|"Long Time Gone"|
|Series:|| Birds of Prey|
Old Friends, New Enemies
|First Published:||January 1999|
|Next Issue:||Birds of Prey #2|
"Long Time Gone"Edit
Dinah Laurel Lance, the Black Canary, receives a laptop computer in the mail from Oracle, which she has no interest in using in the least. Oracle tries to talk her out of her "technophobia", telling her it's all pre-programmed and ready to go, and when she turns it on she finds Oracle can see her through a Realtime Video Receptor, though she can't see Oracle, who must keep her identity secret.
Elsewhere, in a jungle area, two people in tattered clothing are attempting to escape across open land to a village. When they make their run, Hellhound appears on a tree branch before them, "catching" them, and saying those in the village fear their master more than they do. He reminds them that there is no mercy for escapees, but tells them he won't punish them as a pair of vicious dogs chase them down.
Oracle gives Black Canary a mission, sending her to Rheelasia, an island in the Pacific she describes as a "free-for-all" since it's previous leader died. On the island, a man introduces himself as Reed Montel to its current leader, Jackie "Pajamas" Pamerjanian. Pajamas tells Montel of the many delights of the island nation, all available for "ten cents on the dollar", and offers to show him around, his treat.
Black Canary takes a cruise ship, the Princess Patricia, to Rheelasia, communicating with Oracle about how Jackie Pajamas came—a program she created to cross reference international police files—and the parameters of her mission—a "recon" mission. When they disconnect, Oracle receives an email from a friend, using the name Beeb, about a recent Operating System and they have a short instant message conversation about Oracle's hacking into the publishing companies database to get the program early. Beeb broaches the subject of the two of them meeting face-to-face, which she dismisses saying she likes their relationship the way it is. After they disconnect, two army officers—a Major and a Lieutenant, immediately meet to discuss their hacker problem in Washington, D.C.'s Pentagon. The Major insists on keeping the fact that someone has been routinely breaking in to their system and using their memory capabilities a secret so they can track whomever it is down themselves, making them heroes, even if they can't tell anyone.
In Rheelasia, Black Canary scales a cliff, takes out a guard, and sneaks into Jackie Pajamas' home. Oracle directs her from her headquarters, locating a false refrigerator leading to a safe which she is able to crack from her home. Inside they find boxes of expensive watches and other personal effects, and shelves of jars with fingers and ears inside them. Black Canary records the room before leaving, and on her way out sees Jackie Pajamas' helicopter land. Pajamas gets out with two young ladies and Reed Montel, whom Oracle identifies as Jason Bard, former private investigator and fiance. That shocks Black Canary, who has two men with guns sneaking up behind her.