Marvel Iron Age: The Man Without Fear #8

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TommytheHitman

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Here Comes Daredevil!: Part 7 (Final Part)

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Iowa, The Iron Age

A figure dressed in a hoodie resembling death stepped carefully across paving slabs that covered the ground beneath his feet. The slabs were a beautiful casing for the black soil below, a beautiful, hard exterior for the dark, filthy interior just beneath the surface.

"Citizen!" A sharp, metal voice filled the figure's ears as he paused to catch his breath on a nearby bench, the night air surrounding him made him almost invisible to the average person, with his black clothing melding into the darkness. "What the Stark are you doing?!" An Iron Soldier marched down the street, clearly suspicious of the hooded man. He towered above the calm, seated figure in an attempt to show his authority while also intimidating the man.

"I'm just sitting." The hoodie sighed, no emotion in his voice as he was clearly tired of his surroundings. "Leave me alone." It seemed like an order, and the Soldier was shocked by the sheer audactiy of this nobody telling him what to do.

"I-Dent card!" He demanded, repulsor palm outstretched with the main device flickering with yellow energy. "Now!" The figure complied, pulling out his wallet and passing it to the armoured enforcer. He pulled back his hood, revealing his features to the Soldier so he could match the card's portait with the man sat before him. "Doctor... Liberdeen?" The lawman passed the wallet back to the hooded man, slightly embarassed by his mistake. "I'm sorry, sir." He stammered. "I didn't kn-"

The man who clearly wasn't Doctor Liberdeen simply stared ahead into the darkness with cold, blank eyes.

"Go away."

__________________________________

New York City, Hell's Kitchen

"Daredevil. I want you to join the Avengers."

It was a surprising request, one that Daredevil, the Man Without Fear hadn't considered he'd ever be offered. A stunned look was on his face, causing his new ally, Corporal America to smile at the young man's reaction. The two heroes were stood on the roof of the Bronze newspaper's building, far below the two men's feet feet their allies were busy working on the article that would expose the Fixer and his organisation. It should have been the Devil's main focus, yet the Corporal had instead chosen to distract him with his offer.

"Why?" Daredevil asked, years of combat experience and action had made him cautious when it came to dealing with superhumans.

"I've seen you move." The legend said. "Your skills are incredible, up there with the best."

The vigilante tilted his head slightly and focused on the soldier's heart. It was normal, beating steady. By all accounts Corporal America was telling the truth, yet it still seemed like he was holding something back.

"There's something else." He said. "Another reason you want me on your little task force." The heartbeat began to beat faster. "You think I'm dangerous." The Devil theorised. "And if I'm working with you and your costumed friends you can keep any eye on me, make sure I'm focusing my anger on your own problems."

"Running around, beating up purse snatchers is a waste of your time and talents." The Corporal said, muscular body towering over the slim, thinner vigilante. "Look at the big picture. You need to prioritize. You need to focus on-"

Daredevil turned away in disgust and stepped to the edge of the roof, overlooking the district he called home he remembered his morals and ideology. To him everything mattered. To the Devil of Hell's Kitchen the gods in the sky were ignorant, ignoring the lives that passed them by.

"I don't need you or the Iron Army." Daredevil decided. "All I need to do is keep everyone alive until you've finished your little war..." He clenched his fist and resisted the urge to punch the super soldier just behind hi,. "And then I'll take out the last man standing."

"Daredevil, wait!" Corporal America reached forward to grab the vigilante, only for the man to seemingly disappear into thin air. The Corporal looked around quicky for the Devil, only to realize he was now completely alone. "Damn it!" He yelled in a quick burst of irritation.

"Wow. Don't wanna tick that guy off!" Spider-Man jumped down behind the Corporal, having listened to the coversation from the side of the building. "I guess Daredevil's not interested."

"No, he's not."

The Spider sat down on the edge of the roof, letting his legs dangle over the side as he began to tuck into a cheeseburger he'd been keeping in his pocket for a quick snack. The Corporal glanced down at his young protoge, heroic stance taken just beside him.

"Were you carrying that the whole time?" He asked.

"I'm going through puberty, Nick." Spider-Man pointed out, wiping crumbs from his mouth. "I'm always starving!"

_____________________________________

Back in Iowa the last hoverbus was arriving at the local depot where it was awaited by a crowd of passengers consisting of a variety of genders, races and cultures. Every person was unique in their own way, yet the black hooded man stood completely alone at the front was something else entirely.

"All aboard for New York!" The driver joked as the passengers all stepped aboard. The black hooded man let out a tired yawn before pulling back the black fabric covering his head, revealing curly brown air and pale, white skin. A series of scars covered the side of his face, making the shape of a U that went around the outline of his face.

"You heard about that new guy?" The man sat next to the hood asked while flicking his paper that detailled the exploits of the new Iron Fist.

"What new guy?"

"That new Devil guy. Well... not completely new. I mean the latest one."

A sudden lurch took everyone by surprise as the bus began to make its long journey.

"Daredevil." The hood let the name roll off his tongue, before smiling like he'd just remembered a funny joke. "I know all about him."

"Cool. What's your name?"

The hood revealed a small pocket knife he'd hidden up his sleeve, he thrust it to his right, stabbing his neighbour in the throat and causing blood to dribble down his body.

"Stein." The man answered while unclipping his seat belt and stepping into the main aisle of the bus. He tore off his hoodie, revealing a wide range of bladed weapons all attached to his torso.

It was a long ride to New York... and he was going to need to get some practice in before going after his target.

__________________________________________

DING!

Abigail Leeds perked up from her computer upon hearing the elevator door leading into the Bronze's main office open. She was halfway through the Fixer article, halfway through listing the various atrocities the crimelord had commited in search of a paycheck. Once revealed the public would tear the man apart and hopefully Hell's Kitchen would be able to relax and focus on surviving the Iron Army, rather then surviving their friends and neighbours.

"Hi Rick!" The reporter wrapped her arm around the shoulder of the building's janitor who'd just arrived for his usual clean up. "Do you mind if we have a talk?" She asked in an unusually chirpy, energetic voice.

Not waiting for an answer Abigail pushed the underpaid employee in the direction of Brick Simpson's office, she ignored the looks her coworkers gave her and stepped inside the editor's office, janitor just in front of her.

"What's going on?" Rick asked as the door slammed shut behind him, alarm filled his voice as he noticed the grin spreading across Abbie's face. The African American janitor was thin, with dark, unkept hair dangling over his eyes. A thin scar covered the lower part of his left cheek and for some reason the man always wore a pair of black sunglasses that completely covered the top half of his face.

"Mister Sanchez!" Brick said from his desk, an evil smile on his old, tired face. In the corner of the room the criminal Deacon Wright was lying unconscious, a glob of webbing around his mouth. It was enough to put anyone on edge. "I think... we're going to need a little talk."

The janitor gave off a look of horror as Abigail planted him firmly in the chair across the desk. He gulped slightly and focused all of his attention on the editor.

"What about, sir?" He asked, giving off an innocent look.

_____________________________________

Down in the Bronze's lobby, a pair of security guards were busy doing the exact opposite of their actual job. Rather then protecting the inhabitants of the building they were busy relaxing behind the main desk, discussing irrelevant topics that distracted them from the dangerous world passing them by.

"Excuse me." The guards looked up to see a man wearing a clown mask staring down at them. "Do you know where I can find Abigail Leeds?"

The two men went for their weapons only to be shot dead by the clown's pistol. Two loud bangs bounced off the walls of the reception area, with the gunshots quickly being followed by screams from passersby. "A simple 'no' would have sufficed." The murderer sighed while joining his compatriots, seven masked men who were all wielding automatic weapons.

They all stepped into the elevator and pressed the button for the 25th floor.

DING!

_________________________________________

"I am NOT Daredevil!" Rick Sanchez yelled, he was so angry that his chair had been knocked on its side the moment he'd sprung up to his feet.

"That sounds like something Daredevil would say." Brick pointed out, smoke shifting around his body like a type of mist.

"Why the glasses, Rick?" Abigail asked, smug look on her face as she stood by the office's entrance. "You never take them off. It's like you're hiding something!" She bit the bottom of her lip and began to head towards her killer finishing move. "You're not... 'blind' are you?" She asked. "Like the original Daredevil?"

The janitor turned to her in stunned silence. His head lowered towards her and she could make out the outlines of his eyes from behind his glasses. "I have an eye condition." He told her.

"Oh I bet you do." Abigail said, letting out a little chuckle at her brilliance. "I also bet you like to run around and beat criminals to a pulp!"

"Take off your glasses, Rick!" Brick told the janitor, relaxing slightly in his chair. "The gig's up."

Suddenly Rick's head twitched, he snapped it to the left like he'd heard something... something terrifying... and then his head snapped up as he realized what he was hearing.

KRASH!

Abigail Leeds was sent flying as the Clown masked gunman barged through the door, using his natural body weight to smash through the soft wood.

"Holy Stark!" Brick yelled as Abbie tumbled to the carpeted floor. The gunman snapped his pistol towards the editor and fired.

BLAM BLAM!!

A burst of gunfire shot from the Clown's gun, striking Brick in the shoulder and sending him tumbling from his chair, a streak of blood splatting into the wall behind him. Another bullet whizzed towards Rick, however he simply stepped out of the way like he'd done it a million times before, he tore the pistol from the Clown's grasp and punched him in the throat, sending him crashing to the floor as he began to choke on his Adam's apple.

"Damn it Abbie." Rick sighed while pulling off his sunglasses and shoving them into his pocket. Blank, empty eyes flashed over the female reporter as she stared at him in shock. "See what you've done?"

"Rick... what are you doing?" Abigail asked, slightly shocked as her pet theory began to unwind right before her. The janitor tore open his sanitation uniform, revealing a scarlet outfit beneath it, a large, black D peeking out from beneath the tore piece of Rick's uniform.

"Stay here." Daredevil told her while quickly pulling on the mask he'd been keeping in his trouser pocket. Quickly he grabbed his metal mop, snapped it in two, turning it into his signature billy club. He popped the cloth mop off the top and took a deep breath.

"RICK?!" Abigail yelled, almost cheering in joy at the superhero's dramatic costume change.

"I'll be right back." The vigilante promised. Without another word the Man Without Fear did a quick twist of his weapon before flipping over a knocked over chair and charging into the Bronze's Office, his entrance was met by the sound of gunfire and screams.

Abigail simply grinned, satisfied with the day's events.

"You Starking nutbag." She muttered, the image of Daredevil locked firmly in her mind.

The End!

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#2  Edited By TommytheHitman
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#4  Edited By TommytheHitman
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Boo what happened to (not) Norbert?

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#6  Edited By TommytheHitman
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#7 wildvine  Moderator

@tommythehitman:

Well written as usual.

I do have a few notes though. For one, neither the reporter nor Corporal America seem particularly curious how this DD is related to the last DD. Even if no connection exists, people would wonder. Especially the reporter. Another note is the reveal wasn't super... shocking. I actually thought the janitor was going to be a red herring, because you pointed us that way already.

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#8  Edited By TommytheHitman

@wildvine: Thanks for reading. Fair points, the thing with the original DD connection will be brought up later on though. With the secret identity thing I guess it's kind of surprising that Abbie was right in her first guess, I've been reading Mark Waid's DD run recently and one of the aspects I really like is that Daredevil is terrible at keeping a secret identity. So I dunno. Take that anyway you want. :)

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#9 wildvine  Moderator

@tommythehitman:

Like I said, he doesn't have to have a connection. But people would wonder. The human brain loves drawing connections that may or may not actually exist.

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@wildvine: Yeah that's what I meant, Corporal America and Abigail will be bringing up the possibility of Rick (I can finally call him by his name!) is connected to the Daredevils of the past.

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And how he has the costume under his civilian clothes! It was awesome

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@tommythehitman: Loved Corporal America's pitch and also DD's dismissal of the proposal as well. But the stand out was Spider-Man and his secret cheeseburger,

And of course it was the janitor, the next suspect after the butler