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"Shakedown": Outside the sacred city of 'Eth Alth'eban, December Graystone discovers someone he was not expecting to see waiting outside, and curses himself for not realizing that this person had something to do with the battle currently underway in the s
- I'm just a selfish ass.
Appearing in "Shakedown"
- Drakar (Dies)
Synopsis for "Shakedown"
Outside the sacred city of 'Eth Alth'eban, December Graystone discovers someone he was not expecting to see waiting outside, and curses himself for not realizing that this person had something to do with the battle currently underway in the subterranean city.
Jason Todd is currently leading the League of Assassins in a charge against the evil Untitled, who had the gall to use Jason's friend Roy Harper against him to get into the city. Jason is confused when his swords tell him that by taking bronze shards from the great fountain at the centre of the city, they will be able to drive off the Untitled, but he hopefully passes on the information to his companions.
Meanwhile, Roy has been placed in a holding cell, and given that Cheshire has been sitting across from him since he was put down there, he has been talking to her the whole time, though she would not respond. Eventually she tires of hearing his whining, and remarks that he was more exciting when he was trying to kill her. Ignoring her, he admits that he's scared that he made things worse by trying to fix them. He was trying to force his best friend to be something he doesn't want to be anymore, and he pushed his girlfriend Kori away because she doesn't want to relive pain that she has already dealt with. He realizes that he has been selfish. He breaks down in tears, begging to know why he keeps doing everything wrong; why he's broken. At this, Cheshire slips between the bars of his cell and explains that she knows what broken looks like - and he's not broken.
Above, Jason finds himself locked in combat with Drakar and the man discovers that what was done to Jason's mind was more than a simple mind-wipe. He senses Ducra somewhere within his mind. Jason uses Drakar's confusion to steer him toward the fountain, which hides the Well of Sins; the pool that filled the Untitled with evil. Drakar struggles, but collapses into the murky fluid.
Sensing that Cheshire intends to kiss him, Roy pulls away. She explains that she was only trying to see the care in his eyes; the care for his friends. She points out that if everything he did was to help his friends, then it doesn't matter if he succeeded. Nobody was fighting their way into one of the most closely guarded and dangerous cities in the world to save her. There's nothing wrong with him. Regardless, Roy knows that if they all die here, he'll never have a chance to tell his friends that he's sorry for his part in it all. Determinedly, Cheshire holds out her hand and orders him to take it. Though he is reluctant, he takes her hand, and they are whisked away to another place.
Having fallen into the Well of Sins, Drakar begs to be removed from it as he can feel the arcane power reaching back inside him, and taking the evil energy within him away. The pool strips Drakar of his power and life-force, spitting him back out as a withered old man. Turning to the remaining Untitled, Jason warns that they will all suffer the same fate if they do not surrender. The Untitled respond that he cannot hope to defeat them alone, but Lady Shiva responds by unleashing a swarm of Man-Bats, warning that the League of Assassins is death incarnate.
Roy finds himself with Cheshire in another cell, but it is the cell of Kori. Reaching out to her, he drops to his knees and apologizes for everything he did wrong. Seeing him, Cheshire is both jealous of his friendship, and a little heartbroken at his feelings for Kori.
Soon, the Untitled have all been cast back into the Well of Sins, and Jason feels that they have won. Suddenly, though, Drakar leaps onto his back, warning that he will not be killed so easily. Without much effort, Bronze Tiger reaches out and snaps the old man's neck. Sighing, Jason admits that killing Drakar was necessary - a key realization for a member of the League of Assassins. Lady Shiva comments that tonight, they will see all the remaining Untitled dead as well, but Jason responds that they cannot simply kill without his say-so, if he is to be the League's leader.
Suddenly, a cloaked figure appears, noting that he expected more after coming all this way, just to find a leader of assassins who orders his warriors to sheathe their blades. The man warns that the game is over, and Jason's part in it is done, as he makes his way toward the Well of Sins. Jason stands in his way, demanding to know who this man is. The man responds that he is the one who gave the Untitled the location of the Acres of All knowing that they would kill Ducra and return to this place. He knew they would fall here, and imbue the Well of Sins with a greater power than he had ever tasted - a power that he would now take for himself, having planned this moment for three centuries. Emerging from the pit, the man introduces himself as Ra's al Ghul.
Meanwhile, in the Acres of All, S'aru and the spirit of Ducra watch, noting that the future now lies in Jason's hands alone. Long ago, in Gotham, he had done what was necessary. Now he must do it again, on a much grander scale.
- This book was first published on October 16, 2013.
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