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Chapter Three: The Salvation of Paradise
The townspeople began to take more of an interest in the members of the Watch as they moved about. It was true that some of them seemed frightened and nervous in the manner in which they went about their business. But the fearful among them were largely outnumbered by the rest of the villagers that seemed all too happy to be living in paradise. But like all humans, they were inquisitive. Odd looks and sideways glances filtered over the newcomers. It wasn’t mistrust that they felt toward the strangers, just curiosity. With a cheerful demeanor and a genuine smile across his face the man turned and replied to Logan, “Good day sir. The burgomaster’s office be but a few blocks up the road there,” the middle-aged man indicated before continuing. “I have seen not you nor your friends in Landsbystyv before. Have you traveled far to be here?”

Victoria did her best to shake off the mental assault that the Phoenix had caused her. From the unseen dark alley that she had concealed herself within, she called out to any familiar minds in the area, hoping to find someone out there that could help the team in their search. But there was no one. The psychic plane was silent save for the low buzz of the people around her, and the Phoenix which sat malevolently in the back of her mind. Feeling its control returning, the Phoenix cackled once more, ”The Child of Light is all alone, with nothing but the Darkness to comfort her. And soon she will not even have that.”

Doing his best to relay his thoughts and feelings, the Cloak projected a thought to Franki, hoping it would be enough. “Protect you” Realizing that she would have to trust the people that Strange surrounded her with, Franki, with some trepidation, replied, ”Yes.” Taking her response as an affirmation to his plan, the Cloak swirled quickly, making it look as though Franki had wrapped the shroud around herself. And just as soon as he enveloped her, she found herself in the Dark Dimension. A cold chill hit her instantly, freezing her to the bone. But what impacted her most were the large looming green eyes that seemed to appear in the black. But this time there was a voice that accompanied them, “Yon mortals shall not manage to hide from the Security master fore’er, not so long as the Eye of Agamotto is mine to command.”

Deciphering the Watch’s location had been a simple matter for the Security master, for he had all the tools necessary to keep watch over the lands once known as Earth. And once he had found them, it took no time to distribute the realm’s security forces. From out of nowhere, the clouds above them parted and two large shadows began to descend upon the village of Landsbystyv. From the safety of the bookstore, but before she could begin to pour over the books therein, Abbey saw a most amazing sight through the store’s large front window. Landing in front of Alex, Barry and Danny, two white horses with golden bridles and beautiful feathered wings touched down, with two large men astride their backs. With mace in hand and clad in blue and black with a helm trimmed in white fur and adorned with two large horns, the first security man spoke to the three men before him, “Hold yon mortals. What be thine business in this quiet hamlet?”
"Alex, Barry, these two appear to be Asgardian in nature. I don't know if you're realities are riddled with modern day mythological beings, but mine is. They tend to be a little more battle ready than I would prefer, so PLEASE don't do anything that will cause any undo conflict. I know this is especially hard for you, Barry, but NO sudden movements." Danny slipped back into a leadership role as if he had never left Heroes for Hire Inc. He hoped his commrades didn't mind being told what to do, but he assumed that he had more experience than either of his two far younger teammates. "Good afternoon, Sirs. I was merely taking my boys here into town for the day. You see, it is my youngest son's birthday today, and I promised to spend the whole day with him. He has apparently partaken in too many libations today, and now we are in search of the nearest facilities to which he may relieve himself. I'm not particularly familiar with this part of town, so we were hoping that eventually someone of kind heart would lead us in the general direction of such facilities?" Good lie, Rand. Hopefully you don't get you're head cleaved off.
When life hands you lemons, you gotta squirt lemon juice and life's eye and make it your B!TCH
The Eye? Here? In this place? But how? When? Who would allow such a thing to happen? Who was this 'Security Master'? What had he done with Strange? Was it even safe for the Eye to be in the dark dimension? Was it really there? Was this person merely using the Eye to peer beyond the earthly plane?

She was cold, this brave young woman, but so long as it was with her the cloak could keep the darkness from stealing her inner warmth. Her life. It could in fact protect her in that respect, and was. But against someone claiming to have the Eye of Agamotto, what could it possibly do? It had to keep it's word. Protect her. Make her safe. This Security Master didn't seem to be a threat while they were on earth, so that became the safest place for her.

But what if she wasn't ready to leave? What if this was their chance to find out something about what was going on. What if....what if they could somehow steal back the Eye? Was that safe? Probably not. Definitely not. No. No putting her in any more danger. But he couldn't just make her choices for her either. Would she want to stay? To leave? To inquire?

"Stay? Leave? Ask....questions?"

It could whisk her out of there in a heartbeat if she wanted. Or it could continue to shield her from the more adverse effects of her current location. The eyes were green. How come it didn't notice that before? Because it couldn't see in color. But now..... Her eyes. It must have been what she was seeing. And hearing. It had heard the voice. But it saw them. Spoke to them. But didn't attack them. Was it a security master becasue it was supposed to protect something? What was it trying to protect? Where, was it trying to protect? Who?

The Eye of Agamotto? The dark dimension? Kya?

So many questions.....
"Ugh. What kind of a lame lie was that." "Dude, you already showed you were an out-of-realiter by making your most genius observation." He rolled his eyes as he whispered, but stood still, he didn't want to cause any of the others harm by suddenly moving about. "Keep it in just a little more... brother." he said with a mocking tone towards Alex, going along with the plan for now, although he wondered how Danny was going to account for the other team members.
From her spot in the alley Victoria shook off the eerie voice of the Phoenix in her head.
"What the hell is going on with it?" she whispered to herself. But what she couldn't shake was no matter how hard she tried to find a psyche she knew, none existed. It caused a lump to form in her throat as thoughts of what could have happened to this reality to cause most of the people she knew to not exist.
She was brought out of her thoughts by the booming voice coming from down the street. Peering around the corner she saw Iron Fist, Alex and Barry being questioned by the man with the horses. Something about his manner of dress, his speech, it rang a bell inside her mind somewhere but she couldn't place it.
She had two choices, she could stay where she was and let these guys try to work their way out of it. Or she could move in and if they got taken, at least she'd be with them and be able to help.
With a fingertip to her lips, she smiled darkly. It was something she hadn't used in a long time, but she felt now was the right time. Closing her eyes and inhaling sharply, she willed herself invisible. Satisfied with what she had done, she opened her eyes and walked out of the alley.
"Barry, Alex...Iron Fist...I'm right behind just can't see me. Don't freak out. I just want to know what's going on."
"Invisibility? Damn, you rock." Barry thought/replied. He tapped his foot lightly, at normal speed, so as to avoid any suspicion and slowly whistled the M.A.S.K. theme "Masked crusaders, working overtime, fighting crime, fighting crime..." he almost silently sang to himself. "You won't use that invisibility anytime for a quick feel of my behind though, will you? I don't mind the mind reading, but..." The smile was almost hard to surpress, but he kept his cool.
Logan was a bit surprised at the man's answer. Not only had it been direct but he had recieved it with virtually no effort. Such surprise, however, was well concealed, as the stonic expression on Logan's face did not waver in the slightest.
"You could say that."
He was already heading the direction the man had pointed out before he had finished his reply. He did not bother to locate the other two women who had stayed behind with him, nor go after the rest of his fellow teammates. He cared little of what they did with their time. He, however, wanted this mission to over as quick as possible so he could focus more on his own desires. And so, without even looking back, he made his way towards the burgomaster’s office, paying close attention to his surroundings.
Paige was still reeling from what Victoria had told her after all something was going on with the Phoenix, which usually wasn’t ever a good thing. “Don’t panic Guthrie.” Paige muttered to herself as she ran a hand through her long locks and tried her best to look like she fit in. While she had been lost in her thoughts it seemed her teammates had all continued on with the mission, Franki seemed to have chosen to join with Cloak and Logan had already left following one of the villagers to god knows where. “Looks like ah’m goin’ t’ have t’ figure out what t’ do next on mah own.” She sighed softly, having thought she’d given up any kind of leadership role back when Gen-X had disbanded. ‘Toria, where are yuh? Paige questioned mentally trying to get a handle on where about all her teammates might be.
Franki was trying to process it all, like a crime scene; working through every detail of what she had heard.
‘Yon mortals shall not manage to hide from the Security master fore’er, not so long as the Eye of Agamotto is mine to command.’ The voice had said, it meant little to her right now…she didn’t know what the Eye of Agomotto was, at least not off the top of her head. At least they had been shown a real threat, whoever this Security master was, he was suspect number one as of this point; he would know where Kya was mostly likely, but was it safe to ask.

“We don’t intend to hide,” Franki called into the darkness, then with a mere thought she answered Cloak, “Let’s leave, I don’t think playing twenty questions with Greeny will get us the answers we need.” The dark-haired woman attempted to keep herself from shivering, it was beginning to get dangerously cold in this dimension.
“I need somebody to explain this Eye of Agomotto to me, I haven’t heard of it before.” She waited for the being to respond, continuing to watch the set of green eyes.
As one with legs would move to take a step, so did the Cloak move to take Franki out of the dark dimension attempting to place the two of them right back where they had started in the foreign little town. The entity had allowed him to leave once before so it assumed the same would hold true this time.

"Focus. Powerful. Eye. Magic."

That wasn't going to do. It needed better words to describe such a thing. Or at least more words. The Eye was an amazingly complex and amazing simple thing. It would have to do better until one of the others could fill her in. At least it was beginning to remember more and more words as it stayed joined with her.

"The a Focus....for Powerful.....Magics."
It took all of Victoria's self control not to reach out and smack Barry hard on the bottom. But she did not want to give up her concealed position any time soon. She stood silent of course and kept in touch via her telepathy.
"Barry, you're very lucky I have an excellent sense of humor...and duty. Otherwise, I would have smacked you so hard across the butt your grandchildren would feel it. Now hush and get to finding out who these guys are."
To Paige however, she was far from silent.
"I'm standing behind Iron Fist, Barry and Alex. Just thought now would be a good time to whip out that great little invisibility I rarely use. " She caught a hint of the fear on the forefront of Paige's mind and tried to reassure her.
"Hon, since Dr. Strange slapped the Phoenix around before our last assignment, It's been acting strange. Hell, I have and don't know why. At first, I thought maybe...well...I really thought I was pregnant. I'll explain later...nows not the time. What's going on over there? Keep me posted. If anything goes down here, I'm the silent shadow. "
A sound outside pulled Abby's attention away from the book in front of her. She looked out the window and she couldn't believe what she saw. Down the street she saw the carriage and wondered where it came from.
“Gotcha, focus for powerful magics.” Franki responded, filing that away, “Not my area of expertise, but I’m going to guess that this person having it in their possession is not a good thing.” She was really hoping they could get out of this dimension quickly, the darkness was beginning to bother her.
"You just know you'd like it." Barry replied as he kept his position, but refrained from adressing these people. Not only did they look like they could kick his ass from here too Sunday, they would probably think that he would be disrespectful, and as such, he wisely kept his mouth shut.
Blues eyes followed the line of travel that Logan had taken, wondering for a moment if make she should keep an eye on him. Though soon decided against it figuring he might not be against physical violence towards his own teammates. Make sure t’ keep a close eye on that speedster, he’s a good kid but reminds mah way t’ much of mah little brother Jeremiah. Heaven knows Jeremiah could never keep himself out of trouble. Sighing softly as she allowed herself to momentarily drift away into memories of family, Paige quickly cursed herself and forced herself to get her mind back to the mission. Pregnant? Yuh’ve got some talkin’ t’ do later for sure. Taking a quick glance around Paige noted that not much had changed, Cloak and Franki were still ‘joined’ and Logan was still in her line of vision just further away then she’d really like. Everything’s peachy right now, but ah’ll keep yuh posted.
The winged forces had been dispatched quickly once the realm’s Security Master was aware of the outsider’s presence. None could hide from his watchful eye. Especially those that would seek to upset the balance that had been built on Midgard. Astride their mythical steeds, the two Asgardian security men eyed Danny, Alex and Barry with an exceptionally critical eye. Lowering his mace into the palm of his hand in the most menacing of ways, the first man raised an eyebrow under the harsh shadow that his helm afforded him. As he contemplated the lie that Iron Fist had come up with, he said nothing. He merely stared at the much smaller man in the most intimidating of ways. The second man, Yarsug, spoke up, “Do ye believe we are as easy to lie to as your fellow Earthly lot? The village’s privies are clearly marked just there,” the Asgardian pointed to a small wooden sign not far behind them written in Nordic symbols. “So tell us, what be the true purpose of your presence in Landbystyz?”

With his curiosity piqued, the man whom Logan had questioned followed along a few steps behind the reality tossed hero. Travel was not a common practice on Earth these days, so to find a group that had journeyed across the country side was intriguing. Walking away from the security forces that had just arrived, the inquisitive man continued, “So my lord, what is it that brings you and your companions to Landsbystyv? We see so few travelers these days that it is something of a treat when newcomers cross our border.” But before he could say anymore, the middle-aged fellow heard the booming Asgardian voice behind him. Suddenly mistrusting of the newcomer and with a look of fear on his face, he started, “What have ye done? What could ye have done to alert the Lord’s security forces, and why did ye feel the need to lead them here to our home? Hogun and Yarsug are not called upon for any minor transgression. Ye have brought Asgard down upon Landsbystyv this day.” Turning from Logan with a sense of self preservation about him, the man known as Sigmarr backed away, shouting for the local security forces.

The dark dimension was a gateway of sorts between worlds. It allowed the Cloak access to information and places that were not easily accessible in the outside world. But it was not a place that Cloak held as his own. Others could gain access to the bitter folds of the dark dimension just as easily, and for similar reasons. A fact that he was reminded of as the Security Master used the place to gain information of his own. Realizing that their presence could hinder their mission more than it might help it, Cloak moved to whisk he and his teammate from the cold place and back to the real world. And though the green eyed presence that lingered within the ebony nothingness could observe their presence, he could do nothing to impede their escape. For that he would need more tangible enforcers. With a sound akin to the crack of a leather whip, the Cloak unfurled and placed Franki back into the warmth of the Midgard sun. Once again reunited with their teammate Husk, they were left between two unfolding scenarios. Down the cobblestone street on one side they could just barely make out the majestic winged horses and the security men that questioned their teammates. On the other hand, they could see Logan walking away, suddenly compromised by the fears of one of the local men.
They had made it back? That was good...wasn't it? Did it mean the eyes couldn't harm them? Or did it mean they simply chose not to? Either way the entire experience had left the cloak in a torrent of questions, its slightly agitated state reflected in the way parts of it moved softly about Franki's ankles while the parts around her shoulders lay calm. Though perhaps now that they were back and she had seen what it wanted her to see, she wished to be rid of him...

The concept of having to leave her so soon saddened the cloak, as up until this point it had only been with her in the dark place. But now, out in the sun and amongst the light..... Oh she had eyes. And ears. And a nose. And skin.... How glorious the senses were. It could stay with her a bit longer perhaps? Yes. At least until she made her wishes known one way or the other. Jennifer always had. So did Strange's apprentice. Yes, the cloak would remain for just a bit longer. Opportunities such as this did not come along very often, and to push it away so soon and so would be a travesty.

And so it sat, draped across her shoulders and flowing down her body perfectly content with it's present situation, if not still a bit worried by what it had just seen. Seen. It had actually seen something.
Logan almost regretted asking the man for any information at all. He had not counted on the middle aged man finding him intriguing enough to follow and his very presence was already starting to annoy Logan. He was about to tell the old man off when any attempt to do so was silenced. His forward progress immediately came to a halt and Logan swiftly turned to face the direction of the voice that had projected itself across the town. The old man that had been following him only moments ago was now looking at Logan as if he had been the bringer of death to him and his town. He didn't pay much attention to him. He was more interested in what had cause such fear, wondering if perhaps his teammates had gotten to this world's leader before he had.
The old man's blundering answered his question and slowly, a small confident smirk formed on the billionare's face, and what little attention he had been giving the middle aged man quickly vanished. It wasn't ruler of this world, but his security forces were close enough. With that the mutant enamored in white headed back towards his 'team', figuring that they were the cause for the sudden appearance of the 'Lord's security'. Seeing as how only one man thus far had paniced, due to the lack of screams and chaotic running from the crowds, he infered that no real confrontation between the two had started, if any, but he did not expect that to last. His pace was much faster than it had been before, though he was still moving at what he would consider a lesiurely pace. He was eager to find this Kya and end this mission quickly. He had other buisness to attend to and the faster this was over the faster he could get started on that, and learn more about Ms. Essex.
Victoria stood silently and invisible behind Iron Fist and Alex as they were questioned.
"Tell him the truth Iron Fist. Tell him we were merely travelers who have lost our way. That's really not a lie and maybe he can sense that." Victoria couldn't help but smile to herself as she watched their interrogators carefully. It all clicked with her as the main one began to speak again. She had lived in New York for far too long not to hear something along those lines in the Village. But not even that, just watched too much tv to know that Thor spoke the same way each time he was interviewed. These people were most likely Asgardian, but she wasn't willing to bank on that just yet.
"Paige, I have the sincere feeling something is about to go awry. Keep your ears open." Victoria's thoughts paused as she turned to see the man running from Logan yelling.
"Great...just what we needed." shaking her head, she contemplated the best method of becoming visable again, but then decided to wait to see what Iron Fist did make sure she wasn't going to have to reign unseen hellfire down upon someone.
Abby debated with herself. should she return to the books, or dare she go out and explore the comotion outside? Decisions, decisions. Deciding to go with the safe route, she turned back to the books. Afterall, the books didn't talk back and she might just find something here.
"Yeah, well okay. He doesn't need to pee himself." Barry said with a hint of annoyance "Look, we were just kind of movin' along our merry way, you know how it is. Anyway, we kinda got lost, and we have absolutely no idea where to go next. Although, maybe he does have to pee?" he said with a quizical look, and then smoothly moved into puppy-dog eyes phase and looked at the Asgardians before him "Think you can help a brother out?"
"I apologize, sirs. I was not being as truthful as I should have been. You see, my friends and I were just passing through this village. We are but nomads and don't really like to have so much attention drawn to us. We meant no ill will or malice to anyone." Danny was getting slightly more nervous but didn't let on at all that he was quivering on the inside. His calm exterior betrayed what was really going on inside. How's that Victoria? Think they'll buy the "truth?"
When life hands you lemons, you gotta squirt lemon juice and life's eye and make it your B!TCH
Franki watched Logan with shrewd eyes, reaching for the hood she hoped the Cloak possessed she weighed her options. It seemed that Logan was heading into the group that had been halted by the men with the winged horses, why he was doing such a thing she couldn’t quite pin point; it would make absolutely no sense for over half the team to be captured.
“Hey Blondie, I’m gonna see if I can get a bird’s eye view.” Franki told Paige in a low voice, investigating the structures around her for one that had a roof she could watch from, “Wanna come?” She locked her gaze briefly on the group again, taking a quick head count and judging how large the men with the horses actually were.

“I think that building would be best,” Franki said more to herself than to Paige, as she spotted a rooftop closer to the scene, but high enough that she could watch from there without being spotted, “I’m going to see if I can get around back of it, easier to climb without those two spotting me.” She began to move down the street in the other direction, but not quickly, she just kind of ambled. No point in making a scene, unlike some individuals on this team…
Paige let out a heavy sigh, how was it this rag tag group of superheroes were never able to actual do a mission without something going badly. Gotcha, keeping both mah ears and eyes open ‘Toria. Pushing her blond hair out of her eyes Paige glanced towards Logan’s location and fought the urge to make some snide comment. Frustration with the over all sitiution Paige clenched and unclenched her fists, trying to figure out a good plan of action that might keep herself and Franki from being spotted. But it seemed the tall dark haired woman was one step ahead of her, ‘Yuh know, that isn’t a half bad idea.” Paige replied as she slowly began to follow Franki down the alleyway. “Victoria asked mah t’ keep an eye out, and listen for any signs that things might be goin’ down hill.” The blond continued as she walked behind her teammate.

‘Toria, just a heads up that Franki and ah are goin’ t’ try and get a bird’s eye view of the entire street. Paige mentally informed the telepath, knowing that it’d be best if Victoria knew what was going on Paige’s end of the street.
"It might work." Victoria replied to Iron Fist as Paige's messages came through.
"Sounds like a plan Paige, just keep us informed." she replied before she stepped away from Iron Fist, Alex and Barry. Victoria walked towards the nearest alleyway and let her invisibility drop. Pulling the hood up on her cloak, she walked out and slowly approached the guys yet again. Figuring that maybe she might do more good seen than unseen.
"What have you boys gotten yourself into?" she asked playfully as she stood behind Barry again. Looking up at the Asgardians with a careful eye, she nodded politely and made apologies for her companions for stirring such a ruckus in the town square.

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