by Russell Paulette (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This story features DareDevil and related characters, which are
trademarks of Marvel Entertainment Group. This is an unauthorized work
and no profit is being made on this work. This work is copyright of me (Russell
The only original character, so far, is Bruce McConnel.
Lurched above the limp, broken form below, the killer
laughed a deep and throaty laugh at the weaknesses of his
victim. In a city of millions, he thought, the one victim
I chose was not only unaware that I was stalking her
nightly, but was oblivious to her saftey. In the past two
weeks she left her doors unlocked seventeen-SEVENTEEN-
different times. If she only knew, he thought...if she
only knew how easy it really was...and how much easier she
was because of her carelessness.
* * * * *
Deep below the busy streets of New York City, a
traffic jam of people quickly formed as those heading out
of the city following a long day of work were running into
the crowd of those heading into the city for Friday night
entertainment. The ensuing commotion brought about much
confusion and occasionally violence.
Officer Bruce McConnel was walking his beat, slowly
wandering around a lonely subway platform as the various
potpourri of citizes waded past him. He spotted the
usual buisnessmen, nervously walking with their heads
tucked into their stereotypical overcats and their
briefcases gripped firmly in their fists as they quietly
slip past the dilapidation surrounding them.
Walking, or rather sauntering alongside the nervous
stockbrokers were the stereotypical gangbangers, with
their measured steps, and their gaunt, tense faces as they
peered out from behind thin, wraparound sunglasses which
made them appear bug-like. Their baggy jeans sagged
somewhere around their crotch, and gathered around their
expensive tennishoes, they corrected the position of their
baseball caps and sauntered past, heading up the flight of
stairs to Bruce's immediate left.
His head whipped around when he heard commotion from
the landing above him and as he drew his nightstick, he
heard the distinct pops of a smal handgun. Racing up the
stairs and drawing his service revolver, he stormed onto
the landing, his pistol at the ready, when the tunnel
around him exploded in a hail of ceramic tile, twisted
metal, and human bodies.
Officer McConnel was thrown into several of the
gang bangers, and as they fell to the floor, his body
whipped overtop of the railing and onto the platform
below. He felt crimson flow across his forehead into his
eyes, blinding him in one fell swoop. He scrambled about
for his revolver while he screamed into his radio about
He heard more shots being fired overhead and felt a
sickwam growing from his left thigh. He yelped in pain
and stumbled, dangerously close to the tracks as three
more bullets struck im in the back. He glanced upward,
and in his last, fleeting moment, fired his revolver again
and again into the body of the assaliant standing above
* * * * *
The air flowing through the cafe was a cool October
breeze, lightly skimming leaves across the rough concrete
wilderness. The food was Italian, the wine was French and
theconversation was Bland.
Matthew Murdock sat, his fork twirling strands of
spaghetti into a wrapped ball inside of his poon. His
nose followed the fork into his mouth as the heavy garlic
aroma permeated throughout his sinuses. Looking across
the table at his lunch date, it was clear that with the
fun she was having, she would have preferred a miserable
Karen Page sat, shredding her tortellini absent
mindedly with the prongs of her fork as she occasionally
sipped the effervescnt wine.
"Wine good, hon?" Matt asked, wiping his mouth
with a red linen napkin.
"Sure." she mumbled, as she shoved a small chunk
of pasta into her mouth.
"Is that your way of not speaking to me?"
"I'm that transparent..." she mumbled, looking
down at the table.
His hand set down the fork, and covered hers
across the table.
"What's the matter, Karen...are you okay?"
"Matt...I'm...that is...yeah, sure...I'm fine."
Matt's hypersensitive hearing, a byproduct of a freak
childhood accident which removed him of his sight but
accentuated his other senses, zeroed in on her heart to
see if it skipped a beat. Of course, Karen's heart always
does when she talks like this. Matt decided to put
diplomacy into effect and let the matter be.
"Anytime you want to talk, I'm here." He ran his
fingers through his ash-red har and re-adjusted his black
sunglasses to cover his dead blue eyes. He took a slight
sip on his wine and returned to his pasta. He felt a
rumbling that he was sure was in his stomach.
"Do you know how it makes me feel?" Karen asked,
once Matts mouth was full of pasta. As he quickly
chewed, swallowed, and wiped his mouth, she continued.
"Night after bloody night I lie awake dreading that moment
when I'd have to identify your body at the morgue."
"Honey, you know how it is for me. That's something
I have to do...it's like eating for me."
"I guess impersonating your own death is like eating
too, huh" she said, leaning forward and whispering. He
took both of her hands in his and said in his most
endearing voice, "You know why I did that..."
"On an aesthetic level, yes, but you still don't
know how it felt thinking you were dead."
"Karen, how do you think I felt. I had to pretend
like you and Foggy had never been a part of my life...I
had to live a lie; you remember how hard it was for me to
recover from my elaborate con game on myself..."
"I though Foggy was the one who was upset with me."
"Well...I have been the whole time, I just...I
just...nevermind. I'm sorry I brought it up." she began
to stand and gather her woolen coat and purse.
"Karen, don't leave yet..."
"Matt, I'm late for an appointment anyway, and you
should get back to the office before Ms. Sharpe fires
"Matt," she said, leaning forward and sweetly
kissing him on the lips, lingering for a few seconds. "I
love you. We'll talk about this later. I know it upsets
you, and I'm sorry."
"I love you, too, Karen."
* * * * *
The coffee bubbled, black and muddy, as Foggy Nelson
poured the steaming sludge into his mug. Snatching a
candybar from the machine, he turned from the lobby and
into his office. Shutting the door with his foot, and
nearly using an important casefile as a coaster, he set
the mug on a clean area of his desk. Matt had done most
of the legwork on the case in question, leaving Foggy to
deal with the paperwork. And deal with it he did, in his
accostomed way of sinking his teeth into the rich
chocolate and chewy caromel.
He propped his feet on his desk and loosened his tie
as he sat the folder in his lap and began reviewing, two-
fisting the candy and coffee. The door to his office
burst open in a hail of red-suited, buisness authority and
dominance as Rosalind Sharpe, Foggy and Matt's senior
"partner" burst in. Funny, he thought, how her definition
of partner is God.
"Franklin, I would like you to meet an associate of
mine," she said, turning to the open door as Foggy quickly
closed the file, straightened his tie and lost the candy
wrapper in the trash. "Norombi-san, this is Franklin
Nelson; Mr. Nelson, Saki Norombi."
"How do you do?" Nelson said, with an awkward
gesture of handshake, which was recieved by a quick bow
which Foggy tried to return with a disasterous effect.
"Mr. Norombi is the head of Norombi Industries, a
major international electronics firm. He has heard of the
reputation of Sharpe, Nelson and Murdock, and has asked
that we handle his legal matters. I was going to offer
this client to Mr. Murdock, but since he is-" she said
with a wry smile, "-out to lunch, so to speak, I am
offering him to you. You can handle his needs as well as
Murdock can, and I hope you do well, Mr. Nelson. Here is
his card; I just wanted to introduce the two of you before
we head over to the Rainbow Room for a lunch."
"Well...how can I...let me get my coat." Foggy said,
a smile growing on his face.
"Mr. Nelson, I don't think you understand. Mr.
Norombi and I will be having lunch. I believe you do have
other cases. As you always do," she said leeringly. "I'm
sure you can handle lunch, yourself."
"Well...that is...yes...yes, ma'am." he said, his
face flushed with embarrassment.
"Good day." she said, and led Norombi out the door
as Foggy gave another akward bow and saw the door slam
"Uh...I...I need a snack." he said, to nobody in
particular, downed the steaming coffee in one gulp and
walked into the lobby.
On his way to the candy machines, he ran into Matt
just returning from lunch.
"Foggy, how is everything."
"Fine." he said, a tinge of iciness creeping into
"You get those memos to Rosalind?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact. And she dropped by my
office just before you came back." The pride of his
winning a big case over Matt, evident in Foggy's voice.
Foggy began to walk back to his office, trying to inject
suspense in the conversation.
"Oh, really? What did she have to say?" said Matt,
taking the bait.
"She's giving me Norombi; I get to work on him
"Really." Matt said, searching for the name. "Isn't
he the electronics guru? Richer than avarice?" Matt
closed the door behind himself.
"Start billing him now." Matt laughed. Then, the
freight train hit his forehead with a rocketing force.
Norombi; Matt knew he recognized the name from somewhere,
and now he realized where. He heard it with the horns on.
"Did I get any calls?" he asked, worry dripping from his
"Yeah, Ben Urich." Foggy said, passing the concern
he just heard in Matt's voice as jealousy.
"Oh, that's right. Today's the day Doris gets out
of the hospital." Matt dissmissed the Norombi affair for a
"Times are tough for him, huh?"
"Yeah. She's been in a coma up until about three
months ago, thanks to that Kruel guy. The doctors have
been putting her through rigorous physical therapy."
"She doing all right?"
"Yeah. I visited her a few weeks ago, with Ben, but
I didn't stay long." he said, lingering on childhood pain.
"I hate hospitals."
"His message was pretty weird. Said to tell "Red,"
not "Matt." Foggy turned serious now. "Does he know
about...you know," Foggy said, holding two fingers to his
"Yes." Foggy's eyes began brimming with anger.
"Foggy, please understand, he researched my background and
figured it out; I didn't confide in him."
"Whatever." he said, taking his anger out on the
bite of his candybar. "I've got work to do, Matt, so if
you'll excuse me."
"Sure." Matt said, defeated. A second wedge
seperated him from those with whom was closest, and he
didn't have the first notion on how to repair that breach.
* * * * *
Ben Urich sat, staring blankly at the stark white
paper positioned evenly in his typewriter. He blew a
long, white plume of smoke out of his nose and
neurotically positioned the paper from it's perfect, even
position, to somewhere even more even and perfect.
He coughed unevenly and took a swig of the oil the
Daily Bugle enjoyed calling coffee, and staired, again, at
The office was crowded, page boys and gophers
scurrying through hallways, desperate for updates on the
subway bombing. Through the cacophonous hallways, Doris'
voice, weak and filled with pain echoed. She was
coming home today. He looked at his notes on the story of
the month; Jameson gave it to Ben, but not a word leaked
onto the page. She was coming home today. The
stenographer's pad, with its chicken scratch notes on the
location of the explosion, the name of the deceased
officer, obtained without NYPD permission, the approximate
damage to subway traffic and taxpayer's pockets, all of
it, screamed at him. She was coming home today.
Behind him, the cool October wind ruffled through
the pages on the notepad. Suddenly, the wind stopped, as
if obstructed by some physical barrier.
He turned and saw Matt, squatting on the windowsill
outside of the office. No, it wasn't Matt, he had the
suit on, and it wasn't Matt when he had the suit on. He
was DareDevil. He was the Man Without Fear.
"Hello, Ben." He said, softly. "Can I come in?
It's a bit nippy out here."
Ben looked up at him. He had only met the horns
twice since he wrote that fateful eulogy to Matt a little
while back. The first was that imposter; that damned
imposter who let Doris's skull get...
Don't think about that, now, you old bastard, he
thought. Doris is fine now. The second time he saw
DareDevil was when the original-it had to be Matt-came and
declared war on the imposter. Another front page credit
came to Urich's resume, again, thanks to this strange,
"Yeah, Devil. Come on in, I wanted to talk with
"Sorry about Doris. She doing better?"
"She's coming home." Ben said, evasively. He didn't
want to say that he didn't know how the hell he was going
to deal with his wife's injuries. Adjusting to the sudden
change that has come over Doris will be difficult. If
nothing else, Doris' return will mean less hours at the
paper, that's for sure.
"Actually," Ben said, "I wanted to talk to you about
a story I was working on; wondering if you knew anything
about it...subway bombing on-"
A subway bombing? That's why the office was a
noisy jumble. That explained Urich's shirt soaked with
sweat. That explained why nobody was noticing the Scarlet
Swashbuckler standing in the midst of this confusion.
DareDevil cut him off immediately.
"When was this?"
"About forty-five minutes ago," during Matt's lunch
with Karen. "Look, I was wondering if you'd gone by
there; I figured you had, but by your expression, I guess
"No." DareDevil's face drew itself into a tight
scrawl. How had he missed this?
"I guess it's a good thing you came by here then,
"Look," DareDevil said, stepping towards the window.
"I know you're worried about Doris, Ben. I know how it
goes when you have to deal with someone after a horrible
accident. I grew up and saw Dad deal with it daily with
me. Anytime you need to talk, just get word to me. But,"
he said, his countenance turning on Ben. "you have a
responsibility to this city to get that story on the front
page, and I know you haven't written one word. Jameson's
about to step out of his office and yell at you about
deadlines for the evening edition, so I suggest you put
Doris out of your head for right now, and get that
written. Dealing with Doris will come when it will come."
DareDevil smiled. "See ya around, Ben." And in a flash of
scarlet, he flew out the window.
He never ceases to amaze me, Ben thought, despite
his blindness he still knew how much I had written.
Hypersenses probably helped, but still...
Just then, the Publisher walked out of his office,
slamming the door with a rattle that halted the commotion
in the office.
"Urich! Show me what you have on that subway!"
Amazing, Matt...simply amazing.
* * * * *
"So, this is American hospitality?" Norombi said,
scanning the menu while sipping a fine white wine. He
looked out the window at the naked city landscape. "Such
an ugly city."
"Really?" Rosalind said, smoothing a silk napkin
across her lap. "I find the city quite...charming."
"It has it's own charm, but...urine ruins fine
Italian lofers, now doesn't it?"
"Yes it does, Norombi-san." she said with a laugh.
"But we didn't come here to talk about the sanitary nature
of the city streets."
"No, we didn't. This-Nelson, is it?-how good is he,
"He's a fine lawyer. Not as much of a boy scout as
"Nelson worked for Fisk a few years ago, did he
"He did. I don't know what transpired of that whole
"Does he respect the...what is it...Lawyer-Client
"As does everyone in my law firm." she said with a
smile and a sip.
"So the firm is yours?"
"The 'Nelson-Murdock' partnership is smoke and
mirrors, Mr. Norombi." he smiled. "Their strings are
pulled by me alone."
"And this Nelson will handle any legal problems I
may encounter here in America?" he said, a coyness invaded
"Nelson will handle it directly. Myself, I see no
evil, nor do I hear it, and thus, will I speak none."
"That will be fine with me, if you can help me break
"It can be done." she said.
He turning his attention back to the menu. "How's
* * * * *
"...it's coming up on five A.M. New York, and you
know what that means. This is Paige Angel for WFSK and
I'll be leaving you in the loving hands of Adrian
Cronauer, great guy." she laughs, majestically and with
wings. "So anyway, again, this is Paige Angel saying it's
been a Long Night, New York, but I love you, anyway. Have
a good day, everyone. Laters." His black gloved hand
flicked off the radio and sat back in the driver's seat.
The WFSK radio tower protruded out of the roof of the
skyscraper; Freud would have loved the irony.
Fifteen minutes after she finished her broadcast she
walked out into the cold October Saturday morning, her
blond hair shining against the dark, bleak cityscape. She
was so beautiful; she was an angel. He brought the cab to
the curb just as she stuck her hand out to hail one. She
entered the back of the cab and gave him the address.
Beautiful, he thought, whatever you say, beautiful. It
was starting again.