How is everyone today? This is the chapter in which we'll see the viewers reactions towards Oliver being tortured for the first time. And so without further ado, here we go.
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Disclaimer: I don't own "Arrow" or its dialogue and plot.
Torture and Ghosts
Location: Hall Of Justice [Justice League Headquarters]
Setting: League Auditorium
They ignored Oliver's pleas before they dragged him down the forest into some kind of a military camp by two soldiers into a tent as Oliver leaned onto a support pole in pain before he noticed a middle-aged blonde man across him at the table as the man offered Oliver to sit down, speaking with a British accent. The man politely apologized for how the soldiers had treated Oliver before introducing himself as Edward Fyers, while he poured himself a glass of soda, that Oliver eyed, missing the sweet taste.
Oliver told Fyers, who he was, explaining how he got onto the island and offering Fyers to be paid by his family's money in exchange for Oliver's rescue, which intrigued Fyers.
"Wait a minute. Why on Earth does that guy not seem more interested in Ollie's offer of money? Isn't greed usually a major motivation for thugs like him?" Thea enquired confused, the young woman not understanding why money was not always a deciding factor for swaying the bad guys. Though she wondered if she'd been watching too many movies and didn't have a proper understanding as to how things actually worked.
"It could be because he might be employed by someone else and they're offering him a far greater, perhaps exorbitant, sum than whatever Oliver or your mother could offer him honey," Laurel answered and gently explained to her baby sister in all but blood with a shrug.
"I fully agree with the lawyer young one, but I have also met men like him in my travels and one thing you both need to understand is that sometimes the mission is far more important and satisfying than the promise of monetary gain," Nyssa added coolly as she addressed both women and everyone else, and then continued. "I'm not saying that it's the case for Fyers and considering that he's a mercenary from what I've heard about him, but I do believe it's something you must all take into consideration."
Thea and Laurel did exactly that, understanding where she was coming from though Thea was still upset that offering a lot of money to thugs did not always work and especially for her brother's sake, while Diggle, Lyla, Quentin, and Rene responded with a nod since as soldiers they'd come across those kinds of people as well, warlords included, during their times with the military and were therefore not surprised by this.
Fyers then showed a photo from a crate behind him as Oliver took a look, recognizing the man on the photo as Yao Fei but without a beard and shorter hair, wearing People's Liberation Army uniform as Fyers asked Oliver if he had seen him. Oliver shook his head, denying ever seeing him.
Fyers saw right through Oliver as he dropped the photo and warned Oliver to tell the truth but Oliver again denied ever seeing Yao Fei. Fyers warned Oliver that the island he was on, was called Lian Yu, "purgatory" in Mandarin and he could make it look like Hell for Oliver as he got up, cursing Oliver for being a fool for protecting Yao Fei.
Fyers then left the tent before Oliver turned around and paled to see another man enter. It was a tall man wearing a black body armor with a belt of grenades across him, half gold, half black balaclava mask, holding an Uzi in his hand and to his back strapped a sword.
Moira, Laurel, Thea, Tommy, and Felicity all felt cold shivers of fear running up their spines upon seeing the imposing looking man on the screen, having a dreadful feeling in their guts that things were about to take a turn for the worst for Oliver. And even Roy, the hardened street kid that he was, was feeling intimidated.
The soldiers restrained Oliver to the tent pole as Fyers requested for Oliver to tell where Yao Fei was. Oliver said nothing as Fyers glanced at the masked man, who pulled out his sword and cut into Oliver's chest as Oliver screamed in pain.
The masked man continued to cut below Oliver's shoulder as his screams continued. The torture continued until Oliver was too weak to endure the pain as he stared down on the ground as Fyers seemed impressed by how much pain by how much pain was Oliver able to endure and did not break, despite the torture.
Thea was sobbing hard as she turned her head away from the terrible scene and curled up against her mother, shuddering as tears continued to fall from her cheeks. Her mother wrapped her arms around her tightly and cried with her, Moira feeling deeply distressed that her boy had been put through this and wishing that she could've somehow taken the pain away.
Laurel was crying heavily as well, seeing her once boyfriend suffering so terribly, while Tommy's jaw was tense as he felt the urge to try and somehow jump into the screen and strangle the sorry excuse that was torturing his best friend, and especially Fyers himself for ordering it.
Quentin's jaw clenched as he observed Oliver's suffering. For so long he'd wished the young Queen would suffer for his actions and yet it appeared that he'd already suffered and in one of the worst ways possible. And no matter how much he'd hated him (or used to?), even he did not wish something like this to have happened to him.
At this moment, all of the fury he'd been holding towards Oliver finally disappeared since Oliver had already experienced real suffering as displayed within these memories. And more importantly but considering that the Gambit was sabotaged, him holding Sara's disappearance against Oliver was pointless and especially since the latter was just as much a victim as Sara was. That did not mean he'd still be a little angry towards him for breaking his eldest daughter's heart but no longer would he hate him over it.
Oliver on his part took a deep breath as he found himself reliving those moments and it was only Sara's hand tightly gripping his own, anchoring him, which kept him from losing himself in those memories. He also took a moment to turn towards his loved ones and catching their eyes, sent them silent reassurances that he was alright and was here with them, which helped comfort them a bit though they were still feeling shaken.
Everyone else, including Nyssa, sent him looks of respect and admiration over how he was not only able to endure the pain but willing to for someone who'd given him protection even though Oliver did not know him.
Fyers ordered for the masked man to kill Oliver and put him out of his misery.
Suddenly, as Fyers was about to leave the tent, a soldier entered, falling down on Fyers before Yao Fei entered, firing an arrow and cutting the restraints around Oliver's hands as he fell down.
Yao Fei fired another arrow at the masked man, who caught it inches away from his left eye and broke it. The masked man pulled out his sword as Yao Fei blocked his strikes with his bow. Yao Fei whacked the masked man in the face with his bow before hitting him in the leg as the masked man kneeled. Yao Fei grabbed the masked man and jumped over his back, flipping him over.
Yao Fei then dodged as the masked man attacked again with his sword and blocked his strokes with his bow. They both struggled to land another blow as the masked man did a cartwheel, struggling out of Yao Fei's grip and Yao Fei blocked the masked Manos strikes before throwing him down.
Yao Fei whacked the masked man in the face with his bow, dazing him momentarily before he grabbed Oliver and accompanied him out of the camp back to the cavern safely as Oliver groaned in pain.
A great portion of the viewers let out soft cheers as they watched Yao Fei rush in to save the day, greatly relieved that Oliver had him in his life, while highly impressed by his advanced moves and combat skills. Roy on his part was wishing he had those moves since it would make his life easier for him since it seemed he was almost always involved in fights with the regular hoodlums who roamed his neighborhood. Though he conceded to himself that it was mostly his fault for getting involved in shady dealings with them so many times in the first place.
Nyssa on her part carefully observed Yao Fei's skills and recognized them as the same moves taught to those within the League while his particular style was highly similar to that of her sister, Talia. To her it was more than clear that this man had come across her sister and had been one of her many students.
She was still a bit resentful that her older sister had left her to endure her father alone but could not help but feel impressed at how exceptional a teacher Talia was.
Oliver lied down as Yao Fei commended him on his strength and tenacity. Yao Fei handed Oliver a pouch of herbs, advising him how to survive before he left the cavern, closing the entrance as a boulder fell down and blocked Oliver's way as he wanted to help but he was too weak to get up on his feet.
Later, Oliver was in the cavern, lying on the ground and trying to stay warm as he ripped a page off Robert's notebook and threw it into the fire. Suddenly, to his surprise, Robert grabbed him by his shoulder.
Tommy, the Queens, and the Lances, except for Oliver and Sara, all gasped in shock upon seeing Robert and wondered how it was possible, with the soft whimper of "Dad?" being heard from Thea. They wondered how this was possible but then surmised that it was possible Oliver was hallucinating or dreaming. The video then paused at that moment and Conner addressed everyone.
"I suspect that many of you are probably very confused as to how Robert could be present considering what happened to him. What I'd for you all to know and understand is that many of us and our friends have different beliefs on that subject, beliefs we may disagree on, but we're open to the fact that anything's possible.
"Some of us such as Zoe and William believe that Oliver was dreaming and that it may have been the magnification of the side of him, a side that's in all of us, that wanted to him to keep going while countering any feelings of doubt, fear, and feeling as though he had no self-worth. And maybe the lingering pain that was radiating front the wounds he sustained from the torture was somehow playing a role in it.
"On the other hand, some such as Mia and I have learned from our parents about how large the world is and that it's filled with many unexplained and unbelievable things. And one of those things that we've learned about and what a great number of you will go on to learn about is the existence of magic and the supernatural."
Connor paused upon hearing the slight gasps of many of the attendants, and then continued.
"That's right folks. Magic is thing and not only that but the island Oliver was stranded on was actually a magical nexus. "Therefore, and while we're not fully committed to it, we do entertain and lean towards the very strong possibility in our opinion that it really was Robert himself, his ghost at least, who appeared to him when his son needed him the most and gave him the encouragement Oliver needed to remain steadfast and strengthen his will to survive.
"It's ultimately up to all of you as to whether or not it was Robert himself or if Oliver was dreaming or hallucinating. But please try and be open minded towards all possibilities while respecting each other's opinions even if you disagree."
The attendees absorbed Connor's words, still surprised and maybe a bit unnerved by the idea of the magic and possibly ghosts existing, but they took them into consideration and made their own conclusions. Some such as Diggle concluding that they were not real ghosts but the side of humans who need encouragement in life. He also knew this from personal experience due to "ghosts" having appeared to him during his time in the military and that it was important to listen to what they had to say.
Others decided that it might've very well been Robert's actual ghost who'd come to be there for his son. Thea especially believed it really was her father and if not for any other reason other than it brought great comfort to her that he was still out there and watching over herself and her brother while she, through this current experience, was getting to see the real him again at least one more time.
Moira also decided to conclude that it was her actual late husband and for more or less the same reasons as her daughter. Especially in regards to the idea of him watching over her and especially with what she was currently being put through.
Roy on his part was 50/50 while Rene found this info about ghosts and magic to be just too much for him and frankly a lot of hogwash. As far as he was concerned, Queen was more than likely hallucinating though he respected if anyone else believed differently.
As for Oliver himself and after all he'd observed during his time away and hearing the words of one of their hosts, he now accepted the possibly that he'd really spoken to his father during that moment but at the end of the day it didn't matter to him. Whether or not it was his father or a hallucination, his father had appeared to him during one of his most vulnerable moments and provided for him what he'd needed to survive.
Following this, Zoe then resumed the video.
Oliver got up on his feet, staggering and looking at his father in shock, not understanding. Robert expressed disappointment over Oliver's a parent inability to survive, despite Robert's insistence. Robert handed Oliver a revolver, saying that there was one more bullet left in the cylinder as Oliver picked it before Robert told him that his own death would mean nothing if Oliver did die.
Oliver pointed out that he was starving and that he was going to die anyway, wanting for his death to be quick, just like Robert's was. Robert assured him that Oliver was strong enough to survive but Oliver was unable to believe it before he put the gun to his temple…
…only for it to click as Oliver realized that he was only hallucinating as he dropped the gun down in frustration. Robert pointed out that Oliver would be betraying Robert, if this was real and Oliver did really kill himself right now, making Robert's sacrifice worth nothing. Oliver pointed out that he was not as strong as his own father.
Oliver's family and closest friends, except for Sara, all stared at the past events in shock and disbelief, horrified that Oliver would even contemplate doing something like this. Sara however gave him a bittersweet smile, understanding due to having gone through a similar journey as he did and therefore the effect of how traumatizing certain events can be overwhelming for some.
Oliver however sensed their emotions over what they'd witnessed and decided to address this with them, turning himself towards them.
"I was at a very terrible place in my life at the moment. I had just lost dad, was stranded on an island with no way to return home, and had just been tortured," Oliver explained. "And for all I knew, Yao Fei was going to forget me and that cave would soon become my tomb. I thought that it was all over and therefore decided to end things on my own terms rather than continue to suffer.
"I'm not proud of it and I know now that suicide is never the answer but at that time I was not thinking straight and I'm sorry that all of you had to see that."
His mother, sister, Laurel, Tommy, and even Quentin could only feel sadness and pity for him and especially over him feeling that there seemed to be no other way left for him. Thea in particular was shedding tears over this and her brother's explanation.
Sara on her part leaned forward towards Oliver.
"It's alright Ollie. I understand," she whispered softly in his ear while rubbing his back. Oliver in turn smiled gratefully. The memories then resumed.
However, Robert pointed out that he was not the man Oliver had thought him to be, trying to explain the things he had done, what he was about to do but Oliver had no idea what his father was talking about. Robert reminded him that he begged Oliver to right his wrongs and that it was his responsibility. Oliver had no idea how to do this, if he was unable to get off the island.
Robert laid his hands on Oliver's shoulders, assuring him that he loved him as Oliver nodded before he woke up, realizing it was all a dream, clearly freaked out by it as he gasped out as he turned to the fire that was dying.
Oliver tore out another page off the notebook and was about to throw it into the fire before he noticed that writing was appearing on what he had believed to be a blank page, revealing a list of names, much to Oliver's surprise as he opened the book and held it above the flames as more writing appeared on the previously blank pages, revealing list of names as Oliver realized that Robert had given this responsibility to him as Oliver vowed to fulfill it.
A thought occurred to both Sara and Nyssa as they watched the names appear but Nyssa was the first to bring it up.
"If I may Oliver, and I do not know if you had realized this already, but considering the fact that you've burned some of the pages of your father's notebook I believe it's safe to assume that you clearly have an incomplete list. You may want to keep that in mind whenever you decide to initiate whatever plans you have to honor your father's wishes with this list," she said to him and he nodded, having just realized that little tidbit while watching these memories and wishing he'd thought of that sooner.
Moira on her part was feeling a bit angry with her late husband over putting this kind of burden upon their son's shoulders, wishing that his ghost would appear to her as well so that she could give him a piece of her mind.
Tommy at that moment voiced a question that was on the minds of much of the audience.
"Um, Ollie? What kind of ink was that and how did you manage to get the fire to make it appear? Is that some of the magic Connor told us about?" he asked curiously, wondering how his friend was able to pull off such a neat trick.
"Actually it's not magic or any kind of special trick buddy, but invisible ink. It's present on the paper it's written upon but invisible. But when next to heat the written ink becomes visible," Oliver explained to him to which Tommy and the others nodded, some of whom like Diggle, Lyla, and Rene were aware of that type of ink and sometimes used it as one of their ways to exchange coded messages with their informants during their time in the military.
For days, Oliver was in the cavern until he ran out of food and water and was eventually so tired, he fell asleep, leaning onto the cavern wall. Then, the entrance to the cavern opened and the sunlight shunned onto Oliver's face as he slowly came to. Oliver saw Yao Fei enter, with a dead rabbit and a jug of water in his hands, impressed that Oliver was still alive as he put the rabbit and the jug down. Oliver glared at Yao Fei, angry because he ran out of food and water days ago.
Yao Fei went out for a moment as Oliver was about to drink from the jug before he saw Yao Fei drag in dirtied Fyers, with bruises on his face and an arrow sticking out of his knee.
"Well what do you know? They actually managed to capture that guy. Hopefully they both give him a really good thrashing," Roy happily said as he watched what just happened while pretty much everyone else, except for Oliver and Sara since the former had already lived through it while the latter knew enough from what Oliver had shared with her, were of like sentiment and hoping that Fyers was about to get his just dues.
Laurel however noticed the grim expression upon Oliver's face.
"Shall I take it that things did not go so well following this scene"? She asked him with a grimace.
"You have no idea," he answered which made everyone else feeling apprehensive as they continued to watch the memories being displayed before them, wondering how things were going to go south for Oliver this time.
To Be Continued
A/N Regarding Oliver's dream of Robert, I'm personally willing to believe the possibility that it was actually Robert's ghost who appeared to Oliver and to advise him when he needed it and considering that magic was integrated into the Arrowverse. But I won't discount that it might've been a hallucination. In my opinion though it's open to interpretation.
As for William and Zoe looking at things in a more straightforward way while Mia and Connor are more open to the unexplained, I figure that having them having respective no nonsense grandparents and father caused them to probably be raised in such a way to be skeptics to that whereas Connor and Mia, as the respective children of Diggle and Sara, they may have been brought up to accept the possibility of the supernatural and that there are things out there not easily explained by science considering all the wild stuff their parents experienced in their lives.
That's my opinion for this story.
I'd also like to thank everyone reading this for their tremendous support and encouragement in regards to this fic and for enjoying it so much. And please feel free to check out my newer works if you want, starting with "The Spectre's Arrowverse Regeneration" and then upwards.
Have a great day.