Secret Origins: "Canary Noir"
"The Secret Origin of Olivia Queen"
Disclaimer: Teen Titans and the larger universe it inhabits belong to DC Comics and, by extension, to Time Warner. I make no monetary profit whatsoever from this story, only grim satisfaction that someone is reading this.
Author's note: Now is the time for you to learn just how little Olivia grew into the superhuman bombshell you saw in the first chapters of this story. There's gonna be some stuff with Dinah and Ollie, too, as they are her parents and stuff with Roy and Lian, as they are her siblings-slash-cousins by unofficial adoption. There will be stuff with Mar'i as well, along with visits from Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe, a.k.a. Misfit. Anyway, read on and enjoy.
"She has your eyes."
"And your nose. I hope she has your smile, too."
"What are we going to call her?"
"Um, didn't we already pick out a name if the baby was a girl?"
"And we picked out a name if the baby was a boy, although I can't see how . . ."
"We'll combine them. Olivia Theodora Queen."
"Theodora? As in . . . Ted?"
"Yeah. Sound good to you?"
"It does. Hi there, Olivia Theodora Queen."
A three-year-old Olivia crept into the training area of her father's house, watching her "big sister" Lian honing her archery skills. "Lian!" she chirped just as the older girl was about to release another arrow.
Lian turned to acknowledge her. "Hi, Olivia."
"Hi, Lian!" Olivia squealed excitedly. "Can you teach me how to shoot a bow and arrow?!"
"Sure," Lian replied indulgently. "I just have to find a nice kid-sized one for you."
Olivia stomped her foot indignantly. "Lian! Why can't I have a big one like yours?!"
Lian sighed. "Because you're too young. There."
Olivia stomped her foot again, harder this time. "No fair!"
"Life isn't fair," Lian replied chirpily, albeit with an undercurrent that Olivia couldn't quite decipher. However, something about those three simple words, those four simple syllables, made Olivia curious.
"Why isn't it fair?"
"Because if life was fair, good people wouldn't stop existing. They'd go on forever."
That made no sense to Olivia. People couldn't stop existing. Things didn't just snap out of existence one day. It was impossible. She couldn't imagine it. And her mommy and daddy were good people, so . . . they couldn't just stop existing. They just couldn't.
"My mommy and daddy will go on forever!" she declared fervently.
"No, they won't," she heard Lian mutter. In a much clearer voice, Lian added, "Shoo. You're bothering me."
"I heard that and I'm gonna tell Mommy you were mean to me!" Olivia announced furiously. "She'll take care of you!" With that vow firmly in her mind, the tow-headed girl stormed out of the training grounds and went looking for her mother. Of course, instead of finding her mother, she found Lian's dad Roy.
"Big brother!" Olivia exclaimed. "Where's Mommy?"
"Mommy has important work to do with the Justice League, but she'll be back later for you," Roy replied. "Now what's wrong?"
"Lian was mean to me!"
Roy gasped. "How's that possible?"
"She wouldn't let me practice with her big girl bow and arrow and then she said Mommy and Daddy would stop existing someday!" Olivia blurted out indignantly.
"Um, Lian was looking out for your safety," Roy replied. "She was scared that if you practiced with her bow, you might hurt yourself. And your mommy and daddy are always going to be there, even if you can't always see them."
"So Lian was wrong?"
"Yeah, I suppose so . . ."
"Good! Now take care of her!"
Roy chuckled and ruffled Olivia's hair. "Sure. I'll do that for you."
"You're welcome. Now, before I go get Lian, you want some juice?"
Two years later
Two years later
"Mar'i!" Olivia greeted, tackle-hugging the older girl. "I missed you!"
"I missed you, too, Livy," Mar'i replied with a smile that didn't quite reach her eyes.
"I'm glad you're here, Mar'i," Dinah greeted. "Ever since that first day, all she can talk about is you."
"Really?" Mar'i asked.
"Yeah," Dinah confirmed. "She thinks the world of you."
Mar'i gently scooped up Olivia and walked inside the manor while carrying her. "So what is it this time? Business with the League? A mission from Aunt Babs?"
"Both," Dinah replied. "Your Aunt Babs gave me permission to bring with me a team of female operatives that I trust most."
"Are you gonna bring Charlie with you?" Mar'i asked.
"That's top secret, Mar'i," Dinah replied. "Can't say who I'll bring with me. You never know who might be listening."
"Ok," Mar'i conceded. "Have fun."
"I intend to." Dinah smirked and kissed Olivia on the cheek. "Be good for Mar'i, ok, little canary?"
"Ok, Mommy," Olivia said.
Once Dinah was gone, Mar'i carried Olivia into the den and sat down on the couch. "So . . . what do you want to do?"
"I want you to teach me how to fight," Olivia replied.
"Yeah. I wanna do like my mommy and beat up bad guys."
"Ok. I'll show you how, but we'll have to be careful."
"Why?" Olivia was confused.
"I'm bigger and stronger than you are. I could hurt you if I didn't control myself."
"You wouldn't hurt me. I know you wouldn't."
"If you say so . . ." Mar'i looked away for a while before turning back to Olivia. "Ok, let's do it."
Mar'i took Olivia to the training area hidden in the manor's basement. "All right, I'll show you some stances."
The Tamaranean hybrid stood with her side facing Olivia and spread her feet a little wider than her shoulders, bending her knees somewhat. She raised one hand over her head and pointed her other hand in Olivia's direction, turning her head to look at the younger girl. "Now you try."
Olivia shifted into a stance similar to Mar'i's. "Not bad," Mar'i remarked, "but your footing's not exactly stable. I could knock you down easily."
"Ok, do it," Olivia challenged.
"You sure?" Mar'i asked. "I don't want to hurt you."
"Are you scared?" Olivia taunted.
Mar'i chuckled. "Ok. I see how it is. You must really want that spanking. Fine. Here comes."
Mar'i sprang off her front foot into a sweeping kick to Olivia's legs, while Olivia attempted to block Mar'i's kick with a kick of her own. Mar'i simply pulled her leg, which had hooked Olivia's blocking leg, up, thus knocking Olivia off-balance and to the ground.
"Ow . . ." Olivia moaned.
"Are you ok?" Mar'i asked, moving over to Olivia. "Did I hurt you?"
"Kinda . . ."
"I'm sorry." Mar'i moved to help Olivia back up onto her feet, only for Olivia to swing her leg up to kick Mar'i in the stomach when the older girl had crouched. "What the –?"
"Were you going to say a bad word?" Olivia asked as she rose to her feet. She hadn't quite knocked Mar'i down, but Mar'i had had to struggle to keep her footing, something Olivia took great satisfaction in.
Mar'i got up with a smile. "You know a little more than I thought. Have Dinah or Connor been teaching you stuff?"
"Yeah," Olivia replied. "Daddy doesn't want them to, so we have to keep it a secret." She came up to Mar'i and leaned up to whisper in her ear. "You're not gonna tell him, are you?"
"No, I won't tell him," Mar'i answered.
"Good!" Olivia chirped. "You know, I wanna be just like Mommy when I grow up."
"Does that mean you're going to wear fishnets, too?" Mar'i raised an eyebrow in amusement.
"Uh-huh," Olivia replied with her hands on her hips. "Because they make bad guys stupid when they look at them and then it's easier to beat them up."
Mar'i snickered. "They make good guys stupid, too, you know."
Two years later
Two years later
"I sacrifice my Mystical Elf to summon . . . Dark Magician Girl!" Charlotte announced, removing the Mystical Elf card from the field and replacing it with the Dark Magician Girl card. Interestingly enough, the blonde, green-eyed, and blue-and-pink-clad mage was not what anyone would expect from someone with "dark" in their name. Then again, Charlotte was fond of "Dark Vengeance" and she was not exactly all that "dark" herself.
"Oh, yeah? I sacrifice my Fire Sorceress for Harpie Lady Sisters!" Olivia declared, removing the Fire Sorceress card from the field and replacing it with the Harpie Lady Sisters card.
"Aren't you a little young for that sort of thing?" Charlotte asked.
"What do you mean?" Olivia asked, looking at the three winged birdlike women on her card in confusion.
"Never mind," Charlotte answered. "You'll figure it out when you're older."
"And I add Cyber Harness to power them up!" Olivia declared, playing the equipment spell card that featured a metallic corset on the cover.
"Well, doesn't that just beat all?" Charlotte giggled. "Except I have three Dark Magicians in the graveyard, which boosts my Dark Magician Girl's attack strength by 300 times three!"
"You're dead. My attack just cost you your last 300 life points."
"Yes way." Charlotte smiled. "But you played a good game. It's not your fault you lost; I just have more experience at this sort of thing."
Olivia slumped in her chair, just as her father came in. "Hey, Livy, Charlie. How's it going?"
"Just dandy, Mr. Queen!" Charlotte chirped cheerfully.
"Aw, man, don't call me Mr. Queen," Ollie groaned. "It makes me feel old."
"Well, you are old," Charlotte retorted lightly.
"My daddy's not old!" Olivia protested.
"Yes, he is," Charlotte answered.
"No, he's not."
"Yes, he is."
"No, he's not."
"Yes, he is."
"Come on, girls, no need to fight," Ollie remarked jovially. "Charlie, you can call me Ollie, and Livy, I'll be just fine if you keep calling me Daddy."
"Ok, Daddy!" Olivia said.
"So, how was the game?" Ollie asked.
"I lost," Olivia replied gloomily.
"It's ok, Livy," Ollie said. "In times like this, losing isn't the end of the world. It can feel that way sometimes, but it isn't always the case."
"But if the Justice League lost, wouldn't the world end?" Olivia raised her head to Ollie with a quizzical expression on her face.
"Even the Justice League loses sometimes. In those cases, the bad guys did something they didn't expect or they were just too strong. But the Justice League wins in the end because they review their battles, they see what went wrong or what they didn't do right and they practice a lot so they can get better and the bad guys will lose next time."
"Really." He turned to Charlotte. "And I'm not old."
"Being old's not bad," Charlotte said. "Ted's old and he kicks butt."
"Yeah, but I'm not his age yet."
Olivia giggled. "You're silly, Daddy. I'll still love you no matter how old you get."
Ollie hugged Olivia. "Thanks, Olivia. That means a lot. More than you'll ever know . . ."
One year later
One year later
School let out and Olivia was headed for the bus when a van parked next to her. The passenger side window slid open and the woman in the driver's seat looked out through it, wearing a white headscarf and blue-tinted sunglasses. "Hi, Olivia. I'm here to take you home."
"Who are you?" Olivia asked.
"An old friend of your mother's," the woman replied. "It's ok. She knows. I even got her permission."
"Ok," Olivia said, climbing into the backseat of the van. Upon entering the van, she saw three "men in black" sitting in the van. "Who are you guys?"
"Let's just say we're the lady's bodyguards," one of the men, a blond fellow with a narrow face, replied.
"Ok," Olivia said.
As the woman drove, the second man, brunet and thick-featured, offered Olivia a juice pouch. Olivia took it and popped the straw into it, sipping the pouch dry. "Thank you," she said.
"You're welcome," the man answered.
It was only a minute later that Olivia started feeling woozy. She yawned. "I'm gonna take a nap."
"Sure," the third man, black-haired and fine-featured, said. "You can use my lap as a pillow."
"Ok," Olivia answered, and rested her head and upper torso on the man's lap. Soon enough, she passed into sleep.
When Olivia woke up, she had the feeling of being bound, like a mummy. She also felt like she was suspended in midair, being held aloft by something wrapped around her arms and legs. She tried to move her fingers and found that she couldn't. She felt something covering her head like a helmet, only she couldn't see out of it at all, inhibiting her efforts to look around. Even worse, she couldn't turn her head . . . and she felt things poking into her spine and neck.
"Where am I?!" she asked. "Mommy! Daddy! Where are you?!"
"Your parents aren't here right now," the voice of the woman who had picked her up at school replied.
"What do you want with me?!" Olivia asked.
"We can't tell you that right now, but when this is over, you'll know . . . and you'll be grateful to us for it," the woman answered.
Olivia would have struggled, but she was so thoroughly bound that the most she could do was wiggle very slightly. She vaguely heard the woman say, "Begin," and that was the last thing she processed before she felt multiple pricks in her spine and neck. She let out a small cry of pain and that was the last sensation she knew before . . .
When she came to, she felt awkward and uneven. She looked around and thought she was sitting on someone's shoulders, for how could she be so high up? Then she looked down and noticed that her legs were longer and more defined. Wait . . . her legs were covered in some kind of black semi-organic metal coating, and when she looked at her arms, they were coated in that same black metal. As a matter of fact, she could barely see her feet over a couple of strange large lumps on her chest, which were partially covered by the black metal coating, too.
"What's going on?" she asked, and her voice sounded weird to her ears, deeper and silkier.
She dared to look around and saw a bunch of people . . . not moving. Not only were they not moving, they had darkened red splotches all over their bodies and clothes. She crouched, not sure how to take all this in, but they weren't moving . . . and somehow, she knew that was her fault. She just didn't know how it was her fault.
Just then, Ollie and Dinah entered, garbed in their Green Arrow and Black Canary costumes. Roy, Connor, Mia, Lian, and Dick entered, also costumed. Olivia's eyes widened when she saw her parents, and tears came to her eyes.
"Mommy? Daddy? Am I . . . ? Did I . . . ?"
Dinah rushed to Olivia and hugged her tightly, with tears choking her voice. "Olivia? What did they do to you?"
One week later
One week later
"We've run all the tests," Michael Holt, a.k.a. Mr. Terrific, replied, "and there's no way around it. We can't make Olivia eight years old again."
"All right," Ollie said. "Can you at least tell me what those bastards did to her?"
"As far as we can tell, a techno-organic weapons system has been implanted into Olivia's nervous system," Mr. Terrific explained. "Dr. Mid-Nite was able to determine its composition; it's a merger of nanobyte computers and extraterrestrial stem cells. We did some physical tests and it turns out that her physical abilities are on a metahuman level."
"Um, just how metahuman?" Dinah asked.
"We don't know," Mr. Terrific admitted. "I wouldn't expect her to take on Superman or Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel and win, if that's what you're asking." His tone was utterly deadpan as he said that. "And her mental abilities are something else."
"What do you mean?" Dinah asked.
"Her cognition, memory, and reasoning skills have also been enhanced," Mr. Terrific replied. "I tested her in the form of a game . . . and . . ."
"And what?" Dinah prompted, a smile tugging at the corners of her lips.
"She beat me." The embarrassment radiated from the T-masked man in waves.
"She beat you? You? Third smartest man in the world?"
"Yes. You don't have to rub it in."
"Ha! Yeah! My daughter's a genius!" Ollie crowed, prompting Dinah to smack him upside the head.
"Can we take her back home?" she asked.
"Yes, you can," Mr. Terrific replied. "I should warn you, she's been through a great deal. Don't be surprised if she has some difficulties adjusting."
"I think we're all going to have difficulties adjusting," Dinah remarked. "Where is she?"
"Sparring with the Wildcats," Mr. Terrific replied.
"With Ted and Tom?"
"I'm not sure how I feel about that . . ."
"It's ok, Dinah. Livy's a big girl. She can hold her own."
Dinah sighed and went to the training area to find Olivia, Ollie following her. When the couple reached the JSA training grounds, they found a blonde who couldn't have been older than sixteen fighting both Ted Grant and Tom Bronson, the latter of whom had shifted into his werecat form. The blonde seemed to be handling them both fairly well, but that wasn't what shocked Dinah and Ollie. The thing that shocked them was that the blonde was dressed in a strapless black leather one-piece, fishnets, and low-heeled black leather boots, just like . . .
"Olivia?" Dinah uttered.
At that moment, Olivia slammed a palm into Tom's chest and kicked Ted in his solar plexus, knocking them both down. "Mommy!" She tackle-hugged Dinah with such speed that she nearly knocked her mother over. "Did you see me?"
"Yeah, I did," Dinah replied, "but what's that you're wearing?"
"Oh, this?" Olivia asked. "Some clothes you and Grandma Dinah left behind. Uncle Ted nearly fainted when he saw me in them, but I told him that there was nothing else for me to wear."
"You let her dress like that?!" Ollie shouted at Ted.
"Keep your voice down," Ted grumbled, rising to his feet. "And it's not like she can't take care of herself."
"That's not the point!" Ollie exploded.
"Daddy!" Olivia cut in. "This is the outfit Mommy and Grandma Dinah wore when they were fighting bad guys. It made bad guys stupid, which made it easier for Mommy and Grandma Dinah to beat them. If I wear it, I can do the same thing!"
Ollie had no answer or retort for that, except . . . "I think you might have a point there, kiddo." He sighed. "Man, this is going to take some getting used to, but are you ready to come home with me and your mom?"
"Yeah!" Olivia chirped. She picked up a leather jacket and donned it. "Thanks for the spar, Uncle Ted. You, too, Tommy. I'll see you later!"
Eighteen months later
Eighteen months later
It had been a year and a half since Olivia Queen's life had irrevocably changed. Her childhood was gone, and she wasn't sure she missed it all that much. On the one hand, she liked being able to go places with Mar'i and Lian, places they once said she was too young to visit. She liked being able to fight like them and be taken seriously by them. She liked no longer being the "annoying little sister." On the other hand . . . she hadn't known just how much responsibility being "big" entailed.
She was expected to do things for herself now. While her parents and uncles and aunts would still help her from time to time, she was largely expected to figure out the larger picture herself. In and of itself, that wasn't so difficult, given her nigh-superhuman intelligence, but it could be nerve-wracking without practical experience to help her.
Then there was the way boys would look at her when they didn't think she was looking at them. Their eyes would lock onto those lumps on her chest – breasts, she had learned they were called – and hardly stray. At the times she showed her back to them, she got the feeling that their eyes were aimed somewhat lower than her back. It made her feel funny . . . and she wasn't sure how.
She'd tried to talk to her father about it, but he had gone into a tirade about "perverts" and "dogs." She didn't understand it; how were dogs and perverts connected? Dogs were cute, fluffy, adorable animals that showered someone with unconditional love and affection. Perverts were the creepy old men that stared at girls like her too long and too hard. There was absolutely no connection whatsoever.
One time, she'd gone to Helena with her question and Helena had smirked at her. "Those stares? That means they want to do you."
"Do me? How are they going to do me?"
"I mean they want to make the two-backed beast with you. They want to do the horizontal mamba with you. They want to do the bedroom tango with you. Or, if you don't get what any of those euphemisms mean, I'm just gonna cut to the chase. They want to do with you the kinds of things that your mother and father did with each other to bring you into the world."
Olivia had gasped.
"It's ok." Helena had patted Olivia's shoulder. "Eventually, you're gonna meet someone who not only wants to do those things with you, but wants to cuddle with you after. And if you're lucky, they'll want to do stuff with you outside the bedroom . . . or whatever available surface there is."
"Thanks, Aunt Helena," Olivia had said.
Now, Olivia was suiting up, having already donned the fishnets and leather one-piece. She put on knee-high leather boots, zipping them up and fastening the buckles around her calves. She slipped on motorcycle gloves and fastened the Velcro straps around her wrists. Finally, she put on a leather jacket with ridged armor on the shoulders.
She was ready now. She was the Black Canary, and she would do her mother and grandmother proud.
End Notes: There you go, Olivia Queen's secret origin. It'll lead into the next arc of this story, which will explain just who implanted Olivia with that weapons system and for what purpose. There was a lot I wanted to do here, but for the purposes of length I decided to keep it just to what you read. Hopefully, you enjoyed, and thank you for reading.