"The Professional, Part One: Among Thieves": In Kenilworth, New Jersey, a local Congressman is hosting a party in his condominium, celebrating his reelection. According to local While there, he receives a package and steps out onto the balcony to open the package. Once he sees what's inside, he
- Who was Slade Wilson? Decorated War Hero...? Devoted Husband...? Loving Father...? Restless Warrior...? Prisoner of War...? The World's Deadliest Assassin...? That is the question which perplexes us...
- -- Clock King
Appearing in "The Professional, Part One: Among Thieves"
- Kenilworth, New Jersey
Synopsis for "The Professional, Part One: Among Thieves"
In Kenilworth, New Jersey, a local Congressman is hosting a party in his condominium, celebrating his reelection. According to local While there, he receives a package and steps out onto the balcony to open the package. Once he sees what's inside, he immediately steps over the railing, falling to his death. As he falls, the package is revealed to have been scandalous photos of himself. While Slade and Wintergreen have trouble navigating the city, they eventually locate the Congressman's body and move to the next phase of their plan.
Clock King recounts the various aspects of man known as Slade Wilson, and wonders to himself which aspect was the person he truly was inside. He then turns his focus back to his captive: Matthew Bland, genocidal "President" of a nation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tockman takes a moment to recap what Matthew has been up to. It was he who hired Deathstroke to kill him by secretly financing a group of his victims so that they could hire Slade without it tracing back to him. Secondly, he offered Slade permission to kill Tockman, who was living under his protection, in exchange for a favor. The favor was using some extra money from him to get a certain Congressmen who is against U.S. intervention in Bland's country reelected. Then, after Slade kills Tockman, Bland would kill Slade. Essentially, Bland double-crossed him in order to double-cross Slade. However, Slade double-crossed him first. With the Congressman dead, Slade took the money for himself and mothballed Matthew's plan. Now, he has no choice but to hope the man he wanted dead will come to save him.
In another part of Africa, Wintergreen, who was supposed to be dead, is now gathering the few belongings ha had while he was being imprisoned. He also chastises Slade for letting his decoy get killed, and recounts his kidnapping from his safe house in Vermont to Slade. While rifling through Wintergreen's things, he finds the Ikon suit. Even though he wanted it destroyed, he dons it now as he has no suit. However, the suit is out of power. Using a rifle, Wintergreen charges it with few shots, then the two make their escape. As they head towards the entrance, Wintergreen gives Slade a rundown of the terrorists holding him. They then return to Slade's escorts, who took the liberty of disposing the decoy body used to get in, along with his original uniform. The group returns to Clock King's compound, where Ja Zaki is being held captive. Once there, Wintergreen enters alone and unarmed, and tries to negotiate a surrender. Clock King causes his age to begin fluctuating as a rebuttal.
Wintergreen flashes back to the past, where he walks into the Wilson home to find Grant and Joseph playing video games...while Slade and Adeline are upstairs beating the tar out of each other. Adeline is upset that Slade is always traveling with Wintergreen while she is stuck at home raising their children. Once the two stop fighting, Adeline declares her intent to divorce him.
Back in the present, Wintergreen's age keeps fluctuating. However, Slade appears and shoots him, but he was only an illusion. Slade reveals the Clock Kings abilities are actually just parlor tricks. He then reveals his weakness, due to his old age, which he hides under his illusions, Clock King needed to be connected to an oxygen tank. Wintergreen finds the tank shoots the tank, causing an explosion that disrupts all of the illusions. While Clock King is struggling to breathe, he is shocked Slade abandoned his word not to kill him, but because Wintergreen fired the shots, his honor is intact. Once free, Bland is upset that Slade killed his Congressman. Slade simply warns him to leave his two escorts and their families alone and leaves.
While on the way out Wintergreen reveals that the Congressmen death will undo his political agenda, causing the U.S. to intervene and defend Ja Zaki's enemies, and saving thousands of lives. Slade brushes it off, but Wintergreen tells him that the entire thing was a hallucination. Slade then punches him to convince him that he was wide awake. When he catches on, he begins ranting about the capture, their distress code Kenilworth, and ends by asking Slade where he was all that time. He sarcastically responds that he was golfing.
Later, Mattew and his men head to where the decoy Slade's body was dumped. While inspecting the body, Matthew calls an unknown benefactor and tells them that his job was complete and demands he get his money. He then muses about the fact that someone paid a fortune just to get the world's deadliest assassin to swap his uniform and put on the Ikon suit. He says that Slade has seriously angered someone, and wonders how it can benefit the Red Lion.
- This book was first published on August 24, 2016.
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