Sorry About Your Friend
Roleplaying Log: Sorry About Your Friend
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Daredevil and Barbara Gordon look into the death of independent journalist Zane Oldman, each in their own way.

Other Characters Referenced: Frank Castle, Foggy Nelson
IC Date: July 23, 2019
IC Location: New York City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 02 Oct 2019 21:29
Rating & Warnings: PG
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

The temperatures swelter as late July brings high summer. All day, the sun beat down on Manhattan, and even the most professional businessman ended up with his suit jacket slung over his shoulder, tie loosened, and his shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows. Not much relief comes with sunset as the city clings to the heat, but a promise comes on the far horizon over the lower bay as thunderheads roll in with distant rumbles and even more distant flashes of lightning.

In this early nightfall, two women are stepping out of the apartment building that had once housed Zane Oldman's apartment; their arms are loaded with boxes, and their faces somber. Their friend — Hell's Kitchen's correspondent for VigiWatch, and so the journalist who covered Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the Punisher — has been dead barely twenty-four hours now, and the police just released the crime scene. When Barbara pressed him, the lead detective told her they had no leads. "All signs point to a home invasion gone wrong," he had said when she cornered him at Zane's front door. But nothing had been taken — only destroyed. The Commissioner's daughter pressed hard on that fact, and the detective shied from her, excusing himself to take a phone call from a phone that neither buzzed nor rang. He left Babs and Monica to pack up Zane's belongings to take to his mom back in Gotham.

Monica drops her box into the trunk of the mustard-colored sedan, and Babs sets her box alongside. "You heading back to Gotham?" Monica looks expectantly to the redhead.

"Tomorrow morning," Barbara says quietly.

The two hug, and linger in that comforting embrace until Babs steps back. "You sure you don't want me to drive you back to Harlem? I hear Luke Cage hasn't been seen in a couple weeks. Makes those streets feel a bit more unsafe."

"I'll be fine." Monica punches Babs's arm gently. "Better hope Daredevil is keeping an eye out on you. You look like a tourist."

With another quick goodbye, Monica waves off her shoulder as she heads off toward the nearest subway station, leaving Barbara to lean against the side of Harvey Bullock's car, looking up at the window that had once been Zane Oldman's.

—-

Dusk comes late to Hell's Kitchen this time of year. It's nearly nine before the summer sun begins to dip behind the skyscrapers, giving Manhattan residents some relief from the swelter of it all. Of course, that relief takes even longer to arrive if you're on the rooftops of said buildings, as Daredevil himself is.

The red-clad vigilante's nightly vigils have been fewer and further between this year, more rushed rescue jobs in response to dimly heard cries for help than concerted patrols. There are liabilities to that reactive approach. Daredevil's senses, while formidable, can't pick up everything. He knows, in his gut, that failing to be out in the thick of it every night is going to get people killed.

People like Zane Oldman.

He heard the news, of course. It's a strange feeling, really, to have someone who spent so much time thinking about you without every really knowing you. To see your work filtered and narrated through theirs. To see not just how much they miss, but how much they pick up that you might have never because you're too close to it all. Then to hear that person was murdered not so far from your new home, where you were working on some court briefs.

There's nothing like a little guilt to motivate the Devil of Hell's Kitchen. And so he's out on Zane Oldman's sun-beat rooftop while Barbara and Monica are in his apartment, rifling through his things. It's not until the sun has finally dipped in the far-flung Jersey horizon, and Monica has taken her leave, that he steps half-way out of the shadows towards Barbara.

"I'm sorry about your friend," the red silhouette says in his quiet rasp, his stubbled chin inching up.

—-

Barbara is turning back to Harvey Bullock's car, bouncing the keys in her hand. Had she been a bit more aware of her surroundings while talking to Monica, she might have caught that little tingle at the back of her spine that tells her someone's watching her. So, when Daredevil makes his appearance out of the shadows, she jumps a little — and then internally curses herself for that. Her lips set in a line, and she glances up to the apartment's dark window.

"I don't think there's anything you could have done," she reassures him. That doesn't stop _her_ guilt — as if Batgirl could have arrived in time to save Zane.

She leans against the passenger-side door of the yellowy sedan, hooking one hand around the opposite wrist. It takes her a few moments, twisting around that limb thoughtfully, before she says, "You know, I think he liked you best of all. Something about fallen angels. But, Zane always got into the symbology thing. Bats, devils, skulls." After all, it was Zane who really put Frank's moniker into public consumption. "His dad was killed when he was a kid, before Batman came around. It was one of the reasons he got into the VigiWatch thing. He wanted people to know how much good you guys do." She brushes the edge of her knuckle across her nose.

—-

Daredevil isn't absolved so easily. A press of his lips communicates subtle appreciation for the attempt, though. Those same lips twitch when she calls him a 'fallen angel.' Fallen choir boy, maybe.

But the humor is muted and brief, especially when Barbara sheds some further light on the intrepid quasi-reporter who covered his exploits over the last three years. His dad was killed when he was a kid. I think he liked you best of all. It may be hotter than hell tonight, but a chill still runs up the back of his neck.

He folds his arms. "He did good work," says the vigilante who was always slightly uncomfortable with the idea of Vigiwatch to begin with. A beat, and then a pivot: "What do you think of the police's theory? Home invasion gone wrong."

—-

Babs looks aside, tracing the details up the street before she's looking back at Daredevil. "Yeah." Her own smile lacks the mirth it should. "He did."

Then she's glancing back up at the apartment again. She rubs slightly at her hips and then she sinks her hands into the joggers she's wearing. She shakes her head. "It's crap. I saw in there before they cleaned it all up. Nothing was taken, just smashed up." She curls and uncurls her fingers. "Zane got a video… from a guy named Micro. It was about an Afghani cop who was murdered by some military unit. I think that Micro wanted Zane to look into it… and I think that's what got him killed." She holds back a moment, considering Daredevil with those serious blue eyes.

"I think that it has something to do with Frank Castle." There's a half-lie there. She _knows_ it has something to do with Frank Castle.

—-

There's a tightening an the line of his jaw when she describes the tape, and what it revealed. Which is, essentially, a war crime.

Then she connects it to Frank. Can Daredevil suss out half-a-lie? Given what he knows about Barbara, and Barbara's link to Frank, maybe he doesn't even need to. Of course it's connected to Frank.

"The last time I saw Castle was early this year, and he was being chased by some very formidable people," Daredevil offers, leaning his back against the brick wall, arms still crossed over his chest. "Felt like government, but… off. SWAT, or SHIELD, or even DEO would have ID'd themselves. These guys — they didn't."

They just went in for the kill.

He exhales. "Maybe someone should get a line on this Micro."

—-

"It didn't stop there," Babs confesses to Daredevil. "There's been a handful of squads after him since that. He went on the search in the Spring for who might be behind it, but landed back in New York without a lead. He's pretty sure he's dealing with ex-military." Then she rocks up to her feet, coming out of her lean against the car. She steps forward a few paces toward Daredevil. "I think it's all connected. I've got a lead in Kentucky I'm chasing down."

She's starting to sound less and less like Barbara Gordon, so she takes a quick breath and reels herself back a bit. "That Frank's chasing down." His suggestion to look for Micro has her tightening her lips. "Yeah." Her fingers work together a few moments before she says to Daredevil, "Castle says that the squad on the tape were supposed to be hunting terrorist cells in the Middle East. Most of them were metahuman…" Her words trail off a bit. "Maybe this Micro guy is connected to the anti-registration movements here."

—-

He is hard to read with the mask on, but something about the way he holds his body suggests active attention as Barbara lays out just what took the Punisher away from the streets of New York City.

When she steps towards him and tells him she has a lead on who these mysterious spooks might be, he lifts his stubbled chin as if to say: Lay it on me. She backtracks on her degree of involvement, and the man's lips press into a line. Disapproving, perhaps, or at least wary.

"I don't like people shooting up my city," Daredevil finally answers at first. Arguably it's a declaration that applies to Frank about as well as it does to the mysterious spec ops types trying to take him down. But what he says next narrows it down: "Or murdering journalists trying to report the truth."

It's about as forthright a declaration of, I want to help, as Daredevil can probably manage on behalf of Frank Castle.

"Do you know where this video Zane has is now? Do you think they got it when they cased the place?"

—-

Barbara ducks her chin aside as she tucks a bit of red hair behind her ear, only to then tuck both hands into the pockets of her jeans. She looks up toward Daredevil at the shooting up my city comment, and she looks like she's about to step up to argue in favor of Frank until he clarifies his standpoint. "It wasn't just murder, Daredevil. He was taken out. This was an assassination." She doesn't, can't even, explain how she knows that, that she had been standing in the crime scene as Batgirl.

So, instead, she takes in a sharp breath and nods her head slightly. "With me." She looks up at DD. "He sent it to me… I think he must have set up some kind of security measures… I got all his files and notes. I don't know if they got it, but his entire computer mainframe was wrecked, completely destroyed."

Her lips tighten a moment. "Schoonover was the commanding officer of this squad." Which may hint that this squad was the one Frank was apart of. "I wonder if this has to do with his drug trafficking, but I don't have any leads on that." And that's where she looks at him.

—-

With me, she says, and Daredevil flickers a smirk, wry and somehow knowing for all that they don't, in fact, officially know each other. "You've got a lot on your plate, Gordon," he tells her, all dry understatement.

Then she's laying a lead at his feet. Schoonover. Anvil. He had been smuggling in boatloads of high-grade heroin in the last days of Wilson Fisk's New York. Most of the crimnals Daredevil tangles with aren't ex-military, or at least not ex-U.S. military. It's not a world he's familiar with, but — well. It may be the one he has to confront if he wants to help.

Which has grudgingly moved from an "if he wants to help" to "since he wants to help."

Daredevil angles his head towards the right, as if he was looking for something on their periphery, but then he turns back to Barbara. "I'll check into Shoonover's crew," he tells her, as he steps backwards towards the fire escape. Conversation's over, apparently.

Or, almost over:

"Take care of yourself Gordon," he says as he slips into the shadows. "Whoever did this won't like you snooping around any more than they did Zane."

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