Lady Sephira walked into the office space with her entourage, looking it over before looking at her companion's reactions. Her large enfolded umbrella acted like a cane for her since her recent wounds caused her to limp every so slightly.
"Thoughts?" She inquired as they seemed to gather together to regroup.
"The windows are nice, gives a decent view." Gidjet noted.
"The wiring is weak, it would need work to get it up to bar." Chatter commented, taking another look at the outlets with wary disapproval.
"I know it's newly renovated but it would need more modification for your security detail." Shadow pointed out as she gestured to the newly painted walls.
"I second that," Chatter added.
"Also, don't forget we need enough space and structure support for the kitchen which would eat up half of this space by itself." Gidjet reminded the group; to which she received solemn nods.
"Although, on the plus side we are in an area of town that the helicopters would be on the inconspicuous side. This part of the city is becoming gentrified." Chatter chimed as she noticed a helicopter fly past.
"And we have complete access to the roof." Shadow nodded.
"How much would it cost to have this as a new base?" Lady Sephira asked the group.
"I would need 200k just for rewiring and another mill and a half for structure support, add to that- 5 million for equipment for the tech department." Chatter roughly appraised.
"I would need at least 1.5 mill for the hidden doors and rooms. Another quarter mill for aesthetic." Shadow shrugged.
"I would need at least 10 mill for my lab," Gidjet answered.
"Bishop?" Lady Sephira addressed the only male in the group who had kept silent up to that point.
"It's doable, we have the money to make the space our own. It's just a matter of whether you want to wait for all the work to get done or not." Bishop explained.
"How are we looking on our time table?" Lady Sephira asked the group.
"Honestly, we could be doing better but waiting to get the perfect space to better fit our needs might take longer than if we get this space and make it fit." Gidjet ventured.
"Neighbors?" Lady Sephira inquired.
"A few big wigs here and there, a new lawyer firm and a private investigator below us, shouldn't be anything more than passing curiosity, there is however a few vigilantes that might take interest." Shadow answered.
"Who are they and what do we know about them?" Lady Sephira questioned.
"The first of note is what used to be known as the Man in Black, now known as Daredevil, no known super powers other than kicking ass. He sticks to Hells Kitchen mostly, his main targets are generally speaking, bad guys, you know the crooks and robbers and all that jazz, as well as The Hand, not to mention Mr. Fisk and his associates. The second is Frank Castle..." Shadow began listing off from pages in her portfolio.
"Our friend? Why is he in your list?" Lady Sephira cut off.
"Because he is an associate of Mr. Fisk," Shadow furthered. "He has become known as The Punisher,"
"Fitting," Chatter smirked.
"Anyone else?" Sephira intimated.
"Throughout New York City, there's Jessica Jones who's apparently super strong, who recently took out The Man in Purple who was causing absolute mayhem with his mind control." Shadow continued.
"Thank God she killed him. I'm so happy we were on the other side of the planet," Chatter interrupted.
Shadow raised an eyebrow, fixing Chatter with an impatient look.
"Sorry," Chatter apologized.
Shadow cleared her throat and went on. "In Harlem, there's Luke Cage, he's bullet proof and he also has super human strength. However a weapons provider that goes by the name of Diamondback has come up with a bullet, the Judas Bullet that was made from the metal of Chitauri ships and armor that got left behind from the 'incident'." Shadow furthered.
"Of which we still have mass quantities." Gidjet reminded them.
"We do, but getting back to the topic, there is also Iron Fist, however we know very little about him other than he seems to be a martial arts expert." Shadow concluded.
"Very well, anyone else?" Sephira repeated.
"The Avengers," Gidjet sighed, a bit wistfully.
"Vigilantes, not Super Heroes." Bishop clarified, unamused.
"They are a bit of both, let's do our best to stay off everyone's radar." Lady Sephira placated before looking around at the space one more time. "If the landlord will allow us to rent a few more floors for training spaces, the kitchen, more office space and medics, make the necessary adjustments like the helipad for the roof and so forth, we'll take the space." Sephira decided unilaterally.
"Got it," Bishop nodded before looking at his watch. "Princess get's off of school in 20."
"We should get going," Lady Sephira nodded as she started for the door, her entourage following closely after.
Two weeks later Matt Murdock inwardly groaned as he came into his now empty office. He missed having Karen and Foggy there, his former best friends that were now, at best, people he used to know. Not to mention clients lined up, needing his help. Suddenly groups of guys started flooding into the building, packing the elevator to capacity for a good hour before demolition started upstairs. He leaned back into his office chair and groaned again, this time out loud. He wondered how long he would hear hammers, power-tools and the mindless banter of construction workers this time around. He opened his laptop to hear he had a new message, one from the landlord, informing him that the property had sold to another investor but that they would honor all contracts that were still out.
"Great," Matt huffed.
That afternoon however, he heard somewhat familiar voices. He rose and went to the door, just as Miss. Mindy knocked.
"Hello Mr. Murdock, I wanted to tell you that our firm did end up getting those floors above you after all and so we sent a fruit basket and things over as an apology for the noise we're going to be making." She said apologetically as she moved to hand the basket to him before she brought it back to herself. "It is a bit heavy, do you mind if I set it down on that desk behind you?" She inquired.
"Sure," Matt invited as he moved to the side.
"Oh and this is my associate, Lady..." Mindy began.
"Just call me Nova," Lady Sephira interrupted as she came into the room with her friend.
"Pleasure to meet you." Matt said as he held his hand out to shake hers. His ultra sensitive hearing had no problems picking up on Nova's physical anomaly, her double heart, it beat in tandem at a slightly lower rate than that of any other person at rest.
"The pleasure is all mine," Nova replied cordially as she handed her gift boxes of chocolate and things to Miss Mindy to put on the desk.
"So where is the Nelson in 'Nelson and Murdock'?" Miss. Mindy asked after she arranged their gifts on the table.
"He left to join another firm," Matt answered, the sting from the reality of the situation still strong as ever.
"I'm sorry to hear that," Nova nodded in understanding before she heard her daughter coming down the hall looking for her.
"In here sweetie," Nova called out before her daughter came into view of the door way.
"Mr. Murdock, this is my daughter Halah, Layla is her nickname and our friend Mr. Nagi who was awesome enough to pick her up from school for me." Nova introduced, waving them in.
"Call me Bishop," Mr. Findlay said as he shook Matt's hand.
"Hi," Layla said tentatively as she shook Matt's hand slowly with a feather light touch before going to the comfort of her mother's frame.
"So how long do you think it will take to renovate?" Matt asked as he heard very loud hammering above him.
"Hopefully they will be done in six weeks or so, I hope it won't drive away any business for you, if it does, please don't hesitate to let me know and I'll take care of it, here's our business card, Mindy informed us that you were blind so we made a braille one." Nova offered.
Matt took the card and read it. Voxhe Temptet- it gave a phone number and email address. Not much else to it. It was quite thick though, Matt assumed it was to take on the braille.
"Well we should get going, it was nice to meet you Mr. Murdock," Nova repeated, shaking his hand again before they all left. Nova was the last out and knocked on the door frame three times.
True to their word within five and a half weeks, all the construction was done. No wonder since they were divided up between four six hour shifts working around the clock. From what Matt overheard, the new firm paid handsomely. He was even reimbursed for 'lost business', that he didn't even ask for but Nova had insisted and he found the ability to say no to her was challenging to say the least.
A few weeks earlier…
Matt was surprised to find Nova leaning against the wall, waiting on him to come into the office. Even though he could smell her about the same time he could hear her heart beat. She had been in a market of some kind, fresh exotic fruit lingered on her as well as her unusually pleasant, if not intoxicating perfume.
"Good morning Mr. Murdock." She greeted when she saw him walking toward her.
"Good morning." Matt replied. "Can I help you?" Matt inquired, hearing to the unique sound her double heart gave off.
"Yes actually, but I'll wait for you to go in and get settled." Nova replied, as she nodded toward his office door.
"No need, come in," Matt invited as he unlocked and opened the door, gesturing for her to walk in.
"Thank you," Nova replied walking in before turning to him, opening her small portfolio and pulling out a check. "This is for you," Nova informed him as she handed him a piece of paper.
"What is it?" Matt asked, taking the paper from her.
"It's a check to cover the inconvenience and loss of business you've had due to our construction and noise upstairs." Nova explained.
"I haven't really…" Matt started.
"Yes you have, just please take the check and cash it, deposit it, I'll feel better about the inconvenience I'm causing you." Nova interrupted determinedly.
"Ok," Matt gave in.
"Thank you Mr. Murdock." Nova replied, the relief clear in her voice. "Have a nice day Mr. Murdock," Nova began before taking a step toward the door.
"Matthew, my name is Matthew, you can call me Matt if you would like." Matt clarified.
"I would," Nova smiled, a warmth coming to her tone that Matt couldn't help but smile at himself. "We should hang out sometime." Nova invited.
"Sure," Matt nodded.
Nova nodded in agreement but didn't say anything as she walked out, again, knocking on the door frame three times as she did so.
Back to the present...
Her check had set him up for months along with staying there rent free while the construction was going on. However, one morning he heard a scuffle and a few cries of pain from a voice he was almost certain was Nova's.
He quickly got his cane and went upstairs, his heart racing as it seemed to get louder and more brutal. He was able to locate their office, barging in the door, expecting to find people dead on the ground.
"Can I help you?" A woman asked, her face glued to her large computer screen, not even bothering to turn away.
"I heard..." Matt began before the woman looked up.
"Oh, Mr. Murdock, I'm sorry, is everything ok?" She asked as she got up and walked around her desk and came toward him hurriedly.
"I heard a fight," Matt spurted.
"Oh, I'm sorry for that, it's a demonstration, we are a security consultation and assessment firm after all, we should have put more or at least better sound dampeners in the floors, here let me show you around. I'm Triple," She said, taking his arm and lead him off trying give him a tour of the place.
"Triple?" Matt repeated in confusion.
"Oh my 'real' name is Valentina but here we choose our own names, I chose Triple because I am a triple threat, the singing, the dancing the whole nine yards." Triple beamed before a loud thud was heard from behind the double doors at the end of the hallway.
"Yeah she's not going to give that guy a break, he made a bit of a degrading remark, I hope he regrets it now, 'cupcake'," she snorted in derision.
"Called who what now?" Matt inquired.
"Oh our boss, Lady Sephira, she doesn't look nearly as strong as she is so she invited him to see why her training programs turned out the best security personnel, man or woman and he made the grave mistake of taking her up on it." Triple explained as she walked up to the door and knocked three times, the same way Nova had done in his office.
Shadow opened the door and looked from Triple to Mr. Murdock and back to Triple with an expectant look.
"Oh Chatter?" Triple all but sang out.
Chatter came into view and nodded to Shadow to let them in.
"Hello Mr. Murdock, I take it there should be more sound proofing above your office, I apologize." Miss. Mindy, apparently known as Chatter deduced as she took his arm and led him to the side of the room, in the middle of which Nova was doing hand to hand combat with a guy who was twice her size and getting angrier by the minute.
Bishop looked over his shoulder at them before turning back to his business partner "Nova, end this quickly and nicely please," he requested.
Nova didn't even bother to look at Bishop but kept her focus on her angry opponent about to come after her.
"K," She called out before she hunkered down and used the own guys' momentum to crash him into the floor. She moved so quickly that to the others it was almost like she was a bit of blur. Within seconds she rendered him a pile of unconscious mass on her floor.
"Like that?" Nova asked as she grabbed the outstretched towel from Bishop and wiped off the sweat from her forehead.
"Just like that," Bishop confirmed with a grin as the offender's companions came to his aid.
"Oh…um. Mr. Murdock, I didn't realize you had joined us." Nova said awkwardly as she noticed him there.
"I heard a fight, I just wanted to make sure everything was ok." Matt explained.
Nova grimaced at that. "Shadow, please ensure that sound dampeners are placed either on or below all floor surfaces, I want to be able to set off fireworks in here and the neighbors to barely hear anything." Nova ordered.
"Si Patron," Shadow answered, slipping back into her native tongue.
"Chatter, please make sure our esteemed guest is taken care of, I'm going to go freshen up." Nova delegated before leaving the space to her office suite.
Matt was given the grand tour before being led to the common space where the other associates had gathered since their clients had been escorted out of their office.
After the introductions Nova walked in with a tray of sushi and sashimi much to the delight of her associates.
"So what did mister big britches decide?" Nova asked the group.
"He said he'll get back to us." Bishop answered.
Nova barked a laugh at that. "It's a good thing we made him sign that waiver then huh?"
"Can I get you some sushi or sashimi Mr. Murdock?" Chatter inquired from Matt.
"No thank you," He declined.
"We have a ton of food, surely we can get you something, I make a mean sandwich." Nova offered.
"She does," Several in the group chimed in.
"Ok," Matt agreed.
"I want one too!" the others had said in unison.
Nova shook her head before heading into the adjoining kitchen and pulled out a loaf of fresh bread and slicing it before getting out the various meat and cheeses, lettuces and condiments before whipping up a dozen sandwiches and bringing them out on a tray and setting them on the table next to the sushi. She took a small plate and put one on it and placed it in front of him with some freshly squeezed lemonade to drink along with it.
Matt had tasted only a few things that were as delicious as this. It tasted like there was a delicatessen in that kitchen.
"Pasha," Nova addressed.
"Yes?" Pasha replied expectantly.
"Can you add lunch meat and cheese, lettuce blends and sandwich spreads to the grocery list?" Nova asked.
"Of course," Pasha nodded. "Oh and don't let me forget more passion fruit, we've been going through it like crazy," Pasha added.
"Salmon wings should be coming into season too." Chatter added. Collective 'oohs' were heard throughout the room.
"Salmon wings?" Matt queried.
"When salmon is harvested and processed, the throat, also known as the collar, underneath the front fins is cut away, a lot of people just throw it away along with the guts but a few processors are saving them and smoking them, think fish jerky." Chatter explained. "When we get some in we'll invite you over again." Chatter offered.
"Any luck with any cases?" Nova inquired.
"Not yet," Matt answered.
"That's unfortunate, if you need anything, we will be happy to assist in any way we can," Nova offered.
"Nova, your 11 is here," Shadow interrupted as she came into the room. "All of you should get back to work," Shadow suggested to the rest of them.
"Yes slave driver," Pasha uttered under her breath with an eye roll.
"Was that insubordination?" Shadow challenged.
"No," Pasha sighed.
"Then get to it," Shadow urged.
"I'll walk you back," Chatter invited as she stood, leading Matt back to his office.
"So what's up with the nick names?" Matt inquired.
"Oh, that's just a thing we have, either you pick or people will come up with them for you, like Bishop loves chess, Gidjet is an inventor and me, I'm a chatter box," Chatter explained.
"And Nova?" Matt inquired.
"I couldn't tell you that one. That's all I've ever known her as. Shadow has been with the company since the beginning. She would know I think." Chatter answered, a well rehearsed lie, her heart rate barely budged. But Matt still caught it.
"Oh and on Mondays we tend to do seafood, Tuesdays tend to be either Mexican or Latin American food and we always have steak on Fridays." Chatter informed him.
"Why..." Matt began.
"Just to let you know what we may be having on any given day for when you come back and join us for lunch." Chatter smiled. "Have a good day Mr. Murdock." Chatter said as she turned and knocked three times on the door frame before disappearing.
This is unbetaed. I was rewatching Daredevil, both seasons on Netflix while taking a break from writing because my personal life took many, many hits. (One example, my best friend's dad dropped dead from a heart attack right in front of her) and so my outlook on life is a little darker and this will show in my writing. So I took my story 'Secrets' and 'Subject Unknown' and mashed them together, if you had read either one, some of this may be familiar but it's been put through a darker reality filter. Also of note, the only white people in this story are Matt, Karen, Foggy and Frank Castle. I am doing my best to do as much research and making this as multi-cultural as possible. So if I mess up and get things wrong PLEASE tell me and I'll fix it as soon as I can.
Now with all my stories, I try to write them as if you're watching a movie, so I've 'casted' some people.
Nova- Priyanka Chopra
Bishop- Naveen Andrews
Shadow- Zoe Saldana
Chatter- Candice Patton
Gidjet- Lupita Nyong'o
Pasha- Peeya Rai Chowdhary
Triple- Indira Varma
I believe that's all I introduced in this first chapter, there will be other characters appearing and when they do I'll list them then.