Tuesday, April 18, 2006

250. The omniscient narrator

I have a bad feeling about this, Robin thought to himself from his makeshift observation post. For starters, the binoculars he was using, purchased earlier the same day from a sporting goods store, were nowhere near the quality of the ones he'd used during patrols with Batman. But there were far bigger problems: as an individual, he was well aware that he was no longer in fighting shape--and as for teamwork, he and Ollie had no history together. They'd barely even had time to map out a strategy for the present situation, other than each of them taking a different side of the building and watching and listening for anything out of the ordinary.

And Robin began to find plenty of signs of that right away: a giant warehouse plopped right in the middle of a residential neighborhood (not so unusual in Houston, he'd learned during his stay thus far), apparently being converted rather hastily into a nightclub. That, too, was not so strange, but what did catch his eye was the large number of gas cans lining the perimeter, and the half dozen men busily disguising them by covering them up or tucking them into hedges. These men wore robes very much like the ones Robin had encountered a few days earlier. They worked in near silence, and he knew he'd have to be even quieter as he signalled Green Arrow--

But how could he? They hadn't thought to pack anything like walkie-talkies, and even if they had, the noise from the consumer models would surely be enough to alert the goons.

That little glitch was the first indication that Robin's worries had been legitimate. The second indication came in the form of a gentle rustling in the grass just behind him, which was followed by a very fast, very painful blow to the back of his head.