Author's Note: Right, so what I've done here is try to condense everything I've thought about Bullseye and the last five or eight years of Daredevil continuity and chronology into a format that's somewhat new and hopefully interesting. The stage directions have been excised, dear Readers, and the idea is a sort of disassociation thing. Supply your own. Imagine an unlit stage and all you, the viewer-or rather, the hearer-is doing is sensing those sounds. Voices in the dark... Or I'm just being lazy in my writing. A note on language: when possible my image of Bullseye is that he's always shifting dialects, accents, and subcultures. Hence the Maine 'ayuh' and the certain lack of prepositions. It's a thing, and indeed part of the vast charlatan web he's weaved over the years for fun and profit. At any rate, I hope you enjoy this little vignette and it's association with the oddly compelling Shadowland storyline, lately from your friendly neighbourhood House of Ideas.
"This all started because of Sammy Silke. You know that?"
"Silke. Silke, Silke. Oh, the mobster? The young guy, the Chicago guy?"
"Bingo. His dad's a big mover and shaker—they still call them that?"
"Right. Anyway. Sammy Silke. This was probably, say, three years ago? Before all this mess happened, before the Avengers went kaboom."
"I wrote those stories. You don't have to tell me."
"Fine. Anyway. Sammy comes up Shytown way, says his dear old dad's sent him on a mission of goodwill to His Lardship, the Kingpin."
"Ehh, s'a new thing I'm trying out. How do you like it?"
"Thanks. So Silke's shitting there one grey night, shooting the shit and losing badly at poker with some of Fisky's men. His indigent son of a whore included."
"Ayuh, that's the one. So Sammy apparently finds himself out a secret, biggest secret there is. Turns out, surprise surprise, old Daredevil's Matt Murdock and always has been."
"I wrote that story too, you know."
"Who's telling the story, eh?"
"Fine. Go ahead."
"Go fuck yourself. You smoke, what am I saying, I know you smoke, hand me one of those Lucky Strikes yeah? Yeah, thanks. Anyway. Silke finds himself this little piece of trash. God knows why anyone would care—I mean, aside from guys like you and me and Fisk, right? Your average idiot out there? He can't stand it. He'd rather string up little what's-his-face, Spider-Man, string his webs up on Fifth Avenue. Daredevil's small potatoes right?"
"You talk about Spider-Man like you've never met him. Or you forgot him."
"It was a busy few years for me. Anyway, what's the fucking deal? He's Spider-Man, not some junior prom trollop."
"So Silke talks to poor dumb Richard Fisk, who's got it in his poor dumb head that his daddy needs to be taken out da game. Know what I mean?"
"Well, don't look so bored!"
"I'm humouring you."
"Poorly, I'd say. Turns out Fisky puts the bug in Silke's ear and Silke gets the rest of the Kingpin's knuckle-draggers in on the thing. Bing bang boom, they stab his ass and leave him for dead. Way I heard it, Silke even threw some Shakespeare at old Wilson."
"And I know the end of it. Vanessa Fisk comes back and kills Richard off for being a poor dumb ingrate, and hauls what's left of her husband back to Switzerland."
"Kingpin of Crime just doesn't get the medical treatment it used to."
"No doctor in his right mind, with his malpractise insurance lined up, would've treated Fisk."
"Strong words from you."
"Try getting stabbed. It changes you."
"Boo frickety hoo. Look at me, you think I'm torn up about all those misses?"
"You mean near-misses?"
"Anyway. You know the story from there. I wanted to give you a little what they call context."
"I appreciate the sentiment. Can I ask you why we're interviewing?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing. I'm sure I don't belong here."
"You don't. But we'll get to that. First tell me what you think you need to."
"Good. Because you're gonna wanna hear this one."
"Here's the thing, and you can write this in your little steno pad if you want, but here it is. This all started with Sammy Silke, yeah? Poor dumb Matt Murdock goes off after that, gets the White Tiger killed, runs Fisky through a bar, makes himself a new Kingpin. Next thing you know Paladin's shooting his ass and I'm getting hit by a fuckin truck in broad daylight."
"Feh. All those days run together, know what I mean?"
"Yeah, guess you wouldn't."
"You said it ends with you."
"Because if I'm here then it means I won, Urich. At last. I'll even spare you the evil laugh. I won and Murdock lost and now you've all got to deal with it."
"So. You've become a martyr. Damn odd career shift, you ask me."
"I didn't, but thank you for your opinion."
"You said it ended with you."
"Daredevil's greatest enemy."
"So what are you dong here?"
"Let me ask you this. What was the last thing you remember?"
"I wrote this story too. I'm writing it right now. Not here and now, but now."
"On the roof."
"With Matt. With Daredevil."
"Yeah, and then."
"…How the fuck did I get here? What did you do to me? Huh? What did you do?"
"I didn't do anything, now get your damn hands off me!"
"Jesus, you're a real psycho, you know that? Why that surprises me I'll never know, but there it is. You deserve this. Okay? Take your damn hand off me right now. You know you can't do anything here. It doesn't work that way. You're powerless. I'd say you're alone but that doesn't matter. So you're powerless. Feel your spine. Feel it move like that? No adamantium. No pain. Jesus, who do you think you are? Daredevil's greatest enemy?"
"I am, you little cocksucker."
"Oh give it a rest. A little asshole with the weight of the world on his shoulders, all the rage he can muster, and all of it you direct at a guy that regularly beats it back. Like he always did. God, what's the point of you? Look at you. The great assassin, reduced to this. You can spare me the puppy-dog eyes too, they're an act, I know it. I know you. And you think you know me. You don't know anyone. Not that you care. You never beat anyone because you never knew them. Really knew them."
"Was an open book. Always was. That's how you got her. Anything else has been a really lame sport for you. Or unbeatable."
"People are still waiting for you and Matt to go down in flames. Together. One great battle for the soul of Hell's Kitchen and look at you now. Here. Because that great battle was a cheap shot. A bland re-enactment of your greatest triumph. And now look at you. Stuck here with me—well, a version of me. Retreading what you think is important. So sit back down and work through this and maybe you get to go back. Or keep pacing and thinking you can beat this, you can escape this, you can kill this. There is no killing this. There is no 'further' or 'beyond'. This is it. You did all you could, you died anyway."
"Stabbed. Through the chest. Daredevil. Just the way you always wanted it."
"You're a son of a bitch. A real fucker, you know that?"
"Ask yourself why you're here. Do you even know where here is? Are you aware of the purpose of this?"
"Then shock yourself. Wake up."
"Tell me what the fuck is going on!"
"You died. Or you thought you did. Human consciousness persists and builds complex sub-realities to cope with the transfer from life to, well, unlife. Or you could call it an out of body experience. Your choice. Me, I'm here. Part of that magnificent brain of yours."
"So what now, Urich?"
"You can either face yourself and maybe go back. Or you can deal with this. And me—and you know, I'm just another part of you. A complex under-aspect of your mind, a spectre that you encountered maybe once before but you hung onto it anyway."
"You're not real."
"Try figment of your imagination."
"Is the place that is no place. Too spacy? I'll dumb it down."
"Why am I here?"
"Matt Murdock stabbed you in the chest, what's the mystery?"
"No. There's something else."
"If there is. You know I can't tell you."
"I refuse to figure this shit out for myself."
"Then you never move on. You just…stay here. Stay the world's greatest assassin, with a track record to show it. And an archenemy who killed you in cold blood and didn't even really care. So stay here or try to go someplace else, knowing anyway that you can't. You keep running because you can't do anything else. You keep lashing out, you keep killing because there's nothing else. Nothing else you know.
"You're not even important anymore, Bullseye. Just a relic. An antique to be broken and thrown away.
"And Matt Murdock just showed you that. You're sorry for nothing, Bullseye. That's what this place is. A halfway house for dead people who don't merit a pass in either direction."
"Maybe. Or maybe I'm wrong-it's possible, I still am just an extension of this complex postmortem hallucination of yours. Or maybe you're stuck here imagining me because someday, The Hand is going to slip away from Matt Murdock. Maybe they'll resurrect you. Maybe, then, you'll finally be on Elektra's level, yeah? She can't be on his mind all the time. Right?
"Maybe you'll come back. Maybe when Matt starts thinking about you again..."