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"A Story of Giants Big and Small": Paddy and Rock walk back to their car in the rainy streets of Dublin as Rock tries to tell his companion the story of the giant Fionn Mac Cumhaill, who challenged a Scottish giant to a battle, merely because he could. Paddy is unimpressed by the tale, a


Quote1 Any sheep-rattler can win with a fist, yeah? Only we can win with a story. Quote2
-- Robert "Rock" McGinn



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Synopsis for "A Story of Giants Big and Small"

Paddy and Rock walk back to their car in the rainy streets of Dublin as Rock tries to tell his companion the story of the giant Fionn Mac Cumhaill, who challenged a Scottish giant to a battle, merely because he could. Paddy is unimpressed by the tale, annoying Rock, but soon enough they are at the car, and in the trunk, Rock reveals that he's got a woman tied up. Paddy doesn't recognize her, but a quick tap on her face disturbs her Hypnos signal, revealing that Rock has captured Helena Bertinelli - the most wanted woman in the world.

Afterward, Paddy arranges a meeting between Rock and a woman named Claire, who wonders exactly how he came to have Helena Bertinelli in his possession. Humbly, he responds that he found her by luck. He had been good at making bombs - so good that it won him opportunities in Gotham City, but when he was there, he had an accident that caught him in the explosion. Now he is bald and bears a rough scar on his scalp. After reconstructive surgery and returning to Ireland to recover, he got another job to pay the rent, and was surprised when he saw Bertinelli watching him work among the usual thugs. He knew her story. She was the granddaughter of Frank Bertinelli, and intended to lead the Sicilian mob in his place. Instead she ran and disappeared for five years - until he found her. But nobody else seemed to recognize her. They all called her Cheshire, while they called her bodyguard Headhunter - and he certainly wasn't. He realized eventually that his head-wound afforded him the ability to see through the confusion of their hypnos. He took advantage of his special knowledge, shooting the bodyguard down and kidnapped Helena.

Despite the story, and Paddy's assurances, Claire is still skeptical about trusting Rock. He continues that he put her in his trunk and decided to tell Paddy about her, having known about his friend's connections with St. Francis - head of a rival family to the Bertinellis. Worried, they might try to take her without paying him, though, he set up an explosive monitor on her wrist that would act as his contingency and assurance.

After telling the story over several drinks, Rock is quite drunk, and he wanders outside singing loudly until he finds Paddy's gun to his head. And Claire demands that he clear up some issues she has with the story, and he has one chance to run while she makes a call to Gotham to confirm it, otherwise, he'll die. Unmoved, Rock continues singing, so Claire makes the call, leaving Paddy to watch over Rock. Grinning, Rock comments that his first love had been a ginger like Claire - and the second as well. Paddy becomes increasingly frustrated, until Claire returns, reporting that the story checked out with her man Matches Malone. She offers that he can meet St. Francis tomorrow.

On the next day, the three of them drive out to the cliffs, and on the way, Paddy asks to know the rest of the giants' tale. Rock explains that Fionn was surprised when he realized that his Scottish opponent was bigger than he, so he took to running, begging his wife to hide him. She hid him in cloths, wrapping him up until he looked like a baby. When the Scotsman caught up, he heard the wailing from within and Fionn's wife explained that he had wakened her baby. When the Scot looked at how big the baby was, he worried at how big the father was, and ran all the way home, breaking the bridge between Ireland and Scotland. Paddy realizes that no fighting occurred, and Rock explains that the moral of the tale is that the Irish can win fights with their stories.

As Rock retrieves Helena from the trunk of his car, Paddy warns him to keep his mouth shut in front of St. Francis, reminding that the boss has had asome kind of grafted skin, that does powerful stuff. When St. Francis arrives, Rock is surprised to see that the man is actually dressed like a Franciscan monk, and is bathed in an otherworldly green glow. Having heard that shaking hands with St. Francis is a bond of trust, Rock extends his hand to seal the deal. When their hands make contact, he grabs tightly and punches St. Francis unconscious, commenting that the man is bigger than he though, and may not fit in the trunk. As he removes his bald cap, Helena comments that there was more room in the trunk than he'd think, raising her dual pistols behind Paddy and Claire so they can do nothing against Dick Grayson, who had tricked them. Angrily, Claire calls him a liar, and he responds that he's a story.

Afterwards, Paddy pleads for his life from Claire, who had her memory of what happened erased. Paddy, though, remembers all of what happened, but it does him no good. Claire can't return to her superiors with the story Paddy tells, so she concocts her own story that ends with her shooting him dead.



Notes

  • This book was first published on December 24, 2014.
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