CHOKE ON YOUR LIES //
She hated it. All of it. Every fucking fiber of her screamed for release, screamed for the pain that needled through her chest. Every inch of her felt alive with the tremor of anger, the tremor of betrayal. She needed to move, she needed to feel bones break and see skin split. She needed to escape, she needed to get out, and breathe in deep. She needed the night air around her, needed to get lost in the haze of violence. She needed to release every knot that was riddled beneath her skin.
She needed contact.
PROMISES I’VE YET TO KEEP / / - -
Everything around him was spinning as he did a weak backflip away from her, pushing himself up with only his right hand before landing on one knee, not coordinated enough to stick it on his feet. She was successfully keeping him away from the drugs, much to his chagrin. She just wouldn’t give up. ”One hit!? ONE HIT!?” His voice was incredulous as he spread his arms out to express his disbelief. ”Try FIVE YEARS, Artemis! FIVE MOTHER F*CKING YEARS of this DAMNED addiction and NO ONE has noticed! The only reason Oliver knows is because he walked in when I was taking a hit.” He waited for his angry words to sink in before continuing.
”Yeah, that’s right Artemis. Your beloved mentor has known all this time and has done nothing to help his beloved son.” The words were laced with venom and sarcasm as his knuckles turned white from gripping the bow so tightly. ”He went off on some cruise to find himself or some shit and left me completely alone when I was only SIXTEEN! I had lost TWO FATHERS and he just goes off and abandons me! And then when he gets back he can’t be bothered to help clean up the mess he had a hand in creating!? He hit me and told me what a disgrace I was and threw me out! There was NOTHING ELSE, NO ONE ELSE for me! I was nineteen, alone, and confused and no one even QUESTIONED him as to why I was gone. No one cared.”
Another arrow appeared on his bow in the blink of an eye, holding it to aim it at her shoulder this time. ”I TRIED TO GIVE IT UP! FOR YOU! ALL FOR YOU AND I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY! I TRIED TO STOP AND INSTEAD… YOU WERE JUST LIKE HIM! YOU THREW ME OUT AND LEFT ME WITH NO OTHER CHOICE!” The arrow was released, but completely missed its mark, instead lodging itself into the wall next to her. It was all falling apart… he couldn’t… he couldn’t do this. It was all flooding back, too fierce and too difficult to deal with without the escape the heroin so graciously offered him. He couldn’t handle living in this huge world completely alone. It wasn’t fair.
Realizing he was much too clumsy to continue firing arrows, he resigned to using his bow as a club. It would hurt plenty and she wouldn’t go down as easily, letting him take out more of his anger before she passed out. ”You f*cking vigilantes… you’re all the same. You think you’re so self-righteous and perfect and that you try to save everyone…” The bow clattered to the ground, released from his injured left hand as the right retrieved his gun. The rage had complete control of him as he pointed it, aiming it right between her eyes with a shaky arm.
“WELL WHAT ABOUT ME!? Why…” He faltered, his throat closing up as a single sob escaped him. The pain was overwhelming him as a single tear trailed down his face, his eyes becoming bloodshot from the additional tears he was fighting against. ”Why didn’t anyone save me!? Why wasn’t… why wasn’t I worth saving!?” His voice was hollow and broken, cracking several times as the gun fell from his trembling hands, followed by his knees hitting the pavement. Roy’s shoulders slumped forward as they shook with silent sobs with his hands spread out on the ground to support himself, shedding tears that he had been holding in for five years. Five long, long years. It was all gone. It was over. His life was over. Everything was over.
WHO AM I?
SPEEDY, ARSENAL, RED ARROW
ROY WILLIAM HARPER, SR. [FATHER, DECEASED]
BRAVE BOW [ADOPTIVE FATHER, DECEASED]
OLIVER JONAS QUEEN [ADOPTIVE FATHER]
RED ARROW has a very coarse personality. He isn’t known for being overly warm or fuzzy and is thought more along the lines of Batman when it comes to how he behaves in costume. He will never be the hero who cuddles and comforts the scared little child with baby talk or hugs, instead choosing small quips and confident words to let people he knows he cares in his own little way. He is definitely one of those people you have to get to know to even kind of tolerate, but despite these character ‘flaws’ he is dedicated to fighting for justice. He can’t be bribed or deterred. Red Arrow has a fierceness about him that is almost frightening and a major reason why he doesn’t still fight alongside Green Arrow.
Both ROY HARPER and his alter-ego have an incredible sense of self. Most times, he’s view as an arrogant, egotistical jerk. He doesn’t let himself sink to the level of a ‘sidekick’, believing himself better than that in every aspect. His years of hard work and dedication have left him scorned after being denied appointment to the Justice League. As such, he walks around angry at the world. It’s no secret to anyone, whether in costume or not, that Roy is mad at the world. He doesn’t keep many friends, choosing to spend his free time training and practicing his archery. He does, however, still keep up with the younger heroes such as Robin, Kid Flash, and Superboy.
RED ARROW has all the strength and endurance of a human who has trained their body to peak form nearly their entire lives, turning himself into a living weapon. His years of archery have made him a master archer, rivaled by very few on the planet. He is also extremely proficient with weaponry, able to take virtually any object and use it as a plausible weapon in combat. Having trained with the likes of BLACK CANARY and GREEN ARROW in hand-to-hand combat, the former being one of the best martial artists on the planet, ROY HARPER has become a master martial artist. He also has more than adequate detective skills in the form of keen analytical and deducting skills, though not quite on par with the likes of BATMAN or even the members of the Batfamily such as ROBIN or BATGIRL.
ROY HARPER is a very attractive young man, standing at approximately six-foot-one and weighing in at one-hundred eighty-five pounds. His physical fitness is at its peak thanks to years of training, physically manifesting in the form of well-toned muscles. Despite having auburn red hair, Roy is the furthest thing from being considered ‘ginger’. His skin is nicely tanned with only a light spreading of freckles across his nose and cheeks. His hazel eyes are also unlike that of a ginger, but are quit mystifying. In high school and even now, Roy Harper has no problems attracting the ladies or garnering their interest.
ROY WILLIAM HARPER, JR was born to ROY WILLIAM HARPER, SR and an unknown woman. In fact, to this day, Roy has no idea who his mother actually was. His father worked as a forest ranger near a Native American reservation and kept his job even after Roy was born. When Roy was two, his father was killed while trying to save members of the Navajo tribe from an out of control brush fire that had engulfed the forest. Out of respect and gratitude for Roy, Sr.’s sacrifice, the shaman of the tribe, BRAVE BOW, took in young Roy and raised him. At a young age, he recognized the natural archery ability Roy possessed and began to train him, treating him as an official member of the Tachini Tribe.
Continuing his training in archery, Roy developed a passion for it. The public debut of GREEN ARROW inspired a new kind of hero worship for Roy, driving him to want to be a hero and further his archery skills even more than he was already driven to do so. When Green Arrow announced he would be coming to the reservation to judge an archery competition, Harper realized this was his chance to impress his idol and prove how great of an archer he was. He made it all the way to the final round, impressing Green Arrow thoroughly. However, in the final round, Roy was given a magnetized bow, which cost him the competition. Worried that he had lost his chance to impress his hero, Roy was overjoyed when he was given the opportunity to redeem himself by stopping a robbery the same day by drawing his arrow rapidly and firing at the would-be robber with Green Arrow noting that Harper had been ‘speedier’ than he.
Extremely impress, Green Arrow offered to take in Roy Harper, publically as his adopted son and privately as his protégé. Overjoyed at the opportunity, Roy accepted with Brave Bow’s blessing, going with OLIVER QUEEN to Star City where he trained extensively in the art of using both regular arrows and the trick arrows he had taken to using to fight crime until he was deemed skilled enough to fight crime. However, this accomplishment came at the same time as Brave Bow’s death, leaving Oliver Queen as Roy’s only father figure. Realizing this was his destiny; he took on the persona of Speedy and fought crime alongside his adoptive father.
However, things didn’t remain all that well for Roy Harper. Oliver lost millions when the stock market plummeted and chose to travel the world with his friend, HAL JORDON, Earth’s GREEN ARROW, and his girlfriend, BLACK CANARY (DINAH LANCE), leaving Roy completely alone. Needing a release from the gripping agony, Roy turned to drugs, developing a heroin addiction that he did well in keeping a secret for several years after Oliver returned. The turn in personality that the drugs created and the loneliness led him to changing his name to Arsenal, which came with a much darker and more straight forward costume.
At the age of nineteen, after dealing with his addiction for over three years, Oliver found out about Roy’s use of heroin. Instead of trying to help his son and get him to quit, he punched Roy in the face and threw him out on the streets. Lost, alone, and confused, Roy wandered around Star City, living on the streets until he could find a menial job and move into his own apartment, his drug addiction worsening. Finally accepting that he was all alone, Roy shut himself off emotionally and took on the identity of RED ARROW and announced all ties to Green Arrow, including his sidekick status.
He worked fighting crime in the seedier parts of Star City, avoiding Green Arrow and the other Justice League members in fear of them knowing of his addiction. However, a chance encounter had informed Roy that Oliver had been too ashamed of his son to tell anyone the real conditions of his leaving and instead told everyone that Roy had decided to strike it out on his own. Taking this as the last straw, Roy told Oliver he wanted nothing to do with him and took off, spending the next two years moonlighting between Star City and Central City, keeping his addiction well hidden thanks to his physical fitness and prowess. The change in behavior Roy displayed in response to his drug addiction was trumped up to him just being an over bearing prick, no one the wiser to why he was behaving the way he was.
Hearing of the disappearance of heroes in and around Gotham, Roy made his way up to the dingy city, taking comfort in the fact that at the very least he would get to visit with Dick Grayson. However, his trip proved more informative than he’d assumed it would be, being transported into the pocket dimension where he has been for several months, trying to strike it out on his own. The emotional toll on being trapped in Gotham all alone has only increased his use of heroin and made him even more introverted than before.
ROY HARPER has a very strained relationship with his former mentor, GREEN ARROW, and his new partner, ARTEMIS CROCK. He detests both of them and does not trust Artemis, knowing she is not actually Ollie’s niece.
His addiction to heroin is one that he believes he has well under control. If it wasn’t for his regular physical activity, he would have succumbed to the addiction long ago. Being RED ARROW is the only thing that has kept him alive over the years.
Roy panted heavily as a light sweat broke out across his forehead. His muscles rippled as he held his bow taught, searching the immediate vicinity vigorously. The last thing he remembered, he had been on his motorcycle heading towards Gotham City on the interstate. Now, he was waking up next to his bike, which was laying on the ground smashed to pieces, and blood running from a gash in his shoulder and scraped knees. All he could deduce was that somehow he was suddenly in the heart of Gotham – Park Row, it appeared – and he had slammed his bike directly into a concrete wall. Things were fuzzy in between, which he assumed was due to a lack of consciousness, but he knew the wounds he was covered in wasn’t from the group of thugs that were currently surrounding him.
Experience with fighting wasn’t an issue for Red Arrow. He had been an archer from an extremely young age and a vigilante for about seven years, so this wasn’t new to him. What was new was fighting against thugs in Gotham when he should still be somewhere in Virginia, approaching New Jersey. Just what on Earth had happened? ”Now, look, guys. Why can’t we all just be friends here? Clearly I’m not from Gotham. I’m a much better dresser, and I don’t think any of you particularly want to take an arrow to the knee, now do you?” He received a few contrite snickers from the men as they pulled out their butterfly knives, advancing forward. Where’s the Boy Wonder when you actually want him around? He glanced up at the sky, annoyed at the apparent lack of a bat-signal, before setting his sights back on the men in front of him.
”Alright, ladies, let’s dance then.” In the blink of an eye, he pulled out one of the most ridiculous arrows ever conceived. Every time he looked at the boxing glove arrow, he couldn’t help but flash back to the first time he saw the misguided attempt at brilliance. When Oliver had pulled out the arrow with a fist attached at the end of it, Roy had doubled over in juvenile and fitful laughter, thinking he was kidding. It wasn’t until he saw the disapproving look in Ollie’s eye that he stopped and shaped up. After a few months of vigilante work, he realized the brilliance of the arrow, though never dared to admit it.
Taking aim and a deep breath, Arrow aimed the gloved arrow at the leader’s knee, popping the knee cap audibly. He dropped to the ground in a cursing heap as the rest moved forward with restored vigor, anger in their faces. Dark laughter bubbled up from Roy’s chest as he flipped backwards, landing on his injured leg gingerly before pulling out two gas-pellet arrows and shooting them directly at the ground, giving himself enough cover to drag his bike in an upward motion and force it to carry him away. There was no point in taking all of them on at once, especially when he was injured.
His mind cleared as he gripped the handles of his bike, feeling his arms and legs begin to shake with cravings from withdrawal. Roy needed to find a dealer, and fast. Thankfully, he was in Park Row, the one place in North America where you were guaranteed to find whatever kind of drug you were looking for. It was going to be a long night.
rockin’ classy!frost thanks to thegoddamnqueen.
Gotham Lost is about to become a mess of top hats, facial hair, and monocles.
GOTHAM LOST / / - -
I wasn’t in Gotham when it happened—at the time, I was in the neighboring city of Blüdhaven for personal reasons. But when I heard about the city—my city—suddenly falling off the face of the earth, I was devastated. The outside world found itself completely cut off from the city and was unable to make any sort of contact with it. Other than some damaged video footage we found six months later of Robin on the day the phenomena occurred, communication proved to be impossible to establish. Gotham was lost.
For an entire year I was stuck, unable to do anything, not knowing if anyone in Gotham was even still alive. Batman, Robin, Batgirl… and all those people… I was pretty much on edge all the time after that, making sure I kept up on all the news about Gotham—attempts to break through the smoky barrier that separated us from them, theories about what might’ve caused the phenomena, reports from the world’s most renowned scientists. But no matter what we speculated or thought or did, those of us on the outside were drawing a blank. All I could do was wait—and hope that Batman, Robin, and Batgirl were alright. But weeks soon turned into months, and months turned into a year, and still nothing. No word from anyone inside the lost city, no breakthroughs in finding out how to crack the barrier.
I was sleep-deprived, I was angry, I was alone—and then, suddenly and inexplicably, I was standing below Wayne Enterprises of all places. That hardly mattered, though, because I knew one thing—that meant I was back in Gotham.
And the rest is history. I’m just glad to be back. But Gotham is no closer to figuring out what’s going on than the rest of the world was. All we know for sure is 1) new faces are popping up all over the city everyday, heroes and villains alike, some of whom are from completely different universes than ours, 2) likewise, people inside the city are vanishing into thin air, going to only God knows where, and 3) that we’re all stuck in some sort of pocket dimension.
And we can’t get out.
So tell me…
—HAVE YOU SEEN US? OR ARE YOU LOST?