"Michael Cray - Chapter One": As a child, Michael Cray absorbed a lesson from his father - "the world can be fun, but it isn't kind". It was a lesson that saw him in good stead, through school, through SEAL training, through IO, and which propels him today, to find bad people and kill them befor
Appearing in "Michael Cray - Chapter One"
Synopsis for "Michael Cray - Chapter One"
As a child, Michael Cray absorbed a lesson from his father - "the world can be fun, but it isn't kind". It was a lesson that saw him in good stead, through school, through SEAL training, through IO, and which propels him today, to find bad people and kill them before they ruin the world for the rest of us.
Today, Michael Cray is wearing a good suit as he arrives at the hidden San Francisco offices of Executive Protection Services, his new employer. Admitted by a passphrase, he goes through an office space to his appointment with Christine Trelane, who tries to convince him to pick a team to work with him. Michael is initially reluctant, but she convinces him to reconsider.
The second item on her slate is his medical history, which she has given to his new doctor, who he has an appointment with next week. Michael does not wish to discuss the matter, so she moves on to her next item: his firs assassination with them, Oliver Queen. She says they have no file on the man, but the first person he should talk to is his father, George Cray - who, by chance, lives in Oakland. Michael is suspicious that they sent him here and built all these connections around him to keep him passive, but Trelane dismisses his concern as paranoia, and says she bought him a house.
In the Queen-Apex Residential Building, a man with shaggy blond hair wakes from a nightmare, but lulls back to sleep with the mantra that he can survive.
In Oakland, Micheal sees his house, which contains no furniture, but one mouse. Carefully, he manages to get close enough to stroke it... and which point it explodes on his hand. Pausing, Michael sits down on his hunkers and wishes to return to normal.
In the Queen-Apex, the blond man is going through a nocturnal exercise session. While wielding a katana, and he punches and kicks a series of dummies apart, all while reciting a mantra: that which suffers, can endure, and that which endures, can survive.
Michael decides to visit his father to talk about Oliver Queen. George Cray is initially dismissive, believing that Michael wants to make Queen a servant of his shadowy government masters, but eventually he lays out the story: Oliver Queen was the son of billionaires. His parents died in a boat crash he barely survived, and though he went missing, he returned to his money with shaggy blond hair. Currently, his public effort is in seasteading: buying islands and filling them with amenities for only rich people. Meanwhile, Queen is rumored to be funneling guns and narcotics into poorer neighborhoods in town, exacerbating crime, and then funding tough-on-crime politicians to clean up the mess, so he can buy the neighborhoods at a depressed price and fill San Francisco with amenities for only rich people. A group is going to protest at Queen's penthouse soon, and George offers his son a place on the picket, but Michael is reluctant, surprised that his father has become a kombucha-drinking activist. George remarks that they haven't seen each other in seven years, and he should visit more.
At the Queen-Apex, Oliver Queen returns to his bed to find the woman he fell asleep next to is now awake. He asks her to leave, offers her money, and says a car will pick her up shortly. Apparently hurt and confused, she leaves. Using the intercom, he alerts his underling, Mr Diggle, that he wants to go to "the Sanctuary", and that he wants his bedsheets changed as soon as possible. Moving fast, he goes into a secret room next to his bedroom, and finds arms and armor...
Outside his house, Michael is met by Trelane, who asks for a status update. Michael admits that Oliver Queen sounds like a jerk, but that he cannot kill a man just for being a jerk. Sitting down, Christine lays out a second reason, something not on any file: Oliver Queen spent years on an island that harrowed him. When he came back to civilization, he used his seasteading technology to build a passable replica of the hellish island, to prove he was still strong enough to survive it. But Oliver Queen needed an audience in Hell, and so he has men abducted, usually veterans, and has them released into the Sanctuary, to hunt and kill.
Michael responds that this is a far-fetched story, and that trusting his superiors was what led to him leaving his last job. Trelane says she can show him the corpses, and point him to the facility. Michael asks why they are going after Queen, and Trelane admits it is just because they want his company's technology, which they can use for terraforming, and to fill the vacuum Queen's influence will leave. But that if Michael doesn't kill Queen, no-one will.
In the Sanctuary, Oliver Queen hunts and kills a man, before standing triumphant over his arrow-riddled corpse in the armor from before - a costume with a green hood, a black eye-mask, and formidable-looking boots!
- This issue is described as "based on a story by Warren Ellis".
- Throughout the issue, Oliver Queen is reciting from John Donne's "For Whom The Bell Tolls".
- No trivia.