As a man walks out of the alley, he thinks of two things: how cold it was and where did his mask go. The man is 6 foot even, wide shoulders, big hands, long legs and arms; with dark brown hair that makes it look black and light brown eyes. He knows how to fight. He looks for his mask among the trash.
He cannot find it.
He looks across the street to see a little boy and his friends playing with a half black and half orange mask with two eye holes: his mask. He crosses the street and approaches the kids. He hears a drip looks up and sees that it's a downpour. The kids start to run inside to save themselves from getting wet. The man runs towards the boy with his mask. The boy fearing for his life runs away from the man. The man runs faster closing the gap between him and the boy. The boy knocks over some trash cans to slow down the man, but the man cleared it with ease. The boy runs towards fence, jumps to the side, plants a foot on the wall, and jumps forward propelling him over the fence. The man lunges at the fence, placing both hands on top of the fence. He uses the momentum to jump over to the other side.
When he resumes his chase he guesses that they are almost to his house because he can see that the boy is slowing down a little. The man opens up his arms as the space between then closes and picks up the boy as he is about to open the door. Terrified of the man who now holds him, the child notices the gun strapped to the man's thigh, the bandolier across his chest and a single sword on his back. The child struggles even harder to get out of his grip.
The man holds out his open hand to the boy who knows what he wants but shakes his head "no" out of habit and hands over the mask to its owner. The man takes the mask and drops the boy . The boy sits on the ground, stunned, as he watches the man put on his mask.
There is a sound of glass breaking and a dog barking.
The man turns toward the noise then back to the boy and puts a finger to wear his mouth should be, signalling the boys to be silent. And as the boy watches the man walk into the darkness he sees the gleam of the moonlight bouncing off the man's sword as he slowly draws it.
The house is empty as the four burglars,one with a black ski mask, another with a black bandana over his face, the third with a black baseball hat, and the last one wearing skiing goggles, exit the window with the final things from the house. The final one steps out of the window with a TV. His foot is grabbed and he is pulled violently out of the window. He drops the TV, sending sparks flying, and he is pulled into a split. As the burglar, with the skiing goggles on, looks up in pain, he sees a half orange face before he is kicked in the face. The other three burglars turn around to see their comrade lying seamlessly lifeless on the floor. The darkness of the night engulfs him, making him vanish. He appears by the man closest to the darkness, the one with the black ski mask. He pulls him in and puts a hand over his mouth so only a muffled yell is let out not loud enough to alert the others. The burglar drops the jewelry box that he was carrying as he is sucked in. The box falls to the ground opening up as it hit the ground spilling its contents to the floor in front of the other two burglars. They turn to see where the sound came from and they see the man come out of the shadows, as if he was born from the darkness itself, carrying a blade dripping in blood. The one with the black baseball hat, pulls out a hunting knife and charges the man. The man promptly steps to the side and grabs the burglar's wrist and sends it behind him, making him stab himself and lets the burglar fall to the floor in pain. He leaves the burglar on the floor and walks over to the next one, whom is unarmed, and the last burglar throws the laptop at the man hoping to hit him, but the man easily steps to the side and the laptops misses. The burglar charges at the man trying to hurt him some how but as he approaches a flash of silver is seen and suddenly the burglar's head comes off and his body falls. The burglar that is on the ground is trying to crawl away but the man walks slowly towards the burglar and shakes his finger no to him. The burglar is crying for his life but to no avail. The man brings his sword up and all is dark for the burglar.
The man is clean as he looks down, from a nearby rooftop, and watches the flashing lights of red and blue as there are three lifeless bodies on the ground as their clothes are soaked in blood with their heads at their side and one that is being forced into the back of the squad car.
The man looks where he left the boy. He is no longer there and as the man looks down he sees a speck of blood upon his boot. He bends down and wipes it off with his thumb. The man looks up; it is no longer a heavy rain but a light drizzle.
The man slowly backs away from the edge. The man walks down the fire escape; after going down a few floors, he climbs through a window, stepping into his apartment, which looks like any other apartment in the building except he has a gun rack on his left wall across from his bedroom, there is also only one bed where the other tenants have two beds. After closing the window behind him, he takes off his boots. He presses a button and the bookcase moves to the right. A secret room is shown; it is made out titanium alloy that was left to him by his dad, this apartment complex use to be his safe house but was bought when he died 4 years ago when the man was 20, and now he was 24 and he had to made sure that he rented this room. The man walks into the room and puts his boots in a slot. The man draws his blade and places it slowly on a stand and starts to take off his clothes and put them in their proper slots. Finally, the man takes off his mask and puts it on the top. The man leaves the secret room and the bookcase moves back into place. He goes to bed it is 4 o'clock in the morning.
The man wakes up at about 3 in the afternoon. He gets dressed and leaves his apartment though the front door. He walks down ten flights of stairs and goes into the street. Looking around, he sees puddles from last night's rain.
He puts on sunglasses and walks down the street. It is early October so there is no need for a coat, but there are people still wearing sweaters and spring jackets. The man turns into a park and he sits on a bench. He watches the people that go by: the runners, the dog walkers, the pack of small school kids, the couple that walks by everyday. This is what normal people see. What the man sees: a fighting couple-the, blonde hair blue eyed, man being abusive and cheating on his lover with another woman and the woman bearing a child, showing a slight hump probably in her second month, but cannot find a way to tell him or her family. He sees a woman, with jet black hair, that absolutely hates dogs and only took the job because she is behind on her rent. Which he knows because she lives right below him so he knows her but does not speak to her or the other tenants for that matter and none know who he is only the bell hop. The runners only run so they can lose weight. They sleep with each other. The aging, (probably in his late 20's), male runner has a wife and two kids. The female runner is lesbian but is desperately trying to cling to the past but does not feel sexually aroused by the man that beds her everyday nor by the opposite sex but by the same sex which she tries to avoid and the other women that she has grown attached to. The school children have happy lives but the one in the middle that not only dreads the daily routine he must endure everyday at school but he has to put up with the other kids constantly bullying him almost everyday. He also has to go to a broken home where he has no father; his mother is addicted to drugs and spends everything they have to get another fix and where she constantly brings different men home every night and to where he gets no sleep because he can hear them every night and when it turns abusive the little boy runs and hides in a little crawl space that are under the stairs. This is what the man sees. That is his world.
The man returns to his apartment. He enters into the living room and checks the mail. He finds a big yellow envelope. Opening it, he finds four stacks of new crisp $20 bills. This was his payment of the job he did; the night he almost lost his mask.
He had to assassinate a man and make it look like suicide. The man that he was to kill had a weight advantage over him. The target was heavily built and was an alcoholic so that would help the man in making it look like an accident. The man was a contender for the Golden Gloves back in his day which the man took into consideration as he planned to kill the target. He had entered the building a few hours before the target entered his top floor penthouse suite with a balcony over looking the streets below. The man had slipped a hallucinogenic into all of the target's drinks and made sure they were all dissolved. The target arrived two hours later. He went directly to the pantry to grab a bottle of bourbon and a tiny shot glass. Then he walked with both to the balcony and he walked past the man that was concealed by the darkness in the corner. The target's back is towards the man. The man came out of the darkness and crept upon his target which spun towards him and spat out the bourbon. The man staggered backwards covering his eyes.
"You think I wouldn't notice something in my drink?"
"I'll kill you, Ivan," said the man as he continued to stumble backwards.
Ivan picked up the man by the neck and raised him above his head. "Who are you?"
"Death... Deathstroke." He was able to let out while being choked.
"Deathstroke as in Slade Wilson Deathstroke? He's dead."
Deathstroke clapped his hands on Ivan's ears, discombobulating him. He landed in the ground. Deathstroke punched Ivan in the gut, causing him to keel over to where Deathstroke placed both hands behind Ivan's head and drove his right knee to his face, missing his nose so not to break it but hit his forehead instead. He let go, letting Ivan pull up, and delivered a spinning back fist to Ivan's right cheek, sending him reeling back to the balcony. Deathstroke rushed him and used his left hand to choke him while pressing Ivan's back to the railing of the balcony.
"I think you need a drink, Ivan," said Deathstroke as he poured the nearly full bottle of bourbon down Ivan's throat. Most of the bourbon went into his mouth but some spilled down his mouth.
Deathstroke thrusted the bottle into Ivan's hand and let him go with one final push off the balcony. But as he is pushed off the balcony, Ivan ripped off Deathstroke's mask and took it with him as he hurtled towards the earth. Upon making contact, the mask flew out of his hand to the spot where the boy and his friends would find it.
There is a knock at the door. It is the bell hop since he is the only one that has seen his true face.
"Mr. Wilson, sir, I have the food you've ordered," says the bell hop in a muffled voice.
"Bring it in, Campbell," states Wilson in a monotone voice while cleaning one of his pistols.
The bell hop, Campbell, enters with a bag of hot dogs from the local vendor that usually parks outside the apartment complex.
"Here," says Campbell as he hands over the bag of hot dogs to Deathstroke who takes it and places it on the floor next to him.
"Is that all, Campbell?" Deathstroke asks while putting the chamber of the gun back in its place.
"Yes, there is," says Campbell standing in the door nervously.
"Out with it then," states Deathstroke in an annoyed tone.
"You know, you can call me by my first name, but you call me by my last, why?"
"I call you by your last name because my great grandfather, Slade Wilson, did so; and if I am going to carry on the tradition, I will do what he did. So I will call you by your last name, Campbell, and not your first name, Greg, not yet anyway. Is there anything else?"
"No, Mr. Wilson," says Greg as he turns, closing the door behind him.
Deathstroke puts his gun back on the rack where he keeps the rest of his "collection", which he leaves out in plain site. They're all guns from the past, some from the ODS (original Deathstroke) and some from his father DS II, Woodrow Wilson. His father was trained by Slade. He was the second son of Grant Wilson. He is aware that his grandfather was the first Ravager. Neither his father nor him had what Slade had: an enhanced metagene that sped up the healing process and a supercomputer in their head. But he plans to change that someday because he doesn't want to die like that, without having a metagene and the way his father had died. He wanted to die like his great grandfather did in retirement, and of old age.
But he has to make sure to get his name out there and let them know it is Cade Wilson behind the mask now, not his father. And he had to get the world's greatest assassin title back to where it belongs. Even if it kills him.
END CHAPTER 1