(2016-08-16) Advice From Matt Murdock
Advice From Matt Murdock
Summary: Serenity calls to get the advice of a lawyer and ends up with Matt Murdock. Douglock spies on their conversation.
Date: 2016-08-16
Related: (2016-08-16) Cyber-Gumshoeing
NPCs: urRamsey (Douglock's fork), Marco the Hotdog vendor
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

Having decided she needs some legal advice, Serenity uses the cellphone Peter Parker gave her to call law offices. Unfortunately most of them sound really expensive so eventually she calls Nelson and Murdock and begs for someone to come find her at Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.

Douglock woke this morning with the plan to check in on Marie again, as a follow up on Jean Grey's and Rogue's recent visit with the girl. After checking the NYC CCTV feeds from the institute to confirm she has gone into the park as he has come to feel is her morning routine he borrows a motorcycle from the school and drives into the city.

Dressed like a college student, Doug walks idly around the park until he finally spots the young street musician and then just hangs back, observing her in person himself for the first time.

The phone rang in the offices of Nelson and Murdock… and nobody answered it. There was no secretary to pick up, Foggy has been scarce with his expanded responsibilities not just for the firm but for the city… and Matt… he had been sitting in the room when the phone rang and was surrounded by boxes and boxes of old case files. He'd been sitting amongst them, a manila folder of a case file in his hand that apparently he had tried a year ago. Yet that had not been him. He picked up another file. Another case he didn't have any memories connected to. Eventually the phone rang and he threw the files away angrily.

The phone rang through, four times, then the machine picked up and Foggy's voice came through with the greeting. And then there was that voice on the other end. It wasn't so much what she said, it was the tenor in her throat, the choice of her words, the pleading…

Murdock frowns and looks over his shoulder, even as papers fall to the ground around him. He couldn't get his hands upon the past, could not wrangle it to the ground and grapple with it in the same way he'd been smashing through Hell's Kitchen these last few nights. But this… this young woman. It could be a way for him to get to grips on the world and life again. So when the time came… that woman he had saved two nights ago…

Matt Murdock was walking through the lunchtime crowd, the cane in his hand lightly clicking upon the cement as he moves, people stepping politely out of his way. He has a leather satchel slung over his shoulder and a pleasantly distant smile on his features. The Happy Handicap man disguise he so often embraces. He moved towards that fountain, mirrored lenses of his glasses seeming to shimmer with the reflection of he cascading water. He stands there for a time, reaching out with his senses, listening… seeking that voice of the young woman.

When Matt arrives, Serenity is passing the time by strumming her guitar and singing softly. The tune of the hour is Yesterday by the Beatles since she is feeling so reflective at the moment. She doesn't have the cap set out at the moment and she keeps her gaze on the strings as she plays instead of performing. Her singing is soft instead of put out there for everyone to hear even though she's in public.

Douglock remains at a distance but has augmented his vision to allow him to have close-up views of Serenity, he's observing her finger work on the strings and trying to get a view of her face but her posture is obscuring that at the moment, while still maintaining a normal view of what's in front of him as well. He also has his hearing focused so that he can hear her performance.

In Doug's mind, urRamsey is singing along with Serenity. Since this doesn't really distract Doug he allows his fork to enjoy himself while the fact that his head is gently bobbing along with the rhythm as well shows that urRamsey isn't alone in that.

For a time he's just standing there, his head turned slightly to the side. Matt Murdock's senses reach out slowly even as he begins to eliminate options. He fades out the male voices, the traffic, the hum of the music even, isolating various voices… but it's the singer's that draws his attention. He smiles to himself, yes that's her. He did hear her music briefly, from afar, but the words she offered him that night and then on the phone it's enough.

Crossing the park area, he walks towards her and then takes a place before her, his cane clicking down upon the ground as he waits for the song to end. Once it's done he lightly claps his hands together, giving her some applause. It's only after that that he lifts his voice, "Marie?" He smiles, "Did you perchance call Nelson and Murdock earlier today?"

Uncharacteristically, Serenity looks up when Matt speaks to her. She blinks and stares at him for a moment before she says, "You're the lawyer I called?" She sounds a little disbelieving and her heartbeat races as uncertainty and no small amount of anxiety grips her. This is unexpected.

Upon seeing Marie's face clearly, Doug preserves the image as an extremely high quality, lossless PNG file to later append to the files at Xavier's. He then replaces both close up images with a further back close-up showing both her and the lawyer from Nelson and Murdock. Otherwise he simply observes and remains where he is in the shade of an extension of trees to the north of Bethesda Terrace.

A keen observer might notice that, since Doug is so focused on observing, that he is standing preternaturally still.

He rests his hands upon the grip of the cane, palms flat as if it were a sword and he was a knight before his lord. Matt gives a small gentle smile as he turns his head to the side slowly, still listening to their surroundings though not terribly obviously so. Then he speaks to her again while 'looking' past her shoulder, the mirrored lenses in his glasses reflecting her image back upon her. "Yes, Marie. My name is Matt Murdock."

There's a pause as he takes a step forward, offering his hand as he slips the cane under one arm. "I got your message, glad I found you. I didn't have much to go on." Again that smile, gently given. "How can I help you?"

Serenity takes a deep breath but that breath is so silent that only Matt Murdock can hear it. She licks her lips then says, "Before I start… the only money I have is what I make busking. I don't know how I can pay you for your advice. Is that going to be a problem? I think most people want a retainer before talking to you or something like that, right?"

On hearing that Serenity's comments Doug 'turns' to urRamsey in their shared mindspace, ("Seems like this isn't something I should listen to… but they are doing it in public so do /you/ think I should stop listening in?") A nanosecond later, the fork replies having considered this, ("I know what you mean, but you are right, this is public. If we were a PI or a cop this wouldn't be covered under privilege… But I know where your concern is coming from so no, you don't need to worry that this is especially de-humanizing to you.")

Doug nods physically at his fork's answer and continues to observe.

The tall man opposite her gives another smile, the corner of his mouth curving up as he lightly steps to the side. "Marie," Then he gestures to the space nearby on the lip of the fountain where people have taken a seat. "May I?" He asks and should she allow him he'll settle down there with his cane across his knees. He looks ahead as he speaks to her, the smile still gentle.

"First off, if I'm going to help you, it would probably be a good idea to know your name. Secondly… as for a retainer, well let's just say that I'm on my lunch break right now. I usually take an hour, but also… I'm self-employed and I often." He turns his head towards her and smiles that rather open smile, "Very often, take longer than an hour." He confides in her as if sharing such a lovely secret. "So tell me what you can, and I'll tell you what I can. And this will just be two friends chatting during a lunch break. Alright?"

There's a pause then he adds, "Speaking of which, are you hungry?"

Serenity chews her lower lip for a moment then decides against giving her real name. She's nervous though she tries hard not to show it. She nods before he sits and pretends to be more open to talking than she seems. That doesn't do much for her nervousness level. "I'm… fine. I ate this morning." Because eating a little bit for breakfast is more than enough food right? There's another of those oh so silent deep breaths, "I'm a runaway. I think I recently turned 18. I want to know where I stand. I have no documents. No way of proving who I am. I don't even know if I want to prove who I am."

Matt's brow furrows as he says, "Well. I'm pretty hungry…" But he then lets those words trail off as he listens to her own for a touch longer. His eyes narrow slightly as he lifts a hand to adjust his glasses with thumb and forefinger. "Ah."

He lets her speak for a time, but then nods. "Well, Marie. I'd recommend you contact your family, but if that's not feasible or an option, there are a number of programs in New York that are aimed at helping young runaways and children in danger." Yet he knows that such things have already been considered by her. "Failing that it would be possible to try and gather your current legal state. But.. well, I'd need more information."

He then stands up, "I think I'd like some hot dogs, you?"

Proof is something Doug could get right now but that is not something he wants to send a fork to gather and it would distract him from his observation.

Instead of launching a cyber-investigation Doug walks over to the terrace proper. There, he navigates the pedestrian traffic passing though the area and walking by a nearby hot dog vendor.

Once he reaches the fountain Doug sits down on its edge more than a third of the way around it from Serenity and Matt where he can continue to observe them.

Serenity hesitates then puts her guitar in its case and closes that up so she can stand. "Well that's part of what I want to know. If I'm not actually 18 and I come forward, they can force me to go home right? Or put me back in the system?" She does a good job of hiding the trauma she associates that in her voice, but the thought of going back into the foster system or perhaps being sent back to her previous foster family terrifies her.

Doug trails his fingers in the pool at the base of the fountain and ponders looking for the answers to her questions himself while they get hot dogs, however he again decides to not interrupt his observation of the pair. The information will be there later and this is a good way to find out more about the girl also.

Stepping towards that aforementioned hot dog vendor, Matt's cane is lowered a touch to lightly click upon the ground. His nostrils flare faintly as he turns his head a touch, talking to her as he begins to move with the crowd. "Well, Marie. If you aren't eighteen you're right, your parents would have responsibility for you. However, if matters at home are deleterious to you, then there are those you can turn to for help and protection." He pauses as he continues to take a few easy step in the direction of the vendor. "But yes, you'd be in the 'system', perhaps a foster home until you're of age. It's not entirely a bad thing, Marie. Can be much better than the alternative."

Once they reach the vendor he holds up two fingers, "Two please, Marco. All the way." And with that said the vendor starts to prep their dogs with everything.

Serenity lowers her gaze to the ground to let her hair slip down around her face and hide the moisture that gathers in her eyes. "If they put me back in the system, would they send me to the family I was with when I ran away?" She hides it well all things considered, but her heart is about to pound out of her chest..

Doug's expression darkens at the micro-expression of fear he notices on Serenity's face before she lowers her gaze. Doug's innate humanity shows as the hand not idly drifting though the fountain water flexes on the cement it had been resting on.


Its not loud, barely audible, but there are now the impression of printless fingers crushed into the side of the fountain.

That short sound, something in the air gives Murdock pause even as he turns to the side slowly. But his attention is seized by poor Serenity and her tears, the faint tang of the salt touching the wind as he draws breath. He turns to face her, and says quietly. "No, Marie. If that family harmed you or were in another state… or heck in another county, then you won't be forced to stay with them. Protective Services in New York have come a long way in the last five years."

He straightens up then and takes the hot dogs from the vendor. "Besides, you've got a lawyer now." He gestures with one of the weiners towards the fountain again. Though something gives him pause as he turns to the side slightly as Serenity precedes him, lifting his chin as something seems… out of place.

Serenity chews her lower lip for a moment then says, "So… you're my lawyer now? Even though I can't pay you? What do you get out of that?" She looks up again and wipes the moisture from her eyes. She begins to move back to the fountain as more tears fall and she tries to clear the moisture from her face as fast as it arrives.

(Oh, isn't that interesting,) Doug thinks to himself. ("urRamsey, go find out what you can about Nelson and Murdock for me. Public records only,") he says to the fork as he emulates a wireless router or even a satellite uplink to allow the fork to do so.

(How did he hear that noise?) Doug asks himself as he brushes concrete dust off his finger tips and continues to observe.

Offering her one of the hot dogs once he takes a seat, he says with a smile, and a hint of a laugh not quite given life but there in the material of his words. "Tax breaks." He says brightly, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. "A law office does pro-bono work for the less fortunate, and we get these really great tax breaks. Heck I could write off this lunch as a business expense and I'll be ahead a few thousand dollars." Alright, if somebody else with enhanced senses were around they'd probably tell he's lying, but in a way without malice.

"But if we're going to work together Marie, we're going to have to trust each other. Being your lawyer we have attorney-client privilege, which means it's safe to tell me anything and it won't be held against you in a court of law."

Once that's said he takes a bit of his hot dog and then offers her a napkin as well if she'll accept.

Serenity takes the offered hot dog and napkin from Matt. "I don't know if I can do that. I've spent so long hiding. I don't do trust. Aren't there cases where lawyers are required to report their clients?"

Figuring that staying in one place is too suspicious and since it seemed that Matt may already be aware of him somehow, Doug decides to test his theory out by standing and walking over to the hot dog stand himself. He does not make the age old joke but the dog he orders is like a proverbial zen master anyway.

After acquiring his meal he takes a leisurely stroll around the terrace in a lazy spiral that terminates at the point he had previously departed where he sits again.

Through this exercise he keeps some of his focus on the lawyer and street singer, especially attentive for signs that Matt notices his movement as he navigates though the constant passersby.

That definitely does set something off ever so slightly for him. Perhaps this young woman is being shadowed, perhaps he is. Whatever the reason he takes a bite of his hot dog and turns his head slightly towards her, "Do you mind if we walk while we talk? I need the exercise I'm afraid. Too long spent behind an old desk." His smile is given again, gentle even as he pushes himself up to his feet. And, if she joins him, it'll seem that he's walking with her nice and casually… away from Douglock.

"The only way I'd have to report you, Marie, is if you told me you were planning on committing a crime, or asked my advice about committing a crime. I'd have to advise you not to do so, and then contact the police." His can comes down to lightly click on the sidewalk as they move. "But you're not thinking about doing that, are you?"

Serenity chews her lip. "What kind of person would admit they were thinking of committing a crime to a lawyer unless it was a corrupt lawyer helping them with their crimes? That's stupid." She stands and moves with him. That too he might notice is unusual. He cannot hear any footfalls from her. She balances her footsteps so precisely that she does not make any noise as she moves.

Doug ponders what to do now as the pair walk away.

urRamsey ends up coming to his rescue returning with what information he could and giving it to his prime by making an alpha fork of himself for Doug to immediately reintegrate and …. a cell phone number!

Doug remains seated, for the moment continuing to monitor the pair with his senses while at the same time making a call to that cell phone, purportedly belonging to Matt Murdock, esquire.

As they walk he finishes up his hot dog, tossing the wrapper in the trash with a casual flick, somehow knowing one is right… there. But he says to her sidelong, "Exactly, so you can see that there's no reason not to talk to me."

Then he pauses and turns to face her directly. She can see his milky white eyes behind the glasses as he 'looks' straight at her and says quietly. "Marie. I will do my best to help you. If you're in danger I'll try to get you help. If you just want your taxes done…" His smile is gentle, "Well I know a guy."

But then his words are interrupted by a faint buzz in his pocket that barely makes a sound yet it's enough for him to reach into his jacket. That particular buzz signals an unknown caller. He answers it anyway. "Go for Murdock."

Serenity opens her mouth to answer an then Matt is on his phone and Serenity withdraws into herself as the doubts about what she is doing have time to well up in her brain. Yes he's a lawyer, but can she really trust someone hiding that big a secret. She chews her lower lip then falls silent to eat the hotdog he bought her instead of answering.

Doug waits while they walk and eat and the phone system works to connect his call. He contemplates a danger room scenario to write up for the team. Then the phone begins to ring and he receives the signal of the connection beginning in his mind.

("Make sure to apologize for eavesdropping on them first even if you don't identify yourself, sir,") urRamsey says to Doug in their shared mindspace as a reminder. ("I was going to,") Doug lies in response as he smiles in appreciation at the same time. They both know he's lying but the fork doesn't call his prime on this, its his job after all.

As Matt's voice echoes in his mind from the phone connection, having heard the man speak the words a fraction of a moment before, he speaks mentally into the phone, his voice there having the same slight… synthetic… feel to it his speaking voice has. [Though the phone, Matt hears an unusual male voice speak, ":Hello Mr. Murdock. I want to start off by apologizing, I was surveilling Marie before you arrived. I'm with a group that is concerned for Marie and is in no way related to either her birth family or the foster family she discussed with you a few minutes ago. If you want me to go simply hang up and I will leave, somehow you know where I am after all.:"]

At the voice on the other end of the line, Serenity might be able to pick up a certain tension that settles into being around himself. His hand tightens ever so subtly upon the grip of the phone and his cane. He doesn't look around, for really what good would that do, but he does turn his head slightly to the side as he listens to the world, focusing on those strange tell-tale scents and the curious sound of the voice as if seeking its twin that would be directly given as opposed to transmitted over a satellite.

"I see." He says simply in response to what Doug says to him. He looks with a smile towards Marie and then adds to the phone. "Go on."

Serenity looks around once as she finishes the hotdog and mutters, "You're busy. I'll get in touch with you again another time maybe." She starts to turn and walk away. This is what happens when you let someone be alone with their doubts too long, which in Serenity's case isn't long at all.

Seeing the girl turn to walk away, Doug realizes that the call is causing a problem. [":I'll let you go so you can continue talking to her. Since I finally have a good picture of her I'll try to find out more about her and get that information to you. Also, you can call me back if you need to,:" he says into the phone as he didn't block the number anyway. ":My name is Doug. I'm a friend of Marie's that she doesn't know yet is all.:"] With that Doug ends the call and begins to 'eat' his hot dog by taking bites of it and converting it into lifeglow and dust, both of which he absorbs into his body.

The phone clicks shut and Matt turns to walk with Marie. He tries to catch up with her with a slight shuffle of a step and then his voice lifts. "I'm sorry, Marie. It was important, but not as important as you." He moves to catch up with her and murmurs quietly. "If you have time, we can head back to my office and figure things out. I promise you I won't take any action that will rob you of choice. We'll figure out what is best for you, alright, Marie?"

And as he says this he offer a small smile.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License