Chapter one: Vivid Dreams

It was a cloudy day in New York. It's been raining all night and the streets were filled with rainwater. It was also officer Bradley's first day of work as a security guard in a bank near the intersection of 10th avenue and 42nd street in Hell's kitchen. He was waiting in the subway, hoping he could get into the next train. The last three trains were so full of people that no one could get in.

"I can't believe I'm being late on the first day", he thought to himself, while closing his eyes, taking a deep breath trying to calm himself a little. After about a minute, a half-empty train arrived, "finally!" he thought, "I'm never going to be late again, ever". He did tell that to himself every time he was late for something, and it only worked for a couple of days.

"Bradley, you're late!", said the other security guard who was in charge of Bradley, sounding disappointed.

"Won't happen again sir", panted Bradley, worried he made a bad first impression.

"Jesus how old are you, twenty?!" said the other officer, sounding like he was kind of mocking him.

"Twenty-five sir", said Bradley. He did look a little younger than he was, with his pale skin, curly blonde hair and wide blue eyes, just like his father.

"Right!", he paused for a second, "Come on, let me show you around", said the other officer, walking away from Bradley.

"Phew, could go worse, right?", Bradley thought, while following the other officer.

A few hours went by. It was near lunch time now.

"Hey kid, I'm going to go get something to eat. Are you coming? said the officer in charge, walking towards him. " he's staying", pointing to the other guard by tilting his head in his direction.

"No thanks, I'll emm... eat later", said Bradley, thinking if he would skip lunch break, it would make up for being late, or at least it would make it look like it.

"Oh, don't worry", said the officer, thinking Bradley's not leaving because then there would only be one security guard in the bank. "It's hard to admit but the city's much safer now with Daredevil. Did you hear about last night?", asked the officer.

"No sir", Bradley said.

"Well, he...never mind. Just... know that the city's running out of criminals and he's settling for petty thieves", said the officer while smiling, "alright, I'm going to go, I'll get you something for lunch too". He then walked out of the bank.

He did hear about what Daredevil did last night on the news, he just... hated the way people talked about him. "Do they actually think he's a hero?", Bradley thought to himself, "he just loves beating people up. Everyone's a fool for ever thinking he actually cares about anyone but himself".

While talking to himself, he noticed this weird-looking woman, with long brown hair, average size, wearing an oversized jean jacket, a dark blue cap and these big round sunglasses, walking into the bank. She turned right, kept walking and stopped five steps away from the bank's entrance besides the wall and started looking around.

"What is she doing?", Bradley whispered.

Her lips were moving, like she was talking to someone (or maybe herself). She put her right hand under the jacket, almost like she wss reaching for a gun under there.

Bradley, watching this, was sure she had something dangerous under her jacket. He grabbed his gun and pointed it at her.

"Don't move", shouted Bradley. His eyes were even wider than before, his heart was beating fast and he was breathing fast too. People in the bank started screaming and panicking, which distracted Bradley for one or two seconds. Then, the woman turned around quickly, facing Bradley, her hand still under her jacket.

"No!", shouted Bradley, while pulling the trigger.

Next thing he knew, he was feeling this indescribable pain in the back of his neck, everything went blurry and he fell on the ground.

Everyone was still screaming and lying on the ground. A woman who worked at the bank pressed the panic button under the desk, a moment later the manager came to her.

"Well, no need for that", said the manager. He turned around, gestured to the treasury, with its door open, "it's all gone".

He was right. It was completely empty.

A few hours later, the police were investigating the crime scene. Bradley's body had been moved to be examined by the police.

"Detective Mahoney", said a CSI while walking towards the detective, who was standing by the place Bradley was shot, confused about the whole incidence. The CCTVs in the bank didn't capture anything, not a single thing, not even the person Bradley was pointing his gun at who was probably standing in a blind spot. It looked like the bank was robbed in a snap of a finger.

"Detective?", repeated the CSI.

"Yes", answered Mahoney, "what is it?".

"The ballistic reports from the victim's body", said the CSI, "It emmm..."

"What? What does it say?", asked Mahoney.

"I checked the results three times sir. It looks like he was shot with his own bullets, with nobody else's fingerprints on neither the bullet nor his gun".

Now Mahoney looked even more confused than before.

"How the hell is that possible?", he thought to himself.

Something told him he was going to need his masked friend's help really soon.

Matt and Foggy were sitting in a courtroom, next to their client, a millionaire playboy accused of killing his girlfriend in their house, waiting for the prosecutor to begin her closing statement.

"Do you think they believed him?", Foggy asked with a low tone, not wanting their client to hear them.

Matt turned his head slightly to right, where Foggy was sitting, "I don't know, I think we tried our best, and well...with a good closing statement, we have a big chance of winning this", Matt said calmly.

"Yeah, I hope I don't screw it up though. You're usually the one doing this, and I didn't even have enough time to prepare last night, after you...well...", Foggy lowered his voice, "started hearing stuff, and left to do your...other job".

"You won't screw up Foggy, don't worry".

"Well you SHOULD worry", the client said in a somewhat threatening tone, "You screw up, and I'll make sure you lose everything Nelson, you too Murdock. I came to you thinking you're better than that stupid lawyer who works for my father ".

Foggy could see Matt closing his eyes and exhaling a little louder, trying to control himself from punching him. He hated this, working for money and not helping the people actually in need, helping bring justice to people who couldn't afford to get it. What made them any different from the other lawyers then? Was this what he went to law school for?

"It will be fine Mr. Taylor", Foggy said, "You don't have anything to worry about".

"He's an asshole, but at least he's not a murderer", Foggy whispered to Matt, trying to make him feel a little better about what they were doing.

"Where's Karen?", asked Matt, "she should've been here thirty minutes ago".

"She emm...she was busy last night. Probably overslept today".

"Why was she busy?", asked Matt, "Oh...yeah...she did say something about a date with that journalist guy", and then there was an awkward silence for about a minute.

The prosecutor stood up, closed her jacket's button, stood in front of the jury, and started her closing statement.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you have seen and heard all the factual evidence in this case. The victim was stabbed five times with a kitchen knife, there was no sign of forced entry to the house, and..."

Suddenly Matt heard the police sirens across the street, moved his chin up and frowned, concentrating on the voices and trying to find out what was going on.

Foggy noticed this, "What is it?", he asked.

"The police sirens"

"Yeah, I heard that"

"There's been a bank robbery. Someone's been shot", Matt said sounding worried.

"Didn't hear THAT though", Foggy said while chuckling, but changed his tone to a more serious one quickly, "Don't worry, the police can handle it".

"What if they can't? I should go help", Matt said while putting his palms on the chair handles, beginning to stand up.

Foggy grabbed Matt's arm before he even moved an inch, "There's nothing you can do now, and plus, since when do you do this in the daylight?".

"Well maybe I should. Criminals don't just sit there all day waiting for the sun to go down to begin their work, do they?", Matt said.

" the cops on this one OK? Let them do their work", and the two became silent.

"Alright I'm up, wish me luck...and... don't do anything stupid until I get back", Foggy said after the prosecutor's speech was over while standing up, took a quick glance at his notes, walked towards the jury, and got started.

"What if other people get hurt too? And for what? Because of this asshole?", Matt thought to himself. "Even if he goes to jail, what difference would it make?". He was even starting to doubt his judgment about him being innocent, "What if his heart rate didn't go up only because he's a good liar? And all this time, we were defending a murderer?".

He concentrated to see if he could hear what was going on in the bank, but it was too far, even for Matt.

"How was it?", Foggy asked, while sitting on his chair.

Matt turned his head towards Foggy, looking confused, like he had no idea what he was talking about.

"You didn't listen to a word of it did you?", Foggy said, "well I nailed it, we're definitely winning".

Everybody started coming out of the courtroom to stay in the hallway and wait for the jury to reach a verdict. Matt and Foggy were entering the hallway when they saw Karen standing in front of the door leaning towards the wall, looking for them. She waved her hand when she finally found them and started walking in their direction.

" did it go?", Karen asked, looking at Matt waiting for him to answer.

"Oh, don't look at him", Foggy said, "he has no idea how it went".

Karen frowned, looking confused, not knowing what Foggy meant.

"I did the speech instead of him", Foggy said, "last night he was too busy with some drunk thieves, and today he was busy beating himself up for not being able to stop a bank robbery".

Matt sighed but didn't say anything.

"Oh, that's actually why I was late", Karen said, "I saw the police cars outside a bank and went to see what was going on".

"You do realize you're not a journalist anymore, right?", Foggy said with humor.

"Well, I don't have to be a journalist to wanna know what happens in my neighborhood", Karen said.

"What did you find out?", Matt asked.

"Apparently a security guard, officer Bradley, saw someone suspicious, pointed his gun at them, and probably fired it when the person didn't cooperate. Then he got shot and died instantly. Someone pressed the panic button afterwards, AND after they found out that the robbers have emptied the whole treasury".

"The guard got shot?", asked Matt.

"Yeah, unfortunately".

Matt sighed, "What did you say his name was?", he asked Karen.

"Jacob Bradley".

His name sounded so familiar to Matt and although he tried, he couldn't place him. He wanted to do something, to help the police catch the people responsible...but what could he do? He thought maybe he should go on a rooftop and try to listen until he hears something, but he didn't even know what he would be looking for.

"Matt?", Foggy said, after Matt was weirdly silent for a couple of seconds. "Did you know him? The security officer?".

"No, I...I don't know...maybe...I can't remember where I've heard his name", Matt said. "It's my fault, a man is dead and it's my fault", Matt thought to himself. He always blamed himself for people getting hurt because of criminals, he knew he couldn't stop every crime and save everyone and yet, he did it anyway. Almost like he was trying to mentally torture himself.

"OK look...after we're done here, we go to the bank and talk to Mahoney if he's there, see what they have found on the robbers", Foggy said and Matt nodded in response.

A black van with dark smoke windows arrived at an old warehouse, near the Hudson River, and with no other buildings around. The driver and the man sitting in the front got out of the van, and then the back door of the van opened, and three men came of out of it, with one wearing a black and white mask with some jagged lines on it, all of them armed and wearing black bulletproof vests. The masked man came out the last, turned around facing the van. "You can come out now", he said calmly, and a woman came out, wearing a jeans jacket and a blue cap. The masked man started walking away from the van, but she kept standing there looking at the ground, like she's been shocked and was hesitating to go further. "Come on", he said, starting to walk away from her again.

She walked a bit faster to reach him, "Billy?", she said. The masked man turned around, and looked at the woman, waiting for her to continue. " didn't have to do that".

"Do what?", he asked, although he kind of knew what she was talking about.

"Killing that man...the security guard", she whispered.

"There's no reason to whisper you know", he said, and then sighed. "You told me back then that he saw your face, right?", he said calmly while caressing her face with his right hand. "Then I had no choice. If they found out who you were, then they could trace you back to me, to all of us, and we'd all go to prison. You wouldn't want that to happen, would you?", and she shook her head in response.

"Good", he said, and started walking away again. "The truck arrives in about two minutes guys", he yelled at the crew, "get everything ready".

She was still standing there, feeling guilty about the whole thing. But after all he's done for her, she wanted to return the favor. And plus, it wasn't like she had anyone or anything else to go to. She took a deep breath and followed the masked man into the building.

After about two hours, Matt, Foggy, and Karen went to the bank. The police have used those barrier tapes to help keep the reporters and others out of the crime scene. Mahoney came out of the bank door and saw the three. "Let them in", he said while gesturing to an officer nearby. Mahoney led them to somewhere outside the bank where they could talk privately.

"What did you find out, detective?", Matt asked.

"Except for what I've already told Karen, which I'm sure she's told you", Mahoney said, then looked around to make sure no one was listening, and continued, "we saw the footage of the security cameras inside the bank. None of the cameras got the person Bradley was pointing his gun at...and... know what's crazy?", he paused, "he got shot from behind, and yet, nobody was behind him in the footage. He was standing about four feet away and in front of the wall. None of the people present at that time in the bank saw anything either. Almost like he was shooting a ghost or something...Oh and something else...he was shot with his own bullet".

Karen and Foggy looked at each other while raising their eyebrows. Matt tilted his head above a little, "what about the cameras outside the bank?", he asked after a few seconds.

"Nothing", Mahoney said. "If someone told me a supernatural invisible creature did this, it would be much more believable".

"Well, call me if you find any trace of them detective", said Matt, Mahoney nodded in response, and the three were starting to leave. "Oh", Matt said, "The victim, the officer, who was he?".

"Officer Jacob Bradley", Mahoney said. "I knew his father, he was a cop, a good one actually. Remember a couple of years ago, a cop that Warehouse where he was hiding with Vladimir, the Russian who worked with Fisk? That was him." He sighed and paused for a bit. "He was new to the job too, you know?".

Matt's jaws departed...he tried to say something, to show that he was sorry. A father and his son died because of him, two decent people. He didn't kill them himself but still...he was responsible. They died because he couldn't do his job properly, and now his mother has lost a husband AND a son. How could he forgive himself for destroying a whole family?

"Well thank you detective, please...let us know when you find something", Foggy said, trying to save his friend from that bizarre conversation, and the three started leaving the area.

"I know what you're thinking Saint Matthew", Foggy said. "But this was not your fault".

"How was that not my fault?", Matt said in an aggressive tone. "I could've got out of the court and come here when I heard the sirens".

"Buddy", Foggy said, while he put his right palm on Matt's shoulder, making him stop. "You heard Mahoney; the police were alarmed after he was shot. How could you have saved him, huh?"

"He got shot while I was defending that asshole ", Matt said, and tightly held his cane, trying to control his anger.

"Well, that asshole saved us from being broke, and because of him, we can keep doing the good work. And plus, he was innocent, we helped bring justice. Now let's just go to the office and wait for Mahoney to find something OK?"

Matt sighed, but didn't say anything, and from the looks of it, he wasn't very convinced that it wasn't his fault. "Come on Matt, let's go", Karen said warmly, and the three headed back to their office.

It was about 8 pm. Detective Mahoney was sitting at his desk, reviewing the evidence found at the crime scene today. "It doesn't make sense", he thought, while scrubbing his face. He desperately decided to check all the cameras in the nearby streets as well.

For about an hour he didn't find anything and was beginning to give up, but then he saw something: a black van appeared in a parking spot out of nowhere! One moment the spot was empty and a moment later, the van was there.

He picked up his phone immediately, and called Matt.

"What did you find?", Matt answered instantly.

"Black van, with plate number JGA2434, it appeared out of nowhere in a nearby street. I'll text you an address as soon as we find it" and hung up the phone.

Matt started getting ready, wearing his red suit, which wasn't very easy to put on, and after about fifteen minutes, a text was sent to him. It was an address for a warehouse on the southwest of Hell's kitchen near the Hudson River. He then quickly got his stuff and left the apartment.

Matt was hiding near the warehouse, trying to find out what was going on in there. The police haven't come yet, and Matt was worried that by the time they got there, the robbers were going to flee. He concentrated, and finally heard something. Only one heartbeat, sneaking up the stares slowly and carefully. From the heart rate he guessed that it was either a woman, or a very short man, probably the former. He tilted his head a little to the left, looking surprised, and decided to go in.

He was in the third floor now, trying to follow the one person in the building. He was standing behind a door, knowing the woman was on the other side. She was still sneaking but then, she suddenly stopped. He suspected that she might have noticed someone else was there and if so, she would start running away and then it might be hard to catch her. So, he decided to go in before that would happen. He opened the door and ran in and tried to find out where she was, but suddenly, he stopped. Everything went black, and then, everything was white, like he was looking at the ceiling. He was lying in bed, crying, sounding like a little baby. A woman's face appeared above him, looking at him, but didn't do or say anything. She just stared at him, with an emotionless expression on her face, and after a minute or two, he heard a familiar voice and instantly recognized it. It was his dad's.

"Pick him up for God's sake", he said angrily. "When was the last time you fed him?"

The woman didn't answer. His father picked him up, "Shshshsh", he said, while moving him from side to side, trying to make his baby stop crying. "Daddy's going to get you some milk now, alright Matty?"...

The police had arrived. Mahoney was coming up the stairs, heading to the third floor, with his gun in his right hand and a flashlight in his left. he reached the open door, suspected somebody was in there. "NYPD", he said loudly, and jumped in quickly. He looked around for a couple of seconds, and suddenly saw Daredevil on the right, three steps away and lying on the ground. He quickly went besides him, "Hey", he said while shaking him, but he didn't respond. He looked around to make sure nobody was there and took his mask off. He pointed the flashlight at his face. his eyes were open, and his pupils very dilated. He checked his pulse on his neck, and when he felt it, he exhaled heavily, feeling relieved he wasn't dead.

"Third floor's clear", he said, informing the other cops. Then picked up his phone and called Foggy.

"Hello detective. What's up?", Foggy said.

Mahoney sighed, "We have a problem"...