Chapter Twenty-Eight: Circumstances
were only so many things that could register in his head when Robin
first woke up. The first of many was that he was sore till no tomorrow.
Robin groaned as he stretched as best as he could. That's when the
second thing registered, his feet. Clenching his teeth, he sat up and
pulled his foot forward and saw it was caked with dry blood and swollen.
He wasn't looking forward to what this would lead to. Robin looked out
the window and saw that the sun had risen slightly, but a fog still
covered the land as the leaves remained wet and damp. That didn't
improve his mood.
As he looked outside, he tested the window. It
seemed sturdy enough on the edges. He pressed his hand against the glass
and that's when he noticed it, the electric field on the other side.
There went a very simple escape attempt. Suddenly the door opened and
the bright light from the hallway streamed into the room, halted only by
a figure's presence. Robin turned around to see Slade in full uniform
standing in the doorway. He frowned instantly.
Slade walked forward and said, "Morning."
Robin said nothing. Like he had to.
Slade rolled his eye and looked down at Robin's foot, "You want to take care of that?"
teen glared at him, but said nothing. Slade wasn't going to take this
sort of insolence and instead grabbed Robin by the arm and proceeded to
drag the boy from his room. Slade wasn't about to wait now, was he?
"Let go!" Robin yelled, struggling to free himself.
"Oh, now you speak up," Slade said sarcastically.
passed through a couple halls before Slade opened a lab door and shoved
Robin inside. Robin stumbled inside as Slade shut the door. In the
center of the room was a chair with an incandescent light illuminating
it from above, giving it a ghostly disposition. Slade walked over to it
and motioned for Robin to sit down. The teen eyed the chair
suspiciously. It didn't help hearing the water running in the background
and seeing a tray of tools being brought into view.
Slade looked up at him seeing that he hadn't sat down yet, "Do you want that glass out of your foot or not?"
boy winced and grudgingly sat down in the chair. That was when he
realized his mistake. Instantly, clamps emerged from the chair and
pinned his wrists, waist, and legs to the chair. Robin looked up at
Slade and then at the clamps, all the while struggling to get free.
"What is this, Slade?" He demanded to know.
watched as Robin struggled fruitlessly. He bent down and found Robin's
ankle, which he held tightly. Robin looked at him extremely confused and
"There's no need to be worried, Robin," Slade told him.
"I beg to differ!" Robin yelled, "There's always a reason to worry with you around. Let me out of here! You can't keep me..."
Slade chuckled, "You still seem to have the wrong idea in your head, Robin. Perhaps I haven't been clear."
looked at the traces of glass that dug into the sole of Robin's foot.
Robin shuddered and shook his head. Slade released him and picked up the
tweezers and pick.
"You don't have a choice in this," Slade said.
"Just because I'm your ward doesn't mean..."
"You never have," Slade said, as he gripped Robin's foot again, "This will probably hurt."
fidgeted and squirmed, but despite this, he felt the shards instantly
sting again and he cried out in pain. Slade let him. And then the pain
died down, but left a dull ache in his foot and ankle. Robin dropped his
"Why are you doing this?" He asked.
"I thought that I was helping you," Slade said.
"Without dulling the pain when I know you could?" Robin asked back.
Slade smiled under the mask, "Your insolence earned you this."
He gripped Robin's foot again and Robin realized what was coming next, "Stop! Don't!"
The glass began to move again and Robin screamed, "Ahhhhhhhh!"
pained died again and Robin shook his head as he looked down at Slade,
who seemed undisturbed by this, "You've never had a choice in this or
any other matter."
Robin looked him in the eye as Slade stood up and carried the glass shards over to the counter.
"Once your parents died..." Robin brought his head up... his parents?
"You lost everything," Slade said simply, "And yes I know about them, Robin. It was all over the news, after all."
walked back over to Robin who had taken to not looking at Slade. He
wasn't going to do what he thought Slade was doing. Don't bring them
into this... please...
"They loved you, didn't they?" Slade asked.
Robin wouldn't answer. Slade was taunting him. He couldn't let it affect him, couldn't...
"And when you lost them, you lost everything," Slade finished.
Robin looked up at him, "I didn't."
Slade shrugged, "You're angry about it, about everything."
watched as Robin looked at him. He knew the boy was trying to figure
him out, figure out what Slade was leading him to. Not that he could
till it happened.
"You're angrier than I am."
Slade kept his surprise from showing. That was... good... he had to admit. Ah well, he only had so much time.
you can't do everything that I can," Slade countered and continued,
"You couldn't save Bruce. You're stuck here. And you're trying to be
something you're not made out to be."
He grabbed Robin's foot
again and held a towel soaked in rubbing alcohol to his foot and
instantly Robin felt the searing pain of the antiseptic burning into his
skin. He kicked and shoved, shaking his head while biting his lip.
think I've said it before, but you can't save a city, when you can't
save yourself," Slade finished, releasing Robin's foot and throwing the
now pinkish-red towel back to the sink.
He walked over to the
cabinet to pull out sterile gauze. Robin closed his eyes. How had Slade
known about the... He shouldn't be so surprised. Slade had probably been
the one to manufacture the dust anyway. Yeah, he was smart. Robin
opened his eyes as Slade grabbed his foot yet again and began to wrap it
in the gauze. It was tight, but loose enough to move around.
"So my question for you then, Robin..." Slade trailed off as he taped off the gauze.
He caught hold of Robin's chin and forced to boy to look him in the face, "Is this such a bad circumstance?"
Instantly, he released him and the clamps holding Robin down opened as did the door.
Robin looked around and then back at Slade, "Yes."
teen wonder got up and began to sprint out. Slade stayed behind for a
moment. While he wondered how many times Robin would do this and realize
that it was a useless action, he had to admit, that went well for the
first 'pep talk' so to speak. It was all about planting the seeds of
doubt and letting Robin know who was boss right now. He'd get to the
rest later. He left the room finally to follow Robin, not even bothering
Robin on the other hand, did indeed run. He wasn't going
to stay here and despite the fact that his foot was still swollen, at
least it wasn't searing pain anymore. He ran down the hallways, often
coming to dead ends or to rooms with little to offer. As he sprinted
down the halls, he didn't notice an even lighter sounding footstep
coming from the opposite direction until it was too late.
fell back, his head pounding. He rubbed his head and opened his eyes to
see another person opposite, also on the ground holding her head.
Robin's eyes widened at the site of her.
"Ms. Kane?" He asked.
Adeline looked up at him in shock, "Robin, The Robin? How..."
looked behind him and got to his feet, offering her a hand up, the
automatic reaction kicking in, "Ms. Kane, we've got to get out of here.
He began to run in the same direction, but stopped as
his hold on her hand slipped. Robin looked back to see Ms. Kane standing
still, looking at him sadly.
"Ms. Kane?" He asked.
bit her lip. Her head still hurt from running into him, but one question
kept coming to her mind, "How do you know my name?"
Robin gaped at her. Why wasn't she moving or trying to get away? Didn't she know about Slade?
Kane, we've got to... Why aren't you?" Robin began, when a figure
emerged from around the corner and his chest tightened in response.
Slade came forward and Ms. Kane turned around, "I see you two have met, or rather, re-met."
"Slade, what game are you playing at?" Ms. Kane asked, "And what is Robin... Did you say, 're-met'?"
looked over at Robin, who had taken up a fighter's stance, ready to
fight Slade if need be. But that's when it hit. The hair, the facial
structure, working out, the timing...
"Dick?" She asked, the bewilderment apparent on her face.
Robin looked at her and after a moment, gave a brief nod. Adeline gaped at him as Slade stepped forward.
do believe that I wasn't finished with you yet, young man," Slade said,
stepping forward and grabbing Robin by the arm, despite Robin's
"Slade, what are you doing?" Adeline demanded.
"My ward and I have to have a little talk, if you don't mind, Adeline," Slade explained.
Robin was so out of the loop, "Wait, why's Ms. Kane here? What's going..."
smacked Robin across the face, startling Adeline, but not enough to
keep her stunned for long. Instantly, her hand curled up into a fist and
she aimed it directly at Slade, but he caught it easily and forced it
to the side.
"Now, now Adeline," Slade said.
"Don't you dare..." Adeline began.
"Dare what?" Slade asked, "If my facts are straight, it's not exactly your place to make any demands."
looked up. He was both confused and impressed. Impressed at the fact
that Adeline had just taken her shot at Slade without hesitation.
Confused as to what Slade was talking about.
"Ms. Kane...?" He started, "What's she doing here? She's not dead?"
Slade looked down at Robin and then between the two, "No, she's been here the entire time."
"The entire...?" Robin looked over at Ms. Kane, "But I thought... Ms. Kane, is that true?"
"Dick it's not that easy..." Adeline asked, suddenly furious, "Slade, you sly..."
me what you like Addie, it's not going to get you anywhere," Slade
interrupted, "Now if you don't mind, Robin and I have to discuss his
Adeline looked like she was about to say something, but stopped, holding her tongue as Slade walked past her.
Slade once again picked up Robin by the arm and released Adeline's fist, "We'll join you for dinner tonight."
pulled and tugged against Slade's grip, to no avail as he watched
Adeline disappear from site. Adeline stood frozen in the hallway, trying
to comprehend what had just happened. Dick was Robin? What was Slade
doing? Whatever it was, it couldn't be good. And Robin's face... what
must he be thinking? Adeline brought a hand to her head. Things couldn't
get much worse. But that's where she was wrong.
Robin felt his
feet slide out from underneath him as Slade dragged him down the hall,
"What was Ms. Kane doing here? I thought that you, hey!"
opened a door and tossed Robin inside, slamming the door behind him.
Robin looked up to see a small glass window in the door and ran to see
what Slade was doing. Was he just going to leave him here or what? But
then again, he was the hero here. He should be rescuing her from
whatever craziness Slade had imposed on her. He ran to the door and
banged on it loudly.
"I want answers! I thought you killed everyone! What's Ms. Kane doing here?" Robin yelled through the door.
Slade walked over to a small panel and without much interest answered, "I never said that I killed everyone,
Robin. Ms. Kane is here because I extrapolated circumstances. I
couldn't kill her, but I needed her out of the way in order to gain
custody of you."
"That means... I'm not your ward! Ms. Kane's still my guardian!"
"She's been declared dead, Robin," Slade clarified, "Therefore, you are my ward."
Robin looked at Slade through the window, "Why's she staying here? Why won't she leave? Doesn't she know about you?"
"That is none of your concern," Slade said, bringing a gage up in level.
"What are you doing?" Robin demanded to know.
teen looked inside the room. What was this place? Everything was made
of wood, a deep oak. The walls, the furniture, with small one inch
pieces cut out letting air vent in... Or out. In the center was a pit of
rocks on the floor with a small sink surrounding them and sometime
between the time he had been shoved in here and now, Robin had begun
"Slade!" He yelled.
"Don't worry, Robin," Slade told him, "You won't be in there for long. This is just a consequence of your behavior earlier."
"What?" Robin asked. What was Slade getting at?
"I will not tolerate rudeness," Slade explained, "I'll be back in half an hour."
that, Slade walked off and out of Robin's site. A red light turned on
and Robin turned to the center of the room where the rocks. Was he... in
a sauna? He walked towards the rocks and held out his hand, instantly
feeling the heat coming from them. He backed away, tentatively, but
somehow he wasn't too worried. Slade had put him in a sauna. How bad
could it be? He slid down onto one of the benches to wait. Bruce had
taught him how to deal with this sort of thing before and he'd been
fine. They'd gone to the equator for that one. Robin shook his head.
That had been fun, somewhat. The sights were nice, apart from the
He decided to lie down. Additional body heat from
close contact wouldn't help him, not that he thought he needed to do so
in the first place. He glanced over at the center pit of rocks, watching
how they began to glow, when suddenly, the fountain sprayed water on
top and a mass amount of steam filled the room. Robin turned away as the
steam came his way. He felt the blistering hot air hit him and he made
an effort to not be affected by it. And so went the pattern.
what felt like hours of passed time, Robin finally looked down at
himself, which was now a challenge since he was slightly dizzy from a
headache. His shirt and pants clung to him because of his sweat and he
could feel his hair grab his neck. As he tried to move, he felt the
bruise from the night before tingle with pain. What was Slade trying to
do? He could just about promise that Slade had been turning up the
temperature, but at this point, the more forefront thought on his mind
was how to stay cool. He debated taking off his shirt, but at the same
time, he wondered if it would be better to keep his sweat on him rather
than let it evaporate quickly.
He heard the fountain turn on again
for another steam cloud to engulf the sauna. Robin's eyes shot open. Of
course! The fountain. Rolling off of the bench to the floor and onto
his knees, Robin pulled his shirt off and tentatively crawled over to
the fountain. The next time... He put a hand down to the ground to
steady himself, his other still holding his shirt. Now he knew what it
was like being stuck out in the middle of a desert. He heard the system
turn on and he quickly sat upright, holding his shirt in front of the
fountain's mouth. The hot water sprung out and caught in his shirt and
Robin smiled. As it turned off, he brought his shirt up to his face.
when the smile disappeared. Gasping, Robin tossed the shirt away from
him and across the room. It was also blistering hot and he didn't know
which one was worse, the air or the water. But not even this revelation
proved to be the worst or the most shocking. Within ten minutes, Robin
was sure of it, he actually preferred the drenched T-Shirt to the room's
temperature. It was getting to be that bad. What kind of... What was
Slade trying to prove with this? That he wasn't to be rude? Well yeah,
that was doing a fine job of it now. The only thing that he was certain
of at that moment was that he was learning how to hate Slade's guts all
Robin kept his shirt on top of himself, dabbing his
face when need be. It was an odd sensation, to be baking in the midst of
such moist air. He stayed on the floor, not moving unless he had to
while his face became a deep red. Just when he was wondering how long he
had actually been inside of this place, the door swung open and the boy
wonder felt a breeze of cold air hit him instantly, chilling him. He
looked up to see Slade walking into the room. For a moment, they didn't
say anything to one another. They just stayed there, looking at the
Eventually Slade shrugged, "Do you want to get out, or should I leave you in there for another couple hours?"
did it. Instantly, Robin got up and walked out of the room. He was
extremely cold, shivering now and even his hot shirt wasn't doing him
any good as he pulled it back on. Glancing to his left, he saw a small
pad next to the room. He squinted and jumped back when he saw it read
125 degrees Fahrenheit.
"What are you trying to do to me?" Robin demanded to know.
glanced over at him and grabbed Robin by the shirt, dragging him back
over to the room. The boy wonder resisted, causing his feet to dig into
"Slade, stop!" Robin stopped as Slade looked him in the eye.
Robin felt his stomach drop.
"Revise that tone of yours," Slade told him coolly, the words hitting Robin hard.
And though he didn't want to, he did, "What, what was that?"
"A sauna room, but on an extremely high level," Slade said, "You were only in there for an hour and a half or so."
felt his jaw drop, but he soon brought it back up. He wasn't going to
let Slade get away with throwing him in there AND seeing his shock. So
Slade wanted him to be more respectful. Big deal. It seemed that Slade
was pretty lenient anyway. For a moment, Robin considered what complying
would invoke. Sure, he wouldn't be put back inside of a human oven, but
would Slade get worse? Probably. Would he get worse anyway? Again, the
answer was 'probably'.
Slade looked at Robin, watching as the boy
realized what was going on here and his current situation. Releasing
him, Slade turned his attention to the pad and turned the sauna room
off. Robin stood, not looking at him, which was fine. He wasn't too
concerned with it. He nodded over to the right and walked off. Within
seconds, he heard Robin sigh and follow him. They walked back to what
had become Robin's room, where Slade opened the door and allowed for
Robin to walk inside. A nice set of clean clothing was on the dresser,
but other than that, it was all the same.
"Dinner will be in an
hour. Here," Slade said, tossing a small card over to him, "It will get
you out and into the bathroom across the hall."
"I thought that you said that I was only in there for an hour," Robin responded, dinner being the last thing from his mind.
"I never said that you woke up early," Slade clarified, "One hour."
glared at him as the door shut behind him. He looked down at the card
in his hand. Well... he was hungry... He grabbed the clothes and used
the card to open his own door. Glancing around to his left, he noticed a
door open. The bathroom, of course. He walked down and looked inside.
Pretty plain, nothing special. But then a thought hit him. If he was
already out... Dropping the clothes, Robin ran down the hall only to
find a dead end. He had been sure...
The boy wonder sprinted down
the opposite end only to find that the other side was also closed off.
So the card didn't just open the bathroom and his door. It also closed
off any exits. Nice... Practically sulking back to the bathroom, Robin
did realize that he did feel rather disgusting, considering that he had
been sweating for at least an hour in the sauna. Closing the door, Robin
took a shower and got ready for dinner. At least while he was in the
shower he could quench his thirst that had arisen from being in the
sauna for so long. Just as he finished combing out his hair, he heard a
knock on the door. But of course upon opening it, he saw no one that he
wanted to see.
"Dinner," He announced.
glared. Oh yeah, long time no see. He had met Wintergreen when he had
been Slade's apprentice before. Robin hadn't hated him, but somehow,
knowing that he was helping all of this move along didn't make him like
him much either. Robin strode back to his dresser and threw on the
sweater before coming back, ready. Wintergreen walked down the hall in
front of Robin and just when Robin didn't think that the halls were
going to end any time soon, they reached a set of mahogany doors.
opening them, his eyes caught the giant room where he had been last
night. The fireplace was going and the long dining table was set for
three. The first person he caught sight of was Slade, of course, but off
to his left by the windows was Ms. Kane. Slade had changed into
semi-casual clothes while Ms. Kane was wearing a long black skirt and a
red blouse. When she turned to see the source of the sound, Robin saw
her stance stiffen, like she was uncomfortable.
"About time," Slade said, without much interest, "Shall we?"
looked over at the table as did Adeline. Slowly, they both walked over
to their seats, Robin on Slade's left, Adeline on his right. Slade sat
at the front of the table casually, when he snapped at Robin. The boy
wonder looked up at Slade confused when Slade pointed at his eyes.
"No masks at the table, Dick," His tone laced with satisfaction.
looked at Ms. Kane across from him and then, carefully, slowly, removed
the mask to reveal his blue eyes. Adeline repressed the urge to swallow
hard. It was him. She
had been hoping that it wasn't. Wintergreen brought out a delectable set
of dishes which were mostly eaten in silence, but was murderous for the
two guests. The only sounds came from forks and knives hitting the
plates and the occasional clatter of the glasses on the table. Slade was
the only one who didn't seem to mind it. And it seemed that it would
remain that way for the whole meal, until near the end when Dick finally
He placed his utensils down and looked at Slade and then
Ms. Kane, "I'd like an explanation, if it's not too much to ask. How do
you two know each other? And why are you here?"
"I believe it's pretty self explanatory," Slade answered, cutting Adeline off.
She glanced at him, "No, it's not really. I'd like to know what Dick is doing here and what game are you playing, Slade."
looked up at her and then at Slade, surprised that she had been so
blunt and unaffected by him. Slade finished his bite before looking up
at her, "You've been declared dead, Adeline. Dick has become my ward,
thanks to your will," Slade said, "As I said, self-explanatory."
"That doesn't answer my questions," Dick muttered.
glanced over at Dick and got up from his seat. Dick straightened up and
held his arms up in defense, but it didn't really do any good when
Slade grabbed his shoulders and forcefully pushed him into the back of
"Hey!" Adeline yelled, "Stop it! I… Ah, Dick, you've… you've been Robin this whole time?"
looked between Slade and Adeline and nodded slowly. She swallowed and
looked up at Slade, "And you… that's why you wanted? What are you going
to do to him?"
"Nothing for you to worry about, Adeline," Slade said shortly.
"Don't I get any say in – Ow!" Slade pushed Robin's chair in, pinching his fingers that had been on the arms of the chair.
"Don't interrupt," Slade inserted.
"Let me go!" Robin yelled.
"Slade Wilson, let him go," Adeline said fiercely.
looked at each other for a moment, both as stubborn as each other,
their eyes never wavering. Robin felt the tension in the room, but tried
to keep a calm steady pace. Adeline glared at Slade coldly while Slade
watched her with reluctant admiration. Finally, he began to chuckle and
released Robin from his grip, who instantly got up and backed towards
the door he had entered from.
"What is she doing here?" Robin
said, after making sure it was safe to talk, "I thought you killed
everyone… And if you know Slade… why would you stay?"
glanced at each other, Adeline angry, Slade irritated. Eventually,
Adeline relented in continuing their glaring contest and turned her
attention back to Dick, trying to find the right words to explain it.
"We have an agreement," Slade inserted, "That's all there is to it."
Dick stared at them incredulously, "An agreement…. An agreement?"
Adeline started again, "Dick, it's not as simple as you think…"
not as simple as I think?!" Dick yelled, "You're letting him… kidnap me
legally by staying here and out of the GCPD's eye! All for some… stupid
agreement? Yeah, I think I get it just fine."
Dick turned to
leave and stormed out. As much as he hated the estate in general, he was
at least grateful that Slade had given him a room to go to. But his
actions panicked Adeline. After shooting one last angry glance at Slade,
she raced down the hall to find Dick.
"Dick! Dick, wait!" She called as she saw him up ahead.
She put a hand on his shoulder, which he immediately shook off and spun around to face her.
"What?" He asked harshly.
Dick, I…" Adeline started, but seeing the malice made her pause. She
was going to hate telling him this, "Dick… Please, understand… The
agreement… It has to do with, with one of my sons."
and waited for Dick's reaction, not looking up at him. She knew exactly
what she had just said. She was choosing one of her sons over him. What
a heroine she was. And yet his reaction… Surprised her.
"He… knows about one of your sons?" Dick asked.
She looked up at him and nodded. Dick looked at the floor. So that's why… "And he won't tell you unless you stay here?"
She nodded again.
He was slow to respond, but deliberate, "Alright… I understand."
"Dick, I don't, I don't want you to think that your safety doesn't concern…"
alright," Dick cut her off, holding his arms up to pause her sentence,
"I can take whatever Slade throws at me. I have before."
not… it's not fair to… I mean, Dick, I'm sorry…" She finally stated,
because she was. She couldn't express that enough.
Dick looked at
her, a seed of pity in his chest, "Don't be. It would have happened even
without your involvement. Slade would have made sure of it."
nodded slowly, but somehow, the weight and guilt in her gut wouldn't
subside. Finally she looked up at him, suddenly seeing a side of him she
had never seen before. The level at which he was handling this… Like an
adult, and yet he was still just a teenager… It amazed her.
"You're… you're probably right, but, still, I'm really, really sorry Dick…" She said, "I'll help you however I can."
The teen nodded at her, "Thank you."
He turned to continue back to his room, hoping that it would be a quiet evening for the rest of the night.
Adeline watched him and heard him call back, "See you in the morning."
"Okay…" She whispered.
sighed. What a kid…. She never knew… It amazed her. However, when Dick
was out of sight and out of ear's range, that's when she heard the slow
clapping. Turning around swiftly, she saw Slade coming out from around
the corner. Her feelings of relief quickly vanished.
"Impressive," Slade said.
"What are you trying to do, Slade?" Adeline asked venomously.
Slade laughed, amused by her personality and how predictable she could be at times, "Is it a crime to be a spectator?"
"No, but it sure is egotistical," Adeline answered.
Slade smiled and walked up behind her, "You're not that mad at me."
Adeline folded her arms and replied looking away, "That sure is up for debate."
The mastermind sighed and relented, "Adeline, listen, I regret having to be…"
"Deceitful? Underhanded?" Adeline filled in the blanks as she turned to face him, "Yeah, so am I."
With that, she stormed off down the hall. Slade watched her go before calling back to her, "Addie."
that, Adeline froze and her face hardened. She whisked around to look
at him angrily, but before she could say a word, he had already
"It's not as bad as you're making it out to be," Slade said.
"Oh sure it isn't," Adeline lashed out sarcastically, "And don't call me 'Addie.'"
turned and continued down the hall, trying as hard as possible to be
unperturbed by his antics. But all the same, she was and she was
horrified by it. Amazed and confused… She shook her head as reached her
own room. What a mess, what an utterly disorderly mess. And somehow
Slade seemed to see this whole mess as something organized. Though she
didn't see it herself, she was sure it was, too.
know why Slade wanted Dick —Robin. Robin. She… she was going to have to
get used to that. Wait, did that mean that Bruce had been… Batman?
Adeline felt her eyes widen. That was certainly a… huge possibility. She
felt her legs go weak. Her own cousin… But still, why Slade had wanted
custody of Robin eluded her. She knew that they had both worked out in
Jump City and had probably and undoubtedly clashed. But what about the
rest of the heroes out there? Why Robin?
She sat down. Her head
hurt, but she knew she'd figure it out eventually. She always had. Off
in another corner of the estate, Dick sat down on his bed as well and
lied down, trying to get some rest. Well, the first day was done. That
was good. While Ms. Kane's and Slade's connection was still a mystery,
he could only assume that they had met in the past, maybe when Ms. Kane
was in the U.S. Army. When that idea hit, he had a very hard time at
first seeing Slade as a soldier. And yet it made sense the more he
thought about it. He could see Slade as a soldier. If anything, that's
what he had always been, other than a ruthless terrorist, of course. And
it only sparked more questions…
The only one who seemed to have
all of the answers was Slade and Slade knew it. It gave him a certain
sense of pleasure knowing that, too. In the main entry hall where dinner
had taken place, he sat at one of the couches, casually finishing some
files on a lap top. Closing it, he went over to one of the cabinets to
put it away. Inside were a few books, flash drives, and various other
memorabilia. He took out a small leather bound notebook and opened it,
when a small slip of paper slid out and onto the floor.
down to pick up the small square sheet and brought it up to the light.
The one silky side faced him and he saw the photo's occupants gaze back
at him. It had been the middle of the summer. They had been down at
Washington DC's mall and the day had been hot, so he could see traces of
sweat on their figures. One person, the woman, had her arms wrapped
around the man's neck as she leaned on his back. She was smiling as he
held her arms with his hands. He was smiling too. Slade put the old
photo back inside of the journal and walked back over to the couch to
He took a pen and scribbled down a short paragraph, as his
time for this tonight was short. He closed it quickly and returned it to
its proper place. He looked back over at the doors that led to the rest
of the estate. It had gone better than he had expected and that could
only keep his plan right on track.