Chapter 1: Prologue
Sara calls Oliver and Team Arrow on an unexpected journey, while Malcolm and Darhk make a dangerous alliance.
A plot bunny I've considered for a while. AU after Arrow 4x13 but with some differences, such as Oliver told Team Arrow about William, since Samantha gave him permission to tell about him to his friends. Oliver and Felicity broke up earlier in Season 4 due to Oliver's need to focus on his mission and Sara did not leave with the Legends after 4x08 but what happened to her will be explained later.
The plot will follow The Defenders series, with some creative differences of mine and how Sara met Danny and Colleen will be explained later, assuming I decide to continue this.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in Arrowverse or Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Comics, Marvel Comics or any characters or elements pertaining to the mentioned franchises or anything else you may recognize.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
In Cambodia, in the sewers, a man clashed his sword with a dark-haired woman in black coat, under which she was wearing a red dress as he kept on retreating. The woman was skilled and unlike any foe he had faced before, fast, strong and agile, despite her looks as she wielded her two katanas. The woman hit him in the leg and blocked as he attempted to cut her head off. They both exchanged strikes until the Black Sky knocked him on the ground and was about to finish him off before Danny rushed at her and tackled her.
Black Sky got up and threw one of her katanas before a blonde woman rushed in, tackling Danny, who groaned. They both followed Black Sky, engaging her but Black Sky blocked their blows with ease as they realized she was stronger than she looked. The woman dodged Danny's punch, slamming him against a wall and flipped back, kicking the blonde in the chin as the blonde fell down as the blonde realized that the assassin should not be underestimated.
Black Sky picked her katana and cut Danny in the chest before the blonde kicked Black Sky back and in the face. The blonde attempted to land a punch but Black Sky dodged and scratched the blonde across her abdomen as the blonde hissed. Danny slapped Black Sky in the chest as Black Sky stumbled back before she spun around, stabbing the man she had fought earlier, in the abdomen.
"No!" Danny cried out.
Black Sky pulled out her sword as the blonde rushed at her but Black Sky sent a powerful kick in her chest as the blonde slid back. Danny rushed at Black Sky but she grabbed Danny and flipped over as she rushed against a wall, slamming Danny to the ground as he groaned.
"Hey! Go!" Colleen ordered as she rushed in.
Danny and the blonde followed Black Sky through the sewers but the Hand assassin managed to escape.
"She's very good." The blonde noted. "Looks like Ra's was right, the Hand should not be underestimated."
"Are they as bad as the League, Sara?" Danny asked.
"From what I've heard, even worse." Sara said. But then, her instincts turned on, sensing a blade swishing in the air as she tackled Danny to the ground before Black Sky could slice them. "Look out!"
Danny turned around, glaring as he charged his Iron Fist and sent the Black Sky flying back as the Black Sky vanished into the shadows.
Danny and Sara returned to Colleen, who was tending to the man, who was bleeding out. "What the hell was that?" Colleen demanded.
"I don't know." Danny said.
"I've never seen her before but she's good. Maybe even worse than anyone from the League." Sara said.
"We have to get him help." Colleen said.
"No. You need to run." The man said, grunting in pain.
"My name is Danny. I'm hunting members of the Hand." Danny said. "I think you're the man we're looking for."
"Iron Fist." The man realized. "Go home."
Colleen, Danny and Sara looked at each other, confused.
"You know who I am?" Danny demanded.
The man gasped softly, bleeding out. "The war you're fighting… it's not here. It's in New York City." The man closed his eyes as he tilted his head.
"No… no! Hey! Hey!" Danny shook the man before they realized he was dead as he, Colleen and Sara looked solemn.
"When you asked me for help, you didn't tell me that things are this complicated." Sara pointed out.
"In my defense, I didn't see this coming either." Colleen shrugged.
Danny yelled in frustration as he got up.
"I know people who might help." Sara said, pulling out her phone.
Damien Darhk faced Malcolm Merlyn, who had a stump on his hand after he had been defeated by Oliver in a duel over the League and Nyssa disbanded it.
"I don't like to be kept waiting." Darhk said.
"My apologies." Malcolm said, nearing Darhk. "I don't have the resources I once had."
"Yes. I'm aware of your recent reversal of fortune. I take it that's why you asked for this meeting." Darhk said.
"Well, I haven't come empty-handed." Malcolm said.
"So to speak." Darhk drawled, looking at Malcolm's stump, where his left hand once was as Malcolm chuckled.
"I've made some friends who might want your help as well. And together, we can crush the Green Arrow." Malcolm said, filling Darhk in, who smirked, very intrigued.
"I'd never expect you to ally yourself with them of all people." Darhk smirked.
"Desperate times, desperate measures. You could not destroy the Green Arrow. I think that with my… new friends, we can accomplish this goal. I only ask that you relay your resources to New York." Malcolm said as Darhk considered.
"I suppose that the timetable on Genesis can be delayed." Darhk said as he and Malcolm shook hands.
The Lair, Star City
"I can't believe he chose the power in the League over me." Thea growled as Oliver filled her in, after she had been given the Lotus elixir.
"I told you that you can't trust Malcolm." Oliver said as she sat down, frustrated from the recent news.
"I…" Thea breathed out. "I'm done. I'm done with him."
Before Oliver could speak up, his phone rang. "Hello?"
"Ollie. It's me. It's Sara. I need your help. I'm in New York… and this is very serious." Sara said and Oliver's face turned into one of apprehension.
I think you can guess which new friends Malcolm has made.
Please review and let me know if you have been enjoying this and want for me to continue.
Chapter 2: Crumbling
The heroes of New York try to keep going on with their lives as the Hand and their new allies make their move.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in Arrowverse or Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Comics, Marvel Comics or any characters or elements pertaining to the mentioned franchises or anything else you may recognize.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"After they raised you. After they gave you everything you are, you let them die…"
"Danny, wake up. Danny." Colleen shook Danny, who screamed and breathed out heavily as they were in the plane. "Bad dreams?"
"Yeah." Danny nodded. "It's just… it's just the turbulence." Danny sighed. "I don't think I'll ever get used to it." He put on his shirt.
"Danny…" Colleen trailed off.
"I'm gonna go check with the pilot." Danny said as he sat down. "We've been chasing the Hand for months."
"Things are really bad, though." Colleen pointed out.
Danny nodded. "We finally get a lead on a guy, who can supposedly help us and we get there just in time to watch him die."
"It's not your fault." Colleen assured him as Danny scoffed. "Whoever that woman was, she moved faster than anyone I've ever seen."
"Yeah." Danny scoffed. "She hit like it, too." Colleen leaned onto the chair, wiping her face. "It had to be the Hand, right?"
"I don't know. There are a lot of things that the Hand kept from me." Colleen admitted as she sighed. "They're not the kind of problem that's gonna go away easily but we can figure this out. Together."
"Sara said she would go ahead of us, since she'd meet her friends halfway. Do you know who was she talking about?" Danny asked.
"You ever read about the vigilantes from Starling City?" Colleen asked.
"The Robin Hood guy?" Danny snorted. "How do you know Sara anyway?"
"We've crossed paths. Had a common target. It… it was a long time ago. We saved each other on a mutual task." Colleen said.
Luke Cage was at the processing after being released as Foggy Nelson approached him. "Mr. Lucas? Mr. Cage? Which do you prefer? I forget." Foggy asked, not sure how to call him.
"Cage." Luke said. "Do I know you?"
"Franklin Nelson." Foggy introduced himself. "I ran point on your case. We spoke on the phone… a lot."
"You spoke a lot." Luke corrected.
"As long as it worked." Foggy shrugged.
"I appreciate it." Luke said.
"Appreciate your friend Bobby Fish." Foggy said as Luke signed his release papers. "We all did some impressive book-cracking. Plus, you made it through a prison stint without throwing a single punch. I'm sure that was hard for a person with your…"
"Is Claire coming?" Luke asked.
"It's lawyers only in here." Foggy replied.
"Well, if you excuse me, I have a bus to catch." Luke said.
"Of course. Uh, just one last thing. The law firm of Hogarth, Chao and Benowitz is at your disposal." Foggy offered, handing Luke his card. "In case you need help starting over."
"I'm not starting over, Mr. Nelson. I'm moving forward." Luke said.
"People call me Foggy." Foggy said.
"And you let them?" Luke drawled, leaving as Foggy chuckled.
Jessica was in her apartment, drinking before her phone rang and voice mail turned on. "Jessica Jones. Do yourself a favor and don't look for John Raymond."
Jessica picked the receiver, wanting to know who was threatening her. "Hello?"
There was a dial tone as Jessica looked confused, wondering who it was and who was after her.
Matt was in the diner, meeting with Karen after encountering her in the courtroom as they both started to catch up.
"It looks like you're doing what you always wanted to." Karen said.
"Yeah, it's been a transition from the Nelson and Murdock days, from the partnership but…" Matt nodded. "The pro bono thing makes me really happy."
"That's great. That's really…" Karen said.
"Coffee?" A waitress offered, approaching them.
"Yes, thank you." Karen said.
"Thanks." Matt said.
"Sugar's on the left. Cream's on the right." The waitress said after she poured them mugs of coffee and left.
"Thank you. Sorry, I…"
"Yeah." Karen nodded. "Do you wish you'd kept your secret to yourself?" Karen asked.
"No." Matt admitted. "I needed you to know. I don't know what I expected. I… I know I couldn't lie to you anymore."
Karen chuckled and nodded. "Thanks. I appreciate that. Do you miss it? The suit? The mask?"
"No." Matt said. "It feels like a chapter of my life that's closed. Now, I don't regret it. I just… I regret that it drove some people away."
"No, it…" Karen shook her head. "Look, it didn't drive me away, I just… you know, I felt like we should figure ourselves out first or something."
"I'm trying." Matt said as Karen nodded.
"Harlem could use your help, once you're done spending nights with the nurse who tied the ribbon round the oak tree." Misty teased, walking down the street with Luke.
"Your team, eh?" Luke chuckled.
"When you left, I got put on a city-wide task force." Misty said.
"Sounds like a promotion." Luke nodded.
"All I can say is that my beat isn't just Harlem anymore." Misty said. "Now, make no mistake, this is still home. The good and the bad."
"What happened here?" Luke asked, when he saw a wrecked car.
"Officially, 25-year-old male found deceased on a parked car." Misty said.
"And unofficially?" Luke inquired.
"I think somebody's been using Harlem's youth for what can only be described as late-night duty." Misty said as they saw the flowers and toys and candles on the hood of the car as a memorial.
"Couriers?" Luke deduced.
"Maybe." Misty said. "Might even be related to Mariah."
"You think it's something else." Luke said.
"Seven in the last few months, always the same story." Misty nodded. "Harlem 20-something moves his Mom out of the projects into a nice home in New Rochelle. Down payment in cash."
"What's the connection between them?" Luke asked.
"Run their names, you talk to people, no guns, no drugs, just a new job, off the books." Misty said. "Doing what? Nobody knows."
"Hmmm." Luke considered.
"You ready for the real sad part? You remember Candace? This close to testifying against Mariah?" Misty said. "Murder still unsolved?" She turned to the photo on the hood of the car." That was his sister."
Luke sighed. "Now there's only one."
"You should've heard the way their mother cried." Misty said and Luke sighed, considering.
"How much you can let me in on this? I'll find who's behind it." Luke offered.
"You could do that or you could help guide this young man in a different direction." Misty said. "The way Pop used to."
Matt sat at the confessional, taking a breath and doing a gesture of a cross. "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been… three days since my last confession. I lied to someone. Someone I love. She asked me if I miss the life. The other life that I led." Matt chuckled. "And I told her I didn't."
"Acknowledging a lie is often the best path to finding the truth, son." Father Lantom said. "A lie like this one is often a sign of indecision. A sign that your mind and your soul are not yet aligned."
"Well, I'm trying very hard to ignore my soul." Matt chuckled.
"The Lord sees not as man sees. Man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord… looks on the heart." Lantom cited as Matt wiped his face.
"If you could elaborate, Father." Matt pleaded.
"Ignoring doesn't change anything, Matthew." Lantom explained. "God knows your heart. Let him in so he can help."
"Even if that heart is damaged?" Matt questioned.
"Especially if it's damaged." Lantom said. "Matthew, I want to talk frankly."
"Please." Matt said.
"This other life you led… is your heart still with it or is your heart with the one who walked through it by your side?" Lantom questioned.
"Elektra. Yeah. I do miss her." Matt admitted. "But I know that the things she brought out of me were wrong."
"From what you've told me about her, I think she'd be happy about how well you're doing." Lantom said.
"Maybe. Or maybe she'd tell me I'm abandoning that life. And with it, her memory." Matt admitted.
"You're not abandoning Elektra, you don't have it in you." Lantom said. "What you're doing, we call that "moving on". Purgatory is a place for the dead, Matthew, not the living. There's nothing wrong with letting people go. She'll find her peace. I pray you find yours as well."
Alexandra Reid and Madame Gao were in a park, sitting on bench, looking around.
"You always liked this spot." Gao said.
"It's a miracle. The fact that this park even exists." Alexandra said, feeding the pigeons. "The fact that this city hasn't torn it down to put up high-rises. Must be hard for these people to imagine the whole island of Manhattan as a forest. You know, the Dutch colonists, when they bought Manhattan from the natives, they're said to have acquired the whole thing for… $24." Gao smiled. "Ask me, they overpaid."
"The contact at the mayor's office, he's ready." Gao said.
"How soon can we begin?" Alexandra asked.
"Three months. Then we move to the final phase." Gao explained.
"That won't work. Not anymore." Alexandra said. "We need to move faster.
"We all agreed. This plan, it makes sense." Gao said.
"Made sense." Alexandra corrected.
"It took great efforts to arrange this. If we speed the process, it will not be quiet, even with Mr. Merlyn's and Mr. Darhk's resources." Gao explained.
"I'm aware." Alexandra nodded.
"I will inform the others." Gao said, not wanting to agitate her leader.
"Good. Send my regards when you do. And tell Mr. Darhk and Mr. Merlyn my patience is reaching its limits." Alexandra ordered. "And… finish feeding the birds, will you? They're starving today." She handed Gao the bag of food as she left.
Later at night, Luke entered the apartment complex, looking for the man Misty asked him to as he entered the apartment as the young man looked frustrated at hearing the music from across the corridor.
"Man, I told you to stop playing!" Cole said before he saw Luke, surprised.
"I know who you are." Cole said, shaking his hand with Luke. "Did you know Sean?"
"No but I knew your sister Candace." Luke said, remembering the woman who died before she could testify against Mariah. "I guess I'm here to pay my respect for her too."
"This family's got some luck, huh?" Cole said.
"Around here, bad things have a tendency to happen to good people." Luke nodded. "Do you think your brother's death could somehow be related to hers?"
"No. I don't think…" Cole paused. "No, what happened to Sean was… um… was more like an accident."
"You sure about that?" Luke asked, skeptical.
"Yeah." Cole nodded.
"I heard he got a new job." Luke pointed out.
"I ain't know nothing about that." Cole admitted. "I mean, we didn't talk about everything. That was his business."
"Of course. What about you?" Luke wondered.
"What?" Cole asked as Luke looked around the apartment.
"Things seem to be doing OK. Did you get a new gig?" Luke said.
"No. I'm just in between stuff right now. I'm always on the hustle, do you feel me?" Cole said.
"I do." Luke nodded. "Listen, I can help you. Hypothetically speaking, if you ever need anything…"
"I think you should go." Cole said, not wanting Luke to poke around.
"Ask anybody on this block what I've done. Or what I'm willing to do." Luke warned. "You could trust me."
"It's too late for all of that." Cole warned.
"What do you mean, "It's too late"?" Luke inquired.
"Son, it's never too late…"
"Yo, man, I ain't your son!" Cole snapped. "I told you, I don't know a damn thing!"
"Whatever you're doing, you're gonna get yourself hurt." Luke warned as Cole paled as Luke neared him. "Think about your Mom. What she's already been through."
"I think you should go." Cole said, passing by Luke. "The only way to help me is to make me bulletproof too. It's too late for heroes."
""Hero" is your word. Not mine." Luke said before leaving.
Jessica entered the apartment, from which the caller with blocked number was calling her, only to find it empty, with a TV turned on and in the apartment boxes full of C4. "Holy shit."
"OK. New York." Oliver said as he, Laurel, Diggle and Thea went out from the plane at the airstrip. "Sara said she'll meet us later."
"You guys feeling that?" Thea asked as the ground started to shake, all of them having a Déjà vu from the Undertaking.
"Oh, my God…" Diggle said, seeing the havoc.
Colleen, Danny and Sara went out from the helipad when suddenly, earthquake happened, tremors throughout the whole city.
Alexandra, Malcolm, Darhk and the Black Sky observed from a rooftop as Black Sky had a blank expression on her face.
"It's just a city." Alexandra said, caressing Black Sky's cheek. "You'll get used to watching them fall."
"It needs cleansing. And then, we can rebuild a better one." Malcolm said.
Matt was in his apartment as everything started to shake and things fall off their shelves, shattering before he got up, hearing the panic and sirens, making him wonder what's going on.
So, what do you guys think?
Please review and let me know if you have been enjoying this and want for me to continue.
Chapter 3: Come as you are
As Oliver and Laurel get introduced to Sara's new acquaintances, they meet some more powerful individuals they would not expect.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in Arrowverse or Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Comics, Marvel Comics or any characters or elements pertaining to the mentioned franchises or anything else you may recognize.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Matt was on the rooftop of the apartment complex, listening to the chaos around.
"All units, we got a 10-66. Requesting backup immediately." The cop on the radio said as Matt overheard him, while listening to the panic on the streets.
"Hey! What the hell do you kids think you're doing?" A store owner said. "You're not gonna steal from my store!"
Matt then heard gun cocking.
"Hey. We're really sorry." A woman begged.
"Too late for that." The store owner said as he and his colleague were chasing them.
Matt rushed across the rooftops until he was above an alley as he observed the kids running away from the store owners shooting at them. Matt threw a rock, shattering the light above the door and jumped down, disarming the store owner, who had a shotgun, knocking him down.
"You want some, too?" The store owner demanded, glaring at Matt.
"Don't do it. They're just kids." Matt pleaded as another man was about to shoot him. Matt dodged and threw the shotgun at him before he jumped over a dumpster and flipped back, kicking the shotgun away. The store owner rushed at Matt but Matt slammed him against the wall and beat him up until he was knocked out as he breathed heavily.
"Who are you?" The store owner demanded as Matt panted out before walking away.
"Do you know what happened?" Thea asked as Team Arrow drove down the streets.
"I'm not sure. Sara might fill us in." Oliver said as he turned on the radio.
"Trish, it's scary when something like this happens. What do I tell my kids? After everything we've been through, we can't help but think it's the incident or terrorism."
"You think someone used an earthquake device like Merlyn had?" Laurel asked.
"Even if, I'm not sure it could level the while city unless Darhk figured out how to enhance it." Oliver said, wondering what did Sara need. "She sent me an address where we can meet her."
Captain Strieber and Detective Misty Knight entered an apartment.
"Well, the room was paid for in cash. No records downstairs." Strieber explained.
"Place like this, company motto is "No questions asked"." Misty quipped.
"The FBI showed up just after we did. And Homeland Security's on its way." Strieber said. "So, whatever this is, we got orders to keep it away from the press."
"What is this? We got a body?" Misty wondered.
"Worse. Looks like you were right." Strieber said as they found crates full of C4 in the apartment.
"Son of a bitch." Misty swore. "I told you these assholes were transporting explosives. We sure it's them?"
"Uh, at the very least, I think it's connected." Strieber said. "Maybe the fireworks are theirs and maybe somebody stole them from them. I just sign the overtime. The shit's for you to figure out."
"Well, who called it in?" Misty asked.
"Well, that's where it gets funny. Jessica Jones." Strieber said as they turned around to see her sitting and glowering.
Misty attempted to interrogate her but Jessica left, picking a piece of evidence with her.
Danny was lying on the floor, listening to his iPod.
"Hey. Everything OK out there?" Danny asked as he put down his headphones and Colleen picked a glass kettle of juice from the fridge.
"They're saying the epicenter was in Hell's Kitchen." Colleen explained. "I'm glad you're meditating, you need a break."
"It's not a break. I'm refocusing." Danny corrected, putting his iPod away. "If I ever come across that warrior again, I'll be prepared."
"Or she's going to kill you." Sara sighed. "Look, I've come across a lot of dangerous people before and trust me, this one, she's very dangerous."
"And the man that died in the sewer, he called you "Iron Fist"." Colleen reminded as she sat down. "He knew something. He wasn't just a victim. I… I think he's our next lead." Danny sighed and considered. "He died fighting the Hand. That must be a sign."
"Of what?" Danny asked.
"That we have allies." Colleen said.
"She's right. There was a time I wanted to do things on my own but I've met good people, who stood by my side, even if I didn't want them to and helped me get through a lot of things." Sara said.
"No. This is my responsibility. It's my fight." Danny protested.
"I've already called them." Sara said. "Look, these people are very dangerous. That guy was good but he was willing to die…"
"He might not have died if I hadn't left my post in K'un-Lun." Danny pointed out as Sara and Colleen sighed.
"I know that you're angry…"
"This isn't about anger. It's about fault." Danny snapped and Sara sighed, right now he reminded her a lot of Oliver.
"Don't blame yourself, it never helps." Sara said. "Trust me. I know that better than most people."
"Besides, you're not the only one the Hand has ever hurt. It was his fight too. And mine." Colleen said as the doorbell rang.
"Ollie." Sara got up.
"It's them?" Colleen asked as Sara nodded, opening the door to introduce them.
"Hey." Sara smiled at Oliver, Laurel, Thea and Diggle.
"Hi." Oliver said.
"No. I told you they shouldn't come." Danny protested as he got up.
"Danny, trust me." Sara said.
"You mind telling us why did we travel hundreds of miles away from our home?" Laurel asked as Sara sighed before turning to Oliver.
"Has Ra's ever mentioned to you a group called "The Hand"?" Sara asked and Oliver's eyes lit up in recognition.
"Damn it, you're chasing the Hand?" Oliver demanded.
"Who are the Hand?" Thea asked.
"An ancient clan of ninja zealots trying to claim immortality and power with deep criminal connections seeking immortality. Basically more zealous version of the League of Assassins." Sara summed up.
"Alright, what the hell have you gotten yourself into now?" Laurel demanded.
"Maybe you should introduce us." Colleen got up as Sara nodded.
"Guys, this is Danny Rand and Colleen Wing. I met them when travelling. They crossed paths with the Hand back in China few weeks back when they met me." Sara said.
"Rand? Danny Rand?" Oliver widened his eyes, recognizing the name.
"Who are you?" Danny asked, realizing Oliver looked familiar as he got up before he looked closely. "Oliver?" Then he chuckled. "Wow… you… you grew up."
Oliver smiled. "You look peachy too."
"OK… would you guys want to fill in the blanks?" Laurel trailed off.
Matt washed his hands from blood before his phone rang as he opened the closet with Daredevil suit and billy clubs in it as he noticed Foggy calling him. Matt answered the call as he closed the closet.
Luke was helping clean up the mess left behind after the earthquake as he and Claire walked down the streets.
"Not a lot of people have insurance here." Claire noted.
"Yeah? At least nobody died." Luke pointed out.
"Thanks to you." Claire said, brushing the dust off Luke's head. "You know, most people get out of jail and they, uh, pop a beer."
"Maybe I will go get a drink. I was thinking going by Elmore's tonight." Luke said.
"Elmore's?" Claire repeated.
"Yeah, the bar on Douglass." Luke nodded.
"Oh, I know it. Has a reputation for a certain kind of crowd." Claire said.
"That's kinda what I was hoping." Luke nodded.
"Are you hunting criminals? 'Cause I thought you said you were gonna take it easy on that for a while." Claire reminded.
"Look, someone's hiring young men in Harlem to do their dirty work." Luke explained. "Misty said the NYPD doesn't know what these young men are doing but the body count's growing, so…"
"OK… is the NYPD going to pay you for doing their job?" Claire asked hesitantly.
"No." Luke stammered. "But this… this one kid, he's too afraid to ask for help." Claire gave him the look. "I gotta step in before anyone else gets hurt. It's what Pop would've wanted."
"I know." Claire nodded.
"It's like you said, if we don't take responsibility for our neighborhood, no one else will." Luke reminded.
"If you're gonna rattle heads for answers, you should know no one goes to Elmore's anymore." Claire said. "I've stitched up enough knife wounds at the shelter to know if you're looking for the current criminal hotspot, the place to go is on 188th Street. Rathole called "Trouble and a Pair of Dice"."
Luke nodded as he had his arm around Claire's neck.
Alexandra Reid had finished observing the cellists before she got up as Madame Gao introduced her to Damien Darhk and Malcolm Merlyn, who both entered with her. Alexandra got up as she shook hands.
"Miss Reid. Pleasure to meet you. My name is Damien Darhk."
"Malcolm Merlyn. We've talked."
"Greetings." Alexandra said. "You said you could help, despite your… recent loss of resources?"
"I have some information about the people that might get in your way. And I know who might help you with… the problem under Midland Circle." Merlyn explained as Alexandra narrowed her eyes, intrigued.
"Why don't we pool in resources from all sides. We all come out as the winners." Darhk offered.
"Why would I help you?" Alexandra asked.
"Because we know who you need for your problem with… what you need. Madame Gao can explain further." Merlyn said.
Jessica went into city archives and looking for details about her case regarding John Raymond.
"What the hell did Sara get into this time?" Laurel muttered as they sat down, processing what Sara had told them.
"I ask myself that a lot. We're going to…"
Laurel whipped her head and turned to the counter, seeing two familiar faces.
"Foggy? Matt?" Laurel asked.
"Wait, Laurel Lance?" Matt asked as they all laughed as Matt and Foggy hugged her and she kissed them both on their cheeks.
"God, it's been too long." Foggy said.
"Way too long." Laurel smiled.
"You… you're beautiful." Foggy said.
"I wish I could see you." Matt said, smiling as he patted Laurel. "What brings you to New York?"
"Uh, Sara needs… some help." Laurel said hesitantly and Matt could tell that she and her friend were agitated from listening to their heartbeats.
"Who's your friend?" Matt asked as he turned to Oliver.
"Matt, Foggy, this is Oliver Queen." Laurel introduced them as they shook hands. "Ollie, this is Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson. I used to work with them for few months when we interned at Landman and Zack. I left though, I never liked them."
"You were the smartest from us." Matt smiled. "And your boat went down almost ten years ago, correct?" He asked Oliver.
"I got lucky." Oliver said and Matt could sense that there was something… strange about Oliver and Laurel but right now, he couldn't tell.
"Do you want to hang out, catch up, have a beer, like old times…" Foggy offered.
"We're a little busy tonight but we might stick around in New York for a while, so maybe later." Laurel said as she and Oliver got up.
Luke forced Turk Berrett towards a wall in an alley.
"This is how you talk?" Turk demanded.
"I want answers, Turk." Luke warned. "How I get them is up to you."
"Cage, what part of this shit looks like it's up to me?" Turk asked, panting out and frightened.
"Mariah and Shades. I need to know what they're up to." Luke said.
"Far as I know, nothing. They ghosted right after you left. If they got their hands in anything, it ain't stuff I've seen." Turk denied.
"Then who's recruiting kids out of Harlem and getting them killed?" Luke demanded, glaring.
"Kids? Man, do I look like the PTA?" Turk scoffed.
Luke slammed him again. "Late-night work. Pays well, ends bad. No one seems to know what they're doing."
"Look, I'd love to help but I don't know shit." Turk said.
"I think you do." Luke punched a barrel of beer next to Turk as it leaked sprayed on Turk's face.
"OK! I heard about it! But ain't nobody come asking me, OK? I'm too old-school for this anyway." Turk admitted.
"What are they doing? And who are they doing it for?" Luke demanded.
"Some new guys. Can't miss them. I don't know their names. Everyone just calls one of them White Hat on account of his unique fashion sense. Real deal African brother too. White suit, Panama hat, alligator shoes. The other one, this might sound crazy but he looks a lot like Malcolm Merlyn." Turk said and Luke's eyes widened.
"No, I swear, I'm telling you the truth!" Turk begged.
"Where can I find them?" Luke demanded.
"I've only seen them a couple of times. Try around 151st and Amsterdam." Turk advised as Luke nodded.
"If this isn't the truth, I'll be back. And you won't like me then." Luke said as he walked away.
"I don't like you now." Turk sneered.
"So, the Green Arrow, the Black Canary and the Canary. Interesting friends." Danny noted as they entered a building in which was a room with ancient Asian relics.
"Hello?" Colleen looked around. "Is it weird that I want to live here?"
They saw ancient Asian swords on weapon stands and paintings as Colleen examined a katana on the table.
"Danny. Danny, this is a Tsukamoto." Colleen said.
"Just like the one you showed me." Danny noted as they both knelt down to take a closer look.
"Yeah." Colleen nodded. "But you don't sharpen these. Unless you plan on using them. Danny." She noted as they saw the corpses around.
They went into another room, where were dead people as Green Arrow, Black Canary and the Canary examined the scene.
"It looks like slaughter." Green Arrow said.
"Oh, my God." Colleen whispered.
"It hasn't been long." Danny noted, noticing that the blood was fresh. "He's still warm."
"Whoever did this, might be nearby." Green Arrow nodded.
"Hey. Someone was dragged out here." Colleen said, following the blood trail.
"This must have been the Hand." Danny said.
"Then who are they?" Black Canary inquired as she checked the corpses.
"I don't know." Danny admitted before they saw painting of K'un-L'un hanging on the wall.
Luke was following the African wearing a white hat and coat from the shadows.
Jessica was talking with Hogarth over the phone before she noticed something odd in her apartment and entered, seeing Raymond having her neighbor Malcolm DuCasse at gunpoint.
"I told you to stop following me." Raymond said.
"It doesn't make sense. Why do these people have a picture of K'un-L'un?" Danny wondered.
"And what else did they know?" Colleen added.
"And why would someone kill them?" Laurel nodded before she looked at one of the corpses. "Ollie…"
Oliver neared one of the corpses and saw that it had blotchy grey skin and veins showing. "This wasn't the Hand. This was Damien Darhk. Or someone using the same magic."
"What? Are you sure?" Colleen asked, startled.
"Darhk? I thought he was just a myth. You mean the League of Assassins is behind it?" Danny asked, remembering the stories from K'un-L'un.
"No, the League has been recently disbanded." Oliver said.
"If this was Darhk, what is he doing in New York?" Sara wondered.
"Good question." Oliver said before they heard footsteps.
"Someone's coming." Colleen said as they hid in the shadows.
Some men in hazmat suits and wearing masks sprayed some chemicals on the corpses that dissolved the corpses as they realized that they were trying to cover all tracks.
"Your wife came to me. She was worried." Jessica said slowly as Raymond had Malcolm at gunpoint.
"I told you to stay away." Raymond said nervously.
"Mr. Raymond, trust me." Jessica assured him. "Right now I wish I'd listened."
"Are you working with them?" Raymond demanded.
"With who?" Jessica asked, not understanding.
"You know who I'm talking about." Raymond said.
"I work alone." Jessica explained.
"Always has. Look, like I said, I'm barely on the payroll." Malcolm said nervously.
"OK, whatever you think is going on, whatever you think is happening here…" Jessica said, trying to calm Raymond down.
"I know damn well what is happening here. I know too much." Raymond stammered, breathing heavily. "And next, they'll come after my family."
"Who's they? Who do you think is after you?" Jessica inquired.
"I can't tell you. I… This… this is not me. I'm a good man. Make sure you tell her that." Raymond said, visibly frightened.
"OK, with any luck, you're gonna tell her that yourself." Jessica assured him. "Now, your family is worried. They just wanted to know what happened. And the cops, they just wanna know why you started stockpiling explosives."
"What?" Malcolm gasped.
"There's nowhere to go. They'll find me. They'll hurt me." Raymond panted out.
"To be honest, if you hurt my friend, I'm gonna hurt you worse." Jessica warned.
Raymond pulled the safety. "I was just trying to stop them! They're gonna take down the city!"
"Who? I can't help you if you won't tell me who." Jessica pleaded.
"I should never have come here." Raymond breathed out before he saw a shadow in the gap under Jessica's door as he paled. "Oh, my God. It's too late."
Black Sky cut the lock as Raymond shot through the door but Black Sky and another figure in black hood burst in, blocking the bullets with their swords as Black Sky grabbed Raymond by his throat. The other man was a young man with black hair and blue eyes in black hood, with a quiver of arrows and a bow strapped to his back and holding a katana.
"You can't have this." Raymond choked out before shooting himself in the head. Jessica grabbed Black Sky but Black Sky knocked her down as Jessica crashed against the wall.
"You OK?" Malcolm asked.
Jessica chased Black Sky and the other man, jumping down from the stairwell, rushing down the corridor and going outside but they were gone before Misty aimed her gun at Jessica. "Hold it right there!"
Jessica sighed. "Shit."
"Turn around. Get your hands up! Now!" Misty ordered as Jessica turned around and raised her hands in surrender.
"Hey there, assholes." Colleen quipped as she knocked out one of the cleaners and Green Arrow, the Canary and Black Canary knocked out more of them before Danny chased another one into an alley, pinning him to the wall.
"You with the Hand?" Danny demanded, beating the cleaner up.
"What are you doing in there?" Danny yelled.
"I don't know! I'm just a cleanup!" The man shouted.
"Cleanup for them?" Danny demanded.
"I don't know who they are!" The man protested.
"Don't lie to me!" Danny snarled as he pulled out the mask to reveal Cole. Before Danny could hit him, Luke grabbed his hand, to Danny's surprise. "Who are you?"
"Who are you?" Luke said.
Luke threw Danny down before turning to Cole. "In between gigs, huh?"
"Hey!" Danny yelled as he got up.
"You back for more?" Luke challenged, turning to Danny.
"Oh, we're not even started." Danny sneered as he punched Luke in the chest, not that it had any effect as Luke shoved Danny. Luke grabbed Danny and pinned him to the fence. Danny struggled out from his grip before Luke threw him away.
"What are you made of?" Danny demanded, wondering how was it possible that Luke was so strong and that Danny's attempt at hitting Luke's pressure points had no effect.
"Just remember, you started this." Luke said.
Danny kicked Luke but it did not faze him before Luke grabbed Danny's leg and threw him down.
"Stay down." Luke warned, pinning Danny down but Danny got up, trying to hit Luke in the neck and paralyze him but again, nothing happened. Danny kicked Luke before grabbing Cole but Danny dodged as Luke threw a punch, smashing a fuse box. Danny dodged Luke's punches and tried to hit Luke but Luke was unfazed before Luke knocked Danny down.
Danny charged his Iron Fist and slammed it at Luke's face as Luke was sent flying against the garage door. As they heard sirens, Danny and Luke and the Green Arrow and the Canaries vigilantes fled the scene.
"Danny! We have to go!" Colleen said as she entered.
Misty entered with a pile of folders in her hands as Jessica in an interrogation room, cuffed to the table.
"Are these necessary?" Jessica grumbled.
"Standard protocol. Nothing personal." Misty said, putting the files down. "John Raymon, the body we found in your office/apartment. Malcolm DuCasse, your friend being interrogated down the hall. And Jessica…"
"Look, I don't know what…"
"…Jones." Misty finished.
"Really?" Jessica rolled her eyes.
"You have been a huge pain in my ass all day, you know that?" Misty warned.
"Am I being charged with something?" Jessica asked.
"Not yet. But you might have interrupted a city-wide investigation." Misty said. "You stole evidence from my crime scene."
"I don't know what you're talking about." Jessica said.
"And you got my one lead killed." Misty finished.
"I was trying to help him." Jessica said, feeling regretful.
"But you didn't." Misty pointed out.
"His family was worried." Jessica explained.
"Yeah? Now, all they have to worry about are funeral arrangements." Misty said. "Your office is currently a crime scene but I need your cooperation."
"Am I a suspect?" Jessica asked sarcastically.
"Criminal mischief, tampering with evidence, petty larceny…" Misty listed.
"Am I a murder suspect?" Jessica asked.
"No. But I think you know who killed him." Misty said.
"Yeah. He shot himself." Jessica drawled.
"Then who were you chasing?" Misty inquired as Jessica sighed.
"Officer, unless you have a reason to hold me…"
"Don't give me that "officer" bullshit. What did you see?" Misty snapped.
Jessica was silent before sighing. "Look, I know that you think you're just doing your job, but I'm telling you, this case isn't normal. You are walking into some weird-ass shit…"
Matt burst in before she could continue. "Jessica Jones, stop talking. Hi, this is over."
Jessica and Misty eyed Matt suspiciously.
"Who the hell are you?" Jessica demanded.
"My name is Matthew Murdock. I'm your attorney." Matt said, leaving both women surprised.
From this point, Jessica's neighbor will be called "Malcolm", Malcolm Merlyn will be addressed as "Merlyn", to avoid confusion. And I think you can at least suspect who was the other assassin with Black Sky.
So, what do you guys think?
Please review and let me know if you have been enjoying this and want for me to continue.
Chapter 4: Uninvited guests
The heroes of New York and Star City attempt to find a common ground as they face unexpected old acquaintances.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Few months ago
Alexandra Reid was drinking tea in her office as she smirked as Merlyn entered.
"Greetings. We haven't been properly introduced. My name is…"
"I know who you are." Alexandra interrupted. "The new Demon's Head."
"I'd like to form a partnership. I have heard that your ways of… controlling life and death are interesting and I'd like to put that to use." Merlyn offered.
"And why would I do that?" Alexandra challenged, smirking and amused, not taking Merlyn seriously.
"Because what I offer you… can benefit you well. I have vast resources as well and I can help you regarding the issue of K'un-L'un or certain… stubborn fools like Stick or any other members of the Chaste. I have names, places, everything. I want only one thing in exchange." Merlyn said.
"Which is what?" Alexandra asked.
"I've heard you intend to deploy the Black Sky. I'd like to apply your techniques of resurrecting her on someone else. Someone that I've lost." Merlyn said as Alexandra smirked.
"I'm listening." Alexandra said, thinking that Malcolm Merlyn could be an interesting ally.
"She's ready for you." Sowande said as Black Sky and the other assassin in black hood were waiting in a room.
"So, the last member of the Chaste. I'm not impressed." Darhk smirked.
"Fuck you, Damien." Stick said, bound to a pipe.
"The war that you've been fighting your entire life, Stick, it's over." Alexandra taunted.
"Long as Iron Fist lives, nothing's over." Stick retorted.
"Where is he?" Alexandra demanded.
"He is here, in New York. My scouts know that for certain." Merlyn said.
"Damn if I know." Stick snorted.
"We're not doing the torture song and dance." Alexandra said. "Not anymore."
"Shame." Stick shrugged. "I grew to like that part."
"Danny Rand has been running around off the grid for months. And recently, Sara Lance has joined him, alongside with one of our former apprentices. Rand thinks he's a one-man army." Alexandra said, pacing around Stick.
"He's a real handful." Stick quipped.
"I've seen better." Alexandra said indifferently.
"This Iron Fist is a fool, in comparison to those I've heard, he will be an easy prey." Darhk said.
"Still, you'll spend the rest of your days looking over your shoulders." Stick noted. "And from what I hear, those days are numbered." Stick said before Alexandra slapped him across his face as Stick chuckled. "Now, that's the Alexandra I know."
"Pay attention." Alexandra said, readjusting her jacket.
"You're resilient. I respect that." Merlyn said.
"But you won't last for long." Darhk promised as the Black Sky put a blade to Stick's throat.
"You make a new friend?" Stick wondered, knowing there was something familiar about her.
"No, Stick I took one of yours." Alexandra said as Black Sky put a second sword to Stick's chest. Stick sniffed, noticing there was something familiar about the Black Sky as he breathed out.
"Elektra." Stick realized.
"The vessel you knew, is gone. Only the Black Sky lives." Alexandra said.
"Listen to me, kid. She's full of shit." Stick pleaded, trying to reach his former student. "We gotta get you out of…"
Alexandra pulled out her sword, putting the tip to Stick's chest. "Where is the Iron Fist?"
"I'll die before I let him join your army." Stick said.
Darhk and Merlyn laughed.
"You're even dumber than I had thought." Darhk said. "So that's what's left of the mighty Chaste. A naïve blind old idiot."
"You think we want him to fight for us?" Alexandra taunted.
"He's a weapon. You're monsters. What else?" Stick pointed out.
"After a lifetime of serving K'un-Lun, you don't even know what he is." Alexandra snorted.
"No." Stick admitted. "But I know what I am. You asked for it… Elektra."
Stick whipped his head, knocking Elektra down and grabbing Alexandra's sword, kicking her back as Merlyn pulled out his sword, while Stick kicked back one of Alexandra's henchmen.
"You'll die here tonight, old man." Alexandra said. "Finally."
"Don't you bet on it." Stick said before cutting his right hand off as he groaned and Merlyn winced, still bitter about Oliver cutting his hand off. Stick knocked the Black Sky and Alexandra down. The assassin in black hood was about to stop Stick as Merlyn raised his hand.
"Don't. He'll lead us right to the Iron Fist. Once he does, take him. Alive." Merlyn ordered as the assassin nodded, while they watched Stick climb through the vent.
"Are you a public defender?" Jessica asked.
"Uh, no." Matt said as he sat down.
"Then what are you doing here?" Jessica questioned.
"A friend referred me. He works for…"
"Let me guess, Jeri Hogarth." Jessica realized.
"Right." Matt nodded.
"I didn't know she did diversity hires." Jessica pointed out as Matt reached for his bag.
"Uh, I'm independent. I don't work for her firm." Matt said.
"Well, I'm not paying you." Jessica protested.
"You don't have to." Matt assured her, pulling a file out of his bag.
"Oh, 'cause she'll foot the bill?" Jessica drawled.
"Yeah." Matt nodded. "And I'm a Catholic. I have a soft spot for hopeless causes. That was a bad joke, sorry."
"Barely." Jessica shrugged.
"Uh, Ms. Jones, may I ask how long you've been a PI?" Matt asked, touching the Braille in his documents.
"No." Jessica said.
"Are you always this rude to people trying to help you?" Matt inquired.
"You know what? I'm gonna find my own lawyer, thanks." Jessica said.
"OK." Matt nodded, adjusting his jacket. "Uh, well, in reality, you don't need one. After talking to the lead detective outside, it appears that despite the mess you got yourself into, the NYPD doesn't actually have anything to hold you on, so…"
"So I can walk?" Jessica realized.
"Mm-hmm." Matt nodded. "Though your apartment and office are still considered an active crime scene. You'll need to make yourself available for follow-up questions, so in the meantime…"
"Don't leave town." Jessica nodded. "Yeah, I know the drill."
Matt leaned onto the table. "Ms. Jones, can… may… uh… Look, there's no easy way to say this. I read your file. I know who you are. What you can do." Jessica frowned, feeling uncomfortable. "I know what happened with Kilgrave, so if…"
"This has got nothing to do with that." Jessica snapped.
"OK, great. Then… look, I'm… I'm just saying, legally, if there's anything, this will stay between us if this was… there's anything not, uh, ordinary about this case." Matt said.
"What part of "I know the drill" did you not understand?" Jessica demanded, annoyed. "Nothing happened. I'm good."
"Great." Matt said, realizing that talking with her further was pointless. "Then I guess you're free to go."
They both got up and Jessica left the interrogation room.
Jessica went downstairs, calling Malcolm, not knowing that Matt was eavesdropping on her. "Malcolm? Yeah, I just gave my statement. Are you OK? What exactly did you tell them?"
Luke was putting ice on a towel as Claire left from her bedroom.
"Hey. What happened?" Claire asked as she sat down.
"Hey." Luke said. "The kids are being recruited by some guy known on the streets as White Hat. I don't know what he's up to but they're doing some kind of clean-up work."
"Cleaning up what?" Claire asked.
"I didn't get a look but…" Luke paused.
"What's wrong?" Claire asked, noticing that Luke seemed to be lost in his own thoughts.
Luke sighed. "That kid, Cole… The cops just picked him up. He's probably in jail by now."
"Hmm." Claire hummed.
"I left him behind, Claire." Luke said.
"It's OK." Claire assured him.
"No, it's not." Luke argued.
"You're better off not in prison." Claire pointed out as she got up and hugged him. "I like you here." They kissed for a moment before Luke grunted, the pain from being hit by the Iron Fist still fresh. "What happened?" Claire asked.
"I got clocked." Luke said, leaving Claire surprised, since not many things could hurt him as he leaned onto a sink.
"By White Hat?" Claire asked.
"No. I don't know who he was." Luke said as he picked a cloth and wrapped it around ice cubes as he turned to her and put the ice to his face. "But when he hit me, it felt like a sledgehammer. He had this… this hand. I think it glowed."
"Glowed how?" Claire straightened herself as Luke got her full attention.
"I don't know. Just some skinny white kid." Luke shrugged as Claire picked her phone. "He had this fist and… Who you calling?" He asked, noticing that she was dialing a number.
"There's someone that you need to meet." Claire said.
Later, Chikara Dojo
"He punched me." Danny said as they met with Oliver, Sara, Colleen, Claire and Luke.
"You punched first." Luke pointed out.
"Seriously?" Claire scoffed as Colleen stretched her arms in annoyance.
"And here I thought that our town has issues with vigilantes." Oliver muttered.
"How come he can't be hurt?" Danny demanded.
"What's the deal with that fist?" Luke asked.
"I earned it." Danny explained.
"You what?" Luke asked, wondering if he had misheard Danny.
"He earned it." Colleen stepped up. "There's this mystical place, called K'un-Lun and it's…"
"I can answer myself." Danny said before turning to Luke. "There's a mystical place called K'un-Lun."
"Oh, this is a joke. Come on." Luke said, skeptical.
"My parents died in a plane crash." Danny explained. "I was adopted by a group of monks. There, I learned how to summon my chi. I'm the Immortal Iron Fist."
"Is this why you went to China?" Luke realized, turning to Claire, who nodded.
"Whatever it is that you saw last night, this White Hat guy, could be connected to the people Danny and Colleen have been fighting." Claire explained.
"The same people who attacked the hospital that Claire was working at." Colleen nodded.
"And I joined them when I met them on my travels." Sara explained.
"And what are two former castaways doing with them?" Luke demanded, turning to Oliver and Sara.
"Let's just say we've met our share of dangerous people and we've had to learn dangerous things to survive." Oliver explained, not wanting to reveal to Luke that he was the Green Arrow.
"You're saying you know who this White Hat guy is?" Luke inquired.
"No. But I think he's with the Hand." Danny said. "It's a criminal organization. No telling how old they are."
"Nor how much influence they have. They are everywhere. In everything." Colleen said. "All of their power stems from their ability to bring back the dead."
"OK, I don't know how much of this I can take." Luke said, annoyed. "This sounds insane."
"And so does being bulletproof." Danny pointed out.
"You need to trust me, so please, listen, when I say, you're on the same side." Claire pleaded.
"She does have a point. More people to help can be useful." Oliver agreed.
"Now, we're gonna leave you alone and you're gonna talk." Claire said. "Talk."
They left Luke and Danny alone.
After Jessica visited Raymond's family to investigate, she noticed that someone was following her. She walked down the street as she noticed Matt. She blended in with the shadows before following Matt into an alley and much to her surprise, Matt climbed on some vents and crates onto a fire escape like an athlete and Jessica was certain that a blind man was incapable of doing such feats as she pulled out her camera and took pictures of Matt before her phone rang and she answered the call.
"Hi, I'm returning a call from Ms. Anna Asher."
"What?" Jessica asked, not understanding.
"This is Duncan and Dotter Design."
"Oh, right, this is her. Sorry." Jessica said, making her tone higher.
"Um, can you come in this afternoon?"
"211, 10th Avenue, suite 305."
"305. Got it."
"Thank you, Ms. Asher."
Jessica hung up as she left.
Danny and Luke were sitting and talking.
"You can fight." Luke said.
"You can take a punch." Danny noted as Luke chuckled softly. "Claire said they did experiments on you."
"Long story." Luke sighed.
"What kind?" Danny wondered. "Was it voluntary?" He asked, knowing the stories about Captain America.
"They made me this way." Luke explained, uncomfortable with the subject. "That's all you need to know."
"What did you mean, "chi"?" Luke asked as Danny chuckled.
"It's a… it's an energy force." Danny explained.
"OK." Luke nodded.
"We all have it." Danny said.
"Not like that." Luke pointed out as Danny chuckled.
"I trained for years. There was a test. There was a dragon." Danny explained as Luke laughed, having a hard time believing Danny's story.
"No, there wasn't." Luke said.
"You think they'll listen?" Sara asked.
"I don't know. They're both good men but… I've seen it before. I think they might have differences of opinions." Oliver said as they observed the conversation.
"Claire says you're a good guy." Luke said.
"I try." Danny admitted. "She says you've done a lot for Harlem."
"Yeah, just… wanna help." Luke explained.
"Me too." Danny nodded. "That's what led me to that warehouse."
"You call that helping? You were gonna beat that kid within an inch of his life." Luke glared.
Danny scoffed. "Come on, I wasn't gonna kill him."
"It sure looked like it." Luke pointed out.
"The Hand is dangerous. They murdered my parents. Invaded the city I was sworn to protect." Danny said.
"That kid's got nothing to do with all that." Luke protested.
"Of course he does. He works for them." Danny said indifferently.
"He needed a job." Luke argued.
"That's not an excuse." Danny shot back. "You never fought someone to protect someone else?"
"Of course I have." Luke said.
"OK, so what's the difference?" Danny asked.
"The difference is I live on their block." Luke snapped. "The difference is that I'm not some billionaire white boy who takes justice into his own hands and slams a black kid against the wall because of his personal vendetta. Yeah, Claire told me about you on the way over here. Not all the mystical parts but everything else."
"The money? That doesn't define me." Danny said, offended that Luke would think so little of him.
"Maybe not but that kid is sitting in a jail cell tonight and you're not." Luke pointed out.
"Neither are you." Danny pointed out.
"Not this time." Luke said. "But I've seen my fair of injustice."
"The guy in the white hat, he's just the beginning." Danny said. "You're not thinking about the bigger picture."
"And you're not thinking about anything but yourself!" Luke shot back.
"Hey! You know nothing about me!" Danny snapped as he got up.
"I know enough." Luke said in disgust as he eyed Danny. "And I know privilege when I see it. You may think you earned your strength but you had power the day you were born. Before the dragons. Before the chi. You have the ability to change the world without getting anybody hurt."
Oliver sighed at Luke's naivete.
"I've seen people who use their power to rise themselves onto the top at the expense of those weaker than them." Oliver said as he entered.
"These people won't be stopped that way." Danny added
"So you're taking the war to the ones at the bottom, is that it?" Luke sneered at Oliver and Danny in disgust. "If I were in your shoes, I'd think twice about using that thing on people who are trying to feed their families. This isn't gonna work out, it's obvious. Good luck, man. Sorry." He told Claire as he left and Danny sighed as Luke came to visit Cole, asking about the man in the white hat.
Danny was sitting down and contemplating.
"Looks like that big guy made quite an impression, huh?" Colleen pointed out as she put a chair to the corner. "I am glad that you two didn't end up in a fist fight. 'Cause I'm not sure that this place would survive it."
Danny chuckled softly, seeming to be lost in thoughts. "What if he's right?"
"About what?" Colleen asked.
"The Fist is one way to win this war but I do have others." Danny pointed out.
"Yeah… and you've tried them." Colleen reminded as she sat down. "They're the Hand, you can't just buy them."
"I'm not talking about money." Danny said. "I have connections, access."
"Look, he doesn't understand what we're really up against." Colleen argued. "He doesn't get how dangerous they are."
Danny sighed. "I know but… why am I fighting street-level operatives when I have the power to go right to the top?"
"Because, Danny, you… you're not a businessman." Colleen pointed out.
"I know. But my father was." Danny said.
"I know but you are a fighter." Colleen said. "A warrior."
"John once told me that I have more than one way to save my city." Oliver argued.
"And a good warrior uses every tool at his disposal." Danny nodded. "I own 51% of a major corporation. I've got to try this another way." He picked his phone and dialed "Rand Industries". "Hello? This is Danny Rand."
Later, Danny and Colleen visited Rand Industries and found an address of the Hand's base in New York, which was Midland Circle Financial.
Jessica visited another lead on John Raymond as she found that he helped design Midland Circle Financial.
Colleen was sitting and contemplating until she opened the door and was shocked to see Stick, with his right hand cut off.
Midland Circle Financial
Danny entered the office of Midland Circle as he faced the board members. "My name is Danny Rand. Last year, you illegally transferred $243 million worth of assets through my family's company. And you thought you got away with it." He said smugly. "But I know who you are. You killed my parents, attacked my home. You're the Hand. And I'm gonna make sure…" He stopped as Alexandra entered, putting her hand on his shoulder as Merlyn and Darhk entered as well.
"Mr. Rand. I appreciate your candor. And your passion." Alexandra said.
"And we have to admit, you're more disciplined than we had thought." Darhk said as he, Alexandra and Merlyn approached the opposite of the table to face Danny.
"I'm in charge." Alexandra said.
"And we're her… business partners." Merlyn explained.
"But please, go on. What were you going to do?" Darhk taunted, smiling.
Green Arrow, the Canary and Black Canary entered through the vents.
Jessica entered the lobby as Matt grabbed her.
"Murdock!" Jessica snapped.
"We need to leave, now." Matt said.
"If you grab me like that again, I'll punch you so hard, you'll see." Jessica sneered.
"I've been here before." Matt warned.
"Why are you following me?" Jessica demanded.
"And you're in serious danger." Matt continued.
"What kind of lawyer are you?" Jessica scoffed.
"This case you took, it's leading you towards something truly sinister." Matt warned.
"OK, you are the most full of shit lawyer I've ever met and I think we should appreciate the magnitude of that statement." Jessica said.
"Let's talk about this somewhere else." Matt insisted.
"Let's talk about this never." Jessica sneered. "Unless you wanna tell me how a blind man moves the way you do."
Matt narrowed his eyes. "Excuse me?"
"I have pictures, asshole." Jessica explained before Matt smashed her camera against a pillar.
"You've grown up and become brave, Danny." Merlyn said, impressed.
Danny glared, knowing the stories about what has happened to Merlyn. "Tommy and your wife would be ashamed of you."
"Dead don't want anything." Merlyn said indifferently.
"Rand Enterprises has put together a case to take you down." Danny said. "Extortion, narcotics, human trafficking. There's no end to what we'll uncover."
"And?" Alexandra taunted, while Darhk and Merlyn chuckled at Danny's naivete.
"And you can't hide anymore." Danny scoffed.
"Does it look like we're hiding?" Alexandra taunted.
"Behind Midland Circle Financial." Danny said. "Behind corporate shells, or street-level criminals who don't know who they're working for. Yes. It's what you do. But I'm here to expose you. I am the Immortal Iron Fist. Weapon of K'un-Lun. And I am here to fulfill my destiny."
Darhk and Merlyn laughed as Alexandra chuckled.
"Oh, Danny, for all your bluster and strength, you're still a boy with so much left to learn." Merlyn said, amused.
"K'un-Lun. How is it these days?" Alexandra asked rhetorically as Danny seethed.
"You're gonna lose everything. Just like I did."
"You haven't lost everything, Mr. Rand. Not yet." Alexandra said as the secretary who had accompanied Danny put a gun behind his head as he heard cocking.
Danny knocked her gun and grabbed her as a human shield.
Matt heard silenced gunshot.
"What are you doing?" Jessica demanded.
"Gunshot." Matt said.
"Where?" Jessica asked.
"In the penthouse." Matt replied.
"How do you know that?" Jessica demanded, confused.
"I just do. This is exactly what I was trying to avoid. I need that." He grabbed Jessica's scarf and wrapped it around his eyes as he rushed towards the fire escape.
"I've crossed paths with Iron Fists before but this is different because this time I won't kill you." Alexandra said as the doors closed. "No use using her for protection. They will rip right through her to get to you."
The men at the table got up, pulling out their telescope sticks. Danny threw the secretary away and kicked one of the men in the legs, while punching one of the women in the abdomen. Danny jumped over the desk and kicked one of the henchmen down before breaking the arm of another and punching him in the chest.
Danny jumped over the desk, knocking another henchman down and hitting another one with his elbow and kicking another one back as he threw the henchman down. Danny kicked another henchman back and grabbed another one by his arm, blocking the strike of the next one before hitting him in the stomach and slamming another one against the table.
As more guards entered with guns, Danny dodged as they fired tranquilizing darts. Danny threw one of the henchmen at the armed ones before grabbing one of them by his arm, making him shoot down one of the henchmen. Then, one of them kicked Danny as Danny slapped him across his face before jamming the dart into the one he had been struggling with.
Danny dodged as another henchman tried to punch him and kicked one of them standing on the table in the leg as the henchman fell down. Danny kicked down two of the henchmen and rushed at another one, jumping over the desk and kicking him in the face before they pinned him to the table.
Danny attempted to summon his Iron Fist as he grunted. "Come on!" Suddenly, Luke burst in, much to Danny's surprise. "You?!"
"Me." Luke quipped. Danny threw one of the henchmen away as Luke grabbed him and threw him against the wall as it cracked.
"So punching's OK now?" Danny asked sarcastically as he got up.
"It's complicated." Luke shrugged as he threw another henchman down. They both dodged as Luke threw a henchman across the table before two armed henchmen with SMGs entered. Danny went behind Luke to take cover before Danny kicked one of them down and Luke knocked another one down.
Then, more henchmen entered with batons and guns as Luke and Danny prepared themselves to fight their way out.
Matt rushed upstairs, Jessica's scarf wrapped around his eyes as Oliver, Laurel and Sara jumped down from the ducts, while Jessica went out from the elevator.
"You look like an asshole." Jessica said, talking about Matt's look.
"It's your scarf." Matt said but stopped upon recognizing Oliver's and Laurel's heartbeats, while they recognized Matt's voice.
"Matt?" Laurel demanded, confused.
"Laurel? Oliver?" Matt asked, equally confused.
Suddenly, they heard 'slam' as Luke burst through a wall, throwing down a henchman, while Danny knocked another one out.
"Jessica?" Luke asked, surprised.
"Luke." Jessica said.
"How you been?" Luke asked.
"Long story." Jessica said.
"We have to get out of here." Danny ordered.
"Who's he?" Jessica asked.
"Longer story. Who are they?" Luke turned to Matt, the Green Arrow, the Canary and Black Canary.
"Wait. There's someone else coming. Something else." Matt said as they all stopped.
"You know what to do." Alexandra ordered as the Black Sky and the other assassin went out from the office.
"What is it?" Matt asked.
"Oh, shit." Jessica swore, recognizing Elektra.
"Is that…" Black Canary trailed off, recognizing her from Matt's and Foggy's photos but none of them recognized the assassin in black hood as they couldn't see his face.
"Who's that?" Luke demanded.
"Bad news. We gotta go." Jessica ordered before they saw more guards behind them. "Uh-oh!"
Jessica dodged as one of the guards rushed at her as Green Arrow shot down three of them. Matt pummeled the guard that engaged Jessica as Danny jumped off the wall and hit another one in the face as Luke threw another one down. Black Canary slammed another one to the wall and hit him in the face with her nightstick while the Canary used her batons to block as two guards engaged her before she knocked them down.
Danny rushed around the corner, grabbing another henchman by his arm as Matt knocked a guard out. Matt and Oliver engaged Black Sky, who blocked their strikes, while Oliver engaged the other assassin in black hood, blocking the assassin's sword with his bow.
Jessica blocked and kicked a henchman back before another one rushed out from the elevator and tackled her to a wall. Jessica kicked off the wall and slammed him against the opposite wall before she knocked him out.
Black Canary blocked with her nightstick as a guard attacked with his baton before she hit him in the stomach and in the face. The Canary hit two henchmen with her staff before hitting them in the legs, knocking them down.
Matt kicked Black Sky in the face before she dodged his blows and punched him in the chest, sending him crashing against a window as he ended up in an office.
Oliver punched the assassin in the face as the assassin staggered as they exchanged strikes, with Oliver using his bow to block the assassin's katana. Oliver couldn't tell why but there was something familiar about the assassin as the assassin headbutted Oliver. Oliver kicked the assassin back and spun around, trying to hit the assassin in the head but the assassin dodged.
Matt got up and dodged as Black Sky attacked him again. Matt landed some punches before dodging as Black Sky attempted to cut him. They both traded blows but the Black Sky dodged as Matt kicked down one of the computer monitors. Matt jumped against a wall and did a back flip to avoid Black Sky cutting her.
The assassin scratched Oliver's Kevlar armor as Oliver jumped back. Oliver dodged before the assassin could cut his head off as they exchanged strikes. Oliver kicked the assassin back as he fell down before Oliver got a glimpse at his face.
"Tommy?" Oliver froze.
"Who the hell is Tommy?" The man, who wore the face of Tommy Merlyn, scowled, no visible emotion on his face other than indifference as he got up.
Matt dodged as Black Sky attempted to cut him and she jumped over a table to avoid Matt's kick as he knocked down a computer monitor. Matt grabbed Black Sky and slammed her against a table but she kicked him back. Matt dodged her strikes and jumped over a table as Black Sky jumped at it. Matt kicked it as Black Sky did a cartwheel, landing on the floor, splitting her sword into two.
Oliver froze in shock as the assassin threw a knife, scratching Oliver across his cheek. Black Canary and the Canary showed up, with Laurel using her Canary Cry to send the assassin flying away before both Laurel and Sara froze as they took a closer look at his face.
"That's not possible…" Laurel whispered.
Matt dodged as Black Sky attempted to slice him before she sent a powerful kick to Matt's chest as he crashed against a bookcase and groaned before he recognized the scent the Black Sky had.
"Elektra?" Matt whispered but Black Sky did not react. Before she could finish Matt off, Danny entered as his Iron Fist shattered Black Sky's blade, sending her flying against the wall as she crashed through it.
Danny helped Matt on his feet as he, Jessica, Luke, Oliver, Sara and Laurel entered the elevator.
"Who are you people?" Danny demanded as the door closed.
If you haven't figured it out before, yes, the other assassin with Elektra is resurrected Tommy Merlyn. Yikes, this is getting very complicated.
So, what do you guys think?
Please review and let me know if you have been enjoying this and want for me to continue.
Chapter 5: Talking business
The Defenders and Oliver, Sara and Laurel meet together to fill each other in.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Royal Dragon Restaurant
Matt, Jessica, Danny, Luke, Green Arrow and the Canaries burst into the restaurant.
"We're closed." The waiter said.
"We need to kill the lights." Matt said.
"How do you even know they're on?" Jessica demanded.
"Good question." Laurel said as Matt closed the door.
"Hey, I said we're closed!" The waiter repeated as Matt put the blinders on the windows.
"We need to stay off the streets." Danny explained.
"Well, stay off them somewhere else. I'll call the police." The waiter protested.
"You can't do that. You'd be putting the cops in danger." Luke argued.
"I'll put you in danger." The waiter snapped.
"I'm done explaining this." Jessica said, annoyed as she put the drawer towards the door and blocked it.
"What are you doing?" The waiter demanded in Mandarin.
"Whoa! She is very strong." Danny noted, impressed by Jessica.
"Is she on Mirakuru?" Oliver asked.
"I don't know." Sara admitted.
"This is getting a lot more complicated than we had thought. How the hell is Tommy still alive?" Laurel whispered. "You think it was the Pit?"
"I don't know." Oliver admitted. "And I thought that Murdock was blind, how did he…"
"I'm not sure." Laurel said. "I think all of us have some explaining to do."
"Who was that woman back there with Tommy?" Oliver asked.
"I don't know but me, Danny and Colleen saw her in Cambodia, she killed one of our leads on the Hand." Sara admitted.
"I know her. I recognize her from Matt's and Foggy's college photos. Her name is Elektra Natchios. She's Matt's… ex-girlfriend." Laurel said.
"Ex-girlfriend?" Oliver and Sara turned to her in shock.
"Look, I didn't know her in person, all I know is that they didn't part on the best of terms, which was years ago. Honestly, right now I'm as confused as you are." Laurel snapped.
"Listen, you need to make this place look like it's closed. It's for your own good." Laurel pleaded, turning to the waiter.
"It is closed!" The waiter snapped in Mandarin as Matt flipped some switches and turned off the lights.
"We have no intention of hurting you." Danny assured him.
"You speak Chinese?" Jessica looked in surprise.
"You can trust us." Danny continued as he accompanied the waiter.
"I still hear neon." Matt said, walking towards the entrance.
"Hear neon?" Oliver repeated. "Who the hell is he?"
"My blind-but-maybe-not lawyer." Jessica sighed.
"Your what? What do you mean he's blind?" Luke demanded, turning to Jessica.
"I don't know." Jessica sighed. "I thought he was sent to spy on me and now I'm not so sure."
"You think they're on our side?" Luke asked, eying everyone in suspicion.
"Our side of what?" Jessica asked rhetorically. "Who's Karate Kid, Robin Hood and the blondies?"
"Danny Rand. The rest…" Luke trailed off, vaguely recognizing them.
"The vigilantes of Star City. A little far from home, here with the boy billionaire." Jessica noted. "What are they doing in New York?"
"I don't know. As for Rand, he's a little off in the head but he packs a mean right hook when it counts." Luke said.
"So do you." Jessica said.
"You OK?" Luke asked as he turned to her.
"Now, or in general?" Jessica inquired.
"Both." Luke elaborated.
"Well, I'm alive." Jessica sighed. "You?"
"Just getting back into the world." Luke said.
"From where?" Jessica asked, curious.
"Prison." Luke replied as Jessica gave him a shocked look. "Yeah, we'll… we'll talk about that later. How'd you end up here?"
"I'm working a case." Jessica explained.
"Yeah?" Luke asked. "How's that going for you so far?"
"All right, back door is clear. Everything's locked." Matt said. "I think we're safe for now."
"So, we're just gonna wait it out here?" Luke asked.
"You got a better plan?" Matt asked.
"Is there a plan where I get my scarf back?" Jessica drawled.
"I just need it until this is over." Matt said, readjusting his tie as he turned to them. "What, do you two know each other?"
"Yeah." Jessica said as she and Luke winced.
"How?" Matt inquired.
"We met. We drank. I shot him in the head." Jessica summed up sarcastically as Matt chuckled.
"Why are you still wearing that thing?" Luke asked.
"OK. He says we can stay." Danny interrupted them.
"What did you tell him?" Luke asked, turning to Danny.
"Uh, I just gave him my black card, agreed to pay the rent for the next six months." Danny said simply as he chuckled as he introduced himself. "Hey, I'm Danny."
"Jessica." She shook her hand with Danny.
"And… you are?" Danny asked, turning to Matt.
"No, I can't. I'm not doing this." Matt protested. "Whatever happened back there, we did what we had to. We got out alive. The less we know about each other, the better. This is… it's too much already."
"OK." Jessica was about to take off his scarf but Matt dodged.
"Jesus." Jessica said, surprised by Matt's apprehension.
"There are people I need to protect…"
"Yeah, you're not the only ones." Luke snapped, turning to the Green Arrow and the Canaries.
"…and the organization we just fought are powerful." Matt explained.
"Yeah, who are they?" Jessica demanded.
"They call themselves the Hand." Danny said.
"What are they really called?" Jessica asked, assuming that Danny was joking.
"The Hand." Sara said.
"They're right." Matt said.
"You crossed paths with them before?" Danny asked, turning to Matt.
"Yeah." Matt said, much to their shock.
"When?" Oliver asked.
"It doesn't matter." Matt replied.
"Bullshit it doesn't matter." Jessica retorted.
"Yeah, I'm with her." Luke said.
"They're right. You don't have to tell us who you are anymore than we do but the least you can do is come clean with the rest and tell us what do you know." Oliver said.
"Look, we need to figure out our next move." Danny suggested.
"No. There's no next move." Matt said.
"And there is no "we". They came at us, we fought our way out. Let's call it professional courtesy. End of story." Jessica said, not wanting to get deeper into whatever mess she had gotten herself into.
"It isn't that simple." Oliver said. "They know who you are and they'll come after you now. And they're dangerous."
"So am I." Jessica shot back. "Now, somebody tell me what I need to know about the Hand, so I can be on my way."
"What is that?" Luke asked as the waiter prepared the table.
"Uh, as part of the deal, he made me order seven of everything." Danny said.
"We're not here to eat." Luke protested.
Danny shrugged before turning around, looking at the dishes. "Uh, are those pork?"
"No, they're shrimp." Matt said, smelling them.
"Oh." Danny sighed as Laurel stared at Matt, wondering who the hell her former friend/colleague really was.
"Oh. This guy's got pork." Matt turned to another waiter, who brought in more food.
"Ah, great!" Danny said, excited as Jessica sighed, turning to Matt.
"God, you're weird." Jessica muttered as they sat at the table and ate.
"The Hand is an ancient criminal organization." Danny explained.
"Define "ancient"." Luke said.
"They live forever." Danny elaborated.
Jessica scoffed. "You wanna try that again?"
"He's not kidding." Sara said. "They're a group of zealots, living by fanatical ideology and seeking one goal, live forever and gain power."
"And every member is willing to die to protect it." Matt added.
"So they're terrorists?" Luke inquired.
"No. Terrorists want the world to know what they're doing." Matt explained.
"The Hand has more secretive agenda in mind. More evil." Oliver added.
"And they're global and apparently, they've joined forces with Malcolm Merlyn and Damien Darhk." Sara said.
"Yeah, I thought that Merlyn was dead and I know about Darhk from the news. What are they doing in New York?" Jessica asked.
"Merlyn… it's a long story, let's just say that some people are too stubborn to die." Sara said, remembering Slade. "Darhk, who knows. But where he's involved, it's not good. He and Merlyn are former members of another group, called the League of Assassins, a group of deadly warriors, like the Hand, seeking to replace evil with death. Recently, the League was disbanded and apparently, they joined forces with the Hand."
"So, what do they do? I mean, the Hand?" Luke asked.
"Everything." Danny shrugged.
"Including the recruitment of young men in Harlem?" Luke inquired.
"Apparently. They're in New York for a reason but we don't know why. Or why they're working with Darhk and Merlyn." Danny said.
"What do you mean, "fanatical ideology"?" Jessica asked, turning to Matt, Danny, Oliver, Laurel and Sara.
"This is gonna sound crazy…" Matt said.
"OK, so what do they want?" Luke demanded.
"Immortality. They want power and influence at every level across the world." Danny said.
"And H.I.V.E., they're more or less the same. A group of powerful people with an army at their command, following Damien Darhk and supporting his own agenda." Sara said.
"If they've joined forces with the Hand and Malcolm Merlyn, it can't be good. And I think they want me." Danny said.
"For your money?" Matt asked.
"No. I'm the Immortal Iron Fist." Danny explained.
"Come again?" Matt asked, confused.
"Sworn protector of K'un-Lun." Danny said.
"What are you on? Lithium?" Jessica asked, eying Danny like if he was insane.
"So, who was the woman with the swords and the other guy in black?" Luke inquired as Danny sighed, while Oliver, Laurel and Sara shivered.
"Look, I'm not sure but… we fought her in Cambodia." Danny turned to Sara, not wanting to out her.
"Yeah, and she and the other guy showed up at my doorstep." Jessica said.
"They're the ones that came after your client?" Matt demanded, turning to Jessica.
"Yeah. Why? Do you know them?" Jessica asked.
"No." Matt stammered as Oliver, Laurel and Sara narrowed their eyes, wondering why was Matt lying.
"Well, she sure knew what she was doing." Luke noted.
"The Hand trains fighters to be merciless." Danny explained. "But whoever she was, man, she was something else."
"I'm sorry, this is a mistake, I gotta go." Matt said, not wanting to drag anyone into this.
"Hey, where?" Luke demanded as Matt was leaving.
"I can't be a part of this." Matt said.
"You already are a part of this and don't think you can just walk away." Sara said as she and Oliver and Laurel stepped up, blocking Matt.
"They're right. We need to put it all on the table." Luke said.
"I don't know you. I don't know any of…"
"And I don't trust you." Luke grabbed Matt before he could leave as Luke looked at the Green Arrow and the Canaries. "Any one of you."
"You wanna take your hand off my shoulder?" Matt said lowly, losing his patience.
"Take off the masks. All of you." Luke demanded.
"We won't." Oliver protested.
"You're not gonna like where this is heading." Matt warned.
"Try me." Luke challenged.
"Oh, boy. Counselor, a word?" Jessica asked, stepping up and wanting to avoid an unnecessary fight as she dragged Matt away, before Matt put on his jacket. "Where do you think you're going?"
"You're gonna need another lawyer." Matt said.
"Why did you follow me into the building?" Jessica asked.
"Ms. Jones, lose my card." Matt advised before Laurel stepped up.
"I wish I could." Jessica protested.
"You're not going to leave." Laurel ordered.
"Look, I've been down this road before." Matt sighed. "I know what we're up against."
"I know who you are." Jessica said.
Matt chuckled, turning around. "No, you don't. Trust me."
"The Devil of Hell's Kitchen. I saw you fight." Laurel said as Matt froze.
"And I'm a PI. I put two and two together." Jessica added before turning to Laurel, Sara and Oliver. "And you? I'll take a wild guess. Oliver Queen and Laurel and Sara Lances." They all stiffened. "I did my homework on you too in my free time." She then focused her gaze on Oliver. "And I know that you were also the Arrow, since, no offense, Harper is too small. I'm guessing you had Arsenal set himself up as a patsy."
Oliver, Sara and Laurel stared, not sure whether to be threatened or impressed by Jessica as she turned to Matt.
"Besides, you leaping around the city like a Russian gymnast didn't exactly help." Jessica said.
"You don't have any proof." Matt pointed out.
"I did. You smashed it." Jessica reminded. "I'm not threatening you. I'm just stating the obvious." She turned to Danny and Luke. "They saw you fight. How you're hiding your face. They're two seconds away from figuring it out themselves."
"What do you want from us?" Matt demanded.
"Nothing. And I want zero to do with this ancient organization." Jessica said. "I just want to crack my case. And judging by the way you sprung into action, I think you want the same thing. Your call, Murdock. The same goes for you." She turned to Oliver, Sara and Laurel before approaching the table again.
"I hate to admit it but she has a point. If we're gonna stop the Hand, we need to work together. And all cards should be on the table. If we won't trust each other, we're gonna lose." Sara said as Matt sighed and took the scarf off, while Laurel and Sara put down their wigs and Oliver took off his hood and revealed their faces, taking off their masks.
"My name is Matthew." Matt said as he approached them.
"Laurel Lance. And my sister."
Midland Circle Financial
Black Sky stared at herself in the mirror and checked her wounds as Alexandra entered. "I'd erase all the marks of your past, if I could." Alexandra neared Black Sky. "Your life is new. But sadly, your body is not."
"This is how I died?" Black Sky wondered.
"Don't worry about that. All that matters now is how you live." Alexandra assured her.
"The Black Sky." Black Sky said. "This is all I am?"
Black Sky turned around to face Alexandra. "You say that like it's not enough."
"It is." Black Sky replied. "I just…"
"You just can't help but wonder." Alexandra finished, fondling Black Sky's hair. "The woman who lived in this vessel, she was lost before she came to us. She was led astray by men who were afraid of what she was, of what she was capable of doing. But destiny is a curious thing, because this vessel landed right where it belongs. With us. With me. Who are you?"
"The Black Sky. I serve the Hand." Black Sky said.
"And together, we serve life itself." Alexandra and Black Sky said at the same time.
"You are my last hope." Alexandra held Black Sky's cheeks. "You have seen death, my child. And like me, you have conquered it." They neared their heads to each other as Alexandra sighed before pulling away. "Don't forget who brought us back."
"I will not forget." Black Sky said.
Alexandra left as Black Sky stared at herself in the mirror.
"Why should I trust you?!" The man asked the archer in green, who lowered his hood as the man looked shocked.
"Because you always have."
"I was angry and jealous. I am my father." The man breathed out, dying.
"No, you're not." The archer assured the man
"Did you kill him?" The man asked
"No." The archer shook his head, smiling.
When he came to, all he remembered was wet and blood as he roared in rage like a feral animal, when a man with brown hair held him down.
"I'm here, Tommy. It's alright, son."
He didn't know who Tommy was but the name sounded familiar.
"This… man… was my friend?" The man asked, memories fuzzy as he was training with Malcolm, holding a sword.
"He betrayed you. He took away the woman you loved and left you to die." Merlyn said as Tommy barely blocked Merlyn's attack. "Never get distracted. Even a second of hesitation can cost you." He struck the man in the face as he fell down.
"The man in the corridor… he looked familiar. Who was he?" The man in black hood asked, facing Merlyn in his room.
"A faint ghost of your past. Nothing but a memory of a dead man." Merlyn said. "I told you, the past does not matter. All that matters is…"
"The will of the master. The will of the Hand. The will of life and death." They both said in unison, like rehearsing citing a poem.
"Who are you?" Merlyn asked.
The man got up, putting on his hood. "My name is… Prometheus."
Royal Dragon Restaurant
"I heard he just disappeared." Luke said.
"That's not exactly how it happened." Matt said.
"It just doesn't make any sense. What do you mean you're Daredevil?" Danny demanded, not believing how a blind lawyer could be a vigilante.
"It's a long story. One I'd rather not tell." Matt said. "More importantly, it's a secret I keep, not just for the sake of protecting myself but also for the people that I love."
"Same here." Oliver said as Laurel and Sara nodded.
"OK. I get that." Luke admitted.
"Good." Matt said, glad that he didn't have to explain himself.
"I don't. You're blind." Danny said.
"I'd like to know how is it possible how do you do what you do." Laurel added.
"Yeah, well, sight is overrated." Matt said simply.
"Look, guys, we need to come up with some kind of a plan here." Luke said.
"The only plan is how do we get these people off our backs?" Jessica pointed out. "Ideally in a way that doesn't incriminate us."
"Incriminate us? What are you talking about?" Danny asked, confused.
"None of us are on police payroll." Jessica reminded. "What we did back there was trespassing, aggravated assault and vigilante bullshit."
"She does have a point." Oliver said.
"Guys, there's one cop I think we can trust." Luke pointed out. "I think we should bring her in."
"No. Cops can't help. Not with this." Sara protested.
"And you'd be putting her in danger." Matt said.
"As will anyone who goes up against the Hand or Damien Darhk." Danny added. "And as for doing this any "legal" way, well, look you saw what happened when we tried that."
"Is that what that was?" Luke drawled sarcastically.
"Well, it started that way." Danny said. "I mean, come on, look, I even put on a tie."
"I promise you, you cannot fight these people that way. Not even with whatever it is that your hand can do." Matt pointed out.
"It's chi." Danny explained.
"It's not." Jessica protested.
"Look, you need to be smart about how you want to fight these guys, going at them head-on is only going to get you killed." Oliver said.
"Only if we do it alone." Danny said as everyone stopped for a moment before realizing what was he suggesting.
"No." Jessica protested.
"Look, these people took everything from me. I'm gonna take them down, one way or another." Danny snapped.
"I wanted to help one kid. One family." Luke straightened himself, realizing he was in way over his head now.
"I'm the first to admit, when I'm in over my head and this is way past my threshold." Jessica said.
"What are you talking about?" Danny said before turning to Luke. "Bulletproof." He turned to Matt. "Blind ninja." He turned to Oliver, Sara and Laurel. "An archer, plus two badass vigilantes." He turned to Jessica. "Whatever it is you are."
"Classy." Jessica shrugged.
"Look, I tried being a one-man army and it failed." Danny pointed out. "But this… this feels like something else is at work here. The seven of us show up to fight a criminal organization at the same moment? How obvious does it have to be? This… this cannot be an accident."
"OK, I know you mean well but we're not whatever you think we are, alright?" Matt interrupted Danny. "If I exclude you…" He turned to Oliver, Sara and Laurel. "…we're four very different people and while we might all have been trying to do some good, we need to be rational about how we proceed." Then he heard footsteps and sensed someone very familiar. "Oh, you gotta be kidding me."
Everyone got up and turned to the entrance as Stick entered with a sword in his right hand and a stump where his left hand was and Oliver, Laurel and Sara widened their eyes to see a familiar face as Stick entered with a dark-haired woman in black and on her back a compound bow and a quiver full of arrows and sheathed sword.
"This… is one shitty excuse for a hideout." Stick said.
"Hello, husband. I see you once again need some help." The woman smirked.
Hope I've handled the talk in the restaurant well. And I think you can guess who tagged along with Stick.
So, what do you guys think?
Please review and let me know if you have been enjoying this and want for me to continue.
Chapter 6: Know thy enemy
Stick and Nyssa fill the Matt, Danny, Luke, Oliver, Sara and Laurel in on who their enemies are.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"Who the hell are you?" Jessica demanded, eying Stick and Nyssa suspiciously.
"The people that are going to help you save New York." Stick said, sheathing his katana.
"Wait, did she call you "husband"?" Matt turned to Oliver.
"It's complicated." Oliver said, apparently uncomfortable.
"Three?" Murakami asked in Japanese as he was pulling out the intestines from a dead boar on the table as Alexandra faced him.
"Alongside with the vigilantes from Star City that Mr. Merlyn and Mr. Darhk have encountered. The archer and the blondes. They were… rather exceptional." Alexandra explained, uncomfortable of facing such powerful foes after so many years.
"And so, you come to me." Murakami said.
"I come to you because it's important that we take care of this together." Alexandra pleaded. "I don't trust Merlyn or Darhk, not that deeply."
"Have you told the others?" Murakami asked after a moment of considering.
"Madame Gao and Sowande are ready and willing." Alexandra said.
"And the other one?" Murakami asked.
"On his way." Alexandra promised as Murakami sighed.
"I always knew we'd reunite someday." Murakami said, tired and frustrated. "I never thought the circumstances would be this dire. And us joining forces with the League of Assassins, well, what's left of it and Damien Darhk…"
"That's what families do, isn't it?" Alexandra teased.
"And what of your Black Sky? Or… their weapon?" Murakami inquired. "The thing you spent our final resources on."
"More powerful than you could ever imagine. And don't worry. Once we're done in New York, we'll take care of all loose ends." Alexandra promised.
Murakami sighed as he picked a towel, cleaning his hands of blood. "Does that mean our faithful leader herself will also join the fight?" He asked sarcastically.
"As always, I do what's necessary." Alexandra explained.
Murakami smirked as he put the towel down, once he had his hands clean. "Then, as we used to say, "Together, we serve life itself."."
"Together, we serve life itself." Alexandra repeated in Japanese.
Black Sky entered the armory, picking sais from a weapon stand.
"Black Sky." Sowande said as he snuck up on her with his men, Merlyn and Darhk. "Perhaps you'd be more effective on the battlefield if you killed your enemies, rather than letting them escape. Alexandra insisted we use the last of our resources on you and Malcolm Merlyn's son."
"I promise you, you will not regret this." Merlyn smirked.
"The ultimate weapon of the Hand and your puppet." Sowande laughed, amused as he turned to Merlyn briefly before turning back to Black Sky. "But after your recent failure, well, I can't help but ask myself if you are a weapon at all." He said, unimpressed as he eyed Black Sky.
Black Sky engaged Sowande's men, knocking two of them down and snapping the neck of the third one.
"You know what they say about poking a hornet's nest, Sowande." Darhk warned.
"Keep asking." Black Sky passed by them as Merlyn and Darhk chuckled, amused.
"You should know, some people cannot be underestimated. Or haven't you learned from what happened with the tribes of Zambesi?" Darhk asked as Sowande considered.
Royal Dragon Restaurant
"How did you find us, Stick?" Matt demanded as Stick and Nyssa entered.
"You know them?" Luke asked.
"Like Oliver said, it's complicated." Matt said.
"Then uncomplicate it." Jessica said.
"Nyssa… she's a friend of ours." Oliver said. "Daughter of the former leader of the League of Assassins. She disbanded it recently."
"And wait, he's one of them, aren't you?" Danny realized, pointing Stick.
"The Hand?" Luke asked.
"No. There's another organization." Danny corrected.
"We call ourselves "the Chaste"." Stick explained.
"Ugh! These names are killing me." Jessica sighed, frustrated.
"And we're the only reason the Hand hasn't already won the war." Stick continued. "We follow the elders of K'un-Lun… and the Immortal Iron Fist." He bowed before Danny.
"And the League and the Hand has always been at odds. I've started to track them, when I've heard rumors that Mr. Merlyn has allied himself with them, so I've been looking for any signs of the Chaste." Nyssa said before turning to Sara, remembering the last time they saw each other, Sara was without a soul after brought back to life by the Lazarus pit. "Beloved."
"Nyssa…" Sara trailed off, sad that she had broken Nyssa's heart.
"The Chaste is my army?" Danny asked, confused.
"Was. They're all dead now." Stick explained. "Everyone, expect me."
"How come no one told me?" Danny wondered.
"There are things one does not know, Mr. Rand." Nyssa said.
"Why are you two here?" Matt asked.
Stick pointed at Danny and neared him. "Because this one, the Immortal Iron Fist, living weapon and protector of the ancient city…" He reached inside Danny's inner pocket in his jacket and pulled out his phone. "…is still a thundering dumbass." He dropped the phone. "New rules, kid. Shit like that…" Stick smashed the phone with his foot. "…will get you killed."
"I tried to call Colleen." Danny stammered. "I told her where I was. Where is she?"
"In bigger safety than we are at the moment." Nyssa said. "Small mistakes. Personal ties. These are what they'll use to end you."
"What happened to your hand?" Jessica asked, seeing the stump where Stick's left hand should be.
"Ah, I cut it off to free myself." Stick said, much to Jessica's shock. "Now, I need your help. We need your help."
Matt chuckled. "Yeah, here it comes."
"Here what comes?" Luke asked, turning to Matt in confusion.
"This is what he does." Matt said.
"Where do you know him from?" Sara asked.
"You saw me fighting? I learned it from him." Matt explained.
"You're a blind lawyer, you're Daredevil, and you're a member of the Chaste?" Danny demanded.
"No, uh-uh. I never joined his war." Matt said before turning to Stick. "Hey, Stick, you and I need to talk."
"Anything you gotta say, you say in front of us." Luke said as Matt was about to drag Stick aside.
"This is between me and him." Matt pointed out.
"Not anymore. We're in this together now." Oliver said.
"I don't know you very well, any one of you, you seem like good people, so trust me, when I tell you that with this old man, nothing is sacred." Matt said bitterly as he pointed at Stick.
"Kid, it's not just one of us this time. It's the whole goddamn city we're talking about. And maybe the whole world." Stick protested.
"We're talking about their lives, Stick." Matt said. "We're talking about the lives of their loved ones."
"Wait, um, what?" Jessica stared.
"Those tremors that shook up the place, they're nothing compared to what comes next." Stick said. "The Hand and the H.I.V.E.'s done it before. Pompeii, Chernobyl. Events the history books like to call catastrophes, just cover-ups. 'Cause New York is next. Then maybe Star City or worse. And the only thing keeping it all from crumbling to a pile of dust, is all of you here." He pointed at Matt, Jessica, Luke, Danny, Oliver, Sara, Laurel and Nyssa.
"All right, I am done with this tinfoil hat shit." Jessica grumbled, about to leave.
"Whoa, whoa, where are you going?" Danny asked, turning to Jessica.
"I tried to hang in, guys. I really did. But whatever these two are selling, I ain't buying." Jessica grumbled, turning to Stick and Nyssa.
"Sit down and shut up!" Stick ordered in authoritative tone, not that she cared as Jessica left and Luke tried to follow her.
A moment later, Luke returned back, unable to talk Jessica into going along.
"She coming back?" Stick asked.
"No, she left." Matt said, pacing around.
"You used your powers?" Danny asked.
"No, I've just met her." Matt explained.
"How can she not understand how big this is?" Danny wondered.
"Well, I don't blame her. I mean, I'm not happy she left anymore than you are, Danny but honestly, I think she wants to hold onto whatever semblance of normalcy she has left." Oliver said as Danny nodded, acknowledging that Oliver might have a point.
"We shouldn't force her to do something she doesn't want. But she will learn soon enough that she cannot walk away from this." Nyssa said.
"After all we've been through, Matty, I thought you'd be more open-minded when the time came." Stick said.
Matt laughed sarcastically. "Well, forgive me if I'm not excited at the prospect of facing the Hand again. Yeah?"
"How'd you get involved in the first place?" Danny wondered.
"He's one of the most naturally skilled fighters I've ever known." Stick said.
"I can tell." Oliver nodded, remembering seeing Matt fight back in Midland Circle.
"Yeah, I trained him to fight a war." Stick said before scoffing. "He decided to put on an outfit. Stop muggers in back alleys."
"Well, from what I've heard, you're… you're doing a good job." Danny said as he turned to Matt.
"Past tense. He's retired." Stick corrected.
"You know what? We're not talking about this, all right?" Matt snapped, whirling on Stick.
"Suit yourself." Stick shrugged as he sat down and Oliver, Sara and Laurel could already tell that Matt's and Stick's relationship has been tense. "But I think you have got a lot to learn from each other."
"Of course." Danny said, having some respect for Stick.
"I'm done taking lessons, Stick." Matt warned.
"Lessons ain't done with you." Stick said.
"You can put the Devil away, Mr. Murdock but he always finds his way back to you." Nyssa said as Luke returned.
"This isn't her fight." Luke sighed.
"Sooner or later, it's gonna be everybody's fight." Stick warned.
"Not if I can help it." Luke said.
"Me neither." Danny said, straightening himself.
"If that's what it takes to stop Damien Darhk and Malcolm Merlyn, count us in." Laurel said as Oliver and Sara nodded.
"All right. Let's just get this over with." Matt said as they sat down.
"Seems like now is the time for you to tell us everything we need to know." Luke told Stick and Nyssa.
Jessica returned to her apartment/office as she checked the clues she had found in the city records as she saw the handwriting of the signatures on the documents, leaving her confused.
Royal Dragon Restaurant
"Nobody knows when it started. Centuries ago. Millenia. It doesn't matter." Stick said as Matt, Luke, Danny, Oliver, Sara and Laurel patiently listened. "But a long time ago, the elders of K'un-Lun gathered to study how to harness their chi. The energy of life itself. They wanted to use it to heal. But there were five heretics among them, people with darker intentions. They didn't want to heal. They wanted immortality. Power. To never face death. To regenerate themselves again and again."
"I think I know where this is going." Oliver noted.
"The elders saw this as an aberration. And so, like Lucifer from heaven, the five were banished from K'un-Lun forever." Stick continued.
"Five members. Five fingers of the Hand." Laurel realized as Nyssa nodded.
"I came face-to-face with a woman at Midland Circle. She said she was the Hand." Danny said.
"Over the centuries, she's had many names. Nowadays, she calls herself "Alexandra Reid"." Nyssa said. "She's led the Hand since the beginning. If there was anyone father spited more than Damien Darhk, it was her."
Oliver, Laurel and Sara realized how dangerous the Hand was.
"When they dispersed, they all went back to their mother countries, each finger ruling over its own domain." Stick explained. "Growing in power and influence."
"Madame Gao?" Danny inquired.
"She's one." Stick nodded.
"She helped set up my parents' murder." Danny remembered and Oliver looked at him in sympathy, knowing how Danny felt.
"She set up a lot of murders." Stick nodded. "Then there's Sowande, African warlord, gunrunner, you name it."
"The one I followed." Luke remembered the black man with white hat.
"Don't follow too closely. Couple of moves, he'll slow your heart till your heart fails." Stick warned. "Then there's Bakuto."
"He's dead. At least the last time I saw him." Danny said.
"Oh! Finally, some good news." Stick said cheerfully.
"Did he lose his head?" Nyssa inquired.
"No. He bled out in Bethesda Terrace." Danny said as Nyssa sighed.
"There are two ways you can stop the members of the Hand. Cut off the head or burn the body into ashes." Nyssa explained. "Otherwise, they'll always come back."
"Who's the last one?" Matt wondered.
"Murakami. The guy who pulled the strings behind Nobu." Stick said, leaning forward. "Maybe the most secretive but when he comes out, an evil piece of shit."
"It's nothing we can't handle together." Danny said hopefully.
"That's great, Stick, but why are you here?" Matt asked. "What are you expecting us to do about it? Don't bullshit me, 'cause I know when you're lying."
"Maybe you should just back off a little bit." Danny interrupted. "In the past few minutes, he's given me more information than I ever got from K'un-Lun."
"That's because he wants something." Matt argued. "Because what he wants will put everyone we care about at risk."
"Yeah, you've said that." Danny said.
"And I'll keep saying it." Matt insisted.
"I've lost plenty in this war, don't talk to me like I'm some kid!" Danny snapped.
"Don't act like some kid." Matt countered.
"What did you just say?" Danny shot up from the chair, glaring.
"Danny, calm down." Luke said.
"You calm down, Luke." Danny snapped.
"Hey, take it easy, OK?" Oliver said as he got up.
"You don't get second chances with these people, all right?" Matt said as he got up. "If you're not careful, the next thing you know, you're dead. Or worse, you're holding the people you love the most in the world and you get the…" He stopped, shuddering. "You get the privilege of watching them die."
Oliver, Sara and Laurel looked at Matt, seeing him relive the pain, wondering what happened to him.
Matt sighed. "All right, maybe this city is at stake." He rubbed his forehead. "Maybe this fight is important. I get that. I'm just saying, imagine knowing for the rest of your life, you only made it worse by getting involved. Jesus." He turned around, walking towards the door as Oliver, Sara and Laurel sighed, understanding Matt's line of thinking as Luke and Danny considered.
Jessica came to visit Miss Raymond in her house, filling her in on her case before realizing that the Hand has gotten her followed as she neared the man in the car observing the Raymonds.
Royal Dragon Restaurant
"The Hand…" Laurel sighed as they were in a corner. "All we wanted to do was to help you. And now they have Tommy and Elektra and are working with Malcolm Merlyn and Damien Darhk. Why?"
"I don't know but this is bigger than us now. We need to stop them." Oliver said before Laurel turned to Matt.
Matt was at the window as Stick approached him. "I'm glad you found others." Stick said.
"Don't act like this is normal." Matt muttered.
"Don't act like I don't know what's really going on with you." Stick neared Matt. "You crossed paths with her too?"
"With who?" Matt asked, denying.
"Don't bullshit me. Elektra." Stick said as Matt looked shocked.
"How'd you know?" Matt asked.
"I know you, son. She's the only reason you're here." Stick said.
"She's alive, Stick." Matt said as Laurel neared them.
"It was her, wasn't it?" Laurel said.
"Laurel…" Matt paused. "Don't…"
"No, this is our fight as much as yours now and we've seen people come back from the dead before and one of our friends, who we had watched die, is alive too. So I need to know, was it her?" Laurel asked.
"She's not who you remember." Stick said. "And neither is your friend. They're something else."
"Why didn't you tell them about her?" Laurel demanded.
"Guess she's our little secret." Stick muttered.
"Look, you need to come clean about it." Laurel said.
"Laurel…." Matt trailed off.
"Trust me, keeping secrets like this from each other, never ends well, I know that better than most people." Laurel insisted.
"I couldn't hear her heartbeat." Matt said.
"That's 'cause the girl I trained, the woman you loved, she ain't there anymore." Stick said.
"She could've taken us all out but she didn't. Maybe we can…"
"No, we can't." Stick protested. "When they brought her back, they made her forget."
"No." Matt said. "She hesitated. She didn't kill me. She had the chance."
"Don't try to make sense of this." Stick said. "Elektra and Tommy Merlyn are gone. And with or without you, when the time comes, whatever is living the bodies of Elektra Natchios and Tommy Merlyn, is gonna have to die."
"No… there… there has to be another way." Laurel said, thinking of Constantine.
"What they did to them is different than with your sister, Miss Lance." Stick said, turning to Laurel. "There's nothing left inside of them." Laurel was shocked by what she was hearing before Matt and Stick heard something. "You hear what I hear?"
"What?" Laurel asked, confused.
"Someone's outside." Matt said.
Jessica smashed the window of the car next to the driver that had been following her as she pulled him out. The man pulled out a karambit knife and attacked. Jessica dodged and kicked the man back before grabbing his arm as he attacked again and threw him down.
"Jesus, am I the only one left, who doesn't know karate?" Jessica grumbled as she kicked the man and stepped on his chest as the man struggled for breath, trying to shake Jessica off. "This family has been through enough. Whatever her husband did, she doesn't know anything. She's not a threat and neither is the kid. Nod if you understand me." The man nodded. "Now nod if you're gonna leave them alone."
The man spat down on the ground. Jessica sighed before picking the man up and slamming him against the car. "Let me make this very clear."
Suddenly, Jessica heard Japanese on the radio of the man
"What'd he say?" Jessica said. "What language is that?" Jessica pinned him down harder. "I'm no black belt. You let me know when that hurts." She pressed on as the front window cracked and the man groaned in pain.
Royal Dragon Restaurant
Danny forced the employees into the kitchen area.
"You think it's them?" Luke asked.
"It's hard to tell." Matt said.
"How'd they find us?" Luke wondered as they looked through the blinders.
"They have vast resources. They would've found us sooner or later." Oliver said.
"Who's inside?" Luke wondered as Matt heard cocking of guns.
"Weapons." Matt said. "Couple of guns, fully loaded."
"How about the woman with the swords or the man in black hood?" Luke asked.
"I don't know. I can't… I can't tell." Matt said.
"Well, I'll be goddamned." Stick said as Alexandra Reid, Malcolm Merlyn and Damien Darhk entered.
"Pleasure to meet you. I think it's time we all talked." Alexandra said.
So, what do you guys think?
Please review and let me know if you have been enjoying this and want for me to continue.
Chapter 7: Ambush at the restaurant
The Defenders and Team Arrow face off with the Hand, H.I.V.E. and Merlyn as Oliver, Laurel, Sara and Matt attempt to reach Black Sky and Prometheus.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"This wouldn't be my first choice but I am a sucker for fortune cookies." Alexandra said as she put down her coat. "You know it would be a good idea if we all talked this over, like adults."
"What do you want?" Stick asked as they neared Alexandra, Darhk and Merlyn.
"You surprised me, Stick." Alexandra said as she got up. "You've become so resourceful in your old age."
"And allying yourself with them, of all people." Darhk smirked. "Mr. Queen. Misses Lances. It's been a while."
Oliver, Sara and Laurel tensed from Darhk knowing who they were but considering that he was the rival of former Ra's al Ghul…
"Why am I not surprised you would join forces with the Hand and Malcolm Merlyn of all people?" Oliver drawled.
Stick sighed as Merlyn chuckled.
"I'm only doing what is necessary and I told you, you owe me a blood debt." Merlyn said.
"What have you become in your age?" Stick asked.
"Determined." Alexandra replied as she neared Danny. "Mr. Rand, I'm sorry your exit from our meeting was so abrupt."
"You tried to kill us." Danny sneered.
"Oh, them maybe. Not you." Alexandra shook her head. "My organization has always had a great deal of respect for the protector of K'un-Lun."
"Your respect means nothing to me." Danny said, glaring at the leader of the Hand with pure hate. "My only purpose is to take you down."
"Something you've repeatedly failed to do." Alexandra taunted. "Perhaps it's time to consider some alternatives."
"There are no alternatives." Danny shook his head, knowing better than to trust the Hand.
"There are always alternatives, boy." Darhk said.
"That's what makes life interesting." Alexandra dragged Danny down the restaurant as she held his hand.
"Cut the shit, Alexandra. What do you want?" Stick asked as she stopped.
"The same thing I've always wanted." Alexandra said. "To bring light into the dark. To bring life where there is death."
"For all your talk of life, you sure kill a lot of people." Luke said, disgusted.
"Wanting one city to die is not enough for you, is it?" Laurel sneered at Darhk.
"If I had known you were the Black Canary, I would've taken different measures to persuade your father." Darhk said.
"You're not going to do anything to her." Sara stepped up with Oliver and Matt.
"Not yet." Darhk nodded as Alexandra neared Luke.
"I don't think we've been properly introduced." Alexandra said.
"Let's keep it that way." Luke said, eying Alexandra warily.
"I can see you've formed a kind of bond here." Alexandra said as she paced down the restaurant. "And while that might give you some comfort, I promise you, it's temporary. They will disappoint you." She told Danny, circling around him.
"They haven't yet." Danny protested.
"They will not make you stronger." Alexandra said. "And if I might give you some advice, the more connections you have, the easier it will be to break you."
"What do you want to do with him?" Stick inquired.
"Well, I can't disclose that." Alexandra smirked. "But I'll tell you what we're willing to do for him. We'll assemble all the resources our organizations have to offer. You remember the last time all the fingers of the Hand came together, don't you, Stick? Imagine what we and the League of Assassins and H.I.V.E. can do together."
"A goddamn culling. A massacre." Stick nodded grimly.
"And New York is so densely populated." Alexandra said.
"What are you talking about doing?" Danny asked.
"Think of how many lives you can save if you just come with me." Alexandra said, making it obvious what she plans to do.
"What do you want?" Danny questioned, not trusting her.
"Kid, don't even think about it." Stick warned.
"I just want an answer." Danny assured the blind man.
"We might even let them go free." Alexandra said.
"You walk with them and I'll take you out myself." Stick said, stunning the present heroes with his ruthlessness.
"We won't let you leave." Nyssa added, reaching for her sword.
"I'm not going anywhere." Danny said as Alexandra held his shoulders.
"Mr. Rand, you need to think this through." Alexandra warned.
"And you need to leave. Now." Luke warned as Alexandra, Darhk and Merlyn turned to him.
Danny glanced at Luke, who nodded as Danny stepped back, freeing himself from Alexandra's hold as she scoffed.
"Disappointing." Merlyn sighed.
"Oh, they're just like you, old man." Alexandra said. "The only language they speak is violence."
Matt heard blade scraping as Black Sky kicked the door in with a drawn sword, alongside with Prometheus as Matt stepped back, horrified and agitated, while Oliver, Laurel and Sara stared in disbelief.
"Go on, children." Alexandra said as she, Darhk and Merlyn passed by Black Sky and Prometheus. "Serve life itself."
Black Sky and Prometheus had blank, cold, emotionless expressions on their faces as Stick pulled out his sword and they all prepared for a fight before a car drove in, smashing the window and knocking Black Sky and Prometheus down.
Jessica then entered, glancing at Black Sky and Prometheus, while Arsenal, Speedy and Spartan entered.
"Who missed me?" Jessica quipped as the heroes smirked.
Sowande, Madame Gao, Murakami and their men and a group of Ghosts with Andy drove towards the restaurant, ready for a fight.
Murakami climbed on a rooftop and jumped in through the roof window with a nightstick in his hand and in the other hand a Kukri knife as Jessica traded blows with Black Sky and Spartan, Arsenal and Speedy stared in shock to see Prometheus's face but they were forced to fight as Prometheus engaged them.
"Who's this?" Danny demanded as he eyed Murakami.
Matt threw a chair at Murakami but Murakami smashed it. Black Sky dodged Luke's punch as Matt jumped, dodging Murakami's attack as Murakami blocked Danny's kick. Prometheus blocked as Speedy and Arsenal engaged him before Prometheus jumped back, dodging Spartan's shots.
"She's annoying." Luke said as Black Sky blocked his and Jessica's attacks.
"Tell me about it." Jessica grunted as Black Sky knocked her down.
Oliver, Sara, Laurel and Nyssa engaged Prometheus, who used his bow and katana to block their combined efforts. Prometheus dodged as Sara attacked with her staff and kicked Laurel in the midsection, knocking her down. Prometheus blocked with his sword as Oliver attacked with his bow and Nyssa attacked with her sword and they exchanged strikes before Prometheus jumped back as Sara swung her staff.
Murakami grabbed Matt and kicked Danny in the stomach as he fell down.
Black Sky dodged Jessica's and Luke's blows as she kicked Jessica in the leg. Jessica fell down as Black Sky and Luke traded punches, while Alexandra, Merlyn and Darhk stared at the fight.
Murakami hit Matt in the chest before Danny landed a punch in his face and Matt did a right hook, knocking Murakami down.
Prometheus grabbed Laurel by her throat and slammed her to the floor before he rolled away to dodge as Oliver attacked with his bow and Nyssa attacked with her sword.
"Tommy. You know me." Oliver pleaded.
"My name is… Prometheus." Prometheus said as he fired an arrow. Oliver dodged as Sara attacked with her staff, while Thea pulled out her sword and attacked as well. Prometheus blocked with his bow and katana and spun around, cutting both women across the abdomens as they fell down.
Luke grabbed Black Sky by her wrist and knocked her sword away. Black Sky hit Luke in the face with her elbow and threw him away due to her enhanced strength as Luke crashed against a table. Black Sky picked her sword as Danny, Jessica and Stick surrounded her.
"Where's Alexandra?" Danny asked as Luke got up.
Murakami grunted as he got up and ran away before they saw Sowande and his men and Darhk's Ghosts enter with guns.
"Get down!" Danny ordered, tackling Jessica down as Sowande's men and the Ghosts opened fire. Luke shielded them as the rest took cover behind tables.
"Dude, get off me." Jessica groaned as Danny got off her.
"Now it's a goddamn party." Stick said.
"Who are these people?" Jessica demanded.
"They want Danny." Stick explained.
Suddenly, Gao snuck up on one of Sowande's men and pulled out a gun, shooting him in the head for his incompetence. "We want him alive."
More of the henchmen entered as Oliver, Diggle, Roy, Nyssa, Laurel, Sara, Thea, Matt, Jessica, Danny, Luke and Stick converged, surrounded by them.
"Oh, shit." Jessica swore.
"We work together, we walk out of here alive." Stick said.
Matt grabbed one of the henchmen and threw him away.
"No!" Stick yelled as Matt tackled Black Sky.
Stick dodged as one of the henchmen attempted to kick him before hitting another one with the hilt of his sword, while everyone else engaged in close combat fight.
Matt knocked Black Sky's sword away and pinned her to the wall. "Wait, I just wanna talk to you." Matt pleaded.
Stick sliced one of the henchmen down and stabbed another one in the abdomen before cutting another one down. Jessica threw one of the thugs on a table as Roy, Thea and Diggle shot down some of them. Laurel dodged as one of the Ghosts attacked and threw him away and hit another one in the face and in the chest, knocking him down. Sara used her staff and knocked down three of the henchmen, while Oliver beat them up with his bow. Nyssa dodged and rolled down before she spun around with her sword, cutting four henchmen down.
Black Sky freed herself from Matt's grip as Matt dodged her punches. Black Sky kicked Matt in the chest, hard as he staggered back towards the back entrance.
"Where's Matt?" Danny demanded. "What's he thinking?"
"He's not. Stay with me!" Stick ordered before one of the henchmen threw him down. Stick stabbed him in the chest as the henchman fell down.
Oliver, Sara and Laurel engaged Prometheus. Prometheus blocked with his bow and sword as Oliver swung his bow and Laurel attacked with her nightstick and Sara engaged him with her staff as Prometheus retreated, blocking their combined efforts.
Black Sky and Matt were in the back alley as Black Sky knocked him down.
"This is not who you are." Matt pleaded, dodging Black Sky's attacks before he grabbed her from behind. "I know you." Black Sky rushed back, slamming Matt against a dumpster.
Sowande dodged Luke's punch and swiftly tapped Luke's pressure points on his body, blocking Luke's blows and slapping him in the chest as Luke stumbled back.
Black Sky freed herself from Matt's grip before he grabbed her by her arm. "You died." Matt kicked her in the leg, forcing her on her knees. "I held you in my arms." Black Sky hit Matt with her elbow in the face and threw him down.
Jessica knocked out two of the thugs, while Laurel slammed one of the Ghosts to a wall before throwing him to the ground.
Roy dodged as one of the thugs attacked and jumped over a table, kicking down two of the thugs.
Murakami kicked Jessica in the stomach, knocking her down and grabbed Roy and threw him at Laurel and Sara as they fell down. Nyssa engaged Murakami with her sword but Murakami blocked with his knives.
Oliver blocked Prometheus's sword before he could finish them off.
"Tommy, it's me! You know me!" Oliver said.
"No, I don't!" Prometheus snarled, swinging his sword and making a scratch on Oliver's armor.
Black Sky kicked Matt in the face as he staggered back, getting up. "I buried you, Elektra!" She stopped upon hearing the name. "Elektra. That's your name. Elektra." She seemed to be lost in her thoughts as Matt neared her. "What have they done to you and Tommy?"
Murakami went out, wondering why was she hesitating. "What are you doing?" Murakami demanded in Japanese.
"I can help you, Elektra!" Matt pleaded as Murakami rushed at them. Black Sky hit Murakami in the face as he was sent flying against a dumpster as he hit the ground.
Sowande forced Luke out of the restaurant. "They say you can't be broken. We'll see about that."
Luke roared, about to attack but Sowande slapped him in the chest as Luke staggered. Sowande jumped, kicking Luke in the chest as he fell down. And then he realized he was in the middle of a road as a truck knocked him down on the ground.
"Luke!" Jessica cried out as a black van drove in and Sowande entered, driving away.
Danny hit one of the thugs in the face and knocked down another one as Prometheus stabbed Arsenal in the hip as he grunted and kicked Speedy, knocking her down.
Suddenly, Gao raised her hand, knocking Danny away telekinetically, sending him flying against the back exit before throwing Oliver, Laurel, Diggle, Roy and Thea against the walls.
"Get him, now." Gao ordered as the henchmen neared Danny, who got up. Jessica entered through the kitchen, knocking down the door and knocking Gao away as Danny, Jessica and Stick took out more of the henchmen.
"Let's go, kid." Stick ordered as they went out and saw Matt just standing there, looking shocked.
"Where's Luke?" Danny asked.
"They took him." Jessica said.
"More coming." Stick said as he closed the door.
"Not for long." Jessica pushed a dumpster to the door, blocking it.
"Hey!" Danny said, nearing Matt, who was still in a state of shock. "Let's go."
"Get over here, guys!" Stick said, opening a hatch to the sewers. "Smells like shit. It's our only way out."
They entered the sewers as Murakami recovered and Gao knocked down the door.
"Where did they go? And where's the Black Sky?" Gao demanded, looking around.
"That's a question for our leader." Murakami said.
Colleen was training with a boxing bag as Danny entered, panting out as Colleen turned to him.
Colleen and Danny hugged each other. "Man, am I glad to see you!" Danny breathed out.
"Where have you been?" Colleen demanded, freaked out.
"I'll explain everything but first, we have company!" Danny said quickly.
"Company?" Colleen repeated, confused before she saw Stick and other uninvited visitors at the entrance. "Hey! Whoa!"
"I said I'd bring him back." Stick said.
"What happened?" Colleen inquired.
"The Hand and H.I.V.E. attacked us. They took Luke." Danny explained.
"How do you know they didn't follow you here?" Colleen questioned, rushing to the windows.
"We're clear." Matt said, listening to the surroundings.
"What?" Colleen asked, turning to Matt and wondering how did he know.
"No place we land will stay safe for long." Stick said.
"We can't keep running forever." Danny protested.
"I'm not running, period." Jessica argued.
"My company owns a building not far from here." Danny said, checking the windows.
"We don't need another hideout. We just need for this to be over." Jessica retorted.
"It's not that easy." Oliver pointed out.
"You're oversimplifying it." Matt agreed.
"Oh, am I?" Jessica asked sarcastically. "Or am I the only one of us who isn't in this for a cheap thrill?"
"Jessica." Danny intervened.
"And the last time we did have a plan, this one left us to go fight that chick in the spandex." Jessica reminded, glaring at Matt.
"Yeah. Just like he did in Midland Circle." Danny agreed. "Or how about how we talk about how is Tommy Merlyn alive?" He turned to Oliver, Laurel and Sara. "Or is he another tool of the Hand?"
"You mind explaining everything to them?" Laurel said, turning to Matt.
"I made a mistake. I thought…"
Matt stopped as they turned to the back entrance as they heard footsteps as Colleen picked her katana and Matt chuckled as Luke entered, with bullet holes in his shirt.
"Luke?" Danny asked.
"What happened?" Colleen said.
"Are you OK?" Jessica asked.
"I'm fine." Luke nodded. "Actually, I'm, uh… I'm better than fine."
Outside, Luke opened the van to reveal restrained Sowande and a gag around his mouth.
"I got one of theirs." Luke explained.
Midland Circle Financial
The Black Sky was sharpening her sword in her room as Alexandra entered. Black Sky whirled around, nearing the sword to Alexandra's throat as Alexandra chuckled.
"You're skilled, my child." Alexandra said. "It's clear, watching you fight, that you know much more than anyone can learn in a single life." Black Sky stared. "That's a compliment. They've said the same thing about me."
"You've trained me well." Black Sky said.
Alexandra took away Black Sky's sword. "I had a daughter once. This was in my first life. Before I made the pilgrimage to K'un-Lun. Before I learned of the substance. And before I started the organization." She eyed the blade, as if she was admiring it before turning to Black Sky again. "And she was intelligent, kind and death took her before I learned how to defeat it. In my grief, people told me that she was too good for this world. I didn't believe them. But there was some truth in what they said. She wasn't a warrior. She wasn't like you and me. And now I know, I was never meant to raise her. I was meant to raise Black Sky."
"I'm grateful for you." Black Sky said as Alexandra sighed.
"You had no choice in returning from death." Alexandra said. "I realize that. And as our friend, Mr. Merlyn and his child, you will serve the life itself and I hope you understand that this is the life you were chosen to lead, as a weapon against our enemies." She neared the blade to Black Sky's throat, laying it on her shoulder. "If you do not fulfill that road, you're of no use to the Hand or to me."
"Of course not." Black Sky agreed. "And what of Merlyn and Darhk?"
"Once we're done here, they're of no use to us. Prometheus, however…" Alexandra trailed off as Black Sky smirked, while Alexandra fondled her hair and neared her forehead to hers.
Murakami entered, updating Alexandra. "I have news. Sowande has been taken."
"By whom?" Alexandra inquired.
"We can only assume it was the Iron Fist and his allies." Murakami replied as Alexandra nodded.
"Over the years, the five of us have escaped every manner of danger and death. He will find his way back to us." Alexandra said optimistically as she took a deep breath. "In the meantime, tell the others that our reinforcement from South America will be arriving soon. And together, we will expand our search for the Iron Fist."
Murakami nodded. "I will." Alexandra handed the Black Sky the sword. "There is something else we must discuss."
"Later." Alexandra said in Japanese as she left.
"As you wish." Murakami said as he and Black Sky eyed each other in suspicion and mistrust.
So, what do you guys think?
Please review and let me know if you have been enjoying this and want for me to continue.
Chapter 8: The truth
The truth about Tommy and Elektra is revealed as Jessica's, Luke's and Danny's trust in Matt, Oliver, Laurel and Sara is shattered.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Team Arrow, Nyssa, Stick, Matt, Luke, Jessica and Danny surrounded the restrained Sowande, who was tied to a chair and was blindfolded in an abandoned building.
"How long do you think he'll be out?" Danny wondered.
"Not much longer." Jessica said. "Because this is happening." She hit Sowande in the face as he came to as Sowande chuckled softly.
"What are you doing here in New York with H.I.V.E. and Malcolm Merlyn?" Danny demanded.
"There's nothing you can do to make me betray my own." Sowande said smugly.
"I'm up for the challenge." Jessica said.
"Don't bother. The fingers were cast out of K'un-Lun." Stick said.
"It's likely he has been trained like Mr. Rand has. Any form of torture would be a waste of time." Nyssa said.
"They put us through brutal trials." Danny nodded.
"It's called "discipline"." Sowande said.
"It means he won't crack." Colleen added. "Not by force."
"I can't believe Andy stabbed me in the back like that." Diggle sighed. "I thought…"
"We all have our blind spots, when it comes to family." Oliver assured him, holding his shoulder.
"You know nothing about the power of the Hand. You are mice, who fell into a well." Sowande said. "Believe me, this will drown you."
"What do you, Darhk and Merlyn want with our city?" Matt demanded.
"Your city?" Sowande scoffed. "This place belongs to the Hand. It always has."
"What do you mean, "always"?" Luke demanded.
"I traced it back to 1820." Jessica explained.
"That's all?" Sowande inquired, less than impressed.
"Answer our question. Why are you after Danny Rand?" Oliver said.
"Nothing you can do can make me serve you. Do you understand?" Danny said.
"Do I understand?" Sowande repeated, amused. "You're the dumbest Iron Fist yet."
Danny neared Sowande's face. "Tell me what you want with me."
"We want the Fist." Sowande replied. "You are nothing. Danny Rand failed an entire city. The place he was sworn to protect. The same way the unbreakable one left that boy die in a jail cell. Afraid and alone." Luke glared. "The same way the woman couldn't save the architect." Jessica turned around in disgust. "What's wrong? Have I gotten into your head the same way he did long ago?"
Jessica rushed at Sowande, about to punch him as Luke grabbed her. "Hey, hey, hey."
"What about the ones you still love? What will become of them, once you are gone?" Sowande said. "Who else must die because of you?"
"What are you talking about?" Roy demanded.
"The nurse. The woman on the radio. The police captain of Star City. The computer girl. Your child. They'll come for them next. How many mice must drown with you?" Sowande taunted.
Jessica hit him in the face as Sowande was knocked out. "He talked too much."
Later, Claire's apartment
"Claire, I need you to get dressed." Luke said as he entered, turning on the lights as Claire was sleeping on the couch.
"What's going on?" Claire asked as she came to.
"Is your mom still here?" Luke looked outside the window.
"No, she's in Jersey with my tía." Claire said as she got up.
"OK. We need to go now." Luke ordered. "Danny and Colleen are downstairs keeping an eye out for us."
"Keeping an eye out?" Claire repeated, confused.
"I'll explain everything in the car." Luke put down his jacket.
"You took the fight to the Hand." Claire realized as she saw the holes in Luke's shirt. "It went well at first but now we're all in danger." Luke nodded as she sighed in frustration. "I hate being right all the time."
"It'll only be for a couple of days." Luke said, taking off his shirt.
"So, are you gonna tell me what this is all about?" Claire asked.
"At this point, the less you know, the better." Luke replied, putting on a black shirt.
"Are you sure about that?" Claire asked, putting on her coat and scarf. "A couple of days ago, I'm the one, who introduced you to Danny Rand." She reminded.
"Yeah and you also told me to focus on myself." Luke said as he looked outside the window. "Part of me wishes I had listened." He turned to face Claire. "I'm sorry."
"For what?" Claire asked as Luke zipped his jacket.
"All of it." Luke said. "I never meant to make my trouble your trouble."
"Pretty sure your trouble is my trouble now." Claire said, caressing Luke's cheek as they left her apartment.
Danny and Colleen were outside the apartment in the car.
"The old blind guy kept saying he needed to get to you before they did." Colleen said.
"It's because the Hand doesn't wanna kill me." Danny sighed. "They want me alive."
"He tell you why?" Colleen asked.
"No." Danny replied. "To be honest, I don't think he knows, either." He admitted.
"Then why are you still listening to him?" Colleen questioned before scoffing.
"What do you mean?" Danny asked.
"Why are you listening to any of them, Danny?" Colleen pointed out. "When me and Sara said that we should find others, I did not mean… this is not their fight, it's ours, and keeping them around is a liability. Letting Sara drag her friends into this was a mistake."
"You haven't really seen what they can do." Danny argued.
"That's not the point." Colleen said as Danny sighed.
"Hey." Danny saw two black SUVs pass by. "Quick." He and Colleen went out of the car. Danny walked down an alley with a hood on until a thug ambushed him. Danny dodged as the thug threw punches. Danny grabbed his arm as bones cracked before sending a flurry of punches to his chest, knocking him down. Two more thugs engaged Danny as Danny threw one of them down and slapped his palms at another one, knocking him back. Danny kicked another one as he fell against the fence. Danny threw the last one away before kicking again the one he had thrown against the fence.
Colleen walked down the alley before she heard 'thud' in distance and froze upon hearing a voice she had hoped she would not have to, ever again.
"Hello, Colleen." Bakuto said as her blood ran cold as she turned around.
"Sensei…" Colleen said lowly as Bakuto smirked, accompanied by two of his men.
"You look well." Bakuto said.
"You're supposed to be dead." Colleen whispered, considering she had left him to bleed out to death in Bethesda Terrace.
"I tried death. It didn't take." Bakuto said as Colleen neared him, reaching for her sword. "Stand down." Bakuto instructed to his men, about to draw their weapons. "She's an old friend."
"We are far from friends." Colleen sneered, knowing now who her father figure truly was.
"I wouldn't say that." Bakuto said. Colleen pulled out her katana and attacked. Bakuto dodged effortlessly and blocked as Colleen glared at him. "When you're done with that, I'd like to talk."
"There's nothing left to talk about." Colleen replied. She swung her katana again but Bakuto dodged all her strikes again.
"It feels as if fate has brought us back together, doesn't it?" Bakuto teased, circling around her.
"What do you want with Danny?" Colleen demanded, frightened of what the Hand would do to him.
"They sent me for him, yes." Bakuto said. "But I came for you."
"Bullshit. You told me I wasn't good enough for the Hand." Colleen scoffed.
"It was a strategy. To bring out your anger." Bakuto explained. "To cause you to make a mistake. We have a second chance to finish what we started."
"Brainwashing me?" Colleen panted out, disbelieved.
"Brainwashing?" Bakuto repeated, amused. "You flourished under my training. Became the fighter you were meant to be."
"The fighter you wanted me to be." Colleen corrected. "The one you needed for whatever horrible shit you're trying to get away with."
"Join me, Colleen." Bakuto said. "This time, I'll tell you everything. I anticipated this reunion."
"I didn't." Colleen said. She attacked with her sword again as she grunted, while Bakuto dodged and grabbed her hand in which she had her sword and pinned her to the wall as Colleen groaned while he neared a knife to her throat. "I'll never stop. You took my life from me."
"No, I haven't, Colleen. Not yet." Bakuto said. They both struggled for a moment before Bakuto dodged as Colleen attacked with her sword again as he cut her across her abdomen and Colleen gasped in pain. "I wish it could end another way."
Suddenly, Luke disarmed Bakuto of his knife as Bakuto retreated, while Danny and Claire showed up, disbelieved to see him again.
"That dude was for sure dead last time we saw him, right?" Claire questioned.
"Oh, yeah." Danny nodded.
"OK, just checking." Claire breathed out.
"Remember the last time we faced off, Bakuto?" Danny taunted.
"I do, Mr. Rand. And I look forward to doing it again." Bakuto said.
"You really shouldn't." Luke warned.
"I heard you'd made some friends." Bakuto said as he eyed Luke. "Smart move, considering she never believed in her purpose, and you've yet to discover yours." He told Danny. "Soon, Iron Fist. You'll learn your destiny is much more than what they told you in K'un-Lun."
Colleen groaned, holding her wound.
"We need to get her someplace now." Claire said as Colleen laid her arms on Claire's and Danny's shoulders, while Bakuto and his men had managed to disappear before they and Luke left, leaving Colleen with Misty back in the precinct.
New York Bulletin
Matt visited Karen, explaining he needed to face the Hand again as Daredevil, while Karen said that she did not need Matt's help, since she was not a part of it anymore until Matt revealed that the Hand might know who he was, forcing her to go into protective custody.
Stick took the blindfold off Sowande as the African smiled. "I was wondering when I'd see you again."
"Me, too." Stick said, waving his hand in front of his eyes for sarcasm. "Guess it won't be today."
"I hope you are satisfied." Nyssa said.
"That army you used to fight alongside, the Chaste. They captured me once." Sowande said. "This was years ago. Long before you were born, Stick. I had been captive three days when they heard my soldiers approach. The fortress fell silent. The gates remained locked. The Chaste couldn't comprehend it. But the soldiers outside, they were following my orders. They sealed the gates, allowed no one in or out. On the third day, your soldiers turned on each other. By the fourth, they'd run out of water. By the sixth, no food. I believe it was the tenth day that they knelt before me. Begging to make it stop."
"You may be resilient but everyone has their limits." Nyssa said as Stick neared Sowande.
"Well, if I kneel before you right now, shithead, will you shut up?" Stick asked.
"It won't be long before your plan comes apart." Sowande said. "Before this chair I'm in becomes a throne."
They heard the door knock as Stick went out with Matt.
"We're getting everyone safe." Matt said.
"Good." Stick nodded.
"He give you anything yet?" Matt wondered.
"What do you think?" Stick scoffed. "If she's as sweet as she smells, I get why you're tore up about this one."
"Don't bring her into this." Matt said.
"All these years, this is what I've been protecting you from. Your two worlds colliding." Stick pointed out as Matt chuckled.
"If you had it your way, this is what my life would be." Matt said. "Now you're trying to spin it like you're protecting me."
"Maybe I got soft in my old age." Stick said.
"Doubt it." Matt disagreed.
"Or maybe I know what I need on the front lines." Stick added. "'Cause the Iron Fist can't lead them like you can. Or Oliver Queen."
Stick turned to Matt, who chuckled. "I don't wanna lead anyone, Stick and Oliver is better in this than I am."
"For a man, who believes in God, you sure like denying he has a plan for you." Stick argued.
"Don't use my faith against me." Matt retorted.
"And what about this city?" Stick pointed out. "The place you can't live without. The place that made you what you really are." Matt contemplated before going back. "Where are you going?"
"Don't… you don't get to tell me, who I am, all right?" Matt whirled on Stick, pointing his finger before leaving. "Trust me, I know."
Jessica dragged Trish away from her dinner in a restaurant before she saw the Hand's men entering. They went towards the stairwell upstairs but as they reached the upper floor, Murakami kicked her as Jessica fell down.
"Jess!" Trish exclaimed as she helped Jessica on her feet.
"That hurt so much." Jessica groaned. She engaged Murakami but he hit her in the stomach and kicked her and blocked her punch, grabbing her by her arm and slamming her to the floor. Murakami pulled out a knife and was about to stab her before Daredevil showed up, throwing a billy club as Murakami grunted.
"No way." Trish stared in disbelief.
Murakami rushed at Daredevil. Daredevil hit Murakami in the face before dodging his knife as he blocked with his billy club. Jessica kicked Murakami in the back as Murakami staggered. Murakami kicked Daredevil back and Jessica dodged as Murakami attempted to stab her before Daredevil hit him in the face and Jessica disarmed him. Daredevil kicked Murakami as he fell down, before Jessica threw him over the railing. They looked down to the lower floor but Murakami had managed to escape before she looked at Daredevil's mask.
"The scarf looked better. Nice ears." Jessica said.
"They're horns." Daredevil protested as Jessica accompanied Trish and Malcolm into the precinct, where they met Claire, Karen and Foggy as well.
Later, Midland Circle
"The Iron Fist has new allies in the fight. Daredevil." Murakami informed Bakuto and Gao.
Daredevil wrapped the nunchaku around Sowande's throat as he choked out.
"So cool." Danny said.
"Yeah." Arsenal nodded.
"I mean, it's… it's kind of cool." Luke nodded.
"I'm gonna make this real simple." Daredevil said. "You're gonna answer our questions or shit's gonna get dark in here."
"What do they call you? The Devil of Hell's Kitchen?" Sowande choked out as Laurel was disturbed by Matt's brutality. "Even if you could kill me, it wouldn't make a difference. Cut off a finger… you can still use your hand. We will win. We have armies. We have our weapons."
"Let's talk about your weapon. What did you do to them?" Daredevil demanded. "What did you do to Elektra and Tommy?"
"Elektra?" Sowande repeated.
"Yeah." Daredevil said, tightening the grip as Sowande choked. "You dug up her grave. And Tommy Merlyn's. And what did you turn them into?"
"The body you knew was merely a vessel, waiting for its purpose. And young Merlyn… was a test." Sowande said. "They're ours now."
"If they're your vessels, why haven't they killed us yet?" Matt said. "Twice now, they could've taken our lives but they haven't. Why do you think that is? Huh? Your weapons are defective."
"Then they will be destroyed." Sowande said as Oliver, Laurel, Sara and Thea glared at him.
Matt tightened the grip again, stepping on Sowande's chest. "Not on my watch."
"Hey, stop. You can't undo this." Jessica warned.
"Admit it." Matt said. "They're still in there. You failed."
"You're the one, who failed." Sowande said. "Elektra died on a rooftop in your arms because you couldn't protect her. And Tommy… if only you had not hesitated…" He turned to Oliver, who winced, ashamed.
Matt yelled as he let go, while Sowande fell down with closed eyes.
"Shit." Jessica said as Matt walked away, panting out in frustration.
Stick knelt down, measuring Sowande's pulse.
"Is he dead?" Danny asked.
"Eh, unfortunately, no. Passed out." Stick said. "I think it's time to tell them the truth, kid."
Danny, Luke, Jessica, Roy, Thea and Diggle turned to Matt in confusion as Oliver, Sara and Laurel shivered, knowing this was not going to end well.
Matt put down his gloves and mask.
"Well?" Merlyn asked after Murakami left the meeting with Alexandra, Bakuto and Gao.
"Seems like Black Sky is defective." Murakami explained. "But our fearless leader puts perhaps too much faith in it. We still need the Iron Fist."
"If she fails to deliver on her word, I will." Merlyn promised.
"And what of Prometheus? Will he not fail us?" Murakami asked.
"If he fails too… you still have me and Damien." Merlyn promised.
"You should have told them." Oliver said.
"How can we trust you?" Danny demanded.
"Her name is Elektra." Matt explained, pointing at Stick. "She was raised by him. Trained to fight the Hand. Which she did, with me. Until they convinced themselves she could serve another purpose, so they killed her."
"They knew each other since college." Laurel added.
"Wait, you knew?" Roy demanded as they turned to Laurel.
"It wasn't my secret to tell." Laurel explained.
"She looked pretty alive back there." Jessica drawled.
"I know but I was there when they…" Matt sighed. "I was holding her when she died."
"Elektra died." Stick said. "That thing we've been fighting, it's something else."
"She was resurrected, just like Tommy." Danny realized.
"Yes." Nyssa nodded.
"Right." Matt nodded.
"How come you didn't tell us?" Danny demanded.
"Wait a minute. What do you mean, "resurrected"?" Luke stammered.
"His ex-girlfriend and their childhood friend. Now they think they can save them." Stick summed up.
"That's why you nearly got us killed?" Luke demanded.
"When I said her name, she recognized it. She knew me, alright?" Matt argued.
"And Tommy hesitated too." Oliver said. "Look, it's a long shot but whatever they did when they resurrected them, there may be a part of them still deep down there."
"We may be able to get through to them." Matt said.
"OK, to be clear, we've now used the word "resurrected" three times." Jessica said.
"It's what they do." Stick said.
"We agreed to put everything on the table." Danny said, his faith in Oliver, Laurel, Sara and Matt lost.
"If we're gonna defeat the Hand and H.I.V.E., we gotta take them out." Stick said.
"What, kill Tommy? No!" Thea protested.
"I won't allow it." Matt said.
Do you know how hard this is for us to believe?" Luke demanded.
"No matter what you believe, they're liabilities." Nyssa said.
"Lying is a problem." Jessica said, her, Danny's and Luke's trust in Matt and Team Arrow lost, while Team Arrow were able to understand Matt's reasons.
"I didn't wanna lie, I was trying to protect her." Matt said.
"And at what cost?" Jessica snapped, turning to Oliver, Laurel, Sara, Thea and Diggle.
"I'm not. And now the people that I care about, are held up in a precinct because you got me protecting some people you used to know." Luke said.
"Don't oversimplify it. I'm trying to help." Matt argued.
"Look, it's not black and white, I mean, what would you have done if it was someone you love?" Oliver added.
"The truth is simple…" Jessica said before Danny and Thea and Roy whirled around.
"Hey!" Roy yelled but Sowande did a throwing motion to the ground and an explosion followed and as the smoke dissipated, Sowande disappeared.
Black Sky entered Matt's apartment, looking around the environment that was familiar to her for some reason before she laid down on bed, familiar feelings resurfacing to her.
Yes, Sowande survived and escaped and they have not seen the last of him yet, unlike in the show where Stick killed him. Frankly, I've always found it stupid how he went out in Defenders, considering that he, Bakuto and Murakami seemed to be the only compelling villains out of the Five Fingers of the Hand.
So, what do you guys think?
Please review and let me know if you have been enjoying this and want for me to continue.
Chapter 9: Loss
The Defenders and Team Arrow attempt to protect Danny from the Hand but it leads to a tragic outcome.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"Damn it." Sara groaned.
"Now what? He got away." Roy said.
"And things got much worse. Especially now." Stick pointed out.
"What do you mean, "especially now"?" Luke demanded.
"They want him." Nyssa said, turning to Danny. "They've been after him the whole time."
"Yeah, well, we knew that." Luke snapped.
"We didn't know the Iron Fist was the key to what the Hand seeks." Stick said. "The word isn't accidental."
"You think he's a key?" Matt demanded.
"There is something beneath the Midland Circle the Hand wants to open. The Iron Fist can do just that and it can help them live for longer than they already have." Nyssa said.
"A Lazarus pit?" Oliver inquired.
"Something worse." Nyssa replied with a grim look on her face.
"And that something worse is worth dying for." Stick nodded.
"I'm a weapon. I'm not a key." Danny protested.
"That you know of." Stick pointed out.
"What could I possibly open?" Danny wondered.
"Bones of a dragon from K'un-L'un. Beneath Midland Circle." Nyssa said as everyone turned to her in surprise. "My father has studied other ways to prolong one's lifespan and the dragon bones can do just that. They're an essential part of a substance that has allowed the five fingers to live longer than they have. Until now, I was not certain there were ones in New York. They want to use you to unlock the door to them."
"I won't do that. Not for them." Danny protested.
"The Iron Fist's chi is a weapon. That's true." Stick nodded. "But I've heard stories about it being used for more. To seal things shut. Or opening them again."
"So the Hand and Merlyn and Darhk are in New York because he gives them access or opens something up?" Luke realized.
"Just when I thought things cannot be any weirder." Diggle muttered.
"Come on, guys." Danny chuckled, protesting. "That's insane."
"Well, it doesn't matter if you think it's true or not. It's something they believe is true." Matt pointed out.
"He was a member of the Hand." Danny argued. "An organization formed by lying psychopaths. You can't trust a word he said."
"We get that, Danny but I think we've got only one choice left." Oliver pointed out as everyone looked at Danny warily as Danny had a wary look as well as he looked at everyone.
"Whoa. What do you mean?" Danny demanded, not sure if he wanted to know.
"To keep the Iron Fist as far from them as possible." Stick said.
"It sounds crazy but I don't think we have any other way." Luke agreed.
"I dedicated my life to this fight. You need me." Danny protested. "We all need each other." Oliver, Sara, Laurel, Roy, Diggle, Matt, Jessica and Luke surrounded Danny. "This is exactly how they work. They divide us. They get into our heads. They weaken us. They make you question the people you trust."
Luke stepped up with raised hands. "Danny, just take a deep breath and calm down…"
"Stop telling me to calm down, Luke! This is what they want!" Danny snapped. "They want you to be distracted. They… they want you to turn on me."
"Sowande wasn't lying." Matt argued as Danny turned to him.
"And how do you know?" Danny questioned.
"His heartbeat didn't waver. Not for a second." Matt explained.
"And where was his heartbeat when he came to and escaped?" Danny shot back. "It's the Hand. You know how they can operate."
"And now we know they're after you." Nyssa said.
"You're falling for their trap." Danny protested.
"If Alexandra gets a hold of you, the war's lost." Stick pointed out. "We can't allow that."
"You're not going to kill him." Oliver said as Nyssa was reaching for her sword.
"We can always send him somewhere to hide. Lay low." Laurel suggested.
"We're running out of time!" Danny exploded. "They're hunting our friends, our families and they're not gonna stop there. You heard what he said. This ends with New York in ruins. They want me on the sidelines because I'm the only one who can destroy them." He turned to Jessica. "Jess?" Then he turned to the Lance sisters and Team Arrow. "Sara? Laurel? Anyone?"
"Putting you out there is too big of a risk." Diggle pointed out.
"How do you suggest we hide him?" Jessica asked as Danny felt betrayed.
"Fine." Danny sighed. "I'll go back to doing this without you if I have to. I've already lost one city. I'm not losing another."
"Me neither." Matt stepped up as he got into Danny's way.
"Really?" Danny scoffed. "You're gonna try and keep me here against my will?"
"Look, we understand what you're trying to do but we can't let you do this alone." Oliver said, stepping up as well as Danny scoffed.
"Whatever." Danny attempted to move past them but Matt pushed him back as Danny shook himself. "You sure you want to do this?"
"No. But we will, if that's what it takes to stop you." Oliver said.
"Same way you had to keep your best friend and your girlfriend a secret?" Danny sneered.
"This is bigger than this." Oliver argued.
"It isn't." Danny said.
"Danny, we're all on the same side here." Luke tried to reason.
"It doesn't feel like it." Danny argued. "Not anymore."
"Don't do this." Jessica pleaded.
"This doesn't have to end in a fight." Sara said as everyone surrounded Danny.
"Hey, you guys seriously need to back off." Danny breathed out.
"You just stay here. We can keep you safe, all right?" You just need to calm down." Matt pleaded, putting his hand on Danny's shoulder.
"Well, that's the problem, Matt. I'm all out of calm." Danny sneered.
"Danny, before you do something you…"
Oliver stopped as Danny punched Matt in the face. A moment later, Matt slapped Danny in the face. Danny dodged as Matt was throwing punches and Danny blocked them before Matt pushed Danny back. Danny rolled down on the ground before he got up and dodged as Oliver attempted to fire a bola arrow. Danny dodged again and blocked Matt's punches.
Matt attempted to do a left hook but Danny crouched before blocking Matt's punches and used his arm to parry as Oliver attempted to whack Danny in the face with his bow. Oliver aimed for Danny's chest with his bow but Danny blocked again and dodged as Sara and Luke attempted to grab him. Danny grabbed a chair and slammed it at Luke's back before kicking Sara in the midsection as she stumbled back.
Matt flipped forward as Danny dodged. Matt retreated, dodging Danny's kicks before Oliver engaged him. Danny grappled Oliver's bow and disarmed him, kicking him in the stomach as Oliver staggered. Oliver blocked Danny's punches before grabbing him by his arm and kneeing him in the stomach twice and throwing him down.
"Stay down. It doesn't have to be this way." Oliver warned.
Danny got up as he blocked Matt's punches and hit him in the face. Matt got past Danny's defenses and landed a punch in his face as Danny staggered back. Danny blocked Matt's punch and kick before Oliver attempted to tackle him. They both wrestled for a moment as Danny flipped back as they hit the ground. Danny rolled back and did a roundhouse kick as Oliver dodged, while he got up before blocking another Danny's kick. They traded blows for a moment before Oliver grabbed Danny by his arm and threw him down.
"Last chance, Danny. Stay down!" Oliver snarled.
"No way!" Danny yelled.
Danny rolled back before he got up as Matt attempted to grab him but Danny flipped back as Jessica stepped up in front of Matt and Oliver. "Hey. Enough." Jessica said.
Danny grunted, rushing at Matt and Oliver, pushing Jessica away and kicking Matt in the stomach as he fell down. Jessica grabbed Danny and threw him down as he groaned and spat out blood, charging his Iron Fist. "Don't make me use this."
Danny got up as Luke grabbed him from behind and Danny whirled around, slamming his Iron Fist at Luke's chest and the following shockwave upon impact knocked them all down on the ground and Matt groaned, holding his ears that were ringing.
Danny coughed out, groaning as Jessica panted out and Matt grabbed him by his leg and Danny fell down.
"Sorry about this." Jessica said before she neared Danny and punched him in the face, knocking him out.
"And here I thought I was the stubborn one." Roy groaned as he got up.
"Same here." Thea said.
They brought Danny into an abandoned construction site.
"Nice way to spend your time fresh out of prison." Jessica quipped as Luke had Danny on his shoulders.
"Yeah." Luke chuckled. "I can't believe this is what it took for us to talk again."
"I'm not good at keeping in touch. But you could've called." Jessica shrugged as Luke turned to her and was quiet before nodding.
"Fair enough." Luke said.
Stick and Matt restrained Danny to a chair with nylon ropes as Matt wondered. "You think that'll hold?"
"Well, it's a constrictor knot. Harder he pulls, harder it cinches." Stick said. "Rope's not your concern.'
"I'm gonna assume it's his Fist." Matt sighed.
"When he summons it, shit goes sideways." Stick said.
"How long do we have?" Luke wondered.
"Hard to say. Eh, maybe an hour." Stick said before turning to Matt. "That must have been the hole you found last year there, back then, Matty."
"Wait, you were there before?" Laurel realized.
"Yeah. Um, last year, when I was investigating the Hand, the, uh, trail led me to a construction site, which is now Midland Circle." Matt explained. "There was a hole there. Hundreds of feet deep."
Everyone gave Matt incredulous looks.
"In the middle of New York?" Luke demanded.
"Yeah." Matt nodded.
"And you didn't think to remember it earlier?" Thea demanded.
"You sense anything at the bottom of that hole?" Stick asked.
"I don't think so. I kept tabs on it." Matt said. "Once the building was finished, my sense was the hole was gone."
"Are you sure?" Nyssa questioned.
"I'm not sure about anything anymore." Matt said.
"You didn't answer her question. How come we are now just hearing about this?" Luke demanded.
"It wasn't important, Luke." Matt argued.
"You think?" Roy snapped.
"What? No." Matt stammered, realizing it came out the wrong way. "We've had enough to worry about."
"We know you're holding something back." Laurel said as Matt hesitated.
"I was with Elektra." Matt confessed as Luke sighed as everyone else glared at Matt. "It was a mistake not telling you guys about her. I realize that…"
"Keeping secrets from each other only ends up tearing us all apart. You should've come clean." Diggle said.
"You're not exactly an open book yourself, Mr. Diggle." Matt pointed out. "I know you lied about H.I.V.E. when Oliver came back and where did that get you?"
Diggle winced but glared at Matt.
"Clock is ticking." Stick said.
"So, looks like the Midland Circle is the only place we can go, if we want more answers." Thea realized.
"We barely made it out last time and they're gonna be waiting for us." Jessica argued.
"Yeah, she's right." Matt nodded.
"So how do we find whatever he opens?" Luke pointed out.
"The architect?" Jessica shrugged. "My client's husband. The one your exes tried to kill. He designed the place."
"What, you think he knows how Danny ties into this?" Matt realized where was she going with this.
"It's worth a shot." Jessica said.
"Still better than nothing." Oliver nodded.
"Well, guess you two better get going." Luke said.
"What about you?" Matt asked, turning to Luke.
"Somebody's gotta stay and watch him. Preferably somebody who can take a punch." Luke said, nearing Danny, who was unconscious and restrained to the chair.
"We'll be on lookout if H.I.V.E. or Merlyn are out there." Laurel said.
"I can understand why Matt wants to reach Elektra." Oliver said.
"He believes he can pull her out from that darkness." Sara admitted as they were on the rooftop.
"You think he can't?" Oliver asked, seeing the look in Sara's eyes as she stared into the distance.
"I don't know." Sara said. "There was a time I thought I was too far gone but… you and Laurel made me realize that I don't have to be alone anymore."
"How did you get rid of the bloodlust?" Oliver asked. "I've seen you fight. You held back."
"Chi." Sara said. "I don't know what Danny did exactly but his Fist… it made me whole. I don't know how to explain it. It was a couple of months back. I wanted to come back but when I heard that it was the Hand, I couldn't stand by and do nothing. I just… if I could go back, I would do it all differently with you. Leaving you, it might have been the hardest thing I ever had to do. But I don't want to run anymore."
"Then don't. Stay with us." Oliver held her hand as she smiled, old feelings resurfacing.
Black Sky opened Matt's box with the Daredevil suit as she opened a book which was written in Braille before she saw an invitation to Elektra's funeral that was used as a bookmark.
"The women… the man in green hood… I knew them." Prometheus said, sitting down as Merlyn neared him.
"They left you to die. And that's when I brought you back to life. They're your enemies." Merlyn said.
"To the first birthday that I have enjoyed in a long time. I got my best friend back."
"Please, stay back. I don't want to hurt you." Tommy said, having Malcolm at gunpoint.
"You can't. And you can't stop me." Malcolm said before knocking the gun away from Tommy's hand and hitting him in the head with the hilt of his sword, knocking Tommy out.
Prometheus questioned whether Merlyn was lying to him as Merlyn walked away.
"They almost killed me but I survived." Sowande said as he entered.
"As if you lots have been best buddies since you left K'un-Lun. As if anyone of you has never tried to stab the other one in the back." Darhk said upon entering, taunting the Fingers as he chuckled. "You should rein yourselves in. I can do that. Just like that."
Bakuto held his throat, catching his breath before Darhk let him go as everyone glared at his disrespect towards them.
"When we agreed to this alliance, you would be wise to remember your place, Damien." Gao glared at him.
"And you would be wise to know that neither one of us is expendable. You need us to find the Iron Fist and take down Queen, Cage, Jones and the rest." Darhk said. "And you should hold your weapon in place. She didn't listen to you."
"Where is Black Sky?" Murakami demanded.
"She's safe. Just as Merlyn's weapon." Alexandra said.
"Danny, you know we're just trying to help you, do you?" Thea pleaded.
"Then let me out. Please." Danny pleaded.
"Sorry. We can't take that chance." Laurel said as Danny sighed.
"They're right." Luke agreed.
At the cemetery, Black Sky visited Elektra's grave as Alexandra neared her.
"You are not her." Alexandra said as Black Sky turned to her. "You are much more than she ever was. There was a man. They call him the Devil of Hell's Kitchen. And in this other life, he let Elektra die."
"Is he the one I faced in battle?" Black Sky questioned as Alexandra nodded.
"He may try to deceive you again and turn you away from us." Alexandra said.
"That won't happen." Black Sky argued.
As Jessica was interviewing Lexi Raymond, the architect's daughter, Matt was playing piano until he and Jessica discovered blueprints of Midland Circle hidden in the piano, realizing he planned to blow it up and finding that there is something under Midland Circle.
"How you feeling?" Luke asked.
"Never better." Stick said as he knelt down, meditating and preparing some mixture in an aluminum bowl. "But you and the kid ain't drinking buddies. Don't let him get your guard down."
Luke glanced at Danny, who was meditating before turning to Stick. "He's frustrated, that's all."
"Yeah? Give him a second, he'll take us both out." Stick said.
"Yeah, so he said." Luke nodded.
"I heard the girl say you were fresh out of prison." Stick said as Luke was nearing Danny before Luke turned to him again.
"Yeah? That's behind me now." Luke protested.
"No, it's not." Stick argued. "Never is. Not really. No matter how many punches you pull."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Luke demanded.
"That means when the shit hits the fan, you could do a lot more damage if you let yourself go." Stick replied.
"I'm not here to do damage. I take no joy in watching people get hurt." Luke protested. "I'm here for answers. That's it."
"I was in the joint too. Before I went to war with the Hand." Stick replied as Luke turned to him. "When I was a kid. Ten years. That was a lot of fun, being blind on the inside. Then I met these people who taught me how to fight for real. Taught me how the world works for real. When I got out, I had purpose."
Luke sat down, intrigued. "These people, these the ones you called the Chaste?"
Stick nodded. "Yeah. Closest I ever had to family. Asides from Matty. And Elektra." He sighed at mentioning his best students.
"Sorry for your loss." Luke said.
"Thanks." Stick said. "It's nothing compared to what comes next." He lighted a match as Luke looked at the bowl.
"What's with the incense?" Luke wondered, curious.
"Mmm… helps me meditate." Stick explained. "Ask for guidance. Forgiveness. That kind of thing."
Unknowing to them, Danny was slowly waking up and charging his Iron Fist.
"So, the architect discovers a structure underneath his building. And whatever it is, it's bad enough that he dies trying to blow it up." Jessica said as they were walking down the streets.
"Right, he wanted to destroy it. But he didn't want to blow it up. I think he wanted to collapse it down." Matt argued. "Are you sure the structure in the hole is man-made? Could it be some sort of bedrock?"
"Thirty stories deep, in a perfect dome?" Jessica questioned.
"All right. Fair enough." Matt acknowledged. "Jessica? How'd you know?"
"About what?" Jessica sked.
Matt sighed. "About my dad."
"A crime-fighting blind lawyer, I figured there had gotta be a good story there." Jessica replied.
"Or a shitty one." Matt said.
"You took my case, I took yours." Jessica explained. "I just think we'll work better together, if we trust each other. Don't you?"
"That is the nicest thing you've ever said to me." Matt chuckled.
"Yeah, don't get used to it." Jessica said.
"So much smoke. What is this stuff?" Luke asked as he sat down.
"A little of this. A little of that." Stick said, waving his hand around the bowl as Luke inhaled the smoke from the incense and coughed out. "Kid was right. This is war. And they need him to win it." Luke fell down, delirious before he staggered on his feet. "We assumed we only had two choices. Run or fight." Luke again fell down before trying to get up. "Well… I found a third option." He picked his katana as Luke fell down.
"Something's wrong." Matt realized as he heard Luke fall down, while they ran back into the hideout.
"Luke! Luke!" Danny yelled as Luke's vision blurred. Stick neared Danny with his sword, waving his hand to clear his way away from the smoke and Danny glared at the blind man.
"You won't feel any pain, kid. I promise." Stick said.
Matt and Jessica were running back into the hideout.
"You don't have to do this." Danny begged.
"Alexandra said I didn't know what you were. She was right. You were our weapon. But they made you theirs." Stick said.
"What are you talking about?" Danny demanded, confused.
"You served K'un-Lun as well as you could. With any luck, you'll see it again. I would imagine it's beautiful." Stick said.
"Stick, you need to listen to me." Danny said, trying to plead with him.
Matt climbed on some furniture onto the upper rooftop as Jessica was running down the corridor.
"I wish there was another way kid. But there are things in this world far worse than me." Stick said.
"Stick!" Danny cried out as Stick turned around, blocking Black Sky's sword.
"You can't have him, girl." Stick said.
"You no longer tell me what to do." Black Sky sneered.
Stick blocked as Black Sky attacked with her swords as they exchanged strikes, while Danny was attempting to free himself before he inhaled the smoke from the incense as he was passing out. Black Sky kicked Stick in the face. Stick stumbled back before he attempted to decapitate Black Sky. Black Sky crouched, dodging Stick's blade and stabbing him in the left knee and Stick groaned. Stick again swung his sword but Black Sky rolled away before Stick had his sword on her throat as she stopped.
Black Sky blocked Stick's strikes and got up. Stick retreated as he and Black Sky continued fencing before Black Sky kicked him in the face as Stick fell down. Stick got up, attempting to execute Danny but Black Sky blocked his sword and kicked him in the chest as Stick fell down again.
"Elektra!" Matt yelled as he was nearing the door with Jessica, causing for Black Sky to stop as she stared at him. "Listen to me."
"Matthew." Black Sky said softly.
"You don't have to do this. All right?" Matt pleaded. "You don't belong to them. This is not who you are."
"It's good to see you." Black Sky said as Jessica entered with Oliver, Sara, Laurel, Roy, Thea and Diggle.
"No!" Matt cried out as Black Sky stabbed Stick in the chest, while Laurel gasped, seeing her friend's former lover kill someone who was her father figure in cold blood as Oliver, Sara, Laurel and Thea stared in shock.
Matt rushed at Black Sky but she spun around and kicked him in the chest as he slid down the floor, knocked out. Jessica rushed at Black Sky, grabbing her sword as they struggled. Jessica attempted to punch her but Black Sky blocked before punching Jessica and kicking her in the chest, sending her flying back as she crashed against a wall, knocked out.
Oliver, Sara, Laurel, Roy, Thea, Diggle and Nyssa attempted to engage her before Prometheus jumped in through the window with Andy.
"Tommy." Oliver pleaded but Prometheus's face was cold, emotionless mask.
"You bastard." Diggle glared.
"Sorry, man. But the kid's coming with us." Andy said, aiming his gun.
Luke rushed at Black Sky, blocking her sword with his arm before tackling her to the wall. Black Sky used her feet to flip and knock Luke down and she kicked him hard enough to knock him out.
Prometheus pulled out his sword, pushing Oliver back as Oliver blocked with his bow as their weapons were in deadlock. Prometheus attempted to stab Oliver but Oliver dodged, kicking Prometheus in the back as he stumbled.
Andy fired at Laurel but Diggle jumped in front of him, taking the bullet into his armor.
"Why?" Diggle demanded, glaring.
"Nothing personal." Andy smirked. "But it's all coming crashing down. This is war."
"You…" Diggle glared, realizing that Andy was too far gone.
"We're taking him." Prometheus said as Black Sky cut unconscious Danny loose and took him.
"Don't do this, please, Tommy…" Laurel pleaded.
Prometheus hesitated, as he picked his bow and was reaching for his quiver.
"What are you waiting for?" Andy demanded, turning to Prometheus in confusion.
Prometheus notched an arrow and fired on the floor as the explosion sent Oliver, Sara, Laurel, Diggle, Thea and Nyssa down on the ground and as they recovered, Prometheus, Andy, Black Sky and Danny were gone.
Later, Midland Circle
"You hesitated to kill them. Why?" Merlyn demanded as Prometheus was on his knees before he got up.
"Because…" Prometheus grabbed Merlyn by his throat as he choked out. "I remember. I remember what you did to me. To Ollie. To Laurel. Sara. All of us. This is for the last twenty years of pain you've brought us." Prometheus lifted Merlyn in the air before there was 'crack' as Merlyn's head tilted and Prometheus let go as Merlyn's body fell down, light leaving his eyes. "Mom would be ashamed of you."
With that, Prometheus left the room, walking away.
"I think Mr. Diggle is a bit disappointed in you." Darhk said.
"He's always been blind." Andy said. "What about Merlyn?"
"Let him have his fun with his toy." Darhk said, entering Alexandra's office, only to see her dead on the ground, as Black Sky neared the Fingers.
"My name is Elektra Natchios. You work for me now." Elektra whirled around, decapitating Alexandra as blood spattered across her face and Sowande, Bakuto, Murakami and Gao stared and for the first time in years, they felt fear. Fear of dying as Elektra sighed, wiping the blood off her face as she looked at Darhk and the Fingers.
"Any questions?" Elektra said.
If you have been wondering where the rest of the Team Arrow was the whole time this chapter, they were around New York for a lookout on H.I.V.E. and the Hand, if it makes sense.
So, what do you guys think?
Please review and let me know if you have been enjoying this and want for me to continue.
Chapter 10: Grand finale
The Defenders and Team Arrow make a great gambit to face off the Hand and Darhk one last time.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
When Matt, Luke and Jessica came to, they were in an abandoned apartment with Team Arrow and Nyssa.
"Where are we?" Jessica looked around.
"Somewhere safe. For now." Oliver explained.
"Cops were coming and we needed to get you out of here." Laurel said.
"Although, there's a warrant on Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Witnesses have seen you around." Thea summed up.
"And that detective friend of yours is very angry." Nyssa said, turning to Luke.
"Shit." Luke groaned.
"Where's Danny?" Matt asked.
"Most likely in Midland Circle. And it's heavily guarded, getting in will not be easy." Nyssa said.
"And Foggy and Karen are completely freaked out." Laurel said. "I've gotten at least a dozen of calls from them and I told them I didn't know anything."
"Stick. She killed Stick." Matt breathed out heavily as sadness filled him and he sniffed.
"I'm sorry, Matt." Oliver held his shoulder.
"We need to get Danny out of there." Matt said.
"I know. I know." Oliver said. "But right now, we've got bigger problems."
"Misty's been asking around for us, wants to take us in for questioning and she's this close to an arrest warrant." Luke said, making a gesture with his hand.
"Well, then, let's give her what she wants." Oliver said. "We don't have much of a choice, now, do we?"
The henchmen were taking care of Alexandra's and Merlyn's corpses as Darhk and Andy seemed intrigued, while Murakami, Bakuto, Sowande and Gao glared at Elektra.
"This is not how we do business." Bakuto said as Elektra wiped the blood off her face with her towel.
"Black Sky or not, there are five of us and one of you." Murakami boasted as Elektra was cleaning the blood off her sword.
"Is that a challenge?" Elektra taunted. Darhk attempted to use his magic on her but for some unknown reason, he was unable to.
"We will do what is needed to preserve our organization. This is not our first coup." Bakuto said.
"And to be honest, I've never been a fan of yours and Merlyn's weapon is gone. So… I see no point in continuing this alliance." Darhk said, about to leave as Elektra aimed her sword at Darhk's throat.
"It is your first without the substance and you cannot use your magic on me." Elektra said as Darhk froze, for the first time in years, feeling fear, realizing that his magic was ineffective against the Hand's resurrection methods or Gao's. "Is that a gamble you're willing to take?"
"The Hand is a global organization. For years, Alexandra fostered relationships with everything, from crime lords to corporate partners." Gao said.
"And H.I.V.E. has more than vast resources and contacts." Darhk added.
"Corporate partners?" Elektra repeated, amused.
"How do we explain her death to them?" Gao demanded.
"There's no need for explanations." Elektra sighed.
"What?" Murakami demanded as everyone, even Darhk, realized how insane she was.
"Perhaps the blind man hasn't taught you discretion and invisibility, which helps in the operations of our groups." Darhk said. "Backroom accords, political connections, business associations."
"This gives us power." Gao said.
"This isn't power." Elektra protested, circling around, disgusted. "Living underground. In hiding."
"You know nothing of power." Bakuto said. "You didn't exist, until Alexandra gave you life."
"Didn't I?" Elektra asked, amused, nearing Bakuto.
"It's not what you did. It's how you did it." Bakuto pointed out. "The Hand has survived this long, because we, above all else, have been astute."
"And you lack grace and discretion." Sowande added.
"Which is how H.I.V.E. has lasted this long thanks to me. And I see no point in continuing this partnership with your leader dead and your and my weapons gone rogue. We're done here." Darhk said as he and Andy were about to leave.
"I don't think so." Elektra said as she neared the blades to Darhk's throat, who, for the first time, felt fear, as he froze and trembled. "I cannot afford for you to leave and mobilize your allies to fight me." Darhk waved his hands but nothing happened as Elektra chuckled. "What's the matter? Can't use your magic? From now on, nothing will stand in my way. Not even death."
Darhk, Andy, Gao, Sowande, Murakami and Bakuto stared at her, clearly unnerved by her. Darhk wanted to back out but he couldn't take the risk of facing her without his magic and there was still the matter of Prometheus on the loose and the vigilantes.
"Three of you wanna sit?" Strieber asked as Matt, Jessica and Luke entered the office. "Suit yourselves."
"We've had no luck identifying the bodies we found in the warehouse. And witnesses have seen you at the scene of the crime." Misty said. "And though you two have colorful histories, I have reminded the NYPD we have no evidence…"
"Yet." Strieber interrupted her.
"…to suggest that you were responsible." Misty finished.
"Now, I trust detective Knight and she says that, although you're being tight-lipped, the best way to proceed is to treat you as witnesses and not suspects." Strieber said.
"You have information that can fill in the gaps. We need it." Misty said.
"Our task force has been tracking a mysterious crime syndicate for months. They move fast and cover their tracks and often with the blood of innocent people. And there have been recent sightings of Damien Darhk, Malcolm Merlyn and the Star City vigilantes around here." Strieber added.
"People are in danger." Misty finished.
"Captain, my clients are exhausted and under emotional distress. I'm sure you understand how much they need to go home." Matt pleaded.
"And, see, I'm not sure you understand the severity of the situation." Strieber countered as he pointed at the table with photos of dead bodies. "Everyone, who's come in contact with these assholes, turns up dead. Now, either you help us or I start cleaning out a couple of jail cells."
"They call themselves the Hand." Luke started as Matt chuckled and Jessica gave Luke a look. "They're real. They're murderers. And they took Danny Rand."
"But what do they want with him?" Misty inquired.
"I don't know." Luke admitted. "They've been after him for a while now. Who knows what they'll do next."
"Look, when criminals think they're winning, they get sloppy. This could be good for us." Misty said optimistically.
"No. Not these criminals." Luke shook his head.
"They don't get sloppy, they just get more dangerous." Jessica added.
"It has to be us and the other vigilantes. We can take care of this." Luke said.
""We"? There is no "we"." Strieber protested. "Vigilantes don't have jurisdiction. The NYPD does."
"Luke, you don't need to protect us. Tell us where to find the Hand and Darhk. We can take it from there." Misty said.
"You've seen what the Ghosts have done to Star City, right? The cops there were barely hanging on until the Green Arrow showed up. And with them and the Hand here, who knows what can happen. Believe us, you're way out of your league." Jessica said.
"Well, that's it. OK. Someone call D.A. Tower. I'm tired of doing this the hard way. These people don't tell us what to do. We are the law here." Strieber said as he got up, frustrated. "Or has New York gone completely insane?"
"Captain, before you make any calls, I'd like to sidebar with my clients." Matt pleaded.
"Oh, you can do that, after I book them for obstruction. And you." Strieber said, about to dial a number as he picked his phone.
"Just a word. In private. I would like to explain to them how best to cooperate in building your case." Matt said.
Strieber considered, eying Matt, Jessica and Luke before putting his phone down as he neared Matt. "Well, I hope they like what you have to say. Otherwise, and I warn you, I'm putting you in a room with two superpowered people."
"Last I heard, they still have legal rights." Matt pointed out as Strieber glared.
"You know what, son…"
"Captain…" Misty intervened. "I think we should let them. Just trust me."
Strieber considered before nodding. "OK. But don't make me regret this."
"Thank you, Captain." Matt said as Strieber left and Misty accompanied Matt, Luke and Jessica outside as Claire saw them in a room opposite to them.
"Uh, Detective, would you mind, if I grab Mr. Murdock for a moment?" Karen said.
"I'll just be a minute." Matt said.
"OK." Misty nodded.
"Thank you." Karen nodded as Matt cleared his throat.
"Hi." Matt said as Karen crossed her arms, looking at Matt warily.
"What's going on?" Karen demanded.
Matt sighed. "You mind if I explain later?"
"Well, it looks pretty bad." Karen pointed out. "It's only a matter of time before they start to put things together."
"Yeah, I know, I know." Matt nodded.
Karen scoffed. "God. I don't understand. After everything that you've worked for? You were finally rebuilding your life."
"Karen… this is my life. I have to go." Matt said, leaving as Karen looked hurt and disappointed.
Colleen saw the crime scene photos, realizing what the organization she had been working with, really was as Claire neared her, sighing.
"Danny's prepared his whole life for this fight. He's the Iron Fist." Claire said as Colleen chuckled.
"And he will tell that to anyone who will listen." Colleen agreed as she sighed. "Deep down inside, he is still just a kid looking for his family. With me… and with them… almost had it." As she saw the C4 explosives in the photos, an idea formed in her mind.
"Can we talk?" Misty asked as she and Luke were in private in a corridor.
"About?" Luke inquired.
"Look, I brought you in to help one family. But this shit is getting out of hand." Misty said.
"I know. It's already out of hand." Luke nodded.
"I know you're trying to do good but there is a difference between being a hero and a martyr." Misty argued.
"You think that's why I'm putting everything at risk, because of my pride?" Luke demanded, offended.
"I don't know what to think. Maybe you wanna be a cop again." Misty shrugged. "The truth is, I've lost sight of your plan."
"There is no plan." Luke argued.
"I can tell." Misty nodded. "Look, Luke, I am your friend."
"I know, Misty." Luke said. "That's why I'm trying to protect you. Let me. Please."
Misty gave in after a moment as Luke left.
The elevator was descending down with Elektra and Danny restrained to a gurney as Darhk, Sowande, Murakami, Gao and Bakuto observed.
"I don't trust her." Murakami said. "What if we stop her before she undoes everything we've done?"
"All you need is for the Iron Fist to open the door. After that, she's expendable." Sowande said.
"What if we stop her? She is not one of us." Murakami said.
"It does not matter. She has the ability to bring us new beginning." Gao said.
"And after that, anything can happen." Bakuto nodded. "We can dispose of her and of your rogue weapon."
"I think Merlyn overestimated himself but still… I think this partnership can work. Don't you think?" Darhk pointed out as the Fingers considered.
Danny's vision was blurred as the elevator stopped before Elektra pushed him out, into the underground catacombs under the Midland Circle.
"What are we doing down here?" Danny demanded.
"That depends on you." Elektra replied as Danny stared in disbelief at what he was seeing.
"Oh, my God." Danny said.
"We don't have a lot of time." Matt said.
"If they're pressing charges, we want a lawyer, who isn't you." Jessica said.
"Laurel." Matt nodded.
"That's not why we're here." Jessica said.
"You're right. We're here because your ex and their former friend almost killed every one of us." Luke added.
"Yeah, did she take Danny or did she kill Danny?" Jessica wondered.
"I don't know. But if what Stick said is true, and they didn't leave his body behind, we have to believe they need him alive." Matt said.
"I think she saved him. When you burst him, the old man was trying to slice him open." Luke pointed out.
"Well, he must've known what the Hand was planning on doing with the Iron Fist." Matt sighed.
"Which is what?" Luke inquired.
"We still don't know." Matt said as Luke sighed.
"Where did they take Danny?" Luke asked.
"Midland Circle makes the most sense." Matt pointed out.
"What about the architect?" Luke asked.
"He was planning on blowing up the building." Jessica said. "Collapsing it straight down into the hole."
"They're still digging?" Luke demanded.
"No. Digging stopped but there's some structure, some dome-shaped thing…"
"We found blueprints inside the piano." Jessica said, interrupting Matt.
"The what?" Luke demanded.
"Don't ask." Jessica sighed.
"If they think Danny is the key, maybe whatever it is he unlocks is in that structure." Matt said.
Jessica shook her head, giving an incredulous look. "Oh, my God, this is the dumbest…"
"The question is, what are we gonna do about it?" Luke asked. "I mean, I just got out of jail. They don't know who you are, Matt."
They heard the door knock.
"Jesus! Give us a minute!" Jessica snapped.
"It's not the cops." Matt said, opening the door to Foggy. "Hey."
"Sorry. Can we borrow you?" Foggy asked.
"Not right now." Matt shook his head.
"Yes, right now." Laurel said as she neared them.
"Just give me a minute." Matt said as he left with Laurel and Foggy to talk in private in the corridor.
"You told me that Foggy knows, so I talked with him." Laurel said.
"The people in this building need to always, and only, see you as a lawyer." Foggy said before turning to Laurel. "And to be honest, few days ago, we encounter you, your sister and Oliver Queen, then Green Arrow and the Canaries show up alongside Daredevil? It wasn't that hard to put the two and two together." Foggy handed Matt the duffel bag with his suit.
"OK. Thank you." Matt nodded.
"Anytime." Foggy said as they hugged each other. "That's what family's for. And good luck." He left.
"So, what are we gonna do? I mean, by the time I can think of a case that can help you get out, it may be too late." Laurel said.
"Let me talk to them." Matt said, returning to the room with Jessica and Luke.
"Look, Jess and I have been talking and no matter what it takes, no matter what we have to tell these cops, we gotta get to Midland Circle." Luke said.
"OK. So long as we're on the same page. Here's my official legal advice." Matt said as Luke and Jessica looked confused.
Laurel observed as she saw Luke punch through a wall and Matt, Jessica and Luke leave the precinct and she decided to run before they'd ask her questions as Strieber and Misty rushed to see what happened.
Danny saw the inscriptions on the wall as Elektra turned to him. "Do you recognize that language?"
"That's why you dragged me down here?" Danny demanded. "To be a translator?"
"What does it say?" Elektra inquired.
"I've seen this language before but there's a lot I didn't learn." Danny said. "A lot they didn't tell me. Besides, even if I could read it, I have no idea what this is."
"Well, lucky for us, I do." Elektra said, turning to Danny. "Years ago, someone like you used their abilities to seal this."
"How do you know?" Danny asked.
"Alexandra talked. I listened." Elektra said. "In doing so, they guaranteed that only one thing could open it."
"Hmm." Danny realized what was she talking about. "Another Iron Fist."
"Behind that door is the true power of the Hand." Elektra smirked as she turned to the wall.
"And you expect me to open it to you? I swore an oath to my masters to protect K'un-Lun and destroy the Hand." Danny said.
"I also had masters." Elektra turned to him. "But I'm free now. And you can be as well."
She let Danny go.
As Strieber and Misty were on a BOLO for Matt, Jessica and Luke, Colleen entered the evidence locker, looking for the blueprints of Midland Circle before she saw the crates full of C4 as an idea hit her.
"They got an APB on us. They think you guys kidnapped me." Matt said as he, Jessica and Luke were hiding from the police.
"Great." Jessica scoffed.
"Oliver and the rest are waiting for us. We're still 20 blocks away." Luke said.
"Should we take a cab?" Jessica asked as Luke checked his pockets.
"They kept my wallet." Luke groaned.
"Yeah, me, too." Matt said.
"Shit." Jessica swore.
"Whatever we do, we need to do it fast." Matt said before Jessica pulled out her subway card as they decided to take the subway train.
"How are we going to get in?" Thea wondered as she, Diggle and Roy were on a lookout.
"I know a way."
They froze before turning around, recognizing the voice.
"Tommy?" Thea breathed out as Diggle and Roy aimed their weapons at him.
"I know. I'm the last person you expected to see but I want to help." Tommy said.
"It is me, Thea. It is me." Tommy said. "Please."
"Why should we trust you?" Diggle demanded.
"I want to help. I know I've done bad things but I want to make up for them. Let me help. Please." Tommy said.
As Green Arrow, Black Canary, Sara and Nyssa appeared, they saw Tommy, eying him warily.
"Tommy?" Oliver asked carefully.
"I know you don't trust me but we're out of time." Tommy said.
They went downstairs with Daredevil, Jessica and Luke into the parking garage but stopped at the stairs.
"What's wrong?" Luke asked.
"We're not alone." Daredevil said.
"MJ deep cut." Jessica drawled.
"How many are there?" Laurel asked.
"Six. Armed." Daredevil said.
"Just six?" Jessica asked.
"Not just any six." Daredevil said
"Is that the only way in?" Sara asked.
"Unfortunately." Luke sighed as they faced Murakami, Bakuto, Gao, Sowande, Darhk and Andy in the parking garage.
"Where's Danny Rand?" Green Arrow demanded.
"The Iron Fist belongs to us." Gao said.
"Well, we're not leaving here without him." Jessica said.
"Then you're not leaving at all." Andy smirked.
Daredevil prepared his billy clubs, connecting them and turning them into a staff as the Canary and Black Canary pulled out their batons, Nyssa pulled out her sword, while Green Arrow, Arsenal and Tommy notched their arrows.
Underground, Danny clenched his fists.
"We don't have to fight." Elektra said as Danny glared.
"Fighting is all the Hand knows." Danny said.
"I'm not the Hand. We've been used. Both of us. We've been raised to fight someone else's war. But you and I, we're the same. All we want to decide is our own futures." Elektra said.
"You sound like your master, Alexandra. But neither of you know what you want." Danny said.
"Alexandra's dead. I killed her. That's what I wanted. And soon enough, Darhk will be too. And you… you wanted more than K'un-Lun." Elektra reminded as Danny saw how insane she was, while flinching, realizing she was getting under his skin. "That's why you abandoned it, isn't it? They told me all about you. About your struggle. But what was it for? You're still at this alone. Especially since you know that your precious elders chose to keep you in the dark. Just like mine did." She turned around again. "The only difference between us is that I took my destiny. You ran away from yours." She faced him again.
"Maybe you're right." Danny nodded. "Maybe I did run. Maybe there were things in this world that I wasn't ready to confront. But you… you are not one of them."
Danny rushed at Elektra, who blocked his punches and hit him in the face and kicked him in the chest as Danny staggered.
Gao pushed forward a pile of concrete bricks as Daredevil and Green Arrow jumped over and Luke pushed it back, while Daredevil and Green Arrow engaged Bakuto and Murakami.
Bakuto kicked Daredevil in the chest, making him stagger as Daredevil blocked Murakami's nightstick with his bow. Daredevil blocked with his billy clubs as Bakuto attacked with his sword and Daredevil hit him in the face with one of his clubs. Green Arrow parried Murakami's strikes and kicked him back as Murakami fell against a table.
Luke kicked the pile of concrete bricks at Gao, who smashed them with her telekinesis.
Black Canary and the Canary engaged Sowande, who jumped over a car and kicked them in the chests as they stumbled back. The Canary attacked with her staff but Sowande dodged, slapping her in the throat as she choked. Sowande kicked Black Canary in the midsection as she slid down the ground before he threw the Canary down.
Tommy, Nyssa, Speedy and Arsenal engaged Darhk, who pulled out a sword from the League. Darhk cut Speedy in the abdomen and kicked her in the chest as she fell down and slid down the ground. Darhk dodged as Nyssa and Tommy attacked with their swords and blocked their strikes with ease before lifting Arsenal in the air and throwing him away. Darhk feigned left as Tommy attacked before Darhk suddenly twisted his wrist and cut Tommy across his chest as Tommy grunted. Darhk dodged as Nyssa attempted to cut his head off and kicked her in the abdomen as she staggered.
Diggle took cover as Andy opened fire.
"How could you? I trusted you!" Diggle roared.
"Then you never knew me at all, John!" Andy sneered.
Danny dodged Elektra's kick before she punched him in the face as Danny stumbled back.
Oliver ducked as Murakami swung his nightstick and hit him in the chest with his bow. Matt jumped and kicked both Murakami and Bakuto in their faces as they fell down.
Tommy scratched Darhk's jacket with his sword but Darhk used his magic and threw a pile of bricks at Tommy, throwing him down. Nyssa attacked as Darhk blocked as their blades clashed. Darhk struck Nyssa in the face with the hilt of his sword and kicked her back as she staggered. Nyssa retreated as Darhk went onto offensive.
Sowande kicked Laurel in the leg as she fell down. Sara grabbed Sowande from behind, having him in neck lock with her staff, about to snap his neck but Sowande grabbed Sara and threw her over his shoulder as she hit the ground, hard. Sara rolled away before he could finish her off and blocked as Laurel attempted to kick him and grabbed her leg, throwing her towards a pile of bricks as Laurel fell over.
Gao neared Jessica and Luke.
"I should warn you, I'm stronger than I look." Jessica quipped.
Diggle ran out of bullets as Andy shot him in the chest as Diggle fell down, with the Kevlar protecting him.
"How could you?" Diggle glared.
"I'm a survivor. Doing what it takes. Nothing can stop what's coming, John." Andy sneered before suddenly, Luke threw a concrete brick at Andy, knocking him down as Diggle stared.
Elektra kicked Danny in the chest as he staggered. Danny dodged her kick and kicked her in the face. Elektra dodged his next kick and punches as she ducked and kicked him in the leg as Danny fell down before Danny got up.
Andy got up and pulled out a grenade but Diggle roared, tackling Andy and impaling him on a rebar as Andy gulped, staring at Diggle in disbelief as blood filled his mouth before light left his eyes and Andy dropped the grenade but luckily, he did not manage to pull the pin out.
Jessica and Luke struggled with Gao, who threw Luke away as he fell towards a car before he hit the ground.
Darhk threw Nyssa at Tommy as they fell down before Roy and Thea attacked him again. Darhk blocked with his sword and grabbed Thea by her throat and pushing Roy away as he was draining her life force as Thea paled, when suddenly, they heard someone shout in Latin as Thea regained her color and Darhk lost his powers. Darhk was unable to do anything as he was suddenly sent back flying as he fell down.
"Hope I'm not too late." Constantine quipped.
Matt blocked Bakuto's sword, while Oliver pushed Murakami back as Oliver's bow and Murakami's nightstick were in a deadlock. Matt slammed Bakuto towards a pile of bricks as Oliver pushed Murakami to a glass window as it crashed before Murakami grabbed Oliver, slamming him to the wall.
Sowande sent a barrage of precise strikes at Laurel, who struggled to catch her breath. Before Sowande could deliver a lethal blow, Sara hit him in the back as Sowande fell down. Sowande kicked Sara as she stumbled back and grabbed her staff, throwing her at Laurel, as they both fell down.
Luke got up as Gao pushed the car, pinning Luke to the wall. Luke grabbed a pipe above them and threw it towards Jessica, who caught it and hit Gao as she slid down the floor.
Elektra did a roundhouse kick, hitting Danny in the face. Danny blocked her following kick and they traded blows before Danny hit Elektra in the chest with his elbow as Elektra staggered. Danny did a cartwheel, hitting Elektra in the face.
Oliver knocked Murakami down and Matt dodged as Bakuto attacked with his sword.
Luke pushed the car away, freeing himself and Gao dodged as Jessica attempted to hit her with a pipe.
Murakami got up and engaged Luke, hitting him in the chest with his nightstick and then in the face as Luke staggered before punching Murakami in the face and Murakami screamed as he fell against a car and then onto the ground. Murakami picked a brick and attempted to hit Luke with it but Luke punched through it as it shattered.
"It's payback time." Constantine quipped as he and Darhk were trying to push each other back with their telekinesis as Nyssa, Tommy, Roy and Thea stared.
Oliver blocked Bakuto's sword as he was pushing Oliver and Matt back. Oliver and Matt dodged as Bakuto smashed a concrete brick.
"What the…" Jessica was looking around for Gao before Gao sent Jessica flying back with her telekinesis as Jessica dropped the pipe and crashed against a car. As Gao neared her, Jessica grabbed her and kicked her, sending her sliding down the ground.
Luke slammed Murakami to the hood of a car.
Oliver blocked Bakuto's sword and hit him in the face with his bow and pushed him back. Bakuto dodged Matt's kick and swung his sword before Colleen rushed in, blocking him with her own sword.
"Not today!" Colleen snarled as she and Bakuto grunted before Matt, Oliver and Colleen engaged him again. Matt hit Bakuto in the chest as Bakuto blocked Colleen's sword and attempted to stab Oliver, who blocked it with his bow.
Sowande was about to punch Laurel but Laurel grabbed his arm and slammed him to the ground. Sowande rolled back and kicked Laurel in the face as she fell down. Sowande dodged as Sara attacked with her staff as he blocked her strikes before Sara hit him in the chest as Sowande grunted. Sara hit Sowande in the face but Sowande grabbed Sara by her leg before she could land another kick and hit her in the neck from behind as she fell down, dazed and temporarily paralyzed as she was unable to get up. Laurel grabbed Sowande as they both struggled.
Matt, Colleen and Oliver kicked Bakuto in the chest, while Murakami freed himself from Luke's grip, pinning him to the hood of the car. Murakami attempted to finish Luke off but Luke dodged Murakami's knife and threw him away.
Constantine and Darhk were sent flying back as their magic clashed.
Matt slammed Bakuto towards a pile of bricks as it shattered and Jessica punched Gao in the chest as she slid down the ground.
"Light! Now!" Murakami yelled, cutting through a pipe as gas burst out. Bakuto cut into the ground with his sword as sparks ignited the leaking gas as the Fingers of the Hand and Darhk retreated.
Luke squeezed the pipe to stop the leaking gas as it burned his jacket.
"Everyone OK?" Matt asked.
"OK is long gone." Jessica panted out.
Diggle stared at Andy's corpse, his eyes getting wet.
"He didn't give you a choice, John." Oliver said, assuring Diggle before Luke turned to Colleen.
"Hey. You should be at the precinct." Luke said.
"You're welcome." Colleen snapped.
Elektra hit Danny in the face and pinned him to the pillar. Danny attempted to grab her but Elektra flipped over as she slammed him to the ground and kicked him in the chest as Danny groaned.
"I know what you want but you're not gonna get it." Danny growled. "Because unlike you, my master taught me loyalty."
"Ah, that's why you're still chained to your master." Elektra realized as she kicked Danny, who grunted and groaned and rolled away. "You're gonna fail here, just as you failed K'un-Lun." She kicked Danny again before punching him in the face.
Danny got up as Elektra grabbed his arm, flipping over and throwing Danny over her shoulder as Danny hit the ground again, falling onto a puddle of water as it splashed.
Danny breathed out as Elektra grabbed him by his head. "You should've heard the way they screamed when I killed them."
Danny fumed with rage, finally having enough of it, charging his Iron Fist as he hit Elektra in the chest and Elektra was sent down onto the ground, sliding towards the barrier.
"They gone, Matt?" Luke asked.
"Yeah, for now." Daredevil nodded.
"What are you doing here?" Black Canary asked, turning to Constantine.
"Said he needs help, so I came to help." Constantine shrugged.
"What do you got in that bag?" Green Arrow asked, turning to Colleen.
"I'm here to save Danny and make sure no one gets hurt, ever again." Colleen replied.
"How does that answer to his question?" Jessica demanded as Colleen passed by them with the bag in her hand.
"We have to go." Colleen said.
"What's in the bag?" Jessica repeated.
"She's right." Daredevil said as Misty drove in with Claire.
"Hold it." Misty said.
"Claire?" Luke asked.
"What happened here?" Claire demanded.
"No time to explain." Luke said.
"Like hell there isn't." Misty snapped.
"Please." Colleen pleaded.
"You got a minute before the full force of the NYPD is here." Misty said. "So I need you to answer this fast." For a second, everyone thought they were done before Misty said her question. "How long you want me to stall them?"
Elektra got up as Danny glared, breathing heavily as she put down her coat.
Danny attacked but she dodged as Danny's Iron Fist smashed a wall and she hit him in the face.
Danny attacked again but Elektra blocked and dodged before she pulled out her sais, cutting Danny in the chest as Danny retreated.
Danny threw a punch with his Iron Fist, which was exactly what Elektra needed as she grappled it with her sais and drove it towards the barrier, breaking through it and throwing Danny in.
Suddenly, the entire city blacked out as emergency alarm blared in Midland Circle.
"Keep moving." Luke ordered as they were entering the building.
"Cops coming." Daredevil said as they went down the fire escape and Luke ripped off the railing and wrapped it around the doorknob.
"Wow." Colleen stared.
"You have no idea." Claire nodded.
They went towards the lobby as Colleen looked around. "Where's Danny?"
"Yeah, where's Danny?" Luke wondered as Matt put down his glove and touched the floor.
"There's a structure underground. He's gotta be there." Matt said.
"How are we gonna get down there?" Roy demanded.
"Yeah, I'm figuring that out." Matt said.
"Hey, I don't like it here. Not at all." Luke said, uncomfortable at leaving his girlfriend at danger.
"Too late." Claire shrugged.
"There's an elevator this way. It goes deep." Matt said, going down the hall.
"You think he's down there?" Jessica asked.
"Let's find out." Matt said.
"Just one more thing." Colleen said, opening the duffel bag.
"What is that?" Jessica demanded before she saw the C4 explosives, realizing what was Colleen up to. "This is not happening."
"We grab Danny and we get him out but if we don't end the Hand and Darhk, sooner or later, they'll come after us." Colleen said.
"She's right." Nyssa nodded.
"Oh, my God." Claire breathed out.
"This is not happening." Jessica groaned.
"The architect, he was your guy, right?" Colleen asked, pulling out the blueprints.
"Don't put this shit on me." Jessica snapped.
"No." Colleen said, putting the blueprints on the table. "He had this plan on how to take this thing out."
"OK, I wanna save Danny too but not like this." Claire protested.
"They'll have us on obstruction of justice and domestic terrorism." Jessica said.
"This isn't just about Danny. It's about New York." Colleen said. "You know these people, Claire. They're relentless."
"There's no guarantee that exploding this building ends their organization." Jessica said.
"It kills their leaders and cuts the head off the snake." Colleen said.
"And Darhk's magic is getting weaker because of the Hand. He won't make it out alive." Constantine said.
"And with him gone, H.I.V.E. will be in disarray." Oliver realized.
"Hey, we're here to save lives, not take them." Luke protested.
"Either we're willing to do whatever it takes to save lives, or we should not be out there at all." Oliver said, finally realizing he could not hold back anymore.
"These people aren't really alive." Colleen pointed out.
"Plus, the building is empty." Matt said as everyone turned to him. "There's no one else here. It's us and them."
"You're OK with this?" Claire demanded, not expecting Matt, of all people, to ever go this far.
"I mean, no but… she's right. And the architect knew it." Matt said, pointing at Colleen. "The only way to end this, to save this city, the whole world from whatever's coming, is to bring this building down. So, unless there are any objections…" Everyone was silent. "…then that's exactly what we're gonna do."
In the underground, Danny breathed out and was disbelieved to see bones encased into the wall before he realized that he was inside a dragon skeleton.
"I don't care how dangerous you say these people are. I don't want any part of this." Luke protested.
"We're here to get Danny but Colleen's right, this won't end here." Matt said.
"If we don't take them out right here, right now, the Hand and Darhk will not stop hunting us down." Nyssa said.
"This is our chance to take them out. Once and for all." Oliver nodded.
"They will come back. Again and again. But these could end them forever." Colleen turned to the bombs.
"I get that you have a history with these people." Luke snapped.
"We all do." Sara said.
"And so did that kid from Harlem." Matt added.
"Detonating a bomb here won't fix what happened to him." Luke protested. "OK? Not by a long shot."
"No but it might help everyone else who will be in danger." Matt pointed out.
"And make no mistake, people will be in danger." Colleen nodded.
Luke sighed. "I just can't go along with this."
"OK." Claire nodded, sighing. "For the record, everything that's been said in the past two minutes is 100% insane."
"Thank you." Luke said.
"But…" Claire trailed off.
"Sweet Sister." Luke muttered.
"…we all know what the Hand is capable of. And Damien Darhk as well. We've all been affected. But they keep coming back. And when they do, it's not just crime, it's horror movie, murdery shit." Claire finished.
"It's either this building or the whole city. Maybe even the whole world." Oliver said.
"But Darhk has already survived once, when we attempted to blow up a building. What if…"
"No, he won't. Not this time. His magic is getting weaker because of the Hand and it has one big flaw. Anyone with sufficiently stronger willpower than the user of Khushu magic, is immune to it." Constantine interrupted Thea.
"And trust me, with our combined willpower, he cannot beat us." Sara said.
"This is not how I fix things." Luke protested.
"These people have come after our friends. There's no showing signs of stopping." Jessica pointed out as Luke stared at her.
"You know that I've wanted nothing to do with this from the beginning." Jessica said. "The architect's brains are still in my apartment. I haven't changed my clothes. Let's just get this shit over with. We'll all sleep easier once they're gone. We can all just…" She sighed. "…get on with our lives."
"If we do this… no one but Darhk and those… Hand monsters get hurt." Luke said as everyone nodded. "OK? Not one single innocent person. Can we all agree to that?"
"Yep." Matt said.
"OK, then." Luke sighed. "Can't believe I'm saying this but… let's go do something crazy."
Elektra walked down inside the skeleton, looking around, eying the dragon bones. "It's true." She laughed, touching the bones.
"You doubted the power of K'un-Lun?" Gao asked rhetorically as she entered. "These creatures once roamed the green valleys of my home. These fossils are all that remain. The last known deposit on Earth."
"Secure the entrance. The Iron Fist is here somewhere." Elektra ordered.
"It no longer matters. The door is open." Gao said.
"Well, he needs to die." Elektra pointed out.
"Of course." Gao nodded. "But it is in our best interest to remove the substance with urgency."
"Where is Darhk and the others?" Elektra demanded.
"Securing our escape." Gao replied.
"From what?" Elektra wondered.
"The Devil of Hell's Kitchen, the man who does not break, the unyielding woman, the archers of Star City, Prometheus, the soldier and the two warrior women and the daughter of the Demon. They are here." Gao said. "We held them back as long as we could. The war has been on."
"I decide when we've won." Elektra said.
"Once we've removed the substance, the foundation of the city will continue to weaken. A swath of New York will crumble. Many will die." Gao said as Elektra narrowed her eyes. "It's just a city. They rise. They fall. You'll see many more."
Elektra considered as she recalled Alexandra's words.
"And once we're done here, we can finally proceed with Genesis." Darhk said. "From the ashes of the world, we can rebuild a better one."
Elektra let Darhk and Gao follow her as Danny had been eavesdropping from around the corner the whole time, hidden in the shadows.
"From what we can tell, the architect's plan was to place explosives in the building's structural center." Matt said as Colleen was examining the blueprints on the counter.
"I mean, these look like support beams." Colleen said. "So, without them, the building can't stand. Once we find these, we plant the C4."
"No remote detonator." Luke said.
"What does that mean?" Claire asked.
"A time bomb. Which means, once we plant the explosives, we'll have minutes to get out of here." Oliver explained.
"Oh, that's encouraging." Jessica drawled.
"So, what you're saying is once someone activates the charge…"
"That's it." Luke nodded.
"You two put them in place." Matt ordered. "Once we're out of the hole, hit the charge, we get out of here."
"Wait, what? No, I am going down with you." Colleen protested. "Last time I stayed behind, Danny got drugged and kidnapped."
"What part of this shitstorm sounds like staying behind?" Jessica snapped.
"This shitstorm is my life." Colleen countered.
"Colleen, the three of them have certain abilities and the rest of them are very skilled people." Claire pointed out.
"So am I." Colleen said.
"Exactly." Claire nodded. "I'm saying, as your friend, if I'm going to do this, I need your help a lot more than they do."
"She's right. John and Thea can help you out, we'll handle it." Oliver said as Colleen sighed.
"Promise me that you won't fail him again." Colleen pleaded, turning to them.
"I'll make it right." Luke said. "I owe him that much."
Then they heard police sirens blaring.
"This way." Matt ordered as they followed him.
"I'll be back, Claire. I promise." Luke said as he turned to Claire before he left and Diggle, Thea, Claire and Colleen ran to plant the bombs.
"About your brother…" Oliver turned to Diggle.
"Don't. Let's just get this over with." Diggle sighed.
"You're right, this place is completely empty." Jessica said as she, Luke, Oliver, Laurel, Tommy, Sara, Roy, Constantine and Nyssa followed Matt.
"A lot of activity under the building now." Matt said.
"Here." Tommy pointed at the wall as they stopped.
"I need you to… open this." Matt ordered to Luke.
"Open what?" Luke asked.
"It's a door. Something mechanical behind it." Matt explained.
"Mechanical?" Laurel repeated.
"An elevator." Tommy said.
Luke punched the wall as the tile broke, revealing a hidden elevator as they looked down. "How deep does this go?" Luke wondered.
"It's hard to tell." Matt said.
"The more I think about it, the less I like our odds." Luke groaned.
"Yeah, well, do like me. Don't think about it." Matt said.
"That's how I go too." Oliver said.
"If you told me a week ago that I'd be here with you, guys, about to blow up some building and fight ninjas to save New York…" Jessica sighed as Matt chuckled.
"As Dig would say, "My life was somewhat normal a couple of years ago." Laurel quipped as everyone snickered.
"For whatever it's worth, I'm glad you're here." Matt said.
"What?" Jessica repeated, not expecting Matt to be sentimental.
"Well, the circumstances could be better." Matt explained. "I'm just saying, you know, I'm glad we found each other."
"I'm not hugging you." Luke said.
"As much as I'd like to, the timing kind of sucks right now." Laurel said as Matt sighed.
"You guys ready or what?" Jessica grumbled.
"No." Luke said.
"No." Matt sighed.
"As ready as we can be." Oliver said.
"Sounds about right." Jessica said as they entered the elevator and went down.
"Claire, for what it's worth, I know those guys have abilities but so do you." Colleen said.
"What?" Claire turned to her in confusion.
"You have saved just as many lives, helped just as many people." Colleen pointed out as she chuckled. "You just don't make the headlines."
"You're gonna make me blush." Claire chuckled as they turned to the door to the maintenance room. "This is it." They entered as they looked around. "How do we know what we're looking for?" Claire pointed at the metal pillar as they neared it, unzipping the bag and planting the bombs and setting the detonator before they heard footsteps. "Someone's coming."
Claire and Colleen went to hide as Bakuto entered. Colleen pulled out her sword, ready to engage her former master.
Bakuto saw the bombs as he smirked. "I will find you."
"No." Claire mouthed and shook her head before Colleen went out.
"No need. I'm done hiding." Colleen said.
"Colleen." Bakuto smirked. "We meet again. I told you our fates are aligned."
"Except it's not fate. I came here to end this." Colleen shot back as she neared Bakuto.
Claire heard her phone ring as she panicked, trying to turn off the ringtone as she noticed that Misty was calling her.
"Did you come for me? Or did you simply follow?" Bakuto asked rhetorically. "I trained you to believe in yourself and your purpose. It's not too late."
Colleen attacked with her katana as Bakuto blocked with his sword. Bakuto got behind her and dodged as Colleen attempted to cut his head off.
Claire answered the call and hid elsewhere.
"Claire, what the hell is going on?" Misty demanded. "Put Luke on the goddamned phone."
"Real bad timing." Claire whispered.
"Listen, you need to get your asses out of there. One of your guys brought bombs in the building." Misty ordered as Claire sighed.
"Just make sure to clear the block, OK? There's a lot of this stuff in here." Claire said.
"Wait a minute. You know about this?" Misty demanded. "Claire, whatever it is you're planning, it ends in either jail or a cemetery."
"Please." Claire begged as Colleen and Bakuto clashed with their swords.
"You guys are in way over your heads. All of you." Misty said.
"Believe me, I know." Claire sighed.
"What's that sound? What's happening? Claire." Misty demanded, hearing metal clanking as Bakuto and Colleen continued fighting.
Claire hung up.
Misty groaned before entering the building.
Danny was taking out the men extracting the substance from the dragon bones before he heard Gao.
"You waste your energy." Gao said. "Save it… for the larger battle to come."
"Is this place what I think it is?" Danny demanded.
"These beasts, they've given both of us so much." Gao said. "Though even power great as yours pales in the face of eternal life."
"This is what you've been after the whole time?" Danny realized as he turned around to face her.
"The very essence of what made you." Gao said.
"You desecrate Shou-Lao." Danny glared at her in disgust.
"You punched him in the heart." Gao pointed out.
"The Elders of K'un-Lun were right. They showed way too much mercy when they banished the Hand." Danny said.
"And you think you're going to right that wrong?" Gao challenged.
"It's what this journey has all been for." Danny said.
"Then you are as naïve as when I first laid eyes on you." Gao said, amused. "Just a child… walking with your mother. She made you hold her hand as you crossed the street. You pulled away from her as though you didn't need her." Danny's lips quivered and eyes got wet at the memory. "Tell me, what would you give to hold the hand again?" She looked around. "And here you are, alone. Trying to fulfill some prophecy. All to numb your pain."
"You can't get into my head anymore. Now tell me, what are your plans with New York?" Danny demanded.
"Its time has come… to fall." Gao said.
Danny attempted to punch her but Gao slapped him in the chest, knocking him down as Danny groaned before they heard the elevator engine.
"The elevator. It's descending." Gao said.
Danny got up before Murakami was about to kill him as he grabbed Danny from behind.
"Wait!" Elektra ordered. "He could be useful."
"Perhaps you have found your family." Gao said.
The elevator was going down as Oliver, Laurel, Tommy, Sara, Nyssa, Roy, Constantine, Matt, Jessica and Luke were waiting.
"Ten stories left. Give or take." Matt said.
"Anyone waiting for us?" Luke wondered.
"Yeah, about 50 of them. All of them armed. Including Darhk, Sowande, Murakami and Gao." Matt said.
"What about your ex-girlfriend?" Jessica demanded.
"Yeah." Matt sighed.
"They knew we'd come for Danny." Luke said.
"Oh, bollocks." Constantine groaned.
"Guys, this is… a lot worse than what we've faced before." Matt noted.
"That's an understatement." Luke drawled.
"We're gonna need a plan." Laurel pointed out.
"I got an idea." Luke turned to Jessica. "But you're not gonna like it."
The elevator descended as Elektra, Darhk, Gao, Sowande and Murakami were waiting and were surprised to see Jessica.
"OK. Don't shoot." Jessica sighed as she went out. "Look, I don't give a shit what you guys are doing down here in your secret cave thing. I just came to talk." She glared at Elektra. "You started this. Ever since you burst into my office, my life has become one big Kung Fu party. I don't wanna fight you. Alone."
Suddenly, Daredevil, Green Arrow, Arsenal, the Canaries, Tommy and Nyssa jumped down from above, knocking down the thugs as Constantine sent some of the Hand's henchmen flying back with his telekinesis.
Jessica punched Elektra, knocking her down and Danny freed himself from Murakami's hold, knocking him back and Danny kicked Gao in the leg as she fell down and punched Darhk in the face. Jessica knocked down two of the thugs.
Black Canary hit one in the face with her nightstick and another one in the stomach. The Canary swung her staff, knocking down the thugs attacking her before blocking as Sowande engaged her. Oliver fired an arrow that Sowande caught. Realizing what was he doing, the Canaries rolled away as the arrow exploded, knocking Sowande down before Green Arrow, Tommy and Arsenal shot down more of the Hand's thugs.
Nyssa cut one thug in the chest before kicking him as he fell down. Nyssa dodged as two more rushed at her and she ducked and spun around, slicing them down.
Roy pulled out his batons and hit one of the thugs in the face before he jumped, grabbing him and throwing him down. Roy rolled back as another thug attacked with a sledgehammer and hit him in the leg as he fell down.
Daredevil hit one of the thugs in the face with his billy clubs before engaging two more, slamming one of them against a pillar.
Danny knocked Murakami down and punched him in the face, knocking him out.
"Let's go, Ironclad." Jessica said as she helped Danny get up.
"It's Iron Fist." Danny snapped.
"I know." Jessica nodded as he chuckled.
Bakuto retreated and blocked Colleen's strikes before their blades were in a deadlock.
"Do not bother wearing yourself out." Bakuto taunted as neither of them made a move.
"I'm not." Colleen panted out.
Colleen dodged as Bakuto attacked with his sword and knife. Bakuto parried Colleen's strike and kicked her in the chest as Colleen fell down and rolled back to recover.
"I know your limits." Bakuto said, pointing his sword at her as Colleen glared. "There's no damage that you can do to me that can't be undone. Especially because the Iron Fist has already given us the ultimate gift. Life without end. I'll give you once last chance to experience it with me. To be who you were meant to be."
"I don't need you anymore." Colleen sneered as Bakuto looked disappointed.
Colleen got up, going into offensive as Bakuto blocked her attacks, while Claire was trying to sneak past them as she picked a wrench before two guards entered and Claire knocked one of them out but struggled to knock out the other.
Colleen dodged as Bakuto attacked with a knife and his sword.
Claire jumped back as the guard pulled out a knife, trying to cut her. The guard grabbed Claire by her throat and slammed her to a pipe before slamming her to a wall.
Colleen blocked Bakuto's sword but he spun around and hit her in the face with his elbow. Colleen dodged as Bakuto attempted to stab her and the knife was jammed onto the wall and Colleen picked it.
Claire kicked the guard in the chest and slammed him to the wall, knocking him out. "Asshole!"
The second guard entered, pulling out a knife.
Bakuto dodged as Colleen attempted to cut his throat. Colleen saw the guard nearing Claire and threw the knife at him, hitting him in the chest as he fell down.
"Colleen!" Claire cried out as Bakuto cut Colleen in the back and kicked her as she fell down. Claire saw the guard get up but before he could engage Claire, Misty entered and shot him twice from behind in the back as he fell down, dead.
"What the hell did I just walk into?" Misty demanded.
"I ask myself that all the time." Claire drawled as Misty aimed her gun at Bakuto.
"Drop it or I'm dropping you." Misty said before Thea and Diggle entered, aiming their weapons at him.
Darhk waved his hand but realizing his magic was useless underground because of the dragon bones, he decided to rely on his fighting skills.
Green Arrow, Tommy and Arsenal continued shooting down the thugs. Oliver dodged as two of the thugs rushed at him. Oliver slammed one of them to the wall and hit the other one in the face with his bow. Tommy pulled out his sword and cut one in the chest and cutting another one's head off. Roy fired an explosive arrow on the ground, sending the thugs flying away
Danny staggered back as one of the thugs hit him in the face. Danny hit another one in the face and punched another one in the chest and knocking him out.
Jessica threw one of the thugs away and knocked another one down. Jessica grabbed another thug and slammed him down. Sara hit one of them in the leg and spun around with her staff, knocking them down. Laurel slammed a thug against a pillar and knocked him out.
Daredevil jumped off a wall, knocking down two of the thugs. Daredevil dodged and punched one of the thugs in the face, knocking him out. Another thug engaged Daredevil but Daredevil dodged his punch before knocking him out.
Nyssa whacked one of the thugs in the face with her bow and cut another one's hand off before stabbing him in the chest.
Luke slammed a thug to a pillar before another one rushed at him. Luke grabbed him and slammed him to the ground.
Constantine enchanted some fireballs, sending the thugs flying away.
Daredevil, Jessica, Danny, Luke, Green Arrow, Black Canary, the Canary, Tommy, Sara, Arsenal, Constantine and Nyssa converged.
"They're gonna destroy the city." Danny said.
"Now tell me something I don't know." Luke said.
"Once they get what they want, this place is gonna crumble." Danny explained.
"Not on my watch." Luke protested.
"Where's Alexandra?" Daredevil asked.
"She's dead." Danny said.
"Did you kill her?" Laurel asked.
"No. She did." Danny said as Elektra showed up, facing them as they realized that she, Darhk, Murakami, Gao and Sowande were in their way, alongside with the soldiers of the Hand.
"Is that elevator the only way out of here?" Jessica asked.
"Yep." Daredevil nodded.
"We can't leave. We have to end them." Danny said.
"We got a plan." Luke said.
"Bombs." Arsenal said.
"You're cool with bombs, right?" Jessica drawled and Danny stared, realizing they planned to blow up the building.
"Seriously?" Danny demanded incredulously.
"The only way out of here is together." Matt said as Darhk and Gao stepped up.
"Danny, light it up." Luke ordered. "Now."
Danny charged his Iron Fist as Gao pulled her hand with Darhk as Constantine muttered a spell. Danny threw a punch, impacting with Gao's palm as Constantine and Darhk fired energy balls and the impact sent everyone knocking down on the ground before they all got up.
Jessica threw away the henchmen like ragdolls. Jessica punched away a thug and knocked out two of them. Jessica grabbed another thug and threw her over her shoulder before Jessica kicked the thug away.
Danny used his Iron Fist to beat up the henchmen.
Daredevil dodged as one of the thugs attacked with his knife and knocked him down. Another thug attacked with a sledgehammer, slamming it to the ground as Daredevil dodged, jumping over the thug's back and kicking two of them down. Daredevil dodged as another thug attacked with a knife and jumped, kicking them both down.
Green Arrow rolled away as two thugs attacked with swords and axes. Green Arrow used his bow to block before hitting one in the face, knocking him down and kicking another one in the chest as he fell down. Green Arrow fired an arrow, that exploded in a net, ensnaring more thugs rushing at him.
Arsenal dodged as a thug rushed at him and Arsenal slammed him to the wall, knocking him out. Arsenal jumped with a roundhouse kick, knocking down two thugs before pinning one to the pillar and whacking him in the face with his baton, knocking him out.
Black Canary kicked a thug down and blocked with her nightstick as another thug attacked with his sword. Black Canary grabbed him and punched him in the face, knocking him out before grabbing another one and slamming him against the wall and knocking him down.
The Canary blocked with her staff as three thugs attacked with their swords. The Canary hit them in the chests, beating them up and knocking them down. Sowande blocked the Canary's strikes with her staff and kicked her in the chest as she stumbled back before Sowande kicked her in the face, knocking her down but Constantine sent Sowande flying back.
Nyssa ducked as two thugs attacked her as she sliced them down and stabbed another one in the chest before cutting the next one's head off.
Luke grabbed a thug and slammed him to the ground.
One of the thugs knocked Danny down but before he could finish Danny off, Daredevil slammed him to the ground.
Murakami kicked Luke from behind, making him stagger. Murakami dodged as Luke threw a punch and hit Luke in the face with his nightstick. Luke staggered back but dodged Murakami's next strike and struck him in the face, knocking him down as Luke grabbed Murakami's nightstick and warped it. Luke grabbed Murakami and threw him towards a pillar as it collapsed.
The Ghosts and more thugs opened fire at Luke, unable to penetrate his skin before firing at Jessica. Luke tackled her down, shielding her.
Danny, Daredevil, Green Arrow, Tommy and Arsenal took down more thugs.
"Remember this?" Jessica teased as Luke was on top of her.
"Just like old times." Luke said.
Suddenly, Elektra wrapped a noose around Luke's neck as she dodged his punch and kicked Jessica down. Danny, Roy, Sara and Laurel rushed at her but Elektra kicked them all down, knocking Luke down as well. Matt blocked Elektra's kick before she hit him in he face as Danny panted out as his Fist faded away.
"Asshole, I will put you down." Misty said.
"That won't stop him." Diggle said as Bakuto neared them. Misty fired but Bakuto was unfazed by the shots. Misty attempted to reload as Thea attacked Bakuto. Bakuto blocked with her bow with his sword and kicked Thea in the chest before slamming her to a pipe and knocking her out before Bakuto disarmed Misty of her gun and hit her in the face with the hilt of his sword as Misty groaned and fell down. Diggle attempted to engage Bakuto but Bakuto cut Diggle in the abdomen and kicked him as Diggle fell down but before Bakuto could finish Diggle off, Colleen blocked his sword.
Claire picked two wrenches as Colleen neared Bakuto as her hands trembled, which Bakuto noticed.
"You disappoint me." Bakuto said before he parried Colleen's strikes. "As a child, all you ever wanted was to belong to something." He blocked Colleen's attack again. Colleen dodged and blocked Bakuto's strikes. "That's why I saved you, Colleen. Raised you. Because that same desire was once in me."
Bakuto dodged as Colleen attacked again but Bakuto disarmed her of her sword and kicked her in the face as she fell down. Claire attacked with a pair of wrenches but was no match for Bakuto as he forced her on her knees, with the blades to her neck and Colleen stared in horror.
"Is this your family now? Hmm?" Bakuto said, turning to his former pupil in disappointment. "Well, let me remind you who you really are by taking that away."
Misty got up, rushing at Bakuto but he cut her right arm off as she screamed, pinning her back to the wall as she was bleeding out. Colleen disarmed Bakuto of one of the swords and cut him in the throat before decapitating him as blood seeped from his neck and his head rolled down on the floor as body toppled a moment later.
"Colleen!" Claire exclaimed as she was trying to stop the bleeding from Misty's stump as Misty whimpered. "She's losing too much blood. We're gonna take care of you, OK?"
They heard beeping when they realized that Bakuto's corpse activated the trigger.
"Oh, my God…" Diggle paled as he and Thea came to.
Elektra dodged Jessica's punch and knocked her down. Oliver, Tommy, Matt, Danny, Roy, Nyssa, Sara and Laurel attempted to engage her but Elektra dodged and grabbed Danny, hitting him in the face and knocking down Oliver, Tommy, Roy, Nyssa, Sara and Laurel. Constantine attempted to use his magic but Elektra grabbed him by his throat before he could finish the incantation.
Oliver then saw Darhk crawling on his feet and staggering up as Oliver grabbed him.
"No magic for you, huh? Guess the Hand's voodoo negates yours." Oliver sneered as Darhk laughed.
"Don't posture, Oliver. We both know you can't do it. You spared the life of the man, who killed your own mother." Darhk taunted.
"You've almost killed my friends dozens of times. You've killed tens of thousands of innocent people and now you want to kill hundreds of thousands of more. With Slade Wilson I had a choice. This time, I don't." Oliver said as he drove the arrow into Darhk's heart and Darhk glared hatefully before he fell back, dead.
Matt heard the beeping as he realized they were running out of time.
Elektra kicked Laurel down and hit Sara in the face as she staggered. Luke grabbed Elektra from behind but she hit him in the chest and knocked down Danny, Luke, Roy and Oliver.
Matt and Elektra continued to trade blows before Jessica grabbed her and threw her against a pillar as Elektra groaned.
"You guys need to get to the surface." Matt ordered.
"No complaints here." Jessica said.
"What about you?" Oliver asked.
"No, I'm gonna meet you up there." Matt said.
"What?" Jessica whirled on him.
"I know I can get through to her." Matt said.
"You back on that again?" Luke demanded.
"We're not gonna leave you here." Jessica protested.
"You made a promise to get him back. You better keep your word." Matt said as Danny nodded.
"Come on, guys." Luke said before Matt grabbed Danny and whispered something to him, which left Danny shocked.
"I'm right behind you. Go." Matt said.
"Let's go!" Laurel cried out as they entered the elevator and left Matt behind, while fending off the Hand members trying to escape.
Constantine muttered a spell as it teleported Team Arrow, Tommy, Colleen, Claire, Misty, the cops, Jessica, Danny and Luke out of the building, just in time for them to get outside to see the building explode and crumble down upon itself.
"He had no intention of making it out alive." Danny realized as they stared at the rubble. "Matt said something before he told us to leave. He said, "Protect my city.""
The fight between them both was intense as Elektra didn't relent but Matt held her before she wrapped her legs around him and tried to knock him down but Matt pinned Elektra down. "For all your talk about darkness, I don't think you want to be alone in it."
Elektra growled before she rolled over, switching positions with Matt. "I've seen death."
"And you're afraid of it." Matt pointed out.
"Not anymore… because you'll be by my side, where you belong." Elektra shot back.
Matt kicked Elektra back before they both got up on their feet. She countered Matt's attack and knocked him back before grabbing him in chokehold and holding her sai as Matt was too weak to struggle out and then they both realized that this was it. No way out, no escape from the explosion, two lovers, fighting to death, buried under the rubble.
"This is what we get, huh?" Matt laughed. "For ever thinking we could make it work."
"Who says we didn't?" Elektra said, panting out in exhaustion from the fight. "We're together. Something I've wanted since I first laid my eyes on you. We can have it forever."
Matt grabbed Elektra's sai and struggled out from her hold before hitting her in the face as they both fell down before nearing each other.
"You know, we're gonna die here." Matt pointed out.
"No. This is what living feels like." Elektra said. They kissed each other as everything started to crumble and ruins and darkness started to consume them both…
Hope you liked the fight scenes. And if it makes sense, the chi and the aura of the dragons underground were negating Darhk's magic, if it makes sense.
So, what do you guys think?
Please review and let me know if you have been enjoying this and want for me to continue.
Chapter 11: Epilogue
Everyone deals with the aftermath of the fight with the Hand.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Everyone had a hard time readjusting after losing Matt.
While Tommy managed to recover and find himself again, Oliver realized that he was tired of the vigilante life as he decided to retire with Sara and left the mantle of the Green Arrow to Tommy, who decided to lead Team Arrow, recruiting Rene Ramirez, the Wild Dog and Rory Reagan, the Ragman, while he and Laurel attempted to resume their relationship and defending Star City. The rest of H.I.V.E. was in disarray after Darhk's demise as Nyssa and A.R.G.U.S. arrested them, Ruve Darhk included as Oliver became a mayor of Star City, with Quentin becoming a Deputy Mayor and Frank Pike promoted to the captain of SCPD before Thea, Roy and Nyssa were then hunting down Talia and the Thanatos Guild, which was founded by Malcolm before the League's disbandment, with Talia wanting revenge and seeking power and Nyssa, Roy and Thea hunting her down.
Sometime later, Oliver and Sara got married, with Sara giving birth to their daughter Mia as they retired to live a family life, which did not last very long because of Emiko Adachi, Oliver's paternal half-sister and the Ninth Circle. The Team Arrow and the Defenders were however able to defeat them.
Jessica had a hard time with her mother Alisa revealing to be alive and Trish finding doctor Karl Malus, who helped her gain abilities and she became intoxicated by her newfound powers. However, Jessica managed to reach her before Trish would kill Alisa in a fit of rage, due to Alisa's instability and instead helped Alisa get readjusted to normal life.
Danny helped Misty get a new robotic arm to replace the one Bakuto had cut off as Luke faced a new man in Harlem, called "Bushmaster", who was seeking revenge on Mariah Dillard, known previously as "Stokes" and was getting it with the assistance of Mariah's estranged daughter Tilda until Luke stopped Bushmaster because of his extremist methods. Mariah was later arrested and poisoned by Tilda and her right hand Shades was sent into prison.
Danny struggled with his newfound duties as the protector of New York until his foster brother Davos returned, stealing the Iron Fist from him in a ritual as Danny sought the assistance of Oliver, Sara, Laurel and Team Arrow and instead let Colleen take the Fist and Davos ended up in prison.
Matt was later found alive with Elektra as they were both recuperating in Clinton Church, under the care of Father Paul Lantom and Sister Maggie Grace as Matt helped Elektra find her way back to light, while it was revealed that Wilson Fisk had cut a deal with the FBI, compromising it from within and leveraging agent Ray Nadeem and manipulating unstable Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter into helping him, while enacting his vendetta on Matt and framing Daredevil for various crimes and murders until Matt, Elektra, Oliver, Team Arrow and the Defenders stopped Fisk and Dex and put them both in prison, saving Ray's and his family's lives in the process, while Matt was able to reconcile with Foggy and Karen, while making amends with Lantom and Maggie after discovering that Maggie is his mother and Lantom knew about it, saving their lives, when Fisk sent Dex to kill Karen.
But, then they became victims of the Mad Titan Thanos, as Laurel, Diggle, Roy, Cisco, Kara, Caitlin, Quentin, Danny, Luke, Claire and Misty were wiped out by the Infinity Stones, among the half of the people across the universe but with the help of time travelling of Barry Allen and Rip Hunter and the Legends, they were able to undo Thanos's actions as the Avengers, Defenders, Guardians of the Galaxy, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Runaways, Team Arrow, Team Flash, Team Supergirl, Superman and the Legends united stopped Thanos, with Tony Stark sacrificing his life and saving the universe in the process.
"How are we going to name our boy?" Elektra asked as they put their son into the crib, while Matt hugged her.
"Jack." Matt smiled.
They heard the door knock as Elektra opened the door.
"Oliver. Sara. Laurel." Elektra then knelt down to see a little girl as she smiled. "Mia. Come in. Jack is going to be happy to see you."
I've enjoyed writing this story but I have no intention of writing a sequel since it would be too tiring to write stories covering Season 2 of Iron Fist and Season 3 of Daredevil again when I've written them already.
So, I hope you liked how I've handled the ending though.
See you later with another one of my stories.
Please review and let me know if you have enjoyed the story to its end.