Fri, 30 Oct 1998
The Lady lady@tropicalstorm.com
The Evil Within -- (PG-13)

Disclaimer: Okay, these characters are 'so- not mine. They belong to Marvel and I'm completely innocent cause I'm just writing this out of pure fun.

Continuity Note: These events take place in Elektra's most recent continuity after her series and the Spiderman/Elektra annual.

General Note: This is the second story in what I hope will be a series of stories featuring Dr. Strange and Elektra. The first of which was "Of Angels and Demons". As always feedback is both welcomed and encouraged. And a very special thank you to all of the people who responded to my first story. I hope you enjoy.

Rated: PG-13 due to language and content.


The Evil Within

The Lady

 

"What the hell is going on?" Detective Michael Morrisey blinked at the woman before him clad completely in red. He felt a little silly with a gun in his hand and dressed in nothing but boxer shorts, but it was better than being dead on the floor. "What are you doing here, Elektra?" He hated the way his voice shook, but he was no fool. He knew he had every reason to be afraid.

"Calm down, Michael." Elektra kept her distance, poised by the window staring calmly down the barrel of the gun aimed at her. "I'm not here to hurt you. Answers. That's all I want'just some answers."

He looked at her steadily. There was a time when Det. Morrisey was almost glad to see Elektra climb through his window, though it never ended up being for what secretly, or rather not so secretly, wished. The last time they'd met, she'd coaxed information out of him with but a single touch and a kiss. Of course, at the time she was more than a little tipsy after having been drunk earlier that night. "Shit." He muttered to himself and clicked the safety back on his gun.

Elektra offered him a weary smile and visibly relaxed. Though that was more for Michael's benefit than her own. She hadn't truly relaxed since the day the Hand came back into her life and hell broke loose. "Not exactly like old times, but I guess it'll have to do."

Michael just looked at her. Finally, he shook his head and reholstered the gun. "So what's the story, lady? You've got half the cops in New York with an APB out on your ass." He sat down on the edge of his bed and watched her.

"I was hoping you could tell me." She walked further into the room. She kept a comfortable distance, but Michael didn't seem startled by her anymore. He reached over and grabbed a cigarette from his pants pocket and lit up. "I hear you committed a bunch of murders across town. Is it true?" He tossed the match over in the ashtray and looked up at her.

She just looked at him so calmly that Michael almost regretted the question. What was reflected in those dark orbs didn't brook much argument. "No." She said simply.

Michael nodded and shrugged. "Didn't think so."

"Let me guess-" she began. "Not my style?"

Michael laughed outright at this and nodded his head. "No. Definitely not your style." He grinned up at her. "You would've never allowed yourself to have been seen. Let alone caught on film."

"Nice to know there's someone out there with a little faith in me," her own wiry sarcasm shined through. It was almost disturbing that neither Michael nor Dr. Strange had discounted her because they didn't think she was capable of such violence. They merely discounted her because they knew her. And they knew it wasn't her style of violence. But somehow she doubted others would be so understanding.

The police detective suddenly seemed to become aware that he wasn't exactly dressed for the encounter and moved to grab a pair of sweats laying at the foot of his bed. "You still haven't given me the story yet. Where've you been all this time? Where were you when all this stuff was going down?" He moved to turned on a lamp.

Elektra finally turned her attention back to the detective, but then shook her head as she made her way over to the window. "I have to go, Michael."

The man looked at her steadily, "Elektra'" he stood up now and walked over to her. He put a hand on the top put of the window and slid it down a bit, making it much too narrow for her to fit through. "I can't help you if you don't talk to me."

She laughed softly at this last. "When I need your help, I'll be sure to let you know. Right now, maybe I just needed to know there was someone else out there who didn't think I was some sort of serial killer."

"Yeah, well. How about a deal. An exchange of information. You tell me where you've been, and I won't ask too many questions down the road when you want some of those'answers you mentioned."

She looked up at him with dark eyes. She paused a moment. Michael had never seen this woman hesitate in the face of anything. But now, she was more reluctant than he has ever seen her. "I was home." She said simply. Greece. The land of her birth. "I guess I just needed some downtime." But she should have perhaps known better. The forces that moved in her life never allowed for rest or respite.

"Right." Michael took a step back, not wanting to press this more than he had to, and knowing it could prove bad for his health to push her beyond what she was ready to tell. Though as she perched on his window ledge, something seemed to pop into his mind. "By the way, I heard about McKinley Stewart. Wasn't he a friend of yours?"

"Yeah," she said. "Something like that." And then- she was gone.


She was being followed.

Elektra didn't have to have heightened senses to know that two men had been trailing her for the last two blocks. It was part of the reason she had veered away from her original destination of going to meet Stephen Strange. It wouldn't do to lead them back towards him, and whoever these guys were, they were not common muggers. They wanted something. And with all the people who were after her right now, she was willing to bet her life that it wasn't good.

She cursed inwardly for even allowing herself to be followed. It was the kind of mistake an amateur would make, but not the actions of a deadly former assassin. No matter how distraught she might be, or how upset recent events may have made her, there was no room for error. The stakes were too high.

After another block, Elektra took a casual turn down an alley. A blind alley. She frowned a bit. It was not what she expected exactly, but it would have to do. She still had a possible exit in the form of the fire escape, but the whole thing reminded her too much of her last confrontation with Bullseye. This time, there would be no casual pedestrian to get caught in her crossfire. This time...she would show no mercy.

As she expected, the men appeared at the top of the alley only a few moments later. One had a thick nightstick in hand while the other had only a chain. A wane smile full of dark promise crossed her lips. She thought by now such thugs would learn to either pack more firepower or bring more back-up. But no matter. Their underestimation of her was her gain. "Hmm...I suppose this the part were I get scared and beg for my life?"

The first man with the nightstick beat it against his palm for emphasis. Typical. "The Kingpin says to tell ya he sends his regards."

Elektra blinked. The Kingpin. With everything else that had been going on she'd nearly forgotten about him. The Kingpin or crime had taken a contract out on her life the moment she had returned to the states from Hong Kong. While in China, she and Shang-Chi had taken apart a major deal the Kingpin had been working with the locals. To say the least, he was not a happy man. But she quickly recovered her smile, arching a single eyebrow. "Does he now?"

"Oh, yeah." The second man said as he advanced, swinging the chain. Elektra silently wondered if these guys had flunked intimidation 101. "So why don't you just make this easy and give up now?"

Elektra sighed and feigned a sing-song lilt to her voice. "Oh, my. Just what is a woman to do?" She shrugged and then gave the men another dark smile. At the look on her face, the men paused, exchanging glances with one another. "I suppose I'll just have to kill you both."

With those final words, Elektra lashed out with a jump kick aimed at the chest of the nearest man. To his credit, he held his ground. The chain in his hand whipped out to try and strike toward the woman's torso. But even as her foot connected, she was already catching the chain in her left hand.

The older man with the nightstick lunged in to take her from behind. Even as the first man was going down, he came up for his strike. Just as the nightstick would have connected, a simple sidestep saw that all that the weapon met was the air where she had just been standing. He blinked for a moment and looked at her in surprise. She paused just look enough to give him a grin before whipping the chain in her hand toward him.

He was easily disarmed. Childishly so. Elektra struck out with the chain again, wrapping it around the man's hand. She jerked hard, the links biting into his wrist. He fell to the ground in pain, his right hand almost completely severed. Elektra quickly dismissed him and turned to her other assailant who was just scrambling up to his feet once more and was backing away.

Elektra smiled as she started walking towards him. The chain was casually swinging at her side in a more expert pattern than the man she now faced he previously employed. "So what will it be? Quick and easy? Or do you prefer slow and painful?"

The man just looked at her in shock. He looked from her, to his partner still writhing on the ground, and back to her again. "Fuck the Kingpin. Dead men can't spend money." He turned and darted toward the main street and safety.

For the barest of moments, Elektra half considered catching the man from behind and dragging him back for his punishment. She took a deep breath and shook her head. Even if it was what she wanted to do most at that moment, it wouldn't have been worth it. The men were not even skilled or worthy enough to earn her contempt let alone death at her hands. Besides, Stick probably wouldn't approve.

Elektra had recently come to accept again that there were darker impulses that lurked within her. Impulses that kept her separated from the Chaste. That kept her apart from Matt Murdock. Death and killing had been with her since before she was born. She had prided herself on being able to channel those impulses into taking out the bad guys. Into doing good. But things were different now.

If she was going to restore the Chaste, she would have to use every resource available to her. And if that meant calling upon that darkness that lurked within her soul, then so be it. Stick and the Chaste had tried their way, and it had obviously failed.

Now, it was her turn.


Stephen Strange had spent the better part of the evening pouring over various old texts that even he had forgotten that he owned. Though the reading he did could hardly be categorized as leisurely. The man, also known as Doctor Strange, was working on a problem. A big problem. And if he couldn't solve it, the world was going to be in a world of hurt. When the Chaste fell, it wasn't just a physical defeat. It was a blow dealt to them in a mystical sense as well. The astral plane had echoed the fall of the mystical order which had existed for centuries. But all had not been lost. The inner circle of the Chaste was ruled by men who existed only in spirit. But their life forces had been weakened. And now they entrusted their destinies to the most unlikely of saviors. Elektra.

Dr. Strange's studies were interrupted when the barest hint of cloudy smoke appeared before him. The smoke solidified in the center to reveal the form of Elektra making her way inside his abode. He smiled a bit to himself and with barely a thought he caused the cloud of smoke to dissipate. He had re-set his wards to allow the ninja access without alarm, but still, even the master of the occult doesn't like to be caught off guard in his own place of residence.

"I see you've been out?" The good doctor continued to casually flip through his text, standing near his desk, not even looking up at the form that had just appeared in his doorway.

Elektra merely shrugged her shoulders.

Dr. Strange sighed and nodded his head. "I see." He folded his arms before him, though even without his physical contact, the book remained afloat in front of him. "And while you were out did you think to remember that you're a wanted woman?"

"Look, Strange," Elektra rounded on the man who had nursed her through recovery from her recent wounds. He was trying to be helpful, this she knew, but there was only so much mothering she could take. "I'm a big girl. When I need your advice, I'll ask for it."

A smirk came readily to Dr. Strange's lips and he just stood there looking at her. His arm were crossed and not a word was said. He was reminiscent of the school teacher who had caught one of their favorite pupils doing something she shouldn't have. The look all but said 'I am very disappointed in you.'

Elektra stood there for several moments under the gaze of those piercing blue eyes before throwing her hands in the air. "All right! All right, you win. Again." She moved to collapse into one of the few cushioned chairs around the room. "I didn't know when I accepted your help that I'd have to put up with this."

A hearty laugh emanated from the good doctor, pervading the entire room. He raised a hand to his short dark hair and smiled. "Perhaps you should just consider it part of the benefits of my company." He grabbed the book out of the air and took it with him to where Elektra sat. "But while you've been out galavanting, I've been here working on our little dilemma."

With a wave of his hand, he conjured an image that floated in the air between them. Elektra's breath caught in her throat at the looming form that took shape. "Kuroyama?!"

Dr. Strange nodded. "The creature who is currently leading the forces of the Hand." And the same one who had already defeated Elektra not once, but twice, in direct confrontation. The first time, toying with her. The second time, nearly killing her.

"So what exactly is the meaning of this?" She tried to not look obvious as she expertly diverted her eyes away from the image.

The mage waved his hand once more, banishing the image from before them. "I have heard whispered sightings of him in Japan, accompanied by a young blonde girl."

Nina.

"And?" Elektra questioned.

"Whatever they're doing, they're there for a reason." He took a deep breath, folding his arms. "So, I concluded that this meant '"

Elektra interrupted him with a grim voice. "We're going to Japan."


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