Eternal Wrath Volume 5: Aftermath

Chapter 01: Return Of The Prodigal Son


'You think cause I'm not checking in at the tree house I've gone rogue?' – Arthur Curry, Season 10, Episode 9: "Patriot".


December 10th 2012. 10:00 PM UTC-6. Grell Theather Building, Star City, California, USA.

Each year, Queen Industries hosted a large gala after their general meeting. It was an event like many others in the world of billion-dollar companies and yet, every year, Queen Industries made the front page of every local newspaper and media agencies.

With an annual, averaging, profit of fifty-seven billion dollars, it was surprising to see that Queen Industries remained owned by Star-City residents at over eighty-five percent of its capital. Or so it seemed.

This year, the gala attracted more attention than usual after the company announced it had been bought out under the noses of its directors by a still-unknown entity after it performed a secret public takeover bid. The news came as a shock in Star City and people were debating with passion on the identity of the buyer. Some conspiracy theories were starting to appear.

One big question remained: How? How did this mysterious company manage to reunite fifty point eight percent of Queen Industries. Star City's leading employer had only given eighteen percent of its capital to the open markets years earlier – a breach soon filled by the new buyer – which wouldn't allow one person or entity to threaten the company's independence.

No, the threat had to come from the inside. Someone had convinced long-term shareholders to sell their stakes in the company. Someone with a lot of resources. Someone with a lot of pull.

Who?

By all means Queen Industries' interim CEO was going to announce who was the source of such tumults in the city of the Stars.

When the Star Tower rang up eight in the evening, large crowds gathered around the huge complex Queen Industries had rented to host their event. Only the shareholders were invited inside while large screens had been set up outside for the occasion, retransmitting a live feed of the general meeting.

Outside, the people were getting restless. Many of them were employees of Queen Industries, others were linked one way or another to the company and some even, were just normal citizens concerned about the economic health of their city.

Inside the complex however, the shareholders were loud protesters. It was eight past ten and still, no one was announcing the beginning of the general meeting. Voices started to rise in the building and people demanded CEO Maajid Suren to get up on the stage and proceed with his presentation.

After another moment of tense agitation, Suren emerged from the backstage to be welcomed by a common sigh of relief.

"Twenty minutes late!" An aging man protested from his seat. "It's about time!"

Suren came up behind his stand at the center of the stage. "Please everybody calm down!" he rose his arms to emphasize his words. "We are very sorry we made you wait but I need silence to start, please."

Loud shushes filled the room, some people smirked as the atmosphere in the room reminded them of one in a cinema right before the movie started. Everyone knew tonight could prove to be as spectacular as any Hollywood movie.

Suren took a deep breath and straightened his tie. "Ladies and gentlemen," he spoke into the microphone. "Welcome to Queen Industries' forty-third General Meeting!"

To everyone's disappointment and boredom, Suren's opening was followed by two long hours of precise and meticulous analyzing about Queen Industries' economic health. The company was slowly recovering from its terrible period that came after Lex Luthor took power of the country, a period that saw at its end the sacking of Oliver Queen as the head of the company.

Through Queen Industries was in better shape than it was a year earlier, it was nowhere near out of the woods yet. Everyone understood why Suren's exposé was needed and most were reassured about the direction in which the company was going but they also noticed how the CEO went out of his way not to touch on the matter of the takeover.

As they sensed the end of the speech coming, the shareholders were fidgeting on their seats, barely able to hold onto the questions that had plagued their minds for weeks. Suren couldn't finish soon enough for them.

"I want to thank each and everyone of you for being there tonight and for having faith in Queen Industries." Suren came onto his conclusion. "Together, we will ride the storm and come out victors. Thank you."

People clapped. More out of tradition than appreciation but already, the first hands went up in the air, a couple were flailing them madly, hoping to be noticed and get a hold of a microphone before everyone else to ask their questions to Suren and the board of directors sitting on the stage by his side.

However, Suren ignored them. "Thank you," he repeated and looked down at his notes, making sure not to make eye contact with everyone in the room. "We will now proceed with the votes."

People froze.

"The votes?" asked someone with indignation. "Are you ever planning on answering our questions?"

Someone else stood up and pointed at Suren angrily. "How can you proceed with the votes when we don't even know who is the major shareholders of the company?"

"He's right! How can we be sure that our decisions won't be overturned by this mysterious company later?"

Suren repeated the gesture he made before his speech. "Everyone, please, calm down."

"How dare you tell us to calm down when you refuse to give us an answer?" another voice yelled at him.

"We want answers! Answers!"

"We want answers!"

The words echoed throughout the room and soon enough it became a motto people chanted to influence the directors who looked suitably fearful people were going to climb on the stage and assault them. By the way the executives were shaking, it became clear to some that they knew no more about the takeover than the crowds that stood outside.

As hues were starting to fly in the direction of the stage, the double doors at the other end of the room opened to let a tall blond man walk into the sole aisle that cut through an ocean of dissatisfied people yelling at the board of directors.

The man sifted through the people, looking over his left and right with a certain sense of detachment. Most people were too focused on hurtling insults at the men on the stage to notice him but those who did ceased their previous activity to gape at the man walking past them in the direction of the stage.

By the time he reached the little stairs that led onto the scene, everyone had noticed his presence and the atmosphere became still as all eyes watched him step onto the stage with confidence, a smirk on his face.

The board of directors looked as shell-shocked as the crowd to see him boldly approach them. Suren himself, watched him, his eyes wide.

"It's Oliver Queen!" someone in the crowd whispered.

"Wh- what are you doing here?" Suren sputtered. "This event is reserved to the shareholders, Mr. Queen you have no right to-" the words died on his lips when Oliver stopped by his side, towering over him.

He must have worked out the reason of Oliver's presence on his own because he remained in a frozen state when he was pushed aside and the new guest took hold of the microphones on the desk.

"Hello everybody!" Oliver grinned, his jovial tone marking a stark contrast with the deep silence of the crowd. "I obviously stood here many times in the past but I've got to say that it's quite a special feeling standing here before you this year."

The crowd remained silent, unmoving and for some reason, Oliver's grin became wider.

"I'm sure everyone's connected the dots by now but just in case, I'm gonna end the mystery," He paused, watched the crowd from left to right with a glint in his eyes. "I'm extremely pleased to announce before the world that I now own 50.8% of Queen Industries' shares making me the only major shareholder of the company."

This time however, the crowd exploded. Everyone talked at the same time some were even shouting at him but their words couldn't be singled out from the mass of the noise that filled everyone's ears. Oliver folded his arms on his desk and watched with amusement the crowd blow up in a frenzy. It was a spectacle like he had never seen in his career and one he relished in.

Finally, someone yelled louder than everyone else and their words carried through every inch of the room. "That's unacceptable, this is a coup!"

Oliver frowned. "A coup, you say? No I can assure you my takeover was quite legal, in fact you can call my lawyers and they will confirm my words."

An old man forced his overweight body to stand with the help of a stick. "And you ruined yourself to achieve a petty revenge, how irresponsible are you?!" he pointed at him with his stick.

"Ah Mr. Gagnon!" Oliver smirked. "May I remind you that Queen Industries – as its name says – belongs to my family?"

"You are going to lead this company to bankruptcy and you will drag everyone else with it!"

"Yes of course," Oliver rolled his eyes. "It's always been my plan to spend my entire fortune to get back my company in order to run it to the ground." These people have no idea of the extremes I went to in order to do this. He thought.


"Alright, call me back when the sale is done." Oliver hung up his phone on the desk and sighed as he rose to his feet.

He walked in the direction of the living room only to be greeted by the sigh of his partner sitting in the middle of the room, her blond head moving from side to side to look at the documents that surrounded her.

"How's it looking Sidekick?" he asked, bemused.

Chloe looked up at him and smiled. "Steve just confirmed we've got Mr. McNamelli's shares."

"So we're up to seven percent." Oliver concluded, leaning a shoulder against the wall as he watched her. "We're still a long way behind schedule."

"Don't despair so quickly, beloved, we can still make it." her smile dimmed when she only got a sigh out of him. "Having second thoughts?"

Oliver grimaced. "It's just... it was my parent's house, that's where they lived, where I grew up with them."

She extended a hand in his direction. "Come here."

"I don't want to trip over your work." he protested even as he took her hand.

"It's not important," she replied, tugging on his hand. "Come on, sit with me."

Oliver sighed and executed himself, wrapping his arms around her as his hands rested on her belly. "I'm okay." he assured her when she stroked his face.

"We will be okay." she asserted. "Ollie you don't have to hide, I know what the mansion meant to you but we had no choice."

"Yes I know." he dropped his head on her shoulder. "Between the company and the mansion, it's obvious what's more important but still, it's a shitty choice."

She smirked, glaring playfully at him. "Language!"

"Sorry, you're right." The corner of his mouth was tugged upwards as he ran his hands over the place where their child rested. "You sure you're comfortable sitting on the ground?"

"Yeah Ollie, don't worry about me." she replied. "I already spend so much time in bed, at least here I feel useful."

He squeezed her tighter. "You're always useful, especially in bed." he slipped in her ear.

Chloe looked back at him and pursed her lips. "Mind back on track, Mister."

The phone rang again, cutting through Oliver's chuckle. "I'll have to get that." he stood up again, kissing her hand before walking towards his office.

"Bring it over here so you won't have to do the commute anymore." Chloe suggested, feeling a smile taking place on her face when he winked at her. She watched him leave before sighing and returning to typing on her laptop. "Alright... so, up 200 millions."


"I want my money back!" Someone yelled over the crowd.

"Feel free to sell it on the markets," Oliver replied. "Although I'd think twice about it since the share's value has been dropping again when they heard of the takeover."

"This- This!" An old lady raged from her seat. "How can we let such a man lead the company again? You were pushed out for a reason Mr. Queen!"

Oliver gritted his teeth. "You are conveniently forgetting the years of prosperity Queen Industries reveled in before my scandals."

"Your scandals affected our company!" she shot back. "And it will happen again!"

He tapped his hands on his desk for a moment before slipping a pleasant smile back on his face. "In that case, you're in luck because I do not wish to be nominated CEO again." Oliver looked at Suren by his side. "Oh but don't rejoice too fast, Maajid, you're still fired."

The man glared at him. "But if you're sacking me and you don't want to be CEO yourself... then, who?"

Oliver grinned. "That's a great question."


"How does it feel to not be a billionaire anymore?" Chloe asked as she laid on the couch that had been specifically installed in the penthouse' office for her.

Oliver had to laugh at the question. He had just spent his entire fortune of over three billion dollars to buy over fifty-percent of Queen Industries' stock. He had nothing left bare a little under fifty thousand dollars and the penthouse of Metropolis in which they were residing.

In fact, Queen Industries' capital, totaling over eight billion dollars, was so important that even Oliver's entire fortune hadn't been enough to reach his goal on his own. Stopping at 44.7%, Oliver would have had to accept the fact that he could be overpowered on every decision if his fellow shareholders united against him if it weren't for Bruce Wayne.

Oliver woke up one day to be alerted by Steve Nellis, the director of the capital venturing company he had hired, sending him a message explaining that the billionaire from Gotham had bought over half a billion worth of shares off Queen Industries' stock before he decided to donate them to him.

Needless to say that Oliver had called Bruce soon after learning the news to express his disbelief and gratitude. Bruce had brushed off the compliments and minimized his action but Oliver was no dupe, he knew he owed a lot to him and he wouldn't forget it.

"Well," Oliver licked his lips as he brought his mind back to the present and pondered the question. "I don't know actually," he laughed. "It doesn't feel any different so far."

"Aw, but without your chauffeur, your VIP cards, your private jet and countless cars... how is your highness going to live?"

He glared at her playful tone, recognizing that she was in the mood to tease him, he stuck out his tongue at her. "Don't you have anything worthwhile to say?" he smirked.

"Bananas!"

"Chloe..."

She laughed before sobering up. "Well actually there one thing-"

"Yeah?"

"Well yeah," she nodded. "You said you didn't want to resume your position in Queen Industries so we have to get someone we trust there."

Oliver acquiesced. "You're right." he knew that Maajid Suren had detected suspicious fund movements in the company due to the Justice League's economical needs and they needed to top him over before he could incriminate anyone and threaten the League's future. "Any ideas?"

Chloe bit over her lower lip. "Well..."

"Yeah?" he prodded.

"I might have one name but before I tell you, you need to do something for me."

He grinned. "Anything."

She took a deep breath. "I wasn't joking when I said bananas, I really, really want some bananas right now. Oh and chocolate! And pickles!"

Oliver sighed, rolling his eyes skyward.

"Ollie!" she whined.

"Alright," he gave up and rose to his feet. "At least tell me the name before?"


"Tess Mercer?!"

Oliver saw the look of horror taking over their faces. To them, Tess Mercer had been Lex Luthor's protégé, the one to take over the great nemesis, Luthorcorp when Lionel's heir was thought to be dead. Tess wasn't just someone who had worked for the competition, she had been deeply involved with them and as such, she could only receive hostile reactions from the shareholders.

The woman in question showed up the same way Oliver did minutes earlier, using the crowd's astonishment to sift her way through in the direction of the stage. Her face a mask of steel coldness, the glares sent her way seemed to bounce off her and people took a step back when she returned the favor.

Oliver welcomed her on the stage with a hug before addressing to the crowd.

"We'll take the votes now if you don't mind." he said. "Those in favor of setting Tess Mercer here in the position of Chairman Executive Operative with immediate effect raise your hand."

A couple of people raised their hands, braving the forbidden as the rest of the crowd remained stoical. Oliver, on the stage, had already risen his hand up and grinned. "Alright, those against the decision, please raise your hands."

Immediately, hundreds of arms went up in the air, soon followed by loud whispers. "Motion accepted!" Oliver declared to the consternation of the crowd who protested, vainly. "I now leave Tess to conduct the meeting. Suren? You're excused!"

Oliver left Tess alone on the stage and walked down the stairs, grin still on his face, to take a seat on the front row. From his position he waved and gave her a thumbs-up.

Tess raised an eyebrow at him before setting her gaze on the crowd and rolling her eyes. She took hold of the hammer on the desk and tapped on the wood several times. "I demand order in the room or the meeting will be adjourned." her authoritative tone calmed down the loudest protesters. "We will now proceed with the votes of the resolutions proposed by the Board of Directors before taking suggestions from the assembly..."


December 11th 2012. 01:55 AM UTC-6. In the outskirts of Star City, California, USA.

When Oliver rang at the door of a large house by the outskirts of Star City, the night had already settled several hours earlier. He was greeted with a warm hug from an elderly man who had been waiting for his visit with impatience.

"Welcome back home, kid."

Oliver smiled, loosening his grip on the other man. "Thanks Dayton, I hope Chloe hasn't been too much of a hassle to take care of." he leaned closer to him to whisper in his ear. "'Cause she's given me a lot of trouble lately." he grinned.

Dayton Miles burst out in laughter, patting the younger man's back. "Oh, Ollie!" he wiped a tear off his cheek. "You know what pregnancy does to a woman's hormones, and I can tell you she was an angel this evening. You picked a good one, kid!"

"Don't I know it!"

"Come on in!" Dayton ushered him inside the house, guiding Oliver to the living room where Chloe was sat on the couch. "By the way congratulations, that was an impressive show you put on back in town."

"Getting back there for retribution was pretty sweet." Oliver agreed.

"Get over here, my darling!" Chloe said with an exaggerated drawl as she extended a hand towards him. "You were pretty awesome on TV. Also, you looked sexy as hell working that crowd." she slipped in his ear as he settled by her side.

"I'm glad you think so." Oliver kissed her temple. "So, what were you up to?"

"Oh nothing much," Dayton answered, pulling the cork off a bottle of champagne. "I was just telling Chloe about your adventures as a kid."

"Oliver Queen, you were such a naughty kid!" Chloe giggled.

He grimaced, sending a worried glance at the other man. "You didn't tell her about that time at the library, did you?" The look on Dayton's face was all the answer he needed. "Oh! You did!" he groaned.

Both Chloe and Dayton erupted in fits of laughters.

"For my defense," he turned to Chloe. "I was just a kid."

"Aw but it was so cute!"

Oliver shook his head. "Come on, give me that bottle and go get Chloe some apple juice." he said. "And don't come back before you wipe that smug smile off your face!" he ordered in mock-anger, causing Dayton to chuckle.

Chloe leaned on his shoulder as he was filling their glasses. "You think we'll have the same stories to tell in twenty years?"

Oliver smirked. "Between my boldness and your curious streak, I'd say our kid's going to give us a lot of trouble."

"Looking forward to it." she whispered and started kissing his neck.

"Well," Dayton said as he reappeared from the kitchen. "Don't mind me, I'm just passing through!" he joked.

Oliver laughed. "Come on we can behave ourselves in public, we'll show you."

They grabbed their glasses and Dayton lifted his up for a toast. "To the future!"

"To the future!"


December 12th 2012. 04:19 PM UTC-6. On one of Tempest Key's beaches, Florida, USA.

Arthur Curry emerged from the sea in a pensive mood. He walked up the beach under the moon's guidance for his lonely soul. Nobody was there to witness his inner turmoil as the winds batted his body.

Ruler of Atlantis, he thought. King of the Seven Seas... the largest territory on Earth.

He had come to Florida in hope to find a clue that would connect him with his old self but alas, he had had no success. Arthur had the memories of his life before his capture and the explanations of Emil Hamilton made sense but somehow, he couldn't become the person he once was again.

The old AC had been lighthearted and easy-going. Arthur was distant and brooding. More than that, he was lost. Metropolis didn't feel like home anymore; Chloe, Oliver and the others didn't feel like his friends despite their best intentions he couldn't be entirely at ease with them. The problem resided within him and he was the only one who could find a solution.

Swimming in the depths of the ocean was the only thing that helped him clear his head and feel joy. It was during one of his many underwater excursions that he met her. Mera. A girl with the same abilities he had and someone who told him about the past.

Orin, she had called him Orin. Arthur didn't know what to do about her revelations but he had to admit he wanted to see her again.

It was with a head full of these thoughts that he pushed open the door of his cabin and let himself in, sighing as he found refuge from the aggressive winds outside. He went to turn on the lamp on a table before he recoiled violently. There, in the mirror, Arthur saw the figure of a man he thought he would never meet again.

Turning around, he fell face to face with the other man calmly sat on a chair, his hands held together.

"It's been a long time, Arthur." the man said.

Orin found himself unable to move as he gaped at him. "...how?" was the only thing he could think about.

The man let out a small laugh and leaned forward, pulling his face out of the shadows. "The answer to that question doesn't matter." he replied and Arthur took a long moment to process the words as he felt pinned by the piercing gaze of the intruder.

"What matters is: what are we going to do next?"