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  I'm Daredevil, the ‘Man Without Fear', and this is my home.
  
  Hell's Kitchen.
  
  Devastated.
  
  The wreckage caused by the attack of Shotgun on the neighborhood has just started to be cleared
  away.  Not by the City.  By the citizens.  A small construction company has pledged its services,
  free of charge, in helping to remove the rubble.  Several other companies have also jumped in, and
  then several shelters for those who've been left homeless or parent-less.
  
  Several companies that I personally know of have been especially helpful, surprisingly.
   
  They're owned by Wilson Fisk, my archenemy.  The enemy who, for some reason I can't even
  begin to guess, saved my mother from the insane assassin known as Bullseye only weeks ago. 
  We've taken each others' lives once, gotten even, and now I'm in his debt again.
  
  My mother.  He saved my mother.  Why?  I'll have to ask him.  I have a lot of questions these
  days, waiting around almost helpless while my wounds heal, wounds that I've had a bad time
  trying to explain to the authorities.  Cuts, bruises, gunshot wounds, broken bones.  All the
  earmarks of a Dallas Cowboys victory celebration.
  
  So I stay inside, or sometimes wheel myself out to the roof of my building to feel the sun and the
  wind.  Occasionally, when I'm out on these excursions, I'll see somebody.  Not "see" in the
  normal sense, of course.  I'm blind as a bat, except for my other four, enhanced senses.
  
  But I'll have a hallucination.  There'll be a familiar outline and a familiar heartbeat, but the specter
  will never say anything.  It's the Taskmaster, another villain of mine.  Not just mine.  He's fought
  the entire Avengers to a standstill, but he gave his life to help me stop Bastion's mad scheme.
  
  The Taskmaster, dead but before me, will stand there.  Just stand there.  And I know I should be
  scared, but I'm not, not after what the Taskmaster said to me right before he died in my arms. 
  Instead, I just let silence reign for a few minutes, and then he'll come over to me.
  
  I shake his hand.
  
  And he leaves.
  
  Good work, Taskmaster.
  
  I'll wheel myself back into my apartment.  
  
  Today, I'm doing a little studying.  There's a court case coming up.  I have to defend the Fantastic
  Four in a civil suit.  Considering how much those four superheroes have done for the world, I'm
  amazed that anyone has the gall to sue them for any damages.  Still, there are some out there who
  are still very thankful.  And they're judges and juries.  I'll win.
  
  I sense something swing past my window.  A small smile comes to my lips.
  
  Hello, Peter.
  
  New Marvel Presents:
  
  DAREDEVIL the Fearless
  
  # 12: "Fearless and Forgiven"
  
  Written By:  Ben Kaine
  Editor:  Brian Provow
  
  ***
  
  "Don't worry about me, Guys.  This is the equivalent of a few chin-ups for a guy with the
  proportionate strength of a spider!" Spider-Man said, waving as he pulled upon his strand of
  webbing with one hand.  The eight tons of rubble held together on the other end of the strand rose
  steadily, allowing the dozen men to begin evacuating the remains of the building for any goods. 
  They'd be used in the relief areas.
  
  Franklin "Foggy" Nelson smiled up at the Webspinner, adjusted his tie, and moved on.  He
  scribbled upon the checklist in his hand.  He'd been ordained one of the leaders in the project by
  other residents of the area, and he was working as hard as possible to see to it that their trust
  wasn't misplaced.  It was an oppurtunity for him, really.
  
  Matt Murdock, the Daredevil, wasn't around to help the Fogster.  He could only look out from his
  window and see the neighborhood he'd struggled to protect for years, ruined.  Well, don't worry,
  Matt.  I'll rebuild it for you.
  
  And the rebuilding was going very well, he thought, especially with Spider-Man, the Human
  Torch, Captain America (Foggy's mind was always blown away just thinking about that), and
  several Inhumans volunteering.
  
  A shadow fell across Foggy as he scribbled once more.
  
  "I wish to help," said a voice.  Foggy nodded.  Another volunteer.  He turned.
  
  "Alright.  Can you handle heavy objec-"  Foggy's mouth went dry at that, his eyes wide.
  
  Wilson Fisk towered over him, looking down with those powerful eyes…  He was not dressed in
  the familiar, white tuxedo today.  He wore simple pants, a turtleneck sweater, a jacket over that. 
  Dressed for work.  A single word came forth from the Kingpin's lips.  "Yes."
  
  Foggy could've sworn a full minute passed, and then he said:  "A block from here.  We're trying
  to get refridgerators out."
  
  The Kingpin was gone, the absence of his very presence causing Foggy to breathe a sigh of relief.
  
  Then Foggy stopped, thought, smiled, added Wilson Fisk's name to his list of volunteers.
  
  How about that? he thought, and moved on to the next area.
  
  ***
  
  "You sure about this, Melvin?" said Harold Mason, owner of Mason's Appliance.
  
  The giant in front of him wearing orange chainmail and a knight-like helmet nodded.  Adorning
  the two monstrous, blue gauntlets of the giant were sawblades, round, sharp.  Melvin Potter took
  several steps away from his friend and the onlookers, activated them.
  
  The blades whirred and spun quickly into a blur, then stopped.  Melvin nodded within the armor,
  satisfied with the performance.
  
  "You could get in trouble for it," Harold mentioned.
  
  "I don't think so.  I just USED to be the villain called the Gladiator, Harold!" Melvin said within
  the helmet.  "Those days are over.  Daredevil helped me see to that.  Doesn't mean I can't put this
  suit I designed to good use, though, especially if it'll help DD.  Stand back."
  
  Harold did so, shouting for some room, and the Gladiator charged, sawblades spinning.  The
  small mountain of collapsed wood that had obstructed them from getting groceries was cut
  through in seconds, and a great cloud of dust erupted.
  
  There was nothing within the cloud for a moment, and then the Gladiator stepped out.
  
  "Come and get it," he said, wishing they could all see his smile from within the protective mask.
  
  ***
  
  "Impressive."
  
  "It IS impressive, Matt.  Damned sure of that.  Foggy told me that Melvin Potter's taken out the
  old Gladiator suit and used it to help clean some house.  Also…"
  
  "Also what?" Matt Murdock asked, after a short silence.  He sat at his desk, the wheelchair next to
  him, relaxed.  There was no other way to be, not then, although he desperately wished he could be
  out, watching it all.  He watched Phil Urich, wrinkled his nose at the smell of the man's smokes.  
  
  "I stopped by to get a few quotes from Franklin Nelson.  Wasn't easy.  He was so excited he
  could barely string two words together, but what I got from him was that Wilson Fisk is on the
  volunteer list."
  
  "Fisk?"
  
  "Fisk," Phil nodded.  "The Fat Man himself."
  
  "Should be an interesting article," Matt said blandly.  "When's it come out?"
  
  "Tomorrow's edition of the Daily Bugle."
  
  "I'll get it."
  
  "You shou-"
  
  The door to the office opened.  Phil turned, but Matt didn't.  The heartbeat.  He knew the
  heartbeat anywhere…  Karen Page.
  
  "Hi, Phil.  Am I interrupting-?"
  
  "Interrup-  Oh, no!  Not at all.  C'mon in, Karen," Phil answered, standing.  He turned to Matt and
  muttered something about having to get back to the Bugle.  Matt nodded, gave a polite smile, and
  the reporter was gone.  Karen shut the door behind him herself.
  
  He waited for her to sit down in the chair, noticed that it was the same chair she'd sat down in
  years before.  She'd been his secretary, then.  Things changed.
  
  Boy, did they change.  And not always for the better.  He wondered what she was feeling now,
  physically, how the AIDS virus was affecting her or even if it did.  He felt slightly ashamed at not
  having bothered to look up the disease, learn about it.  His former girlfriend, one of the best
  friends and loves of his life, now had it and he'd never learned anything.  He made a mental note.
  
  "How you feeling?" she asked.  Her heart was hammering at high speed.  She was uncomfortable
  here, but she was trying to keep the mood light.  Sometimes he guessed it helped her to forget that
  he could read her like an open book.  Just another little plus (or minus…) of his special senses.
  
  "Restless.  I want to be out," Matt answered truthfully.
  
  "I'm not sure how other men deal with not being able to swing from skyscrapers, but I'll check."
  
  "Thanks.  What is it, Karen?"
  
  "I can't check up on you?"  Her heart skipped a beat.  It wasn't an outright lie, but it was enough. 
  He didn't have to say anything, though.  Karen wasn't one to hide or play games.  She corrected
  herself.
  
  "Sorry, Matt.  I DO want to know what's happened to you, how you're feeling…  but I also want
  to talk about me.  I know it's selfish-"
  
  "It's not," he said.  "I've had plenty of time in this wheelchair-"  And he patted it.  "-to think as
  well.  Things happened, Karen, while I was away…  I was fighting Bastion.."
  
  "The Zero Tolerance-?"
  
  "That's him.  He wanted to commit Genocide.  I'm not used to dealing with those things, Karen. 
  Captain America can handle himself when faced with the entire world's demise, I'm sure, but I
  deal with the stalkers.  The crime syndicates.  The predators…  And I just didn't know how to deal
  with Bastion or his flunkies.  They were above the Law, Karen.  Kingpin can play with the Law
  like a snake-handler, but it's a snake that still has fangs.  It was different for Bastion."
  
  She was silent.  Well, what was she going to say, Matt?
  
  "I reacted.  I couldn't touch him or bring him in…  Not him and not Shotgun."
  
  "That psycho who came through Hell's Kitchen.  Who did all- all- that?"  She gestured out the
  window at the rubble-strewn neighborhood, and he nodded.
  
  "I killed them both, Karen," he said.  "Not as an accident.  Not by their own hand.  I snapped
  Shotgun's neck, deliberately.  I hurled Bastion into Hell with my own two hands."
  
  Silence.  He became aware through his senses that Karen had moved next to him, sitting in his
  vacant wheelchair.  Her hand, it was touching his.  Her hand…
  
  "Matt.  Don't drop into a guilt trip on me.  The Law protects you.  It protects everyone, even
  criminals.  You've always told me that, right?  But it can't protect those it doesn't apply to, Matt. 
  If Bastion was above the System, then the System had no power…  You had no power."
  
  "You sound like Natasha."  Wrong word, he thought immediantly.  You said the wrong word-
  
  "Natasha has some sense in her," Karen said.  "You weren't to blame for those murders, Matt.  I
  don't blame you, nobody does-…  God doesn't."
  
  " ‘God'.  You're not talking to anyone who would know, Karen.  God wasn't with me, not when
  Bullseye came.  I wouldn't have fell.  I didn't have God on my side.  Only you.  My friends."
  
  "Why do you say that, Matt?  I'm-  I'm not religious, but you've always had faith."
  
  "There's no faith for the Wicked, Karen-"  The words were coming and he couldn't stop them. 
  Since he said the name, ‘Natasha' had been going through his head…  "I didn't simply murder
  during that time.  I did other things."
  
  "Other-?"
  
  "Adultery.  I slept with Natasha."
  
  That stunned Karen, far more than the murder.  He could sense her heat rising.  Anger, but she
  was trying to control herself.  She was trying to… what?  Forgive him?  "Matt, you're forgiven for
  all of it.  By me, by everyone out there, by G-"
  
  "In case you're under a false impression," Matt answered, "…  I don't need your forgiveness. 
  You're not my girlfriend or my wife."
  
  She left him.   Matt buried his face in his hands, wanting to tear his hair out.  
  
  Damn.  Point to you, Matt.  Congratulations.
  
  ***
  
  "Tomorrow…" the figure said within the darkness, and the others nodded.
  
  "Tomorrow," he finished, "…  We strike a great blow against the Humans.. and let them know
  that the New Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is active!"
  
  ***
  
  The night passed with only the most fitful sleep, and the day might not have come at all if not for
  the knock at the door.  Matt had felt sure that if he had not been awakened, he would have slept
  until after another nightfall.
  
  He rose with a groan, wheeling himself across the apartment to the door.  There was a heartbeat
  on the other side, one that wasn't familiar to him.  It wasn't beating fast, nor did he sense anything
  else to point out hostility or danger…
  
  He unlocked the door, opened.  His radar immediantly caught up the form in the hallway, and
  Matt would have fallen back in surprise if he were not in a wheelchair.
  
  He wished he hadn't left the television on.
  
  Outside stood a simple man, perhaps in his fifties, holding a Bible.
  
  "May I help you?" Matt asked.
  
  "Actually," he said, and adjusted his glasses, "… I've been sent to help you."
  
  ***
  
  They stood upon a rooftop, looking out at a good view of Central Park.  It was a hot day in New
  York, the kind that even got nuns cursing in the streets.  Temperatures in New York City could
  become unbearable easily, and in such times, Heat Stroke was as regular in the Big Apple as in
  Arizona.  They paid no heed.
  
  They only looked down, over Central Park, smiling…  Each had plans, ideas, ways he wanted to
  string up the body of a "flatscan" that had persecuted Mutants for years and cut them open-
  
  "Remember," the leading mutant said.  "We wait until lunchtime, so that there are enough of them
  out there.  Then you slaughter.  Get caught, say a word to the police, we'll find ya."
  
  "Got it, Scatter."
  
  "Glad to hear it, Shrapnel.  Fifteen more minutes…"
  
  ***
  
  "I'm not sure I follow.  Come in, please.  I'd offer you coffee, but I honestly haven't been able to
  reach the cupboard."
  
  "I'm afraid there's not much I can tell you," the man answered.  "My name is Henry Bunbury.  I
  can only tell you that I felt something move in my heart, and someone here who needed help."
  
  Matt's chair squeeked as he moved, finally came to a stop near a chair where Henry had taken a
  seat.  He regarded the man.  A clean, intelligent-looking person.  The Bible in his hand, however,
  somehow made him edgy…  An odd thing for a-  For a what?
  
  "Tell me," the man said, and Matt felt the bomb drop.  "Do you know a fellow named Christ?"
  
  "Yes,-"
  
  "Oh."
  
  "-once.  We haven't been on…  particularly pleasant terms, lately."
  
  Now why the hell had he said that?  He could sense everything-  "Henry" had just become more
  excited, and Matt honestly didn't want much to do with it.
  
  "I knew it.  I knew such a force for Good had to be Christian," Henry said.
  
  "I'm sorry?"
  
  "Well, you are Daredevil, aren't you?"
  
  "…No..  No-!  Who- who told you-?"
  
  "You're a Christian, Matt," Henry said.  "Don't tell me that you no longer believe in the voice of
  God.  Why would you believe he still doesn't perform miracles, when he did for so many others?"
  
  "That was a long time ago-"
  
  "And what's changed since then?  Nothing I can see that would matter to God, save for perhaps
  the faith of his children.  That is, at least, what I believe, Matt…  No, don't bother answering that. 
  It really doesn't matter.  It's off-subject.  I promise, I'm not going to try to hurt you, Matt.  I just
  want to help, as the Lord's directed me.  What's happened, Matt?  Why are you and God on such
  horrible terms?"
  
  "Through no fault but my own," Matt found himself answering.  "I did a few…  bad things. 
  Things I don't believe He would be proud of.  I slept with a woman.  I've slept with more than
  one, actually, who was not my wife…  but one of them, I believed was my soulmate.  My love. 
  She fell into a pit herself, once..  and now, she's out.  But not without AIDs."
  
  "I see."
  
  "I can't marry her now.  I can't become her husband and-  It won't work.  You see that, Father?"
  
  "Yes…  Yes, I believe I do."
  
  "And you don't disapprove?"
  
  The television was on pretty loudly in the next room…  He wished he'd turned it off before
  starting the discussion.
  
  "No, Matt.  I believe you are correct.  Perhaps it's simply God's Will that you aren't married.  Or
  perhaps it was God's Will, but by your actions, it is now impossible.  That happens, Matt, and
  God is saddened by it, but he doesn't disapprove of your inability to be her husband now.  The
  Past is forgiven.  The consequences can't be forgotten."
  
  " ‘Forgiven'.  I don't feel ‘Forgiven', Father.  I was in the Lion's Den, in a very dark time only
  weeks ago.  God wasn't with me.  No, I had fallen out of His graces and He didn't lift a finger to
  help me.  I was barely saved by my friends.  I'm not sure I can still be a crimefighter, Father.  Not
  without Him.  He's always been the source of strength that I've drawn upon, and if He's gone-"
  
  "He's not gone, Matt."
  
  "I've battled with Him by my side for years, Father.  I felt it leave me."
  
  "Have you considered, Matt…  that He hasn't left you, but His ability to empower you is gone?"
  
  "God can do anything-"
  
  That television.  Grrrr.
  
  " ‘Without faith, I am nothing', Matt.  Tell me, after you committed these sins…  Did you really
  believe you were forgiven, or did you believe that you were no longer in His graces?"
  
  "I…  er.."
  
  "God will forgive anything, Matt. Paul was on the Road to Damascus, after slaughtering
  Christians for years, and God forgave him.  He forgives your ex-girlfriend, whoever she may be,
  even if she does have AIDs now.  And He forgives you, but you just can't seem to realize it and
  make use of that.  I don't believe you can still be Daredevil without God either, Matt…  but you
  don't have to be without Him.  Listen…"
  
  And the book was open.
  
  "Jesus was asked how many times a man should be forgiven for his sins.  Jesus answered,
  ‘Seventy times seven'.  That's a lot of times, Matt, but then he adds ‘Every day'!  God's already
  forgiven you.  You just haven't forgiven yourself."
  
  "You…  truly think so-?"
  
  "I know so, Matt.  Do you?"
  
  Matt turned his head toward the doorway into his bedroom, frowned.  Henry only smiled, stood,
  and moved for it.  "I'll turn off the television for you."
  
  "Thanks, Father."
  
  "Actually," the man said with a smile.  "Sorry to break it to you, but I'm not a priest.  I'm not
  even Catholic.  I'm a ‘heretic'."
  
  "They're called ‘seperated brethren' since the Vatican II Council, Sir," Matt said, then smiled.
  
  "As you will."
  
  Henry entered…  stopped.  Upon the television, a retreating camera watched as a man and his
  daughter were seized by two creatures, dragged back into the depths of Central Park…  There was
  a lot of shouting going on, a lot of talking-
  
  "Live at Central Park, where a group calling itself ‘the New Brotherhood' is indiscriminately
  killing civilians-!  We are retreating and- ohmigo-"
  
  Henry shuddered, turned.  "Matt!  Do you have any superhero friends you can call-?  Matt?'
  
  He reentered the living room… and found the wheelchair empty.
  
  "Matt?"
  
  And then, a scarlet-clad figure, with two ‘D's emblazoned upon his chest.
  He said:
  
  "I got ‘em."
  
  ***
  
  "Why are you doing this?!" 
  
  "Guess," Scatter hissed, standing over the woman.  She clutched her ten-year old daughter to her
  breast, watching…  Scatter almost appreciated the sight, even if they were but hideous humans. 
  His eyes-those eyes that marked him as different from anybody else, those eyes that glowed like
  fog lamps even in daytime-began to become brighter.
  
  The woman, she was frantically looking about through the trees of the park, as if hoping that she
  would suddenly be rescued by some sort of super jerk.
  
  "Mommy-?"
  
  "Don't worry, Baby… Everything'll be alright, everything'll-"
  
  "Don't worry, Baby," Scatter's hiss came.  "You'll be burning in Hell in a moment-!"
  
  The kick that slammed into Scatter's back was perfectly executed, just enough to injure the spine
  and keep him in a wheelchair of his own for six months.  After that, he'd face the judge. 
  Daredevil landed as the woman and child screamed, hurled his fist into Scatter's face for extra
  assurance.  The mutant fell-
  
  -even as five more ripped forth from all directions.
  
  "Who the-?"
  
  "Hell-!  He took out Scatter!"
  
  "That's Daredevil!  I think he's a flatscan!"
  
  "Doesn't matter what he is, Fragment!  He's ours!  Come on!"
  
  "But he's a super-"
  
  "He's only a human in red pajamas!  We're Homo Superior!  Take him!"
  
  And Daredevil stood ready, the red billy club gripped tightly in one hand, his pair of nunchukas in
  the other.  One man against five evil creatures, each with powers far beyond anything most
  humans had ever seen.
  
  Daredevil smiled.
  
  ***  
  
  DATELINE – NEW YORK
  
  By Phil Urich
  
  It was lunchtime when I was called to the scene of Central Park by my editor.  A miniature version
  of the Holocaust had begun, with six mutants killing every human they could find in hopes of a
  moment's revenge for their predicament.  It seemed a hopeless time.  It was a hopeless time, but
  Hope can come in many directions, as those present that day can tell you.
  
  It was then that Daredevil, who had been inactive for several weeks, arrived.  He was not an
  Avenger or member of the Fantastic Four, and it has yet to be proven that he even holds powers or
  if he is nothing more than a single man, fighting alongside heroes with the powers of gods.  
  
  Yet, Daredevil leaped into battle without a moment's hesitation, and this reporter has never seen a
  greater display.  Captain America could not have better dispatched the mutants, one by one,
  sending them each to the grass of Central Park with just enough force to put them out, without
  putting them in the morgue.
  
  Daredevil stood his ground unaided in a battle that would give hesitation to those with the powers
  of gods, a single man, but he himself later told me this was not so.  "I have the power of a god
  myself, Phil," he said.  "Sorry to break it to you."
  
  He declined to tell me what his superpowers were, but research by several fan clubs of the
  vigilante are underway.  I am only to report on the battle.  The event caused only a minimal loss of
  life, thanks to Daredevil.
  
  Daredevil, who fought fearlessly.
  Daredevil the Fearless.
  
  ***
  
  She felt a draft at her back, much like the good old days…  Someone had opened the window and
  entered from the outside, several stories up.  Wonder who.
  
  Karen Page didn't bother to turn, waited, felt Daredevil's arms wrap around her and leaned against
  him.
  
  "I'm sorry," he said, and kissed her on the head.  The rest was a blur, really.  They went up to the
  rooftop, where somehow the stars had managed to penetrate the smog shield of New York.  She
  would never be his wife.  That was a punishment she'd brought on herself, she supposed…
  
  …and yet, she didn't feel as if she had lost much in the face of all the rest that had happened.
  
  No, there were too many things that they'd gained.
  
  Somewhere in the skyline of New York City, within a great, darkened office, a Kingpin of Crime
  was smoking on a cigar, watching those same stars…  and he was not thinking of evils-
  
  No, he was simply thinking about things that a man often did.  His life, his heart, and perhaps
  even his own soul.
  
  A neighborhood was being repaired by the toils of its citizens, without any public assistance yet.
  
  Villains had become heroes in the twilight hour of the world, and evils had retreated back into the
  darkness until they could strike again.  The Light had won over a madness called Bastion.
  
  A hero's flame was reignited.
  
  That night,  another miracle, the saving of Karen Page's soul through the blood of a Son of God.
  
  And the world continued on, none the wiser of all of those incredible miracles.
  
  No, indeed, the miracles that happened every day went on unknown and recorded.
  
  *** THE END