Deathstroke: Long Distance

Kicking at an already shattered log, a figure, draped in both his signature shades of orange and black, made his way through a desolate back trail towards the clearing he could sense up ahead. As a deathly held machete blade ripped through the thin branches and other debris that blocked up the once used path, the shadow stopped suddenly for a moment to listen.

When his observations with his senses revealed nothing around him other than insects, he continued on.

"So here I am," he thought, seething at his situation, "I'm slicing my way to get help from someone I can't even bare the existence of."

In the distance of the just now somewhat risen sun, his eye singled out the shadows of buildings in the distance.

Bludhaven City looked over by its own Dark Squire, Nightwing.

Slade Wilson near barked at the thought.

Unfortunately, he couldn't turn back at the moment. That would be much too risky. He stopped short and cursed himself for being surprised when the communicator hidden under his glove went off. He yanked the entire glove off and threw it into the tops of some nearby trees, though he could still hear the man on the other side speaking up.

"It will condemn the one who opposes you."

An excellently thrown blade, and the voice is now silent with the debris of the penetrated communicator falling to the dirt and grass covered forest floor. This line of trees wouldn't last for long, soon there would be nothing but open polluted air around the upcoming trash dumps in the junkyards just outside the city. He'd hit the structure of the high train rail before that though.

Ah, there it was.

If Nightwing's patrol didn't run directly by the station within the city, the assassinator might have thought about simply following the structure's tracks inside. But then again-he was here to seek out the HERO (he growled at that) and…get his…help. Oh, he couldn't even believe that he was allowing himself to think that sentence!

A distance whistle made the Terminator turn sharply towards an incoming light as he finally reached the structure that towered some six stories up. It wouldn't be too difficult to scale for him-as soon as that train reached him. With that, he began his ascent upwards. When he reached the top about a minute later, he considered throwing explosives down and letting the train fall onto its side, or explode. Slade shook the thought away for the time being and waited. It was coming closer and his hands reached for a pair of shuko spikes on the inside of his right sleeve as the light danced closer to his form.

Ah, finally!

The transport's shadow in the distance, now to-

Deathstroke's thoughts were cut off when the incoming train suddenly turned and plummeted off of the edge.

Under his mask, he blinked twice and then walked over to the edge where he saw that the tracks had been broken apart and rearranged. It was a trick so old; it belonged in 60's silent cartoons. What kind of idiot thought-

He cut off the thought and glanced down to see some of the staff pulling themselves from the debris. None appeared to be dead.

What a pity.

Well, looks like he was walking into the city.

That's when he noticed that there were no riders being pulled from the cars. So if he had blown the thing up, he wouldn't have caused as much destruction as he had planned. Feeling like a kid that had been denied candy, he turned away from the crash and froze in surprise when he saw that a single car had been cut off from the rest of the train and was sitting on the tracks still.

It obviously had to be the last car on the train, so it couldn't get him into the city faster on its own. Still, there might be something useful. If there was a radio outlet inside the car and the right circuitry, he might be able to retrace the signal that they had sent out to the communicator he had just tossed. Worth a shot, as long as he knew where they were, he could make sure not to be in that same place.

As he pushed open the stuck sliding door though, the last thing he thought he would find is the hero that he had been looking for.

"Hmm, fancy that," he muttered as he rounded a bent inwards wall and found a bloody corpse behind it.

"Mm…"

OK strike that. The acrobat was still alive.

The assassinator sighed and crouched down to feel at the pulse in Nightwing's neck. It was a bit slow, but still strong. He could fix that. His machete blade was still in his hands so…

So easy to slide across the hero's exposed throat. He blinked and found his blade resting across Nightwing's neck, but his hand was trembling. He wanted to kill this guy and his bloody body had metaphorically just miraculously been dropped at his feet.

"Ugh, why can't I kill you?"

Every opportunity he had ever had Nightwing had had something, reinforcements or an ultimatum that left him powerless to deal a deadly shot at the man's weakest times.

And this time he couldn't kill him-because he needed his help.

A spark drew Slade's eyes away from the bloody figure and he turned to look outside the cab where he had forced the doors open with his enhanced strength. Now that it was at the right angle he could see where the connection for the cable car had been smashed. A familiar ecrisma stick was lying below the band of interlocking metal.

So his old 'friend' had managed to save himself. But wait-

If he'd managed to disconnect this cable car with the rest of the train- who or what-had cut the guy up?

Senses on high alert, Slade scanned every inch of the car for any identifying marks of someone else, but found none. There was no one outside the car. What exactly had happened?

Ras and none of the Gotham scum he had just met with had made any sense with their plans. Apparently, he had been a potential pawn for Ras because of his history with Nightwing, but what was really going on?

Outside he heard someone shouting.

"There's a car left up on the bridge!"

Cursing under his breath, Slade Wilson, Deathstroke the Terminator took it upon himself to lift the unconscious hero into his arms and quickly escape with Nightwing back into the cover of trees he had just left.


It was an hour before Dick Grayson woke up to a warm hand on his forehead.

Wait, no 'bat' had warm hands, they were always cold.

-Weird 'bat' anatomy.

Deathstroke was questioning what he was doing. He was invited to a villain meeting with people he never intended to see again if he could help it, promptly had to escape the base they were in, if you could call it a base, and went trekking for the nearest city, which was Bludhaven.

Coincidence-or did humanity and fate have something against him?

Now here he was, caring for hero he would really like to slit the throat of. He sighed as he noticed the young one trying to pry open his eyes. The Terminator had bandaged the wounds that he could with the little medical supplies he carried with him. Not many were needed with his enhanced healing abilities. Truthfully, the white stark medical tape had only lasted for a few minutes before blood leaked through and Slade was forced to throw them against a nearby tree in frustration. So, the acrobat was still bleeding and holding anything against the wounds wouldn't make them stop. Who had done this to him? He wasn't burned, just cut up by what was apparently a slashing blade.

And there lay the problem- there were plenty of villains out there with a cutting fetish.

"Slade…"

His single eye raced up and met the just parted eyes of Dick Grayson.

"In over your head, Nightwing?"

"…Why aren't you… trying to…kill me?" the younger breathed slowly, feeling and tasting the blood running between his lips, his eyes too tired to widen at the sight of an old enemy leaning over him.

"Listen," here, Deathstroke reached out and curled his hand into a fist inside the material of the hero's costume and pulled him up to his masked face so the two could see eye to eye, "I know what's going on and-"

Finding a reserve of strength Dick gritted his teeth and all in a single breath, shot off of his feet and slammed the assassinator against the nearest tree with a growl, "What have you done?"

"Me? Nothing. It's your old friend Ras you should worry about."

A blue striped gloved hand wrapped around his neck, the hero now holding him by the throat with strength that he didn't have.

"What do you know?"

"If you let me go, I'll tell you-or you could just kill me right now. I can respect that."

Slade knew it was coming when Nightwing's eyes narrowed and his head tilted to the left slightly.

"Feeling dizzy?"

The grasping hand released him and the hero stumbled backwards. Grumbling, the elder reached out and caught Dick before he fell and slowly lowered him to the ground with an alien emotion of caring in his touch. Internally, Dick was resentful of the touch-why did the scariest of people on the planet end up the most caring.

Images of the past tried to resurface in his mind, but they were swept away as darkness crept along the edges of his vision. He felt the warm hand returning to his forehead.

"Ras wants to take Gotham city and everything Bruce Wayne loves," Slade whispered before darkness completely consumed Nightwing's vision.

But…Why?


The flash of distant but familiar colors on the other side of the high rail train structure made the assassinator scoop the hero back up into his arm.

…he could crush his windpipe right now.

But he needed Ras taken down to gain that control of the Gotham underworld. It would help him gain more contacts among the criminal community.

The familiar flash of yellow in the distance made him walk towards the distant figure. He recognized the iconic colors of the Boy Wonder. He could take this annoyance off of his hands.

And he walked among the wreckage and flames of cloudy past and future.


Finally! Done!

~Moonsetta