Q and A (Part Six)
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Sadly this is the end. I hope it's been as fun for you as it was for me.
"Tot will have to make me a new mask," muttered Question to himself as he and Huntress stood in the shadows while Gordon and the GCPD took Anarky away and began cleaning up the mess they had created, "Whatever was in that vat was strong. I didn't think anything could burn through the psuedoderm."
"That another of those words in the dictionary you know that I don't?" inquired Huntress.
"No, that one's completely made up," assured Question as he rubbed his face, "I feel naked without it."
"I noticed," said Huntress with a small grin, "It's not so bad though being human, is it?"
"Don't joke about this, Helena," warned Question as he glared at his girlfriend. Huntress found it slightly unnerving that this time she could actually see his eyes and the simmering anger they held inside them.
"Vic?" Question turned his attention Myra Fermin, who had managed to extricate herself from the chaos around her in order to have a few moments alone with him. Huntress knew that was her cue to quietly fade into the background while the two of them talked.
"This isn't really the time or the place" explained Question after a moment of hesitation.
"How long have you been doing this?" asked Myra.
"A long time," replied Question, "Longer than I've known you since that's what you really wanted to know about."
"You couldn't tell me about this at some point?" questioned Myra in a slightly angry tone. She once again remembered why her relationship with Victor Sage didn't work out. Loving him involved putting up with too many secrets and too many unanswered questions. Myra Fermin knew she could never live her life that way.
"You and I are both keenly aware of the inherent dangers of this world," reminded Question, "I didn't want to compromise my identity and I wanted to keep you safe. As the Question, I can do what Vic Sage can't and what I do as the Question isn't very nice or pretty."
"You could clean up Hub City without having to wear a mask" countered Myra, the frustration evident in her voice, "Why still do it this way?"
"People need the truth," explained Question, "People need the ugly, brutal truth that hurts their feelings and makes them take action. On a more personal note, maybe I do it to find out who I really am because sometimes, Myra, I have no clue."
"What makes you different from him?" asked Myra as she gestured to Anarky.
"Sometimes I ask myself the same question," assured Question, "I need to go, Myra. We'll talk again later."
"I believe I have you at a disadvantage," said Anarky as he saw Question enter the interrogation room, "I'm the one wearing the mask this time."
"You're not wearing a mask," corrected Question as he sat down, absently touching his newly acquired mask. Tot had kept spares at his home and it took a few simple requests to Mr. Terrific in order to teleport back to Hub City and pick one of them up.
"You think this isn't a mask?" asked Anarky as he gestured to his actual face, "I thought you were smarter than that."
"Fair enough," admitted Question, "I have questions and you have answers. Some of the questions are the ones the GCPD want answered and some of them are for the satisfaction of my own personal curiosity."
"You know a curiosity as large as yours can never be satisfied," assured Anarky, "Fine then, my faceless friend. I'll play this game with you."
"You could've killed Rupert Thorne at any point in this whole fiasco," stated Question, "You were operating completely in secret until you killed Mayor Fermin and put me on your trail. I don't believe that was your ultimate goal."
"In part it was," admitted Anarky.
"What other motives did you have?" inquired Question.
"Killing Thorne was my original motive and I still intend to do that," explained Anarky, "I followed him to Hub City and decided that Mayor Fermin also needed removing. Plus, as I said earlier, I've watched you for a very long time and I wanted to finally meet you."
"You continually warned me about your bombs," reminded Question, "Most people would simply write it off as the narcissism usually associated with people of your kind but I don't buy that. You never wanted Myra Fermin dead, did you?"
"What else would have been my goal concerning her?" countered Anarky in return.
"A question I don't have an answer for," admitted Question, "Would you care to enlighten me?"
"I don't have any love for politics but I think she's one of the few politicians I could respect," stated Anarky, "Should she ultimately decide to run, I'd like to see her become Hub City's next mayor."
"You continually threatened her life in order to get her elected?" asked Question skeptically.
"I could've killed her at any time," reminded Anarky, "People will be more sympathetic towards her now that she's been through this ordeal. People will be more inclined to listen to what she has to say. She'll run, she'll get elected, and she'll clean up Hub City, something that does fall into line with my ultimate goal. When the time is right, I'll eliminate her if I need to but until that time comes I don't have any plans concerning her."
"Another smokescreen?" asked Question.
"Perhaps," replied Anarky, "You of all people should be aware of the masks we use in our everyday lives to conceal our true motives and intentions. People are so apathetic these days that true change can only be achieved through dramatic and spectacular examples. They may paint me as a villain or a lunatic and lock me away but eventually the revolution will come. We all have our parts to play."
"One last question," said Question, "The times you called me on the phone. How could you be sure of my position? You're smart but you're not psychic."
"I do have a genius-level IQ," assured Anarky, "I've read up on some of your more interesting theories, Question. You're right about the government having spy satellites. I assume they were implemented as some sort of contingency plan against the Justice League and, even though that project was ultimately scrapped, they still hover over our heads with cloaking technology so sophisticated I doubt even your friends are aware of them."
"You hacked into them then?" assumed Question.
"Genius-level IQ," reminded Anarky, "I believe I have a competency hearing in a few minutes. I expect it will be very tedious and boring."
"We're through here," stated Question as he turned and walked towards the door, "A shame that we find ourselves on opposite sides of the bars, Anarky. In another life, we could've been friends."
"Doubtful," disagreed Anarky, "'A' is 'A' after all and 'Q' is 'Q'. Things are what they are."
"Unfortunately," agreed Question as he departed.
"Isn't there something in the Justice League rulebook about personal use of the teleportation equipment?" asked Huntress, a smirk playing across her lips as she leaned against the wall of a building and looked at Question.
"Can't help it," replied Question, "It's the safest way to get Myra and I back into Hub City. Anarky could have some sort of contingency plan waiting for us if we decide to use regular transportation, commercial or otherwise."
"He really got you spooked," said Huntress.
"He did no such thing," corrected Question, "I'm merely guaranteeing our safety."
"There's no law that says you have to go back," reminded Huntress, "This town could use an extra pair of hands on the night shift, Q. I could think of a few other things that could need a good pair of hands in case you need something to keep you busy."
"You know I can't stay here, Helena," replied Question, "Your city needs you and my city still needs me. Maybe when I'm satisfied that the progress I've made in Hub City is lasting then I'll reconsider."
"You know I'm terrible at waiting," said Huntress.
"You'll survive," assured Question, "I've spoken to Batman about getting you a new base of operations. He has his reservations but I'm sure you two can work something out."
"Maybe I'll just move down to Hub then," suggested Huntress.
"You wouldn't last five minutes there," decided Question, "That city eats people alive."
"So why do you stay then?" asked Huntress.
"That is the Question," answered Question as he kissed her goodbye and then walked away from the woman he loved.
"Things are going to change when we get back there, Vic," promised Myra, "A lot of things."
"Not the thing you're thinking about," corrected Question, "There can never be anything more between us Myra. We live in different worlds and I'm already taken."
"That's another reason why we never worked out," admitted Myra, "Not everything revolves around you, Vic."
"Tell that to the lunatics," suggested Question as he tapped his com-link, "Watchtower, transport to Hub City for two." Myra and Question faded out of existence before reappearing on the streets of Hub City.
"I'll catch you on the news," promised Myra.
"I'll be waiting to see your name on the ballot sheet," assured Question as he tipped his hat to the woman he once loved and then quietly faded away into the alleys of Hub City. Myra Fermin watched him leave and wondered if she had ever really loved Vic Sage or if the man she had loved was just a ghost. She filed away those questions in her mind and decided that when the time was right she'd get the answers to them.