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Chapter Two: Black as Night
Tessa looked from one teammate to the other, finally focusing on Paige, as she was the instigator of the episode, “Where in your thought process did you think that cuffing Rogue would be of any help to our situation?” Tessa asked her coolly, folding her arms over her chest. She marked the incident down in her mind, and made a note to watch Rogue and Husk when they were in the same room together, she also made a note never to leave them alone.
“Are the both of you alright? If you are, then we can continue trying to get a plan put together. As far as groups, I don’t want anybody going anywhere until we have some more information.” She looked at the remainder of the group seriously, “Now, I’m going to check and see if there is any working phone line left in this building that I can hack into for internet purposes, and I don’t trust leaving the two of you alone.” Tessa gave a mental sigh, “So, we’re relocating to where I can find a phone jack, Norrin isn’t enough of an intermediary to keep my common sense from screaming bad idea.” Tessa glanced into the room where Hank was still residing, “And seeing as Hank is caught up in his own world, I feel as if I need to play baby-sitter to the two of you, is that understood? If either of you so much as raise a finger in an aggressive way I will not be afraid to take disciplinary action.” She let that hang in the air for a moment before moving on.

It wasn’t nearly Black Queen level attitude, but it was the shadowing of her personality when she was deadly serious and frustrated, without actually showing either of those emotions too dominantly. She couldn’t help but realize though that this Paige had done something her Sam was known for doing, acting before thinking, it was intriguing to realize that perhaps that was a universal Guthrie trait no matter what reality you were from.
“Do either of you have anything helpful to contribute, or would you both like to sit on your asses in silence for a couple more minutes? It would be a waste of time, but seeing as this is not a dictatorship I have no say over what you do and when…just the ability to suggest what should be done.” She gave them both a smile, though it didn’t completely reach her eyes, in fact, it looked like a smile simply put on for show.
Even As Hank scanned the local airwaves for anything useful, he was well aware of the goings on outside of the room. "They need to find their own level of comfort with each other by themselves. They don't need me trying to force my beliefs on them too." he thought to himself, deciding to stay out of the arguments for the moment. "After all, opinions are like buttholes. Everyone has them and most people are offended by other peoples." He brushed his hands together to rid them of the ashy remains of Daredevil and stood upright.

Unsure if perhaps there was still something within the building which was preventing him getting a signal Hank turned towards the door and exited the room, glancing the the others still gathered in the hallway. "I'm going to check out upstairs again. We had to rush through it on the way down and I don't like lthe idea of leaving it like that. It might be an idea if the rest of you do likewise. Murdoch might have left something usable to us intact." he said as he walked past heading back up the stairway towards the Sanctum Sanctorum.

Entering the Sanctum, Hank made his way towards the centre of the room, looking upwards at the shattered ornamental window which had formerly dominated the room, letting his animal senses reach out into the night sky beyond. The normal sounds of New York which he expected to hear were strangely subdued. Tensing his powerful leg muscles, Hank threw himself upwards and through the broken window, landing easily on the roof outside in the lee of the chimney stack. Just another shapeless shadow on the New York skyline. Making himself comfortable, he began scanning again. Even if the streets were empty, surely some radio station would be broadcasting the news.
Norrin had been in a daze during the whole tussle with the Daredevil vampire. He had never before seen anything like that. He had become paralyzed with fear for a short while. I felt completely helpless. I wasn't able to do anything to help, and Barry nearly payed the ultimate price. He is an impetuous youth, and keeps getting HIMSELF into these situations, but I should have done something to help. Instead I just stood there and froze. Norrin walked over to Rouge and offered her a hand to get up off the floor. "Are you all right? That was a pretty good punch you took there. You look a little shaken." Surfer aided the young woman up off the floor, and in order to not show favoritism, walked over to where Paige was on the floor and aided her up as well. "Now, you two play nice, or you won't get any dessert. We're not going to get anywhere if we can't work out our own differences. Paige, I don't believe Rogue noticed you when she flamed on. Victoria had dismissed you from the room, and she was only trying to assist in fighting the villain in any way possible. From what I've observed so far, she is just a frightened girl who is trying to find her place in this world as well as on this team. Kind of like myself...except for that part about being a girl. I believe that had she seen you, she would have made sure you were clear of any danger before she acted. I know I'm a rookie too, but I am trying my best to find my stride. I believe all of us are different shades of disoriented at the moment. As far as the rookies go, we need to listen to what the Veterans have to say. We don't know exactly what we're doing right now. Me especially. I don't have a clue as to where my place in this team is, but I'm trying. We're ALL trying. Tessa, since you obviously have experience handling challenging situations, what do you suggest?"

When life hands you lemons, you gotta squirt lemon juice and life's eye and make it your B!TCH
Allowing herself to be helped off the foor, Rogue quickly regained her berrings. She thought before she began to speak, bit her tongue and decided it was best not to say anything that might get her in more trouble. Later she might apologize, but right now her pride wouldn't let her. For right now she would just listen. Not act, not respond, not do anything, just listen.
Sitting on the floor still fuming Paige glared up at Norrin and anyone else in close proximity to her, although she did take his offered hand and allowed him to bring her to her feet although the whole time the young southerner didn’t really listen to a word he or anyone else was saying. To her it sounded like a scolding for her behavior, and in Paige’s opinion she hadn’t been out of line at all, although she would think twice before hitting Rogue again after the little jolt she got. Tessa, ah’m not in the mood t’ be treated like a child. Paige mentally snapped at the telepath, although she counted Tessa as one of her dearest friends on the team and her words would have calmed Paige most days. But today wasn’t a normal day and Paige was in a horrid mood and really just wanted to find a small corner and curl up in it until the mission was over and she could take a quick break and see her family and Jono to make sure that they weren’t being lied to again. Because once burned you tend to be a little more wary of things. Brushing her blond hair away from her face, Paige straightened the hem of her jacket and dusted her backside off as she stood silently glaring at anyone who was brave enough to make eye contact with the young woman.

Shifting her gazes towards Tessa, Paige softened her glare just a bit and noticed that the older woman’s smile didn’t reach her eyes and was in deed put on for show. Look yuh out of everyone know how we Guthrie’s can be, ah’m not in the mood t’ be preached t’ or told what ah did was wrong, If mah Sammy is anything like yuh’re reality of him yuh’ll know that and injured Guthrie’s pride takes a long while to heal. So do my a favor Tess and let everyone know to steer clear of me. Paige trusted that Tessa would understand her reasoning for doing what she’d just done, and wouldn’t think anything worse of her for her outburst. Though the young woman was almost tempted to find someone else she could take here anger out on that wouldn’t give her such a mind jolt upon doing so. It was times like these that she really missed having Sammy around at least she could hit him and not have to worry about being scolded to badly after all everyone would have just seen it as sibling rivalry.

Without a word Paige moved away from the small group towards the stairs, slowly lowering herself down onto the top step she curled her knees up and rested her chin on them as she gazed blankly out at the wall across from her. Ah’ll come along Tessa, but ah’m not speakin’ out loud…because ah’m not certain what ah might actually say. And with that Paige waited for everyone to get their act together and move to wherever it was they were going to move to.
"No, I don't."
His reply was in a sobered tone. His mask was a personal item to him. It did more than keep his facial features concealed, it shield him from having to repeat the pain and deception he had experienced before. It kept them out, kept them distant. And yet, part of him felt guilty for it. Most of them had tried to help, especially Victoria, and the mask rejected that kindness, that friendship. It was that guilt that caused him to add to reply.
"But maybe I will, some day."
Peter pushed such thoughts aside, remembering the reason he had come out here in the first place. He had been watching Victoria and listening closely to her as she spoke her frustrations.
"I understand what you're trying to say Victoria and I don't deject you for having such thoughts. You have a right to feel angry, so does every former Nomad. And you're right, it isn't fair. It isn't fair that we were lied to on such a huge scale. It isn't fair that Scott and Sam and the others were all killed for a needless cause. It isn't fair that their loved ones will never see them again. It isn't fair that whole races, religions, and even worlds are persecuted for being who they are. It isn't fair that the rich and corrupt remain in power and in control while the just and the pure have to fight just to survive. It isn't fair that day after day, righteous and loving people have to go through hell, while others who deserve such a fate get away without a scratch. Life isn't fair and it's foolish to convince yourself otherwise."
He paused for a moment and shifted his weight onto his legs, so that his hands were free from the task of having to support his body on the wall.
"But that's the hand we've been dealt. Those are the cards we've been given. We can't exchange them for new ones. We can't change the past and erase pains we've had to go through. We have no control over that. What we do have control over is how we use them, how we let them affect our lives. We can let our agony get them better of us, consume us in all its hate and contempt. We can stay angry forever for having to go through such suffering. But in the end, it'll accomplish nothing. You will have wasted your life away, staying angry and never moving on, doing something with your life. However, we can choose to play our cards to our advantage. Your pain has helped reinforce how much your family and friends back home mean to you. By experiencing such pain, you've become stronger. You're familiar with it and you'll know how deal with it in the future."
He paused again before continuing.
"You can have two homeless men, each of equally poor economic and soical status. You can be like the first, who does nothing but complain about his life, thus trapping himself in a never ending circle of misery, or you can be like the second, who realizes his situation and does his best to improve upon it, tying to make the best of what life has given him. The point I'm trying to make is you can't alter what's happened. You can't erase the pain. But you decide how it's going to affect your life. You decide how to play the hand you've been dealt."
He watched her expression as he finished his speech, wandering how she would react to it. He hoped he had provided the comfort and help she needed instead of being an annoyance.
"Look, Victoria, I know we're not as close as you are with Hank or Tessa or Paige and I'm not the most social person in the group, but if you ever get frustrated again, and you need someone to listen to you blow off steam, feel free to pull me aside."
Victoria listened silently as Spider-Man spoke, turning from him to look out what was left of the window.
One hand raised up to run through her long white hair as he tried to put things in perspective for her.
"I don't plan on staying mad forever, but I think I'm entitled to a little anger." She glanced at him from the corner of her eye, the expression on her face was stoic.
"I think I'm entitled to be more than a little pissed off about things right now. Anyone who has been through the things I have for the past year would have some anger issues. I'm dealing with them the best I can. But when you've got a cosmic entity chained up inside you feeding off all those feelings, it's rather hard not to go off sometimes." her hand was still twined in her hair, gathering it at the nape of her neck as she sighed deeply.
"Close? Have you been sleeping lately Spider? Tessa and I have a working relationship, and yeah, I guess maybe we are close, Hank... I don't know. Things have been weird lately. I mean, ever since we found out, about...well, you know..." she paused and turned to look at him for a moment, searching the mask for something...anything. Finally she took a deep breath, let it out slowly and turned back to the window.
"Not to tell you too much, and I don't know why I'm telling you this at all... but Hank hasn't much more than held my hand since we found out what Sinister did to me. He's been real distant. I just don't know what to think." turning away from the window, she let herself slide down against the wall and sit on the floor, looking down at the dust motes.
"Why am I even telling you this...I don't know...I've gotten more affection out of Deadpool than Hank. It's like I'm unclean or something, or the thrill of the experiment has died and withered because now he knows the horrible truth." Victoria's expression was so blank, only the slightest hint of pain showed in it. Looking up at Spider-Man, she shook her head.
"I don't know...maybe I'd just be better off going home and dealing with things on my own for a while. Maybe we all just need some space from one another." her voice was soft as she stood up and dusted off her pants.
She actually preferred to end the conversation. Everything that was whirling around in her mind was just more food for the Phoenix's fires. Even though the entity had been eeriely silent since Dr. Strange had playing with it.
"I bet Tessa's been trying like mad to talk to me...So we should go see what's going on."
As the rest of the team remained safely inside the run down home, Beast took it upon himself to venture outside to try to find some answers. He dialed through the radio frequencies, desperately looking for any clue as to what was going on in this reality. At first it seemed that every station was only reporting the everyday happenings of the day. Stock reports and sports scores littered the airwaves. But after reading the upbeat news of the day, most of the stations changed tones, relaying the grim truth that the night seemed to hold. The announcers reported things like death tolls and vampiric trouble spots throughout New York as if they were speaking of gang activity. With a serious tone they spoke of the curfew laws and warned of the dangers of being out after the sun had set. Each broadcaster read these things as if it was nothing new: as if they had been reading the same reports every night for quite some time. Beast kept moving to new frequencies, looking for something more specific. He was so intent on his search in fact, that he didn’t hear the arrow whiz past his head until it was too late.

A large wooden shaft imbedded into the brick and mortar of the chimney behind Beast, having missed his head by less than an inch. Across the street, at the top of the neighboring building, stood the shooter. Perched in the shadows that seemed to envelop the city, he nocked another arrow and made ready to shoot. It was only Beast’s keen eyesight that helped the mutant see the man more clearly and make ready to evade being shot. Before loosing his next volley, the mysterious bowman noticed that he had been spotted, and held his shot long enough to shout a warning across the street, “I had heard that you filth had been desecrating this place! Your evil has spread far enough! Prepare to be punished!” And with that, the determined vampire hunter let his second arrow fly, aimed directly for Hank's heart.
"Filth? Just because I have the visage of a beast you see fit to judge me?" called Hank as he hooked his arm around the edge of the chimney, using the leverage to swing around, putting the stack between himself and the oncoming arrow. "I am not the one attacking innocent strangers."

Hanging on the backside of the chimney Hank braced his feet against the rough brick. His muscles tensed, bunching and coiling beneath his skin as he prepared to fling himself skyward towards his attacker. With a thrust upwards Hank was in the air, sailing upwards into the darkness. As he arced forward, Hank calmed himself and concentrated, and once more his body began to change as his gamma irradiated cells bulged and strained, expanding along bones which lengthened and thickened, under skin which was simultaneously thickening and hardening. By the time he reached the top of his arc, his transformation was almost complete, and thus it was almost 1000 pounds of snarling clawed muscle which began to descend towards the archer.
Inside the one time home of Dr. Stephen Strange, Tessa moved her gaze from her unruly teammates to the insides of her specially made tech-glasses. She proceeded to bring up different menus, searching for anything that might help their situation. Deciding that two heads might be better than one, she brought up the comm link menu and selected Hank’s name from the screen. Instantly, she was connected to Hank via their glasses, but what she saw was not anything close to what she expected. It was like she was looking through Beast’s eyes as he hurtled himself through the night sky toward his attacker. It took Sage no time at all to order her teammates into action. The ones within range of her voice heard her verbal command, and those who found themselves out of earshot heard the same command by way of Tessa’s telepathy. Either way, each and every one of the team heard the same order, “Topside, now! Beast is under attack.”

And sure enough, above the decrepit old brownstone, Beast was indeed under attack. Having luckily dodged the first two arrows that had been shot at him, he was now flinging himself directly into the line of fire, intent on confronting and hopefully subduing his attacker. As the archer readied and fired arrow after arrow toward his rapidly descending target, he quickly determined the identity of his prey. He was far bigger, not to mention greener than the last time they had met, but he was still able to recognize Beast easily. “I wouldn’t call you innocent, McCoy! And we’re not exactly strangers. I’ve had to clean up after you too many times!” The anger that filled the archer’s voice was obvious. Beast could tell that he was a man on a mission that had seen entirely too many vampire filled nights.

Once Hank had landed on the rooftop, the archer took a second to survey the damage that he had caused. Five shafts, each of them one inch in diameter, stuck proudly out of Beast’s gamma-irradiated hide. They were causing him some discomfort, but he could tell that none of them had penetrated far enough to be anywhere close to lethal. Realizing that he must have missed the green furred vampire’s heart, the shadow shrouded vampire hunter tossed his bow aside. He decided that he would need a less subtle solution to his approaching problem. From the twin holsters that he wore over his chest, he drew two 9mm Beretta pistols and leveled them at Beast’s chest. To anyone observing the scene, wielding a couple of hand guns in the face of a would-be vampire might seem ridiculous. Only the hunter knew of the blessed crosses that had been carefully carved onto each of the bullet’s tips. He held his position, waiting for Mad McCoy to make the next move.

Across the street, the rest of the Watch emerged onto the roof to see Hank, riddled with arrows, going after a man who could hardly be seen beneath the looming shadows cast by their teammate. It was only due to his immense size that they could make out Hank so easily. But the other man was almost completely hidden in the blackness of the night. Only now as he got closer to the man could Hank make out his attacker. The man had jet-black hair which was unobtrusively slicked back against his head. He had weapons of all shapes and sizes slung about his person, each of which obviously meant to take down creatures of the night. He wore military style pants, with pouches and pockets up and down each leg, no doubt containing even more ordinance. His shirt, which was tattered, torn and stained from countless nights of battling hell spawn was emblazoned with a stark white stylized skull. But as Hank looked the man over, one thing stood out amongst the rest. For even though it was tarnished and dented in a few places, there was no mistaking the Eye of Agamotto that hung at his belt.
Hank paused in his advance, not at the sight of the guns, but at the Eye. "Look.." said Hank indicating the arrows. "..if you have finished trying to turn me into the Porcupine, perhaps we could take a moment or two to catch our breath and discuss the matter at hand. Firstly despite the sharp teeth I am not a Vampire." As he spoke Hank glimpsed the team gather opposite from the corner of his eye. Flicking his gaze over the controls of his own glasses, Hank could see Tessa's point of view overlayed on his own, which was always a strangely disconcerting for the first few seconds."Wait." he thought to 'Toria. "I think this may be the man we are looking for." "Secondly, We.." he slowly pointed across the street. "..are not Vampires. We are The Watch. We came here looking for the Sorceror Supreme of this reality. We didn't find him. We did find a thoroughly disagreeable creature called the Red Devil or Death or some other such thing who had taken up residence however, and who tried, unsuccessfully I might add, to have us for his supper. Doesn't really matter now as he is dead... again..." Hank grimaced as he began to pull the arrows gingerly from his hide, watching as his flesh began to seal itself almost immediately. "I'm going to pay for this in the morning!" he thought. " I was up here trying to pick up some information on where to go next when you started using me for target practice. Now I'm sure this is just a case of mistaken identity. My name is Hank McCoy but I am not the "McCoy" you obviously know and despise. And who are you that you carry the Eye of Agamotto like it was a trophy?"
Norrin lingered just a few paces behind the rest of the watch. He saw them spring into action as Tessa gave the order to move out and assist Hank. He was still unsure of himself and his place on this team, but he was going to push all his uncertainties aside now and do whatever he could to unearth any shreds of his past life. He was sure that knowing these things would be the key to being useful as a part of the watch. He didn't know how he knew. It was just a...hunch. Allright. I'm going to try something now that I've been considering for a little while now. Sparky here seems to be able to fly at my mental commands. I wonder what would happen if I tried to stand on him and ride him around. Will he support my weight? Norrin steadily placed one foot on his surfboard. It seemed to be holding steady and not moving around too much for him to gain a proper footing. He then stepped up and placed the full amount of his weight on the board. It seemed to be able to support him. "Okay, that was the easy part. Now let's see if I can make it move without killing myself." He started out slowly only moving a little at a time. He was kind of like a little kid who was learning to ride a bike. I can't be screwing around too much here. Hank's in trouble. I'm not sure what he's up against, but who knows? I might actually be of some help. Norrin looked towards the window to his right and thought here goes nothin'. With the sound of breaking glass Norrin flew out of the window and proceeded to make his way to where the rest of the watch were standing poised to attack the newfound adversary. This is amazing! I'm really flying! I don't even feel like I can fall off. If I just concentrate, it's almost as if I'm adhered to the surface of the board! Norrin quickly went from reveling in his flight to a serious demeanor as he gazed upon the grim visage of their new opponent. "Isn't that the same thing Dr. Strange wore around his neck? Why does this guy have it?"
When life hands you lemons, you gotta squirt lemon juice and life's eye and make it your B!TCH
Victoria only turned and looked at Spider-Man as Tessa's message hit them all. Levitating herself out the nearest window and to the roof, she landed with a "thud" and walked to the edge of the roof.
"Stay back, don't do anything stupid. Hank said to wait." she turned back and looked at the rest of the team for a moment before turning back around to watch whoever it was that had decided to use Hank for a pincushion.
"Yes, you are going to pay for it, and if you're body doesn't make you McCoy, I will." Victoria crossed her arms and watched him with a very stern expression on her face.
"Hank can handle this people, for now, we stand guard. That furball has more power behind him than you think." she tossed her head just slightly to get the windblown whiteness out of her face. Not wanting her line of sight obscured for even a moment.
At Norrin's question, Victoria glanced at him from the corner of her eye.
"It does indeed to look to be the same."
"Maybe he's the guy we're looking for." Barry said hopefully "Anyone got a actual game plan set up? Sure, the big fuzz said to wait, but maybe we should take some kinda defensive position? Ya know, just in case." his thoughts out loud, he looked at the rest of the team and started to near the edge, taking a look down and then over to where Beast squared off with the stranger. "Not to worry, but I'm thinkin' that guy'll be packing a lot more heat if he plans on fighting vampires, no?" Barry said, ready to race to the other side and help out the big lug.
"We don't mean you any harm" said the Surfer as he shouted at Hank's attacker. "We are merely looking for this realities Sorcerer Supreme. We came here looking for him because in most of our realities, this is where he calls home. Not only did we not find him here, but we came across a frightening vampire creature who attacked one of our teammates." Surfer hoped his explanation of things would appeal to the attacker's ability to reason. He did not want to see another teammate in peril. What's more, he did not want to stand idly by and let another one get attacked. "We noticed you are wearing an artifact that in our realities belongs to Stephen Strange. Where did you get it?"
When life hands you lemons, you gotta squirt lemon juice and life's eye and make it your B!TCH
After the last battle, Rogue was vey hesitant to get involved in this, but at the same time she didn't want to get blamed for no doing anything either. After some consideration she decided to experiment with her powers. Afterall things had been going very well. Closing her eyes and concentrating her energy she shut all else out. When she opened them back up, she looked at her hands, she was indeed invisible. If the enemy couldn't see me, how can he attack me, she thought to herself. She wanted to get a better look at their current attacker, so Rogue used her power to create a disc to float closer to the combatants. She could indeed see the symbol the two other members of the group noticed on their attacker. Knowing full well that she couldn't be seen by anybody else she remained quiet. All she wanted was to have a full view of what was going on. Her big issue right now would be avoiding Norrin while he was taking his board out for a test drive.
With a calm and gentle motion, the mysterious attacker reached forward with his thumb, and eased the hammer of his pistol back, ready to fire. “You think a few pretty words and a dye job can get me off your case, McCoy? Think again.” With a deafening crack, a bullet, blessed by a certified man of the cloth, exited the chamber of Frank Castle’s Beretta at an impossible speed. Aimed directly for Beast’s heart, the bullet should have torn right through the would be vampire’s hide, and destroyed him on the spot. But instead, the bullet impacted against the super-dense skin of the Watch’s gamma level powerhouse, and collapsed upon itself, leaving Hank with nothing more than a momentary bruise, which faded to nothing before the shell casing could even hit the rooftop. Realizing that there was more to this McCoy than met the eye, Castle holstered his weapons and raised both hands into the air. Calling out to night he yelled, “Punishers, stand down!”

In response to Castle’s order, four men who up until that point had stayed completely hidden but ready to strike, made their presence known. One man, clad in a leather motorcycle jacket, was perched atop a neighboring building with a sniper rifle in hand that was no doubt loaded with the same blessed bullets as Castle’s pistols. The rifle was trained ominously on the members of the Watch. Another was crouched in the shadows no more than ten yards from the team. He was bald headed, dressed in black and clutched long wood bladed daggers in each hand. The third man, a dark headed fellow not much older than Paige, rose into the air from between the buildings, levitating under his own power. And the forth came from the shadows behind the team. As the tall dark skinned man stepped forward, he spoke an answer to Barry’s earlier assumption, “You got that right, kid. He’s packing a lot more.”

With his companions on standby, Castle turned back to the man that he knew as an enemy. Trust was not given to anyone in New York after sunset, and the vampire hunter was not about to break that rule now. With suspicion in his voice he answered Hank’s questions, “I’m Frank Castle. And these are the Punishers. We hunt the evil that hunts mankind. And this here ain’t no trophy. Its rightful owner was slaughtered by the $#!+ that preys on this city. I’m simply making sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.”
She stood silently watching the events play out before her. Any ordinary person would have been screaming by this point, Victoria stood only mildly amused by the fact that her love had just been shot and suffered no ill effects from it.
The only thing that did however seem to irritate her even more than she had been earlier was the idiot with the rifle pointed in their directions.
"I'm really beyond being amused at this point." she muttered more to herself than anything.
Victoria placed one foot up on the edge of the roof and called out to the trigger happy fool across the way.
"Not that I'm not the happiest camper in the world right now with you trying to put a bullet into my boyfriend's hide, but honestly, I'd rather not stand up on the roof and discuss what could easily be done in a more covert setting. The less attention we attract, the better."
Turning, she pushed past the team and made her way back into the building.
"hell, give them a chance and they'd probably try to shove a stake through me. Not that I don't have the best tan on the planet." she rolled her eyes and gave her white hair a toss as she descended back inside.
Norrin recognized the ringleader of this group of assassins. He had seen him in action back in his reality. He was roughing up some of the drug dealers that made the back alleys their homes.

"Where is he, punk? Where is the Owl holed up at? ANSWERS, NOW! Don't you dare think that I would go light on you like Murdock does. He's a kitten compared to me!"

"He's...he's down by the pppier. He's operating out of one of the abandoned bbboat hhhouses."

"Your not jerking me around, are you? ARE YOU?!"


A smirk crossed the face of the darkly dressed man, and he said, "Maybe you should have thought about these consequences before you got involved with the Owl's operation." The only sound heard after that was sound of a .45 being discharged. The dealer lay dead in the alley, and the man with the skull emblazened on his chest slowly walked away. Horrified by what he had seen, Norrin stayed motionless with his head down as the killer walked past. He didn't make eye contact for fear of angering the vigilante.

"Please, we don't want any trouble. I believe this to be all a grave misunderstanding, and I think our goals may be similar. I swear we aren't jerking you around."
When life hands you lemons, you gotta squirt lemon juice and life's eye and make it your B!TCH
Paige hadn’t said a much at all since her fight with Rogue, and for anyone who knew the blond well they knew that wasn’t a normal characteristic of a Guthrie. At the moment though Paige didn’t feel like being her normal talkative self, she was angry beyond words at the whole situation and was still fuming over having been lied to by the Timebroker. Glaring daggers at the men who held them at gun point almost, Paige had to agree with Victoria that this situation wasn’t making her any happier nor did she enjoy being treated like some horrible night dwelling beast Frankly I’m following ‘Toria back inside. Paige informed Tessa mentally, still not speaking aloud. With that said the petite young woman turned on her heels and made her way back towards the roof entrance of the building, her combat boots making loud thumping noises as she went.

Turning around for just a moment before entering the build Paige shot yet another glare at the men, and noted that Rogue had gone invisible. Lets hope she isn’t doing anything dangerously stupid. The blond thought letting out a deep sigh before making her way into the building, though she didn’t go much further then the first landing in the stairwell. She’d stay just close enough to be of help if they needed it, but far enough away that the goons out their wouldn’t be pointing guns at her anymore.
Realizing the truth of her words, Castle was forced to agree with the pale, vampire like woman that had just crawled her way back into the Sanctorum. As he began to give his men their orders, his attention was drawn to the alien that was hovering a few meters above the building. The leader of the Punishers narrowed his eyes at Norrin’s odd choice of words and then replied, “For your sake Surfer boy, I hope you are aren’t. Because I doubt that all of you are as bullet proof as McCoy here. But the lady is right boys, we have made enough of a spectacle of ourselves tonight. Move it inside!” Without question or hesitation, Castle’s men jumped at his orders and made their way toward the run down brownstone, with the members of the Watch following suit. Almost forgotten, the invisible Rogue was the last one to enter. She hung back in order to keep an eye on the pack of vampire hunters. But before she could follow the last of them inside, she heard screams and howls coming from up the street. From just inside the broken window in a deep foreboding voice, the dark-skinned hunter known as Blade looked back at the invisible form of Rogue and said, “You better get inside. Vampires don’t need to see you to hunt you.”

Once the Watch and the Punishers were safely inside, they gathered in a large library on the ground floor. They stood amongst tattered tomes and vandalized volumes that once belonged to the great Stephen Strange. But the Sorcerer Supreme was no more. In his place the Earth now found its mystical defense in the form of a hard worn vigilante turned vampire hunter, and his four less than friendly companions. With eyes the color of cold blue steel, Frank Castle stood staring at the Watch. Behind him, utterly bored with the whole situation, the Punishers quietly spoke amongst themselves. With an accusatory tone, Castle interrogated the members of the Watch, “Ok, I’m looking at you, and you know what I see? I see two people that I know to be god damned vampires. Two chicks that look a hell of a lot like vampires. A guy who I saw die three weeks ago. Two punk kids that might as well be meat. And a chrome plated weirdo. So I better hear a f@%!ing good story here, or I break out the stakes and holy water.”
Victoria was standing next to Hank giving him a thorough checking over when Frank started talking. Her pale hand stilled on Hank's chest with the remark "Two chicks who look like vampires." Turning her gaze on him, her eyes seemed to relay all the anger she had pent up.
"Looks can be decieving." she glanced back at Hank again before she continued.
"You want to know what we're doing here? Ok, I'll tell you what...each one of us joined up on this team to try to help Dr. Strange out. We all come from different realities and yeah, while that sounds far fetched, to me, so does vampires...anyway He sent us here to get rid of a "great evil." And personally, from what I've seen, it's because you ain't gettin' the job done. Now, any other questions bright boy?"
"I'm not saying you don't have a right to be angry. Blow off some steam. Be as angry as you like. I'm just saying don't let your anger get the best of you. I don't want to see yo-"
Peter's reply to Victoria was interupted by Tessa's telepathic message, and even though it was an urgent one, he was hesitant to leave. He was becoming increasingly concerned with Victoria. She had been put through a lot of pain and grief, both on her home world and during these reality hopping missions, and it was taking a toll on her. The wall clinging spider watched Victoria as she gave him one last look before taking off to help Hank. The spider soon followed her lead, heading towards the roof.
Peter joined the rest of his teammates as they watched Hank ward off the attacks from their new mystery man. The masked hero wanted to help but Victoria discouraged them all from doing so, pointing out that Hank obviously didn't need it. And she was right. Peter looked on as the man's bullet did little if any damage to the green exterior of Mr. McCoy. That seemed to get the attacker's attention, as he ceased his assualt and called his friends out of hiding.
Peter kept quiet as the leader of the Punishers introduced himself. It was a name that he recognized instantly. Frank Castle a.k.a. the Punisher, on his world anyways. Back home Frank had made an oath to bring down Osborn permanently after his wife and two kids had been killed in a mutant man hunt led by the President's star spangled lacky. Castle was an expert with any kind of weapon, and this version appeared no different. Frank never missed, not one shot. It was part of the reason he was so sure he could bring Osborn down. And so after months of planning and preperation, Frank went after Norman Osborn. He got close too, closer than most people had ever gotten. But close only gets you so far, and as punishment for his assassination attempt, Frank Castle was beheaded on live TV.
Peter had little time to dwell on the man's past any further for the team was soon moving back into what little shelter the interior of the building provided. He made his way to the far wall in the room they had stopped to converse in and listened as everyone attempted to sort things out.
Hank watched the remains of the bullet bounce on the rooftop at his feet before cocking his head at his attacker as if to say 'Now What?' before pulling out the last remaining arrow from his shoulder. "Nice Souvenir" he thought as he easily nicked off the arrowhead from the shaft with a flick of his clawed thumb, stuffing the prize into his pocket before letting the arrow drop. His nose twitched as he caught a familiar scent nearby. "That girl is going to get herself hurt one of these days." he thought, shaking his head a little and heading back to the Santorum with their new 'friends'.

Back in the relative safety of what was the library, Hank allowed 'Toria to give him the once over although he knew instinctively that none of his injuries would leave any permanent damage. He was for a few brief moments of peace just enjoying the scent of her, savouring it almost over the otherwise pungent odours left by the vampire in it's presumably lengthy stay in this house. "I'll be fine. Hopefully they'll think twice now before attacking any of us after severly underestimating me. they are probably looking at everyone else a bit more warily no matter how disparaging they are vocally." Hank looked around at the leader as he spoke. "Steaks and Holy Water? Sounds divine. Rare and Chilled. In that order." Hank was heartily fed up of everyone they met threatening them with some sort of ritual disembowlement. "If you are quite finished posturing, perhaps you would be kind enough to furnish us with your story." He slipped his arm around 'Toria's waist. "As the good Doctor here has given you the general gist of our own predicament."
Deciding that staying invisible for awhile wouldn't be a bad idea, Rogue followed the rest of the group inside. How did he know I was here?, Rogue thought about one of the hunters. Continuing inside, she listened to Beast's attacker and Victoria argue. It was kind of humorous. Letting her thoughts drift she concentrated on their silver companion. She wanted so badly to learn more about him. If I could just touch him. I could absorb some of his memories, and then I could tell him who he is and where he's from. No, would have to wait until after the mission at hand, maybe then I could talk to Dr. Strange about it.

Turning her focus back to the group, she waited for a directive. Rogue definately wanted to see some action. She wanted to prove her worth.

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