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The Quake of Starling City

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Skye walked down the stairs to the abandoned subway platform. The underground subway system had been great for her over the last couple of years. She had portable internet access with her and the subway stations gave her a large amount of room and also several locations to move around for her hacking sessions. This made it harder to be tracked as no-one thought about the subway stations.

She was already sweating when she arrived at the station and started setting up her computer equipment. She had just come directly from her session at the gym. Melinda's had the best self-defense classes in the city. The owner knew so many different types of martial arts that she combined them when training others. It made for less holes in her form and when Skye is a homeless woman living out of a van in the Glades, she needed all the defense she could get. It had already saved her a few times over the years.

When Skye finished booting up her laptop and gear for another round of hacking the government to expose secrets, she heard a mechanical whirling coming from somewhere behind her. It definitely didn't come from something she brought. She turned to see a large monstrosity behind her sitting on the tacks near the station. The lights had turned on and there was a countdown playing on the interface. At the same time her laptop opened up and the breaking news had started playing. Moira Queen was explaining how Malcolm Merlyn had created a device to cause an earthquake and intended to use it on the Glades today.

Skye stared at the thing that would kill her and hundreds of others. "Shit."

---

Oliver was losing the fight against Malcolm when he got pulled into the chokehold. He needed to win and he needed to defeat Malcolm to finish his mission. What his father had asked him to do. Oliver saw the arrow on the ground and grabbed it stabbing himself through the shoulder and into Malcolm's heart.

"Thank you. For teaching me what I am fighting for." He said as he slowly got up. "But my father taught me how." He landed a punch on Malcolm who was trying to stand knocking him back down.

Over the comms he heard Felicity. "Lance did it."

Oliver sighed in relief. "It's over."

That was before Malcolm smirked. "If I learned anything as a successful business man it's redundancy." He coughed out. With that Malcolm passed out on the roof with that revelation rolling in his mind.

"Felicity, there is another device. There's two of them!" He said urgently already knowing there was nothing he could do.

Oliver and Diggle who had crawled up to look off the roof at the Glades where there was mass panic. After his mother's message everyone was evacuating and yet, there was no earthquake.

They stood there in silence for a few minutes. "It should have happened by now. Felicity where would the second device be."

"How should I know!" She shouted in a panic. Working in an office had not prepared her for this.

"Malcolm would have wanted that max damage done. Use the location of the first and find the ideal place to put a second device to cause that." He was not going to risk having the other device still active and possibly start working again. Both devices needed to be dismantled.

It didn't take long for Felicity to find the spot and relay it to Oliver. Another Subway station on the other side of the Glades.

Oliver turned to Diggle. "Rest that wound. I can take care of it from here."

Oliver fired a grappling arrow and flew off the roof in the direction of the Glades. Diggle slid down against the wall huffing out in pain. He sat for five minutes when he saw Malcolm's body twitch and take a huge gasp of air. Diggles instincts acted as he drew his gun and fired a bullet through the ninja's head.

"That could have been bad." Diggle mumbled as he got up and left the building hearing more police coming closer.

---

Oliver arrived at the subway station and entered cautiously. He could hear voices as he got closer but it sounded more like someone was listening to the news. He walked out onto the platform and saw a laptop set up showing a reporter that was covering the chaos in the Glades. She relayed the happy information that a detective had found and disarmed the device.

When Oliver looked around the room, he didn't notice anything out of the ordinary till he saw the device down on the tracks. He moved closer to check it out until he noticed a body sprawled on the ground about five feet away from the earthquake machine.

It was a woman, most likely mid-twenties and of Asian decent as far as he could tell. He cautiously approached her to check her vitals when suddenly her hand reached up and grabbed his before he could react. He quickly twisted out of the grip and went on guard. She suddenly thrust her hand out as if to push him away but he was more than five feet from her at this point, yet a large force slammed into him anyway and sent him to the wall knocking him unconscious.

When Oliver awoke, he noticed he was not restrained or being held by some enemy and his hood was also down.

He slowly and silently got up to his feet to take in his surroundings and looked to the other side of the station and saw the girl leaning against the wall with her knees pulled up to her chest. That was when he noticed the ground was shaking slightly and he quickly looked to the machine which was still off. He walked toward the girl slowly. She didn't seem like an enemy.

"Excuse me." He said calmly.

The girls head jerked up. He saw fear in her eyes. "Stay away!" I don't want to hurt you." She shouted.

"Usually people are worried about me hurting them." He quipped recognizing the girl seemed more afraid of herself than him. "What happened with the second device?"

"Second?" Her head popped up.

"Yes, Me and my friends found one before we knew there was two. When the second one didn't go off, I came to search for it and found you on the ground. What is your name?" He said calmly. The girl needed help focusing on something else besides what was going on with her.

"My name is Skye Mr. Queen." She said nervously.

He laughed a little. "Mr. Queen was my father. Call me Oliver. Especially when I am dressed like this." He gestured to the vigilante costume he was wearing.

She smiled a little. "I guess I could do that Oliver."

"What kind of name is Skye anyway. Do you have a last name?" He said.

"I gave it to myself. The orphanage is terrible at naming people so when I could I gave myself a different name. As for a last name I wouldn't know. Hence the orphanage." She explained without making eye contact. "As for the previous question I was down here doing a little hacking. Don't judge me Mr. Vigilante." She quipped at his surprised look.

"No judgement here." He said with his arms raised a little in surrender. She was hanging out in an abandoned subway station. It probably wasn't for something legal. But there was something about this girl that he just felt drawn to.

"Anyway, I heard your mothers broadcast and saw the timer come up on this thing. I knew that even if I ran there was no way I was going to get far enough away in that time." She said despondently. "So, I used my awesome hacker skills to try and short circuit the motherboard that was supposed to send the signal. There was a lot of electricity and sparks and then I was on the ground." She finished looking down at her hands.

"How did you do that?" He asked curiously.

"I don't know!" She freaked and the shaking started again. "I woke and knew there was someone there and just thrusted my hand out and this energy left my hand!" She yelled.

"Breath." He said gently. He took a step toward her and kneeled town. He took her hands in to his and held them. Weird powers didn't really bother him or freak him out. He's seen super soldiers come back from the dead and a British wizard that was definitely not Harry Potter. "Look into my eyes. In. Out. In. Out." He repeated for a couple of minutes until the shaking stopped.

"Thanks." She said sheepishly. "That hadn't happened before so I think it had something to do with the device."

Oliver thought for a minute. "While that might be the catalyst, I don't think that is the true reason. An electrical shock can't give you super powers." He sat against the wall next to the girl.

"Why aren't you scared of me? I blasted you across the room." She confessed shakily.

"Your new powers or whatever you want to call them are surprising but that's all they are. Powers. They are a tool. It's like handing a chainsaw to a child. It could be dangerous and maybe even deadly without proper precaution." He turned to her and looked into those eyes. "Let me help you learn how to use them."

She looked over at him suspiciously. "Are you trying to steal my mad skills for your team?" She said coyly.

"Yes. But I also want to help. I can't have you going around and causing earthquakes after every time you get scared." He added.

She thought about it for a minute. "What about Felicity? Isnt she your hacker?" Skye asked curiously.

"She only wanted to help find Walter and stop the undertaking. After that she was…. How do you know about Felicity?" Oliver asked suddenly.

She smirked at him. "Felicity is good. I am the best and I really don't like secrets. When I see something I don't understand I need to find answers. The moment I heard about a vigilante I had to figure out who it was. You weren't as careful before Felicity came aboard and I was able to figure it out. Especially when you disappeared from the auction and the vigilante showed up and the same thing at the fire department fund raiser. I saw the pattern." She stated smugly. "As for Felicity, when the order for the police to destroy a blood sample occurs on accident it meant you had computer help. There are only so many people with skills like that and one just so happened to work at Queen Consolidated." She smirked at the dumbfounded look on his face before continuing. "Don't get me started on your special forces trained bodyguard who was absent during your house arrest. A time where a billionare with no self defense skills would be an easy target for every grudge while a slightly bulkier than normal vigilante shows up across town."

After a minute of silence Oliver shut his jaw which was on the floor. "Alright you are the best." He smiled gently. "Now I really want your mad skills."

She paused for a second thinking about the offer. "I agree with what you have done so far. Exposing these rich criminals for what they are and digging up their secrets. I can help with that." She said determined. "But I won't be a subordinate or tech support. I am going to be a partner." She looked him in the eyes.

He was startled by her reaction. Felicity had joined reluctantly under specific circumstances and Diggle was against it at first and took a week to agree. Skye was a virtual stranger and she had little hesitation. Maybe she would be a true partner.

"Alright but we need to spend time getting your power under control. And I need to help you get trained up. If you are going to be going in with me, then you need to be able to keep up." He explained.

She smiled at him. "Who says I can't keep up now?"

He thought back to her quick reflexes when he tried to wake her. "That may be so. But I will need to test you to know what you can do and you need to know what I can do."

"So, we are going to have a cool training montage in your secret lair below your club?" She said with a small bit of smugness.

He just sighed. This may be a little more than he originally thought. She would be a handful. "No. With your abilities being as dangerous as they are we are going to need to get away from Starling City to get them under control."

"Where are we going?" She asked curiously.

"Lian Yu."

---

Oliver walked into the mansion feeling a hundred times better than he did the day before. The City was safe, Malcolm was dead, and he wrote his fathers wrongs. At one point he wondered what was next but he knew he wouldn't stop. The city would always have criminals and corruption. His time with the Bratva told him that when one criminal lost his territory there would be three more to step in to try to claim it.

He walked into the living room and saw his mom on the couch asleep. It was late and had been such a long day since he had gone to confront Merlyn. He felt bad about keeping his family in the dark for so long, but it was to protect them.

He turned to walk up the stairs when he heard his name.

"Oliver." It was whispered and he turned to see his mom with tears in her eyes and she rushed over to hug him. "I was so worried." She whispered.

He smiled and wrapped his arms around her. "I'm sorry I was so harsh earlier. I cant imagine what it has been like for you losing dad and me, then having to do what you could to protect Thea. I can't imagine the things I would do to protect you guys." He lied again knowing some of things he'd be willing to do. Thinking about a specific young boy from Hong Kong. He did many horrible things to protect him.

"I still should have said something." She sobbed into his shoulder. "The police told me they found Malcolm's body. The weight That lifted from my shoulders when I heard was so great." She admitted.

"The police were here." He asked.

"Yes, they wanted to know the extent of my complacency. I gave them everything I had on Malcolm. They decided that they would let me go for now as acting under duress. I am sure the only reason for the lenancy is because the vigilante stopped the attack. If people had died, I would have been the person they put on trial without Malcolm. At least they are leaving me alone from now." She explained. It had been a long stressful day for her as well.

Oliver sighed in relief. "That's good." They sat there for a moment. "Hey mom. I know this is terrible timing but I am going to leave town for a couple months."

She looked up with shock and worry. "We just got you back though."

"It's important. I wouldn't leave if it wasn't. It will only be for a couple months I swear." He promised breaking the hug. He turned to leave but was stopped.

"I know." She replied.

He smiled. "Thanks for understanding."

"No Oliver. I know." She said more firmly.

Oliver paused. "What?"

"Why do you think I was up all night worrying? I know you are the vigilante. There were small signs but I ignored them. I saw the parking garage footage from when I shot you. It was clear you got into Ms. Smoak's car. I have seen you two together on too many occasions where the vigilante is involved for it to be a coincidence. I know you went after Malcolm." She confessed.

"I…" He froze unsure what to say.

"It's alright. I am proud Oliver." She said as she approached and hugged him. "Now whatever you need to do. Just be careful and don't disappear on us again."

"I won't." He promised as he hugged her fiercely. Both too caught up to notice a worried sister who had also been waiting for her brother on the upper landing above the stairs.

---

After talking with Oliver who had somehow gotten her to agree to go to a deserted Island off the coast of China, Skye went back to her van to sleep off the rest of the night.

The next morning she went to Melinda's Gym. While she didn't really have anyone she considered her friend in Starling City to say goodbye too she was a regular here and she did enjoy her time spend with the gym owner learning how to fight.

She found May at the bag early in the morning when she entered the gym. May paused in her routine and started talking without turning around. "This isn't your usual time Skye. What are you doing so early?" May said in her usual flat and harsh tone.

"I came here to let you know I will be going out of town for a while and won't be visiting."

May turned around to look at the girl she had been training for two years. She didn't have high hopes for her at first but she was one of the few that stuck around for more than a few weeks. "Don't slack off while you are gone. I will test you when you come back." May said simply before returning to the bag.
Skye knew that May could be gruff but she had also been around her long enough to know that was May's way of saying 'take care of yourself' and it made her smile. She turned to leave.

"By the way, Grant came in yesterday. He was asking about you again and said he was worried about you because of the panic in the Glades." May said.

Skye froze. "Thanks for warning me."

"I never understood why you dated that guy. He sets off all of my instincts." May added.

Skye only nodded before leaving the gym.

---

Oliver packed up his gear and a satellite phone and headed down stairs to the mansion.

He ran into Thea on his way. "Ollie. You are leaving?" She said sadly. She knew he was going but it didn't make it any easier for her.

"Don't worry speedy. I will be back before you know it." He hugged her before continuing down stairs.

Oliver made his way down stairs to see his mom talking to someone.

"Mom?" He called out.

When she turned around he saw Skye in the entryway carrying a duffle bag.

"Oliver. This lady showed up and said she was looking for you. You better not be leaving us again to wisk another girl off on a boat trip." She glared pointedly.

"Actually, mom we are taking a plane." He said knowing that wouldn't help. He saw that Skye was completely uncomfortable with the situation.

"Just be careful." She said resigning herself to let him go.

"Of course."

With that the two of them left to the airport to take a flight to China.