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Suicide Squad: In Fabula

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The moonlight shines through a never ending sea of trees, lighting a path for a group of deadly misfits. Colonel Rick Flag leads their way. Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, Trickster, Magpie and Clock King are cautiously walking right behind him. Flag suddenly raises his hand, signaling everyone to stop. Everyone halts and waits patiently for instructions. "Waller, do you copy? Waller?" Flag asks through his earpiece. No response. "Waller, do you copy?" The sounds of nightly creatures echoes throughout the forest. "Is there something wrong?" Harley asks.

"We lost communication with HQ. Could be a jammer, an EMP, or something simpler." Flag replies.

"How are we gonna get through this minefield without their help?" Trickster asks.

"We can't. We'll have to stay put until the comms are back up. Nobody moves from their position, that's an order!"

"How long will it take?" Harley asks.

"How is he supposed to know?" Magpie says.

"It may take a few minutes or a few hours. We don't know for sure." Flag says.

"Well that's just great." Trickster says.

Harley turns around to face Killer Croc. "Hey Croc, wanna play rock, paper, scissors?" She asks. "Sure." He says. They begin playing. Harley draws scissors and Croc draws rock. Croc smirks and they continue playing. Everyone just stands in their place, squinting at the forest, trying to see something interesting. After a while, Magpie sits down on the ground. Trickster and Clock King follow her example. Trickster looks back at Clock King and says, "Hey Clock King, what's your superpower? Can you manipulate time? That would be radical!" You can tell Clock King is unamused behind his mask. "I don't have superpowers."

"What? Really?" Trickster acts surprised.

"No, I just plan robberies with precise time. I also have bombs that look like clocks."

"Well, that's disappointing." Trickster says. He then turns to his front. He sees Magpie with her back towards him. "Hey Magpie, what's your superpower?" He asks. Magpie ignores him. She keeps looking around the forest. "Hey, I'm talking to you!" Trickster says.

"Leave me alone." Magpie tells him.

"Why? It's not like you're busy."

"Figure it out yourself." She replies.

"Oh, come on! We have nothing to do here! Don't be so quiet!" Trickster says with a smug smile.

"You're annoying, why would I want to talk to you?"

"Woah! Somebody's pissed." Trickster says.

"Of course I'm pissed! Do you think I want to be here right now? With all of you?" Magpie raises her voice.

"Well, would you rather be here or in prison?"

"I'd rather be free!"

"If you were free, what would you be doing right now?" Trickster asks.

"I would be staring at shiny things until I can no longer keep my eyes open." Magpie says while looking up at the stars. Trickster looks at her confused. "Okay… What were your powers again?" He asks her. "I don't have any, idiot. I just steal shiny things. Occasionally I blow people up or burn their eyes too." She replies.

"Burn people's eyes? Why?"

"I have this portable laser, it's so powerful that any blind eye that looks at the beam will lose their vision, or burn up. Do you want me to turn it on?"

"No, I'd rather keep my vision!" Trickster says nervously. "Then shut the fuck up." Magpie says.

Magpie turns ninety degrees to her left and lays down on the ground so she can look at the stars. Trickster looks back at Clock King. He's fidgeting with his hands. "What's wrong, Clocko?" Trickster asks. "I'm not used to being off schedule." Clock King responds. "Oh, right. You like to manage your time." Trickster turns around to look at Magpie. She's holding her thumb and index finger close af if she was holding something small between them. She's also smiling.

"You're very unusual. You know that, right?" Trickster says. "Says the guy that throws whoopie cushions at people." Magpie replies.

"They're exploding whoopie cushions, mind you!"

"Just use regular looking bombs, weirdo." Magpie says while looking at him.

"Hey, I like doing things with style." Trickster says with a more serious tone.

"Style shouldn't take away from your dignity, you know?" Magpie replies.

"Well, maybe you're just not bold enough. Maybe you don't have taste."

"Oh no, you do not get to say anything about my taste!" Magpie raises her voice.

"Hey, cool it down over there, guys! We're on a mission, act like it." Flag says.

"We just want to have fun, Flag." Harley says innocently.

"Are you forgetting that none of us want to be here?" Clock King tells Flag.

"And whining about it isn't gonna help." Killer Croc says.

"Excuse me?" Clock King says.

"You're whining about not wanting to be here, like that's gonna change anything. Just relax, take some time for yourself." Croc looks back at Clock King.

"How am I supposed to relax? We're on a deadly mission, currently surrounded by landmines!" Clock King raises his voice angrily.

"Are we? I don't see that. I see us sitting here together, enjoying the night, surrounded by nature. You gotta learn how to live. You're so caught up in where you want to be, that you don't pay attention to what is." Croc says calmly.

"I'd rather be doing a million other things than being here." Magpie says.

A red and yellow moth softly lands on Killer Croc's hand. "You really don't see it, huh? How beautiful life is. The best thing you could do for yourself is take a step back and look around. Appreciate life itself. I know it can help, even in the toughest of times." The moth flies away from Croc's hand. "I actually don't know what I would do with my life if I was free. This 'appreciating life itself' thing just makes me feel like a waste of space. It's depressing." Clock King replies. Magpie looks at Clock King and says, "Okay, I was with you until the waste of space part. I get what you mean, but there has to be something you want to do. It would be a waste to not give that suit a good use."

"Hey, you compliment him but you call me a weirdo?" Trickster tells Magpie.

"Well, he actually stands out! You on the other hand, let's face it, you look generic. I'm afraid the bold contrast of yellow and blue aren't enough for you. But when I look at him, with that blue and green suit, and the simplistic clock pattern. Well, who can forget that? He even has a clock on his face!" Magpie explains.

"That hurt." Trickster says.

"I can see that." Magpie replies to him.

"What did you do to get imprisoned?" Harley asks Clock King.

"I robbed a lot of banks." Clock King replies.

"Oh, another kleptomaniac." Croc says.

"That's incredibly reductive." Magpie says.

"Yeah, we're not crazy!" Trickster adds. Magpie looks back at him and says, "We're finally on the same page." Magpie smirks at Trickster.

"I stole for my sister. You see, she was terminally ill. One day, the doctors told me they could save her life with an operation. A very expensive one. I didn't know how else to get the money for it, except stealing. I made this costume so no one would figure it was me." Clock King adds.

"And I applaud you for it! You did a great job with the costume!" Magpie says. Everyone looks at her with disapproval. "I'm sorry." She says as she looks at the stars, ignoring everybody's face.

"As I was saying, I began robbing banks. Eventually, I got caught before I had enough money for my sister. I never got to pay for the surgery. She died. Now I'm here." Clock King says. Everyone remains quiet, not knowing what to say.

"As a former psychiatrist I would say that must be very hard for you, I'm sorry to hear that," Harley begins, "But as a semi-regular person, I gotta say; forget about your sister! Don't let her rotting corpse drag your life down! You have a talent with clocks and costume making. You should really try pursuing a career that challenges those talents of yours!"

"Or you could keep committing robberies, like us." Trickster says.

"For the record, I don't encourage what they're telling you." Croc adds.

"I prefer something stable. Precise daily routines are kinda my thing. I'll… think about it." Says Clock King.

"My job here is done." Harley says with a smile. Everyone remains silent again. What seems like dozens of crickets can be heard from a distance. Trickster turns to Magpie and says, "So, why do you like the clock guy so much?"

Magpie remains silent for a moment, before saying, "Why do you care?"

"Well, put it this way: I find you thrilling." Trickster says. "Thrilling, no one's ever called me that before. What's so thrilling about me?" Magpie asks.

"You steal things, I also steal things. You kill people, though, that's a little concerning." Trickster responds.

"I kill people that deserve it. I don't find it fun. I find it relieving, in a way."

"You're also sour." Trickster adds.

"What?"

"Sour. I wanna know why."

"What's there not to be sour about? People are always 'sour' to me. They always get in my way." Magpie says.

"Okay. So, if shiny, not sour?" Trickster asks. Magpie looks at him with a displeased look on her face and says, "Don't patronize me. But yes."

"Okay, my name's James, by the way. What's yours?"

"Margaret."

"Cool!" Trickster says.

"I don't like it." She says.

"Okay, Maggie." He replies.

"Don't call me that either, everyone does and it's annoying."

"Gotcha, Margarita." Trickster says. Magpie chuckles. Trickster begins laying down on the ground next to Magpie. She looks at him with a confused look on her face. "What are you doing?" She asks. "You won't stop staring at the stars. I wanna find out what it is that you see in them." Trickster replies. They both lay down, staring at the night sky. "Just look at them. Every one of those stars shining bright amongst this dark sea we call space. So shiny." Magpie says. Trickster looks closely at the stars, how some of them are brighter than the others. How some of them blink. How some of them form patterns. How beautiful it all is.

"It's hard to look away from it, isn't it?" Magpie asks.

"Yeah. It's amazing. I like this feeling." Trickster says.

"Now imagine feeling that everytime you see anything remotely shiny." Magpie tells him.

"Woah."

"Yeah, I wish I could grab a star with my fingers and take it with me." Magpie adds.

"I can get one for you." Trickster says as he stands up.

"Don't be stupid." She replies. Trickster touches his boots and jumps into the air. He stands two feet above the air as if there was an invisible floor beneath his feet. Magpie remains in awe. He jumps again and gets a couple feet higher above the ground. "Which one do you want?" Trickster says, "How about that one?" He points at the sky. Magpie laughs a bit, covering her mouth as she does. Trickster touches his boots again and descends back to the ground to sit next to Magpie.

"You like to show off, don't you?" She asks him.

"I've been impatiently waiting for the right moment to do so." He replies. Magpie smiles.

"You picked the right time. You rob banks, why? What's your goal?" Magpie asks. "So now you're the one asking questions?" Trickster says. "Well, put it this way: I find you entertaining." She tells him. "Does that mean I'm not sour?" He asks. Magpie chuckles, "No, you're not sour."

"Yes!" Trickster yells in excitement. "Okay, back to your question. I want to pull the greatest con in history. Or the greatest bank robbery. That would be neat."

"Ambitious, I like that." Magpie says.

"Yep. What about your goals?" He asks her.

"I want every single shiny little thing in my possession." She says.

"I did not expect that, but I'm not exactly surprised. It's weird. In a way you make me feel weird."

Magpie looks away from him, she starts looking at the ground instead. "I'm sorry, did I say something wrong? I swear I didn't mean to." Trickster tells her in a worried tone. "I'm… I'm just tired, sorry. Look, I've been called a lot of things, some of them still hurt just as much as they did the first time. I don't expect you to understand. You can just leave me alone." Magpie says trying to remain composed.

"You're right. I'm not sure I get it… but that's okay with me. Forget that word I used earlier. I actually think you're pretty cool!" Trickster says. Magpie looks back at him, on the verge of tears. "You think so?" She asks him.

"Absolutely!" He says.

Magpie leans in and hugs him. Trickster is caught off guard for a moment. But he then slowly hugs her back. The hug feels like it's lasting forever. But once Magpie pulled back, the hug didn't feel long enough. She starts wiping her tears. "I'm sorry. I mean… I think I needed that." Magpie says.

"It's okay. You know, you always seem so angry. But you're really not." Says Trickster.

"No, I'm angry most of the time. Not right now, though. Right now I'm pretty far from angry." Magpie says as she slightly smiles.

"I'm glad." Trickster says. "You know, I was just thinking that, if we get out of this alive, maybe we could team up."

"Team up?" Magpie asks.

"You and I, robbing banks and jewelry stores. I think we could work together well." Trickster adds.

"It's an interesting idea."

"Yeah, it could be like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

"I was hoping it would be more like Bonnie and Clyde." Magpie tells him.

"You mean…?"

Magpie leans into Trickster and kisses him. He closes his eyes and places his hands on her sides as they kiss. After a brief moment. Magpie pulls back and they both open their eyes to look at each other and smile.

"Goddammit!" Rick Flag yells from a distance.

"There you have it, Flag! Now give me and Croc our fourteen dollars!" Harley says with a smug grin.

"What?" Trickster asks.

"For a second there we thought you two would never kiss! Flag thought it wasn't happening for sure so now he owes us fourteen bucks." Harley tells them.

"I don't even know what to think of that." Magpie says.

"I told you I'm good at guessing these things!" Croc tells Flag.

"It just doesn't make sense!" Flag yells at Croc.

"Why doesn't it make sense?" Magpie asks. Everyone looks at Flag.

"Because, well… because you're soulless." Flag says.

"I'm soulless? What? That doesn't even make any sense. I mean that's kind of insulting but then again it's a horrible insult! That's bullshit! Who cares if I'm soulless?" Magpie raises her voice.

"That's something a soulless person would say." Flag replies.

"Oh, yeah? How about you? If I were to claw at your face for as long as I please, what would I find? Would I find nothing but flesh and bones and bloody brain matter behind that skull of yours? Or would I find a fucking soul?" Magpie says.

Everyone remains staring at her, not knowing what to say.

"That's really hardcore, lady." Killer Croc says.

"You sure about her, man?" Flag asks Trickster.

"You betcha!" Trickster says. He leans into Magpie's ear and says, "That was pretty random."

"Yeah, I like to think I express my anger in very creative ways." Magpie says anxiously.

"We have to work on that." Trickster tells her.

"Only if we also work on your costume, and that 'we' thing is gonna take me a while to get used to."

"My costume is perfect!" Trickster says.

"If it can be improved on, it's not perfect." She replies.

"I think it's time you both shut up! Just for a minute at least!" Clock King says.

"Excuse you?" Magpie tells him.

"Hey, Clocko is good at puns too! I like puns!" Trickster begins saying, "But uh, don't tell us to shut up or I'll have you slip on a banana peel. Got it?" Trickster tells him with a more serious tone while patting his shoulder.

"Got it." Clock King responds nervously.

Magpie turns to Trickster. "Hey, that team up thing, did you really mean it?"

"Yeah! Listen, for once I'm not lying. You're just the kind of excitement I want, and you have just the perspective I need. In other words, I like the way you think." Trickster responds.

Magpie smiles with tears building up in her eyes. "That was sweet, but you don't need to be redundant, I'm not stupid. Anyway, I want to trust you, you're nothing but kind to me. Which is rare in my life, and I don't know, things don't feel so horrible now that I'm talking to you."

Trickster places his hands on the sides of her face. "I think you're precious. Remember what you told me about that feeling you get when you look at something shiny?"

"Yeah?" Magpie responds.

"I have that feeling right now, just by looking at you." Trickster tells her. A tear rushes down her face. She hugs him, this time he doesn't hesitate to hug her back.

Flag places his hand on his earpiece. "Waller, do you copy?" He says. "The comms are back. Everybody get ready, we're almost there!"

Magpie grabs onto Trickster's hand and says, "If we make it out of this, I'll find you."

"Let's see who finds who first." He replies with a subtle smile. Magpie smiles back.

"Everybody follow me!" Flag says. The team walks slowly behind him. They continue on through the cold, deadly forest to complete their mission. Nobody is sure if they'll survive, but they all now have a reason to.