The Axe, Part 3

July 13, 2014: Murdock visits Alan Scott in Gotham, CEO of a multi-million dollar broadcasting company, and host of a party where Rhys Bale was last seen alive.

GBC, CEO's Office

The entire top floor is given over to the CEO. The elevator opens up into a
lobby with a horseshoe desk facing the doors. Here is where the secretary
works and fields all arrivals. There's a large conference room, the CEO's
office and another office for his assistant. Various other doors lead to
stairs going up and down, bathrooms and a small kitchen area.


Stray by Calexico ( )

Mood Music: The Axe, Part 3

It looks dark, even during the day. It's as if the soot from the Industrial Revolution never really got scrubbed off-both literally and metaphorically.

The smells of this place are always murder on him. The exhaust. The wet asphalt. The sewage and smell of piss. Welcome to Gotham City, Matt Murdock. At least he's headed to a nice part of town as his taxi rolls from the airport to the Diamond District.

Dressed in a charcoal coat and pants set with a black dress shirt-no tie-Matt steps out from the taxi cab and extends his cane before tipping the driver. After he makes his way inside the gleaming spire that stands in contrast to the surroundings, he meets with the person at the front desk.

"I'm here to see the CEO," Matt explains. "My name is Matt Murdock; I have an appointment."

After some double checking, Matt is taken to a conference room on the top floor where he pulls his briefcase up onto the table. He's here because of Rhys Bale: Archaeologist, Womanizer, Eccentric, and Friend to many of the elites here in the northeast. According to Bale's planner, which Matt stole before it got into the hands of the (corrupt) NYPD, the forty-two year old was supposed to be here, at this building, two nights ago at a party held by the company.

Alan was notified his appointment has arrived so while his secretary escorts him to the conference room to wait, and offers refreshments, he finishes up what he was working on then lets Jacqueline know he's ready for him. Matt's shown into the office and Alan stands, walking around the desk to ffer a hand. "Mr. Murdock. A pleasure to meet you. Please, have a seat and make yourself comfortable."

"Mr. Scott," Matt says with a nod as his cane searches out a pathway toward the man's voice, and with an accented bit of playing up his disability, Murdock 'searches' for his hand despite knowing full well where it is. After the handshake he makes his way to one of the seats and takes it, unbuttoning his coat and smoothing out the jacket. "Thank you for having me. I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule."

"As I noted when my secretary contacted yours, I'm here conducting my own investigation into the death of Rhys Bale, my client. My understanding is that the two of you knew each other and that he was here the night before he was killed. If you were close with Bale, as I was, you know how painful his loss is. Were you two close?"

Alan waits till Matt has taken a seat, then returns to his own on the other side of the desk. "Close? I wouldn't say so. But I attended a couple lectures of his and developed an interest in the field of… mythological archaeology, if you want to call it that. It's fascinating to discover what the old myths are based on and how much can be verified. His death is a great loss. But what is your involvement, Mr. Murdock? Your job as ahis attorney ended with his death unless you're also handling his estate."

"Rhys Bale was also a close friend of mine. While my responsibilities as an attorney may have ended with his death, my loyalty to him did not." Matt purses his lips as if he struggles with the words for a moment. "Pardon my Fox Mulder-like paranoia, but I don't feel as though the NYPD is able or willing to provide a full and complete investigation into Bale's murder. That's why I'm here."

"Bale was here on the night of the eleventh, correct?"

"Yes." Alan agrees. "I was hosting a reception for him. A small gathering of the academic and social elite with an interest in his work. While there was no admission fee, donations were being accepted for his foundation. You might have had a hand in setting up its not for profit status."

Matt nods, "I did. Yes." Murdock re-crosses his legs and is either severely troubled by what's transpired or is a darn good actor. "Bale seems to have had a lot of enemies in the archaeology world. Can you think of anyone who would have wanted to hurt him?"

At the question, Alan shakes his head. "Enemies? I had no idea it was that cut throat a field that someone might have decided to kill him over it. I don't see what was so important that it would have caused this." Then tone of his voice makes it at least half a question.

It's only fair that since Alan seems willing to share information with Matt, that Murdock do the same with Scott. "One of the leads I'm following is that Bale was killed over what he found in Europe. He contacted a friend saying he'd found the Axe of Perun and wanted her to take a look at it." Matt then changes the topic, "Mr. Scott, I'm only asking this next question because I must-I'm trying to find any lead possible. Bale was known as an adventurer in his personal life, if you will. There were rumors among the intelligentsia in New York that he used to enjoy the company of both high priced women and men. I have some reason to believe that he was not alone in his apartment that night and I'm wondering whether you'd ever caught wind of that part of him-who he roamed with."

"I never investigate my friends or acquaintances, Mr. Murdock." Alan tells him. At least, not if they haven't committed crimes and thus become 'news'. "Who he chose to spend his personal time with, paid or not, is not something I ever inquired about. But if that was the case, surely there would be a paper trail. Credit card transactions. Checks. Bank withdrawals."

Matt nods, "I'm working on that, but I didn't have access to the complete records of his finances. It'll take some time to nail those things down." His cell phone rings, but Matt quickly quiets it. The name that flashes across his phone when he pulls it out of his pocket is Foggy-whatever that's supposed to mean.

"Mr. Scott, in his 20s Rhys was arrested for drug use. He maintained his innocence but took a deal to lower the charges to a misdemeanor. He'd always said that the New York Police had been out to get him, and I've always believed him. You never knew him to have fallen into that sort of scene in the time you knew him, did you?" Matt scoffs, even at his own question, "I imagine your answer is very similar to the last one, but like I said, I need to check every angle."

"It's exactly the same as the last one." Alan agrees. "As I said, Mr. Murdock, while we were friends, we were not close. His personal life was his own and he didn't discuss it with me so I doubt I can help you, or the police for that matter should they come questioning, with any details that could help there. I am wondering though about something you said earlier. You stated he claimed to have found the Axe of Perun. WHere is it now?"

"I wish I knew," Matt says sadly as he begins to stand. "Thank you for your time, Mr. Scott. I appreciate your candor and your helpfulness." Matt produces a business card and slides it onto Alan's desk. "If you think of anything that might be important-if you could give me a call that would be great."

Matt tilts his head toward the door, "I can see myself out." A pun, clearly.

Alan stands when Matt does, leaving the card where it is for now. "Of course. I'm sorry I couldn't have been of more help." As the attorney makes his way toward the door, he says "Mr. Murdock. While he said he did find the axe, he didn't say anything else about it, waiting for the conference to give details. But if you don't know where it is now, do you know where it was? Where was he keeping it? A museum?" Surely not in his apartment like a worthless replica.

Matt looks over his shoulder and shakes his head slowly. "I have no idea."

"Thanks for your time, Mr. Scott."

Matt lets himself down the elevator and exhales quietly as he gets in. He knocks the side of the box with fine dcor and in his mind's eye, the room lights up in hues of red and black. He taps the floor to the lobby and waits for it to descend the many floors to the ground floor.

"Hello again," Matt says with a charming smile to the secretary. "Would you mind calling a cab for me? I'd really appreciate it."

Matt walks away from the counter, reaching for his cell phone. "Call: Foggy" The voice activation does as its told and within a few moments he's in contact with his best friend and business associate.

"No, wasn't him."

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure. None of the signs."

"Very funny."

"We'll be able to know more once we get into the lap top. Any news from Aspect?"

"Well have you checked the email account I set up?"

"In addition to all of that I want to see if we can figure out who he traveled with back to New York City. Maybe someone from the party?"

"What about Pezzini? Anything out of her?"

"Good point."

"I'll give Lara a call when I get back to the city."

"No it'll be before dinner. I'm not sure I'd ever want to stick anything prepared in this town in my mouth."

"You're hilarious. See you when I get back."

As the taxi pulls up, Matt pulls open the handle with ease and ducks into the vehicle.

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