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Come As You Are
Season 6, Episode 26
157-Come As You Are
Airdate 12/30/2017
Written by Bridgetterocks
Directed by Bridgetterocks
Episode Guide
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Best Defense is a Good Offense
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Phoenix Five
Defenders Arc

DEFENDERS ARC

This chapter belongs to Assemble!'s Season Six "Defenders" Arc

"Come As You Are" is the twenty-sixth episode of Assemble!'s Season Six and the one hundred and fifty-seventh episode overall.

Plot

Genghis Connie’s.

Suddenly, an elderly man carrying a cane walked inside the restaurant.

-Stick?- Matthew stood up.

-You four… The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. The smart-ass detective. The righteous ex-con. And the kid with a glowing fist… The war for New York is here… So get your sh*t together.-

-Wait, stop, what are you talking about?- Murdock asked.

-The Hand.- Stick pulled a chair and sat down. -They manipulated the Steel Serpent into teaming up with your enemies to keep you distracted, while they finished their Midland Circle.-

-So the whole Offenders thing… Was it a grander scheme?- Hellcat asked.

-Yes, Ms. Walker. You catch on quick.- The ninja nodded. -None of the others were aware that they were just Gao’s pawns.-

-Madame Gao?- Iron Fist asked. -The K’un-Lunan?-

-Can we please avoid the dumb questions? Yes, the K’un-Lunan.-

-I’m sorry but I’m lost.- Jessica folded her arms over her chest, leaning backwards.
-Me too.- Luke looked at her.
-Why is a building a threat?- Trish inquired.

-It’s not the building, but what’s underneath. There’s a large hole under the Midland Circle.-

-What do they want to stash there?-

-Not stash. Set free. The Hand’s goal is to spread the Beast’s dark influence…-

-The Beast?- Patsy asked. -You mean the X-Man?-

-No. A demon.-

-You mean an actual demon?- Jessica scoffed. -What are you on, lithium?-

-It’s no laughing matter, Ms. Jones.- Stick shook his head. -They have been overseeing that single spot for decades, using Fisk and Rand Enterprises to their advantage.-

-Rand? You mean… My father’s company?- Iron Fist asked.

-What did I say about questions?- Stick retorted.

-H-How is the Hand involved?-

-Madame Gao brought Harold Meachum back to life and in exchange, she forced him to follow her orders from behind the scenes… Using his son.-

-Ward…-

-Yes.-

-Who are you, anyway?- Jessica inquired.
-You’re one of them, aren’t you?- Danny asked.
-The Hand?- Luke wondered.
-No, there’s another group.- Iron Fist replied.

-We call ourselves the Chaste.- Stick explained. -Sworn enemies of the Hand.- The old man looked at Matt. -I trained him to fight a war. He decided to put on a costume.-

-We can’t fight these people.- Daredevil said. -Not even with whatever it is your hand can do.- He looked at Danny.
-It’s Chi.- Rand replied.
-It’s not.- Jessica rolled her eyes.

Suddenly, a group of ninjas broke into the restaurant, led by Nobu Yoshioka.

Matt pulled Jessica’s scarf off and wrapped it around his eyes to protect his identity.

-Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, we meet again.- The Hand's member smirked, pulling his kyoketsu-shoge out and swinging it around.

-I hoped it would be the last…-

-But there is no such thing as death.- Nobu tried to hit Daredevil with his weapon, but Luke stepped in front of it and blocked it with his unbreakable skin. -How?- The ninja asked, retrieving the blade again.

-You ain’t the only one with powers.- Cage replied, trying to punch the villain, but he vanished and appeared behind him, pushing Harlem’s Hero.

Stick pulled a katana out and started slicing his way through Hand’s members, while the rest of the Defenders joined the fight.

Iron Fist channeled his chi through his fist and smashed through the ninjas’ katanas. Jessica grabbed a Hand member from his tunic’s collar and pushed him against a wall, as Connie Lin and her husband, Jin Lin ran out of the building. However, they were intercepted by Madame Gao and her men, who surrounded the couple.

-Connie…- Luke said, pushing the ninjas aside as he ran towards the restaurant’s owners, who were being held down with a katana on their necks.

-Harlem’s Protector.- Gao smiled. -I have heard about you.-

-I don’t know who you are, but you must let them go.-

-You are in no position to give orders, Mister Cage.- She smiled, pulling out the sword hidden in her walking cane and pointing it at Connie’s back. Luke ran towards Gao, but she held her hand out at him and pushed him away using her telekinesis.

-What the…?- Cage asked, standing up.

-You shouldn’t have done that.- Gao smiled, as she stabbed Jin’s back and through his chest.

-NO!- Luke tried running towards her, but the ninjas gathered around him.

Then, the woman held her sword out and was ready to kill Connie when Jessica jumped at her, punching the woman hard.

-Jesus, am I the only one left who doesn’t know karate?- She asked herself.

However, Gao only took a couple steps backwards and retaliated.

-Run away!- Jones ordered Connie, who was crying over her husband’s corpse. -A little hand here…- She looked at the other Defenders.

However, her teammates were busy fighting the ninjas and the restaurant owner was still in a dangerous position. Suddenly, Elektra ran towards the woman and picked her up, not slowing down with the weight.

-Elektra…- Matt whispered, as he felt his former lover’s distinctive heartbeat. Nobu took this to his advantage to cut through the lawyer’s chest.

The former Hand member walked inside the restaurant, where Stick greeted her.

-Well, if it isn’t my old protege… I’m glad you decided to join us, Ellie.-

-Our Black Sky.- Nobu turned to the woman.

-Don’t call me that.- Natchios replied bitterly.

-Did I strike a nerve?- He smirked, swinging his kyoketsu-shoge in circles.

-No. That’s what I’ll do to you… Literally.- She tilted her head slightly, pulling out her twin sai.

Nobu tried to hit Elektra with her weapon, but it got tangled around one of her sai. She pulled it towards her, bringing Nobu with it and stabbed the Hand member’s chest. As his lifeless body fell to the ground, Stick cut his head off with his katana.

Gao noticed this and looked at her men, ordering them to retaliate. Elektra started running after the Hand’s vans, trying to stop them. She leaped, landed on the rooftop and started opening a hole with her sai. The evil K’un-Lunan watched this from inside the vehicle, and as soon as Natchios opened a perfect circle, she used her telekinesis to push her away and onto the busy New York streets. Reacting quickly, the ninja performed a backflip, getting herself to safety.


Knightwing Restorations Ltd.’s Office. The next morning.

Misty Knight walked to the door and opened it, revealing a man that looked to be in his late thirties.

-Is Colleen here?- He asked.

-Who are you?-
-Sensei!- Colleen exclaimed from behind her best friend and ran towards her master, hugging him tightly. -What are you doing here?-

-I finally did it. The Compound is open.-

-Colleen, who is this?-
-This is Bakuto, my Sensei. He’s the one I always tell you about.-
-Oh.- Knight raised her eyebrows slightly. -I’ll leave you two to talk alone.- She said, walking back inside the office.
Wing then turned to Bakuto. -Is it really open? Can I go see it?-

-That’s why I’m here.- The man smiled, looking at a black car parked outside.


Bakuto took Colleen to a huge mansion, where young men and women were being trained martial arts.

-This is like Xavier’s School!- The woman commented, looking at it all in awe.

He chuckled. -I knew you’d like it.- He commented. -Many students from your Dojo are living here.- He pointed at Darryl. -We get them off the streets, teach them discipline… They usually go back to school and become someone.-

-That's wonderful, Bakuto.- She smiled widely. -This has always been your dream… I’m so glad you could make it happen.-

-Thank you.- He smiled back. -I was wondering if you'd like to teach here, too. You were always my favorite student.-

She laughed slightly and nodded. -Yes, I would love to.- She agreed, as they walked past a brick column with a red Hand painted on it.


Back at the office, Misty Knight was looking through some files when she heard another knock. Sighing, she stood up, expecting it to be Colleen and Bakuto who had been locked outside. However, she found a young woman standing at her door.

-Detective Knight…- She said, looking visibly shaken.

-Haven’t I met you before?-

-I’m Candace Miller… We met in the Harlem’s Paradise while I was waiting tables.-

-Oh, yes, I remember you.- She nodded.

-Can I come in? I think my brother’s in trouble.-


As they sat down, Candace explained the situation to the detective.

-He used to… Work for Cottonmouth… Well, so did I. But his was a different kind of work…-

-I gotchu.- She nodded.

-Okay, good… So… When… He died… I thought he would be away from that world. However, when I was doing some laundry the other day I found three new pairs of sneakers… Expensive sneakers.-

-You think he’s in some shady business?-

-I hope not…-

-Okay, Candace.- Misty nodded, placing her hands on the young woman’s. -I’ll take care of it.-



In a secret hideout, the Defenders, Stick and Elektra discussed how they should move forward.

-We should go to Midland Circle and just blow it up.- Luke suggested. -They'll give up or die.-

-They don’t usually die.- Elektra shook his head.

-They get resurrected.- Matt explained. -Nobu? Resurrected. Harold Meachum? Resurrected.-
-Okay, to be clear, we’ve now used the word ‘resurrected’ three times.- Jessica pointed out.
-So how do we stop an enemy that can’t even die?- Hellcat asked.

-They can be killed.- Stick corrected her. -If you cut their head off.-

Trish scrunched her face in disgust.
-Bringing down the whole building could kill innocent passersby.-

-It’s not all flowers and sunshine, Matty. You never understood that we’re at war. People need to die.-

-Not if I can stop it.-

-I don’t care about casualties. All I care about is destroying the Hand. You think the five of you can save New York? You can’t even save yourselves.- He muttered.

-I’m not like you. As much as you’ve tried to make me be. We don’t live in a world that’s fair, we live in this one. And I’m doing everything I can to make it a better place.-

-You’ll always be too weak. You still haven’t stopped whining and crying because of one little accident.-

Matt remained silent.

-Don’t be mad, Matty. Without me, you’d be just another one of the sheep. You’d miss the skills I taught you… You’re still mad at me for leaving, aren’t you? I did what I had to do, Matty.-

-I don’t care. I’m not a little kid anymore. I don’t need your approval.-

-I’m glad to see you finally stopped caring.-

Enraged, Daredevil walked away from the group.

-Good job, Stick.- Elektra commented ironically.

-I’ll deal with his hurt feelings when we’ve finished off the Hand once and for all.- He shrugged. -I’m done talking. We got work to do.-

She walked to Murdock, who was punching the walls.

-Hey, Matthew.- She said, putting her hands on his shoulders.

He didn’t reply, but he stopped hitting the bricks in front of him.

-You can’t always be saving the world, Matthew. You need to take a break. I can remind you how to relieve your stress.- She started massaging his shoulders slowly. -The battle has begun, Matthew. There’s nothing we can do but fight.-

He turned around to face her and, slowly, he walked back towards the group.
-We’re gonna need as much help to face these people.- Luke commented. -If the only way to defeat them is to cut their heads off, they’ll always outnumber us.-
-We can’t bring just anyone to this.- Patsy shook her head slightly.
-She’s right.- Danny nodded his head towards her.

-I think I know someone.- Elektra smiled.


The Defenders walked towards the side of a restaurant followed by Stick, where a waiter was about to throw a trash bag inside a container.

-Jacques Duchamps?- Elektra spoke up.

When the man turned around, he dropped the bag to the ground, as it broke.

-What are you doing here?- He asked, taking a couple steps backwards.

-Don’t worry, I’m not here to stab you again.- She chuckled.

-You stabbed him?- Hellcat asked.
-You’re a bad influence…- Matt muttered.

-The baddest.- Natchios smirked, before stepping closer to Duchamps. -I’m here to request your help against the Hand.-

-I was a loyal member of the Chaste, but after our encounter I’m not in the business anymore.-

-You ditched being a martial artist to wait tables?- The woman laughed.

-Well, you gave me no other choice.- He pulled up his pants, revealing his prosthetic limbs. -After you stabbed my back, I became paraplegic.-

-Oh, damn.- Jessica muttered.

-I’ll take it from here.- Stick approached the man. -Do you know anyone who would be willing to help?-

-Well…- Duchamps started. -I have a friend who would be more than willing to save New York… And I could put in a good word for you.- He looked at Stick.


That night, Misty Knight patrolled the docks, looking for a single person. Suddenly, she heard his recognizable voice and walked towards the source. Taking him by surprise, she used her bionic arm and slammed him against a container.

-Detective Knight, what a pleasant surprise.- Turk Barrett smiled.

-I don’t have time for this, Turk.- She replied, looking straight into his eyes. -I want intel.-

-It depends on what you are looking for.-

-What have Mariah Dillard and Shades been up to?- She inquired.

-Nothing, as far as I know. I’ve had little contact with Harlem’s Paradise since Diamondback went missing.-

-Who is recruiting kids into criminal activities, then?- She asked.

-Look, I’d love to help, but I don’t know sh*t.-

-I think you do.- She pushed his body harder into the metal.

-Okay!- He gave up. -I heard about it! But ain’t nobody come asking me, okay? I’m too old-school for this anyway.-

-Who is doing it?-

-They call him the White Hat… I don’t know his name, but I promise you’ll recognize him because of his clothes.-

Knight let go of the criminal. -I'll come back if I find out that you lied to me… I would not do that if I were you.-

Barrett nodded and ran away. Misty put her hand on her bionic wrist and rotated her hand slightly.



The Hand members regrouped at Midland Circle, assessing their losses. Madame Gao, Bakuto, the White Hat and Murakami looked at each other.

-Nobu’s dead.- The woman informed the others.

-それは本当に残念だ- Murakami looked down slightly, as Sowande took his head off.

-It is a shame indeed.- Bakuto nodded. -What shall we do?- He looked at the rest. -Find a replacement?-

-Who could ever replace one of the Five Fingers of the Hand?- Sowande, the White Hat, chuckled.

-I might know someone.- The other suggested.

-Who?- Gao inquired.

-I trained her… She’s become very proficient.-

-彼女は喜んで参加するだろうか?- Murakami asked.

-She will take part in anything that I suggest.- Bakuto shrugged it off. -I already took her to the Compound, and enlisted some of her students.-

Suddenly, Wilson Fisk walked inside the building.

-Who authorized the completion of this building?- Kingpin asked.

The four remaining Fingers of the Hand turned around at the forceful leader of the Hand. He had taken over each of the five factions and acted as a link between them.

-Nobu did.- Sowande replied bitterly.

-そして、彼は行ってしまった- Murakami added.

-Gone? How gone?- Fisk asked.

-The Black Sky did it.- Gao nodded.

-I knew that was a bad idea.- Wilson shook his head, walking around the Fingers. -Well, he organized bringing Elektra back to life, so he had it coming.-

-Fisk.- Gao replied sternly.

-Gao.- He stared into her eyes, but she didn’t look down.

Eventually, Kingpin nodded. -Next time you’re going to authorize anything, you will ask for my permission.- He ordered, as he walked out of the room.

-しかし、あなたはここにいません- Murakami whispered as the doors shut behind Fisk.


The Defenders, Elektra and Stick awaited for Duchamps’ contact on a rooftop.

-Can he please hurry up? It’s getting cold.- Patsy commented, as she rubbed her arms.
-How can we be sure he’s comin’?- Luke asked.

-We can’t. That’s what makes it fun.- Natchios smiled.

-Aren’t you cold? You know… Dressed like that…- Trish asked, and Elektra chuckled slightly, dismissing her question.

Suddenly, a large, white aerial vehicle appeared in front of them. On it's rear end, it had a moon shaped vertical wing.

-What the…?- Jessica asked, looking up.
A white figure leaped from the vehicle’s door and landed in front of the Defenders. Then, it stood up and faced them. -I’m here.- The vigilante said.
-And who are you?- Jones inquired.
-I am vengeance. I’m a ghost now… A specter of the moon… The moon’s knight of vengeance…-
-And I thought Karate Kid over here was eccentric.- The P.I. rolled her eyes.
-Eccentric is one word for it.- Spector replied, shrugging it off.
-Insane is the other…-
-I am not insane!- Marc yelled, losing his temper for awhile, before calming down again. -I am not insane.-
-I’m just telling it like it is.- She shrugged and then looked at her teammates.
-Frenchie told me you needed my help. Battling evil is my hobby.- Moon Knight continued.
-Then you’ll probably have a blast dealing with the Hand.- Luke told him.
-Wait, are we really doing this?- Jessica asked.
-Doing what?- Iron Fist asked.
-Letting him join… Our…-
-Our team.- Patsy helped her. -The Defenders. I don’t see why not.-
-He's gonna get us all killed.- The other woman said through her teeth.
-I died once. It was boring, so I stood up.- Moon Knight pointed out, hearing her.

Elektra smiled at Marc and nodded. -I already like him.-

-Everyone who wants to add…- Matt looked at Spector, indirectly asking for his name.
-Marc Spector. Steven Grant. Mr. Knight. Moon Knight.- The Lunar Legionnaire replied. -I have more aliases than friends…- He whispered to himself.
-Are we seriously considering welcoming Mr. Lunatic?- The P.I. wondered.
-Oh, lunacy jokes…- Marc rolled his eyes. -How original.-
-Everyone who wants to add Moon Knight to our team, raise your hand.- Daredevil continued, as everyone but Jessica did so.
-Oh my God, this is the dumbest…- She sighed, giving up. -Okay. Fine.-
-What’s our next move?- Danny looked at Stick.

-Even if we take down the Midland Circle, they’ll bring it back up. They get the funding from your company and the heroin trade.- The old man replied.

-You have to prove your identity and get your shares back.- Murdock looked at Rand. -We’ll handle the heroin trade.- He looked at his teammates, who nodded.


Danny met up with Jeri Hogarth and Foggy Nelson. Rand had been in contact with Hogarth in order to get his 51% of the company’s shares, and Matt had recommended Foggy to help as well.

-How long would a DNA test last?- Iron Fist asked.

-It depends on how much you’re willing to spend.- Nelson explained. -Private labs can have 72 hour turn around times, but other take from 3 to 9 months.-

-Months?!- Rand exclaimed. -I don’t have that much time…-

-I could pay for your test,- Hogarth suggested, -but the waiting times for the legal system to validate it… Especially in your situation… It would take awhile.-

-So if I wanted immediate solutions…-

-You’d have to meet up with the Meachums yourself.- Foggy continued.


Danny walked inside the Rand Enterprises building and headed towards the receptionist. -I would like to see Ward Meachum.-

-Do you have an appointment?- The woman replied, without looking up. -What’s your name?-

-I’m Danny Rand.-

The employee looked up at him. -I’m serious. What’s your name?-

-I’m Daniel Rand, son of Wendell and Heather Rand.-

-Daniel Rand is dead.-

-No, he’s… I’m not!-

-Sir, please, leave the building.-

-I need to see Ward.-

-Mr. Meachum isn’t here.- The woman lied.

-Then Joy.- Danny said, heading himself to the elevator.

The woman screamed and two security guards ran towards the Iron Fist. He turned around slowly and started blocking the punches they threw at him. Shannon, the head of security held out a baton and hit the Rand’s stomach. The latter closed his eyes briefly and delivered a blow against his assailant’s wrists, making him drop the baton. Having defeated the guards, he stepped inside the elevator and pressed the top floor, where his father’s office used to be.

Rand headed towards the glass door, through which he could see his childhood friends. Swinging it open, he approached the Meachums.

-Ward… Joy…- He smiled at her.

-Uh… Who are you?- The man raised an eyebrow, as their assistant, Megan, rushed inside the office. -Megan?- Ward looked at her.

-I don’t know who he is, sir.-

-It’s me, Danny.-

-What Danny?- Ward scrunched his face.

-Danny… Danny Rand.-

-Danny is dead.- Joy said firmly.

-No, I’m not. Everyone believed I was, but I am not. I survived the plane crash. I was taken in by monks from K’un-Lun.-

-Megan, call Shannon. This man is clearly insane.- The other man ordered, as his assistant complied.

-No, Ward! It’s really me. I’m here to warn you…-

-Warn us?- Joy inquired.

Shannon appeared in the room from behind Danny, attacking him with a taser.

-This company has been infiltrated by members of the Hand!- The Iron Fist exclaimed, as he was tased again and knocked unconscious.

The head of security and two other guys picked him up and dropped him in the alley next to the building.


When Rand finally opened his eyes, he found himself laying on a couch besides a fireplace. Sitting up, he saw a shadowy figure looking out of the window. Immediately, the Iron Fist got up and got in a defensive stance.

-I had missed you, boy.- The other man said, smiling.

-… Harold?-

-Yes, indeed.-

-H-How? You’re supposed to be dead.-

-So are you.- Meachum smiled.

-Why… Why did you bring me here?-

-Oh, I didn’t personally do it. I’m not supposed to be out of this penthouse.- He shrugged. -Kyle over there did it.- He pointed at the scrawny assistant who awkwardly waved at Rand.

-I’m so confused.- The Iron Fist put his palms on his forehead.

-Ward told me about the… Episode at his office.-

-Y-Yes… I know it sounds crazy but…-

Harold signaled him to stop talking and Rand complied. Then, he looked at the cameras around the living room and mouthed “They are watching”.

“The Hand?” Danny whispered back and Meachum nodded very slightly.

-Does Ward know?- Rand asked.

-That I’m alive? Yes.- Meachum stared into the young man’s blue eyes, making it clear that he didn’t know about the Hand.

-What about Joy?-

-She is… More emotional. I don’t know if she could’ve kept the secret.-

Danny nodded.

-I need you to help me with something.-

-Sure, what is it?-

-Can you help me make the company what it was when your father and I founded it? Get rid of all the… Unwanted employees.-

-Absolutely. It may take awhile to prove my identity but…- Danny agreed, getting the indirect message.

-But I’m sure you’ll find unconventional methods, am I right?-

-Yes, indeed.- Rand replied, wondering if Harold knew about him being the Iron Fist. -I’ll do it.-



The Defenders, Elektra and Stick stood on top of a rooftop next to Madame Gao’s warehouse.

-The N.Y.P.D. had taken this warehouse down years ago.- Patsy commented. -It was major news.-

-The Hand has infiltrated the police, too.- Stick pointed out. -All it takes is a high rank officer cutting surveillance on this place, and the rats come back in.-

-Just like they did.- Marc nodded.
-And with the Blacksmith out of the picture, Gao regained control of the heroin business in New York.- Matt added.
-Are we going in or is this a debate group?- Jessica asked, leaping off the rooftop and breaking into the warehouse. The other Defenders followed her, and found themselves surrounded by blinded illegal Chinese immigrants.
-What the hell?- Patsy muttered.
-Sweet Christmas…- Luke said.

The workers stopped their tasks and faced the vigilantes, as they started to fight them displaying impressive fighting skills. From atop the stairs leading to the warehouse, Madame Gao smiled as the battle took place.

Moon Knight leaped and threw six crescent darts at their opponents, as Hellcat ran towards a wall, jumped and did a backflip, kicking a man’s head. Elektra grabbed her sai and spun gracefully, stabbing the henchmen as she moved past them.

Seeing how her workers were being slaughtered by Elektra and Stick, and knocked out by the Defenders, Gao walked down the stairs and held out her hand at the heroes, pushing them against the wall with her telekinesis.

-Gao…- Stick smirked. -Long time no see. I was surprised you didn’t come see me at the restaurant. I was starting to worry about you.-

-I appreciate your concern, but I have little time to spare on pleasantries, Stick. I’m busy trying to fulfill the Hand’s true purpose.-

-It'll never happen.-

-It's already happening. You're just unable to see it.- She smiled, pulling out her cane sword and holding it out at Stick.

-We’ve done this over and over again, Gao. I thought you’d get bored eventually.- Stick stood up and unsheathed his katana.

-I spent most of the 17th century being interrogated. I’m used to the lack of innovation.-

The two elders’ swords clashed, as they moved around the warehouse.

-Are you going to give up soon?- She inquired.

-I’m not one to give up on things.-

-Then I’ll have to cut this duel short. As I’ve previously stated, I’m busy.- She smirked, using her left hand to push Stick against a pile of boxes in a corner.

Seeing how Gao was about to escape, Hellcat stood up and ran towards the K’un-Lunan, whose reflexes allowed her to pull out her curved blade and make a deep cut on the woman’s side, who fell to the ground. Jessica ran towards her best friend and started applying pressure on the wound.

-If I were you, I would get going. She won’t survive long.- Gao smirked, walking out of a door. Daredevil tried to follow her, but when he opened the door again, she was no longer there.



Claire Temple’s Apartment.
 
-Matt, it’s 2 AM.- She said, as she opened the door. Suddenly, she spotted Patsy bleeding out being held by Jessica. -Oh my God, what happened?!- She moved aside as the Power Woman carried the talk show host to a couch. -Seriously? You got Patsy Walker into crimefighting?-
-That’s on her.- Daredevil pointed at Jessica, who closed her eyes and sighed.
-Can you help her or not?- Jones inquired.
-I can fix it.- She nodded, putting gloves on and kneeling down to face the wound to stitch her up. -Wow, this is a deep cut. This wasn’t made with conventional weapons, was it?-
-If you consider a ninja blade conventional…- Moon Knight shrugged.
-Ninjas? In New York?-

-You have trouble believing that but not that a blind lawyer can see, or that he is bulletproof?- Elektra raised her eyebrows, nodding at Luke.

-Touché.- Claire nodded. Soon enough, she finished fixing Patsy up. -Done. But I would suggest she spends the night here. We don’t want it to get worse.-
-I’ll stay here as well, in case the Hand followed us.- Daredevil said.
-Hell no, I am staying. She’s my sister.- Jessica stood up, stepping towards Matt.
-You can both stay! Geez.- Claire rolled her eyes.


Once the other Defenders had left, Claire walked to Jessica and Matt. -I’ll stay here keeping an eye on her wound. I only have one bed so one of you will have to sleep on the floor.-
-I don’t mind.- Matt shrugged, as they all headed to their respective sleeping spots.
Late at night, Claire heard a noise coming from besides her. She sat up promptly and faced Patsy, who had woken up.
-Where am I?- Walker asked weakly.
-You’re in my apartment.- Temple explained. -You got a pretty ugly wound. I could fix it, but there was no way I was letting you go back home.-
-Thank you.- Trish smiled.
-How long have you been a superhero?-
-Uh… Yesterday?- Hellcat chuckled and winced, as her wound hurt.
-Be careful.-
-Yes… Yes…- She nodded and remained silent for awhile. Then, she spoke. -I always wanted to be a superhero. And I was really excited when Jessica got powers… But she wasn’t interested. She wanted to lead the most normal life she could. And when I finally convinced her to become a super heroine, it backfired. So I decided to take up Krav Maga and ask a friend for her costume… I believe everyone can be a hero in their own way. I didn’t get powers like Jess, or those Inhumans… But that wasn’t going to stop me. Not anymore.-
-After Matt came into my life, I started taking self-defense lessons. Just in case, since I had been kidnapped before. But… I never thought I could do anything other than… Be a nurse, I guess.-
-All my life I was told I had to be child star Patsy Walker. I was doomed to a whole life of perfection while I was dying inside. The pressure was too much… My mother, the press… Now I’m finally doing what I want.-
-How does that feel?-
-Honestly? Amazing. Even after almost being sliced in half.- She smiled, and Claire did as well.


The next morning, as the Defenders were about to leave Claire’s apartment, Murdock walked inside Temple’s room, where she was searching through her wardrobe.

-Hey… I wanted to say goodbye.- He spoke up. -I’m glad you’re here, Claire. I’m afraid a lot of people will get hurt in this war against Gao and the Hand. You should probably be ready to mend some broken bones.- He said, as she tossed a pair of white sweatpants on the bed. -What are you doing?-
-Getting the outfit I wore the first day I met you…-
-What for?-
-Last night… Last night I realized I’m good for more than fixing up you and your friends when you get thrown through a window or end up knocked out in a dumpster. I can fight, Matt.-
-Claire…-
-Don’t. Don’t do that.-
-Do what?-
-Try to convince me otherwise.-
-I just want you safe.-
-We can all be heroes in our own way. And this time I’ll be the one doing the breaking…-
-There’s no way to convince you otherwise?-
She shook her head firmly.
-Okay, then. Welcome to the Defenders.-


Hand Compound.

Bakuto and Colleen Wing walked around the gardens, watching the young residents train.

-There’s someone I want you to meet… More than one someone, really.- He chuckled.

She smiled and looked at him. -Sure. Who is it?-

-They are… They have been my allies for so long now. We grew old together, basically. And they supported the Compound since day one.-

-They sound like really nice people.-

-Just recently, one of us left indefinitely… So we were kinda needing a replacement. I am vouching for you.-

-But… But you have been friends for so long… I’ll be completely out of place.-

-I’m sure you won’t. I have faith in you.-

-Thank you…- Wing smiled and looked at the ground.

-Our transport is here.- Bakuto smiled at the woman.

-Wait, now?!- She exclaimed.

-Yes! Come on!- He laughed as he led her to the car and the two got inside.


-Midland Circle.- Colleen commented as they approached the building. -I heard about it.-

-Ambitious, right?- He smiled. -It was funded by us… Technically, one of us.-

-Oh, wow.- She raised her eyebrows, looking at its height.

As they walked inside the Fingers’ meeting room, they met with Sowande and Murakami.

-Where’s Gao?- Bakuto inquired.

-ここにはない.- Murakami shrugged.

Suddenly, Gao walked inside the room. -I apologize for the tardiness. Last night they attacked my warehouse, killing many workers.-

-Who?- Colleen whispered to Bakuto.

-Criminals.- He whispered back.

-Bakuto, are ya goin’ to introduce us to your new friend?- Sowande smiled mockingly.

-This is Colleen Wing. She has been my apprentice for some time now and she’s one of the most proficient swordswomen I’ve ever met.-

-好みの武器?- Murakami asked.

-カタナ.- She replied before anyone could attempt to translate for her.

-She speaks Japanese, I see?- Gao pointed out.

-Yes. I grew up in northern Honshu with my grandfather. Then I moved in here to live with my father, Professor Lee Wing.-

Gao and Murakami looked at each other, and then nodded.

-Have you ever heard about the Chaste?- Gao asked.

-I’m afraid not… Why?-

-Just curious… What about the Hand?-

She shook her head. -Should I have?- She looked up at her Sensei.

-No.- Bakuto reassured her. Then he looked at his allies. -So, what do you say?-

-はい.- Murakami nodded.

-We will think about it.- Gao put her hand on her teammate’s shoulder. -Thank you for your time.- She dismissed Colleen, who looked at Bakuto.

-Wait for me outside.-

She nodded and did as he said.


Harlem’s Paradise.

Misty Knight walked inside the Harlem’s Paradise, which looked less fancy now that Cottonmouth wasn’t running the place anymore. She took a seat and looked up at the balcony where Stokes used to sit. It was empty. She sighed and looked at the stage, where Jidenna was singing “Long Live The Chief”.

-Ironic.- She muttered to herself. After some minutes passed, she realized no one would come take her order, so she stood up and sneaked inside the kitchen, where there was barely any personnel.

Suddenly, she felt a gun cocking next to her skull. Tone, Cottonmouth’s former bodyguard, was standing next to her.

-What are you doing here?- He asked bitterly.

Without saying a word, Knight grabbed his wrist with her bionic hand and twisted it, making him drop the weapon. The kitchen personnel ran out the door, leaving them alone in the room.

Misty pushed him against the opposite wall and lifted him up, holding her prosthetic fist some inches away from his face.

-Who is the White Hat?-

Tone looked up at her, smirking.

-I asked you something.- She tightened her grip around his collar.

-And I won’t say sh*t.-

-Are you sure?- She said, pressing the cold metal knuckles against his cheeks.

-I’m sure.- He smiled.

Using her feet, she picked up the gun and aimed it at the man’s face.

-Go ahead. Shoot me.- He taunted her.

She closed her eyes briefly, before crushing the gun with her enhanced hand and letting the man go.

-Now, I suggest you leave before it gets ugly.- He smiled, threateningly.

The former detective gave up and turned around, walking out of the kitchen and the nightclub.


29th Precinct Police Station.

-Misty, what are you doing here?- Lt. Rafael Scarfe asked his former partner as she walked inside his office.

-I need access to the city’s surveillance cameras.-

-Misty, you’re no longer a member of the N.Y.P.D., I cannot do that…-

-Rafe… This is serious. Someone is employing young men to do their dirty work.-

-And why didn’t you report it accordingly?-

-Scarfe.- She looked at him sternly.

-Alright.- He gave up, standing up from his chair and letting her access his computer. -Who are you looking for?-

-Someone called “the White Hat”. I was told I would recognize him by his clothing.-

After looking through footage for hours, they finally spotted a black man in white clothing and wearing a white hat entering Midland Circle.

-Eureka.- Scarfe smiled.

-Now, what is the link between this man and the building?-

-Maybe he was looking for an apartment?- Rafe shrugged.

-Maybe.- She shook her head briefly, dismissing the possibility.


Knightwing Restorations Ltd.’s Office.

-Is your Sensei starting to replace me?- Misty joked when Colleen walked into the building.
-C’mon, you know you’re my best friend.- Wing dismissed it, laying down on the couch. -Bakuto took me to meet his friends to that new apartment building on 44th Street.-
Suddenly, Knight looked at her friend. -Midland Circle?-
-Yeah, that one.- She shrugged. -Why?-
-Cause the criminal I’m investigating for Candace was seen entering it recently.-
-Really?- Colleen wondered, still not paying too much attention.
-Did you see a black man in white while you were there?-
Wing sat up. -Y-Yes… One of Bakuto’s friends…-
-Was there anything suspicious? Out of ordinary?-
-I mean… They were all very… Solemn, I guess. But that’s all that really stood out.-
-Keep an eye on them, will ya?-
Colleen nodded, remembering their questions about the Chaste and the Hand.


The next morning, as soon as she woke up, Colleen got dressed and walked to her father’s apartment.

-Colleen! You finally came to see me!- He exclaimed as he opened the door, embracing his daughter.

She hugged him back, as they closed the door behind them. Professor Wing sat on his armchair as the woman pulled a stool in front of him.

-So what brings you here? I mean, I doubt you’re just visiting your father because you missed me.-

Colleen chuckled. -Well, a bit of both.-

The man smiled.

-Have you ever heard of the Chaste and the Hand?-

-Oh, yes.- He nodded, standing up. -They were created almost at the same time as ninjas.- He walked to a shelf and pulled out a book, handing it to his daughter. -Right now they’re a myth. I’ve heard claims about them still existing, but I genuinely doubt it.-

Colleen opened the book and started scrolling through the pages.

-Their goal was to free a demon called the Beast, which would take over a host… The Black Sky, that’s what they called that host. The Chaste was their counterpart, which tried to prevent them from fulfilling their nefarious goal.- Professor Lee explained.

The woman stopped scrolling when she spotted a painting dating of the 15th Century of the Five Fingers of the Hand. A man she didn’t know… Sowande… Murakami… Madame Gao… And Bakuto. Bakuto had been alive since then. And he was part of an evil organization.

-I’m a member of the Hand…- She whispered.

Suddenly, a knife smashed through the window, hitting the Professor’s heart.

-FATHER!- She exclaimed, running to her progenitor. She looked out of the window and spotted a man leaping off a rooftop and walking towards the building. Enraged, she grabbed the katana and ran down the fire escape stairs, before jumping to ground level.

-Colleen Wing…- The man smirked, holding a knife between his eyes.

-WHO ARE YOU?! WHY DID YOU KILL MY FATHER?!-

-They call me Bullseye… And I’m a member of the Hand.- He said, throwing a knife at her.

-Bring it on…- She whispered, unsheathing her katana and deflecting the throwing knife, making it hit a trash can. Bullseye pulled out three cards and threw them at her opponent. While Colleen could slice two of them in half, the third one hit her arm, slicing her skin.

-Bullseye!!!- He leaped forwards and kicked the warrior’s chest, pushing her against a wall. Skillfully, he stepped over a garbage can lid, propelling it upwards, and grabbed it midair, before throwing it at Wing’s knees.

-You dishonor yourself…- She told him, as Colleen fell to the ground, weakened.

-Haven't you heard? I'm a cold blooded killer.- He chuckled, pacing around his opponent. -You know, it's too bad I killed my mother in high school... She would have loved this…- Lester said seriously, before smirking. -Joking. She wouldn't a' cared.-

He pulled the last knife out of his belt and threw it at Colleen, but suddenly, someone stepped in and deflected the weapon with a sharp noise.

-Look who’s here!- Lester exclaimed joyfully.

Elektra helped Colleen up, before turning to face Bullseye.

-What are you gonna do now?- Wing asked. -You just lost your last knife.-

-You still don't get it, do you? I'm Bullseye. In my hands, anything is a weapon…- He picked up the garbage can with ease and threw it towards the women, who dodged it. Elektra pulled her other sai out and threw both of them at the Hand member, who laughed at the attempt. He turned around, ready to pick up one of her sai.

-I wouldn’t do that if I were you.- She warned him. However, he wasn’t backing off. -Don’t. Touch. My Sai!- Natchios yelled, running towards her enemy and kicking his chest repeatedly. He grabbed her leg and tried to immobilize her, but the Black Sky used Lester’s body for support, doing a flip above him and landing next to her twin sai. She slid her leg against his knees, making him drop. She picked up her trademark weapons and held one of them against his neck.

-You can’t do it… Can you?- He chuckled. -I have to say I'm flattered. I didn't know if I'd still have this effect on you. I mean, I know I'm not the only one who's killed you. But I guess it's true what they say… You never forget your first.-

Enraged, she was ready to slice his throat when she was hit by one of Lester’s knives. He had picked it up during the confrontation. Natchios took a couple steps backwards and when she was ready to keep the fight, Bullseye was on a rooftop already, waving bye.

Desperately, Colleen ran inside her father’s apartment and kneeled next to his corpse, crying. Elektra followed her, standing right outside the door.

-I’m sorry for your loss.- She finally spoke up. -The Hand has been a synonym of loss and death in my life.-

-You know them?- Colleen looked up at her savior.

-I used to be one of them… Not exactly voluntarily, you could say.-

-How did you know I was in trouble?-

-There’s… There’s a team. We’ve been keeping an eye on everyone walking in or out of the Midland Circle.-

-Thank you…- Colleen sighed, looking down at her father. -Should we report it to the cops? My best friend used to be a cop.-

-They won’t believe us. They haven’t in years, they won’t change now.-

-So what do we do?-

-Come with me… If you want to destroy the Hand.- Elektra ordered, walking away from the apartment.



As the two women walked inside the Defender’s warehouse, Colleen ran towards Danny, as they embraced.

-Danny, what’s going on?-
-Long story short…- Jessica spoke up. -There’s a ninja cult that worships a demon and wants to take over… What do they want to take over exactly?- She looked at Stick.
-That’s not okay…- Colleen muttered.
-Oh, trust me. Okay’s long gone.- Jones looked at Wing.

-We should get going.- Stick said.

-Going where?- Hellcat wondered. -We just got here.-

-No place or land will stay safe for long. We better start running now.-

-Running?- The P.I. exclaimed. -Am I the only one of us who isn’t in this for a cheap thrill? I’m here to save my city and the people I care about.- She folded her arms over her chest and looked at the Chaste member. -I’m not running, period.-
-Then what do you suggest we do?- Daredevil inquired.
-We walk right into the Midland Circle, bring the whole damn place down and forget any of this ever happened.- She suggested, headed for the door.
Suddenly, Matt grabbed her arm firmly, but she put a hand on his chest and slammed him against the wall.
-If you grab me like that again, I’ll punch you so hard you’ll see.- She threatened him.
-Is that a threat, Miss Jones?-
-You are the most full-of-sh*t lawyer I’ve ever met and I think we should stop and appreciate the magnitude of that statement.- She retorted, letting go of Murdock.

-Does everyone here know his secret identity?- Elektra inquired.

-It was tough to stare at that mask all the time.- Patsy replied.
-Besides, you leaping around the city like a Russian gymnast didn’t exactly help.- Jessica looked at Matt.
-So, what are we gonna do?- Claire asked, looking at her teammates.
-Let’s hear it from Miss Jones over here.- Murdock looked at the woman.
-I say we install explosives on the building’s foundation and make it collapse. No more freeing the demon, no more Hand.-

-It’s not gonna be that simple.- Stick shook his head. -The Hand is a global organization. But… We could get rid of the remaining Fingers.-

-Fingers?-

-Bakuto, Gao, Murakami, Nobu and Sowande. Nobu’s gone already…-

-How are we going to get explosives? You don’t get them at Walmart, I hope you know that.- Temple put her hands on her hips.
-I might have an idea…- Colleen smiled, glancing at her phone.


-You want me to do what?!- Misty Knight asked on the other side of the phone.
-I know… I know… But this is a worldwide thing… If they manage to free the Beast… We’re doomed.- Wing pleaded.
-Look, even if I believed in this whole mystical thing… I cannot just steal a bunch of C-4 from the Precinct…- She whispered.
-We are talking of the man who is pulling Harlem’s youth into a crime life… This is the man who turned Candace’s brother into a criminal…-
-You know how to make me react, don’t you?- Knight rolled her eyes slightly. -Alright, I’ll meet you at the Midland Circle.-


As Misty was walking out of the bomb squad locker with the explosives, Lt. Scarfe appeared in front of her.

-Misty… What are you doing?-

-Rafe… I know what it looks like…-

-Is it not what it looks like?-

-It is… But…-

-But why didn’t you let me in on the plan?- He smiled.



The Defenders, Elektra, Stick, Misty and Rafe gathered at the Midland Circle’s entrance.

-You got the C-4?- Colleen asked her best friend, and Knight showed her the explosives.

-I’ll stall the cops.- Scarfe said. -You do… Whatever it is you have to do.- He looked at the heroes.

-Thank you, Rafe. I owe you.- Mercedes said.

-Oh, you definitely do.-

The Defenders, joined by Elektra and Stick, walked inside the building, where they were immediately greeted by Hand ninjas.

-Hey there, a*sholes.- Wing smirked, pulling out her katana.
-Sweet Christmas!- Luke smirked.
-I should get a catchphrase.- Misty commented.
-Meet… The Hellcat!-
-Nurse by day, super nurse by night.-
-I’m a ghost now… Boo! Hehehe- Moon Knight chuckled
-They say justice is blind. Let’s prove ‘em right.- Daredevil smiled.

-Shut up.- Stick grunted.

-Iron Magic Dragon Punch! Haha, I love yelling stuff like that.- Danny chuckled, and the team looked at Jessica.
-I’m supposed to say something heroic here just because you want me to? Nice try.- She rolled her eyes. However, her teammates were still expecting something from her. -Ugh, fine.- She shrugged. -First person to call me Jewel gets their teeth kicked in.-

The Defenders ran towards the ninjas, who in turn were headed their way.

Daredevil and Hellcat leaped, both kicking a Hand member’s chest. Luke and Misty ran towards a pair of ninjas, punching their faces.

-Say hello to my fist.- She smirked, looking at her bionic arm.
Claire pulled out a knife and stopped a katana coming her way. Then, she kicked the ninja’s stomach, pushing him away. However, her adversary stood back up and was about to retaliate. When he lifted the katana, ready to strike, she stabbed his brachial artery and, after he fell to the ground, she hit the jugular veins in the neck.
-How you holding?- Colleen asked Temple.
-Hell, I’m still getting used to bringing the hurt instead of fixing it.- She replied, pulling the knife out.

In striking contrast, Elektra and Stick were visibly comfortable bringing the hurt, in a very violent and bloody way.

Moon Knight got on top of a shelf and jumped, hitting a Hand ninja in the head with his pole. Then, he split it in half, holding the battle staves to his sides. As enemies approached him, he spun and hit their knees, making them trip.
Once the ninjas were defeated, Daredevil stood still.

-What’s going on, Matthew?- Elektra asked.

-There’s… There’s a hole… Underneath the building. It’s… Surprisingly large.-
-Do you think that’s where…- Danny started to ask.

-That’s where they are releasing the Beast.- Stick nodded, confirming his thoughts.

-Let’s go blow this up…- Luke started, but Iron Fist put his right palm on his chest.
-We need to make sure they are there… The Five Fingers. Otherwise, they’ll just get it back up and this was just a mere setback.-

-The kid is right.- Stick said. -This must be the final, permanent strike.-

-Okay, I’ll go get them ready. Give me a call when you confirm they are there.- Cage said.
-I’ll go with you.- Misty stepped up.
-No way.- Harlem’s Hero shook his head. -You might have a pretty powerful arm, but there’s no way you can survive an explosion.-
-You underestimate me, Cage.- She smirked. -Plus… You can’t really persuade me.-
-She is stubborn.- Colleen nodded.

Luke and Misty started placing the C-4 around the building, while the rest of the Defenders headed to the subterranean hole.

As the two heroes from Harlem were placing the explosives, they were approached by Sowande, who was smirking.

-The White Hat.- Knight said, clenching her bionic fist.

-Mercedes Knight. I heard you were lookin’ for me…- The man said. -And Luke Cage. I never got to thank you. For gettin’ rid of Cottonmouth and Diamondback… As hard as Dillard and Shades try, they’re not good enough.-

-So you employing teenagers to do your dirty business is better?- The woman inquired.

-That’s the thing, Detective Knight. I don’t strive to be “good”.- He chuckled. -Nor bad. I wanna transcend those terms… I’ve lived long enough to be on both sides of that coin.-

-Well, I’m glad you got to experience what you wanted, since you’re not walking out of here tonight.-

-If everything goes as planned, none of us are.- He ran towards the man with unbreakable skin and staggered him with his blows through the use of pressure points.

-STOP!- Misty yelled, holding out her prosthetic arm at him, ready to fire.

-I wouldn’t do that if I were you.- He laughed. -We’re surrounded by explosives.-

-You and your friends would die… I don’t see how that’s a bad thing.-

-So would your friends.- He smirked.


As soon as the rest of the Defenders got to the hole, they were greeted by Bakuto, who held his arms out at them.

-Colleen! Have you considered my offer?- He smiled.

-You sick son of a b*tch!- She screamed, holding out her katana at him. -You killed my father!-

-Oh, that wasn’t me! That was Lester!- He dismissed the claim. -I just told him everything he needed to know.- His face hardened, now showing how evil he truly was. He swiftly pulled out his own sword and clashed it against Colleen’s. Claire ran to aid her new friend, holding out her knife.


-黒い空…- Murakami whispered to Madame Gao, pointing at Elektra.

-Oh, yes.- The lady nodded, smiling. -It looks like Nobu wasn’t so mistaken after all. I’ve been alive long enough to watch the world change in many ways. But this change now, it feels significant.-

The woman turned around, lighting the candles that formed a regular pentagram on the ground. Suddenly, she turned around and pushed Iron Fist away, hitting his chest hard.

-We have to stop her!- Stick said running to the woman, followed by Daredevil and Elektra.

Gao pulled out her cane sword and held it against Stick’s, while she skillfully dodged Murdock and Natchios’ attacks.


Masterfully, Bakuto held his own against Colleen and, after a fair fight, eventually overpowered his student.

-What are you gonna do? Bakuto?- She looked up at him. Her katana too far away from her, and his too close to her neck.

-After all that we've been through, at least we can take some comfort knowing that in your final moments you'll be giving to the Hand.- He smirked.

-I won’t. I'll never stop, you took my life from me!-

-No I haven't Colleen, not yet… You disappoint me. As a child, all you ever wanted was to belong to something. That's why I saved you, Colleen, raised you, because that same desire was once in me. Is this your family now, hmm? Well, let me remind you who you really are by taking that away… I wish it could end another way.-

He was ready to kill her when Claire picked up Wing’s katana and slashed his throat, before cutting his head off. -Are you okay?- Temple asked Colleen, helping her up.
-Yes… I am… Impressed.-
-And I need pizza.-


-ハンド. 空…- Murakami started chanting.

-He’s gonna unleash the Beast!!! Stop him!- Stick ordered.

Moon Knight threw a crescent dart at the Hand member, while he ran towards him alongside Hellcat and Jessica.

-…クラン…- The Hand’s Finger pulled out his tonfa and hit Patsy with it, pushing her away.

-How’d you like a facial reconstruction?!- Jessica inquired, grabbing the weapon as it was headed her way and bending it with ease.
As Marc leapt to attack him, Murakami kicked his chest, throwing him against one of the rocky walls.

-…獣…-

Jones was about to punch the Hand member, but he grabbed her fist and pushed her aside. Then, he grabbed the crescent dart Spector had thrown at him earlier and slashed his palm, making blood drop in the middle of the pentagram.

-自由になれ!- Murakami screamed.

Everyone in the room stopped moving, and turned around to see the geometrical shape set up by Gao’s candles. From within, a ghostly looking monster rose, flying towards Elektra and entering her body. Violently, she levitated and then crashed against the floor, as her red outfit became black and her eyes turned red.

-She was the Black Sky…- Stick muttered.

-You seem surprised.- Gao commented.

-I was hoping we would all be wrong…-


As the ground shook underneath them, Sowande pulled out his guns and held them at Misty. -The Beast has been unleashed.- He smiled. -I have achieved my goal. Now I can shoot you and end you and your friends for good.- The White Hat pulled the triggers repeatedly.

Knight reacted quickly, creating a repulsor force field around herself and the C-4.

-What?!- Sowande asked surprised, trying to reload.

The Defender activated her arm’s magnetic abilities, attracting one of the fallen ninja’s katanas.
-Off with the head!- Luke said, still on the ground. -That’s the only way they die!-
Holding it with both hands, she ran towards Sowande and chopped his head off. No one messed with Harlem under her watch.


-Ellie…- Stick walked to his protege slowly. -I know you’re still there… Dig deep.- Without a word, she dug her sai into his chest and pulled them out, as the old man fell to the ground.

-STICK! NO!- Matt screamed, running towards his mentor. The Defenders looked at the scene, and even Jessica was visibly shaken.

-Matty…- The man faced Daredevil, who pulled his mask off. -N-None… Of you are l-l-living up to… Your full potential… You-You’re good, but you c-c-can do better… Grab life by the throat, and never let go…- He whispered, before any sign of life left his body.

Laying him down, Daredevil stood up, wiping his tears off and faced Elektra and the Hand. -Stand back, it’s not over yet.- He said. -I don’t need to see to know myself. I know what I am… Who I am… And I am not afraid. We won’t let you take over Hell’s Kitchen. I will fight. Forever. For everyone, whether they know it or not. Whether they are watching or not. I will always fight.- The Defenders gathered behind Matthew.

Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Night Nurse approached Elektra, whose already superb fighting skills, speed and strength had been enhanced. With extreme ease, she dodged the heroes’ attacks and countered with her sai.

Iron Fist and Moon Knight stood in front of Madame Gao, who was holding her cane before her.

-The Protector of K’un-Lun and the Avatar of Khonshu.- She smiled at them. -You are supposed to be formidable adversaries but… In all honesty, you lack a lot.- She moved towards Spector and hit certain spots with her bare hands, paralyzing the vigilante.

Danny harnessed his chi into his fist and tried to punch Gao, but she grabbed his hand midair and stopped the blow. Expecting her to do this, he kicked her cane, destabilizing her. He immediately turned to Daredevil. -Stand back!-
-What? Why?- Matt asked, taking a step backwards to dodge Elektra’s attack.
-If I can summon my Chi, I can focus my energy into my hand, creating a powerful weapon that might heal the spiritual damage the Beast caused to her soul, freeing her.- He explained, running to them.
-Okay, we can try.- Murdock replied. -I’ll keep her busy, let me know when you’re ready.-

Rand closed his eyes, and put his right fist against his left palm, as Daredevil faced Elektra. Suddenly, Danny’s fist started glowing.

-I’m ready!- He told Matthew, who nodded and crouched, leaving Elektra defenseless. Quickly, Iron Fist punched Elektra’s chest, as the Beast left her body. Those in the room could see the demon’s astral form flying back inside the pentagram, as the candles were put out.

Natchios opened her eyes, now back to the usual blue Matt loved so much. He ran to Elektra and held her close.

-Matthew…- She whispered.

-You’re back.- He smiled.

Immediately, she looked at the Hand members, who were desperately trying to free the Beast again. Then, she faced Matt. -You need to leave, now. Blow the building up.-

-What about you?- He asked. -I’ve lost you too many times… Let me stay here with you.-

-Matthew… This is who I am. This is my purpose. I am the Black Sky. And while I’m around… Not even the stars are safe in the sky.-

-And the Hand?-

-Let them come.- She dismissed them. -I’ll stall them until you’re safe.-

-I don’t want to lose you again, Elektra. I have already lost Stick today… Not you too… Please.-

-Matthew, after all these years?- She smiled. -Haven’t you realized that it’s my way or the graveyard?-

He smiled back, holding back the tears. -You’re right.-

-I know I am. Now go.- She nodded, as he kissed her. She kissed back, placing her hands behind his neck.

As the Defenders got on the elevator, she smiled at them before turning around.

-Have you finally decided to serve the Hand?- Gao inquired, smiling.

-I. Serve. No one.- She replied sternly.

-あなたは私たちを倒すことができると思いますか?あなたは力がない.- Murakami said confidently.

-I don’t need powers to do what I do.-

-Of course not. You’re the Black Sky.- Madame Gao smirked.

-Elektra is my real name.- She answered, as she ran towards the two remaining Fingers of the Hand.


As the Defenders got out of the elevator, they met up with Luke and Misty.

-Where’s Stick? And Elektra?- Cage asked.
-They have both served honorably.- Spector explained.
-We need to go, now.- Matthew said. -Elektra is holding the Hand back until we blow the building up.-
-Are we really…?- Luke wondered, and Knight stopped him.
-He’s our leader, Cage.- The former Detective nodded at the Man Without Fear.
-Blow it up, Power Man.- Jessica looked at Luke.
Once the Defenders were out of the building, reunited with Scarfe, Luke set the detonator off. Then, he tried to run out of the building but the flames reached him. However, he walked out unharmed, except for his clothes. -I’m about sick of always having to buy new clothes.- He commented, as he looked up at the building on fire that was crumbling upon itself.
-Sweet Christmas…- Claire muttered.


As the heroes started to go their separate ways, Danny walked to Matt.

-Are you okay?- He inquired.
-I’ll be fine. It’s not the first time I go through this.-
-Lawyer by day, vigilante by night. How does that work?-
-As Daredevil, I get to save the world. As a lawyer… Maybe I can fix it. I need them both. That’s what I realized. The warrior and the lawyer. It doesn’t work if I only have one.-

Jessica and Luke walked to them.

-So what do we do now? Are we still a…- Jessica started to say. -Are we still a team?-
-I see the word doesn’t burn anymore.- Cage joked.
She elbowed him playfully. -It’s just I like myself more when I’m doing something good. Otherwise, I’m just a piece of sh*t.-
-Hey, no.- Luke shook his head. -You’re a hard-drinking, short-fused, mess of a woman, but you’re not a piece of sh*t.-
-That’s the nicest compliment I’ve ever got.- She laughed.

Moon Knight approached Luke.

-I might have a job for you… A permanent position. I’ll give you a lift home while we talk about it.- He pointed at the Mooncopter above them.
Power Man turned around. -You’d better just drop me at 110th Street. Guys in white hoods aren’t exactly welcome in Harlem.- Then, he faced the other Defenders. -So, we’ll see each other around?-
-Next time a group of occultist ninjas decide to invade New York?- Jones inquired.
-Hopefully sooner.- Cage smiled, as he climbed the Mooncopter’s retractable stairs.


♫ Woke up in London yesterday
Found myself in the city near Piccadilly
Don't really know how I got here ♫
 
Daredevil stood above a Hell’s Kitchen rooftop, watching over his city.


♫ I got some pictures on my phone
New names and numbers that I don't know

Address to places like Abbey Road

Day turns to night, night turns to whatever we want

We're young enough to say… ♫
 
Jessica walked inside the Alias Investigations office, where Malcolm Ducasse was waiting for her. He showed her a piece of paper that read a list of names under “Kilgrave Victim Support Group”. Approving of the idea, she offers him a job in Alias Investigations.


♫ Oh this has gotta be the good lifeThis has gotta be the good life

This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, got this feeling that you can't fight

Like this city is on fire tonight

This could really be a good life

A good, good life ♫


Outside of Pop’s Barbershop, Luke was pondering over what had happened in the last few days when he was interrupted by the owner and Bobby Fish, who were arguing over the Knicks. Smiling, Cage shook his head and walked inside the shop.


♫ To my friends in New York, I say hello
My friends in L.A. they don't know

Where I've been for the past few years or so

Paris to China to Colorado ♫


Iron Fist meditated on Knightwing Restorations Ltd.’s building rooftop. Closing his eyes, he harnessed his chi and healed his wounds, as Colleen walked to him and folded her arms over her chest, smiling. Slowly, he turned around and smiled back.


♫ Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life

This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, got this feeling that you can't fight

Like this city is on fire tonight

This could really be a good life

A good, good life ♫

Notes

Gallery

Episode Guide

Assemble! episodes
Season 1 Pilot | Venomous Bite | Hydra Four | Healing Factor | Stings and Bites | Deep Research | Vibranium Vibrations | I Need You | Targeted | Unibeam Focus | M.O.D.O.K., Mo Problems | Rafael Sosi | If You Can't Take the Heat... | Whiplash | Petrifying Touch | Crimson | Wreck-It Thor | Ionic Enhancement | To The Moon and Back | The 10 World's Wonders | Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. | To Kill A Mockingbird
Season 2 Mockingbird Heartbeat | Proud to Serve | Nightmare in Red | The Call | The Speed of Sound | Get Your Hexes Right! | First Class | Revelations | Gamma Radiation | The Frozen King | Mutant and Proud! | When Else Fails... | Return of the King | Absorbing... | Scorpio | Lokasenna | Your UnFriendly Neighborhood | The Wolverine | Doctor in the House | Worthington | Rescued! | Latveria | A Doom With A View
Season 3 WWII | S.H.I.E.L.D.ed | Birds of a Feather | Winter Is Coming | Can Be Tamed | Gravity | Get Lucky | The Only Light in the Darkness | Symbiote | Long Live | Marvelous | Speak Now | Wild Card | Dark Elves | Dark Horse | Shadowed... | Have a Trio | Dark Spider-Man | Along Came a Venom | Let It Go | Svartalfheim | Vision of the Future | Blastin'! | Frozen Cerebro | Mutant Mayhem! | Hooked on a Feeling | Behold... The Vision! | Age of Ultron
Season 4 Savage! | For Hire | Teenage Dream | Cut One Head Off... | The Baxter Raid | You, Foe! | Brand New World | How to Catch a Spider | I Am Thor! | Journey Into Mystery | Lights | Rhino | Sandy Creeps | Warlock | LionHunt | Polar Opposites | Magnetic Personality | Alpha Flight | Silver Linings Playbook | Cross-Species | Sinister | Devil's Daughter | Dormammu Mia! | Friday the 13th | Haunted | Creatures of the Night | Heart of Darkness | Sins of the Fathers | Blood Ties | What Is A Man?
Season 5 The Initiative | I AM THE CURE! | Scream and Shout | Life Foundation | Agent Venom | Hybrid | Symbiote Showdown | New X-Men | Perks of Being a Wallflower | Hellions | Agent Carter | Time Alone Shall Murder All The Flowers | Damocles | The Kang Dynasty | Oedipus Rex | Death in the Family | Omega | Last Bastion | Days of Future Past | God of War | Black Widow | Daddy Issues | Hit by Thunderbolt | Sons of Zeus | Venomous | Crusher | A Sin to Err | Seeing Red
Season 6 Live Kree or Die! | Mutant Massacre | Ancient Knight | Aftershocks | Never Fear! | Among Us Hide... | Refugees | Burn | Flight of the Iron Spider | Sugar | Divina Commedia | Guardian Angel | Embiggened Crush | Sinister Calling | Survival of the Fittest | Lash Out! | 50 Shades of Grey | Turn Away and Slam the Door | Welcome to New York | The Way of the Iron Fist | Cage Unchained | The Color Purple | Madbomb | Mosaic | Best Defense is a Good Offense | Come As You Are | Phoenix Five | The Phoenix | Who Am I Living For?

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