Though he didn’t hear the footfalls, the paranoid enhanced senses that Manko Manicini possessed told him that his prey had arrived.
“Hmmm… when I first faced the Bat-Man, he did not bring a child to hide behind,” Manko said, some contempt dripping in his voice.
“I’m not hiding behind him, nor do I need to,” Red Robin replied, with equal contempt.
“You’ll wish you would. There’re tales about me that’ll make your skin crawl and your blood curdle,” Manko said, taking out one of his favored cone-shaped cigars.
“I’ve heard tales from a man I wouldn’t trust with my life. I doubt anything he said of you.” Red Robin was not impressed with this old man and his delusions.
“You should have. You should have.” The motion was so fluid, so quick, so unexpected that both Red Robin and Batwing were incapacitated before they knew what happened. Manko carefully blew away the smoke from his Peacemaker before holstering it. A dark grin parted his lips.
An hour or so later, the dynamic duo found themselves awake, Batwing tied to a pillar and Red Robin secured to the floor in an upright standing position.
“I find it interesting that you brought the same gun that ruined me. It is a delicious irony, don’t you think so?” Manko said, lighting a cigar.
“From what I heard, you were stringent on honor. Where’s the honor in this?” Red Robin asked.
“Honor? I followed a code of honor before. And it destroyed my hand. No more. Not again,” Manko said harshly.
“So… you’re going to kill me?”
Manko nodded to Red Robin’s question.
“Will you let the boy go?”
“I might,” Manko said. “But… it is no matter to you. On your way to Hell, I’d like for you to wonder: How could I have defeated the world’s fastest gun?” When Manko was finished speaking, he felt something on the back of his head and heard a clicking sound. He turned around and saw the last thing he ever would in this life: the muzzle of a double-barreled shotgun right before both triggers were pulled.
“Beating the world’s fastest gun is easy. All you gotta do is sneak up on him and blow his mother-lovin’ face in.” The shooter was Tommy Monaghan. He dropped the shotgun and pulled out his Colt M1911. He approached Red Robin, a grin from ear to ear on his face.
“What do you want, Monaghan?” Red Robin asked. He moved his head to the side at feeling the M1911 pressed to his forehead and winced as the hammer was cocked back.
“You know… I could blow your head off and sell what’s left to the highest bidder. Over the years, lot of bad blood came to the Bat-guy,” Monaghan said in contemplation. “But… I won’t.” He removed the gun and eased the hammer into position.
“Why? Conscience? Honor? Can’t bring yourself to kill an innocent man?” Red Robin asked.
“Nah. I’m retired,” Monaghan said and was about to leave. But something caught his attention — the gun that Red Robin held.
“Well, well, well… my old .357! Thought I lost it years ago. I’ll be taking it back. Be seeing you,” Monaghan said, giving off a salute to the dynamic duo. And he walked off.