This is especially for rozk, who introduced me to Jessica Jones.
This is an Angel / Marvel crossover, set two years after the end of Angel Season 5 (and ignoring the comics), and shortly after the end of the first story arc in The Pulse. For more on Jessica Jones see her Wikipedia entry, and various Marvel comics, most notably Alias (nothing to do with the TV show) and The Pulse. See part I for disclaimers and acknowledgements.
Note – at the time earlier chapters were written I hadn’t read the final episodes of The Pulse, which might appear to contradict some aspects of this story. All will eventually be explained, (if I can come up with a sufficiently plausible retcon) or is simply part of the normal “fuzziness” of the Marvel universe, its history continually altered by time travel etc.
Marcus L. Rowland
Ben Urich swallowed a mouthful of cannelloni and said “Joey Dane, huh? Small fry, I would have thought.”
“He was a leg-breaker for the Kingpin,” said Sergeant Duane Collins, tucking into his spaghetti. “Suspect for a couple of homicides, but nothing we could prove. Word on the street was the second hit was only supposed to be a bad beating, but Joey got a little over-enthusiastic and the Kingpin had to write off a couple of hundred grand. Everyone thought that the Kingpin would have him whacked for that, and Joey dropped out of sight for a while, but that was around the time the Kingpin had to bail out in a hurry and I guess Joey got overlooked in the excitement. Now that we know he can cross-dress we’re looking at him for some liquor store robberies last year, the perp was described as an ugly woman, that’s starting to look pretty solid.”
“So who’s he working for now? Or is he free-lancing?”
“Good question. Wish I could answer it. He wasn’t alone, that’s for sure.”
Ben’s ears pricked up. “You’re positive?”
“Joey wouldn’t know how to get past the alarms. That was good work, professional work.”
“Is he talking?”
“Not so far. As soon as he came round he asked for a phone call, his lawyer was at the precinct house twenty minutes later; the bail hearing’s this afternoon.”
“Think he’ll get it?”
“Hope not. You finished with that garlic bread?”
“I guess.” Ben passed the plate. “What about the victim? What can you tell me?”
“How much do you already know?”
Ben thought about bluffing, decided against it. “She’s pregnant, that’s about it.”
“Got a name?”
“I guess you haven’t. Why don’t you ask Jessica Jones? I heard she was working for the Bugle.”
“She’s… well, she’s being close-lipped on this one. Seems to think we’d be endangering the woman.”
Collins sipped his coffee. “She may have a point. There has to be a reason why they tried to take her at the clinic, rather than at home or on in the street. Maybe they didn’t know where she lives.”
“Do you know that for a fact?”
“You’ve got to remember, kidnapping is a federal offence; the FBI is already all over this. They’re giving us the mushroom treatment, keeping us in the dark.”
“Can you give me anything at all?”
Quirk casually jotted a few words onto a paper napkin, folded it, and covered it with a beefy hand and lowered his voice. “This didn’t come from me, right?”
“The Special Agents in charge aren’t from the local office; I’ve never heard of them before, and they have more of a military look than your typical FBI guy. My guess is some sort of Homeland Security task force. I think they flew in from Washington some time yesterday evening.”
“So this is part of something bigger, an ongoing investigation?”
“Your guess is as good as mine. Look, I’ve got to get back to the precinct house. If I hear anything more I’ll let you know. Don’t forget those tickets for the Mets.”
“I’ll have them on your desk tomorrow.”
“Thanks!” Collins collected his hat and left Ben with the bill and a folded napkin. Ben glanced around, making sure that nobody seemed to be paying attention, then opened the napkin. There were two names; Riley Finn and Graham Miller. Neither meant anything to Ben. Not yet.
Kat Farrell parked her Vespa scooter in the garage below the clinic and started to walk towards the elevators. On the way she passed three almost identical black sedans, and noticed that they all had extra aerials and complicated-looking radios under the dash. Probably police, FBI, or SHIELD. Her money was on the FBI.
A bored-looking policewoman was watching arrivals at the clinic. Kat ignored her and went to the receptionist. “Kat Farrell, Daily Bugle. Were you here yesterday?”
“So, the woman who was kidnapped…” Kat clicked her fingers and leafed through her notebook. “Got it here somewhere….”
“Nina?” the receptionist asked helpfully.
“That was it… what was her last name now?” Kat pretended to be searching for the name again.
“Nice try,” said an amused female voice behind her, “but I think that’s enough information for now.”
“Sorry, Ms. Raiden,” said the receptionist.
Kat turned and saw an attractive frizzy-haired brunette wearing leather trousers and a midriff-revealing leather top; “And you are?”
“I’m the new security manager. And you’re leaving, I think.”
Kat made a note and asked, “What happened to the old security manager?”
“What do you think happened yesterday?”
“That isn’t going to play well with our readers.”
“And I should care because..?”
“If you give us a good story, we can give you good publicity.”
“I really don’t think so.” The brunette gestured to the policewoman. “You’re trespassing on private property and disturbing the patients, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
Kat looked around the lobby, noticed a distinct lack of patients, and raised her eyebrows. “I don’t see anyone looking very upset.” The policewoman gripped her arm firmly.
“They would be if they knew you were here. Better get on your way.”
“All right,” said Kat, making a last note. “How many O’s in ‘uncooperative’?”
“Six.” Ms. Raiden nodded to the policewoman, who walked Kat to the elevator, gently pushed her in, and reached in to press the button for the lobby before the door closed.
Once she was back on the street Kat stopped her scooter and called the Bugle’s research department. “See what you can find out about a woman with the surname ‘Raiden,’ don’t know how it’s spelled, my guess is ‘RAYDEN’ or ‘RAIDEN’. About five foot eight, late twenties or early thirties, I’d say originally from the west coast but I don’t know for sure. She’s the new security manager at the clinic, I don’t know if that’s her usual line of work. Check the files for Stark Industries and Fantastic Four Inc, there might be some connection there.”