"What the hell are you doing Blake? Texas? You couldn't pick a better state, to die in, then this?"
Floyd Lawton asked his former teammate, while sitting at an empty bar in full uniform, save the mask he normally wore.
Lawton was a mercenary too. Known throughout the world, as the "The Greatest Marksman on Earth."
They called him Deadshot.
So deadly with a gun was he, it was said he could hit targets dead to rights, from other cities.
But Blake didn't buy into any of that crap.
Lawton was damn, good though.
That Much Blake could say.
"Needed somewhere to go. You say "why here?" I say, why not here?"
Blake answered, the closest thing he had to a friend with a bit of annoyance in his voice.
Floyd had that affect on people. He was a bit of an ass.
"Just saying. I wouldn't be caught dead living in a hotel in america's armpit. May as well marry a pig, and strap on a coon-skin coat."
"Well, you don't get to have an opinion. Your a dream. A figment of my subcouncious mind. Therefore, you can shove it, gunslinger."
"So?" Just because it's a dream, dosen't mean it's not true."
Floyd tossed his feet rudely unto the bar, fishing a ciggerate somewhere out of his costume, a lit it a blaze. Long trails of smoke, floating from his mouth and the cancerous stick. Blake didn't know how long he had been sleeping. But by the looks of the bar, it was way past, "last call."
"For one. I heard about this place in a song. Second is ........ f--k you!"
That was his only response. The only rebuttual he could muster. Because, to be honest. He had no reason to go to Jubilee. He had no reason to be in Texas. Not the kinds that made since, anyway.
"Well. Time's up. Sorry."
Floyd was what you could call a "smooth operator," because he can just do things with grace. Example. He stood up from his place beside Blake at the bar, and shot the latter in the face.
The blow knocked Blake off of his stool, and down to the bar floor. His dream-face a gory mess.
"I Hate you Lawton."
"Aww, it's just all in your head. Your just dreaming it."
"So? Just because I'm dreaming it. Dosen't mean it's not true."
Blake woke up to the sound of knocking at the door to his "Apartment." Which was just a fancier room at the ruby.
They moved him in the night he made permenant reservations.
Better electronic equipment with an awesome kitchen!
But still just another room at Ruby Reds. It was still just another room at a hotel in Texas, that Blake had no reason for being in.
Maybe it was the super villian in him. But Blake automaticly knew there were cops at the door. He just knew it.
There were cops at the door and it was urgent.
Boom Boom Boom
Blake began to contimplate ways of escape. Surely, these hicks didn't have what it took to take down a Gothamite.
Not a guy who has faced down Deathstroke and Batman.
His record should be wiped clean. Amanda Waller said so.
Unless. Like everything else she said. It was full of s--t.
"Hello?" Blake asked whislt opening the door. His left fist balled and ready. He had a safe house already near, which held a few bags of cash he had withdrawn.
Better safe then sorry.
Outside of the door stood three bodies. two non-uniformed officers. One middleaged. The other a kid of either nineteen or twenty. And the guy who worked dayshift at the service desk in the lobby.
They wernt there for him. But they were concearned about something.
"How ya doing Mr. Blake? I'm Detective Samwell Dugan, this is Detective Lee Smalt, we're with the Jubilee Metro Homicide Department."
The older man spoke up. As Blake knew he would. His kind always spoke up. His authority, not lost on Blake, whom felt the need to look the man dead-on.
Right in his grey eyes.
He wore what most tv homicide guys wore.
Black and beige. His shoes were a shiny black, with gold linings underneath.
He wore no hat.
Showcasing a full head of grey hair. Blake imagined it may have been brown once. Dugan had the eyes of a man who had seen some s--t.
Blake could relate.
"Homicide? Officer am I in trouble?"
"Mr Blake are you familar with Mr Theodore Kelly?"
"Ted? Yes I am. What happened? Is everything ok?"
Blake began to wonder how many fodder guards and parents he had caused to have this very conversation.
"When was the last time you see him? Also, how exactly do you know Mr Kelly?
So Blake explained everything.
He explained how he met Ted at a truck stop in Gotham, and offered to pay for transport.
Then he explained how he and Ted got into a minor fender, got a room, and exchanged farewells. After everything was taken into account detective Dugan, smiled, then frowned, almost as if what he had to say had once again taken hold in his mind.
"Unfortunately see, mr Blake. Mr Kellys body was found outside of town. Medics say it's an animal attack. I seen the body myself, and I can attest."
"Yeah. And what a f--king animal. Body look's like a prop from "Slaughter House 5."
The youngster finally spoke.
Smalt, it was?
Smalt was a handsome kid. He had crystal blue eyes and his hair was the color of honey. He had a scar over his left eye.
A small one.
But the kind that made women take notice. Such a mark on near perfect skin drew women like moths to flame.
The thought of danger.
Blake looked down at his feet for what seemed like an hour. Then he looked directly at Dugan and said,
"Come again, sir?"
"Show me where he was killed."
"Now, hold on. That is police buisness, and so is th--"
"Mr Blake is a Hunter."
Chimed in the clerk. An adverage enough fellow.
"Is that right mr Blake? I do a lil hunting myself. You ever caught a Deer?"
Dugan asked. Issuing a challege to the young giant in front of him.
"Yeah I used it to catch a Lion."
"You hunt Cougar?"
This was Smalt.
Everyone in the hall looked on in awe before the silence was broken by Dugan cooly replying with,
So they all rode the elivator down to the lobby, where the clerk continued work; and Blake, Dugan and Smalt, piled into a Police Issue Crown Victoria. The men drove in silence the entire way. Silence only broken by the sound of tires on gravel.
Dugan said to Blake has they pulled to the scene. It was dead compared to the first few hours, accordding to Smalt. But Blake so that there was still notable activity to report.
Yellow tape was strawn around the vehicle like some magic barrier.
Blake began to feel the strangest sensation.
A nagging in his brain. Eventhough he spoke to others and reviewed notes, the nagging didn't stop.
Why? What was he missing?
Finally it hit him!
Blake began to walk from where he stood amongst Dugan and Smalt and Ted's truck, and began to cross to the opposite side of the road. He mesaured where they were, from where Jubiliee, and estimated that they were exactly fifteen miles out.
Blake looked at Ted's truck; which was now to his left and began to count,
Then Blake droped to a crouch and looked at the pavement below him.
A little fur.
A little blood
Not much of either.
Not much of anything really.
"S--t. This is where it happened."