My take on the Green Arrow Mythology
Chapter four: Katana
“I still don’t understand what’s going on.”
It’s the first thing I say to the man once I’m out of the cell. The cold metal of the catwalk is almost like ice on my bare feet, now I realize my shoes are gone…and when did I get these other clothes on? My three hundred dollar suit, while it was torn to shreds, has now been replaced by a pair of grey pants and a green shirt…great, someone undressed me while I was on the…island…
“Why did I see an island?”
The man keeps on walking in front of me. Below us, a dark grey floor awaits a couple of floor downs and I suddenly become aware of the rusted catwalk we’ve been walking on. Ahead of us, a large door like the one that was in my cell awaits us. The man opens the door and holds it open for me. Once I walk through, the door slams shut with a Bang! The man’s not behind me when I look back over my shoulder. With the room pitch black, I can’t even tell what’s in front of my own nose, all I can feel is the cushioned floor underneath my feet. Suddenly, a row of lights burst to light, followed by another and another until a large padded white and blue room is illuminated. At the center, stands the woman.
I can recognize the cold eyes even from ten yards away. She’s ditched the black sweater and pants and now wears a white sleeveless shirt and grey pants with a red belt. She has her sword drawn and ready.
“Pick it up.”
I’m confused, but then she motions at my feet and I see the sleek metal katana lying there and I do as instructed. When I look back up, she’s on me. Flying knee to the face and I hit the wall, hard. The arrow drops from my hand.
“Never let your target out of your sight.”
Thank God for padding or else I would have been knocked out with that hit. While I struggle to get up, she begins to talk.
“My name, Oliver Queen, is Tatsu Yamashiro. For your time here, I will be your instructor until you have been instructed to leave this place-“ She watches me get up from the ground, “-which won’t be very soon.”
I let a smile crack through from the joke and suddenly her sword is at my throat. “Battle is not a joke, Mr. Queen. It is and always will be kill or be killed. Do you understand me?”
I see those same uncaring eyes and realize her complete and total seriousness.
She withdraws the sword and walks towards the center of the room. I look down at the arrow but, as if she’s read my mind, she says, “Please leave the arrow behind Mr. Queen.”
I follow her to the center of the room.
“You have asked what this island is.”
How did she know about the island?
“Arthur, I’m sure, has told you that we drugged you to see this island. This is not entirely true. The island is where you’re true self has been living, buried underneath the person you have built yourself into every since your birth. Here, we have been instructed to help you dig through all of the trash that has been collected, and find your true self.”
She turns to me and raises the sword to her eyes, looking over it longingly. “A sword is only a tool; I need it as much as you need a drink in your hand. A real weapon is the body.”
She drops the sword to the ground and strikes at me, but this time I’m ready. With the arm that’s not holding the sword; I push her punch away and go for a sweeping kick at her feet. Easily, she flips over me, grabs the katana from my hand, and places the blade at my throat.
“Good, you are not as slow as I thought you were.”
She pulls the blade away and slightly pushes me forward.
“I trained in martial arts when I was a kid; I guess I still know the moves.”
“You are still slow.”
“I guess I’m just a little bit rusty.”
Her eyebrow rises and a slight smile forms on her face. “You are still cocky. I’m sure we can work that out of you.”
After that we spend hours sparing, me, however, never getting a good hit in at all. She rarely talks, only opening her mouth to tell me how to improve on my form and then the rest of the time she’s as silent as a mouse.
“Tell me, what has the island shown you?”
Her question takes me by surprise and she gets a hit in on my left leg. With a thud, I fall down onto the padded floor.
“It’s just like I told…Arthur? Is that what you called him?...I said I thought that I had crashed on the island with my parents and that I tried searching for them when I found this kid named Roy Har-“
Just getting on my knees, Tatsu roundhouse kicks me across the jaw and I fall down again onto the floor.
With the world slowly going dark around me, I start to hear voices.
“He said he found someone on the island, has this happened before?”
The old man, Arthur.
“What can this mean?”
“It means Oliver is far more special than we thought…Put him back in the cell.”
I stare at Roy. After we both calmed down I sat down the teenager on a rock and found myself a log to sit on. His eyes still dart from side to side, fear clearly surrounding him, I just don’t know why.
“How long have you been here?”
It’s like he suddenly realizes that I’m still here because he’s completely startled by my voice. He calms down again and speaks-
“A couple of weeks…I was flying home with the ‘rents when the plane crashed…I was the only survivor…”
He’s still looking out over the jungle, never looking at me straight, always moving. And now I see his fingers strumming along the rocks.
“It’s not easy quitting cold turkey is it?”
For the first time since I attacked him he stands perfectly still and he almost looks shocked that I figured it out. He tries to make a smile and says, “It’s making life Hell.”
“Welcome to Hell.”
This time I’m the one that’s looking out over the jungle, trying once again to find the voice again.
“Did you hear that?”
I hop off of the log and look around the forest. Roy looks at me quizzically and he says with another smile- “Are you going through withdraw too?”
Anger flares up suddenly and I give Roy a fierce look. “You didn’t hear it? ‘Welcome to Hell’? It was clear as day…I’m not crazy! I heard it!”
Roy is now fully smiling and he shrugs his shoulders. “Look man- Oliver right?- I’ve been on this island for weeks and I’ve never seen a living soul until I met you. Just relax.”
His words actually do calm me down and I sit back down on the log. “You’re…you’re right. Did you ever see a boat a few days ago? It’s white with green letters saying ‘Queen of the Seas’. It’s what I came here on.”
Roy shakes his head. “I haven’t seen anything crash on shore ever since I got here. Once you get close to the island the current from the river takes over and spits everything into a lagoon a mile into the island-“
I get from the log and hoist Roy up from the rock. “Then what are waiting for? If the boats okay we can get off of the rock. And I need to find my parents.”
I start to pull Roy along with me and soon he falls into step.
“Oliver, I have to be honest with you man, I haven’t seen anyone before I met you. You got to admit, your parents might not be-“
I immediately have Roy on his back with the arrowhead at his throat, again. I’m panting from anger, a part of me never wanting him to finish that sentence, ever. But soon the red clears and I’m scared at what I’ve just done.
“Sorry,” I help Roy to his feet. “They have to be alive, Roy. They’re…They’re all I have.”
Roy shakes his head with knowing, and leads the way to the lagoon.
End of Chapter four