Drive-by at Eastham Square

Summary:
August 05, 2014 A friendly neighborhood street party is interrupted by drive by shooters. Fortunately, a handful of brave individuals are there to stop the bad guys and minimize the damage.

The Bronx - New York City

The only borough located primarily on the mainland of New York, the Bronx is
the most city-like of all the boroughs. Highrises and heavily travelled
streets mark this area of the city. The sounds of the streets hold a music
influenced by island nations to the south - Puerto Rico, some Cuba, and even
further to the islands of Jamaica.


Characters

NPCs

  • Two local rappers
  • Reverend Johnson
  • Two NYPD beat officers
  • Various thugs, featuring Rodney Filch
  • Sam Kathman, Esq.

Mood Music:
"Peso" by A$AP Rocky (explicit) (spotify)


The clock tower reads 9:47. It's one of the few pieces of public infrastructure that still works in this part of the Bronx, along with the MTA station. It's an old, brick structure that looks down over a rough-trodden intersection, but the people in this neck of the woods have been working together to make the spot a better place to live. Drug dealing is down, vandalism is down, and break-ins are becoming a little bit less popular.

Below the tower, the streets are filled with friendly chatter and the heavy bass lines of a local hip hop duo. It's their unofficial album release party, and they've brought out all they can for this gathering. The sounds are joined by the delicious smell of grilled meat, the sweat of a hundred some odd people, and the scraping noise coming from the skaters that are pulling tricks on a few ramps set up on the pavement nearby the train station. Sure, there may be a few dudes brown baggin' it, and the pungent smell of marijuana floats about here and there, but the dope boys haven't shown their thuggish faces and people are being friendly, so it's overlooked.

At the edge of the gathering, Kwabena Odame is seated upon an old sidewalk cellar door. He's crouched down on his haunches, watching the skaters do their tricks while munching on an ear of corn, grilled a few moments ago inside its husk. Delicious.

*

The Man Without Fear lurks in the shadows just outside of the community gathering. The music is rough on his ears, but the smells more than make up for it. Most of them, anyways. Like a lion, he waits for one of the herd to fall away before he strikes.

One of the thugs goes off to the alleyway to take a piss. After giving It a shake and zipping up, he looks up to notice a pair of dead red eyes looking at him from the crook of a doorway. "Where's Turk?"

"What? Fuck you man."

"Where's Turk?" he asks. "I won't ask again."

*

"Alright alright, alright party people in tha Eastham block!" It's one of the rappers, wielding the mic and the power of words. "Everyone chillin', y'all havin' a good time?" A collective cheer goes up amongst those gathered. "Yeah yeah, we kickin' it Bronx style! I'm feelin' so much love comin' from you all!" The rapper goes on, his voice a beacon of hope in a neighborhood long troubled by hard times and vicious crime.

One of the skaters manages to pop over a ramp and grinds along the MTA station railing, eliciting a fresh round of cheers and applause. The vibe here is good. What's happening here is good. Even the local Reverend has shown up, his fancy black hat serving as a pinnacle of faith where it's most needed, and a couple of police officers on beat patrol roam about, chatting with the neighbors and doing their best to connect with a crowd that lost their faith in law enforcement a long time ago.

Kwabena isn't often a social type, which is why he's sticking at the edge of the crowd. He looks up, however, as a teenage skater skids to a halt right in front of him. "Nice moves, T-Ball."

"Thanks, Kwa!" answers the boy. He kicks up his board, wipes he sweat from his brow, then goes running back toward the course.

Daredevil, however, may be on to something. He'll be the first to hear it, naturally; the sound of motorcycles revving their engines hard and coming in from the south. Crotch rockets, based on thehigh pitched whine, and behind them, the heavy rumbling coexisting with large SUV's. Three bikes, two SUV's, to be precise.

"Hey, fuck off, creep!" answers the thug. He reaches into his baggy jeans, hands touching on the cold steel of a Smith & Wesson. "Less you want some, you alley creepin', homo bitch!?"

*

With unreal speed, a white stick leaps from the darkness and is aimed straight at the thugs head. Daredevil can 'see' the bulge in the pocket and can smell the oil on the gun and can almost taste the cool steel. Along with half of the billy club comes the zing of the wire, showing he's only thrown half, the other half comes in an overhand strike as Daredevil tries to knock him out in one blow, and get to the more pressing matters of the motorcycle.

He closes his eyes and tries to focus, to move past all the sounds, there's the reverend and the rapper and the conversation about the boys and school and something about DeLindray and Tina and why you talkin shit nah nah don't trip yo what's up with the bikes and all of the conversations drip together as he tries to move past them in his mind, over the loud rumble of the motorcycles and the smell of the weed and sweat cooking meat leather shoes and cheap cologne, cheap cologne and a girl with a flower in her hair.

He desperately tries to hear what the motorcyclists are saying.

*

Oddly enough, there are no words. The motorcyclists are using hand signals as they approach, like a real, experienced biker gang. However, those hand signals do a number with the assault rifles slung over their shoulders, every movement causing the guns to rattle just so.

About a block away, the bikes suddenly throttle back. Neither of the Escalades, nor the crotch rockets, are running with their lights on, which is always a bad sign. The good reverend is the first to notice it, and as a disappointed frown forms on his face, the police officers are next. The people, for the most part, are simply having too much fun to notice.

"Yeah yeah! Alright neighbors, we gonna kick something out for you, it's off the new record 'Bronx Bomber' and it's called…" The rapper looks off to the south, blinking beneath his shades. "Whoa… whoa watch tha street!"

Meanwhile, a thug is laid out in a pool of his own blood and piss, and the Ghanaian seated on his stoop rises from his feet, frowning as the bikes and SUV's come into view at the south end of the block.

*

With a small whir that is likely drowned out by the motorcycles, Daredevil pulls his line in and takes to the shadows once more. He tries to find the perfect spot to prepare to throw a wrench in the works, if you catch my meaning. If a move towards violence happens, he wants to chuck the billyclub into the wheel of the head biker and hopefully cause a chain reaction.

His memory with odors is uncanny, and he notices something. He recognizes that Shift is nearby. Where in the maze of bodies he feels in his sonar? It'd take just a moment to pinpoint it, but just a moment is a moment too much for right now.

*

Kwabena takes off at a run, pounding boot against cement. He shoulders through a couple, knocking the girl to the street, earning an angry shout from her boyfriend, and narrowly misses doing the same to T-Ball. He's charging straight for the street corner, running so hard he's even forgotten to discard the ear of corn. That odor of his is moving, and it's moving fast.

The bikers pull their rifles in tandem. Their bikes bank into the square, and take aim at the crowd.

"Shit!" cries the rapper, right into the mic. "Everyone get down! Get down! GET DOW—"

The loud, rapid fire popping leads a sudden torrent of screams as bullets rip into the crowd of people, many of whom are already diving for the pavement. As they go down, some of their own will and others at the will of lead, Kwabema becomes readily more apparent. As he runs right for the street, his leather jacket and the front of his 'Beastie Boys' t-shirt starts getting ripped apart by bullet holes that don't seem to harm him one bit.

*

Daredevil throws himself into the fray after releasing his billy club. Coming from the side angle, he desperately tries to bring some of the fire to him as he leaps towards the closest biker and tries to kick the bike out from under him with a two foot smash. He also tries to set up a bit of a domino, hopefully taking a couple others out as well.

*

Daredevil's plan works splendidly. The lead biker loses control, and as his bike goes down, the second one collides with it. Both of the riders go flying their bikes twisting into mangled hunks of steel a few moments before a gas tank ruptures, taking the other one with it I. a fiery explosion. The third biker weaves around to avoid the accident, but in the process, he loses his assault rifle.

He also earns a new passenger, as Kwabena leaps into the air and grabs hold of the biker's torso. His legs hang in the air for a moment before he falls onto the bike right behind its helmeted driver. With a twist of the throttle, the last remaining bike goes careening down Hamilton Street, banking and weaving in an effort to throw off its Ghanain stowaway.

The two SUV's still must be dealt with though, and as they come tearing into the square, their tinted windows roll down and the gleaming steel of more firearms is revealed. By now, everyone has hit the ground save for the rappers and the reverend, who's hunkered over by a telephone booth, praying. One cop is on his radio and protecting a pair of children with his body, while the other has her weapon drawn and begins firing at the leading SUV.

*

Daredevil is on the move again with no time to appreciate his handywork. He can hear the reverend praying, it is one of his favorites: "Rise, Lord God Almighty, and come to my aid. See for yourself, God of Israel. Wake up and punish the heathen; show no mercy to evil traitors!" Daredevil attempts to run straight at the SUV, hoping to get the attention away from the reverend and the cop. He leaps into the air at the last moment, just before being crushed, and chucks a billy club right through the windshield!!!

*

The windshield is shattered, peppering the driver with glass. He's too damn stupid to realize that it won't cut him, so he throws his arms up into the air to protect his face. The SUV swerves, and starts tipping dangerously to the side as it heads for a convenience store that, fortunately, has been boarded up and closed for three years. From inside, the driver and two shooters in the back let loose screams of anger and terror.

Meanwhile, the short cop proves just how accurate she is with a standard issue sidearm. Her bravery leads her to stand, taking careful aim at the second and trailing SUV. Her shots ring out, and one of the two shooters inside the SUV goes down. At the same moment, the rapper's warning call is silenced as a pair of bullets rip through his face, dropping him in a heap of freshly spilling blood. His partner lets out a scream of anguish that joins those of the terrorized neighbors as he drops to his best friend's side, pressing his hands against the wounds and crying for help.

Meanwhile, on Hamilton Street, the last biker goes weaving from side to side, trying to throw off his assailant. Kwabena holds on for dear life, struggling to get his hand over the biker's face. "The fuckget off me youGETOFFcrazy son-bitch!!"

*

Now that Daredevil seems to have the upper hand, he is determined to use it to his advantage. He leaps through the windshield and into the space between the driver and the passenger seat. Sitting on the lap of the passenger, he gives a double footed boot to the head of the driver, hoping it'll bring the SUV to a stop. A split second later the man with a devil in his lap gets a knife hand straight to the throat.

*

Two dead boots on a brake pedal, and the SUV commandeered by Daredevil comes to a screeching halt. The bumper taps the old convenience store's front door, sending a couple of rats scampering. The shooters inside are tossed about like change in a tumble dryer, proving just how stupid it is to forego seatbelts.

Meanwhile, the second SUV is suddenly looking for a way to get the hell out of dodge. It swerves about in a circle, the shooter cursing about his fellow shooter who now has a bullet hole in his head. The female cop unloads the rest of her clip, and as she reaches for another, her partner rises and takes over. His bullets pepper the windows as the SUV turns, and eventually, one of them strikes the driver in his neck. The entire cabin is splattered with blood, and the SUV goes screaming for the MTA station. Noting this, the reverend dashes over and begins ushering people out of the vehicle's way.

Now two blocks up Hamilton Street, Kwabena finally gets the upper hand. He clamps his palm over the driver's mouth, hefts his legs around the driver's torso, and transforms his hand into smoke. The driver chokes violently, but there's nothing a mook thug can do against the Shift Choke. As the biker passes out, Kwabena reaches around and pulls the brake while guiding the motorcycle into the first alley he comes across.

*

Daredevil twirls in his seat and goes up on the arm rest and his hands slide up to the head rests behind the two unconscious men. He rips himself through and aims a kick at each of the heads of the passengers who sit behind before scrunching in and attempting to choke out each of them with his bare hands.

*

Its a struggle, and one of the shooters manages to pepper the roof with bullets before he loses consciousness, but within moments, Daredevil has successfully choked out the leading SUV.

The trailing SUV keeps going straight for the MTA station. Everyone has scampered out of the way except for T-Ball, who stares at the oncoming Escalade with a deer-in-headlights glare. Moments before impact, the reverend tackles the teenager, and the two go tumbling to safety a split second before the SUV crunches into the train station. The female cop is on it in moments, her TASER out and zapping the last remaining shooter with electric hell.

Up Hamilton Street, Kwabena hops off the bike. His sweat leads a clear trail to the alley in which he's dragging his prey. There hasn't been this level of drug activity in Eastham for years, and nothing on the streets has suggested that there be a reason for this. His gut is whispering hints at him… he has to be sure. With a grunt, he kicks in a boarded up door, and drags the unconscious biker into a dark, abandoned storage room resting at the back end of an old pizzeria.

*

As things settle down, it's easier for Daredevil to focus in on his hearing. He listens to the conversations going on within his radius and tries to pinpoint those that have a bearing on what is happening here. He picks up something far away in an abandoned storage room while he reaches for the assault rifles.

"Well, it's been fun," Daredevil says as he lets himself out in a tumble. He disarms the guns and spills the bullets all over the ground sliding the guns underneath a nearby dumpster. He strides towards the voices, listening intently.

*

Eastham square is eerily quiet as the clock tower strikes ten. People are murmuring and sobbing, but the intervention of two would be heroes, a pair of brave NYPD cops, a wary rapper and trusted reverend have helped to minimize the loss of life. Sirens in the closing distance are a warm relief, but amongst the confusion, there's no clear understanding of why this happened. There's no reason for this.

Except…

In the pizzeria storage room, Kwabena slaps the biker until he wakes up, only to find himself bound to a rack by duct tape.

"You!" growls the biker. "What the fuck do you—"

A smoldering rage lingers in Kwabena's silver eyes while his fist meets the biker's face. "I do de talking, you wahthless fuck." He rushes in, grabs the biker by the face and squeezes hard, hard enough that the biker's mouth comes open. With his other hand, the Ghanaian grabs him by the tongue and pulls. "I'll start here. You got five seconds til I send you back to your boss with a dick where your tongue used to be." Unrelenting, he grabs the biker's tongue tighter. "Who sent you? Why did you hit MY neighbahhood?" He releases the biker's tongue. "Five… four…"

*

"I'd do what he says," Daredevil says from behind Kwabena. "He has absolutely no mercy in him on the best of occasions." Daredevil leans against the wall and folds his arms against his lithe frame as he waits for Kwabena to do his work. His only concern is if the Ghanian takes things too far. But this guy deserves some pain on the way to telling the truth.

*

The biker is absolutely freaked out. Especially with another vigilante showing up. Kwabena, however surprised he might be to hear Daredevil's voice behind him, doesn't show sign aside from the narrowing of his eyes. "Three…"

"Dackleman! Alright?" The biker's words tremble. "Richard Dackleman."

"Why?" growls Kwabena.

"Because you asked him about the smooth!" he blurts out.

Kwabena blinks twice, his poker face momentarily broken. He takes a step back, casting a brief and curious glance toward Daredevil. "What?"

"You can't trounce right into your former boss's kitchen and ask him about something nasty like that, man." The biker laughs nervously. "There are consequences."

For a few moments, Kwabena doesn't know what to say. He'd thought that Dackleman was a dead end… clearly not.

*

"There are consequences for your actions too. Man." Daredevil says quietly. His gloves wrench around his billy club, implying that the man better be completely forthcoming, or have a cracked skull to go with his mysterious words. "Tell us everything."

*

The biker looks past Kwabena toward Daredevil and has the audacity to sneer. "Jesus Christ, man. You new? Odame here shook a tree, fruit's gonna fall."

"You're saying dis is all about me, sticking my nose where Dackleman doesn't want it." Kwabena's question is spoken like a fact.

"Damn right. Shit, you of all people oughta know how Dackie works. You don't fuck with him, he won't fuck your world over."

"He's the one pushing smooth into Mutant Town? De Tri-State?" Kwabena presses further. "Let it rip, time's running out."

"I'm muscle. Nothing more. I don't know bout Dackie's dealings, and I don't wanna. I do my job, I get paid. I'll tell you this; he's already left town. He left the moment he sent us to fuck up your little hood-a-ssance block party, and there's no chance in hell you're gonna find him."

*

"We found the Kingpin." Daredevil tilts his head as he approaches. "And we found you. You're going to tell us where he went, or I'm going to bash your skull in. If you tell us a way to find him, we may let you live without being in the ICU. Your choice, but my patience is wearing thin."

*

The thing is, money has a whole lot of power. Money can buy your way out of prison, and it can smuggle you to a cabin in the woods if that's your thing. The biker glares at Daredevil, rolls his tongue and loosens his jaw. "Both of you can go to hell."

That thing about money? It goes both ways.

Kwabena steps aside, giving Daredevil a clean shot. "You think we won't find him. Thing is, when you end up in de system, someone's gonna notice. Paht of de bahgain, and I know Dackie's a man of his word. Money stinks, pal. Stinks like blood, sweat, greed and blow, and it's easy as hell to follow." He gestures for Daredevil to step forward. "You want to do de honors?"

Meanwhile, he turns aside and snatches an old sharpie from the rack nearby. Then, he proceeds to begin writing on the wall, in big black letters:

DEAR NYPD: MERRY X-MAS. YOURS TRULY, SPIDERMAN

*

Daredevil looks as though he's going to strike at the thug's face, but instead brings it down onto the billy club on top of the knee cap, smashing the patella and bringing the man down to the knees. From there it's rib shot after rib shot, breaking each one by one. After three, he waits to see if the man is willing to talk.

*

The thug is hurting. He's doubled over, he's coughing up blood, and his face is contorted into a look of anguish. "I'm telling you… I don't -know- where he went. Please…!"

Kwabena isn't surprised, not exactly. He half expected Daredevil to just smash the guy's skull in, but this… this is bringing about something.

"Who -does- know?" he growls.

"I don't — HACK COUGH — don't know, but — FRP-1709. License. Would have gone south."

A siren whoops nearby, very close, at the mouth of the alley. Time just ran out. "Leave 'im, for de cops," Kwabena murmurs to the Man Without Fear. "I got a guy." There's a moment where he looks at the masked vigilante with a sour look; Kwabena's been unmasked this whole time. That means Daredevil knows something about him that he doesn't know about his counterpart. He doesn't like it, not one bit. The look is trailed, however, by a slightly approving smirk and a very subtle nod of his head. Then? He's gone.

*

Daredevil smashes the billy club down upon the fingers of the idiot. As he screams, Daredevil gives him a merciful release by smacking him right across the face and knocking him clear unconscious. Now that it was clear he wouldn't get any more information, he didn't need to prevent a concussion. "You work for me now, son," he mutters as he pats the man softly upon the chest and saunters slowly out of the room.

*

*

Six hours later…

Sam Kathman walks into the hospital room, dressed in his best (read: tackiest) knock-off designer suit and supporting a croc skin briefcase. He smirks at the cops guarding the door, saying, "Listen, fellas, you're gonna have to put some earbuds in or something, or hum the National Anthem, I don't care, but my client and I need some privacy."

Once the cops are gone and the door is shut, the attorney sets his briefcase down and looks at the man all bandaged up with a sigh. "Rodney Filch? Yeah, whatever. Listen, you're in luck, because -someone- has seen to it that your civil defense has been paid in full. I got enough in my IOLTA to pad me for a vacation to the Cayman Islands, so, thanks for that." He sits down, smiling broadly. "Now… why don't you tell me what you didn't do, and why you didn't do it?"

To be continued…


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