by Russell Paulette (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chapter 3 - Developments
DareDevil leaped high above Hell's Kitchen, his arms and legs
spiraling his control failing. Nearly reaching a brownstone roof, he
landed hard, with a deep thud that he was sure signified the tearing of a
Sprinting to the roof-stairs, he leaped, shattering the
door in a
hail of splinters and hinges, tumbling down the first flight of stairs
into the unnamed tenement. 'How the hell did this happen,' He thought
leaping down another floor. 'I begin asking questions about that beat
cop's killings and, suddenly, I'm being hunted by a well trained assassin?
DareDevil heard the heavy footsteps of the thug as he
around the remains of the door. He could smell the fine sheen of sweat on
the burly man as the man pushed aside the splinters with his feet. He
could hear the fine hum of the laser sight above the man's deep
inhalations, which were certainly due to cigarettes.
The red laser sight skipped and jumped over the stairs in
subsequent floors. DareDevil could feel the microscopic change in heat
the laser brought about. He felt the red sweep just above his head as he
flipped to the underside of the stairs and held on by fingertips just
below his assailant. Again he thanked the years he and the Spider were
better friends. No wait, he corrected himself, I think Stick actually
taught me this one.
Out of the corner of his radar he saw the silenced end of
sub-machine gun jut out from the railing of the stairs above him. The
radar judged the distance at about an arm's length from his fingertips.
He would have to tense every other limb and shoot his free arm up in about
half a second to disarm his opponent. His ears could hear the thug's foot
already beginning to shift so he could move down another step; that
half-second just halfed itself.
His hand clasped around the hot muzzle of the silencer and
nearly yelped in pain from the intense heat. With a jerk, DareDevil
brought the villain's chest onto the railing while sending his gun
tumbling down two flights of stairs. In the same motion, DareDevil swung
his arm back around to the thug's chest grabbing a handful of Hawaiin
shirt and chest hair, while releasing his grip on the underside of the
Hanging by one arm, while his opponent released a string
curses, DareDevil started to swing up and onto the flight of stairs. The
thug shot his forehead into DareDevil's with a loud thunk, and, trying to
move his hands to DareDevil's fistful of shirt and hair, he repeated the
When DareDevil's head cleared, he was sprawled at the foot
of the stairs, the gun about three steps below him. His fist was wrapped
around a large swatch of Hawaiin shirt and a flurry of hair.
He sat up, trying to clear his head, and laughed. Whoever
idiot was, DareDevil would be able to find out. Fingerprints from the
gun, a handful of chest hair, and the person's unique smell which
DareDevil's olfactory was cataloging for a later date.
* * *
In the mere day and a half following the subway bombing,
had written a column at the most. When the beginning of an expose written
by said author landed on J. Jonah Jameson's desk, he was more than elated.
When said expose had nothing to do with the subway bombing, Jameson's head
felt like it was ready to explode.
* * *
Foggy, shaken by the events from yesterday, began
Fisk Plaza buyout for Norombi like it didn't bother him. For the first
few hours he pretended like it didn't matter; he pretended like he didn't
care. Mr. Norombi wanted something good to reside in Fisk Plaza. Foggy
felt this way until he stumbled upon the stockholders of Norombi
A year and a half ago, Norombi Industries was nearly
making it, for all intents and purposes, a subsidiary of a larger company.
That company was known then as Plasticine Corporation, a small plastic
firm, but has since been bought out by a much larger company based out of
Hong Kong, known as Fujikawa Enterprises.
The name Fujikawa ran through Foggy's head, searching for
something to connect with, but not finding anything, he returned to his
work, taking a break once Matt showed up, late as usual.
"Hey, Matt." Foggy called down the hallway. Matt returned
door. "Hey, umlisten."
"What's up Foggy?"
"I wanted to apologize for yesterday, and everything and I
"No need to apologize, Foggy. It's understandable."
"No I don't think you quite understand"
"Sure I do, Fogster you're finally branching away as a
testing the waters without me holding your hand, and Ms. Sharpeor Mom,I
should say, is trusting you with an important client"
"It's not that, Matt. Something fishy's going on, and
"Can't this wait? I have a client meeting in five"
"I don't think so, Matt"
"I've also got Karen for lunch and I-"
Matt was interrupted by the entrance of Rosalinde,
thorough in all her pompous glory, followed by a small entorage of
"and make sure he gets the invitation. We don't want
mishap like the Governer's Ball."
She proudly stepped to up to Matt and Foggy.
"Well, if it isn't my two favorite partners. The world's
boy scout, and the world's biggestson, I guessFranklin, straighten your
Foggy responded, while trying to turn to Matt. When he
however, Rosalinde was strutting off, her arm intertwined with Matt's, as
she distracted him with some semi-amusing anecdote. Foggy shook his head
and sighed. Matt was right. He would have to handle this one on his own.
* * *
Karen sighed again and slipped off her headphones, waving
good-byes and walking into the street. Waving a cab down, she entered and
noticed a familiar air about the cab. Nonetheless, she gave the address
and the car was on its way.
However, she noticed that the cab driver missed a turn
blocks back and mentioned it to him.
"This way's a bit quicker" he said, "beautiful"
Something hit her square in the chest. Beautiful. The
said it the way he meant it was reminiscent of...
OhmyGod! She thought. Those messages, those crazy
eyes went wide and she glanced into the mirror to see if he was looking
back. She tried to absorb his features, his bold, imposing eyes, his
shock of blonde hair. OhmyGod!
We're too far downtown for Matt's office, she thought.
already missed my apartment by half a mile.
"You know what?" she said, trying to maintain her
forgot I had a lunch datewith Ben Urich, at the Daily Bugle. That
building's not to far from here, just drop me off there."
"Anything you say, angel."
The cab slowed to a halt near the Bugle building, but
the curb, or even stopping was impossible. He turned into an alley.
"It's easier to pull out." He said. She stepped out, her
shaking, and began digging in her purse for the change. That's when she
noticed the engine cut off. It was a half second later that his leg was
outside the now open driver's door.
She started. She started and kicked the door onto his
sprinting out of the alley, her purse flapping onto her shoulder behind
her. She spirited up to the front lobby of the Bugle building and quickly
hopped on the elevator, taking it up to the press room.
"Ben!" she yelled, once the doors opened and people filed
A young man with a stack of photographs featuring
action walked up and said, "He's in a meeting with Jameson right now, and"
"I need to speak to him!" she insisted.
The man opened the door and Jameson bellowed, "PARKER!
I'm not to be interrupted!"
"I know, Jonah, but Ms. Page is here to see Ben. She says
"Send her in, Parker! If she can talk to Urich, she can
* * *
A man went sliding down the bar, crashing into a table
beer and peanuts into the air.
"Talk to me." Said the Devil.
"I don't want no trouble!" Josie said, from behind the
"I need info and I need it quick. One of you will talk to
Turk about Gath"
"Aw, hell, Turk and Gath?" Josie laughed. "They're in the
DareDevil sprinted for the pool room and caught a glimpse
two men spiriting themselves into the adjoining alley. He made red-booted
haste to follow them and downed Turk in a fling of his billy club. Gath
slipped around the corner and ducked into the dusk.
"Stay here, Turk." DareDevil said as he sprinted from the
onto the sidewalk and after Gath.
Gath ran across another alley and two blocks over, hoping
DareDevil in a busy thoroughfare. Instead, DareDevil flung his cane-end
of the club onto a street lamp and leaped, sending himself into a taut
swing which, correctly judging the distance, landed him on top of Gath.
The two bodies flew into a nearby fruitstand, papayas and
oranges and banana bunches flying and bursting underneath the weight of
their two-hundred pound each frames.
"Talk to me." Said the Devil.
"I already gave it away."
"Gave what away?"
"What we found."
"And that was what?"
"Dammit, Gath!" DareDevil lifted him by his collar and
into the wall with a cough from him. "What do you know?"
"Nothing." Gath was too cool to be believed.
"Lie to me."
"That's not a very convincing lie. See, when you lie to
me, I can
see it in your eyes."
"I'm not lying."
"What did you take from the scene? Turk told me it was a
"Is that what that was?"
"Tell you what? All of a sudden I'm an expert in
"Turk said you knew what the big guy who hired you was
"I pretended to know. There's a difference. Turk's
When you've lifted as many TV's and radios as I have, you learn to
"What did you see?"
"Damned if I know. Could've been a control for a little
for all I know. Big dude wanted it."
"What was 'big dude's' name?"
Gath hesitated. "Jacks."
"Jacks? Like the game?"
"I guess. I dunno."
"No. You don't." DareDevil threw him back into the fruit
* * *
"You think you could spot this guy?" Ben asked.
"I dunno." Karen said, her coffee cup shaking in her hand.
mean, I know he's familiar, butnot that familiar."
"Well, this isn't the first time I've heard about
"This guy's a serial stalker?" Karen said, her eyes full
"Tell Matt about him."
"But I can't"
"Ben, you don't understand"
"I do and Matt will"
"No I mean, this isn't the only thing I've been keeping
"See Karen," Ben said, a drag on his cigarette and his
resting on the corner of his desk calmed his nerves. "I'm a reporter. I
know people. I know when people want to tell me something. You know this
stalker stuff, eventually, will make it to the headlines. I've already
taken my press pass off." He held up his plastic ID in one hand. "See?
Now, I'm not Ben Urich, reporter"
"You're a friend." She finished.
"That's right. If you want to confide in me I promise I
"What about the Devil?"
"Well it all started when Matt was gone"
* * *
"Whatta you have, Red?" Kathy Malper asked, not even
from her notes, sensing, however, the draft from the newly opened window.
"Ever heard of a guy named Jacks?"
Her head popped up. "Jacks. Why does that sound
"Kid's game. Rubber ball, metal spikes."
"Jacks" she mused.
"Well, the two rats who scoured the wreckage the other
that's the name they gave me. Jacks."
"It rings a bell, Red. That all you have."
"Those two jokers took something, too. Some sort of radio
from the car."
"Hmmm" she mused. "I've got the report here from that
Lieutenant what was it, KidneyPie?"
"That's right. All sorts of insistent on the
"Anything about the cop?"
"Nope. There were three dead gangbangers at the scene.
Interviews with some of the survivors said the cop opened fire, the
hallways exploded, they ran the hell outta there and didn't see a thing."
She shuffled papers and handed DareDevil a few scene photographs. "One
kid was plugged six times and the cop's revolver was empty. The gunshells
we foundor rather, you found, were .22 caliber, way under the cop's gun."
"So one of the kids had a gun."
"Yeah, and a weak piece for a gangbanger. Strange,
"Yeah. All around strange. I'll do some followups with
gangbangers, you see if Marmalade's come up with anything new I want to
know about that damn car."
"I do too, Red." She inhaled a drag and DareDevil's nose
as the paper and tobacco burned slightly.
"Jacks is the key. He's a middle-man for somebody
She nodded and closed the case file. By the time she was
finished, he was back out the window. Setting the case file in her IN
box, she turned away from other files and walked to her door.
* * *
Matt swung to the apartment, resting nimbly on the
crawled his way in. He stripped out of his tunic and walked up to the
sofa, Karen curled and numb to his arrival. He bent down and took a
sniff, smelling the vanilla and cinnamon Karen he had known and loved for
He circled the couch and crouched by her head, rubbing his
through her hair and holding her hand, he looked into her eyes, her
glassy, zomby eyes.
"Karen honey, what's wrong?"
Her eyes welled up, slightly, beginning at the corners and
rolling down to her tear ducts, down her cheek, the bridge of her nose.
He wiped away one side, and kissed the other, and again posed the
"Just hold me" she weakly whispered, and tugged herself
shoulder. He held her, whimpering, for the rest of the evening until she
had to go to work.
* * *
The pasta was thick and creamy as Foggy slurped it into
He tried to be neat and dabble his chin with a napkin, but was destined to
Norombi sipped a light glass of wine and sighed a heavy
"This is good pasta, Mr. Norombi."
"Don't mention it, Foggy. I only treat my friends the
trust you are my friend."
"I would suppose so, sir."
"Then you will accept some more examples of my
"I suppose so" his cheeks flushed with red, not knowing
make of the man.
"Here." Norombi said, pulling out a thin, black case about
size of a pencil case.
"What is this?" Foggy said, gulping a bite and removing
before accepting the gift. He opened the box and inside glittered a brand
new Roladex watch.
"I noticed your Timex was over twelve years old"
"I needed a new battery, wow, is this gold?"
Norombi nodded. He raised his wine glass.
"To friendship" Foggy repeated, with an uncertain air.
"And" Norombi turned his face away from the light and a
shadow peeled across his features. "to silence"
"Gulp" was Foggy's only response, and then the tinkling of
Chapter 4 - 'Memories', coming soon...