1964-07-26 - The Travel Agent
Summary: Daredevil comes to an 'innocent's' rescue
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
matt-murdock zhenya 

There's a light summer rain that's falling over New York tonight. Combined with the humidity this is the sort of weather that vigilantes like Daredevil tend to hate. The rain makes things slippery and the humidity is just gross. The Devil of Hell's Kitchen doesn't mind a little rain and a little temperature, however.

Perched behind a gargoyle on the corner of one of the taller buildings in the area, Daredevil is on bent knee, listening. The Iron Fist has been working with him on a new case and, in truth, it's been taking up a lot of time. So focused is he on the people in Danny's life who have been murdered, he almost misses some of the other, more face-front issues of the evening.

No one cares about their neighbours in the tangle of Hell's Kitchen. Rules of the game of survival are simple.

Don't look when suspicious pops break through a radio program.

Ignore the shouts and screams.

Never look out the window when something goes sailing down with the rain.

The forgettable rooftop doesn't feature the niceties of air compressors or air conditioning units. It's lucky to have a pigeon and a collection of moldy wooden boxes set up as an impromptu man cave on a roof. Huge industrial fans fight a losing battle against the drizzly humidity, their rusting, denting cages witness to the three on one battle that was doomed from the start. A larger man stands back clutching his wounded arm, the gun he dropped on the ground about two meters ahead of him. Might as well be in Maine.

Two more hulking sorts in torn suits circle around an unremarkable young woman. One of her shoes sits on the pile of cinder blocks, the other in hand. Not fair to bring a stiletto heel to a knife fight, but one does as they can. She bends backwards, the supple curve of her back unimpeded by the belted trenchcoat, as a haymaker narrowly avoids her head. Throwing it back might leave her exposed to the fellow with the brass knuckles, but the calculation is patently unfair on his part. The equation never included Zhenya rotating on her bare toes, delivering a rotating wheel kick to his mid-chest. The sweep has momentum enough to send Mr. Knuckles staggering to the side.

At the sounds of battle Daredevil begins his movements quickly. First he leaps off the building into a swan dive, hurtling down towards the pavement. Without panic he fires the grapnel of his billy club which pulls him up hard and changes his trajectory. A split second later the man clad in red disappears from view into the shadows of an alleyway as he tears towards the fight in question.

Grunts pepper the air and a selection of assorted reactions. The wounded man staggers forward to reclaim the gun he lost in the earlier part of the fight. His two goons close in an effort to anchor Zhenya in the corner of the building, prohibiting her from finding any leverage to run. Perhaps if they stopped and thought a moment, they might realize she never fled. Retreat for a proper opportunity to lash out with a punch or kick at a key point. As a cat plays with a mouse, she draws out the two Italian thugs.

Let them engage her on their own terms. Nasty bruises should be taken when a flurring of boxing punches connect with her upper arm, but the sacrifice play gives up the pawn for the better position. She almost laughs when one snakes an arm around her neck, presumably to cut off her windpipe. Seconds remain for loss of circulation, and jabbing her elbow out to give a little space, she opens her hand. Nothing was there before but the immaterial knife forms. All it takes is a single backwards blow to slip through his guard like nothing while the other man shouts and curses in his native tongue.

The electrifying jolt of pain delivered by attacking the brain's nervous centres does have a fine way of making sure a girl drops. Enter Daredevil from somewhere.

The gun is kicked from the first brute's hand as soon as it's brought up. To buy himself some time the billy club is thrown at the wall where it caroms towards another of the thugs. Daredevil is still focused on the first one, however as he dips down low and attempts to kick upwards at the knee, which isn't supposed to go that way. "…are you alright?…" the Devil asks to the blonde, not sure if she's conscious or not.

In a heartbeat the volatile weapon vanishes out of sight. See, girl armed with a shoe. Senses can trick someone in the crashing showers or the softest waters. Her bare feet and a few scratches very much suggest she's naturally inclined to protest being hauled up. Zhenya remains in that falsely compromised position, heels pressed to the rough surface of the roof in case she needs to consider a fast kick up to stand. Someone else appearing to strike at her unwanted suitors — all three thugs now evened out — requires her to shift strategies accordingly. "You should not be here. It isn't safe."

"…I was going to say the same thing to you…" Daredevil responds as he kicks upwards under the chin of the first brute after catching him on the knee earlier. The billy club, back in his hands now, extends into nunchucks, attached to one another by a metal cord of some sort. Daredevil bends down and gives a quick, fearsome swing towards the face of one of the others who is close to the victim.

"Not always a choice." Not for long is Zhenya on the ground. She gets up from the rough surface and brushes herself down with one hand. Recollecting the missing stiletto is the first priority because Daredevil seems to have subduing the three Italians well in hand. Snatching up the forgotten footwear allows her a moment. Bending her foot, she slides on the heel into place. A bit of rocking her ankles would alarm her fellow dancers but she has better strength and support than that. There's the other shoe once more restored to its proper place. See, innocent and helpless young lady.

In a few moments it's all over and Daredevil is standing, half in shadow, "gazing" towards her. Well, in her general direction anyhow. "Who are you?" he asks, tilting his head slightly. "What did these guys want with you and why are you up here on the roof?" As an afterthought, he asks a fourth question. "Are you alright?"

Gazing will define her as tall and a bit too slim in places, her belted trenchcoat back in place. The fashion choices are classic rather than outlandish. Minus the heels, which themselves could double as a death trap taking the average set of stairs. "They grabbed me," Zhenya says. "I don't know what they wanted. I'm not sure where we are. Somewhere ugly? The same thing those kinds of men always want." Her shoulders lift and fall. "They do not have it. Why are you here and why did you know to find me?" She sighs. "I am… now I think was… a travel agent."

Daredevil stays stoic. "A travel agent? What do you mean?" After a moment, he adds. "This is my part of town. These are the sort of things I stop." A travel agent? Matt simply cannot get by whatever it is that was supposed to mean. "I can be sure the police come for these men."

A travel agent it is. "I sell tickets on airplanes, ferries, and railways. For holidays." The last is tacked on for further explanation, the utterance of a particularly rattled young lady. Zhenya puts her hands deep in the pockets of the coat; her breathing, quick from the exertions, eventually comes crawling back to a hint of normal. Nothing so certain as total zen calm but then she's not the sort of person who probably gets that way. "Y-yes. I didn't know this was your place." He must be in a gang and she takes that additional precaution to withdraw a few smart steps.

"No, I mean..I.." Daredevil shakes his head and waves dismissively. "I help people in this part of town. I'm not going to hurt you." Naturally he's listening to her story, the voice and the blood pressure to check for lying. Certainly someone ask skilled could fool him. "Are you okay to make it home by yourself? You're in Hell's Kitchen."

As far as it matters to Zhenya, she's a travel agent. Her office is somewhere not so pretty to cater mostly to the domestic crowd, and she has to look like those flight attendants for Pan-Am that everyone admires. Those cute uniforms are as smart as anything. Her cover isn't merely an imagination. It's drilled into her skull through a socketed hole that ends and starts with the KGB.

"I am in Hell's Kitchen?" A lavish moment of shock raises her eyebrows and rounds her mouth. "That doesn't sound good at all. Where is the nearest bus stop? The train station?"

"Come on," Daredevil says as he holds out an arm. He means for her to…be carried by him? This could be weird. Either way he's firing his grapnel gun off the rooftop and into the distance. They're going to jump?

Kindly offers might be something to spurn under other circumstances, but not the one which gives her a chance to re-establish the narrative of the night. She looks uneasily over her shoulder and then gives a little tip of her head. "Are we going to the stairs?" Her heels click where she walks, easing the way to track where the blonde is. His arm is offered; she slides hers through it with the courtly ease of a debutante about to go on her first whirl.

"No, I mean, we're going to go the quick way," Daredevil replies as his feet stay still. "I'll carry you down. We jump." Apparently this gal is not hip to the superhero jive. At least not the street level ones. Staircases are for pedestrians, of course.

This girl is not a superhero. Nope, not an ounce of that in between. Nothing but the golden sickle and hammer for her red, honest blood. Zhenya falters for a step and then really gives this fellow dressed up - in patriotic colours - a second look. "You mean to jump." A beat. "You are serious." When he's not breaking out in a laugh or a quip, she swallows. "Then let's just get that over with."

"Trust me, I do this all the time." Daredevil takes and holds her tight. With a little leap they both spill off the side of the rooftop. In two seconds it's all over and they're on the ground. "Subway is just half a block to the left."

She doesn't scream. Training is too good. Though she may make another kind of noise, the one usually found when one sits at the top of a hill on a rollercoaster. The metal gears click, click, click as the brakes engage and leave the breathless passengers staring down into the abyss at the front. In the back, though, there is merely anticipation and a double line of victims trotting into oblivion, all bound by the familiar choice they made uniformly by sitting in the car and pulling the bar down over their laps. She chose to go over the edge. She agreed to do it with a complete stranger. Under the circumstances and given her high heels, Zhenya ought to be pretty pleased by the lack of broken limbs and destroyed footwear.

Settle for a slight squeak instead. That of course is the expectation. Her heart leaps into her throat and the suppressed noise doesn't get terribly loud. Not much more than stumbling over the uneven pavement. "You're crazy to do that." Not bad crazy, at least. "Good night."

"Well, you're not wrong," Daredevil says with a bit of a chuckle as his head lolls back. He's still got to take care of those punks. "Good night." There's a whir of the cord winding in and then shooting away again as he bounds on top of a car before the nunchuk takes him up into the night.

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