- Listen, we don't have much time.
- -- Ronin.
Appearing in "Ronin (Part 1)"
- New Avengers
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Ronin (Part 1)"
Today – Osaka, Japan: A mysterious ninja, clad in a black suit, a black and gold vest, and gold and green leg, forearm, and shoulder coverings is surrounded by a group of Clan Yashida thugs in a bar that was trashed a few moments ago. The ninja, with green glowing eyes, attacks the Yashida thugs, armed with guns and swords. The ninja stealthily avoids two thugs with swords trying to slice and dice. The ninja then beats them all with nunchucks. Standing upon the pile of bloody henchmen, the ninja repeats the question asked earlier. Who will tell the ninja what he or she needs to know?
Yesterday – New York City It is a beautiful day in Central Park, and Matt Murdock, attorney and superhero, takes a walk. However, this is not a leisure walk. As Matt walks, up ahead appears a handsome blonde man in normal street clothes. The man address Murdock, and Matt greets Captain America. Cutting straight to business, Matt tells Captain America that if this is about joining the Avengers, then the answer remains the same. Keniuchio Harada, simply says Captain America. The Silver Samurai, replies the concerned Murdock.
Stern-faced, Steve tells Matt that the Silver Samurai was one of the forty-two criminals who escaped the Raft during the breakout last month. Matt is surprised to hear that forty-two escaped. Steve tells him that he had the same reaction. It never ends, replies Murdock. That is why they have a new Avengers, replies Cap back. Matt speaks up, but Steve asks him to just listen for a moment. Keniuchio Harada was brought to the Raft that day for international crimes involving his cousin, Sunfire. He escaped the Raft during the riot and was spotted boarding a plane to Japan the same night. Whose plan, asks Murdock. A dummy corporation, answers Steve. Hydra, asks Murdock. Cap replies that he was told it was the Hand.
The Hand, asks the confused Murdock. No, it can’t be. It must be the Yakuza. S.H.I.E.L.D. can take care of this. Can’t do that, replies Captain America cryptically. Why, asks Matt. We can’t discuss this here, replies Steve. Matt asks if that is French for Cap doesn’t want to tell him. No, replies Steve. It is English for they can’t talk about it out in the open. That is why Steve is asking him why he thinks a group of ninja assassins would go to the effort of sneaking the Silver Samurai out of the country. Matt, however, is not convinced the Hand would. Their best bet is Clan Yashida. It its day, it ruled the Japanese underworld.
Matt continues to explain that the Yashida brought in ten times more money than Wilson Fisk. The money also had ten times the blood on it. However, the Yashida clan splintered without a clear leader and had has seven leaders in the last two years. However, if someone like the Silver Samurai was in charge as the kingpin of Japan, even as a puppet, well then the Hand has a powerbase. Cap tells Matt that this has to end before it starts. No one knows the Hand or Japanese underworld better than Matt. Wolverine does, replies Matt. Steve replies that Wolverine is not available and they do not know when he will be. He is still an X-Man, asks Matt. He is, replies Steve. And an Avenger, asks the astounded Matt. When he can, says Cap.
“We need Daredevil.”
Today – Osaka, Japan: The mysterious ninja, now having all the information needed, hitches a ride aboard a bullet train through Osaka. When the bullet train passes by an ancient Japanese fortress, owned by Clan Yashida, the ninja leaps off the train and into the thick vegetation. The ninja then uses a hook and rope to scale the side of the fortress wall, and into the fortress.
Yesterday – New York City: Annoyed, Matt Murdock tells Captain America that he really can’t believe him. The man cannot take a “no” for an answer, right? Ignoring the griping, Steve tells Matt that the world’s organized crime is in total disarray; the Yashida Clan, Wilson Fisk and even Doctor Doom if you analyze your definition. All three of those empires are in shambles. For the Yashida Clan to make a move to get their name back they have to do something major. Like Matt said… having the Silver Samurai back in Japan would be a start.
Matt cannot believe that Steve is guilt-tripping him into this. Steve tells him that they need to know what the Yashida’s plan is and with who it is with. Of course, getting the Silver Samurai back in jail would be great too. Daredevil cannot join the Avengers, says Matt bluntly. What can he do, Steve retorts.
There has to be a way to make this work. This situation has to be taken care of. Fed up, Matt asks Cap if he understands. He has a target on his back. He has been ousted in the tabloids as Daredevil. Everyone knows his identity. Steve’s government – the United States government – is pursuing him with everything they have. He has six federal task forces assigned to bring him down. They want him in jail even if it means legally letting go of every criminal he put behind bars. The government wants Matt in jail more so than criminals. Why do they do this? This is because the fed that throws him in jail will get a federal judgeship. This is what he is dealing with. He told Steve once before and he will repeat himself now. There is no way that he will put Steve, Peter Parker, Luke Cage and the others in his line of fire. He will not do it.
Even if the Avengers saved the world from an alien invasion or saved every life on Earth in a flurry of heroism not seen since the days of mythology, or even if Jesus himself joined the team – the next day all the of the Avengers would be sucked under a bus just for knowing Matt Murdock and Daredevil.
Cap immediately replies to Matt and tells him that he may not know this but there was a time when the uniform of Captain America wasn’t working well for him. He had trouble representing the US flag and the country. To make a long story short, he stopped being Captain America. He put on another costume and called himself Nomad – representing no country.
Matt pauses and then turns to face Steve. Really, asks Matt. Yes, replies Steve.
Today – Osaka, Japan: In the fortress of the Clan Yashida, all is dark and silent. The mysterious ninja runs through the darkness of the open gardens and pavilions into the open-air halls of the building. As soon as the ninja ducks into the shadow, a scribe enters the hall and walks down reading a scroll. He passes a few pillars, unaware that he is being watched by the ninja. Suddenly, sensing something amiss, the scribe turns around and looks into the shadows, dissecting them with his eyes. However, he sees nothing and just continues to read his scroll and walk on. As soon as the scribe is gone, the lone ninja emerges from the shadows and proceeds deeper into the fortress.
He comes to the end and opens a door to the outside, looking out into a courtyard where a group of men have met in the middle. In the middle of the cobble path is an ornate chest. On one side is Keniuchio Harada – the Silver Samurai – dressed in robes. On the other side is a representative of the Clan Yashida. Four ninjas of the Hand stand with them.
The mysterious ninja cannot hear what is going on, but watches as Keniuchio greets the Clan Yashida representative, who then opens the chest to reveal the Silver Samurai’s infamous armor.
Yesterday – New York City: Matt Murdock thinks for a moment, and then tells Cap that here is someone he knows, and this person knows everything that he knows. This person knows everything that the Avengers need from Matt. Really, asks the intrigued Steve. Matt continues and explains that this person can do what Steve needs just as well as Daredevil can. This person has the same training and same fighting styles, as well as the same knowledge as the Hand and the Clan Yashida. Cap asks Matt if he trusts this person. Absolutely, replies Matt. Someone I know, Cap asks. Matt does not think so.
“Who is he?” asks Steve.
Today – Osaka, Japan: The mysterious ninja continues to watch the dealings occurring in the courtyard. Keniuchio picks up his helmet and smiles. He then pulls his sword from its sheath. Suddenly, he hears something he does not like and turns. The ninja, who did not hear the noise, follows the gaze of Keniuchio and sees a woman with green hair, clad in all green clothing emerge from the domain with two agents of Hydra. It is Madame Hydra, better known today as Viper. Viper approaches Keniuchio and kisses him on the lips. Meanwhile, the mysterious ninja, who is too busy watching, does not notice a large group of Hand ninjas sneaking up from behind.
Yesterday – New York City: Sometime after his meeting with Matt, Steve meets with Matt’s contact at a highrise restaurant. The contact, who has long black hair, remains silent as Steve sits down. Cap begins to speak immediately and admits that he would rather have met in private, but understands his companions concerns. If he may be blunt, he wasn’t thrilled with what intelligence he could find about him or her. The connections to Wilson Fisk and his associates are questionable at best, but in his life he has learned to not judge people so quickly. If Matt Murdock vouches, then that’s good enough.
They need someone to find Harada, find out who he is in business with, and what the plan is. The Avengers need someone to slip in and out undetected. However, they don’t expect him or her to do this alone. However, no one knows more than him that a fight can come from any direction. So, if, and only if, he or she has to fight his or her way out… please… no killing.
Today – Osaka, Japan: The mysterious ninja blows a sword with nunchucks and then ducks as another sword is swung. The ninja then punches one ninja in the face, and that ninja’s head snaps back into the head of another. The mysterious ninja leaps over more Hand ninjas and kicks two in the face while in mid-air.
The mysterious ninja escapes the building and runs across the rooftops. The ninja then looks behind and is horrified to see a whole army of Hand ninjas following close behind. The mysterious ninja kicks some away and blocks more attacks, but is soon forced to using a sword and stab the attackers – spilling much blood.
Nearby, as the Stark Enterprises headquarters in Osaka, the mysterious ninja eventually climbs up the side of the building and to the roof patio of Tony Stark. The ninja moans in pain upon reaching the top, and is confronted by the Avengers, who are all in shock. Spider-Man is taken aback, and Spider-Woman asks the ninja if he or she is okay. The ninja tells the Avengers to listen, as there is not much time. The mission to infiltrate the Yoshida fortress was successful. Harada is there. He is with the Hand. Yashida and Hand seem to be back in a partnership. However, the terrorists Hydra are there with Madame Hydra.
“Oy with the Madame Hydra!!” exclaims Spider-Man.
Iron Man speaks up and says that Madame Hydra fell off the grid about two months ago. Confused, Cage turns to Cap and asks who the ninja is. Cap ignores Cage and asks the ninja if he or she is ok. The ninja apologizes for failing. Confused again, Cage tells the ninja that it sounds like the job was successful.
Suddenly, several throwing stars streak through the air and stab the ninja in the back. The mysterious ronin collapses, as a wave of arrows and stars fly through the air. As the Hand ninjas descend on the rooftop to attack the Avengers, the ninja once more apologizes for failure.
- This story is reprinted in New Avengers: Secrets & Lies.
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