Trigger warning: graphic depictions of violence.
In light of the long hiatus here's a summary of what has happened: Previously, in The Dark Prodigal, Felicity was taken by force from Oliver's home and all of Team Arrow and Team Flash have been looking for her since. After deciding to ignore Tommy's declaration of love, Laurel also spurned Oliver's attempt to make peace for their past, indicating to him that he can never be forgiven for what has passed, since he hid Sara's secret from the Lances. Moira apprehended the archer known as Stellmoor and it transpires that he's Robert's illegitimate son, but she has been unable to deduce who he is working with. Then, just as Oliver learns that his mother turned Felicity over to Slade Wilson and that both Slade and Moira lied to his face about it, Quentin instigated a criminal investigation of the Duke of Starling for the Hyde Park murders, citing witness evidence and rallying the city's law enforcement against Oliver...
He was prepared to die.
It had not escaped Oliver that he was caught between Scylla and Charybdis as he rode northward. Behind him was a tangle of justice driven by Viscount Lance's personal vendetta against the present Duke of Starling, before him a series of lies perpetuated by his sworn brother-in-arms himself. He rode with little confidence and even less fear; no, the one thing that drove him was the knowledge that he could, perhaps, right one wrong before they came for him at last.
He was prepared to die.
And so he did not shudder, and he did not scowl with frustration when he was apprehended on the road out of London. It was possible that Amanda Waller had lied in her promise of his unmolested departure from London, or perhaps Bow Street had temporarily escaped even her control. Waiting at the city limits for were a band of armed men, some bearing the insignia of the Lance viscountcy.
No warning was given – they fired at him, and his horse reared up at the sound of gunshots hurtling into the dirt about its hooves. As he felt the sting of a bullet lodge itself into his side, Oliver struggled to keep his seat, his mind working quickly as he calculated the number of arrows and time he could spare at this stage of his journey.
They advanced on him before he could react. Pressing a hand to his mount's flank to calm the beast, Oliver brandished his bow towards the closest of his apprehenders, striking the man squarely on the nose and drawing blood. His horse regained its footing and Oliver took quick measure of his pursuers. There were five determined to capture him and two more were positioned near the back, rifles in hand and ready to fire. He could not fight without forfeiting his rescue mission, and so he drove his heels into his steed's side and urged it forward.
At least half of Amanda's promises rang true: the horse she loaned was swift. Gunpowder and blood stung his nostrils, but the rush of air against his cheek accompanied the sound of hooves dashing towards a sort of freedom, albeit with gunshots following closely behind, and calls for the Duke of Starling to surrender.
Oliver reached towards his quiver and nocked two arrows to his bow.
He had been trapped in a mire of fatalism all day, but as always, the brush of fletching under his fingers emptied his mind of all promises broken and immanent, and he saw only his targets. Leaning back as far as he could, the Arrow aimed at his pursuers and let his arrows fly in quick succession.
The first met its target – the shoulder of the faster rider amongst them – and, as Oliver calculated, knocked the man clean off the horse from the combination of force, pain and surprise. The second hit the ground right where the second rider's mount was about to tread, and that threw both horses into a great confusion that blocked the road for those following behind. In striving to avoid trampling their companion to death or colliding into their other companion, his pursuers were stalled, and the fugitive Duke of Starling rode swiftly into the quickly receding darkness of nightfall, his cover as an eccentric but mostly harmless duke blown and his only one possible mission left to him.
He was prepared to die.
Her blindfold was unceremoniously ripped away.
The glare from a naked flame thrust into her line of sight blinded her momentarily, before Felicity registered the dim outline of a hulking figure bending over her. The figure shifted; she felt the sting of a cold blade graze her arm as the cords round her wrists were sliced off and sensation rushed past her hitherto constricted flesh into the tips of her fingers.
Here they were again.
This time she had not the wherewithal to struggle, not even to utter the vow she renewed whenever Slade Wilson saw fit to repeat this conversation. Her seeming indifference stemmed from causes most natural: spirited defiance was easy when one had four days' worth of food in her stomach and the comfort of a warm bed despite the state of captivity. When Slade first came to commandeer her will, it had only taken the combination of her inborn courage and acquired wisdom to pronounce "Never would Felicity Smoak be Slade Wilson's marionette on strings; his desires were destined for frustration."
Heaven knew her body showed little of that fire now, not after she had been strapped to a chair in a cold, dark closet of a chamber, with only her own fear as company. Of course, fear could ebb, and in its place a knell-like pronouncement of her certain death would be produced by her relentlessly logical mind.
Upbringing under Donna Smoak aside, Felicity was a Bird of Prey and in possession of a keen aptitude for calculating probabilities. She knew precisely how many women escaped encounters such as this, and her odds of escape grew worse each time Slade ordered her blindfold removed.
Another woman might have folded by now, particularly since lying and presenting to him a false start was not an option: he was no fool, she was a terrible liar, and it was not as if they had not already gone down that route all through April, culminating in the fire she stoked in the heart of his Doll's House in Cambridgeshire.
Since she would not – could not – do as he wished, she could only wait, either for the opportunity to grasp her liberty or for him to end her tribulations.
A receptacle of some sorts was pressed into her nerveless fingers. She struggled to grasp it, and the cup slipped. It was caught before its contents could spill onto the ground and raised to her mouth, whereupon a warm liquid touched her chapped lips. and she began to drink greedily as she recognised the mellow, sweetened scent of heated milk.
Before she could finish the contents of the cup, it was dashed away from her lips. With sustenance came a presence of mind that had been eluding her, and Felicity directed her attention to her captors and the exchange of words sure to follow.
Her bonds had been loosened by Slade's henchman, the very same Cyrus Gold that had guarded her day and night for the first part of her captivity. Standing few feet away, at the doorway of her new cell, was his master.
Shadows raked over his form such that only half of his face was perfectly visible in the candlelight, but Felicity could discern the crisp, pressed lines of new clothing adorning his form, the dewy whiteness of the fine cravat about his neck. These details were a strong suggestion as to the length of her captivity. Her eyes drifted to his face. Slade's expression was severe: there were deep grooves etched above his brow and the sides of his mouth, worn-lines accentuated by the impatience and fury seething under his typically controlled demeanour. He had been almost desperate in their last dealings, and her curiosity as to what it was that possessed him to seek her services now went far beyond the ordinary bounds of tactically important information. As always his sole eye gleamed with the intensity of his emotional state; Felicity sensed that this encounter would be more unpleasant than the last.
"It's been more than a day that I've had you imprisoned here, Felicity." As he conformed her observation, a barely contained menace permeated every turn of phrase that left his lips. "Have you had enough? Will you be sensible and take up your pen?"
The echo of the oath that she had made long before Slade Wilson had gotten wind of her abilities, repeated to him over these past twenty-four hours, lingered upon the cracked veneer of her lips and the back of her parched throat. She swallowed and endeavoured to answer again, her voice almost a rasp after the deprivation he put her through.
In response, Slade wordlessly poured out the remnants of the cup from which she had drunk. Rivulets of the milk gathered in a puddle at her feet. He looked up at her, sole eye gleaming with spite.
"I had thought to offer this as inducement, but it would appear you prefer cruelty."
Unwilling to show her fear, Felicity forced out a laugh. "Speak you of cruelty when what you call 'inducements' are merely an undoing of the wrongful deprivations you have perpetrated to begin with?"
There was an almost imperceptible twitch of the vein above his eye, and then Slade struck her with a single, vicious blow. Felicity found herself sprawled across the ground, a burning sting in her right cheek and arms and the bitter taste of blood in her mouth. The lower half of her body was bound still to the chair that imprisoned her, which she belatedly realised must have tipped over from the force he exerted. All around her the room spun; she barely gasped for air when she felt his fingers digging into her scalp and her head was jerked back.
"Aye, I speak of cruelty," Slade snarled. "Did you think I would not hurt you? That my sparing you physical pain before this was a sign of weakness? I only need your mind and your writing hand, Felicity, which leaves us with the rest of your limbs as fair game."
She began to struggle as she felt him reach for her left hand with his free hand, but Slade was faster and stronger than she was in her weakened state. He caught her smallest finger between his thumb and forefinger, and then she felt a sharp pain course down her entire arm.
She could not help it: she cried out, and he released her. Every impulse she felt fed the insuperable need to escape this man by any means possible, and she instinctively fled towards the nearest corner of her darkened cell, the weight of her chair still upon her back.
His eye watched her, observed the way her finger was hanging limply from the rest of her left hand and the way she lamely cradled to her heaving chest.
"I have never had a talent for torture, Felicity, though your reaction would suggest otherwise. Now, I repeat my request - that finger can be set at once, and we can all be on our merry way, or I can have Cyrus here break the hand to which it belongs. I should warn you that Cyrus is far stronger than I am; your arms and legs are probably mere twigs in his hands. Will you be reasonable then?"
Perhaps it was peversity, or a subterranean streak of recklessness to be drawn upon in such circumstances that compelled her to reply with, "Do you think that I have lived to be four and twenty without once betraying my very sense of self, because I have formed the habit of acquiescing to cruel men? You have threatened all I hold dear, and committed violence upon my person, but surely it is you who lack reason and understanding – is it not obvious by now that my mind will not be commandeered by tactics designed for intimidation?"
Her words were a spark to the tinder of his temper.
"You most unnatural woman," he spat, rising to his feet. "You selfish, stubborn bitch. You have damned the only means of-" Here he broke off, and wiped his mouth, wild despair gleaming in the depths of his single, dark eye.
Slade turned to Cyrus Gold, but Felicity never experienced the combination of his spite and or agitation; the pronouncement of her next ordeal was interrupted by another of Slade's men. In came rushing was a man she had never laid eyes upon before, a look of panic across his swarthy face.
"Deathstroke," said the man. "This was found at the mill, and Murmur unconscious."
A mask half-black, half-orange, with a bloodied black arrow protruding from its right eye.
"This shouldn't be—we're under attack," growled Slade, snatching the mask only to toss it to the ground in frustration. "Anam, gather the others and clear out the files. Cyrus, ready the carriages and come back for Miss Smoak here – she is to be delivered to Mr Seldon, and you will wait with them for my further instructions."
The slam of the door and its being locked punctuated the end of Slade's orders. Felicity let out a breath, her gaze lingering on the closed door through which the men had just disappeared. Gingerly, she righted herself, twisting to lie on her side. It was unclear to her what was the cause of the men's alarm; she only knew that they were distracted momentarily, that her hands were free and that her legs not yet broken. She knew the principles behind picking a lock, and she had hairpins in abundance to apply to that sole barrier between her and freedom. Fate had even supplied her with a sharp object, required to cut through the ropes that held her.
With her good hand, she reached for the arrowhead that lay two feet away from her.
It was daybreak by the time he reached St Albans. The previous skirmish had only earned him a flesh wound, but one that ideally needed to be attended to properly, all the same. Oliver had no such luxury. Allowing his horse to slow into a canter, he extricated the bullet and then pressed his cravat to the puncture wound in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
His hands were shaking ever so slightly when he applied a makeshift bandage to the area – the natural outcome of his many sleepless nights.
Oliver picked up his bow.
The shaking stopped. He could fight on.
Nudging his horse with his knees, he kept a punishing pace until the first buildings in the area of St Albans dotted the horizon. According to Amanda, Slade had leased a plot of land known as Grell's Farm, situated between the main road and a stretch of the River Ver. It had once been an active mill, now rendered attractive by its location to smugglers and thieves alike, and repurposed accordingly. If Slade had taken over the farm, it was safe to assume he had a number of henchmen with him serving as guards, against which Oliver had to battle before reaching their leader.
With his bow in hand Oliver rode down the winding dirt road to Grell's Farm, Eos's pale fingers on his back.
The mill came into view first, followed by an adjoining farmhouse and stables just behind. Two dark-clad men prowled the grounds, sheathed swords by their sides. Two arrows were sacrificed to dispatch them, before the Arrow dismounted by the gate. One look into the open stables gave him a rough estimate of the number of hostile combatants on the premises, and then he entered the mill in search of someone to give him the information he desired.
As the highest point in the surrounding land, Slade would have positioned a sentinel in this building. Oliver detected slight movement abovehead and fired an arrow up the ladder that led to the second floor. His intuition was rewarded with a thud, and he went in search of his fallen prey.
Sure enough a lanky figure was sprawled across the wooden boards of the topmost floor of the mill, crawling as best as he could towards the opposite side of the room despite the arrow protruding from his collarbone.
If Michael Amar could have opened his mouth to greet Oliver, there was no doubt that alarm and abuse would have formed the basis of his response to the Arrow's arrival. As it was, the crude stitching across his mouth quivered as the man known to the underworld as Murmur recognised Slade's supposed brother-in-arms.
There was no point interrogating a man with a stitched mouth for Felicity's location.
Oliver reached for his next arrow as he saw the man raise the pistol at his side. It was a duelling pistol, though perhaps less elegant than those carried by the aristocracy, which meant that it had a fundamental flaw in its design: it depended all too heavily on accuracy before there was a fifteen second interval required for reloading. Murmur may have cocked his pistol but his hand was still shaking in an attempt to aim true when Oliver's arrow flew into the barrel of the gun.
Murmur tossed the ineffective weapon in Oliver's direction at once, which was deflected with the bow. When Oliver turned Murmur was on his feet and charging towards him, a knife in his remaining good hand.
It was not difficult to sidestep the blow. Catching Murmur by the back of his collar, Oliver sent him backwards into a nearby crate, then roughly twisted the man's arm back.
A loud crack marked the breaking of the crate; a second crack Murmur's arm. Bloodied and battered, Amar slumped to the ground. Releasing his opponent, Oliver felt his lips flatten with displeasure as he counted the number of arrows he had left. He needed every single one to confront Slade Wilson.
His primary aim in coming here was to retrieve Felicity, but there was no escaping the fact that Slade had lied to him about her, and therefore, possibly about his father's murder as well. One of the orange and black masks worn by those loyal to Deathstroke lay on the table at which the sentinel on duty used. Before he could think better of it, Oliver extricated the arrow from Michael Amar's body and drove it into the eyehole of the mask. If he had not located Felicity by the time this message was finally discovered, the presence of Nyssa al Ghul's arrowhead on the land would trigger a defense strategy aimed at deterring a group of men rather than a single archer.
With one last touch to his wounded side – his coat was not yet soaked-though with his blood – Oliver stepped onto the roof of the adjourning farmhouse and swung into the first open window.
The topmost floor of the house was quiet. Treading lightly on the bare floorboards, Oliver inspected the set of rooms forming the attic in quick succession. These rooms were empty, bereft of even the most perfunctory of furnishings. Lowering his bow, Oliver frowned and paused in his search.
Empty storerooms raised the question of what game Slade was playing at, since he had been in Hertfordshire for some time after leaving London. Based on his memory of Deathstroke's operations in the Crimea, Slade always travelled with cargo.
Either Slade's present purposes were entirely personal, or the cargo in question was not his usual fare.
He was about to leave for the first floor when he caught sight of a young man emerging from the mill through the window, bloodied mask in hand. Oliver bit back a curse. The announcement of his arrival was a matter of minutes.
Downwards he rushed. He barely had a hand on the handle of the next room's door before he sensed the arrival of another person from the stairwell behind. Twisting round, he jerked backwards just as he saw the glint of something rapidly hurtling towards him.
The knife intended for his head lodged itself into the wooden door instead.
Oliver turned on his opponent at once. Possessed of a gangly, almost emaciated frame, his assailant wore a black and orange mask which obscured his features. Another knife was thrown, this time aimed at Oliver's heart.
Deflecting the blade with his bow, Oliver struck the man's windpipe with his other hand and shoved him backwards. A bannister separating the first floor from the ground floor was right behind them and the second knife had fallen over it, which meant that all of Slade's men would be drawn by the sound. One blow to the man's throat, another to his knee – each strike was designed to disarm as quickly as possible.
Oliver was barely done when another set of footsteps heralded the arrival of another assailant, this time armed with a pistol and a sword. The weapon was fired but Oliver had already lunged towards his new assailant's feet. The man tried to turn his blade towards Oliver's back, but one hand to his elbow rendered the stab harmless, and one smack of the bow to the back of his knees brought the man down to the ground.
His opponent let out a grunt as he landed heavily, dropping his pistol in the process. Stepping onto the man's knife hand, Oliver turned to face his first assailant, who, having recovered, was charging towards him. Instinctively Oliver reached into his quiver and took aim.
He almost regretted the loss of another one of his arrows as he let it fly, but it met its target before the thought was fully formed and the man immobilised with an arrow to his collarbone.
A bullet whizzed past his ear, another grazed his shoulder and struck the wall to his right. Out of the corner of his eye Oliver saw two other henchmen aiming at him from the entrance hall below, both armed with rifles. One of the gunmen began charging up the stairs, whilst the other reloaded his weapon.
He was wasting time being embroiled in this fight.
Firing an arrow at the man ascending the stairs, Oliver darted towards the remaining closed doors down the corridor and kicked them open.
Felicity was nowhere to be found.
A shower of bullets greeted him as he returned to the stairwell. Pressing himself into an alcove for cover, Oliver surveyed the scene. He had to go to the next floor, but the stairs would take too long and expose him to enemy fire. He heard the sound of gunfire easing, and stepped out.
A hand curled round his neck – the gunman who had ventured upstairs had drawn near instead of reloading his rifle. Oliver brought up his bow and struck the man on the chin at once. His assailant howled with pain, and Oliver took advantage of his distraction to remove the hand at his throat and twist it back.
Just below, the other gunman had finished loading his rifle and was in the midst of adjusting it to aim.
Forcing his opponent backwards at once, Oliver lifted him and leapt over the bannister with him in tow. They came crashing to the ground in the entrance hall, falling directly upon the gunman still standing below. Oliver had used both men to cushion his fall but he let out a grunt all the same, and pressed a hand to his side. His palm came away wet with blood.
He had to hurry.
Gritting his teeth, Oliver got to his knees, then froze.
The sharp end of a long blade was positioned at his throat. Oliver did not move as its owner slowly came into view, a furious glint lighting his single eye.
"You're a dead man, kid," growled the man he once called brother.
She should have left the house the moment she escaped her cell.
Instead the same instinct that propelled her to answer Slade earlier brought her upstairs in search of his study. By luck or providence she found herself in a dim room richly decorated with oak panelling, furnished with a settee and a cluttered writing table.
Her heart in her throat, Felicity slipped into the room and crept towards the desk. Lying upon it was a half-written letter, addressed simply to an 'M'. Despite the darkness she made out a line apologising for delay and expressing 'willingness to deliver Felicity Smoak to any location so desired'.
Felicity tore her gaze from the letter. That was not what she was here for. Instead, next to the quill pen and a pistol, was a small wooden box secured with a lock that she recognised from her time in Slade's Doll's House.
A loud thud startled her and Felicity tucked the box under her arm at once. After a moment's deliberation she exchanged the blunted arrowhead she still carried for the pistol. As she crossed the room to the window the sound of violence breaking out in the corridor outside only served to heighten her fear.
She looked out of the open window. It was too high for her to leap from without hurting herself – she had to go back down to the ground floor, or find rope of some sort before she could talk herself into even attempting to fling herself out of that window.
Gunfire – loud and sudden – coming from outside the room interrupted her train of thought, and she nearly dropped the box from the start she made. She heard footsteps and she half-stumbled, half-ran behind a folding screen just before the door was forced open.
Felicity hugged the box to her chest, unable to breathe. The pistol she clutched seemed unbearably heavy in her shaking hand at once, and she wished she had cocked it sometime in her panicked confusion earlier.
Seconds trickled past without her being discovered. Allowing herself to take just the smallest of breaths, Felicity peered through the slit in the screen and saw no one in the doorway. Male voices could be heard from below; she would have recognised Slade's rasp from anywhere after her ordeal these past four and twenty hours, but the other husky tone was both familiar and innominate to her at once. Slowly, she cocked her pistol and forced herself to walk towards the bannister that separated this floor from that below.
The entrance hall was illuminated solely by a stretch of glass windows facing east, through which the first rays of dawning light streamed. She could see Slade standing tall and imposing with his back to her, sword stretched out against the throat of a man kneeling at his feet. At his side was Cyrus Gold, ever faithful, too with his back to where she stood.
As for the other man, she could not see his face. His position should have evinced defeat, of despair, but when he spoke again, she heard in his voice relief, almost as if his surrender was always to life and not to death. She drew nearer to the bannister, and for the first time since she was captured, dizzying exultation pierced even the constraints of her logical mind. There was a warmth suffusing her senses as she recognised that voice, recognised who it was that had come for her.
"You have me," declared Oliver Queene, fourteenth Duke of Starling. "Now let Miss Smoak go, and I won't even struggle."
"That's both generous and extraneous of you, kid," sneered Slade, raising his blade. "But then, you've never been able to discern whether you were a mere pawn in a bigger game…"
She saw him bring his weapon down, and she could not help herself.
"No!" Felicity screamed, rushing towards the bannister and firing.
Blistering shock was all Oliver could feel as Slade was shot from behind, by the very woman he had thought to rescue from the premises. Slade, too, might have expressed similar sentiments, judging from the way his eye widened as it swept downwards to witness the growing patch of red in his chest.
Oliver did not wait to ascertain if their feelings were in accord on the matter.
Rising to his feet, he rammed his shoulder into Slade's abdomen and charged forward. Deathstroke required a whole lot more than a slam to the ground to dispatch, but Oliver was merely buying time. Slade attempted a headlock at once, and Oliver responded by reaching upward and driving the heel of his palm down into the bullet wound.
Large hands ripped Oliver off and flung him against the wall. He fell to the stairs, pain racking through his whole body whilst he registered the extent of Cyrus Gold's strength – Oliver had heard of the man but had yet to meet him in combat. He could not fight both Slade and Gold like this, not if he wanted to help Felicity escape.
No time to lose then.
Struggling to gain purchase as he staggered up the steps, Oliver fired a couple of arrows in Gold's direction. Felicity was watching everything unfold on the stairwell, the pistol she fired still in her hand. As Oliver neared, a bloodstained hand stretched out towards her, memories of a similar encounter with another woman flooded into his mind, forcing him to hesitate instead of calling for her to go with him at once.
Once, in another place, in another time, he had inspired terror by virtue of the blood on his hands, as he rightfully should.
Felicity dropped her weapon and took his hand.
"How are we leaving this place?" she asked, not a sliver of fear in her trusting eyes.
There were a million things he wanted to say to her then, but they were about to be pursued by two very angry mercenaries. Oliver tugged her towards the open window in the room behind.
"We'll have to jump," he said, freeing her hand, if only to retrieve an arrow from his quiver. At its end was a thin rope usually wound around the base of the quiver, which he had saved for this very purpose. He fired it into the window sill, and tugged twice, before slinging his bow onto his back and swinging one leg out of the window. "May I?"
Some degree of disbelief and reluctance crossed her features but Felicity flattened her mouth and gave a terse nod. Reaching down to wrap his arm securely around her waist and arrange her arm around his neck, he tried for gentle reassurance.
"It'll be all right – just hold onto me tight."
"I imagined you saying that under different circumstances," came the mumbled reply, which took his attention away from gauging the distance from the window and the ground.
Oliver had only the time to dart her a look of incredulity before Cyrus Gold came rushing into the room after them, a roar of rage upon his lips.
If you're still with me after all this time, I thank you. Every kind word that you've said about this fic has been a word of encouragement as I struggled to push this chapter out. I've been drafting this since March. I don't think action scenes are my forte at all - I can imagine them easily but when it comes to writing? I kept deleting and rewriting and rewriting and there were times when I just wanted to give up, because I wanted very badly to give you something worth reading but I was not happy with anything I've written. As it is Chapter 35 doesn't meet with my full approval, but I honestly think (and hope) that a good many of you will have a blast reading it. If you think I could write better, then I apologise that the comeback didn't meet your expectations, and I will keep improving. Please understand that I wrote this in one of the most trying times of my life, and that I am very happy to keep working on this with you.
Chapter 35 was always going to be difficult for me, because I intended it to start an arc when all the seeds I laid down in the third arc are going to come together. There was a lot of planning and decisions made about what to put in and what to leave out in this instalment. I also wanted to insert a strong dose of Olicity, and it was a challenge imbuing the prose with the same descriptive richness you find in previous chapters, or wit, without sacrificing the tension I wished to evoke in you, the reader. In my many moments of doubt I opted for brevity - I didn't want to lose you in a bog of descriptive detail. I am, however, entirely relieved to be returning to snappy banter and legal jargon in the following chapters, and I hope you enjoyed my attempts at writing action.
Grell's Farm is a shout out to Mike Grell, of course, and just to clarify, Oliver's voice is a bit unrecognisable when he's talking to Slade because he was just choked. Osiris and Murmur both feature in this chapter as a further reference to the DC Comics-verse and Arrow respectively. Yes, I am aware the fighting gets a bit brutal but I tried for PG13 fight scenes as far as possible despite the fact that Batman's fight scenes in Batman v Superman were imprinted all over my mind. The other film inspiration I had when writing this was Star Wars: The Force Awakens - I was determined that Felicity would rescue herself, though my good friend austencello points out that the shooting of Slade Wilson parallels the cure scene in the Season Two finale. There are also hints of Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart in my insistent reference to Slade Wilson's eye, though obviously I can only dream of reaching Poe's linguistic mastery.
With Felicity rescued we will need to return to London to sort out all the mess - don't forget that Digg fought with the runners in the last chapter and Moira has a lot on her plate after her son fired two arrows at the runners in pursuit of him and left London. Tommy's going to be clamouring to clear his best friend's name, and we're going to find out more about what's in the box that Felicity snatched from Slade's study. I'm about to fly off to a different continent to begin a new short lease of life (those who know me from tumblr know that I just left England haha) but I'm really excited about writing as much as I can and I hope you'll be just as excited with me for the upcoming ride! xxx