A recap of the events of episode 4 are shown, leading up to Renee giving in to her desires with Elicia with Flay looking on from behind the two way mirror.
“What the fuck are you doing, Montoya?”
Renee’s eyes blink open as she lies in bed alone. Standing over her is Vic Sage. He shakes his head, “Is this really what you do with what I entrusted to you? Are you kidding me right now? Look around you. You’re supposed to be above all of this and here you are, fucking around and putting your life in danger. My death was unavoidable, so stop beating yourself up over it. I was on the clock and the time ran out. You need to stop with this bullshit and get this job done. Don’t make me regret giving you The Question.”
“Now, GET UP!”
Renee snaps out of her dream, sitting straight up in bed. Elicia is still lying next to her. Renee’s sudden movements have woken her, however as she rolls over onto her back. “You’re angry.”
Renee has her back to the camera as she reaches for her shirt and pulls it over her head and on. “We shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have done that.” She leans over and reaches for her jeans, pulling them up her legs.
“It’s what you wanted. It’s what both of us wanted,” Elicia says, sitting up but keeping the sheet wrapped around her.
Renee slips on her shoes then reaches for her jacket, “That doesn’t make it right.”
“Where are you going? What are you going to do?”
Renee slips on the mask and presses the button on her smartwatch, “You need to leave this place, Elicia. Go now.”
As she turns to face Elicia with her faceless mask, she adds, “And never come back.” Then she slips out the door as Elicia watches her disappear.
In the hallway, The Question walks up quietly behind a large man, “Excuse me.”
There’s a look of shock on his face as the guard turns around, The Question asks, “Is there any place around I can fix my face?”
Then she drives an elbow into his face, “I guess not.”
A kick later and the man is down on the ground. The Question runs down the hallway, knowing there isn’t much time. She finds a doorway and opens it up and heads down some stone steps. She stops and reaches for one of the torches that have been lit leading down the stairs and carries it with her.
“Wait! Wait! Sister Shard! I beg of you…” The Question gets to the bottom of the stairs and peers around the corner. She sees the Colonel from before and the woman he had an affair with is tied up and lying on the ground. She is surrounded by men and women in red robes, Sister Shard and the Colonel are also there.
“I’ve done everything you commanded! Everything Cain demands! Every sin I commit was committed in his name!” the woman continues to plead her case to Sistar Shard. She turns to the Colonel, “Baby, help me. Don’t do this! I love you. Please!” Tears are streaming down her face.
Sister Shard walks over and places a boot against the woman’s chest, “Not much different from the sound of her pleasure, now is it, Colonel?” She hands a knife over to him, “Offer her up. It’s what is commanded of you.”
She walks up behind him and places an arm around his neck and whispers into his ear, “Become one of us. You’ve enjoyed her flesh in every way but one. Once you enjoy her flesh completely you will be free.” He grips the knife in his hand.
“Or damn yourself to hell!” The Question steps into view, much to the dismay of Sister Shard.
“Faceless defiler!” she spits, “You don’t want to sacrifice this woman, then paint the rock with the blood of the faceless.” She pushes him towards the Question. The others in red robes begin to move towards her. The Question jabs her torch into one, catching the robe on fire as the man inside screams out and flees.
A man with a knife comes from behind, but she ducks the knife and backfists him in the face, knocking him out. The Question approaches the Colonel, saying, “Nothing they threaten you with could be worse than what they want you to become.” The Question takes the knife from his hand. She rushes over and unties the crying woman.
“Thank you. God, thank you.”
“Get the fuck out of here, you idiot,” The Question tells them as the Colonel and the woman flee up the stairs. The Question then turns her attention towards Sister Shard.
“You stay back. Stay away from me.”
The Question moves towards her, “If you want to make an offering, lady,” she reaches down and picks up the still-flaming torch she dropped. “Let’s make it a burnt offering, shall we?”
The Question touches the flame against the wooden pillars of the underground bunker and they immediately catch fire.
The Question starts towards the stairs, “The thing about these old houses, they go up quick.” The Question reaches for the sacred knife and begins to walk up the stairs as Sister Shard watches her sanctuary go up in flames.
Moments later, Sister Shard is outside the house as it’s consumed by flames. Firetrucks are there trying to put out the fire but it’s gotten out of control.
“Gone. All our work, gone.”
Flay walks up beside her as she continues to speak, “The Colonel, Nikki, Elicia, everyone is gone. They’ve all fled. Gone.” She turns to Flay, “You let her do this,” she says angrily. “Why didn’t you stop her?”
“Sister, you’ve lost nothing. This house will rise again. There was a lesson to be taught.” With that, he puts his hood over his head and turns and walks away.
THE CRIME BIBLE: MURDER AND GREED
GOTHAM: WEEKS LATER
Barbara Gordon is driving herself down the sidewalk in her wheelchair in the middle of the afternoon.
“I wanted to come to apologize.”
That voice causes her to stop. It’s a voice she recognizes almost immediately. “Decided to return to Gotham, Detective Montoya?” The voice comes across as bitter.
Renee walks around in front of the wheelchair. “No longer a detective,” she says.
“I heard. Should I call 9-1-1 now, or…?” Barbara has obviously heard that Renee is on the run.
“I… I didn’t do what they say I did, Barbara.”
“What do you want? Why do you feel the need to apologize to me? Because you ran out on me in the middle of investigating my shooting? Is that what you’re apologizing for?” Barbara begins to whirl her chair around to go the other way, but Renee walks behind her.
“I wasn’t in any shape to investigate your shooting, Barbara. I know I promised to find who did this, but I was in a bad place. I had to get away from Gotham. It was sucking me in.”
Barbara stops driving her chair, “You were a drunk, Renee. You think I didn’t know? But you kept promising me.”
“The drinking was only half of my problems, Barbara. I knew staying here would eventually kill me.”
“So dramatic,” mutters Barbara Gordon. “Why are you here?”
“I need a favor. I know what you do. I know you have resources. I’m going to need some help. You can punch me later, if you’ll just hear me out.” Renee finally looks down at Barbara.
Barbara still looks angry as she looks up at the woman, “I’ll remember you said that.”
The waitress brings Barbara a beer and Renee a soda as they sit outside at a table. Once they leave, Renee begins her pitch.
“I’m tracking the last remaining copy of the Crime Bible. The Religion of Crime has decided to come forward and I had a copy, but it seems it was incomplete. I’ve tracked a copy here…”
Renee doesn’t stop speaking, “Every copy of Crime Bible is different. Some have codes buried within the text. Others have spells, pictures, there’s no definitive version of the book. It’s… it’s terrifying. Evil. Seductive. Beautiful.” Renee looks up past Barbara in an almost trancelike state.
Barbara slams her fist on the table, “Stop it!” Other patrons look towards her and she notices, apologizes, and leans in, “Listen to yourself. This book is sucking you in. The look in your eyes right now? It’s scaring the shit out of me. What do you want from me, Renee?”
“I need you to help me find the Gotham version of the book. I know the resources that you have…”
“I have a condition. You find that book, you destroy it.”
Renee shakes her head, “I can’t. In order for me to defeat my enemy, I must have that book.”
“Who’s this enemy?”
“I don’t know his name, I met him a few months ago in London.”
“Wait… that was…?”
“Yes,” Renee says as she reaches for her soda and takes a drink, “What I know is that he’s looking for Duela Dent. He has somehow tracked the book to her. I need to find it before he does.”
“If Dent is involved, then I’ll help. I’ll never turn down a chance to mess with that bitch. I just hope you know what you’re doing. What exactly do you need from me?”
Renee leans forward on the table, “I think I’ve met one of your acquaintances about a year ago…”
“So, before you get all antsy and decide that you gotta pull my arm off my body and beat me with it and get my blood all over that trendsetting robe you are wearing, pal. How about instead you just let me know what it is you want.”
As the scene opens, Duela Dent is sprawling very unladylike on what appears to be a makeshift throne. One leg over the arm of the chair and the other thrust straight out, foot resting on the floor. As the camera pans back, we see bodies laying all over the floor.
“Ms. Dent, it appears you have something that doesn’t belong to you and I’d like to go ahead and take it off your hands.” Flay steps forward into view.
Dent lets her dangling leg kick up and down as she watches him approach, but doesn’t seem all that concerned about it considering all her backup has been dismantled. She cocks her head to the side, “Do I? What possession that I have could possibly take the interest of someone such as yourself? I got some diamonds, I got some gold, I got some antiques, I got some weapons — oh, you’re a gun guy, aren’t you? What kind and how many? I can hook you up for the right price, mister.” She offers him an over-exaggerated smile.
Flay doesn’t seem too impressed with her smile or her offer as he stops a few feet away from her.
Then, as if the light has come on, she looks up at him. “You want the book.”
Flay lets a smile cross his face, “Then you know who I am.”
“Your name? No,” she says as she finally sits up in her chair, “I know your type. Tall, dark, judgemental. You belong to the order of the stone. Religion of Crime mumbo jumbo. What didja say your name was again, buddy?”
The smile fades from Flay’s face, “I am the leader of the Order of the Stone. I am called Flay.”
Duela stands up on her feet, she slowly approaches, a wide grin on her face, “It was pretty obvious that you belong to that group of nutjobs. Despite the fact that he has nearly a foot on her, she walks right up to him and looks up, “Since it’s just the two of us now, how about you tell me what you’re offering for this… book, you’re looking for?”
“Produce the book. Then I will show you how you can make tens of millions of dollars on its sale.”
Duela’s eyes light up, almost sparkling at the words ‘tens of millions of dollars’. “Now you’re just trying to get into my pants, stud,” she teases before spinning around and skipping over to the wall and removing a painting to reveal a safe. She turns around, “No peeking, perv,” before spinning the dial and then cracking open the safe. Duela pulls out something covered in a dusty cloth. She walks it over and sets it on a desk and then slowly unpeels the cloth from around it to reveal a large red book with golden trim.
Flay walks over and leans over it, “Ah, this is the second rarest text of the Crime Bible known in existence. The red cover signifies the text written by the bastard.”
“Sounds like quite the guy,” Duela pipes in. “You were saying ‘tens of millions of dollars’…?” She lifts the book up and begins to inspect it a bit more thoroughly. “Black diamonds, solid gold trim…” she gently sets the book back down, “I think you may be overestimating the value of this here book of fairy tales…”
Flay slams his fist on the desk, “The value of this book is priceless. You put this item up for auction, start the bid at five million. You will easily make fifty million on the sale and you keep half.”
Duela is still looking over the book, “What’s up with this lock?”
“The lock is to keep the word from those who do not heed it. Announce the sale. I will return once the auction is complete to collect my share.” He turns to leave.
“It’s gonna take at least a month to get all of this put together.”
We hear the bones crunch as Flay steps on the face of one of Duela’s fallen soldiers, “I will return in a month. And Ms. Dent, do not attempt to break the lock or read the book. It’s not intended for you.”
“I don’t tend to read any books that don’t have pictures, so you ain’t gotta worry about that,” she says as she wraps the book up and walks it back to the safe, setting it inside.
“For your sake, I certainly hope so.”
Down in the seedy part of Gotham, a body flies through a window, glass shattering all over the sidewalk. As we close in on the broken window, we see Orphan standing there.
She steps over the wall and through the open window and onto the sidewalk and The Question follows behind, “Looks like you’ve got his attention now.” A peek inside the bar and we see more bodies lying all over. Orphan just turns to her and nods before walking up to the man and pulls him up.
“Mr. Sinclair, we are trying to provide you with a religious experience here. Have you seen God yet?” The Question asks as the man looks scared.
Sinclair breaks the grip and begins to run. Orphan and The Question look at each other for a moment with annoyance before turning to go after him.
He runs into an alley and finds himself cornered. Sinclair produces a knife, “I’ll cut your heart out, I swear it unto Cain!”
Orphan and The Question exchange glances again. The Question shrugs, “May I?” the masked Orphan shrugs and motions towards the man.
The Question steps towards him, “You were saying what about my heart?”
The man charges her and swings the knife wildly and The Question easily dodges each one before knocking it out of his hands and pressing him up against the wall of an old building. She leans her faceless head up near his, “You can’t have my heart. I’m afraid it belongs to someone else.”
We hear the sound of a crack, followed by the screams of a man in pain. Several men soon find the opening to the alley and stop when they see Sinclair on the ground, writhing in pain. Orphan narrows her eyes through her mask.
All the men are soon lying on the ground as The Question looks down at them, “You guys suck at your job.” She walks back over to Sinclair, “We have some questions. You have the answers.”
Sinclair tries to scoot away from them as they approach, “You have nothing! You are nothing! I will tell you nothing!” Orphan tilts her head and walks over and places a foot on the man’s broken arm and his screams fill the alley.
“You sure you don’t want to talk, Sinclair?” asks The Question, “Or shall we test your faith further?”
The sound of a woman clearing her throat very loudly is heard. We zoom in on Duela Dent who is standing in front of a large group of folks, “I must admit, I didn’t think there was such interest in antique books, but the response here has given me a new love for the classics! I am truly honored that you would attend this event put on by moi. But, I know that this isn’t about myself, so let’s get this shit show on the road! It’s now time for the main event!”
A woman walks out with a tray and on the tray is the Bastard’s version of the Crime Bible and those in attendance give a little ‘ooo’ and ‘ahh’ as they murmur amongst themselves.
“This is the ‘Bastard’s Folio’. It was believed to have been lost in Budapest back in the 1500s and then reported burned in the Great Fire of London. It’s in pristine condition and is the only known recording of Cain’s second foretelling. We shall start the bidding at say… a cool five million smackaroonies!”
We see the bidding begin as paddles are raised, pushing the bidding from five to eight to twelve to fifteen. We see Sinclair, arm in a sling, raise his paddle and he mouths some words and everyone in shock turns to him.
Moments later, Duela Dent is walking with Sinclair, “I don’t imagine you brought cash, but my client would prefer a wire transfer anyway. Seventy four million dollars is a lot of cash-ola.”
“Let’s just get this over with, Dent. I don’t want to be here all night.”
Sinclair’s second takes a seat at the computer and pulls up a web page and begins to type in some information.
“Looks like you did a number on your arm, Sinclair.”
“I’m just here to buy the book, Dent. How about we leave it at that. Speaking of which, where is the owner of this book? I was hoping to meet him.”
“He told me he was gonna be here, but I’m afraid he must have had other plans.”
Suddenly a ball rolls into the room and smoke begins to pour out of it, filling the room.
We hear Duela Dent shout, “What the fuck?!”
Orphan and The Question dismantle the minions easily enough as Duela rushes to grab the book. As the smoke begins to clear, we see she’s gotten herself cornered as Orphan approaches.
“Goddammit! Why are you always interfering in my business! Don’t you have a prom to attend or something?”
“Duela Dent, I presume,” says The Question as she walks past Orphan towards Duela who clutches the book to her chest. Duela takes a step back and stumbles, falling on her backside.
“Don’t get up on my account,” says The Question. She reaches down and pulls the book from Duela’s grasp, “We can show ourselves out.”
“Who the fuck are you?” demands Duela who stands up and charges towards them. Orphan punches her in the nose as Duela falls to the ground, knocked out.
“Now, that is The Question,” responds the faceless one as the two walk out of the building.
Later on a rooftop, The Question still has the book. “Thank you for your help. Give Oracle my thanks as well.”
Suddenly, Orphan snatches the book from The Question’s hands and takes a step back. She reaches into her ear and pulls out an earpiece and hands it over. The Question’s eyebrows under the match furrow as she reaches for the piece and places it in her ear. “Tell her to give me back the book.”
“No. Whatever is in that book is evil,” comes the voice of Barbara Gordon on the earpiece.
“Someone has to understand what’s inside the book.”
“You said it yourself. This book is dangerous. Orphan will destroy it.”
“I need that book. I need its knowledge.”
“You’re so desperate for the knowledge that you don’t care what it will do to you. I’m asking you to let it go.”
The Question drops her head, “Perhaps you’re right.” Then she suddenly kicks at Orphan, who easily avoids contact, but loses grip of the book as it falls into The Question’s hands. “This is the only way I can destroy them. If I have to fight for this book, I will.”
“Are you listening to yourself right now? I don’t give two shits about the book,” says Barbara as Orphan grabs onto the book so now they are tugging over it.
“Then just leave it with me!” The Question yanks hard, freeing it from Orphan’s grip as Oracle continues to try and talk some sense into her.
“To do what, Renee? To fall further into their madness? To continue to chase them around the world?” Orphan takes a shot with a kick and knocks The Question to the ground. “Can’t you see how obsessed you are? Wake up, dammit!” Orphan places a foot on The Question’s throat.
“No…” mutters The Question. She reaches up towards the book, desperately trying to grab it, “I have to have it! Give it back!!!”
“Do not give her that book, Orphan!”
“Don’t you see, Barbara? I have to fight them. I’m trying to save you!”
Orphan looks surprised under her mask. She removes her foot from The Question’s throat and steps back as Renee sits up, “I’m doing it for you.”
“Give it to her,” Barbara finally relents.
Almost disgusted, Orphan drops the book at The Question’s foot.
“You could have asked me what I want,” says the voice, “But it’s never been about that, has it? Don’t contact me again.”
The feed is cut to the earpiece and The Question looks up and Orphan has disappeared. The Question stands up and touches her smartwatch, pulling the mask from her face as she walks to the edge of the building.
The scene fades to a train moving down the track. Inside the train, Renee Montoya sits with the red book in her lap. She’s finally able to pick the lock. She slowly opens it as she sees a blank page. As she turns from page to page, each page is empty. “The fuck? How can this be?” she asks as she opens it in the middle and continues to flip page by page. As she gets to the end, her eyes open as we see there is actually something written on the very last page.
“The Word is not for you.”
She turns the page and there’s one more word.
Renee shakes her head and looks out the window as she closes the book and we see the train continue down the track.
The scene opens at a location unknown, all we see is the door of a business. The door opens and Flay walks out. He is covered in blood splatter and splotches, looking quite happy with himself as he walks off the screen. We see inside what looks like a bar, bodies are everywhere, blood is everywhere.
Suddenly, staggering into the doorway a man appears looking disheveled and in shock. As he walks out of the bar, we see that a line of blood has been placed on his forehead as the scene fades.
Back on the island, Renee is on top of the home, doing a handstand in the center of the cone-shaped roof. Tot walks out with a cup of coffee in hand and looks around. He turns around and finally and sees her up top. “I’m going to regret asking this but, what in the hell are you doing?”
“When Vic wanted to think, he’d just meditate. Much safer than risk breaking a neck, that’s for sure.”
“Your concern is noted, Professor Rodor.”
Rodor mmhmms as he steps back inside. We see Renee still handstanding for a long moment.
Inside the home, Rodor has turned on the television, watching the news. He hears her come in, “Coffee is fresh if you’d like some.”
“No thank you.”
“More for me then.”
“Did you look at the book again?”
“Again. Still blank.”
Renee walks over to the table with a sigh, “It’s the ‘Bastard’s Folio’. It’s not supposed to be blank.”
Rodor turns around in his chair, “It can if it’s not the real ‘Bastard’s Folio’. I examined that book and I’ll be surprised if that book is over a year old. Everything about it screams modern manufacturing. I think you’ve been had, Ms. Montoya.”
She turns to him, “If you’re going to call me a fool, at least call me by my first name.”
He chuckles, “You still call me Professor Rodor. We’re obviously not friends. I am here out of respect for Victor. He chose you as his successor and that’s important to me.”
Renee walks over and takes a seat in one of the other chairs, “Maybe we should try and be friends. If this is what he wanted, then perhaps that is his intent. Why else would he want me to be the Question?”
The sound of the television interrupts their chat as the image of Myra Fermin appears on the screen. “Mayor Fermin is listed in critical condition following an assault late last night. Mayor Fermin was elected as her husband’s successor after his untimely death over a year ago.”
Suddenly, Rodor turns and increases the volume.
“That’s the chief,” says Montoya.
The former Chief of Police for Hub City is swamped by reporters, “Get the hell away from me! If you wanna help, stop bugging me and find out who did this to her.” The anchor continues her report, “Sixteen police officers have been murdered in the past three weeks. The FBI believes that the attack on Mayor Fermin is related.”
Rodor turns off the television and shakes his head, “That woman has endured more than her share. Married to that criminal former mayor, then his death, then Vic and now this…”
“What does Myra Fermin have to do with Vic?”
“I guess it doesn’t matter now, but they were lovers. Long before the former Mayor. They were still seeing each other when Vic died. Hub City is a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah. Nothing good ever happens in that city.”
Suddenly, Renee is up. She grabs her jacket, “I’ll be back in a few days.”
“Wait, are you going to Hub City? You are wanted for murder if I have to remind you. If you think of this as some sort of obligation to Vic, you should probably rethink this. What about your investigation into the Religion of Crime?”
“I was a cop, Professor. All of this is connected. I can’t ignore the circumstance of it all. This isn’t some coincidence. This is a personal invitation from the Religion of Crime.”
Rodor stands up and walks over to her, “Look, just be careful out there. Vic’s killer is still at large and if you show up as The Question, you are going to attract attention that you might now want. If you show up at Renee Montoya, you’ll be arrested. I know I can’t talk you out of going, so just be careful and keep in touch.”
Renee places a knit cap on her head, “Wish me luck.”
“I’ll do more than that,” says Rodor. “I’ll pray.”
“… The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women.” We see a man hanging from a large pipe, hands cuffed to it and his toes barely reaching the ground. Another voice is heard…
“I do solemnly swear that I will support, obey, and defend the Constitution of the United States and with diligence discharge the duties entrusted to me to uphold the laws, protect the citizens and serve the community…”
Flay steps into view, large knife in hand. We see that the man hanging by his hands is a police officer. Flay presses the tip of the knife into the officer’s uniform and then enough to draw blood just behind his badge. “.. of Hub City with honesty and faith befitting my authority as a police officer.”
The officer winces and then cries out in pain as the knife goes deeper, “Please…” he begs.
Flay leans in real close, “But you can’t protect them because you are weak.” He digs the knife a little deeper as the officer screams. “The badge makes you weak.”
Blood begins to spill onto the floor as the screams of the officer intensify.
The scene opens outside of the hospital.
“All right, Carson…”
The view changes to inside the hospital hallway as a man in a jacket approaches the officer sitting outside of a room, “Take off. I’ll take over. Get some sleep and come back in the morning.”
The officer gets up from his chair, “Thanks, Chief. I’ll bring some coffee when I come back.”
As the new Chief of Police settles into the chair, he waves off Officer Carson, “Just don’t forget the doughnuts.”
As Carson disappears, Chief settles back in his chair and closes his eyes. A shadow appears on the floor and moves into the hallway. The Chief appears to hear the approach.
“You’ve been gone over a year…” says the Chief.
“Sorry, had to stop for doughnuts,” comes the female voice of The Question which causes the Chief’s eyes to pop open and sit up as he realizes, “You’re not him.”
“You’re much smarter than the last Chief of Police,” The Question drops a bag into his lap.
“You know who he was, don’t you?” the Chief asks.
“I do, and it’ll remain a secret.”
“What happened to him?”
The Question shakes her head, “Not my story to tell. I’m just here to see the Mayor. Is she awake?”
“I’ll check.” The Chief opens the door and peeks in, “Mayor, I got a no-face here to see ya.”
Myra Fermin is sitting up in her bed, a laptop open as she appears to be working. Her eyes light up at the mention of no-face, but as The Question steps in, she’s visibly disappointed.
As the Chief closes the door, leaving The Question alone with Mayor Fermin, Myra looks up at the faceless and asks, “It really was him, wasn’t it?”
The Question looks at Myra for a moment, “Let’s pretend we’re talking about the same person…”
“I’m sorry. It’s true. He wore this before I did. He died trying to stop a shipment of guns into the community.”
As Myra’s eyes tear up again, seemingly having suffered the same loss twice, “I knew it was him. We didn’t talk about it, but I knew. The bruises, the injuries, the bloodstains. I knew. I also knew he didn’t want me to know, so I never said a word to him. I wish I had now.” She looks up at The Question, “You must be…”
“I’d rather you didn’t say it. It could be problematic,” she motions towards the door. “I know I’m not The Question you wanted, but I’m the Question you got. I know you have a cop killer in town and I know who it is. I’ve been tracking him all over. The less you know, the better off you’ll be.”
Myra nods, “The cops that are being killed, look, I know we had some issues with corruption but we have been working hard to eliminate it and have done a really good job. So, the cops that have been killed aren’t the bad ones.”
The Question walks over to the door and opens it, “Chief. Who is the most honest cop you have right now?”
“Are you kidding me right now?”
The next morning, the Chief is walking to his car in the hospital parking lot when he notices a flat tire. “Well, fuck me,” he mutters under his breath and pops the trunk and pulls out his jack when he’s struck from behind and stuffed into the truck.
A tow truck is pulled up behind the car and after being attached, driven off.
The scene opens up a little blurry at first, as if someone is waking up from sleep which would be true as we find the Chief hanging by a pipe just like the other officer before. His eyes focus enough to fall on the large frame of Flay who is sharpening his knife.
Hanging on the wall, tied together are a lot of officer badges.
“Why are you targeting my cops?”
“Cain requires sacrifice. As the scriptures read, ‘those who cannot take a life, do not deserve to live’ so thus I must make the sacrifice.
Suddenly, a female voice is heard, “Funny, I think I heard that before. Oh that’s right. I read it.” She lands a shot, staggering Flay backward. Unfortunately, he’s right next to the Chief. Flay puts his knife at the Chief’s throat. “A sacrifice is required.”
“I suppose that’s true, but you kill him and it gets you nothing because you see, I have this.” The Question reaches into her pocket and produces the Chief’s badge. “Your sacrifice means nothing without your little trophy, right?”
Flay charges her, “Give me that!” His eyes go wide, like he’s mad as he throws the knife at her and she uses the badge to deflect it as the knife. She turns to try and free the Police Chief, “I’ll be fine. Get that son of a bitch!”
Flay has run up the stairs and The Question follows him up, the voice of the chief is heard, “And I want my badge back!”
She runs up several flights of stairs until she reaches the roof level and bursts through the door and into the snow. It’s hard to see with the flurries and she doesn’t see him right away. “Fucking annoying,” she mutters under her breath as he comes up behind her and grabs her around the throat.
“You are so weak,” he says into her ear as he squeezes down on her neck.
“Fuck. Off.” She drives an elbow into his ribs, causing him to stagger backwards. She drives her head backwards, right into his nose as blood begins to spray.
She lunges at him, dropkicking him hard. He staggers backwards and trips over the ledge of the roof and falls over the side.
The Question scrambles to her feet and rushes over to the side to find… nothing. Nothing except some footprints leading out of the alley.
A scrap of paper floats down and lands at her feet. She reaches down and picks it up.
You have tasted four books of the holy word. We shall meet four weeks from today. If you do not come, then the fourth book will be used to snuff out everyone who has ever mattered to you in your life, Renee Montoya.”
Below that are a series of numbers.
She looks again over the side of the building as she shoves the paper into her pocket. “Don’t you worry, Flay,” she mutters as she goes back into the building.
TWO WEEKS LATER
Flay stands on a beach, looking out into the ocean. Shard walks up next to him and slips her hand into his. They are silent for a good long moment when she finally looks up at him, “Will she come?”
He doesn’t answer right away, continuing to stare out into the deep blue water.
Finally, he turns to her and nods his head, “She will. She cannot help herself. It is just as the parable predicted.”
PARABLE OF THE FACELESS
It may be winter in Hub City, but the coordinates given to Renee Montoya have led her to the desert. Sand blows freely by and she covers her eyes as she takes another glance at her GPS to ensure she’s heading the right direction.
Renee has dressed in her Indiana Jones best. White tank top, cargo pants, explorer hat. Her hair is tied back and she has sunglasses on as the sun continues to beat down upon her.
She looks up and sees a structure in the distance in the direction she’s heading, “Is that a real thing or perhaps I’m finally losing my shit here.”
She steps forward and heads in the direction of the possible mirage. It has been four weeks since she kicked Flay off the roof of the building in Hub City. She has heard nothing since then.
Rodor tried to talk her out of this journey, but that threat that was given to her on that day forced her hand. It was time to put this away once and for all.
Even though the Hub City Police Chief cleared Renee’s name for the murder of Vic Sage, there was still that something tugging at her telling her she needed to find who did it and take them down. While she was certain O’Brien and his crew had something to do with it, O’Brien had fallen off the face of the earth and the rest of his crew were keeping low, at least for the time being. But, it’s something she would have to deal with once this was all said and done. Then perhaps move somewhere a little quieter. Metropolis, maybe. The worst they had to worry about was rich megalomaniacs and flying aliens.
As she got closer to the structure in the desert, she had pretty much decided she was losing her mind. An old ship was stuck in the middle of the desert. How in the fuck a ship got to the desert, she hadn’t a clue but she was certain she was going to have to commit herself if she didn’t die in this heat first.
Suddenly, she was hearing voices. “Now you’re really losing it, Renee,” she says to herself as she gets closer and closer to the ship. “Okay, disappear anytime now,” but the ship remained. She looked up and faces were looking down at her as she approached. She glanced up at them and soon a rope ladder was tossed down to her.
“This isn’t suspicious at all,” she says as she grips the rope tightly and begins to climb. As she reaches the top, she grabs onto the edge and looks up at the faces looking back at her with as much curiosity as she must certainly have.
“Permission to come aboard?” she asks as she makes her way onto the ship. As she gets to her feet, she says, “Nice place you got…”
She realizes that she’s surrounded by a lot of men and women. And they don’t look friendly.
They begin to surround her.
“I’m looking for Flay…”
They just stare at her.
“… he’s expecting me…”
They begin to move in on her slowly.
She clears her throat, “Praise Cain? All hail the high madame? Greed is good?”
She’s starting to get the impression this has been a setup and she’s not getting out of this alive. “Well, shit. Oh! Hooray for crime!”
“Oh. Sorry! I know what you were expecting.” She pulls off her backpack and reaches in and as they watch her curiously, she begins to quote, “And the caitiff gazed upon her and saw that she was without faith and empty and he saw his reflection upon her face.”
She rises up and she’s wearing the face of The Question.
Everyone takes a step back, widening the circle as they all talk about “faceless”. A woman steps towards her, “The order of the stone welcomes you, whose coming has been foretold.”
As someone helps her with her backpack, the woman continues, “It will be my honor to bring you before the master of our most vile order. Follow me.”
As the woman leads the way down into the belly of the ship, The Question follows. She walks carefully to avoid rotted floor boards, rats and trash. The other woman opens a metal door that creaks loudly and they step into a room that is lit with only candles. In the center of the room a large rock sits that is covered in what looks like reddish-brown paint.
The woman steps in and immediately kneels, “Brother Flay, Sister Shard, I bring the faceless one before you.”
Flay turns to Shard, “Please prepare the trial for our guest. We will join you shortly.”
Shard nods her head, rising up. She glances angrily over at The Question before leaving the room as the other woman follows.
As the door creaks shut, The Question glances at it, perhaps even looking a little nervous about being alone with Flay after all this time. When he speaks, she turns to look at him.
“I must confess, I lacked in faith. I wasn’t certain you would show.” He pulls out a knife and begins to sharpen it against the rock. It’s then that Renee realizes that it’s not paint that covers the top of this rock, but dried blood.
She turns to him, “You threated to murder everyone I loved if I didn’t. Makes it kind of hard to refuse.”
Flay grins at her with an evil glimmer in his eyes, “And harder to fulfill the prophecy. But let’s not quarrel or dispense with false pretenses. That’s not the reason you came.”
Sweat is beginning to drip down the side of The Question’s head, “I came for answers.”
Flay laughs loudly at that answer, “You say that as if you mean it. But we both know you already have the answers you seek. The real reason you are here is which of those answers will you choose for yourself. I won’t fault you for your sin of self-deception, but Cain will certainly find fault with it.”
“I couldn’t give a fuck what Cain thinks. I’m not a member of your dark faith cult.” The Question continues to stand there, on edge, as if waiting for him to strike her at any moment.
He shakes his head, “You are very much a member. And yet, much more than a member at that. You have come to know the word and have been changed by it. Will you deny it?”
She doesn’t even pause when she simply answers, “No.”
He slowly approaches her, “It has been a pleasure, teaching you the lessons, watching as you gained mastery of each in turn. You have practiced them all, including deception.”
The Question shakes her head, “I have sought only the truth.”
Flay smirks as he walks up and stands face to face with her. “You have succumbed to lust.”
“And regretted it.”
“You have acted in greed.”
“For the charity of another.”
“You have committed murder.”
“I offered mercy.”
Face to face, they are silent for a moment. That evil grin on Flay’s face grows even more sinister. “You cannot unknow what you know, faceless one. The only question is: what will you do now that you know?”
He suddenly turns and walks to the door, “They are waiting for us.”
She watches him leave the room, then turns to follow.
As Flay steps onto the deck of the abandoned ship, everyone kneels. He raises his voice, “By my fist, bone is made into powder.”
The cult responds, “By my will, your bloody work is done!”
“I am the weapon, waiting to be drawn. I am the rage and I am the pride. I am the lust and I am the greed. I am the envy and I am the hate.”
As the camera focuses on his face, we see The Question standing behind him as he continues, “I am the rock, stained with man’s blood.”
“Unto Cain!” everyone else shouts loudly and as if almost on cue, lightning strikes out in the sky with loud booming thunder that rocks the ship. As we look on the deck of the boat, small drops of rain begin to splat down on the surface, then more and then more and soon it is pouring down rain.
Flay turns to Shard, “Sister, bring the persuasion.”
She bows her head to him and turns to go. Flay turns to The Question, “They will bear witness to what comes next. They will not interfere.”
Confused, she looks at him, “And just what does come next?”
He suddenly lashes out with a kick that she just barely manages to avoid as she steps backward and gets into a fighting stance. He grins, “One of us dies, so the other may live to lead this order into a new darkness.”
Renee remains at the ready as she shakes her head, “Yeah, I’m not keen on either of those ideas. I’m afraid I ain’t interested.”
Flay laughs at her, “You speak as if you have a choice. You do not.” He strikes a couple of times with his fist and she easily avoids contact, including a roundhouse punch that she ducks underneath and then takes a couple of steps back.
“I have a choice. I can refuse to fight.”
This seems to annoy the cult leader as he frowns, “So, you choose death. Not only for yourself, but for her as well.”
Renee turns her head, looks up and a surprising look comes across her face as the whispers, “Elicia…”
Elicia is standing up near the mast with Shard behind her. She has a blindfold on and her hands are tied in front of her. Though she cannot see, she screams out, “Renee? Is that you?”
“Don’t move, Elicia. I’m coming for you.” But suddenly, in her path is Flay, of course.
“The object of your lust. You would kill me to lie with her again, faceless?” he taunts her. “You brought this on yourself. Now you fight not only for your life, but for the whore as well.”
Renee looks up again and sees Shard reaching up and grabbing a handful of Elicia’s hair and places a knife at her throat.
Suddenly Flay lashes out, driving a kick to Renee’s midsection. She doubles over, but as he kicks again, she avoids that second kick.
“Your skills were adequate when we met in London,” he says as he continues to strike out at her. She deftly avoids each strike as they fight in the pouring rain.
She ducks a strike and drives both of her palms into his chest, sending him backwards, “I got better, asshole.”
He plants his hands on the ground, flips over and lands on his feet. He reaches for a wooden pole at his feet and brings it up. “Yes. Yes you have.”
He swings, connects with her hip that takes her off balance and then leaps into the air and plants a foot under her chin, sending her sprawling onto the ground. He moves in quickly, “Just not good enough.” He lashes out, as the stick smacks against her back, leaving a welt on her shoulder. “Was I wrong? Are you unworthy to lead?”
Renee flips back and gets to her feet before he can lash out again. As he moves in on her, she backs against the edge of the boat deck. She reaches where she is, she spins around and kicks at the railing, breaking off a long piece of wood for herself, catching it and turning back to Flay.
She looks at him, “One question before I decide to join your little club.” Flay strikes out with his stick which she blocks with her own, “Do you have dental?”
They battle back and forth with their sticks and even match for quite some time until Renee is able to drive an elbow right into the side of his face.
Lightning strikes and hits something aboard the ship, sending sparks everywhere and causes both to fly backward away from each other. Renee lands on the railing of the shit. She leans backward, almost losing her balance and falling, but she catches herself.
Flay swings wildly at her and she leaps to avoid a shot and drives a foot into his head and leaps over him back onto the deck. “Watch your head, coming through.”
Flay is getting angry now as he turns around, “Enough! Stop running!” He walks towards her, “As much as it pains me to say this,” he throws his stick like a javelin at her. She leaps into the air to avoid it, but he leaps at her and kicks her in midair and sends her flying backwards off the edge of the ship and she crashes down below. “Lilith’s vision failed her.”
He walks to the edge to look down at her. “You are not the one.” He leaps down to land on her, driving a foot into her midsection. “Consider this a lesson learnt.”
He raises his foot to stomp on her again but this time she catches his foot, “See? That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, motherfucker.”
She pushes at the foot, sending him flying backward. As he lands, a broken stake is driving through the back of his leg all the way through the front. It doesn’t seem to faze him as he looks at it. “Good. This is good,” he mutters under his breath.
Renee slowly gets to her feet. She limps towards him as he laughs at her.
“Finish me. Take your rightful place at the head of this collective.”
She walks up to him and looks down, “You said I murdered someone. I didn’t murder anyone. I certainly am not going to murder you. To be honest, you aren’t that special.”
The look of betrayal on his face as he tries to get up, but cannot.
The Question climbs back up, and walks up to Shard. “Release her. Now.”
Shard pushes Elicia towards The Question who reaches up and removes the blindfold, “You won?”
The Question tilts her head, “I’d say victory by decision. Let’s get out of here…”
Elicia’s eyes go wide as the Question turns around to see Flay standing there with a knife in hand. Blood is pouring freely down the hole in his leg as he limps towards her, “One of us dies. One of us leads,” he says as he takes a lazy, wild swing at her with the knife.
She ducks and drives an elbow into his side causing him to falter and fall over the side.
We see all the disciples suddenly kneel.
This time, when Flay lands, he is impaled through the chest.
With it finally over, Elicia walks over and places her hands on either side of Renee’s faceless face, “I knew you could do it,” she says softly and then slowly kneels before her in the pouring rain. “I always knew.”
Shard is the next to kneel, then soon everyone is kneeling to The Question, “Master…” Shard says. As The Question looks on at everything going on, Shard reaches for the dagger and presents it to The Question. “Command is in Cain’s name.”
ONE MONTH LATER
My name is Renee Montoya. It’s been a month since I tangled with the Crime of Religion. Flay is dead. I’ve returned to Hub City where Mayor Myra Fermin has really done a great job cleaning up the place. She reaches out when she needs me, but honestly, she hasn’t really needed me all that much.
We see Myra sitting at her desk, signing paperwork. We see her giving speeches to standing ovations. We see her with a hardhat on at construction sites overseeing the remodeling of city structures. We see her sitting down for a new interview on television.
One thing you can say about Myra Fermin is that she’s a rock. There’s been no word from Eel O’Brien since the night that Vic Sage was tragically murdered. A murder in which my name has been cleared, however, his killer is still at large. One day I will find her and bring her to justice. One day.
We see Lady Shiva in the darkness. Watching. When we see what exactly she’s watching, we notice Orphan has taken down some criminals nearby. Lady Shiva almost looks proud.
There are still mysteries to solve so The Question will be around for as long as she is needed.
It’s night time as Renee and Rodor as going over some news items in the newspaper.
“Have you seen this?” Rodor asks as he lays a paper on the coffee table with a giant headline that reads, “Luthor to Unveil Chi Tower in Metropolis”.
Renee reaches for it and skims through it. “This doesn’t sound fishy at all. I’ve heard Metropolis is nice this time of year.”
A bright light comes in through the window that catches their attention.
We see them walk outside and a bright figure is floating through the air. She seems to be surrounded by this glow as she floats closer to the duo, “My name is Oliv– I mean, my name is All-Star. I’ve come because the world is in danger and your assistance is needed in order to save life as we know it.”
Renee crosses her arms across her chest, skeptical. “What are you? 14?”
All-Star scoffs, “I’m fifteen and a half, thank you very much. No need to be rude. What I’m saying is the truth. We do need your help. Will you come?”
Renne and Rodor exchange glances and Renee shrugs, “What could be more satisfying than saving the world from its ultimate doom? I’m in…”
But she’s interrupted by All-Star, “I’m sorry. I was talking to Professor Rodor.”
Both Rodor and Renee are surprised by this revelation. Renee finally nudges him forward, “Go on. The world needs you.”
He turns to her, “Are you sure?”
Renee smirks, “I was gonna head to Metropolis anyway. Maybe I’ll bump into the guy in blue spandex. Besides, someone has to get to the bottom of Luthor’s tower of chi. Will be all for nothing if the world ends, so go stop the word from ending.”
That seems to convince him as he nods, “Be safe out there. I’ll come join you when I get finished with whatever this is.” He walks over and stands next to All-Star, who envelops him in light. “Hold on,” she says which causes him to immediately be nervous and she laughs. “Just kidding.”
And just like that, they lift up into the air and zoom out of sight.
Renee watches them go, perhaps a little jealous she didn’t get an invite to this party. She finally sighs, “Well, let’s go find out how one builds a tower out of chi…” she says as she walks back into the building and the camera pans back until we see the house.
RENEE MONTOYA/THE QUESTION Mariah Lopez-Robinson
MYRA FERMIN Samantha Hamilton
ARISTOTLE RODOR Jan Van Der Roost
VIC SAGE Kendrick Kross
FLAY Drake Connors
SHARD Alex Carbajal
ELICIA Amy Harrison
LISA NEWMAN Gaia Galanos
ALL-STAR Addison McKenzie
The sign on the door labels this lab as belonging to “Lisa Newman”. As we enter the lab, we see a tall blond woman in a lab coat pouring the last of a 55-gallon drum of water into an electronic whirlpool. We see the water in the pool swirling around and around.
The scientist removes her lab coat and places it on the hook. She reaches up and removes her glasses, placing them on her desk as she sits down and removes her shoes and socks. She slowly begins to roll up her pant legs, bringing them up to her knees.
We watch her bare feet as they walk across the tile floor. She fits the key into the lock and opens the refrigerator door and pulls out a vial. She walks back towards the pool, we notice a notebook on top of the desk. The words “cancer” “cure” and “Athena” are written on the top page.
She dips her feet into the water then slowly sinks in deeper before bringing the other foot inside. Taking the vial, she places a needle onto it and then pushes the plunger, removing the air inside as the green liquid shoots out the end.
She suddenly turns and looks upward and we see there’s a viewing window and a lone figure standing there looking down.
“I hope this works,” she mutters under her breath as she rolls up her sleeve and places the needle against her skin. The water swirling around her feet starts to glow as she punctures the flesh and then slowly begins to inject the contents of the vial into herself.
Once finished, she drops the vial and it falls into the pool as the water begins to turn faster and faster. Some of it begins to splash outside of the pool. Her face begins to grimace as she looks almost in agony as she reaches up and grabs onto her head with both of her hands.
From the viewing window, we look over the shoulder of the person watching, though we cannot see who it is that is watching intently to this demonstration. Newman’s skin begins to turn a blue-green color and scales begin to form on her exposed legs and arms. Her hair also begins to tint the same color and fangs push their way out of her mouth as she roars loudly. Her clothing begins to rip and tear as the size of her body increases and we hear the chuckling of a man, the man watching this all unfold.
Once the transformation is complete, the monster steps out of the pool, leaving large wet footprints on the tile. We peer over the viewer’s shoulder once again as this time his laugh becomes more of a belly laugh as a desk suddenly flies towards the window and cuts to black just before impact.
TO BE CONTINUED IN
We see a bullet train zooming past a mountain scene, the harsh sound of the motor as it pulls its passengers to their destination. A large logo on the side of the train labels it the “Metro-Lex Express”. As the camera zooms in on the train and peeks into one of the windows, we see Renee Montoya as she sits, looking quietly at the passing scenery through the window next to her.
In her lap, she holds a newspaper tightly in her hands. She looks down and smooths the paper out, reading the headline, “Luthor’s Plan Approved!” Lois Lane writes about the plan to build a monument dedicated to the human spirit. While this was all fine and dandy for Montoya, the article that really got her attention was buried down at the bottom of page 5.
While the man in blue flies through the air looking for the next major catastrophe to solve, the real issues lie deep below the surface. You would think someone with X-ray vision would be able to see that the problem with Metropolis, isn’t what’s up on the surface, but what eats away at it’s very soul.
And if Superman isn’t going to deal with the problem, then The Question will have to.
As we pan back outside of the train, we see that it’s running next to a large body of water and just across the surface, we see a very recognizable city.