A promise is made.
Inside the UN:
Delta V looks to Stark to make sure the medication is stabilizing his condition. He then takes the medical kit from the security guard and begins to work on Sallis. Delta V then addresses the security guard. "See if anyone else is wounded and let me know how bad."
"Yes, sir!" the guard answers, moving towards more of his co-workers, quickly organizing them into a detail.
Delta V, working quickly, competently, does his best to stop Sallis's bleeding. The wounds are bad, but blood loss doesn't seem to be a problem anymore. Still, Sallis is in shock, and the full extent of his internal injuries is not immediately apparent. If isn't in surgery soon, he will certainly die.
Nearby, three other security guards and Wiesel are hauling the stunned Captain America to his feet. "Get him out of here!" Wiesel yells. "To holding! Move!"
Cursing the woman's speed and his own rotten luck Emerald flies up after the shield. After a second of indecision the young Avenger flies through the door into the hall after the fleeing woman. He gestures to the shield as he passes and catches it in his right hand.
As Emerald flies through the press box, he looks down to see another journalist turning over the familiar form of Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich, the man struck by Captain America's shield when the Voice jerked him into harm's way. In the next instant, shield back in hand, Emerald is racing into the hallway and right into a clothes-line roundhouse kick that catches him just below the neck. If not for his force field, Emerald would surely have been injured badly by the vicious assault. As it is, his forward momentum spins him heels over head, tumbling through the air, through a plate glass window, and into a heap on the lawn outside.
Inside the UN, Delta V continues to work on Sallis while monitoring Stark's condition as well. He speedster is relieved to see a paramedic team rushing into the General Assembly and heading in his direction. Wiesel's guards have just about cleared the large room of delegates. Several journalists still hover on the sidelines. Wiesel himself, along with a few other guards, has dragged Captain America from the chamber and out of sight. Then, from a hallway across the chamber:
Delta V watches, his hands covered in blood as he ministers to Sallis, as the Valkyrie races across the chamber, executing enormous leaps over tables and chairs, racing towards the opposite exit.
Correcting her course almost instantly, there is a split-second hesitation in Aegis' flight, born of shock as she sees what has happened and, too late, it seems to make sense. Icy calm follows a drenching wave of fury.
_Later. Think. Can't get close to him, he'll just mess with the armor. So breaking his neck is out. If he's as powerful as Specter thought he was, nothing's going to touch himnot when he can see it coming, at least. So. Change plans._
Coaxing every ounce of speed from the armor, and wishing Tony had listened to her about the Mach 1 thing, she grabs a flagpole from the front of the building and appears ready to use it as a lance to skewer the Cosmonaut where he floats, no doubt laughing at her futile maneuver.
Behind the mirror of his face plate, the Cosmonaut arches an eyebrow as he watches Aegis tear the pole from concrete. _She is stronger than I thought_ he thinks. _But no matter. She is not strong enough to get through my magnetic field._
It is, however, a feint. When her course appears committed, Aegis lets the missile fly under its own residual momentum, does a direction shift that would have turned a jet pilot into jelly with some crunchy bits, and fires at the bloody-pawed monstrosity on the ground.
The KGBeast, now in human form, watches Aegis as well. Watches the flagpole come out of the ground. Watches the armored woman race towards Cosmonaut. Watches her execute a seemingly impossible twist in mid-air.
The pole hits the ground, coming up a bit short, but then bounds up again, ripping up great clods of earth in the process, spins around like a giant baton, and slams into the KGBeast, who was caught flat-footed by Aegis's sudden maneuver. The big Russian crumples as the pole arcs into his midsection, his body folding around the metal. Both man and pole hit the ground, tumbling to a halt several yards away. The KGBeast then lays very, very still.
As he gets to his feet Rick looks up to see Cosmonaut hovering over his apparently dead comrade. Even as he takes it all in Emerald reaches out with his power. Tendrils of green energy form into a gigantic fist, which swings up into the floating villain.
Ravdna races past him, heading further out onto the lawn, spear in hand. One quick glance at Dumas confirms her worst fears. The Specter is dead. Hoping against her eyes but with her faith in Odin strong she heaves Gugnir straight at The Cosmonaut.
Magical spear and telekinetic fist streak skyward together, straight towards Cosmonaut, who hovers motionless. Both stop short about ten feet away from the space-suited Soviet. With a BAM! the telekinetic fist simply hits and rebounds a few yards. With a ringing CLANG!, Gugnir ricochets, arcing high into the air to fall towards the street, where it lances through the roof of a parked car.
"This has gone far enough, I think!" the Cosmonaut's deep voice sounds out loudly.
He raises a hand. There is a ripple in the air, a rapid distortion of vision, not unlike the effect of heat rising from concrete, and, in an instant, red blood cells stop flowing through the bodies of two of Cosmonaut's opponents. Aegis and Ravdna let out choked screams, go stiff. Aegis falls to the ground with a THUD! and Ravdna topples over. Both lay, twitching, barely able to move. The Cosmonaut drops to only a few feet above the ground, facing Emerald.
"You are young to be a hero," the Soviet says. "I will be going now. Once I am gone, the your comrades' blood will begin to circulate again."
From out of the UN building behind Emerald rush nearly two dozen guards, firearms aimed at Cosmonaut.
"You can engage in a futile attempt to stop me," the Cosmonaut continues, "but I think you would agree that there has been enough killing here today. Make your decision quickly, boy. Your friends cannot live long with their blood frozen in their veins."
Emerald looks up at the older man, slowly nodding his head. "There's been enough death here today. But understand this, one day we will find you, and the terms will be more even."
Cosmonaut, his face hidden, simply nods. "A wise decision," he says calmly. "And, while I'm not so confident in your ability to set terms, I do believe it will be inevitable that we meet again. Until then, adieu."
And with that, the mighty Cosmonaut shoots skyward. Heading in his direction, in a sharp ascent from the opposite side of the UN, is a second figure who can only be the female who was, presumably, the Voice. Very quickly, the pair vanish from sight.
Then, there is a gasp and both Aegis and Ravdna are able to move again. They are in pain, feeling as if every muscle in their bodies has been bruised, but they are alive.
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© 2000 Mark L. Chance et al