1963-11-13 - Bloodhounds
Summary: {$summary}
Related: Urgency
Theme Song: None
anya maverick daredevil 

It was late in the city, not quite midnight, when two masked vigilantes make their way into the night. The departure point being the tenement where Alias Investigations is housed.

One of them, a man dressed in red, lurks into the night from an alley bordering the building. One wouldn't know it at first glance, but the Devil of Hell's Kitchen is following his nose, and a very unique scent. The scent of a young woman's blood, not quite fresh, yet not too old, either.

A block away from the apartment building, the scent of blood suddenly grows much less prominent. There, in the shadows, Daredevil hunches down behind a bus stop. It takes a few moments, focusing upon the various odors and their lingering effects, until he singles out one particular blend of gasoline, tire residue, exhaust, and the body odor left behind by a handful of individuals. These odors mingle together in a certain spot, then seem to disappear in a northward direction.

Northward. He must go uptown.

Moments later, Daredevil is swinging from building to building. It isn't graceful, like that of his departing compatriot, but rather, reckless and daring, bereft with near misses and suicidal leaps that bring him within inches of injury. Not the best way of travel for most, but for Daredevil, it's another stroll in the park.


Overhead, a figure becomes one with the shadows, flitting from hiding place to hiding place. Let any ambushers think Daredevil was alone. He is not. He is looked out for by his own guardian spider.


One of the scents has remained consistent throughout the search, one that had been strong within the office of Alias Investigations. And as the pair of vigilantes pursue it uptown, it remains.

There, walking the streets by itself, is the source: a sandy-haired man in a now rumpled suit, or most of one. He has no jacket on, which is probably why his shoulders are hunched up nearly to his ears, trying to stay warm in the evening's chill.


With a silent sound, Daredevil swings himself into a catching position against a sturdy fire escape. His mask turns toward the sandy-haired man, appearing to watch him for a long moment. Consideration is given, then, a simple signal thrown toward the sky with his free hand. A signal for his silent guardian to be watchful.

The grappling club is thrown across the street. It latches onto an outcropping, and with a leap, Daredevil comes swinging down into the street right before the man. He skids to a halt, blocking the fellow's progress, and whips out the other club to use as a potential weapon.

"Who are you?" he growls quietly, making a point to sound more dangerous than he intends to be, for now.


Sounding like no more than a gust of wind, Anya swoops through the shadows and clings to the darkness of the wall just above the man in question here. She's ready to stop him if he runs, or get Matt out of the way if something worse happens. She also keeps an eye to the sides, and up. Everyone always forgets to look up. But other than that, staying still means she melts away, invisible to anyone looking around.


The man's brow furrows just a split second before Daredevil comes swinging down in front of him. He stops on a dime with a surprised curse, and slowly, he brings both of his hands out of his pockets, palms turned outward. Empty, see?

"David North," he replies in a steady voice, sounding more perplexed than intimidated. It's clear from his gaze, though, that he is by no means taking the devil's presence lightly. "What can I do for you?"


The moment 'David North' is uttered by the man, Daredevil relents. The billy club is spun up and away, and quickly reholstered upon his belt. The surprise on his face is fully concealed by that red half-mask, and with a tug, the grappling club comes free, its cable quickly recoiling into its base.

"Don't worry, arana, he's on our side," he speaks to the side, as if speaking to someone who is invisible. David wouldn't notice it (unless he has, like, super hearing or something), but Daredevil's voice is being thrown… bouncing off brick and metal so that it sounds as if he's right there, next to Anya, in the darkness of shadow.

Turning bak to David, he beckons for the man to move off the street, toward the darkness of a nearby alley. "Jessica mentioned you to me. Seems we're both after the same thing. Sorry if I startled you." Worth noting, the growl is gone.


A tiny surprised noise is audible that could have belonged to a startled bird, but in fact belongs to a lady spider surprised at the sudden voice at her side. Then Anya sighs and thwips her way over to the alley the men are headed for. She's waiting for them in there, as if she always knew that's where they'd end up. She clings to the wall still, maybe ten feet up, but she's allowing herself to be seen for now.


As the tension leaves the devil's stance, it does the same in David's. He lets his hands drop back to his sides and immediately cracks a lopsided smile, falling into step at the other man's side.

"Think nothing of it. Hazard of the job," David replies in a warm voice, his eyes moving up — he looks up! — when Daredevil addresses his unseen partner. Aha. There she is. He lifts a hand to offer her a wave.

For such an average-looking fellow, North seems completely comfortable surrounded by people in masks.


"Figured you were one of the bastards who brought Charlotte Ferguson to Alias," Daredevil admits. Once they're in the alley, he passes a brief look toward the silent Spider-Girl, then turns his masked face back to David. "You were following the blood trail?" he asks, sounding perplexed. As far as he's aware, Matt Murdock is the only one with super-nostrils.


Clinging to the wall, Anya nods. "Hey North, I'm Spider-Girl. So you got a lead on our girl?" Her eye-band mask hides her eyes, but her face is otherwise very expressive. She's tense, and it's obvious she wants to find this kid as quickly as possible.


"Following it as best I can, at least. A friend of mine's the bloodhound, all I have are…" David gestures at his eyes with a brief, helpless little twist of his lips. "As soon as she turned up at the office, I was out the door to try and follow it."

He tucks his hands into his pockets, tipping his head back to look up towards Anya. "Spider-Girl. I wish that I did. All I know right now is that this leaves eight unaccounted for," he admits. Then pauses a moment, his expression darkening. "…no. Seven. Helene Radler washed up on the banks of the Hudson."


Seven, not eight. Daredevil's lips are pressed into a thin line. "I have a good lead on the blood trail, but that could run cold for any reason." He turns from David to Anya. "I think it's time we went back to Plan A. You still have those flares, 'arana'?"


Anya nods and holds up one of the flare tubes. "I can be there in minutes. One flare if I find something. Where should I meet you if there's nothing?"


A plan of any kind sounds fantastic to David, honestly. He can't help a sigh of relief and takes a very small step back, glancing between the pair. The lead is all theirs.


"Right back at Alias," Daredevil answers Anya. "Go. And good luck!"

Even as Anya is departing, Daredevil is moving back toward David. "She's going to check out local area hospitals, to see if anyone's treating Miss Ferguson," he explains. "Lets you and I stay on this blood trail, see if it turns up anything."


Nodding seriously, Anya tucks flare tube away. Turning to look up through the narrow view of the alleyway, she fires two weblines, one for either side of the alley, pulls back hard, and launches herself into the air like a giant sling shot. She moves so fast the wind snaps and gusts in her absence. And like that, she's gone.


David peers after Anya for a moment after she's made her exit, and even under these circumstances, he can't help a small smile. But he sobers quickly when Daredevil comes his way again and he nods, running a hand over his face. "Let's hope so. We have things that feel like they should be leads, but nothing useful is turning up. All we have are guesses and maybes. Damned frustrating."


"That only means that the people responsible for this are professionals," Daredevil answers David, with his face still following Anya's disappearance for a few moments. Eventually he looks toward his new compatriot. "Doesn't mean its an impossible task. Let's go."

The coming journey takes much longer than any of them might suspect. Anya's search will lead well into the night, from hospital to hospital, turning up nothing over and over again. Daredevil and David have a more direct route, but their journey requires them to travel more slowly. The journey leads them off Manhattan island, over the Queensboro Bridge, and into Queens. They aren't terribly far from Astoria, when Anya's journey will eventually lead her to Mt. Sinai hospital.

There, Anya will find record of one Charlotte Ferguson. She's under police protective custody and is currently being kept in children's ICU on the tenth floor.

"What time is it?" Daredevil asks David, as they creep through an alleyway near Astoria. "I can still smell it, but… it's growing faint. The weather has been erratic lately, and… I believe some of it has been washed away. Into the storm drains."


Once Anya knows she's at the right hospital, she crawls around the outside of the children's ward until she finds the room she wants. She'll keep an eye on the kid from here until her backup arrives. Once Anya has her back pressed against the wall beside Ferguson's window, she draws out the flare and fires as straight up as she can. She knows it doesn't have to be that accurate, there aren't any other hospitals nearby.

With her feet flat against the wall behind her, butt resting comfortably on her heels, Spider-Girl watches as the flare arcs high overhead, and then lets the dark of night take her, melding in to the shadows she knows so well.


LOG NOTE: Take out all references to ICU until DD can research whether it existed in 1963


It had been nearly midnight when they'd set out, and judging by the look on David's face when he looks down at his watch? Yeah, it's been a while. "Nearly three," he reports. Even so, David doesn't sound tired and his steps are not labored, despite having just chased Daredevil all across town.


Clearly he's used to this. Daredevil doesn't seem beleaguered in the slightest. He is growing frustrated to a small degree, but… that frustration is short lived. The moment Anya's flare is fired, it screams to his ears like an alarm. Those flares were specially designed to emit a frequency that he, for some reason, was particularly sensitive to. His head darts at once to the northeast, and his jaw tightens. "It's Spider-Girl. She's found the girl. Let's go!"

About twenty minutes later, the hospital is within view. Daredevil stops David while they are still protected by shadow, and turns his head upward. "Tenth floor," he murmurs to David. "Southwest corner of the building. Meet you there." Clearly, he intends for the one in plain clothes to make his entrance the way most normal people would.

As for the man in red, he begins ascending the neighboring building with his grappling line. It's a long distance to the hospital walls, however, so he stretches his neck and throws his voice once more, causing to bounce inches from Anya's right ear.

"Hey, amiga, throw me a line?"


Anya's revery is broken when she hears the men approaching. She waits to see North splitting off to go in the boring way, and then nods when Matt makes his request. A line of webbing shoots down to the ground and actually waits for a second to make sure Matt's ready. Then she tugs with apparently no effort and the red devil is sailing up to the tenth floor. She grabs his hand to steady him, and guides his landing to the narrow window ledge out side Ferguson's room.

"This is it," she says. "Didn't want to go in without you. Cops are outside her door. I don't know much about hospitals, but the nurse has been in twice in twenty minutes. I'm guessing she's in a real bad way." Anya takes a deep breath, puts her hand on Matt's shoulder, and crosses herself, before tugging the window open just a notch, but hanging back so Matt can go in first.


North's first stop is not the elevator — it's the payphone just outside the hospital entrance. Someone needs to call back to the office and let them know where the girl is, and right now, that's him. It gives Daredevil and Spider-Girl some time to head in first, and right now, that is probably a good thing.

Once David's managed to at least leave a message, then he heads inside and up. Between Daredevil's directions and seeing cops outside one of the doors… that looks like the right place.


The flight upward is decidedly different than his usual method of, well, daredevilling. His grappling club is mechanical; the webbing has a tensile and flexible nature that he didn't quite anticipate. There comes a bit of a gasp at the unexpected acceleration it causes, and easily catches Anya's hand when he feels it disturbing the air, not wanting to overshoot and end up getting sling-shot over the hospital.

"Wow," he breathes after a moment. "… that's fun." Is there a note of jealousy in there?? Surely not.

The mood quickly sobers. Matt's head turns just so, brow furrowing beneath the mask. He can hear the girl's breathing… it's slow, somehow heavy and yet somehow weak. It draws out a frown, and a sense of mild dread. "Amen," he murmurs after Anya crosses herself, then quietly ducks through the opened window.

Anya was right. Charlotte Ferguson is not in good shape. The girl has been intubated, eyes closed, comatose. But that's not the worst of it. She's missing fingernails, leaving exposed and raw skin where the nurses have scrubbed free the blood from such torment. Huge flaps of skin are missing, covered in bandages that still absorb fresh blood. Some of the wounds are exposed, bearing signs of torture… long yet shallow lacerations, contusions and bruises, burn marks. Perhaps most disturbing are the track lines visible through her veins. It's remarkable that anyone could even survive such a thing.

Fortunately, for Daredevil, he can't see.

With a frown, he holds the window open for Anya, then looks to her as she comes in. "How bad is she?" he asks quietly.


"She's…" Anya starts, but her throat chokes up. She makes a soft swallowing noise, and then the girl used to patrolling Brooklyn, Harlem and /Hell's Kitchen/ says, "I've never seen anything this bad. Not ever. It's um… she's got the mouth tube. And… Oh god…" Anya turns and has to tighten her throat. Against a sob? The vomit? A scream of rage at the injustice? She whispers, "I need to know who did this to her, Dee." Her tone is low. Dangerous. Like nothing Matt has heard from her.


There is some murmured conversation out in the hallway, muffled by the door and the noise of the machines within Charlotte's room. What is clearly audible is the grateful, emotional-sounding "Thank you so much, officer," that comes shortly before the door opens. Not far — just far enough for David to slip inside.

One quick swipe of his hand over his eyes later and David moves to join the pair near Charlotte's bedside, and as his eyes dart over the girl's form to take stock of her injuries, his expression grows… tight. His jaw clenches, hands balling into fists at his sides as his eyes move from her hands, to the bloody bandages… to the track marks.

His brow creases and he leans forward for a closer look. "Why are there so many marks here?" David murmurs quietly, almost to himself.


The thing is, Matt Murdock can imagine quite a bit.

He could divine some of her injuries without even touching the woman, but to truly understand, he would need to make tactile contact. Considering the manner in which David and Anya are reacting; the way their lungs pump differently, the heat coming from their skin, the sound of muscles tightening? Even the affect that different chemicals are having on their bodies (anxiety, anger, agitation, the list goes on)…. he knows that Anya's words are not loaded.

He walks to the edge of the bed, retrieving the medical chart that is hung there. He looks at it, helpless to read it, and is about to ask one of the others to look it over, when he turns on his heel and looks toward the door.

It opens a beat later, and a nurse steps in.

Before she can scream, Daredevil is behind her, with a gloved hand pressed firmly against her mouth and nose. "Sshhhh," he murmurs into her ear. "We're here to help. SShhhhh, don't scream."


"I've seen these before," Anya says, pointing at the marks on the girl's arm. "They were injecting her with something. Pimps do it sometimes to-" Her jaw and voice are tight, but she stops talking because of the movement at the door.

Thinking perhaps the nurse could benefit from a second opinion, Anya steps close, right in front of the woman, and whispers, "He's not kidding. We're not here to hurt you. We're here to find out what happened to this girl, and find the people who did it to her."

She takes a beat, giving the nurse a chance to pick up what she's putting down. They're going to avenge this girl. After a pause, she says, "What can you tell us about the drugs they gave her?" Anya's eyes flick to Matt's masked face, silently asking him if they can trust the nurse to talk, and not scream.


David hums softly in response to Anya, glancing at her sidelong and beginning to open his mouth — and then Daredevil is on the move, the door is opening, and they have company.

He offers an apologetic look towards the nurse as he straightens up and takes one small step backwards, away from Charlotte's bedside. He is suddenly very keenly aware that, as the one without a mask on, he may be considered the trustworthy one. Scary thought.

Not wanting to overwhelm the poor nurse any more than she already is, David just adds a quiet, gently-voiced "Her father hired me."


Matt slowly removes his hand, though he keeps one hand firmly upon the nurse's shoulder. When he does, she gasps and looks from one face to another, eyes tearing up. "I…. I don't know, I… I don't know, the doctors would have to…"

"Shhhh, not so loud," Daredevil urges her. He slowly comes around from behind her, and retrieves the medical chart from where it's lying on the ground. "How often are these copied?" he asks.

"Ummm… every day," the nurse answers. "We just, we just made a copy of it-"

"We're taking it," he tells the nurse. "It's important."

"She won't last long," the nurse tells them, on the verge of crying. "She… I don't think she'll last through the weekend."


"I know this is hard," Anya says to the nurse in her gentlest voice. "But we're going to make sure the people who did this can't do it to anyone else. This isn't the sort of thing the police can stop."

Crossing to the window, Anya beckons to Maverick. "Come on, Amigo. Pretty sure you can't go back out that way." She crouches in the window sill, waiting to be North's personal elevator down.


David's gaze drifts back over to Charlotte, forcing himself to look, really look, while he still has the chance to commit as much of her to his memory as he can.

"You're doing the best you can," David murmurs towards the nurse, offering her a small smile as he slowly paces over to join Anya near the window. "Thank you. If you notice anything unusual, anything that rubs you wrong… Alias Investigations. Okay?"


The nurse looks between David and Spider-Girl, eyes soaked with tears that threaten to fall down her cheeks. "Oh - okay, I.. I will. Please.. please stop it? Please help?"

"We will," Daredevil answers. "Promise."

He looks at the nurse for a longer moment, before turning around and walking back toward the window. He doesn't say another word, but his jawline is tight, and the hand that isn't holding that confiscated medical chart is balled up into a white-knuckled fist.

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