"So what now?" she wonders eventually, turning her back on the vista with some reluctance. "Ill-fated though this venture certainly seems, it might be a wise thing to have at least some means of staying in touch with one another, in case something extraordinary comes up. Better than hanging about waiting for the dear colonel to call 'heel', at any rate."
Delta V arrives at the top of the Empire State Building. Even though he is moving at hyper speed, the more observant of his companions notice he has lost some of the spring in his step.
"What now, indeed," he replies to Aegis' quandary. "Two men died today and we could do nothing to stop it. That's not what we need to focus on. How many more would have died if we hadn't been there? Even though there have been losses, and mistakes were made," Delta V pauses and it is easily seen in his eyes that he blames himself for Dumas' death, "we are doing good and saving lives. We need to stay together as a group. A more solid sense of direction and perhaps a direct chain of command would help us function better as unit, but we are helping people and that's what's most important."
"Aye we have much to plan comrades...but lest we forget the danger of battle..." she looks to the visibly shaken Emerald especially as she continues "...The speedsters words ring true. Mine visions of death this morn included our benefactor Star as well as Dumas. Our efforts turned the tide of fate. Hela herself would be in awe."
"That said it is time we honor the fallen. I should make ready, brave Dumas' ascent to Valhalla."
Beth opens her mouth to say _Look, he's *dead*, God has it all sorted out by now, there's nothing else to do,_ but finds herself pausing.
"And how does that work?" she asks instead. The late Specter hadn't seemed the roistering meadhall sort, assuming that such a thing was even possible.
Janet feels the comfortable bed under her, and the warm blankets over. _It was all a strange dream, Union, Malachi, Dark Angel... There was no Red Skull, I am not a super-heroine_ Her eyes open slightly, finding herself staring at the hotel room ceiling. _I must have fallen asleep after the flight, I need to go meet Eric._ She begins to crawl out of bed. "Aagh.." The flash of pain from her chest brings her mind fully alert. She still in her costume, her ribs burning. She manages sit up on one elbow, finding her torn mask under the pillow. Just before she sees the familiar face of Adrian, coming into the suite's bedroom to check on her.
The Silver Avenger fills her in on what happened after the Red Skulls explosion, and what the others are doing. A knock at the hotel door brings a look of concern to the pretty blonde face. But Adrian quickly explains about the room service order. Seeing him still dressed in clothes she bought him at Dillard's, she motions to her pocketbook on the armoire. "Tip him with that, and just charge the meals to the room... Uncle Adrian." Her little jest brings a smile and then a painful wince to her face.
"It was the best I could come up with on short notice, I'm afraid." Adrian fishes a few dollars from Janet's purse. "I hope you don't have a strange family hitory I should acquaint myself with."
In a few seconds he returned to the bedside, gracefully holding a tray that bears a plate of sandwiches and a steaming bowl of chicken soup. "I know you were hurt, and the extent of my medical knowledge is that sick people should eat chicken soup. That being said, we need to get you to a hospital."
While eating the soup and sandwiches with more hunger than conversation. Janet says "You're probably right, I should probably go to the hospital, If I change into the dress I was wearing at the rally, We can make it seem we came from there. The dress is already dirty."
"That's better than any plan I had. I've told the others to meet me at the hospital where another injured friend of ours is. That should tie everything together nicely." Adrian takes another bite of his sandwich, chews and swallows, before continuing, "But it's also the 'colored' hospital. I don't know what the protocol is down herethe whole place seems strange, alien. I can't imagine that they'd refuse to treat you, but they might not look well on someone coming from that particular rally. I just don't know."
"It wouldn't be lying, I was at that rally, but not for the reason they may think. Perhaps we should just ask the cabbie to take us to a hospital. Surely he would know better than we which is the correct one. We can meet up with the others later.
"That's probably for the best, but I still feel, I don't know, guilty about taking an 'easy' solution. Accepting the way things are down here, just because I don't know the rules. Forgive me. I'm just babbling. Adrenaline aftermath, I guess."
Shaking his head, Adrian continues, "But as a change of topicdo you know anything about that Ghost Rider figure that appeared with you at the rally? He's with the others right now, but...well...all of my deductions concerning him and his abilities seem to have been incorrect. While he has been quite helpful, he seems awfully sinister for a potential hero. That's more worrisome to me than Sue Storm's antics."
"I never saw him before the rally, he just sort of appeared out of nowhere. I left him alone, mostly because I was busy trying to protect the crowd, and myself. I'm pretty new to this heroine stuff, and from the looks of me, I didn't do to hot."
Adrian lays his hand on her arm, interrupting her self-deprecation, "Don't underestimate yourself. You did fine. Not that I have years of experience under my belt to judge, but from what I have experienced half of the battle is just having the courage to get involved in the first place. You rescued myself and my companions, stopped missiles from destroying downtown Birmingham, and were ready to protect us from various insidious attacks if they arose. Don't obsess on any mistakes or bad luck when you have so many good points to focus on."
Adrian leaves her to her modestly, and closes the bedroom door. There isn't much swearing, but after a considerable length of time, Janet painfully steps into living room. Even in the ruined dress, and her hair all askew, she is quite a sight. "Did you call for a Taxi? I don't think I need an ambulance."
Adrian had already gathered his things together back in his duffel bag, and was waiting patiently for Janet to prepare herself. "There's one on the way. We should be there in a little while. How are you feeling?"
"I'll live, but I've felt better." Janet leans on the old man, letting him support her to the elevator and down into the lobby. "If anyone asks about the delay from the rally, we can just say I am going under protest, and you are just looking out for my best interests."
As they're waiting for the elevator, Adrian comments "I just hope no one questions why they never see us ENTER this hotel, just leave it."
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