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Chapter Three: The Salvation of Paradise
Intimidation was not something Loki was used to seeing from those he deemed beneath him. Which, these days was everyone, but especially the mortals. But still, she held the sword: the one that had been stolen from him some years ago. The implications were puzzling for sure, and maybe that was why Victoria was not yet begging for her life. But then a moment passed and the novelty of the situation faded. Annoyed with the woman’s false bravado and unmitigated gall, the Security Master moved toward the white-haired telepath, ordering his men to restrain her. But before he could wrap his long disgusting fingers around the alabaster skin of her neck, Loki hesitated. He glanced toward the phantom that caught his attention, but even the God of Mischief was too slow to catch sight of Barry Allen, the fastest kid on Earth. Dismissing the thing as nothing more than one of his many personal demons lashing out at his sanity, he quickly refocused his glare on Victoria. But in the spot where she had just stood, now held nothing. For before the guards could seize her, and while Loki’s attentions were momentarily elsewhere, Ms. Essex took the opportunity to use one of the many gifts her creator had equipped her with, and vanished amongst the whipping folds of her cloak. She thought that particular ability had vanished along with the near sentient shroud that she used to wear, but in a moment of desperation she seemingly tapped the ability once more, willing herself intangible and reappearing who knows where.

Unlike Quicksilver, Barry, having learnt more than a few tricks from his super fast forbears, had little trouble avoiding detection as he moved through the corridors at lightning speed. Even when just a split second ago the God of Mischief himself looked right at him, Kid Flash had but to vibrate his molecules just enough to blur beyond the visual spectrum, effectively making him invisible. Of coarse if the Security Master had used the all-seeing Eye of Agamotto, Barry would have been seen for sure. It was lucky for him that Loki was far too arrogant to rely on anything as trivial as a magical talisman to perform his duties: at least as long as his men were watching. The speedster was across the room in a hundredth of a second, crouching beside Batgirl as they watched Loki’s reaction to Victoria’s disappearing act. He was obviously upset at loosing one of the Separatist upstarts, but the pleasure that filled him upon looking at the one time Avengers that lay unconscious at his feet seemed to sate him enough to move forward with his agenda. He barked at his soldiers as he opened a portal in front of him, “I fear this was not but a distraction. These wretches are a shining example of what happens when you challenge the throne, and it is time that their friends are taught that lesson. Our lord needs me now, but you, my men, will remain here. I want that impetuous woman found, for mark my word, I shall retrieve that sword.”

With but a handful of guards left to oppose them, Batgirl knew that the time for action was now. But they needed a distraction. She formulated a quick plan of action and instructed Barry to relay it to the others, unseen by their Asgardian opposition. Once they each understood their role, Franki gave them a nod from her position and the plan was put to action. Logan, Iron Fist, Barry and Husk leapt forward from their divergent edges of the room, surprising and surrounding the guards. The team knew they only had to hold the brute’s attentions for a few minutes, but that didn’t make the demigods any less imposing. But the diversion would give Alex, Abbey, Cloak and Batgirl, the team members most familiar with subterfuge and shadows, a chance to complete their mission. And with Barry’s intel on the dungeon’s layout to help them along, the rescue of little Kya went off without a hitch. Of coarse having the guards completely distracted by Barry’s incessant taunting and Logan’s witty repartee, all the while being pummeled mercilessly by Paige’s adamantium fists and Iron Fist’s chi powered blows, helped considerably. Once the rescue team had attained their goal, Cloak swept back through the shadows and into the main chamber, whisking it’s teammates out of the fight and into the moonlight that lay above. A short distance away, a portal waited: looking just the same as the one Stephen Strange had used to deposit them into the desert in the first place. Trusting that he had sent it for them, they made their final escape, just as the Asgardians busted through the Hulkbuster base’s main gates, finally destroying the thick steel door’s one remaining hinge.

Stepping from the portal, the Watch were once again in the company of Porjyst and Zarrko the Seer in the caves below Landsbystyv. The Watch found themselves with many questions, mostly concerning the well being of this realties heroes. They had met them only briefly, but wondered how their campaigns in the war against Asgard had fared. Zarrko couldn’t help but be blunt as he explained that the heroes would not survive these battles, although he rationalized the hard truth as historical fact, explaining that it had already been written into the future’s history. For Zarrko was a man of the future, and like it or not, history had a way of fulfilling itself. But even in the shadow of the hero’s fates, he went on to explain, the Watch had heroically and perfectly completed their small part of this realty’s history, allowing small Kya the chance to grow up to be the great woman that he knew she would be.

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