Ravan looked down at the three dead men. “Three thousand years O Kali.”
The words seemed hollow as he watched their blood pool into one giant pond of blood from their lifeless corpses. Today’s chat with Dr Chen had…spoilt him, cast shadows of doubt onto his belief system. Maybe Chen was the problem?
No, the reason he’d gone to see Chen was twofold. A way he could talk about what he’d done under the blanket of anonymity and secondly he had no friends. Chen was the only person he talked to. The last person he spoke to was the bar owner Bibbo in Metropolis. He couldn’t call his mother as she was long dead and Kali only knew who his father was!
Ravan looked at the blood on his hands; both actually and metaphorically. Did his killing actually stay the coming of the Kali Yuga? It wasn’t a science you could test. His mother’s words from when he was a boy rang in his ears. “Idiot! Never let your guard down!”
He stuffed his hands in his jacket and wandered away from the…crime. It was the first time he’d ever thought that what he had done for his god was wrong.
“This guy took on Superman?” said Merlyn as he dropped a few bills on the table as he left the café.
“Blew up half a dozen buildings,” said Calculator “By the way I’m charging by the minute and the answer.”
“Name?” snapped Merlyn.
“Like the bird?”
“No, more like as in ravenous but with two A’s.”
“Ravan,” Merlyn pondered on the name like a lolly in his mouth. “He was part of Morningstar right?”
“Not by choice, but yes.”
Merlyn waved for a taxi “What’s this Gotham job?”
“Are you changing the subject?”
“I’m changing the subject coz I don’t care anymore and you charge like it’s going out of style!” replied Merlyn “Keep this up you’ll create your own competition.”
“I have competition, by the name of Oracle,” sneered Calculator “And there’s still a bounty on her, his, their head.”
“It’s Gotham, so you have to add in the bat factor,” said Merlyn as he signalled for a cab “It’s like robbing a bank in Metropolis.”
Ravan wandered back to Pennsylvania Hospital where he’d been squatting on the roof. The place was huge and nobody paid much heed to an “Indian” in white wandering the halls as they simply assumed janitorial staff. Ravan slipped into the fire escape and up to his home for want of a better word.
He sat cross-legged and looked up at the stars. “O Kali,” he prayed “Your servant’s heart is lost.”
Ravan paused looking up at the silent sky. He sighed and wiped the tear from his face as he regained his composure “O Kali. Give your servant strength. Help me against the snake and the darkness that is this world. I kill to honour you and you alone.”
“What’s in it for me?” came Spellbinder’s muffled reply from within the black bag over her head. Merlyn pressed the knife to her throat making her gasp.
“Asides from your life,” he said nonchalantly. The assassin leant in to her ear “How about twenty five in cold hard cash?”
Merlyn smirked as he placed a revolver to the back of her head “Now I don’t trust you. You’ve got powers. People with powers often do stupid things. So let me make sure we’re both clear on what’s going to happen.”
“Okay,” she replied quietly.
Merlyn gave her a light tap on the skull with the muzzle making her jump “Ssh, you listen now. I’m hiring you to get a guy called Ravan to come to here to Gotham. All his details are on a disc on the table for you to look at. If you stick to the plan, you get your money and I don’t have to kill you.” He paused and looked out the window. “Man, I hate this city! Why anyone in their right mind would live here is beyond me? Downtown Baghdad is safer than here, also less bats…” He checked the window again just in case he’d jinxed himself.
“Anyway, you do your part and you get some cash and you keep your life,” Merlyn smiled “Now, I’m going to take the hood off. You look me in the eye or even turn your head towards me and I will blow your pretty little head off. You get me?”
“Y-yes,” she whimpered from the chair.
Merlyn ripped off the mask and placed the gun to the back of her head “Is there any part of this you missed?”
“I got it!” She said defiantly. “I do have a question, if that’s okay?”
Merlyn raised the knife up to a defensive position to be on the safe side “What?”
“How’d you find me?”
Merlyn chuckled “You have pink hair. I just got a friend of mine to search Bookface for girls with pink hair and ta-dah, one Fay Moffitt, appeared in his search. You sure love ‘checking in’ to places. I’m surprised you aren’t sitting in a cell or dead in a hole because of how stupid and careless you are on social media.”
Spellbinder gasped in shock. Merlyn holstered his gun and went to the window. “You’ve got a week Spellbinder, or do you prefer Fay?”
“You’re a bastard!” she growled as she crossed the room to the disc on the table.
“Probably,” sneered Merlyn as he left her to her own devices.
Chen Psychiatry, Bergen Square, Philadelphia
The lift doors parted and Ravan walked into the waiting room for Dr Chen for his weekly appointment. He stopped as he saw the receptionist; it wasn’t the usual tubby Latina woman. Slowly he approached the desk.
“Where is Marianna?”
“She’s sick,” replied the girl with pink hair as she chewed gum “Can I help you?”
“Dr Chen,” he eyed her up and down. Something about her made his skin crawl. Maybe it was choice of dress that was closer to that of a street walking prostitute than a receptionist; possibly her unnatural hair colour or horse-like gum chewing. Or because she was wearing sunglasses inside.
“Ravan,” he replied as he stared at her intently, like a cat watching a mouse with nowhere to go. She looked right back at him, dipped her glasses and smiled from ear to ear.
To be continued…