Dick leaned forward and placed his hands on his knees. Sweat dripped from his brow, the muscles in his arms and legs burned like they were on fire. His lungs hurt with every deep breath. He was spent, but that didn't matter to his teacher. When the old man had challenged him to a fight, he thought it would last a few minutes minutes. Matt was old, he had a limp, and to top it all off, he was blind. That had been hours ago.
Matt said as he pranced around the roof of their building. "Fight me."
Dick went on the offensive. He jumped gracefully and tucked his legs to spin over Matt's head. He was in the process of landing when Matt's foot struck him in the back. Dick landed awkwardly and fell flat on the ground. This had been the story now for the last two hours. Dick tried to play offense, the blind man easily dodged his blows and countered him with ease. He played defense, Matt knocked him down with equal ease.
"Can't go on,"
he said as he struggled to stand. "Too tired."
Matt said, sweeping his legs out from under him. Dick hit the ground again, his lungs sucking desperately at the air that rushed out of his body. "And that's why I win."
Matt helped him up to his feet and steadied him with an arm.
"That wasn't fair. You barely fought."
"Exactly. You don't fight to hurt or cripple. You fight to win. The best offense can be a good defense. Remember that."
"But it took you two hours to wear me down. That's not too efficient."
"Better to win in two hours, than to lose in five minutes. C'mon, let me cook you some breakfast. You need to be at school in an hour."
Matt led Dick towards the stairwell. He opened the door and they climbed down the stairs towards the apartment.
"By the way, I'm cooking chocolate chip pancakes. Figured you just earned them."
Today was Dick's birthday. He was twelve years old.
Decked out in his full Daredevil gear, Dick calmly walked away from the burning shipping container behind him. All around him, the unconscious and semi-conscious bodies of criminals were scattered on the ground, their weapons scattered among them. The smell of cordite hung thick in the air, alongside the heavy smell of gasoline and burning metal.
An escrima stick in his hand, Dick grabbed one of the conscious men and held him up with his free hand.
"Look at the fire behind me,"
he growled. "That's twenty-five thousand dollars worth of coke going up in flames. Tell your boss that he's lived in sin for far too long. It's time for the Devil to collect his due."
He tossed the manback to the ground and disappeared into the night.
Morgan Jones looked out at the New York morning from his office window. Two of his lieutenants stood behind him, both of them traded uneasy looks. Behind them an Asian man in a suit sat in a chair, passively watching everything in front of him.
"This is the third straight night that ****sucker has burned my goddamn product. What's the damage up to, Phil?"
"After last night, it's sixty-eight K," one of the men behind him said.
"Sixty-eight thousand dollars. Sixty-eight thousand dollars of my money up in smoke. Get the hell outta here. Both of you."
The two lieutenants hurriedly left the room. As soon as they were gone, Morgan turned from the window and stared at the man sitting in front of him.
"How much, Mister Drakon?"
"For the Devil?" Drakon asked with an arched eyebrow. "A hundred thousand. In advance."
Morgan stared the hitman down for a long moment before sighing.
"Very well. Just know that if you fail, I will take that hundred thousand dollars back.
"You can try," Drakon said as he stood. "But it will not come to that. This Devil is a man. His bones break. I am a mortality specialist, Mister Morgan. I will see to it that this Devil meets his."