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Alias: Xeper
Age: 28
Codename: Echo / Red Knight
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Joined: 11-September 17
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Last Seen: Today at 07:57 pm
Local Time: Feb 23 2018, 09:10 PM
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Jan 7 2018, 10:03 PM

Mask up. Strapped for bear. Katana, daggers, H&Ks. For one night, Maya Lopez wasn't the Red Knight of Hellfire - she was Echo again.

"This is the place."

Matsuo, reluctant as she'd been to rely on him, had come through for them at last. Per his intel, the Black Sky - who may or may not have been running the Hand at this point - was holed up in a waterfront estate in Jersey. It was palatial, if a bit foreboding, and reportedly stacked to the brim with Gao's personal guard. A short drive and a surreptitious boat ride later, she and Matt Murdock were climbing up the westernmost side of the mansion on a hookshot cable.

At last, they stood on the estate's roof, peering down through an ornate glass skylight into the atrium below. A maze of art and statuary stretched out beneath them, punctuated intermittently by red uniforms. There wasn't much in the way of additional information: how extensive the facilities were, how many of the Hand lurked within, whether Gao was there herself, or even where Elektra might be within the facilities (although Maya had a feeling that once they started making noise, that would probably start making itself evident).

Maya glanced over her shoulder at the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, following behind her. A momentary twinge of uncertainty raced down her spine - about this, about everything, really. As their hunt had continued and they'd shared victories and frustrations, she'd felt herself growing closer to him, bonding over the constants in their otherwise-chaotic existences. Stick. Elektra. The mob, the Hand, the eternal fight. She owed him the truth, and while she'd been straightforward with him about more than most people got to hear, the singular reality of her existence was still more or less a secret, as far as she knew.

He was a good man, and one on a righteous mission. He deserved to know what she really was - to avoid tying his horse, so to speak, to the world's most prolific metahuman serial killer. The antithesis of everything he stood for.

"Hey." she murmured, pausing at the skylight. "If we live through this..." There was a pause; it was uncharacteristic for Maya to have to muster her nerve for something, but here they were. "...there's something I've got to tell you. Or...confess, I guess. Don't let me forget."

She took a single, light breath, and her heart rate slowed to a steady crawl.

"All right. Let's bring her back."

A single strike with the hilt of the katana shattered the skylight, and glass shards showered everywhere as Maya leaped down into the atrium. There were no shouts of alarm from the scarlet-armored guards waiting down there - they were surprised, certainly, but these were some of Madame Gao's finest. Well-trained, well-armed, well-disciplined, and ready to roll.

As it usually did, all hell broke loose.

@MATTHEW MURDOCK @ELEKTRA NATCHIOS let's do this thing. Hype levels at 1000%
Nov 26 2017, 09:08 PM

It was half past midnight on a Friday, and Maya Lopez was about to fall off the wagon, so to speak.

She had made it an entire four weeks without killing anybody, and it was not for lack of interest. The urge had eaten at her, ached sharply the same way sucking on a cavity did. But she was working now with people who had a pretty hard-line stance on needless bloodshed - Matt, Sharon, and the rest - which meant that outside her role as the Red Knight, there was not quite as much opportunity to indulge as there had once been.

That role was front and center tonight, though, thanks to the White Queen's instructions. As much as Maya had wanted to keep on the straight and narrow, to suppress her darker urges, well...duty called. And Nathan Dolly, the 'Dollman' of the Lower East Side, was hardly an innocent. If anybody deserved the fate that was coming to him, he did. Perhaps this assuaged Maya's conscience, just a bit, as she slipped through the run-down warehouse's skylight and dropped lightly onto the rafters.

Of the six targets on Emma's list, Dolly had been the easiest to locate. She already had some familiarity with him - a back-alley doctor and associate of the somewhat-late Fisk syndicate, he considered himself an artist, much like her. Outside of his medical skills, his real value to the underworld community was his steady supply of drugged-up, mutilated henchmen - his Dolls, he called them. Painted in grotesque motley and frequently doped up on enough hallucinogenics to make MkULTRA blush, the Dolls were an increasingly-frequent sight in messed-up street crimes. And this, Maya had reasoned, meant the man could be located with a little effort. You needed supplies to do the things he did. Drugs, especially, for the Dolls - to numb them during the modifications, to keep them compliant, to enhance their capabilities, and so on. That stuff didn't grow on trees, it had to come through the city's trafficking networks.

Hence, the warehouse. She'd put some feelers out accordingly, and heard within a day or two that the Dollman was making a buy. The rest was simple.

"Ah, this way, this way." He was escorting someone in - a group of someones? not sure yet - bringing them through to the center of the warehouse, where a rather crude semblance of a surgical theater had been set up. A group of Dolls - five, at Maya's count - loomed motionlessly around the area, dressed in garish Commedia fare. Harlequins and Pagliaccis and that sort of thing. (The irony did not escape Maya, as she gazed downward through the lenses of her birdlike mask, in how similarly Renaissance-esque she was dressed. Dark red finery, for wetwork in the night. What a troupe they would all make when the fighting started.)

Dolly was talking to someone - she couldn't make out his lips, so it went entirely unrecognized. "Difficult to find someone holding on such short notice, with the needs my beautiful Dolls have." He bustled past a Doll, a scarred and vacant-eyed man in jester's attire, and produced a briefcase from under the operating table. "Only the best for my wondrous creations, yes. Fentanyl to ease the transformation, and scopolamine for maintenance purposes. Like butterflies emerging from their chrysalis, wouldn't you say, Miss, ahhh, Ms. Rogue?"

Maya took three steps forward on the rafter, crouching. She could see his face now. A gaunt man, scarecrow-like, done up in a white coat that frankly looked more like a cassock. Her lip curled in contempt.

"Here we are," and she could follow his lips now, so at least half the conversation was known to her as he set the briefcase down on a nearby counter and opened it. Green glimmered in the dim light of the warehouse. "Twenty-five thousand in unmarked hundreds. I believe that was your associate's agreed-upon rate, yes?"

Her fingers closed gently around an aerosol inhaler - a single dose of Kick - and let it hover under the beak of her mask. Almost there. Just had to get a feel for how many people were in the room, and they could start. One hand grasped eagerly at the handle of her katana.

Soon. Very soon.

@MARIE D'ANCANTO hopefully this is an okay starter! Lemme know if there's anything you'd prefer adjusted ^^
Oct 13 2017, 11:24 PM

"All right. That was the easy part."

Considering that Maya Lopez was standing in a coat closet, stashing a borrowed wait staff uniform (whose original owner was currently unconscious and locked in a walk-in freezer) and wrestling with a luxurious chinchilla overcoat, that said a lot about the hard part.

Infiltrating the Stark Industries charity gala had been simple enough. Matt's plan of sneaking into the hotel as staff members had gone off swimmingly, and Maya had gone out of her way to have a garment bag smuggled upstairs so they could change once they were out of sight. One slinky red dress and perilously-high pair of Louboutins later, she was ready to go out there and dig for some information.

The massive fur coat was there for a reason; she was loaded for bear with weapons underneath it. Thigh sheaths masked two knives and a holdout pistol, and her katana was in its scabbard, lining the spine of the coat. It would've been uncomfortable with anything other than perfect posture - plus spending 10,000USD on a disguise for a sword meant you pretty much had to go whole hog with it.

"We'll isolate Tsurayaba and then find out what he knows. If the Hand took Elektra someplace, he'll spill it. He won't want to make a scene, he's...fussy about keeping up appearances--"

Being deaf, Maya missed the giggles outside, and so was caught entirely off guard when the door to the coat closet swung open and a bespectacled executive with a leggy blonde in tow eyed them in bewilderment. Both were clearly tipsy, based on their movements (and also the empty martini glass in the man's hands). "Oh, sorry. Is this spot taken?"

"Um." Instinctively, she adjusted her coat, patting her 'date' for the evening on the shoulder. "It was, but I think all's well with, ah. With the coats."

"Oh good," said the exec with a chuckle. His tongue had clearly been loosened by one too many cocktails. "I think Veronica and I might take a second look just to be sure."

"Sorry, where are my manners?" she asked (with a tone that was slightly perfunctory-sounding; it was clear that, even undercover, Maya was deeply anti-social), extending a hand. "Lidia Velasquez, I'm with Frost International. Do you know where Matsuo Tsurayaba's hanging out? My, uh, associate and I were supposed to meet with him."

"Eric Ronson, Mergers & Acquisitions. I think Matsuo's over at the high stakes roulette wheel. Are you done with the, um..."

"Yes. All yours." Gripping Matt lightly by the arm, Maya pulled him from the coat closet and allowed Ronson and his date to pass by them. Once the door was shut, she breathed a sigh of equal parts exasperation and relief. Thank god for her cover; she'd had to kowtow for it, but the White Queen had made their job infinitely easier.

"Sorry about that," she murmured once they were free. "Spur of the moment. You good to go?"

Sep 14 2017, 07:06 PM

Maya Lopez stood outside an open meat truck in an alley in Bed-Stuy, looking at a man strung up by his own veins like a puppet. For once, it was not her fault.

She'd thought there had been some kind of error when she'd gotten the message, a case of mistaken identity or something - and maybe there was a case of mistaken identity, but it wasn't the kind she'd been thinking of. Either way, the idea that there was another killer in her neighborhood had been alarming. So much so, in fact, that she'd come straight from the Club's soiree (no loss, that; Emma had the guests well in hand and would be in no danger) and was in the alley in full regalia and crow mask, looking for all the world like some kind of scarlet Renaissance assassin. It was late, after all, and apart from her Interpol contact, nobody was at the crime scene for the moment - getting there quickly was worth not stopping to change.

The dead guy...the marionette, if she wanted to take this particular artist at his apparent meaning - was mobbed up, she could tell from the prison tattoos. Electrodes, or Tesla coils, or some kind of strange electric symbol, were inked all over his torso, scattered at random like a leopard's spots and connected by a hypnotic chain of lines. She couldn't tell how long he'd been dead - despite her proclivities, Maya wasn't great at forensics, and preferred causing the crime scenes over analyzing them.

A burned, vaguely ionized smell hung in the air, like the breeze after a thunderstorm.

Maya's eyes narrowed. What did this mean? It was sort of like something she could've done, and the more she dwelt on it, the more she started to see the symmetry and the rhyme and the reason and the beauty...until a shadow loomed into her view, the herald of someone approaching from behind. She straightened abruptly, breaking out of her reverie. Right. Focus.

"This, ah...." Her lips rubbed together under the mask's beak, and at last, she turned to the woman who'd called her here. "I don't know if you'd consider this good news or bad news, but he isn't one of mine."

It was definitely a little of both.

Sep 13 2017, 10:06 PM

Maya didn't deserve to pray anymore, and if she did, she knew she still didn't deserve to have those prayers answered. And yet, for the past week, she'd prayed fervently, even as she'd stained her soul blacker in the service of the Hellfire Club.

It'd become progressively easier to justify to herself. She wasn't praying for herself, after all - it was for him.

The war had become impossible to ignore last month. Her clan slaughtered, her mentor murdered in cold blood, and Elektra alive - alive and embracing her role as the Black Sky, no less - even though she'd walked away from the Chaste, it had been too much to turn her back on. She'd given the White Queen notice of a few days' absence, and then she'd run a frantic race to Midland Circle, fighting the Hand along the way. It'd been too late, though; by the time she'd arrived at the ritual site, it was in ruins, and he was still in there.

She'd scraped her hands raw digging him out of the rubble, and she still wasn't totally sure why. Perhaps it was that they (along with Elektra, who had been nowhere to be found when Maya had gotten there) were the last vestiges of Stick's legacy, the only remnants of the old order. Maybe it was the times they'd come into contact in the past, wary and fundamentally opposed but generally on the same side. Either way, when the rest of the city had given up on the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, Maya had clawed through the rubble and pulled him free.

For the time being, she'd kept it quiet, relocating him out of the city where his list of enemies (which was steadily growing to be as long as hers) couldn't reach him, so it was out to the NY countryside and Our Lady of Blessed Mercy, where Maya had a few reliable contacts. Leaving the masked vigilante in the capable hands of the sisters there, she'd departed to let him convalesce with instructions to message her when (not if) he awoke.

The message had come this morning, and now Maya passed through the foyer outside the convent's sanctuary, one hand clutching the rosary around her neck. A bespectacled nun was leading her down the hall towards the dormitories.

"So how bad is it?" she asked, rolling a bead between thumb and forefinger as they walked.

"He's very resilient," the nun answered. "It might take a while, but we expect a full recovery. Perhaps take it easy for the first week or two, though."


When her guide wordlessly stopped at a door to one of the guest cells, then turned to glide smoothly away, Maya knew she was in the right place. She paused, feeling a bit underdressed (it was a business casual day, so no armor and no real weapons, although she did have a knife hidden in a shoulder holster under her jacket), then shrugged and knocked twice at the door. Better this way than just barging in. It'd give him a chance to cover his face if he wanted to, or at least get some advance warning of who was showing up.

"It's Echo."

A pause.

"...uh, if you're saying anything back, maybe keep in mind I can't hear any of it."

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