Issue Two, Volume One

"Eyes Wide Open, Part Three"

Written by Bowie Sessions

Edited by: David Ellis and Jason McDonald

Chief Editor: David Ellis


Daredevil

Arcadia Davers
Heirophant

Alan Davers


 


“If you tremble indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.”

– Che Gueverra


Alchemax HQ, eighty-second floor, Human Resources Dept.

With a swipe of a keycard, the office door opened long after-hours. A young black man in an Alchemax Security Uniform walked in and shined his flashlight through the room in a slow and steady motion. The muscularly built young security guard stepped forward, walking around the main desk to face the computer screen and its keyboard. A few moments passed of him tapping at the keys before a window appeared, requesting a password. Quickly, the security guard typed it into the prompt screen.

--Davers, this is Sierra Base, we have you on the eighty-second floor,-- buzzed his radio affixed to his shoulder.

Davers, the security guard, ignored the squawk of his radio and watched the screen as it loaded the Welcome screen. He immediately began to scan through the processes in the system, bringing up one administrative file after another in a desperate flurry of multi-tasking. Names began to scroll past the screen as his search for a very specific article was approaching its end. Sweat beaded down his forehead.

--Davers, this is Sierra Base, you’re outside your sector. Renton, Sierra Base, are you in the vicinity? Davers, Sierra Base, come in.--

“Shock,” Davers whispered to himself, fully aware his time was just about up. NO MATCHES FOUND, the screen read. Desperately, Davers began to type again and his fingers became a furious blur of motion. Once more, names spindled in the search that appeared before him, one of his eyes fixed to stare at the door through the glass’ reflection in front of him. He pulled out a memory stick and slid the nail-sized portable hard drive into the side of the computer, which beeped its affirmation when the system recognized the hardware.

--Sierra Base, Renton here, I’m approaching Davers’ location.--

--Renton, Sierra Base, that’s good copy. Davers, this is Sierra Base, come in, over!--

ONE MATCH FOUND. He clicked the link it presented him and Davers brought up the profile of Alec de Luca and downloaded it quickly onto the nail-sized drive. His eyes locked tightly upon the door as he heard footsteps come down the hallway. Whispering to the computer to hurry up, he sweated every moment.

DOWNLOAD COMPLETE. Removing the drive, the doors opened. He slid the drive into his pocket and desperately dived out of the way.

“Alan?” Renton asked as he entered. He flicked on the lights, and saw clearly Davers lying on the leather couch by the door with his eyes closed, splayed out and unconscious. Renton sighed in frustration and walked over to his co-worker. Renton kicked him in his leg, which hung off the side of the couch.

“Alan, wake up. You’re busted.”

Alan seemed shaken awake by the combination of the kick and the lights which came on a moment ago. His head snapped about to clear the fictional cobwebs. Gaining awareness, he looked up to his fellow guard and answered with exhaustion that filled his voice, groggy and slightly insensible. “Aw man, I just – I was trying to just get a little wink, you know?”

Renton looked skeptical. “In my sector?”

“Human Resources has the best couch,” Alan said, gesturing while he sat up and dusted himself off to somehow play off the wrinkles in his uniform. Renton looked at the couch and ultimately gave an acquiescent shrug.

”Better report in. Sierra Base is less than lightspeed on your little nap.”

“They need to relax. It’s nothing to lose sleep over,” Alan offered back with a smirk, to which they both grinned and managed to get a chuckle out of Renton. Alan gathered his things and walked out of the room, the moment he passed Renton his face fell from amusement to a thankful expression. He could feel the thumb drive in his pocket … and it made him smile.


Apartment high-rise, Tormen Towers, eighty-fourth floor

A dark figure stood dressed all in black, his arms were crossed and his eyes glowed their bright crimson. “I don’t give a damn about your leads on this case, Arcadia. Well, I do, but I’m more interested in where I’m taking these leads. Just because we – it doesn’t mean I’m any less cynical … what do you need me to do when I find out who tried to kidnap her?”

The black woman with shock-white hair identified as Arcadia looks more than a little cross. “You just stop them, and find out what they wanted from her! She’s in danger, and we’re trying to save her. Shutting down a group like that wouldn’t be terrible either, you know, ‘Daredevil’.”

“You know what I’m asking, Arc. Do you want this information to help her – or to unravel whatever she’s holding from you? You’re using her just like I used you. This is NOT about altruism with you—” Daredevil, however, did not manage to finish his accusations as the door opened wide in the distance behind him. Daredevil span quickly away, tucked behind a wall and obscured from the new entry’s sight. Instincts.

Daredevil relaxed when he saw the man break through shadows. “Arcadia! I got a good lead,” the security guard named Alan offered as he shucked himself free of his security guard jacket and tossed it into the corner of the room without concern. “There was no results for this ‘Jeffrey Herrera’ guy, I tried to spell it ten different ways, but first time go on this Alec de Luca guy—“

Arcadia looked pleased and she turned her gaze directly onto the masked man who was hiding directly out of sight. Daredevil, at this telling stare, walked out from the nook in the wall that he’d claimed and nodded to the younger, bigger figure he faced. “Alan,” Daredevil offered pleasantly enough, with none of the vitriol wasted on Arcadia.

“Most positive to see you, Hornhead!” Alan greeted with the utmost enthusiasm and moved quickly to Daredevil, to impose upon him with a firm handshake and a gratuitous backslap quasi-hug maneuver. Relaxing from the motion, Alan still had a big grin on his face before DD withdrew, looking slightly awkward, visible even through his disguising black cloth.

“What do you have?” Arcadia insisted.

“What happened to you?” Alan interrupted and shifted the topic, gesturing to Arcadia’s bruised arms and black eye, aware just as soon as he had come close enough to see. They heard rage quiver in his voice and fist tighten, obviously he ignored the entire topic of his approach.

Arcadia looked utterly unfazed, stone cold in the face of her brother while she found her excuse. “I had to enter the field to extract another agent. It went poorly for a moment, but we bombed the facility and made it into the clear. The bruises should be gone in a few days.”

Alan gave his sister a brief hug, whispered something supportive and brotherly to her, before he pulled back and gathered himself together. After a few moments, he produced a datapad and his nail-drive, the latter of which he calmly placed into the former machine. A face appeared on the device’s screen, which he showed to his accomplices with zeal. “This right here. Alec de Luca, scientist, was deleted from Alchemax five years ago, where he worked in R&D with some of the primest braincases they had. His specialty was nano-medical, which was enough to make Alchemax keep tabs on him to this day, even broke and jobless.”

Daredevil and Arcadia exchanged looks which first bore tension and suspicion between the two before it mutated into something a little more lurid. Arcadia shivered slightly at the intensity of his burning stare she could feel from beneath his cowl, and broke the gaze, which allowed Daredevil the initiative to speak. “So we know where he is?” His teeth tightened, as did his black-clad fist, to remember the weasely scientist from the attempted corporate take-over of JR Biotech, who’s face beamed up to him from the datapad. UNEMPLOYED, it said. It didn’t make sense to him, but his fury always seemed to be sensible.

“Sure do. I got his home address, here. But, DD … I know you’re going to fight him. I know you’re going to rush on in, and… well; only way I’m telling you is if I’m coming with. That’s the deal. I’m a field op too – I’m ready.”

Arcadia began to protest, but Daredevil leveled her with a particularly vicious look. “Your brother’s a grown man, Arcadia. He just wants to get to see this asshole go down. And maybe get to know me. After-all. Who in your family doesn’t?” She sensed a smirk on his face just before his head snapped back to stare into Alan’s eyes for his reaction. Alan seemed confused, but the pieces didn’t add up to him. He went to a dresser to remove an extra few clips of power cells for his gun and allowed them an ample chance to loathe each other without his interruption.

“Good, then,” Alan begins. “He’s got a place at Astron Apartments…”


Quentino Towers, basement engineering facility

The thin, angular face of Alec de la Luca was difficult to recognize with his bloodied nose, missing front teeth and his extensive body cast. Barely recovered from when Daredevil shot and burnt him, and then his boss Jeffrey Herrera breaking his ribs in with his boot, Alec looked to be about as good as anyone could ever expect him to be. More particularly, he looked nearly unconscious, but managed to hold himself together as he searched through his cluttered workstation.

Within this room, there were visibly hundreds, or perhaps thousands of tools and pieces intended for mechanical use; this was a secret R&D lab, which the crippled man now resting in its center had claimed as his. He walked with a cane, even then only barely and steadied himself as he moved to a wall covered with locked panels. His hand raised and began to type in the code on the door, before his hand pressed to it firmly, to give it the full data imprint necessary for the door to make a soft ‘Ksshttt’ of its depressurization.

Swept by the soft gasp of pressurized air, Alec opened the door in front of him to pull out a small vial filled with what looked like liquid silver. He stumbled as carefully as he could back to the desk in the center of this labyrinth of machinery and engineering. Alec impatiently took an uncomfortable seat behind the computer array spread out before him and examined the silvery liquid. Alec whispered quietly to himself while he spilled the contents of the vial into a small tube, “They think I’m weak, that I can just be pushed around…”

Quickly he then connected the tube to the computer by a cable port connection at its peak.

“Just laughing, laughing. Like I embarrassed him. Like I’m nothing. I MADE him! I made him and now he kicks me to the catacombs, I … I’ll show him my worth, show him just how smart the ‘brain’ of this organization is…” Fervently and madly, he talked to himself, talked himself through this to calm himself and to steady his hand as he began rapidly typing into the computer. He loaded up processes and programs at a speed too quick for anyone else to follow.

It was with a decisive strike of his finger that he hit the ‘Enter’ key and a large message popped up onto the screen reading simply, COMPILING PROGRAMMING DATA… 33% COMPLETE, the percentage increased rapidly.

As Alec began to smile wider and wider, he felt that he was so close to success, about to finally—

MR. DE LUCA, INCOMING TRANSMISSION.

“Receive transmission,” he spoke aloud, with a heavy-hearted sigh, turning away from the project to face his vid-sent guest.

“Mr. De Luca,” the scrambled-image on the other side discreetly transmitted, “the Trap is Sprung.”

TRANSMISSION TERMINATED, MR. DE LUCA, the computer helpfully noted, queerly ending the transmission nearly as soon as it began. Alec shrugged and returned to his project, filing away the message in the recesses of his vast brain.

Alec smiled and looked to the screen, which now read PROGRAMMING DATA SUCCESSFULLY COMPILED. He disconnected the tube and affixed to it a sharp needle at the very end that the cable had just articulated.

“Well, bottoms up,” he told himself and slammed the vial it into his thigh. While the needle hissed when it ejected its contents into his flesh, Alec’s eyes grew wide and his gasp echoed through his hidden lab.


Uptown high-rise, Astron Apartments #3905

It had been something of a nuisance to duck and weave past security, staff and residents in his full black costume, but somewhat manageable. Alan, on the other hand, had just walked in as if he belonged and aided the black-clad Daredevil in his skulking entrance. They traveled to the 39th floor, Alan by elevator and Daredevil quicker yet … by flipping upward through the balconies, a circular encampment of ledges situated in the center of the hotel to overlook a truly massive fountain. It provided a very able system of vault points for the agile man in black.

Daredevil waited, his body pressed flush against a doorway when Alan stepped to their destination. Daredevil clearly stared with suspicion at the door, as if it might jump out. “This is the place?” Daredevil asked impatiently of his coworker.

“I’m sure,” Alan reassured him. “We’re lightspeed, Daredevil. Don’t worry, I’m with you 100%.” Alan patted at his side, where he had hidden his side-arm. Alan knocked twice on the door and smiled as he stood outside the peephole, his weapon readied.

“Who’s there!” the voice cried out from the other side.

“A courier for Mr. de la Luca,” Alan informed them calmly. There was a long silence before the door suddenly opened, a complete stranger to them both, not even Italian, stood there just beyond the doorway, staring at Alan questionably. To his detriment, the man failed to look to his left, where Daredevil stood; he simply snapped his arm up at the elbow and slammed his fist into the stranger’s nose. Blood spilled immediately and gushed over the man’s shirt.

With the victim stumbling inside, Daredevil spun around the doorway after him and grabbed him by the shoulder before he could run. Daredevil did not ask any questions before he simply started slamming his fist into the man’s face. Alan watched in shock, but Daredevil never let up. Once more, twice more, thrice more, four more times. The man fell limp as Daredevil released him, crumbling to the ground in a heap.

Then, rather than reasonably expected compliance, the injured stranger just started laughing, spitting up his own blood as he chortled.

He wouldn’t stop laughing.

They heard it at that very moment. Footsteps rushed from a dozen directions into the hallway behind them and a dozen feet shattered the windows of this lofty apartment as they repelled inside, a large force of what immediately Daredevil obviously identified … a slew of Public Eyes. Their numbers didn’t seem to stop, either.

“It’s a TRAP!” Alan screamed at Daredevil as those that came through the window, where Alan had been standing, dog piled him.

Daredevil hurled his baton into the back of the skull of Alan’s first aggressor, which allowed Alan the ability to fire off a volley of shots into the rest who approached him. He rushed for the door to hold back the throng of those coming from the hallway, the steady thump of boots giving away their intention. The first peeked into the doorway a moment before Daredevil could close the door, which forced him to start disabling them one by one as hurried as he could. “Really? You think so?” DD asked mockingly, his voice calm and regulated as best he could.

While throwing a punch for the first man through the door’s face, Daredevil’s other hand grasped the incoming officer’s weapon. With the officer off-balance and hurt from the punch, DD found little problem in tearing it free from his hands. He spun it about and used the butt of the energy rifle to crack his enemy in the jaw in an uppercut. The officer went flying back, in time for two more who managed their way through the doorway. It bottlenecked them and allowed Daredevil to take one or two at a time, to his pleasure.

Daredevil leapt skyward and slammed a boot into each of the new threats’ heads, he back-flipped to land with his rifle-gripped hand pressing to the ground. Daredevil pushed off from the reversal, and came up to an aggressive stance and hurled the rifle behind him, “CATCH!” yelled out to Alan. With a flick of his fingers, a massive staff forms of crackling crimson energy from Daredevil’s palm.

“Try it now,” Daredevil threatened, and rushed forward, the end of the staff meeting with the gut of the first man who had taken the initiative of entering while he leapt about. The other end came down to crack the skull of the next behind him.

Alan looked up and dropped his pistol, the rifle caught clumsily. “Thanks, Hornhead!” Like his pistol, he quickly put it onto the Stun mode; it would appear Alan did not like the idea of dead cops, corrupt or no. When he opened fire with the rifle, however, he stunningly began laying waste to every one of them that neared him. He certainly fired viciously enough that the Public Eye wouldn’t be thanking him when they woke up. Alan emphasized his deadly accuracy as one shot him in the leg from behind. Alan reactively spun around and slammed the butt of the rifle into his neck. The Public Eye stumbled back and gasped, gripping his collapsed trachea as he struggled to breathe. Alan righted the rifle and fired a shot into his head at nearly point blank, leaving a smoldering emission of burnt flesh as the guard hit the ground.


Quentino Towers, basement engineering facility

Alec de la Luca did not look the best he has in his life. He screamed angrily, uncontrollably, as he convulsed on the floor of the basement. His hand dragged across the tables as he felt his skin shudder and start to ripple as if a wave rolled beneath the layers.

His screams were beyond intelligible noises now, now just the primal agony of the injured. He collapsed to the floor below and started to shake and cry, tears streaked down his cheek as his skin seemed to begin to melt. His fingers were lengthening and his teeth growing rapidly as if they desired to break through his skull. A silvery sheen ran down his face where his tears had flown a moment ago, glittering with the same liquid he injected himself with minutes ago.

There was a sudden buzz on the intercom system. --de Luca, your plans are not going well. You know who this is. Upstairs. Now.--

A hand launched up from the ground to snag the side of the nearest table. The long fingers slowly pulled inward, returning to something that resembled their former state. Nails retracted from claws into short nail beds and knuckles seemed to wind the rest of the half-foot long digits back into them.

A gasping, desperate Alec de la Luca managed to speak while hanging limply from the desk. "I.. will try to, sir…"

--It’s your funeral, de Luca. I do not enjoy your disappointments. Pull yourself together,-- the voice offered with very little in the way of leniency.

“Pull yourself together … ha ha … HA Ha…” Alec whispered deliriously from where he crawled along the floor.


Uptown high-rise, Astron Apartments #3905

Meanwhile, Daredevil was not letting up. “It is not fruitless!” Daredevil screamed.

Bodies rendered unconscious with much more intimate care and the twirling staff formed of light connecting with ankles, necks and foreheads. One after another found themselves flung through the doorway again, screaming as their spines cracked with impact on the rail outside or their heads that firmly slammed into the floor or the wall… Daredevil waded through the swarm of dirty cops, piling a small group of the unconscious ‘lawmakers’ in the doorway of the room. He raved onward, oblivious almost to the actions of the cops which came through by one or two, their blood stained upon his black suit. “I don’t care if I’m just one man! Go back to Hell! I’m working. This is – NN – this is IMPORTANT!”

Every blast they fired simply absorbed into Daredevil’s staff that he spun about with a blur of speed. It seemed to draw them magnetically to its crimson luminescence. Behind him, Alan could only watch in amazement; he was keeping people from repelling in through the window. That had long since stopped. Now he was just cleaning up the people that Daredevil threw over his shoulder inside and stared in awe at the abilities of his personal champion. “Who are … who are you talking to?” Alan whispered, confusion mixed with the reverence in his voice.

“It doesn’t matter! Focus, Alan! We just have a few m-- LEAVE ME ALONE!”

Alan stared in confusion, but did as he said; ignoring the eccentric outbursts of the man he fought with. Insanity was a worthy price to pay for this skill, he reasoned, as he took shots at guards that rushed the door and attempted to besiege the skillful Daredevil.

It took long minutes and pints of blood, some from each side. The flow of dirty cops eventually ended, gunfire left silent and footsteps that disappeared into the horizon. Long minutes passed by and the two heavily breathing Re-Activ-8 employees stood shoulder to shoulder and looked over their victims, breathing heavily. Daredevil kneeled down and slapped one of them who groaned quietly at the impact, forcing him awake.

His staff turned into a blade and Daredevil pushed it against the victim’s upper thigh, before he started to shove it inside of the pliant flesh, inch by slow inch. “You’re going to tell me who sent you,” Daredevil whispered, his voice filled with uncontainable fury, shaking as he spoke.

The man, recently awakened, found the answer with unsurprising haste. “They’re – Mr. de Luca! Quentino Towers! He’s in his office, he –”

The truth did not save him, however, and it certainly did not stop him from screaming when Daredevil shoved the blade up all the way inside of him and avoided arteries with expect precision and care. Alan looked away. “Call for help. They should arrive in time.” He pulled free the blade and stood, slowly.

The guard just kept screaming as they left the way they came in.


A roof, nearby

A black-clad and hooded Japanese man stood with a watchful eye below, kneeling down and without even looking he unrolled a small bundle which revealed inside it a long barrel, a silencer, a butt-stock, a handle with a trigger well, a chamber, and a suspicious lack of any kind of magnification scope. As if he planned to use the iron-sights on the rifle itself.

“'In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit,'” he spoke to himself as he knelt down and slowly assembled the weapon with his bare hands. His eyes never even looked to his agile grip and its quick fingers, as he surveyed the sight below, watching and waiting for the movement he knew was going to come.

It was with a bright smile on his face that he continued to speak in his deep Japanese accent, apparently extremely willing to assemble what appeared to be an old-fashioned slug-throwing sniper rifle. “'These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as Soldiers of Fortune.'”

His lightning-quick hand motions came to a sudden stop as he slid the bolt into the now fully constructed chamber, leaving a gleaming steel masterpiece of engineering which could be considered to hail largely from the 19th century, an ancient engineering wonder which never found improvement until the introduction of energy weapons. A massive smile played over his face as he nearly finished his words, polishing the trustworthy and simple weapon for just a moment with a small rag.

His eyes trailed the lobby of the building below, focusing tightly. He raised his wrist to his lips. “Project: Eagle in place. Movement below. Preparing to engage target.”

--Proceed, Eagle.--

He canceled transmission, and slowly, methodically, placed a bullet in the chamber. Just one, and knelt at the edge of the roof, raised the rifle into his arms and chambered the round. “'If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them … maybe you can hire… The A-Team.'”

Eagle had such a very happy smile.


Uptown high-rise, Astron Apartments lobby

The elevator doors opened in the lobby of the Astron Apartments to find a security guard knocked unconscious already, presumably the dirty doings of the Public Eye. It allowed Daredevil and Alan to walk across the ground of the massive buildings’ luxurious lobby almost casually.

Daredevil took up a stance and snagged the rifle from Alan. “Call your sister,” he ordered, viciously, eyes panning the entranceways for security.

“What am I asking—“

“Where the hell Quentino Towers is! We’re ending this. Now.” Alan seemed shaken, but nodded his head in understanding and moved to duck behind a table, dialing his sister up quickly on his hand-held.

Her face appeared in his hand-sized device, speaking clearly. --What’s going on over there?-- She asked, concern in her voice. Alan looked down into her face, and began to explain to her the events they just encountered.

“It was a trap, sis. We’re preparing to leave, but we need to know our next stop: Quentino Towers, that’s who set this trap. He’s hiding there, not at his home. Please get us some bit-stream so we can move out.” His voice was pleading and sincere.

Daredevil watched quietly, a sadness somewhere in him evident. Allowed only for a moment, his muscles relaxed and eyes followed the younger man… before he steeled himself for battle and once more stiffened, presenting a watchful guard, rifle held firmly at the ready.

--Quentino Towers… I’m downloading that data now, and patching it through your data-feed in your hand-held. The hand-held now has its coordinates, but I’m pulling up system specs, security data, possible targets…--

There was a long silence as both Daredevil and Alan impatiently felt the minutes counting down until reinforcements arrived. “Got it. Weirdest thing – the CEO of Quentino Towers is named Darien Salazar, but he looks just like that profile of Alec de la Luca… I’m thinking that’s how he got off-grid. A new identity.”

Daredevil looked back to Alan. “Great. Close off comm. We used the hand-held to get across town to Quentino Towers. We’re moving. Follow me.”

Then Daredevil and Alan Davers, the datapad put away and disconnected from communication, quickly hustled right through the lobby, hurrying out the front door.


Quentino Towers, office of Alec de Luca

There were two knocks before a voice issued out its summons of, “Come in.”

A short, muscular Italian man with a badly receding hairline presented himself before his superior with a respectful nod. “Sir, the system says that your profile has just been hacked and there’s signs of cross-referencing to ‘Alec de la Luca’.”

The man addressed, Alec de la Luca – alias Darien Salazar – sneered at this news. He stood tall and healthy with not a mark on him. An apparent miracle recovery from the horror that wracked him just minutes ago, as if he were a completely new man. “Thank you,” he returned, coldly, and the Italian assistant quickly took his cue to leave, closing the doors after him.

The chair behind Alec turned slowly to reveal Jeffrey Herrera before him, with a dark expression on his face that seemed most disapproving. “Graveyard failed. This ruse failed. You have failed. I do not enjoy failure … but it seems neither does our enemy. Because he knows of us now. He comes for us even now, you realize, de Luca.”

Alec’s eyes could not meet Mr. Herrera’s, but they do turn from the ground to the ceiling so that he can scream with all of his barely contained rage. “Why won’t they just DIE?!”


Uptown high-rise, Astron Apartments terrace

The air welcomed them and they both breathed in deeply as the sunlight hit them. It was still broad daylight – after-all, Alan returned home after the graveyard shift early in the morning.

“We’ll get them, Daredevil. Trust me, Hornhead, this guy’s number is coming up short,” Alan offered, closing the door behind Daredevil and following him towards where the Maglev car was parked.

“They won’t see this coming,” Daredevil whispered darkly. He heard a soft ‘thppt’ behind him, and Daredevil didn’t have time to wonder to himself what it was before he felt something covering him, a warm splash of bone and blood. He turned quickly and saw Alan’s headless body collapsed against the concrete.

His head snapped upward to see where it came from, and his mask focused to see a dark figure a hundred stories up, waving. His eyes focused in, tighter and tighter, the suit magnifying the figure… locking on his features just in time to see the small silhouette of a car driving off-track to the rooftop he stood upon.

Daredevil did not pause or hesitate, his blood ran cold and heart pounded so fast he couldn’t hear his own footsteps when he raced into the opposite building where the shooter came from. He brazenly rushed past a crowd of screaming citizens, as he ran into the elevator, covered in blood from Public Eyes and now much more graphically his friend Alan. He struck the highest button and waited for it to rise.

The elevator slowly eased skyward, and Daredevil pounded against the doors in impatience. He kneels down and starts slamming his fists harder and harder against the conveyer. “MOVE! FASTER!” he screamed, futilely, desperately, knowing it is hopeless. A soft muzak played behind him as tears flow beneath his mask, and he screamed in a hot fury. He formed a staff with the energy in his hand, and slammed it above his head, opening the hatch above him. He leapt out of the box, into the open air of the rushing elevator shaft. Daredevil raised the staff above his head and it launched its cable immediately. The glowing line soared above him for long seconds before it met with the highest point of this building. He reeled it in, and it tore his feet free of the elevator cab.

It took him up as if he flew, flying past dozens of floors in the span of a second. He felt the hot burn of his tears slide down his cheeks, and he swung backwards as he reached the top, kicked off from the far wall, and swung back over, both legs forward. They caught the doorway of the top floor, suspending him from his feet, even as the cab below him hurtled towards where he hung upside down. His staff formed again into a bladed point and he stabbed it through the elevator’s doors. There was a burst of electricity and the doors swung open. Unhooking his legs, he flipped downward and outside, appearing on the roof.

He arrived only in time to see a vehicle that sailed into the distance, already miles away.

Daredevil stared to the ground below him, and breathed in, slowly. His knuckles tightened and his breathing stuttered. “You’re right,” he spoke aloud. “But that doesn’t mean I care. I’m still doing it.”

He was silent for several seconds and stared to the left, as if to regard someone. “I’m not listening to you anymore. I have a life now. Why don’t you just … go play in traffic.”

Daredevil walked to the edge of the roof and saw the vague ant-sized mark on the ground that must be Alan, still clutching that datapad. His muscles tightened, and fists clenched harder than ever. "I need to get to Quentino Towers. I need that data. I need blood.”

Daredevil leapt off the roof, his arms splayed wide.


Miles away

As the wind whipped through his long hair, Eagle wiped his rifle clean of prints and threw it off the Maglev car as they drove away. “'I love it when a plan comes together,'” he whispered to himself gleefully.


TO BE CONTINUED


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