"Alright, people, listen up," Captain Stewart said to the packed briefing room. Every detective, patrolman, and staff member the 17th gathered to listen to their CO.
"You all know about the carnage that happened last night. You read the papers. But the Deputy left out an important piece of information in his briefing to the press."
Stewart pressed a button and a projector kicked on, shining the grainy black and white image of a figure on a rooftop, horns on its head.
"The vigilante known as Daredevil is back. Most of y'all are too young to know the facts, so I'll be brief. Daredevil was a masked vigilante that operated in Manhattan from the summer of '72 until the winter of '88. During that time, he is suspected to have assaulted nearly a thousand known criminals, and may or may not have killed three men during the Mafia gang wars in the late 80's. Sixteen years in action, and nobody ever got a real good look at him. After a twenty-four year hiatus, this fool's back. More likely, though, it's a copycat."
"So?" Sergeant Michaels asked with a shrug. "So he roughs up some schmucks before we get there to arrest them. So what?"
"This man is an affront to the justice system," Stewart snapped. "He isn't bound by due process or the Miranda Rights. He wasn't trained by the city and state of New York to pick up a badge, and he sure as hell ain't authorized to carry out arrests. Simply put, he's a criminal. A criminal who attacks other criminals, but a criminal still. Police Plaza has a mandate to arrest him on sight. The officers who encountered him and our spree killer last night tried to do that, but he slipped away."
"Any evidence?" Office Daniels asked.
"Boots," the captain said. "A pair of size twelve boots were recovered from the scene with a stab hole in the toe. Based on the description of the officers on scene, he is a white man between 5'8 and 6'2. And he's probably bruised and limping. It's not much, but it's a start."
In the back of the briefing room, 5'11 Dick Grayson squirmed. His injured ribs were taped and bandages, as was the wound in his foot. He was lucky that most of the bruising the clown had administered had been in the body area and not the face. His patrolman uniform hid the majority of that bruising.
"Alright," Stewart said. "MCU is dealing with this Daredevil problem. But your job is to keep your eyes peeled out there. Anything you think links up to this case, you report it. That's all. Dismissed."
With that, the men and women of the 17th Precinct filed out of the room. Dick made sure to walk in a way to hide the limp of his injured foot.
Dick grunted as he slid his shoe off. The bandaged foot was tender and a bit swollen. Considering it was a rush job from an ER doctor that owed Matt a favor, it was more than adequate. It was swollen because of Dick having to spend three hours on his feet at the end of his shift, doing security for a bodega that had been having robbery problems.
"What happened out there?" Matt asked, leaning forward in his chair. "Last night, I mean. Let's do a post-mortem."
"What about later?" Dick asked, taking his other shoe off. "Figure I'd take tonight off and let my foot heal a little better before I head back out there."
"Okay, but why did you get beaten so bad?"
"That clown was strong and fast. Unnaturally so. The majority of the damage I got happened at the start of the fight, before I knew what I was dealing with."
"Still shouldn't have come to that. You should have been on your toes from the start."
"The guy looked like a crackhead Ronald McDonald. There was no way anybody could have read the situation properly... Anyone who could see, anyway..."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"You know what I mean. I don't have your senses, Matt. I can't tell what someone had for breakfast just by smelling their sweat. I misjudged the situation, but I stopped him."
"You stopped him from taking any more lives last night, but he got away."
"Did you read the papers? He took down a damn police chopper! What can I do against that? I did all I could do!"
"And it wasn't good enough!"
"What do you want me to say?!" Dick yelled. "That I'm sorry? Okay, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I'm not good as you, Matt. Sorry that I can't live up to your great legacy. There. I said it."
Matt took a breath and prepared to talk, but stopped. He thought it over and sighed. "Look... I'm sorry. I'm not used to this feeling. Feeling so... helpless while you go out there and risk your life. I'm used to being in the thick of it. I don't want to keep making you second guess yourself, I just want you to realize the stakes you're playing with. Every night you go out there, you may not come back. I got lucky that I'm still sitting here drawing breath, but I didn't get off easy."
Dick nodded slowly and looked out the window.
"I know your concern, and it's not like I haven't thought of that. I think about it every time before I go out. But, you know what? I could die tomorrow on the job, or get hit by a car walking down the street. Doesn't matter. When it happens, it'll happen. I just want to do my part and help as many people as I can. I'm not afraid of dying."
"Good, but remember that there's a difference between fearless and reckless."
"You're right. I won't forget it, I promise."
Matt leaned back in his chair and patted the sides.
"Alright, enough of the sensei-grasshopper routine, how was work?"
"Usual patrol stuff. Nothing major. Oh, we had a briefing today with the entire precinct. NYPD told us all to be on the lookout for the new Daredevil."
"New Daredevil?" Matt asked with an arched eyebrow. "What makes them think the old one didn't come out of retirement."
"Oh, just the fact it's been forty years. If the old Daredevil was out there, he'd be old. Like, really old. I mean really, really--"
"Watch your mouth, kid."
"The captain brought up the mob wars from the 80's. Said Daredevil was suspected of killing three men. When are you finally going to tell me that story?"
"When the time is right, Dick. I promise. When I tell you about Silvermane, Elektra, and the whole mess, you'll wish I hadn't."
Matt leaned forward and stood, his back popping as his spine straightened.
"But like I said, that's for another day. C'mon, go get dressed. Foggy invited us to dinner."
"So nice of you to accept for me," Dick said as he stood.
"I figured a polite and well-mannered man as yourself wouldn't refuse."
Dick chuckled to himself and limped across the floor to his old room.