you are going to need a bigger shovel.” Nemesis stated before walking away.
When Rick and Dolphins car pulled up and stopped in the driveway, Buddy Baker was standing on the front porch.
“They told me you were coming.” He said point up to the birds in the sky as he walked over toward them.
“Sorry to drop in unannounced.” Rick said casually, as he stepped out of the car.
“No you are not.” Buddy said, smiling at Dolphin as he walked over and embraced her. ” I am wondering what brings you both here though, considering what happened the last time we were all together.”
“Well that was sort of the reason we came.” Rick said.
” What? Are you looking to put the old band together?”
Rick ignored his comment. He liked Buddy because he was everything Rick wasn’t. He was optimistic, full of life, and seemingly unaffected by the dark world around him. Ironically it was those same traits that Rick found most annoying about him as well.
“Are we alone here?” Rick motioned toward the house.
“Umm yeah. Ellen and the kids will be out all day I suppose. Lets go inside so we can catch-up. Who knows what the neighbors might think if they see me with the beauty queen of the deep and old sweetness and life here.” Buddy said, his comment bringing a slight smile to Dolphins face. Rick said nothing as he walked over toward the front door. Once inside the three of them sat at the kitchen table.
“You know living here with Ellen and the kids has sure given me a better perspective on life. I remember living in Hollywood trying to make it as an actor and the closest I ever got was doing stunt double work. Then when I got my animal powers all I could think about was being a super hero. I was going to save the world!” Buddy exclaimed while leaning back in his chair. “I just always assumed that I was going to be somebody. I just never stopped to appreciate the fact that I was already somebody. I am a husband and a father of two wonderful children.”
“Buddy. I want to ask you some questions about the Forgotten Heroes” Rick said seemingly ignoring Buddy’s comments.
“The Forgotten Heroes? I am not too sure about the heroes part but we were certainly forgotten pretty quickly huh?” Buddy said standing up from the table and walking over to the kitchen counter. “But I guess we were never meant to be a super team were we? I mean, the only real reason we were together was so the government could discover the secret about those damn pyramids. Even the missions we went on were to keep us distracted from the truth. But of course you knew that the entire time didn’t you Rick? You were just there to report back to Uncle Sam on everything we did.”
“I am not sorry for doing what I was ordered to do. I am sorry if I deceived you in any way Buddy.” Rick responded. “Maybe things should have been handled differently. Maybe Dane would still be alive ” Rick trailed off. What made him think of Dane? Why didn’t he remember that earlier? Maybe Dolphin had suffered some kind of trauma that she mistakenly confused Dane Dorrances’ death with his own.
“What?” Buddy yelled as he sat back down next to Rick. “When did this happen. I just did some work with Dane and the Sea Devils last week. Oh my God!”
“Dane died when we found the seventh pyramid ten months ago. He died with a golden statue in his hand .” Rick was unable to continue as it felt like his head was spinning. His thoughts, which were clear just a moment ago, were now clouded.
Buddy looked over at Rick and then over to Dolphin who sat there like she already knew the ending of a movie but no one else had caught on yet. Dolphin suddenly appeared desperate to say something but couldn’t form the right words in her mind.
“Buddy.” Rick said struggling, “What do you remember happening in that temple?”
Buddy sat there for a moment rubbing his eyes trying to draw a clear picture in his mind. “I remember finding the temple. We went in. Why had we all been brought there? What was in the seventh temple?” Buddy paused. “Wait! I do remember. It was the statue! There was a small statue made of gold that looked like a replica of the pyramid we all had found at one time or another. You were holding it in your hand. No that can’t be what happened!”
“What happened? What do you remember?” Rick reacted.
“He shot you Rick! He killed you right there in front of us and I just stood there and watched him do it!” Buddy yelled as memories flooded his mind.
“I remember now.” Rick said clutching his chest in agony. Through the pain he was able to recall the final moments of his life. “I remember everything.”
The following day at Belle Reve
“What the hell were you thinking Murph?” Amanda Waller yelled as she stood in front of Daniel Murphy, John Economos, and Ben Turner.
“We got the guy!” Daniel Murphy yelled back at her.
“But you lost a prisoner in the process! Its bad enough that one escaped on a mission a few months back, but you let her walk right out of here!”
“Well, she didn’t walk out. She disappeared, sort of.” Economos said timidly.
“John, you are the warden here. You of all people should have known better!” Amanda said as she began to pace around the conference room. “How do we know that the guy in holdings isn’t the real Batman? Do you realize what could happen if the costume community gets a whiff of what’s been going down around here? ”
“He isn’t. Trust me.” Bronze Tiger stated.
“Trust you? Is that supposed to make everything all right? Do you have any idea what kind of pressure I am under right now from Washington? They have grounded all missions and the President is looking for any excuse to shut us down. On top of that, Black Orchid, Flagg, and now Nemesis have all gone A.W.O.L.!” Amanda Waller sat down at the conference table and took a deep breath. “You better trust that we all aren’t out on our ass before this is over.”
The silence of the room was broken as the phone buzzed. Waller reached over and picked it up. “Good. Bring them in here.” Waller hung up the phone and stood up. “At least one thing has gone right. They are bringing up our mysterious Oracle now.”
The door opened to the conference room a few minutes later. A redheaded woman pushing someone in a wheelchair entered, followed by three armed government operatives.
“So don’t be shy.” Amanda said crossing her arms. ” Which one of you is Oracle?”
“I demand to see a lawyer right now!” The man in the wheelchair hollered. “I have been falsely arrested! I have not been read my rights nor has anyone told me what I am being charged with!”
Amanda Waller stood across from the man but had yet to respond to his outburst. One of the government operatives handed Waller two files before he joined the other two armed man near the door. She opened one of the files and began to look through it.
“We are not the police Mr. Marshall. But you will be answering some questions here today.”
“Like hell I will!” he yelled back at her.
“We’ll see about that.” Waller said while flipping through the other file. She set both files down on the conference table in front of her and looked up at the young woman who sat quietly in the chair next to Mr. Marshall. “What is your involvement with Mr. Marshall here?”
“She has nothing to do with this!” Marshall shouted.
“You better be sure what this is before you speak out of turn again” Waller stated, looking at Marshall then back at the woman. “Again Miss, who are you and what is your involvement with Mr. Marshall?”
The woman looked terrified for a brief moment but then attempted to answer as she nervously twirled her long red hair. “My name is Belle Haney and I am a student at the college Mr. Marshall . Mr. Marshall teaches at in Gotham I just just was trying to get some extra credit…I just transferred from Keystone this semester and was ”
“That’s fine.” Waller said cutting her off. “You check out. Your free to go.”
“Go? Go where? What is going to happen to Jack Mr. Marshall?” Belle tensely replied.
“Transportation will be arranged to take you back to Gotham City.” Waller said looking over at Marshall. “As for Jack here, well that’s up to him.”
Amanda nodded and the three men began to escort Belle Haney from the room.
“Don’t worry Belle. This is all just a big misunderstanding. Everything will be cleared up soon enough.” Marshall said forcing a smile as Belle left the room. “I will see you in class on Monday.”
Marshall turned back to face Waller. “Listen. She is just a student of mine. Sure she came on strong but I would never ”
“Can it. I really don’t care Oracle.”
Jack took pause with Amanda’s comment. “I that’s the second time you made reference to the Greek soothsayer.”
The smile on Amanda Waller’s face faded as she pulled a gun out from under the table and pointed it Jack Marshall. “I am only going to ask this once before I shoot you, why did you infiltrate my computer network masquerading as Oracle.”
“I do not know what you are talking about!” Marshall said squirming in his wheel chair.
“Wrong, answer.” Waller declared cocking the hammer on the gun.
Peru, South America ,Ten months ago
Rick Flagg had been with the Forgotten Heroes nearly two months now. Cave Carson and Congo Bill had spent weeks researching all of the information they had gathered on the mysterious pyramids each of them had come across recently. They determined that a seventh pyramid existed. The group, consisting of Carson, Bill, Animal Man, Dolphin, Dane Dorrance, and Flagg, now found themselves deep in the Andes Mountains in search of the seventh pyramid.
“Rick, you seem nervous.” Dolphin whispered as she walked alongside Flagg.
“I am not nervous. I am just concentrating.”
“I looked over the map before the plane landed. Carson and Bill had a specific spot where they thought this pyramid was suppose to be at.”
“Well maybe we haven’t reached it yet.”
“That location was at least a half a mile back. Something is not right here.”
“Rick. I know it is hard for you to accept this as true, but I believe the six of us were brought together for a reason. This pyramid will give us the answers we are looking for.”
“Why, because Carson or Bill told you that? Dol, I know you are desperate to find out about where you came from and why you are here and I am truly sorry that you got involved in this. But this isn’t the answer.”
“Why are you talking to me like this? Is it true what they say of you?” Dolphin softly uttered.
“What who are saying?” Rick stopped walking and reached for Dolphins arm.
“Congo Bill and Cave. I overheard them talking a few days back. They say you are working for your uncle and can’t be trusted.” She replied nervously.
“Son of a bitch.” Flagg said gritting his teeth.
“It is true then?”
“Yes and no. I don’t have time to explain so you’re just going to have to trust me for now okay?” Rick said gentle caressing Dolphins arm.
“I do trust you, Rick Flagg.” Dolphin answered.
“Hey you two!” Cave Carson yelled back at them, “Get up here! Bill thinks we are almost there.”
Rick followed Dolphin back toward the rest of the group. He casually brushed his hand alongside his holstered pistol.
Mark Shaw stood in the doorway and watched Vixen as she briskly walked on the treadmill.
“Are you going to stand there and watch me all day?” She asked, glancing over at where he stood.
“Sorry.” He said slowly walking into the small gymnasium inside Belle Reve. “I didn’t want to disturb you.”
“What is it about men that they don’t know how to apologize appropriately?” Mari stated pressing a button on the treadmill forcing her to walk faster.
“What do you mean?” Mark asked as walked toward her.
“Men apologize over and over again for the stupidest things but are usually too pigheaded to say sorry when they really need to.”
“Mari I ” He began to say.
“Mark stop. It’s not your fault.” She said as she pressed the stop button on the treadmill and stepped off. “I got hurt. It’s all part of the job okay?”
“Well Ben seems to think otherwise.” Mark replied unable to look her in the eye as she stood in front of him.
“Yeah, well, Ben has nothing to do with this.” She said. “We were in the field and you would have done the same thing given the chance. I got hurt but I am getting better.”
“I am glad to see that.” He said with a nervous smile on his face.
“I am glad your glad.” She said, brushing her hand under his chin. “Now did you just come down here to ease your guilty conscience or was there something else on your mind?”
“I have to leave.” He said without hesitation.
“Something in my previous life needs to be taken care of. Something I’ve put off for too long now. I am leaving tonight.”
“Does Waller know?”
“No. But I wanted to tell you before I left.”
“Are you coming back?”
“I hope so.” He said as their eyes met.
“I hope so too.” She said as moved closer toward him. “Just know that you have a life here to come back to.”
Ben Turner silently watched from the doorway as Mark and Mari kissed. He immediately left without saying a word.
George Harkness felt that everything in life was about timing. He grew up in a small town called Kurrumburra, Australia. His family was poor by all means you use to define it. But George never thought of himself that way. He had big dreams and knew it was only a matter of time before he was able to rise up above his current circumstances. The problem always seemed that people would take him for granted. They were sure he would amount to nothing, including his family. He would prove them all wrong of course, he just needed to find a way out. George never made his own opportunities, he felt he didn’t have to. It was just a matter of time before opportunity found him and he would seize it.
It was that type of reasoning that lead him to come to America, where he adopted the name Captain Boomerang. He soon found that the life of a hero didn’t quiet lead to the lap of luxury he was hoping for. He was much too smart and cunning and soon found that crime really did pay. In fact it paid quiet well. Until he crossed paths with the Flash, that is. The Flash stopped several of his schemes, the last of which landed him in Belle Reve. Of course, like the rest of his life, George waited, and opportunity presented itself once again in the form of the Suicide Squad and a chance to earn his freedom. Once his sentence had been reduced to time served, Boomerang chose to stick around for a while waiting for the next opportunity to come along.
A few days back while still recovering from a gunshot wound inflicted upon him by Deadshot, Boomerang received a note that was slipped under his door:
I believe a man of your talents deserves more respect. I think our combined efforts could really shake this place up a bit. I know a way for you to get back at Deadshot and take down the entire Suicide Squad in the process. Interested?
Speak to no one of this. We will be in contact soon.
A few days had passed and he received another note that said someone would meet him in his room tonight. He was anxiously waiting for his mysterious visitor when there was a knock on his door.
“Come in.” He said, sitting up in his chair twirling a boomerang in his hand.
The door opened and a man walked in.
“What the bloody hell? You?” Boomerang stated in utter disbelief.
A few days back, Amanda Waller decided that it was time to discover who had infiltrated her computer network going by the name of Oracle. This person made contact with her and, in the guise of an ally, helped her determine that Wade Eiling was a traitor working for a criminal organization. Though she appreciated the end result, she was still very suspicious of Oracle and what was behind his or her motives for helping her and the squad. Oracle again had made contact on Amanda’s computer soon after Eiling was locked up. When Amanda attempted to press Oracle for information as to why he or she chose to help, Oracle responded with “I wanted to prove to you that I could be useful”. Ignoring further questions that Amanda asked, Oracle stated that when the time was right they would be in contact again and warned that there would be consequences if anyone at Belle Reve attempted to contact or locate them.
This did not sit well with Waller. She soon flipped through what she called her body count index, and found that there was a prisoner locked up at Belle Reve that could possibly help her.
Bernard Bonner, otherwise known as Bug, has the ability to enter any computer system and trace it back to its source. Working with his sister Blythe, who preferred the name Byte, used Bernard’s powers to swindle corporations out of millions until they were caught. Blythe turned on her brother and cut a deal with the police. She was serving time in a minimum-security prison until it was discovered she had the ability to manipulate electricity through her body. She escaped after killing seven inmates and five guards. Bernard, who was wrongly assumed to be the mastermind of the two siblings, was locked up in Belle Reve.
Amanda presented Bug with a deal, trace Oracle to his or her location and she would make sure that Byte would be tracked down and placed in a cell next to him. With a chance to pay his sister back for betraying him, he willingly agreed. Though he didn’t appear all that bright, Bug assured Amanda that he could find Oracle by back tracing through the network using a thread left behind from Oracles last contact. To insure that he didn’t back out of his end of the deal, Waller falsely claimed that he had been fitted with a device that would scramble his brain causing him a painful death if he decided to get sidetracked and not return. The gamble paid off and Bug reappeared minutes after he left. He told Waller everything she needed to know. She picked up the phone and placed the order to pick up Jack Marshall in Gotham City. Now Marshall sat across from Waller with a gun pointed in his face.
“Not so brave when you’re hiding behind a computer now are you?” Waller said as she causally waved the gun in front of Marshall.
Jack Marshall attempted to stay calm but was obviously disturbed by the gun in Waller’s possession. “If this has to do with Digitronix, the Justice Department cleared me of all charges.”
“You want to play dumb Mr. Marshall, that’s fine. But be aware that you are not the only one who is good with computers. As we speak you longer have a job at Gotham University. You no longer have an apartment in Gotham Heights. In fact you no longer exist to the outside world and not a single soul will miss you after today. Not even the little tramp that just left here. So, there is no reason why you can’t stay here as a permanent guest of federal government until you decide to change your mind. I have to imagine that an eight-by-ten cell is gonna seem awfully cramped with you in a wheelchair.” Waller nodded and two prison guards came into the room.
“Show Mr. Marshall here to his new home.”
“You can’t do this!” He yelled as the guards wheeled him out of the room. “I know my rights!”
“You gave up your rights the moment you decided to mess with me!” Waller yelled back as she set the gun down on the table.
Peru, South America Ten months ago
“I can’t believe it.” Animal Man declared looking around him, “This is truly amazing!”
“I have to admit I had my doubts as well.” Dane Dorrance said as he and the others began to move inside the pyramid made of golden stone.
“I was beginning to believe the doubters myself Dane. I thought maybe I had only dreamt that this or the six other pyramids existed. Thanks to Bill here he kept us on track all along.” He said patting Congo Bill on the back. “This is truly the greatest archeological find of our time.”
“Now that we are here, what are we looking for?” Animal Man asked as he sniffed the musky air.
“I will know it when I see it.” Congo Bill stated as we moved his flashlight across the inside walls of the pyramid
Rick Flagg watched closely as the five others began to spread out and search the large seemingly empty cavern. He took a few steps forward and felt a crackling sound below him. He took a step back and shown his light near his feet. There was loose brick tile on the floor. He bent down and pulled it up. Under the tile was a small opening with an object inside. He reached down and pulled it out. It was a small pyramid made of gold.
“Hey Rick found something!” Buddy said shining his light in Flagg’s direction.
“Give it to me.” Congo Bill demanded as he moved toward Flagg.
“Stop right there, Bill.” Flagg said pulling out his pistol and pointed it at Congo Bill, who now stood about ten feet away from him, “Your just a little to anxious for my tastes.”
“Rick what the hell are you doing?” Cave Carson asked.
“Sorry Cave but nobody makes a move until Bill here tells me what’s going on.”
“Tell you what’s going on?” Bill repeated, “Tell you so you can go report back to your precious government just like you’ve been doing all along?”
“That may be true but it seems to me I am not the only one keeping secrets now am I? You tried to hide it but you knew where this pyramid was all along. You strung Cave along just enough to make it seem like you two found it together!”
“You’re being ridiculous Flagg and a tad bit paranoid.” Bill said taking a small step toward Flagg.
“Being paranoid has kept me alive this long. I suggest you stay where you are if you want to do the same.” Flagg ordered, “I just don’t get what the point of this has been all along? Why us?”
“You, me the others we are inconsequential to the grand scheme of things. We’re just here to fulfill the roles that the prophecy foretold, that six would come together to find everlasting life.” Congo Bill stated as his demeanor changed. “It’s unfortunate but the prophecy choose only one to deliver this gift onto him.”
“Bill what prophecy are you babbling about?” Cave Carson yelled out.
“Shut up old man. You and your idiotic exploring and adventuring. This was about my destiny! I was the chosen one and the rest of you were merely pawns.” Bill shouted as he slowly reached back toward the shotgun strapped to his back.
“Do not ” Flagg began to say as Congo Bill pulled out the gun and shot Flagg in the chest.
Rick Flagg still holding his gun in one hand and the statue in the other, fell to the ground, dead.
“This some kinda joke?” Boomerang exclaimed to the man who walked into his room.
“You have me confused with another Gothamite my dear boy. This is most certainly no joke.” The man responded closing the door behind him. “My name is Julian Day.”
“I know who you are! You’re that whack job the Calendar Man!”
“This coming from the man who throws boomerang’s at the fastest man alive?” Day retorted.
“Regardless.” Boomerang muttered, “How the hell did you get out of your cell and why aren’t they busting the door down right now to drag you back?”
“There are certain people within these walls that realize the value of compensation for turning a blind eye. That is how I operate.”
“I just can’t believe it. Didn’t you recently turn down Waller for a squad mission? Not that we needed another crazy dag on the team.”
“I am as crazy as I need to be.” Day beamed.
“So if you’re the all powerful Oz hiding behind the curtain then why don’t you bust out of here?”
“When the time is right. For now I am best served within these walls.”
“Suit yourself mate. Me, I am looking to get out soon.”
“I have been authorized make you an offer that might persuade you to change your mind.” Day leaned down toward the sitting Captain Boomerang, “I need you to kill someone for me.”
“Rack off mate! If you are so bloody powerful here, do it yourself.” Harkness said setting his boomerang down on the table in front of him.
“You are the only one who can get close enough. Then perhaps we can work on taking care other some of the other menaces who roam the Belle’s halls, namely Floyd Lawton.”
“Forget it. If the Wall catches wind of this we’re all dead.”
“Mrs. Waller will continue to be preoccupied with other matters. But if you need to be convinced of the seriousness of the offer ” Julian Day paused as he pulled out a folded piece of paper and set it in front of Boomerang. “Here are five hundred thousand reasons to reconsider. The money is already in an offshore account with your name on it.”
“I think you and I can have a go at this.” Boomerang said as he carefully studied the bank transfer notice. He began to smile as he slowly pulled himself to his feet. “Who do you want dead?”
Sarge Steel walked into his office and found Eve Eden standing in front of his desk.
“My they grow up so fast.” Eve said holding a picture of Steels daughter, “What is Angela now? Eighteen?”
“She will be nineteen in the fall and yes they do grow up fast. But I am sure you didn’t come all this way to discuss my family.”
“No. No I didn’t. How very astute of you.”
“Take a seat Eve and tell me what’s on your mind.” Steel said, sitting on the edge of his desk.
“I am tired; just sick and tired of the whole thing!” She said falling into the office chair as dark shadows cropped up around her.
“We already went over this. What happened in Qurac was an unfortunate incident.”
“Unfortunate? That’s such political bullshit Sarge and you know it! Nate died!”
“We had no idea that Marlo was holding him!”
“You had no idea because all this time you had me spying of Amanda Waller when I should have been watching Eiling!”
“There was no way of knowing that Eiling was involved with the Council or Marlo!”
Steel took a deep breath “What did Eiling say when Tresser interrogated him?”
“He responded exactly like you thought he would. He diverted attention away from himself and the Council by offering up a threat on the Ten.”
“What did Waller do?”
“She didn’t bite and Eiling hasn’t been out of his cell since.”
“Good. Eiling knows just enough to be dangerous and we don’t need Waller asking anymore questions then she already has.”
“No. She hasn’t said anything but I am certain she knows I killed Marlo.”
“It was only a matter of time before she figured that out anyways.”
“Why didn’t you tell me Marlo was a member of the Ten?”
“There wasn’t time, besides, would it have mattered under the circumstances?”
“Eve I need you to go back to Belle Reve.”
“What and act like nothing has happened? Just go back to spying on Waller and the Squad?”
“For now, yes. The President wants to have a sit down later this week to discuss the future of the Squad. I have to convince him that the Squad is no longer a liability now that Eiling is out of the picture. I need you on the team, Eve. Can you do that for me?”
“Only for now.” She casually replied, “But how is the President going to react when the other members of the Ten discover it was one of his op teams that was responsible for the death of Marlo?”
“They won’t find out. Marlo’s replacement will be appointed in the fall and it will be business as usually for the world.”
“And what if there’s truly is someone out there looking to take out members of the Ten?” She asked.
“There hasn’t been a successful assassination on a member of the Ten since Kennedy and you know what happened after that. There is a reason why they survive. If someone is out there gunning for them, The Ten have ways to shut them down.”
“Did you get anywhere with our Oracle yet?” Daniel Murphy asked as Amanda Waller entered the Belle Reve security office.
“Not yet but the night is still young.” She said sitting down next to him. Amanda noticed a face on a video monitor in front of her. “Is that our mysterious Batman?”
“Yep. His name is Anton Knight, the Night Stalker.” Daniel Murphy said “His step-sister is Natalia Knight or Nocturna if you may. Up till recently she was a resident here at Belle Reve.”
“So he breaks in here dressed like the Bat to breakout his sister. She gets away and he gets caught.”
“Something like that.” Murphy replied.
“He say anything about how he was able to break into the most secure prison in the country and know exactly how are where to find her?”
“He hasn’t said a word, but prisons have flaws, Amanda. No security system is perfect if you know how to exploit them.”
“Well it’s your job as head of security to prevent things like this from happening.” Amanda said obviously getting angry. “That’s what I pay you for.”
“The federal government pays me Amanda.” He said as she shot him a nasty look, “Besides, this guy’s record doesn’t indicate that he was bright enough to pull off something this intricate on his own. He had to have been feed information on the prisons specs and supplied the gear to pull this off.”
“You let me know the moment this guy utters even a vowel understand?” She said as she stood up and walked toward the door. She paused and then turned around pointing a finger down at the seated Murphy, “And so help me god if security around here doesn’t improve immensely you won’t be able to get a job checking for minors at a rated R movie, I don’t care who’s paying your salary! Are we clear?”
“Yes ma’am.” Murphy managed to utter while he held his breath until Waller left the room.
Jack Marshall nervously tapped his fingers against the wall as he lay in the bed of the small cell he was placed in a few hours ago. He gave up yelling for help a short while back. No one was coming. He would have to figure out what his next move would be to get out of his current situation. He was startled at the sound of the cell door as it slowly slid open.
“Who’s there?” He said as he leaned up and squinted at the dark figure that entered the dimly lit cell.
“Don’t make a sound. This will be over quick enough.” The man said as he cupped his hand over Marshall’s mouth forcing his head back down onto the bed. Marshall began to panic as he watched the man pull out a sharp angled piece of metal and press it up against
his neck. With one quick motion, the man standing over him slit his throat.
“Easy as cake.” Harkness stated, wiping the blood off of his boomerang before quietly exiting the cell.
Amanda was looking over files in her office when her phone rang. She took off her glasses and reached for the phone.
“Waller its Economos! He’s dead Amanda. Jack Marshall is dead!”
“What? How?” She snapped into the receiver.
“We aren’t able to pull up the video feed from his cell block but the guards found him with his throat slit during bed checks a few minutes ago.
“I want this place lit up and locked down now! I will be down there in two minutes. Oh and John, make sure Murphy is somewhere I can’t find him or he’s a dead man as well!” Waller yelled before slamming the phone down. She pushed her chair back and began to stand up when she heard her computer ding and a message box appeared on her monitor.
“You picked up the wrong guy Amanda.” The message blinked in front of her. “I told you there should be no attempts to try and find me. Now an innocent man is dead. This will be your one and only warning. Next time I won’t play so nice.”
Amanda reached out and knocked the computer monitor off her desk.
“He pulled the shotgun out so fast and then BANG! He shot you Rick. He just moved so fast!” Buddy Baker exclaimed. “The rest of us stood there in disbelief or whatever, but Dolphin charged toward where you lay on the ground.”
“There there was a hole in your chest but I knew I just knew…” Dolphin spoke out.
“Knew? Knew what.” Rick questioned.
“I knew it as well. I leapt at Bill, knocking him to the ground while Dolphin reached out and took the golden statue from your hand. She placed it on on the hole in your chest.” Buddy recited the memory as quickly as it came to him. “It began to glow. I swear to god it seemed like the entire room began to light up until it was so bright I had to close my eyes. And then, like that, it was gone. The wound in your chest, the statue, the pyramid, everything was gone!” Buddy yelled as he leapt to his feet.
“I saw you die Rick. I had to do something.” Dolphin said as she began to cry.
Rick reached out and held her hand unable to look up.
“That’s it. The next thing I remember I was back home telling Ellen that we gave up our search like nothing had happened. But the truth is we all had somehow had been given false memories about the entire event.”
“But it seemed real.” Rick finally said spoke. “It wasn’t until Dolphin and I saw each other again ”
“Wait! I remember one more thing. The last thing Congo Bill said before he too disappeared. He said savage.”
Rick Flagg let go of Dolphins hand and slowly stood up.
“What do we do now?” Buddy asked.
“I’m not sure.” Flagg said wiping the sweat from his forehead, “But this is far from over.”
Somewhere half way around the world
A man reached up and muted the sound on the video feed on the screen in front of him.
“So now you know the truth.” Another man, who was seated next to him, stated.
“The truth? Perhaps. The fact is that I waited almost four thousand years for the prophecy of the golden sculpture of Khafra to come to pass. The truth does not give me any such pleasure.”
“Ah but there is an advantage to being immortal such as we are. We exude with patient don’t we, Vandal Savage?”
“Perhaps. But one thing the young mister Flagg stated was true. This is far from over.”
Somewhere in Gotham City
He finished typing and the man at the computer sat back and smiled. Everything had worked out perfectly. A woman walked over and put her arms around the man.
“You wanted me to let you know when Blythe Bonner got back to Gotham?”
“Thank you my love.” He said turning around to face her, “Tell her that her payment is already posted.”
“I have to admit I was uncertain how things would play out with her involved. Having her hook up with Jack Marshall weeks before this all started was a nice touch. Whose idea was it to use her mother’s maiden name for her cover?”
“It’s the little touches that make things work.” He said standing up raising his arms in the air. “Our dear Byte almost participated for free when I told her that her brother would be involved. Like your brother, all anyone needs is the proper motivation.”
“You knew he would get caught didn’t you, Noah? What if Anton talks while he’s locked up?”
“Well it was a calculated risk, Natalia, but I have people inside of Belle Reve who will take care of him if the need arises.” He said putting his arms around her, “Besides any risk was worth taking to see you free of that place.”
“Tonight I will show how much it was worth to you…Oracle.” She said kissing him.
“Please Natalia, Oracle is dead. You can call me the Calculator.”
The End ? ??