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Probably the most painful DD post I've written thusfar, if only for it's combat-heavy second half, but don't worry! The next post is all combat!

VIII. Trapped

Ninety-six hours later and Matt pushed his twelfth thug-of-the-night's face roughly into the wall of the money laundering lair he'd busted into in search of any lead on Kingpin's safehouse where Fisk had sequestered himself, or the whereabouts of his elusive aide - the mysterious gentleman with the distinctive watch. He'd had no further attempts on his life from any agents of the shadowy cabal called 'The Hand', but near everywhere he went he felt hooded eyes and patient minds upon his back, biding their time, watching him work. A tiny, darkened part in the back of Matthew's mind quietly wondered what flood water Kingpin held back with his presence; but he would not allow himself to be distracted from his righteous crusade, not when he had come this far, and had so much taken from him. The lines between Justice and Revenge blurred and muddled together in Matt's heart until they were inextricably linked, two sides of the same coin.

This was his third raid on Fisk's operations tonight alone, and he had dismantled seven more of various sizes and purpose in the nights previous since his escape from the custody of police. He was now well and truly a fugitive; there was no remedy, no soothing of the blow. Fisk had backed him into a corner and now Matthew fought with the rabid ferocity of a feral dog. This war between the immovable Fisk and the unstoppable Murdock had thus far been too heavily weighted against Matthew, but now he felt the scales tip beneath his feet and the balance of power slide towards him, every new goon bloodied, bruised, and broken another piece cleared from the board. Kingpin was powerful, Matt held no delusions about that, and probably hoarded enough fortunes to disappear forever - but the flaw of rich and powerful men, Matt knew, was their inability to be sated by their wealth. Fisk would be just like any other man who considered himself above others: unable to satisfy himself, starving for more, using money to fill the void where his humanity fled him long ago. Matthew would shut off his supply, and Fisk would become desperate, panicked. He would make a mistake. It was simply a matter of time.

Matt felt the thug squirm beneath his grip and he pulled his latest victim up by the collar. The thug whimpered slightly. Matt's cowl glared at him with red lenses and there were lashes of blood across his face, very little of it his own, and as he smiled in a violent, menacing grin, the blood seeped into his teeth and completed his ghastly visage. The goon nearly pissed himself in fear.

"Wh-what do you want from me?!" Suppressed panic threatened to overwhelm his voice. Matt said nothing for a second, allowing the sheer tension to disturb the thug further, and then broke the silence with a low, sinister hiss.


"I don't know man I don't FUCKIN' know okay?! Ain't no one know!"

Matt unsheathed a billy club from its holster on his thigh and released the end section, allowing it to fall to the floor on its wire. The metallic clang rang through the darkened room and melded with the creaking of the lights left swinging from Matt's ferocious assault. They were the only two things conscious in the building; around them lay the out-cold bodies of 3 more of Fisk's men, all low-level muscle. One lay messy with blood, his hair matted to face. The thug looked around frantically, searching for any single shred of hope, but found none as Matt pushed him to the floor and placed his knee across the top of his chest, restricting his breathing and movement as he picked up the thug's left arm. Matt seemed disconcertingly serene as he methodically wrapped the wire of his billy club around the lowest knuckle of the thug's first finger - and then with a flinch from both men, pressed the button to withdraw.

The thug screamed as the high-tension wire rapidly spun as the club retracted itself, and then cut clean through the flesh and wrenched the finger bone from the knuckle as the two halves of the club came together. Matt stood and allowed the man to buckle over in pain, clutching at his missing digit - only to put his boot back into his chin and the knee back on his chest, picking up the same arm again and releasing the same billy club again and wrapping the same wire around the second finger.

Against the melodic backdrop of blood dripping and quiet sobs, Matt hissed the same question a second time.

"I do-I don't know, please, I don't, I really don't, I-I I ain't told no-one's told please, please! There's one-one guy that knows, his o-only trusted guy. That's it just him he organizes everything for the boss his name's S-Silkworth, okay?! O-Oswald Silkworth. Fuck man take my burner man take it I only ever get, get calls from him, it's in the safe! It's in the safe...code's zero-four-S-L-one-nine-six-four-B-E...just take it..."

He slipped into unconsciousness from shock and fear and exhaustion. Matt let his arm drop to the ground and unwound his baton. He tuned back in to the ambiance of the room for the safe, and felt a hidden crack in the floor in the rear corner where air currents slipped in and pushed back out. He moved towards it quickly and ran his hand across the concrete, feeling the micro-canyons beneath his fingertips...and then felt where the floor changed feeling and pushed. The hidden mechanism activated and the slab popped up on one side, allowing Matt to grab an edge and pull the covering off the front of the safe. The door was thick steel with magnetically sealed lock, and in the center a small screen and keypad. Matt tapped the screen lightly and it whirred to life coming out of standby, and then he ran his fingers over the keypad. He wondered if the screen was QWERTY or alphabetical.

It was QWERTY, and the locks hissed as they unsealed and the safe popped open. Inside was a small phone and nothing else. Matt retrieved it, suspicious and wary, regarding it at arm's length - and then it began to rang.

"Mr Murdock, I presume? Don't worry about answering, there's no need. Presumption is merely a formality, I assure you."

The speaker paused. Matthew didn't say anything.

"Quite. I understand my associate has given you my name, and I already know yours, so we can skip any perfunctory introductions. You are looking for my employer, and I can assure you he is eager to accept a meeting. You've ruffled some feathers, as I'm sure was your intent, and I have to say your efforts continue to surprise and impress us. Simply unacceptable, obviously, but we must offer respect where it is due nonetheless."

Matt growled. "If Fisk wants a meeting you just tell me where and spare me the rhetoric."

"A man of action and not a little bluntness, I see. No room for subtlety these days. A shame. Very well, Mr Murdock, lest you fail to consider either myself or my employer men of our words. There is a vacant property owned by our organisation that we recently scheduled for condemnation on the upper east side of Hell's Kitchen. Should your altercation result in some structural damage the expense will be minimal. I trust we can expect you there shortly?"

This is a trap, Matthew thought to himself.

G O O D the Devil thought back.

"This ends tonight." Matt spoke.

"At last, we can agree on something. It has been a pleasure, Mr Murdock. I do believe we will miss your fervor when you are gone."
Silkworth hung up. Matt smashed the phone in his hand and left.


Matt picked his way through the debris that littered the building, thinking that any structural damage that could be done to the place had already been done long ago. He had slipped in to the top floor through a large empty window pane, quietly ducking through the rusted and bent iron frame with ease. Holes in the bare concrete floor were patched over with planks and duct tape; mesh wire stretched haphazardly across gaps in the walls; exposed rebar threatened laceration on the end of every pillar. Glass and rubble crunched beneath his boots and everything he could taste and smell was shrouded in dust and concrete powder. He reached out with his senses with every step, letting the eruption of sound from his footsteps light his way forwards, trickling down steps and around corners. He felt stifled by the stale, unpleasantly warm air, and he knew that any step could be the first one into whatever manner of trap Fisk had laid here for him. He had cleared the top floor, each crumbling room empty save for piles of wreckage and litter, and avoided the stairs down in favour of carefully lowering himself through an uncovered hole in the floor.

He hit the ground with a muffled crunch and paused, listening to his landing ripple out. He felt it immediately - the stifle and suppression he had felt in the holding cells before the ragged man had attacked him. Whoever The Hand were, Matthew knew they and their agents were here now. He felt vulnerable, naked - they had a technique to hide from him, and the concept was alien and frightening. He drew his batons, curling his fists around the cold metal as hollow reassurance. He felt out of his element, relying on senses he could not trust, paranoia playing on a deeper fear. He had built the devil to fight against fear. To be the man without fear.

He knelt, putting a baton carefully on the floor and placing his hand flat on the ground; Matt could feel the building shudder and creak minutely under his fingers as the beams groaned under their own weight. The Hand hid from his ears and his nose, but he doubted very much they could hide from his hands. Touch was firm, touch was concrete, touch was infallible. Touch showed him two sets of footprints coming from the room in the east corner of the floor. The door was closed and locked, but flimsy. It was definitely an invitation. Matt would gladly accept.

He seized his baton again as he took off sprinting, jumping feet-first into the door, boots placed beside the lock and crashing through as the old wood splintered and burst from the force. He landed on the first set of footsteps and felt their ribs break under him, and followed up his impact with a boot to the chin; jaw snapped and teeth crushed, Matt finished him off with a baton to the front of the skull. The man beneath him switched off like a light, but Matt barely had time to switch focus before he felt two sharp stings in his shoulder and ribs - the other agent had taken the opportunity to flank and throw two knives, puncturing Matt's armour, and now they came quick and fast with tantos. Matt rolled backwards and kicked towards the agent's ankle, but he drew his leg up and deftly feinted backwards, before lunging for a swipe. Matt had time to think they're fast as he swung a baton up to deflect and pushed the agent away, stepping back himself to gain some space between him and his adversary.

His senses were still suppressed, sound and smell like faint echoes and wafts; his side ached from the knives and he could feel blood trickling down his leg; he was exhausted from his relentless assault on Kingpin's operations since his escape from the precinct; and something in the back of his mind screamed at him that something was wrong, something was off. The agent before him seemed to swim in his radar, their image fading in and out as Matt tried to keep a clear bead on them. They struck quickly, rushing forwards with another lunge - deflected by Matt - followed with a swipe - Matt ducked and jabbed at the knee - the agent stepped sideways and brought their other leg around - Matt blocked with an arm and stumbled -

A tanto found its way into Matt's shoulder and he growled loud, tearing it out and throwing it as accurately as he could approximate. The agent dodged it easily and Matt felt it vibrate in the wall, using the feeling to judge the positioning and throwing a hay-maker; the agent caught it in midair and jabbed Matt's face, pushing him aside and putting another two jabs in the existing knife-wounds. Matt was in pain and bleeding out. The agent put a solid boot into his stomach and his head exploded as he burst through the weak wall and the weaker floor behind it. Matt un-latched a baton and launched it, hoping to snag something to break the fall. He blacked out when he hit the ground.
Matt came back around a few seconds later. His senses were cleared, he felt that immediately; sound and smell surrounded him and rushed inwards, painting the clearest picture of the building he'd had all night, and now he could feel the wrongness stronger than ever. Something else, something worse, lingered in the air, the faintest ghost of a scent, but present nonetheless: Elektra. Matt's mind spiraled, desperate to find her and protect her, rescue her from this vicious cabal, this new breed of adversary.

"I'm sorry it came to this, Matthew."

His blood ran like ice. Despair clawed at the bottom of his soul and found its way up his core, spilling into his throat and bulging the space behind his eyes.


"Yes, Matt."

He could see her now; she approached him from the stairwell at the far end of the floor. The baton he had launched lay beside him in two pieces, line neatly severed before it had had a chance to got taut around an anchor. He reached for his other baton, but it wasn't there; he tried to reach for the broken end, the stub better than nothing, but his arm wouldn't stretch, his fingers wouldn't work, couldn't form a grip -

"The knives, of course. They were all I needed. Everything else was simply showmanship. Toxin is a cowardly way to best a man. But Fisk...Fisk is a coward."

Matt swore. From the shadows came another voice.

"Were I not indebted to your organization, Miss Natchios, I would kill you where you stand."

Fisk stepped forwards. Elektra faced him.

"You wouldn't be able to."

Fisk merely chuckled. "Despite my... extensive portfolio, I assure you... I still hold many secrets for myself. You have performed adequately."

Elektra ignored him. She continued towards Matt. Fisk spoke again, now with an edge of eagerness and viciousness creeping into his voice.

"Your orders were not to kill him, need I remind you. You have done enough damage. He will hardly make for sport."

Elektra knelt beside Matt, running a finger over his wounds, chuckling playfully when Matt drew a sharp breath from pain. She hushed him, and gently put his other baton back in his holster.

"Step away from him." Fisk ordered, and Elektra complied.

"I was only helping your sport, Wilson. The toxin has done its job; he won't be moving. I trust The Hand can expect you to honor your end of the deal?"

Fisk nodded.

"Then I'm done here. I don't want to spend another moment in this hovel. I feel filthy."

She slipped away, and Matt lost her, his senses dulling again but this time from the toxin. He could feel Fisk moving towards him.

The world grew dark. Matt closed his eyes, and slipped away.
I see webboy and think spiderman but no. I see star lord and think guardians but no. How dare u confuse me with ur awful schemes! D:<

And I'm not even from 30 BCE!

VII. Struggle

Matthew's conversation with Foggy had been brief, but full of both grief and forgiveness in equal measure. It was clear to Murdock that what he had previously assumed was an unshakable bond between the two friends had indeed been stirred by the initial impact and fallout as Kingpin's plans unfolded before the city; but despite lingering paranoia and conspiratorial whispers, Foggy still believed in Matt, and that was enough. There had been apologies from both sides, wordless explanations of thoughts and feelings, secrets implied and trust shared and rebuilt, and ultimately a reaffirmation of support, loyalty, and above all, faith. Faith was so important now; Matthew clung to his faith in the belief that he was on the right path, his faith that he would not allow himself to stumble and fall in the face of such terrible adversity. His faith that Wilson Fisk, Kingpin of New York, was simply a man, and would be felled as such.

They had decided between them - Nelson and Murdock, partners forever - that Foggy was not safe. It felt obvious and remained unspoken by either of them, but the implication was there: if Foggy stayed, he was a target. They had discussed options, each one feeling less desirable than the last, and Foggy had eventually accepted that he needed to leave the city, perhaps even the state, and to take Karen with him. One of his firm's major partners had a soft spot for Foggy, and an understanding of his relationship with Matthew; initially, the offer of a temporary leave of absence had been then rejected from pride and disbelief, but now seemed prudent to accept, thereby removing Foggy and Karen from danger's path. Matthew would miss them terribly, and worry about them constantly; but Foggy had soothed him and they had said goodbyes with warm, hopeful voices. Matthew would regret their absence. A small part of him felt suddenly un-tethered, as if another lifeline to his humanity had been severed.

The officer that had brought him his phone still had not returned, and Murdock smelt freshly burning tobacco and sugary coffee through the cracked window pane of his cell. The man in the cell at the end of the corridor had not stirred through all the commotion since Matthew's arrival, nor through his conversation; whatever had put him under had put him under deep. His heartbeat was slow and steady and did not flicker or falter. Matt sighed, still trying to ignore the stench that oozed from the man's still, prone form, and turned his attention back to his phone. He tapped the screen lightly with his thumbs, feeling the warmth of the display as it lit up in response through his fingertips. He wondered if Elektra would want to speak to him, if she had even seen the news.

"Command: Call Elektra."

His phone whirred silently as it connected the call, and vibrated as it began ringing. Matthew held his breath as he brought the phone to his ear. All other sounds ceased as he listened to the ringing and the ringing only, every new peel of the tone a renewal of his desire to speak to her, touch her, explain his behavior and apologize for the way he'd treated her, beg for forgiveness and understanding and repentance. The phone rang on.

There was a click and a tone and a gap in the air where everything paused - and then another click as the answering machine activated. Elektra's recorded voice came through muffled and ragged.

"Matt, if this is you, I've gone back to my father for a while. I'll call you. I need some time to...think about things. If this is anyone else...don't bother leaving a message."

Another click and then a dead tone. Matt let his hand fall to his side as he hung up.

When the officer returned some time later, having been sternly reminded by her section chief, she found his phone placed on the floor just beyond the bars of his cell, and Matthew himself asleep on his cot, back towards her, his suit jacket folded neatly on the floor, and his tinted glasses resting on top.


It was dark outside when Matthew was awoken. He couldn't see the light, or lack thereof, but he could feel the cooler, more crisp night air seeping into the building, and he heard the soft rustling and low coos of nesting pigeons on the roof above his cell. Beyond the holding cells the station was quiet, with only subtle ticking of clocks and dripping of loose taps and leaky pipes rhythmically breaking the silence for microseconds at a time, each tiny burst of sound exploding outwards along walls and surfaces to paint the world for Matthew as it went. A few yards down the corridor, through a electronic door with magnetic seals - the most advanced tech in the station, Matthew realized, noting how poorly equipped the Hell's Kitchen precinct really was for the rapidly evolving world beyond the New York borough - he could hear the low rumble of snores from the officer on the graveyard shift.

Matt sat up quietly and moved towards the bars, feeling the floor where he had left his phone some hours ago; nothing. He hadn't expected it to be there, but it would have been a useful surprise. Instead, he sat back on his cot, reaching out with his senses and paying attention to the building and the air. Something had stirred him from his sleep, though he could not place what - but the longer he listened, the more something felt off: the sounds felt oddly layered, and louder than they should be; the air currents were subtly wrong and illogical, pushing heat around in unanticipated patterns; the smells present were expected, but seemed muted and suppressed, like breathing through a cloth. Though his senses were clear, he felt somehow stifled, suppressed...

Suddenly the veil appeared to lift, and Matthew pushed himself forwards off the cot, ducking low and rolling left away from the back corner of his cell he had felt the movement from. It all rushed in immediately: the man's heartbeat, the heat of his body, the air pushing in and out from his ragged breathing, and that smell of cheap whiskey, hard drugs, and poor hygiene. It all swelled out of his assailant like some fetid aura and Matthew shook to his core at the thought that this ragged beast of a man had hidden from him so effectively.

The ragged man chuckled, low and filled with malice, and withdrew his arm from the vicious thrust that he had intended as a killing blow. He brought his hand up and Matthew now realized his weapon: a hypodermic needle. He pressed the plunger ever so slightly and cool liquid spilled from the tip. Matthew was hit with the pungent odor of liquid morphine - bitter and chemical - and it suddenly seemed all so obvious. Drugs were already part of the accusation. The media would lap up an overdose in prison. The assassin licked the droplet from the needle, and Matthew heard his heartbeat slow and felt his body-heat recede into his torso.

"You'll have to try harder than that." Matt threatened, and he got only a wheezy, humorless laugh in response as the ragged man straightened up.

He thrust forward again in one quick, clean motion, arm trailing behind before swinging forwards needle-first towards Matthew's neck; from his crouched position Matt rolled sideways once more and took a low sweep at the legs. The ragged man drew one up out of the way and hopped back on the other, landing gracefully. The arm with the needle hung low and limp; Matt noticed the other was strapped in tightly to his chest, moving little. Matt stood, the ragged man opposite, each waiting for the other to take the first move. The ragged man swayed slightly on the spot, lilting left to right and back again, his movements almost mesmeric. He bobbed for a few seconds - and then faked left before jabbing right with his free arm, grazing Matt's neck as he pulled backwards and duck under, spinning as he went and taking another low sweep, this time catching the ragged man's ankle and causing him to stumble into the back wall of the cell. The needle dropped as the ragged man used his free arm to catch himself, and Matthew quickly brought a foot down, snapping the tip and smashing the glass syringe. Morphine vapors exploded into the air and the ragged man swung back around.

"That was for the clean option." He snarled, lunging at Matthew again - only this time, Matthew pushed himself into it with one foot, raising the other to plant his shoe square in the ragged man's chest and impact what Matthew suspected was a weak arm. He was proven right as the ragged man gasped in shock and pain, pushed backwards to bounce against the wall. Matt grabbed the ragged man's free arm and wrenched him forwards again, putting the butt of his hand into the ragged man's back between his shoulder blades as he went; the ragged man slammed hard against the bars, his free arm stretching out between them into the corridor beyond, and Matt moved quickly, putting a knee in the bottom of the ragged man's spine before stepped to the side, grabbing his forearm from through the bars and pulling sharply in the wrong direction.

There was a snap and a squelch and Matt's head rang from the smell of blood and the scream of the ragged man in his ear. Matt stepped back as the ragged man slumped to the floor, snapped arm stuck outside the bars, blood dripping. Matt heard the snores of the night guard stop and snort as he woke to the scream; he didn't have much time. He knelt and roughly seized the ragged man's face in his hand.

"Where is Fisk? How did you hide from me?"

The ragged man chuckled through labored, wheezing breaths.

"He is hidden, as I hid from you. The Hand has you now. You struggle, like a rat, convulsing death spasms."

Matt punched him in the nose. He heard the night guard fumbling with his keys at the end of the corridor. "I don't care who you are, or how you hide. Where is he."

"You are a fool. Fisk did not hire The Hand. He asked for a blessing. We will find you. You will die. Make your peace, Matthew Murdock."
Matt heard a clicking from behind the ragged man's teeth and immediately realized what he was doing; he pushed his hand over his mouth, trying to wrench his jaw open and remove the capsule, but he was too slow - the ragged man had already bitten down and swallowed, and now he foamed from the back of his throat through Matt's fingers as the poison capsule took hold. The ragged man shuddered once, then lay still.

Matt swore. Behind him he heard the night guard finally opening the door to his office, grasping clumsily at the clasps of his holster; Matt stood, leaving the ragged man's corpse behind. The door to his cell was open, key still in the lock; he moved quietly to the end of the corridor, waiting for the guard to come around it. He did so in a hurry, not paying attention - Matt took him by surprise, sweeping his legs out while pushing him to the floor with his hand, a quick jab to the forehead putting the guard out cold. Matt took the baton from the guard's belt and left the station.

The night was deep and long; Fisk was out there, and he was scared, cowering behind this new cabal of assassins. Matt could smell the desperation; he would draw Kingpin out. He craned his neck towards the sky, and felt the sword of Damocles hanging perilously above the city. One way or another, this great struggle would end.

VI. Accusations

The room buzzed with myriad sounds, filling Matthew's head with a white noise that crawled and swarmed across every surface that surrounded him, pouring around corners to spill over the thrumming crowd that awaited him in the next room: reporters flipping pages of notebooks and clicking pens as they prepared questions; presenters murmuring to themselves and their colleagues, warming up their throats and beginning their introductions; lawyers and solicitors whispering conspiracies and rumors, expressing disgust, disappointment and disbelief in equal measure; and always, always the bystanders, the civilians, the onlookers, tuning in for another episode of Hell's Kitchen, Kingpin's seedy puppeteering of the city having become a spectator sport.

The press conference and its contents had been Kate's idea, though she had suggested it through white-hot fury and gritted teeth; after 72 hours supposedly 'missing' in the wake of the accusations, Matthew had single-handedly - though unknowingly - allowed the ensuing media circus to obliterate any faith in his innocence the public may have held. Matthew knew this was not entirely Kingpin's doing, as the tabloids and gossip-rags were eager enough to sink their claws into a new victim without needing any malign influence, but by wiping away his personal public image he had also destroyed the people's faith in his position as ADA, and this damage had begun to bleed into Kate's office as DA. People were losing faith in their public defenders. Matt heard a door open and shut and Kate's scent approached him from behind a good two feet in front of her until it surrounded him and she was at his shoulder. She was hot, and her measured breaths and careful voice told Matt that she was still seething. The debacle had caused considerable damage; it was unlikely Kate would emerge unscathed.

"Everyone's ready, Murdock. You've got your script. Time for damage control."

Matt shifted his weight uncomfortably; Kate's words felt venomous, and although her true anger was directed at the man behind the machinations, he couldn't help but feel some frustration deflecting towards him.

"I'll do the best I can. I'm truly sorry that this has all happened, Kate."

"It happened. There's nothing else to say about it."

There was a cold pause, and then Kate lifted her arm and gave Matt a solid, singular pat on the back.

"It was nice working with you."

Matt nodded. Kate left.


Despite Matthew's condition, from where he was sitting - center table, flanked by legal counsel and police on both sides - he knew that there wasn't a single eye in the room that wasn't on him. There was a moment of stillness; despite the accusations, Matthew Murdock had always been respected by many for his conviction and competency in the face of adversity. It warmed him that that, perhaps, was not completely lost. And then the buzzing began again, this time furious and immediate. Matthew quickly stood and held up a hand to quell the questions, and then sat once more, pulling a microphone closer to speak as he steeled his nerves.

"As you all know, evidence has come to light that implicates me in a serious drug-trafficking ring, as well as accusations of bribery in court. The media considers me a fugitive for my time spent missing; I assure you, I was not, and am not, an outlaw on the run, and I have invited you here today so that I may address this issue on my terms."

He took a moment to sip water - somewhat to settle his own nerves, and somewhat for the sheer drama of it - and then continued,

"I will tell you now that whatever testimony is levied against me I will fight and I will declare fraudulent. These accusations wound me professionally and personally; I am disgusted by the thought of betraying my office, the people of New York, and most of all my home of Hell's Kitchen. I find these accusations heinous - but they stand regardless, and I must answer to them. I pledge, here and now, that I will fight these charges with every avenue available to me, and I will be cleared. As a show of good faith in New York's robust justice system, the same justice system I myself have striven to uphold since I was still re-learning how to read, I will be voluntary submitting myself to police custody immediately following this conference."

There was a wave of murmurs, which Matthew allowed to ripple and die down, the frantic scratching of pencils and pens and clicking of tape recorders a constant sound underneath as his speech was transcribed, quoted, interpreted. Sometimes, he thought, it came in very handy not being able to read headlines. He powered through. The worst was yet to come. Kate's voice seemed to echo in his head. Rip off the band-aid, Murdock.

"However, the impact of these accusations - fraudulent or not - cannot be ignored; and indeed, the impact has been significant. I cannot defend the people of this city when the people's faith in me wavers; I cannot represent the interests of the city while being forced to defend my innocence as a law-abiding citizen of New York." Matthew paused. Grief welled up inside him for opportunity lost. Anger bubbled alongside it for hope taken. "It is with remorse that, in the face of the circumstances before me...I must tender my resignation as Assistant District Attorney to New York City immediately."

The room burst into furor without delay. Furious scribbling blended with shouted questions and attention-grabbing remarks, nearly every reporter in the room at once trying to become the first to tweet the news while simultaneously updating their website. Matthew did his best to stifle the invasion of sound, standing and making subtle motions to his counsel and the police. He spoke above the fervor in a forceful, final tone. These would be his last public words, his last public image. After this, he would be painted solely through the unforgiving lens of the media.

"I thank you all for coming. I apologize for all that has happened. I wish us all the best of luck. Hopefully...I'll see you on the other side."

And that was that. Matthew held his arms out, fists clenched and wrists together, proffering his hands for restraints from the officer he'd agreed his arrest with before the conference. He felt the cold metal click sharply and tighten uncomfortably on his bones, and then a careful, but firm hand on his elbow to lead him forwards. The clamoring of the journalists left behind in the conference room grew fainter as they covered ground, and soon was only a warped bubble of white noise as they stepped out of the building and he was pushed towards a police cruiser. Matt stood still, his hands holding the top of the door frame as he sharpened his hearing, shutting out everything around him but their words, trying to make out even a snippet of opinion or reaction - and then his head was pushed down and in roughly, and the slamming of the door cut everything off.


The station smelt of tobacco, sweat, and gunpowder. The building snaked away down a corridor to Matthew's left and he heard the faint echoes of gunfire and clinking bullet casings bouncing around corners and off walls from some distant in-house gun range. Around him, officers, civilians, and clerks muttered among themselves and to themselves, some stealing quick glances at Murdock as he was escorted through the main lobby of the building and towards the holding cells. News of his press conference and subsequent arrest had spread like wildfire, spilling through the streets in digital waves as the story was tweeted and retweeted. Those that crossed his path moved out of it quickly, heads down and gaze pushed aside. Many of these officers had respected Murdock during his time in office, and he had enjoyed a positive relationship with a majority of those at the Hell's Kitchen precinct; he felt shame and guilt for allowing himself to be torn down in their eyes, but also anger and betrayal that the system was now twisting and perverting to work against him at the behest of it's greatest enemy.

They rounded several corners, the noises becoming more distant and distorted as they moved away from the central hub of activity and towards the holding cells. They were empty, except for a single, ragged-thin man in the far corner, asleep and snoring. His frame shook and shivered with each long, labored breath, and Matthew felt compelled to cover his mouth as a a rancid mix of stenches assaulted him immediately; the bitter, sour smell of booze and heroin swilling with the sickly sweet stench of body odors and open sores. Matthew was guided into a nearby cell and the doors closed behind him. The cops who had escorted him thanked him for his decorum. Matthew did not return the gesture, and instead sat quietly on the edge of the cell's cot as they walked away and left him alone with his thoughts.

He sat for maybe an hour, perhaps an hour and a half - there was no ticking of the clock to keep track with - and then a new officer arrived, her vocation given away by the clinking of her badge on her hip against her belt and the slightly longer half-step on her right leg from where her firearm was uncomfortable on her pelvis. She fished something out of her pocket and offered it through the bars; Matthew stood and pushed his hand towards the heat of hers, and as his fingers met hers he realized she was holding his phone. He turned it over in his hands, holding the button down to turn it on. He looked towards her, and the shuffling of her feet and trousers as she adjusted her footing told him she was uncomfortable, maybe even nervous. Many people found it unusual to be scrutinized by a blind man.

"Chief says you get your phone. Didn't say you had 'one call' so I guess we're skipping that cliche. Guess he figures you know your rights."

Matt chuckled. From her bristling demeanor and icy voice, he could tell this officer was not a fan of her chief, and perhaps not of Murdock either.

"Thank you. Am I wrong to sense a bit of tension?"

"Whole station's tense, guy. No one knows what to think about this whole...mess."

"What do you think?"

She paused. Not necessarily a bad sign.

"I think you've been dropped in. Top brass is being real careful with the evidence they've got on you. Officers are being kept far away - except for a choice couple that were on some favourite lists anyway. And you - you're acting like you've been backed into a corner, but not one you knew was there. My sarge says I've got a nose for stink. And this stinks."

Matthew nodded sagely, politely. She was savvy. Street smart. Probably why she was only a beat cop.

"Well I appreciate your candor. And I appreciate my phone. Do I have a time limit?"

She shrugged, and then shook her head, and then shook her head again before speaking.

"Not that I know of. I gotta take it back when you're done, though. But right now I could really do with a coffee and a smoke."

Matthew listened as the sound of her boots on tile faded into the distance, that right-leg half-step nearly as good as a fingerprint. He sat back down on his cot, phone in hand, thinking of speeches and monologues and persuasion. He ran a hand through his hair, and called Foggy.

V. Voicemail

Matthew had run into the night for what had felt like hours before he had secured safe harbor; fear and panic had gripped his heart and blinded him to all else, sending him fleeing into the cold, dark jaws of a city that suddenly felt very alien to Murdock. That damnable call had shaken him to his core; no longer was he the Devil, prowling the streets of Hell's Kitchen with an earned arrogance, striking fear into the hearts of criminals. Now fear had found him instead, and he was so very afraid. Afraid for his friends - Elektra, Foggy, Karen, Katherine - dragged into a war they possessed neither the knowledge of nor the ability to fight. Afraid for his city, now feeling the balance of power tip and give way beneath his feet. And his own basest instinct: he was afraid for himself. His enemy now knew all there was to know of him, and had all angles from which to attack him.

He had eventually sequestered himself in a previously-fortified bunker, a panic shelter for dark times. Dark times had come indeed. There was little here: food and water for emergency rations; extra batons and a replacement mask. Mostly it was just a hidden, secure place to hunker down, a space he now used to give himself time to let the panic wash away in the face of scheming and rational thought. He needed a plan, he needed a path of action. He needed time to process and to formulate. Kingpin knew his true identity; DareDevil seemed of little use, but perhaps more important than ever. With this new, omnipresent danger, could he go back to his civilian life? Would he need to? Would he be able to? He needed to think...he needed to think...he needed to rest.


He must have spent at least the rest of the night asleep; when he woke he could feel the ambient heat from outside filtering in, and the sounds and shakes of a city awake and alive rumbled through his bones. Matthew felt stiff - the consequences of spending the night in his armour - and he moved himself to sit against the wall as he undid the clasps on his helmet, setting it down by his side as he held a hand up and pressed it against the wall, letting the vibrations worm their way down his arm, the familiar rattles comforting him. He could not leave, not during the day; he was too conspicuous in his armour, especially with every criminal element in Hell's Kitchen now looking for him - and more than a few cops and federal agents in the Kingpin's pocket. He would barely make it half a block, rooftops or not. No, there was no leaving now - he would have to wait until the city went to sleep, until the heat dissipated and there was naught but dark clouds and moonlight left.

It took many bored, quiet hours, but eventually night fell. The city fell quiet and Matthew felt the cold begin to seep in, and he knew it was time to move. Carefully, quietly, he left the bunker behind him and moved once again to the rooftops he had raced across just the night before, pushing himself back towards the heart of the city and where he knew home lay. There was no time for vigilante heroics tonight, though the plight of the innocent and the schemes of the villainous still played heavily upon Matthew's mind, every inch of good and evil that writhed in combat around him worming its way into his bones. The conflict that had born him and that had sustained him, and that hoped to survive him. It would not be so, he would be sure of it, despite the machinations of his nemesis. Home grew closer and closer with every thudding footstep, and as he grew nearer the fear from the night previous gave way to outrage and anger. Kingpin threatened him on a ground unprecedented, and Matthew would not stand for such a personal affront.

He let himself in to his apartment through the living room window, clambering up the fire escape rapidly to avoid anyone waiting for him at the front door; with Kingpin's new knowledge, there was no such thing as 'too careful'. And he found his paranoia to be well-founded almost immediately. The draft hit Matt first, a through-breeze from the window straight through the front door; the smell of smashed and splintered wood was next, and in the breeze he could hear the slight creak of the hinges that what was left of his door hung on. His apartment had been ransacked, the wreckage spread out along the floor for Matthew to tread on and step over. There was little left. A low tone pierced the still air from the floor a few feet in front of him, and Matthew moved with purpose towards the discarded landline handset that had been thrown to the floor in the intrusion. There were messages waiting. He held the handset to his ear, and wrapped his free fist around his batons, preparing for any returning enemy agents and hoping the calls he had missed were not as grave as the one he had taken just one night before. Matthew almost flinched as the robotic voice blared into his ear.


From even that short snippet, he could hear fear, shock, disbelief and, most tragically, betrayal in Foggy's shaky voice. He had no doubt this was Kingpin's first strike against him - turn his allies into enemies and isolate him from any kind of support network he'd previously had in place. But the method he would choose to employ...there was no real knowledge as to the depths of Kingpin's moral waters. Matthew paused, savoring the last few moments of his civilian life being untouched by Kingpin's murky, sullen hands.


"Matt where are you? Are you hiding? Are you out of the city? I don't want to believe you'd run, Matt, Jesus, I don't want to believe you did this. Have you even heard? Do you even know? Are you shitfaced somewhere? In response? In anticipation? Donatella was ruled a suicide, Ricci is found dead after shooting himself in an alley, these accusations come out about you...and you've just fucking ghosted all of us!? Where the hell are you Matt you can't treat us like this! If someone's setting you up you need to tell us and we'll help but if it's not a framing, if it's all true...I don't know what to think. I don't know who you are. Would you please just call one of us?! Just to tell us where you are and try to explai-"

Foggy's voice cut off as Matthew hung up, unwilling to hear anymore. Hearing his best friend like that, desperate and angry, all of that confused pain directed explicity at Matthew, hurt him in a true way, a way that seared and branded him beneath the skin, made him believe he was at fault, that this wasn't the dark machinations of his nemesis, now looming over him and numbing his senses, blinding him once again. He felt like he was suffocating, and he had to push himself back towards the window to take a long drink of cool night air. He let the city flood in, all its sounds and smells and vibrations, waves of hot and cold alternating in the air currents. He breathed in deep through his mouth and tasted car exhaust, dirt, vapourised sweat. It was all there, swimming around him, and with his head poking out of his window and his city filling his head with its essence, he felt the fear subside and give way to that old righteous anger. He turned from the window and picked up his phone again, activating the voice commands.

"Search 'Matthew Murdock' in the news." He said, waiting patiently as the device gave a soft beep to acknowledge the command, and then a swishing sound to indicate the search being performed - and then another soft chime once completed.


"Filter the most recent."


Matthew stopped the read outs. There was enough there to infer from the context - Kingpin had attacked Matthew's position as ADA, his legal channel through which to dismantle Fisk's empire while the Devil assaulted him more literally. With ADA Murdock discredited, his existing work would be in question, and all his incarcerations reversed - and there would be no one left with the bravery and boldness to take on Fisk and the system he owned. Matt had to concede it was a cunning move on Kingpin's part; he only wondered why it had taken Fisk this long to try such a method. If the opportunity was there to remove him, why wait? Perhaps Fisk enjoyed the game, saw it as chess; Matt had only ever been successful at putting away low-level members. Maybe, unwittingly, Matthew himself had been a cog in Fisk's great machine, churning the used-up meat to make way for fresher, fitter blood.

Irrelevant. The time for courts and sentences had passed. Matthew knew his next steps almost instinctively.

He slept in his armour. He would need it.
Snart - Cold As Ice

Isn't it crazy how these old(er) songs that have entered a kind of cheese-fest zeitgeist of the 70's and 80's and linger on as singular lines or half-remembered lyrics we sing over and over as schoolchildren actually turn out to be killer tracks when you sit down and listen to the full record?

I recently had this with I Think We're Alone Now, I song I previously literally only knew the titular line of as a half-baked cultural memory and hadn't ever actually personally experienced. I watch Umbrella Academy, hear the track, go take another listen, and discover it's actually an absolute banger. And yet do I think Umbrella Academy chose it because of it's legitimate musical achievements, or because it was a convenient, widely-recognized song to help paint the pastiche they were striving for, an easy nostalgic cash-in?

Who knows. Both tracks rock.
As a question to everyone; in your head, do you have a theme song for your character? Do you have one for the game at large?

On my end, Spidey's theme is probably just the Spectacular Spider-Man theme, but I'm making that diegetic, so, a little better than just taking it, I guess. Otherwise, his arc theme is The Distance by Cake. I think it connects pretty well to what I'm going for this season with Spidey, and I figured Spider-Man: The Distance was a good arc name, and so it was.

As for an overall theme for the game, though? I'm drawing a blank, which is kind of why I ask the question in the first place. Last time, in UOU, Glitter and Gold by Barns Courtney was my pick, but it somehow doesn't seem to fit as well to this game, but maybe it's just the clashing mental association between this and UOU. Who knows? What do y'all think?

Probably this. I haven't thought much about songs per post or character etc but this song probably encapsulates a lot of the themes I'm trying to put across with Murdock.

I have several other songs that will start to be featured in future posts, as well as themes for characters who won't be showing up until my second arc. The fun of listening to said songs (which are fantastic tracks in their own right) is picturing the upcoming significance of them. Hopefully you guys will find my choices fit as well as I think they do.
Was just chatting with Doc on Discord when I brought up the idea of Injustice in this RP's universe, and I figured I'd bring the discussion here.

So. The biggest and bestest superhero went nuts and created a totalitarian dystopia. Who did it and where would your characters be in that mess?

I’d love to explore a DareDevil who crosses the line, or has the line crossed for him, and truly gives in to his darkest impulses. Either becoming a Punisher figure against the regime or an authoritarian who cordons off Hells Kitchen and turns it into his personal kingdom.

More than likely however Murdock would oppose the regime and then promptly be killed.
Honestly like top tier Batman if you ask me.

Edit: And easily the best Clayface that's ever been written.
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