I am the Ghost Rider
New york city
Noble Kale, Aka Ghost Rider, Aka Angel of Death, Aka Serafin Zadquiel, Aka Ruler of Hell, has lived a long and very complicated life but now he was lazily sit in the edge of the Stark Tower in New york, smoking happily his smoking pipe.
He deserves it, after all he was one of the Avengers and part time Supreme sorcerer of earth; in general one of the most powerful heroes on earth.
He deeply hated this anti-tobacco law that didn’t allow him to smoke in peace, well, he admit that those things that sells on funny colored cardboard boxes are cancer time bombs but he only smoke real tobacco, naturally planted and refined with a pinch of alchemy in the process.
He traveled each time he needs some more, to old Europe to refill his pouch with a natural mix of tobacco, that put to shame all those death sticks in colorful little cardboard boxes, so with all that being said, he didn’t understand why he just could smoke in peace.
It was a beautiful night and he was just enjoying the aftermath of a very dangerous clash against a new shiny metal juggernaut of IMA, followed by a dozen of Extremis goons that were already on the verge of an overload.
Noble hates the machinery, it was as alien as to him as the skrulls, at last with the latter he could always knew when he was in front of one; skrulls souls are unmistakeable, something that comes in handy to identify a shapeshifter of the caliber of that alien race.
Give him old good magic before any tech crap, at the end of the day magic was way more reliable for him, it depends on the will and guts of the user and makes to always stand in your toes and do not grow complacent and fat.
Really, Noble didn’t comprehend how the hell does the humanity manage to mess their life so much with so many shiny neon things that only gives headaches or try to convince you to buy shit you don’t need.
Good God, he was becoming as grumpy as an old dragon and he was not that old, well his Spirit of Vengeance was; but Noble, the human, was not; he was around three hundred years old if the counts were correct.
He had lost some decades, traveled back and forth in the time stream a couple of times, escalated to the heavens, conquered hell and in general lost completely, any possible or logic notion of measurement of time.
Still, he has to admit the view of the city from one the top of one of the cities biggest buildings was a breathtaking experience.
This place was always so full of life, it was not a surprise it was called the city that did not sleep.
It was correct for what he could recall, he spoke with the consciousness of the city once and the city consider the notion of sleep as an aberration, from the perspective of the city; a genderless entity; any minute sleeping in a minute lost.
Few of his fellow avengers believed him when he tried to explain that to them, only Stephen, Thor, Logan and Peter believed him, they had seen oddest thing that the voice of a city, and it was curious that they didn’t believe it when Noble had use a confluence and shove the said city spirit directly at the throat of Magog before sending him flying to an empty plane devoid of all life.
Any case it was being a glorious battle and the souls of all the people slayed by Mangog, finally got their retribution, Magog was a creature of eternal rage and hate, a billions souls eternally claiming for a vengeance that they did deserve in the beginning but now they were nothing but specters and leeches, so blind on their own sorrow that they have forgotten anything that is not blood and fire.
Noble puff some smoke to the night, standing alone in the balcony of the attic of the Stark tower, he could enjoy his little vice in peace and do not molest any of the other avengers that were discussing in the broad room.
The last hot topic among them was how one of the last messes of Red Skull has lead to the discovery of seven ancient temples that could bring to earth seven Juggernaut-level like beings.
Only that was troublesome enough but Kale; despite being one of the most prominent magicians on earth; had a very faint and tense non-aggression pact with the Octessence and the eight divine like beings that conform that pantheon; they were on pair with the Vishanti, the entities that aid Stephen to keep earth safe from any mystical invasion.
Not to mention he personally knew Cain Marko, the Exemplar of Cyttorak, and hold no grudges against the boy that had already lived a complicated enough life to have to deal with this shit of being chosen by some crazy wacko deities in a royal rumble with the earth as ring.
All for just determine whose bigger.
Ah..this century has starting to affect him,he knew follow the advise of Spiderman and see more TV would be complete counterproductive, that thing was a poisonous as the whispered lies of Mephisto and twice annoying.
He walk at a leisure pace on the balcony, closing to the edge and inhaling deeply from the smoking pipe on his teeth, his fire was not affecting at all the materials of the pipe, despite being a seven feet tall blazing skeleton, with four inches tusks and fangs, an enoquian rune in the forehead and a crest of pointy spikes over his head.
He dress his usual black leather coat, golden trimmed with runes and his biker pants and boots, he was dressing the same attire since he managed to stabilize his Rider form after he was dethroned from Mephistos realm and forced back to earth.
Fortunately, Metatron perceived the sudden change in power and intervened, granting him a new flesh body and access to the heavens arsenal, making him the Spirit of Vengeance, the Ghost Rider once again, like he was in 1700.
After that it was just a matter of time that his level of power called the attention of the Avengers and after a little rough ups with all the magical side of the superheroes and the non magical side of the superheroes, he entered into the Avengers.
It was not all that bad, at last the avengers now do some avenging and not just be a reactive group that could only slap the wrist of some criminals and let them go, so they could plot another catastrophe from within their comfortable cells.
God be bless for the penance stare, nothing convince better the bad guys that to suffer in full detail and length what they have done to their victims until they seek for redemption and atonement, still there are people with a heart so black that no punishment was enough for them and then Noble just takes a vacation from the Avengers and clean the problem swift and discretely.
Notice that it only applies for supernatural menaces, Kale had bowed to never kill an innocent or a human being, he could punish, yes but not kill, only when he unsheathes the sword of Azrael, is he allowed to take a human life and only if the said life is already declared guilty beyond any possible atonement.
How he would love to meet Drakula again and impale his little dark and twisted vampire heart with the sword of Azrael and send his soul screaming to Pitts of Judecca where he could be the anal sex toy of Satan.
The vampire lord has cost him dearly; during a battle with him; in order to save the bodies and the souls of the X-men and half the population of San francisco; Noble performed a ritual, a lesser version of the dangerous Montesi Formula that could rid a world of vampires but not without a heavy price; that essentially cleansed all vampirism in a delimited zone, in this case the beautiful city of San Francisco.
But despite being a power house, to be more specific, to be able to cleanse the mutants, the humans and everything in between and do not kill any of them, Noble had to use a shit ton of magical power and celestial fire.
In fact it has been easier the obliteration of Sodoma and Gomorra than this, but that kind of information get the rest of the team on the edges; those little bits of information remembered them that he was a Rider, the Nukes of the heaven as Peter called him.
Raising one of his gloved burning skeleton hands, he called for a quick spell and manifested a dozen runes, glowing in red, yellow, gold and black, securing the pipe on his teeth he started to move the runes one by one in front of him, modifying and correcting any possible mistake or alteration they could have.
One of the advantages of his Rider form is that he was no longer affected for things like sleep, eat or drink, he will never tire unless he depletes his power source; something very improbable; he didn’t have flesh or organs so he will not be sick, neither could be poisoned and he could operate in a more efficient way that through the usual eyes-brain interaction.
Now he comprehended why the angels usually said that the human form was very limited, it was so constricted that it was a miracle they get out of the stone age; but see them now, they had reached limits that none of the serafins thought they could.
With a machine like attention, he checked the runes and reinforced them, just in case they could be needed in the future, after all, the live of the superheroes is the big book of what should not have happened yet it explodes in your face, when you needed the less.
He already had a very loud discussion about this with Tony, his faith in the machinery and his inventions was inspiring, he had to admire and respect his devotion to the cause of the science and how he was a perfectionist but the Stark tower was defenseless against a magical incursion and to prove his point he defied Stark to raise the defenses of the tower to Omega level and yet he will break the place.
Tony take the bet without a blink and two days later, Noble was waiting patiently inside the secured lab of Tony, comfortably smoking his pipe in front of the scanners who didn’t detect him.
It was so easy that it wasn’t even funny, he only had to paint an enoquian rune over his coat and presto, complete invisibility from any sensor on earth except from Latverian ones.
Doom was a very clever boy and mixed tech with magic long before any other brain of the superheroes did the same maths, Noble has already did those maths in 1719 when he forged his own pistols to kill a dangerous werewolf in Pomerania, the border of the German Empire of that age, it was something funny how most of the heroes trust science and feared magic like a plague.
If only they know that they were exactly the same thing but with another name, one deals in numbers and the other mostly in letters, different paths, same results, but good luck trying to convince Richards or Tony with that, so far only T´challa has listened to his theories and ideas about it.
He called it the Alchemy of Shadows and the potential was almost limitless.
He put the runes back in order and despite the pipe in the mouth, he start a quick praying to attune the runes to himself and the building, focusing the results of his works into key parts of the structure of the building but at the same time, far from any possible interferences that the personnel of the place could provoke with the drawings of the runes.
Some of the worst magic catastrophes he saw in the old days occur because an ignorant cretin meddle with something that was way beyond his understanding and provoke more troubles than it was worth it.
He suspected that the black death of the middle ages was a demon of the plague, accidentally released by some cretins and taking advantage of the cold period, he spread the nasty disease over all the old country.
It happens more often than it should but that’s why things like him were roaming the lands, they intervene before the things escalated too much and all went directly to hell in hot wheels.
Unfortunately, they were not omnipresent and the stupidity of the human race was something beyond measure, they always smash themselves against a wall, blinded by the seven sins that the devil granted them when the Serafin Lucifer fall from grace.
With a simple gesture, the runes scatter and disappeared in the night, soon they find their places all over the building and protect it from any undesired intrusions, he will have to talk with Stephen later, his defenses were good but he trusted to much in the Vishanti, not even they were omnipotent, even if they pretend to be.
A lesson that Kale learned very early.
Always be prepared and be versatile, one trick ponies are soon shoot down by clever opponents and in this job, there is no room for second chances, a century or so ruling the hell had show him that.
Once his job with the runes was complete, Noble just took his pipe and inhaled the strong scent and taste of the mix, enjoying greatly how that same sensations could bring him back to the innocence days when he and Magdalena were just a pair of youngsters in love.
Ah, another of the miracles of his condition, he could eat, taste, smell, see and hear, it was just that he was not limited like the rest of the human beings, there was no ocular gloves, no confining flesh organs, instead he just saw the world and fell it like an angel does and it was glorious.
He exhaled a big cloud of his unique blend of tobacco and with a playful finger, make the smoke twirl and took forms; a ship, a ring, a house, a dragon, an angel, a cross.
With humor he remembered how Spiderman saw him with the pipe one day and with his usual run mouth dared him to do figures like Gandalf, after a few explanations about who that Gandalf was; nice piece of literature by the way; he show the wall crawler how easily is to make forms if you exercise your will a little.
The door of the balcony opened and said wall crawler along an even more grumpy than usual Logan exited from the building to the upper balcony, their auras were showing a myriad of colors, just enough to make Noble know that things did not go well during the discussion downstairs.
“Good night my friends” saluted Noble to the pair, who waved back at him.
“Hey there, big guy” saluted Peter hanging upside down of one of his web slings.
Meanwhile Logan just humphed as usual and leaned on the wall, taking his own cigar from his belt.
“What are you doing here G.R?” asked Peter with curiosity “ this mumbo jumbo magic is just your alley”.
“I’m afraid that if I intervened with the Octessence they will call off the treaty I had with all of them” answered Noble with his usual politeness and calm demeanor.
It was something that all of his fellow superheroes find quite surprising, how could his appearance be so intimidating and at the same time being so calm and educated; as a mix between a doctor and royalty.
Well, perhaps it was because he was both, or at last he was, before the places and lands that he could reclaim as blood rights were lost in the constant conflicts that plagued human history, and about the doctor thing, he was more a witch doctor than any other title and he was not supported by the National board of medical examiners, so he could not call himself a doctor.
Ironically both him and Stephen; Doctor Strange; were doctors before they became Supreme sorcerers of earth in different times and occasions.
Noble was a firm believer on the old saying:
His powers as Rider must be used with wisdom and responsibility.
Perhaps that why he and Peter were so good friends, the boy was always saying that great powers brings great responsibility and Noble agree wholeheartedly with that philosophy, any other thing will just be egomania.
“Uh, Doc could use some support right now” said Peter “ he is the only spell-caster inside and he is having a hard time trying to convince Cap and Jess not to call a III war world alert about the possibility of seven more Juggys running out there”.
Logan scoffed and exhaled his own smoke.
“What kid said” shrugged “ I am more concerned about Magnetos daughter, Wanda is starting to get out of control”.
“And I agree with both of you” the “voice” of Noble was a curious thing.
It was not from a common vocal cords, yet all of them could hear perfectly, it can be recorded and in general works like any other common voice out there, if it wasn’t for the fact that he has not moved his skeleton jaws and he had not vocal cords to move.
“Calling in for a global alert will only accelerate the plans of the Octoessence as the remaining champions will found their temples sooner” explained Noble “ the biggest weaknesses of the Octoessence is precisely how they can not cooperate with each other, they hate each other guts, that’s the point of their Champions, like Juggernaut”.
“Give them time and they will destroy each other before they real conflict could even begin” shrugged Noble exhaling more smoke “ specially if Cain flips them the bird when the day comes and denies the beginning of the Eight day”.
Peter chuckled and Logan scoffed a laugh under his cigar.
“Now about Wanda...I honestly don’t know what to do” shook his head Noble and it did surprise a little the other two heroes.
Until now Noble has always been a pillar of wisdom and occult knowledge, all of the heroes that had work with him, did appreciated his calm and collected demeanor along his unique and sometimes dark sense of humor.
“Care to elaborate big guy?” ask Peter raising the under side of his mask and drinking a soda that he has carried from inside.
“She..she is not guilty” said Noble inhaling from his pipe and taking comfort on the taste “ her powers are more a curse than a gift, Chaos magic is something that one should never touch, not even in the most desperate situations as the chaos ;as his name implies; is completely uncontrollable”.
Noble raise both hands, creating a ball of fire in one and one of ice in the other.
“Fire is opposite to Ice” said Noble “ that’s common sense but for chaos magic, the common sense does not exist”.
He mix the two balls and instead of collapsing they merge into one basket ball size blue fire ball that glows dangerously in the skeleton gloved hand of Noble.
“Basic Chaos magic” shook his head Noble dispersing the ball in a cold wave “ Fire and Ice are just fuel, name it and the magic will make it real”.
“Fuck” said Logan eloquently as his cigar just cool down by the sudden wave, he lighten the cigar again taking deep puffs from it “ Wanda is losing her marbles Noble, that’s not a good thing, specially if she could do whatever the hell she wants”.
“What grumpy says” joked Spiderman, sure to be off the reach of Logan claws.
“And that’s my conundrum my friends” sighed Noble taking the pipe out of his mouth “ I could not do anything to her mind, I fear what I can unleash if I ever dare to try to impose my will into the mind of a Chaos magician like her”.
Leaning over the edge of the balcony, Noble turned to face his two fellow avengers to explain better his point.
“ No matter how powerful mind walker you are, the chaos will never bow to you, she could just see my mind and using the knowledge about heaven and hell to just reshape the creation” explained putting his smoking pipe back into the coat.
The wooden object was one of the few that he conserves from his first days on earth as human .
“Uh,not cool pal, not cool at all” nodded Peter as Logan grunted in affirmation.
“That’s why I did not want to be present in that reunion” shook his head Noble “ they will ask me to intervene and I will not, too risky, that’s why Stephen is there, he has a lot more possibilities than me to help the girl, I am too dangerous for her”.
“You should be called Witch Doctor” smiled peter “ you care about the patient as a real doctor would”.
“Do me a favor lad, and explain that to the members of the USMLE” chuckled Noble with humor “ they do not seem to share your faith in my healing abilities”.
“Cretins” simple stated Logan who own the Rider a lot, and not just for the fact the he was able to cure Jubilee form the vampirism that affected the girl but for all the times he has been there, taking care of the wounded superheroes during a lot of crisis.
“Ah, I do concur my friend” nodded Noble with a chuckle.
The trio just let the air of the night refresh them, they were friends, but sometimes the silent presence was more welcome than any conversation, they do share a tragic past with the lost of a loved one involved and in an ironical way of things, all three of them loved deeply redheaded women.
It was really hard to say no to a pretty redhead, as Logan eloquently said, and in their case, it was literally true.
Peter and Mary Jane, Logan and Jean Grey and Noble Kale and Satana Hellstorm.
True as hell, redheads are something else.
Any case, Noble was seriously considering some black ops of his own before the Eight days arrives and the conflict begins, he feared that the rejection of Cain of participate will force Cyttorak to choose a new champion, one that could agree with the Eight day.
However, the Exemplars could not see each other; much like their master couldn’t; and that will only make things easier for him to hunt them and rip their powers off, effectively ending the menace.
It will save the lives of the humans posses by the Octessence and stop for good the plans of the Octoessence, after that he only will have to collapse the temples and if possible destroy the items that transformed the chosen ones into Exemplars.
This last part could be a little tricky, after all the power of a god like entity is not easily disrupted and by their will, they will do anything to prevent the destruction of the objects.
The oldest one was the gem of Cyttorak that Cain found in that temple in Korea along his stepbrother Xavier.
The crimson bands of Cyttorak transformed Cain into a living Juggernaut, one of the most dangerous being on earth as he was literally unstoppable and practically immune to any physical damage.
In resume, a complete pain in the ass to deal with, much like half of the supernatural entities that plagues the earth 616 as Noble know this specific dimension, his short but intense adventures with the group called the X-iles show him how different the things were in a dozen of different dimensions.
It was a humble experience, even for the soul of a Serafin inside of him.
The night pass slowly, and Noble just enjoy the moment of peace, God knows they do not last long, there always a new storm brewing in the horizon, a new crisis to face, a new enemy to defeat.
Being completely honest, Noble loved that; he was a Spirit of Vengeance, if there is no retribution to demand, what is his purpose?, once he tried to be the Spirit of the Compassion, it didn’t work out very well, in fact he soon grew tired of forgiveness and went back to his retribution routine, it fell right for him.
Pity, Raphael was delighted with the possibility of Spirits of Compassion but seems that God didn’t want his Riders to forget what and why they were made for.
They are Gods hammer, Gods sword of vengeance, they fight for the humanity and their enemies shall know despair.
Catchy isn’t it?.
The night called him and for a second Noble let the night wave over him, no matter how many times he saved the world along the rest of the hero community, the humanity will keep drowning them in sin and evil.
Some by satisfaction, some by greed, some by lust, no matter how many capital sins you want to number, the humanity always found and merry them, it was the biggest gift and curse of humanity, delivered to them by Lucifer himself the first days.
Sharing soul with the essence of one of the most powerful Serafins that ever existed, only under the authority of God and Metatron himself, does have his perks, among those said perks knowledge was possible the best of them.
Ignorance is bliss, true, but The truth will make you free as well; and for the hunters of the darkness like him, the truth is the only thing that could help them save the day and reaffirm their wills so they could fight another night.
Ah, once again he lost himself in thought and self mussing of how the world twisted beyond recognition, ironically, the heaven didn’t want any of this, but the plans of God became altered forever by the hand of his own son Lucifer...or so it seems; who does know what were the plans of God?, the oldest one was a crafty one, much like the rest of the Chieftain Gods out there, starting from Odin and ending in Horus or Quetzalcoatl.
Noble suddenly repaired in the troubled aura of his arachnid friend, he was working on one of his PDAs, those apparatus that helped tech like the one of Stark and other scientific heroes used for their causes, Noble tried once to dominate one.
Not worth the effort after how the fucking trinket pinged with dozen of spam mails in the middle of a fight with a frost giant.
However he could sense perfectly well, how his arachnid friend was experimenting anxiousness and no little fear hidden under his usual iron will hidden by a motor mouth that could give Saturday night live a run for their money.
“What troubles you lad?” ask Noble without turning back.
“That’s for you Parker” bark Logan as a laugh.
“Uh?” was the clever answer of Parker as he still had his lenses on the screen of his PDA.
“Despite your brave face, souls don’t lie” explained Noble “ and I fell how disturbed you are since you started to work on your technological trinket”.
“Uh, you gotta teach me that trick” chuckled humorless Spiderman in a very un-spiderman manner.
“Still not answering my friend” Noble turned to face the other two with his hands on the back; it was an imposing figure, no matter how accustom you are to see him.
“Answer already Parker” said Logan munching his cigar “ you know as well as me that is almost impossible to hid something from him for too long, he is as hard to scam as a psy talent”.
“I resent that Logan” said Noble with a hint of amusement in the non-voice of his “ I always respect the privacy of all my fellow comrades in arms, but that never has stopped me from help them in any manner I can”.
“Yeah, busybody” accused Logan with humor.
He know Noble longer than the rest, even before he became part of the avengers, in fact they collide during the Independence war as they protect George Washington from a cabal of vampires during the first years of the nation.
“Guilty, so spill it lad” glared Noble with those empty flaming eyes of him and Spiderman gulped, he hated when Noble stare at him like that, it was like having laser pointing at your soul.
“You know Spiderwoman?” sighed Spiderman “ the girl got talent and all, she is enthusiast and Jess is doing a great job training her but since a week or so, she has disappeared from earth surface”.
Spider push some button on the screen and show them a blur image of said woman; dress in a very similar suit that the one, Jessica Drew, the first spiderwoman dressed ; entering in a Nightclub hanging from the arm of a tall and pale man of strong complexion.
“Blackout” growled Logan and Noble at the same time.
“Do you know the guy?” blinked Spiderman a pair of times under his mask.
“Only by reputation” answered first Logan “ a hitman who always kills his targets in the most gruesome way he can”.
“He is a vampire but not from the caste of Drakula, but from the tainted womb of Lilith” explained Noble “ this piece of shit killed my descendants girlfriend and family before we kicked his sorry ass along his mothers back to whatever hellhole they were spawned from, when the rest of the Midnight sons united against her filthy kin”.
“Don’t understand about half you had say” chuckle Spider knowing that Noble did carry all his mystical business far from the spotlight that the avengers tend to produce everywhere they go “ but, vampire?, that is not good, Jess tried to convince her that he is bad business but she didn’t want to listen and I fear the worst”.
“Say no more friend, this is now my business too” said Noble and there was no space for discussion in that voice, Noble could be tolerant with a lot of things but the family was sacred topic for him, you touch them, you burn, literally.
“But..” tried to reply Peter but another of Nobles empty eye holes glare shut him in a second.
“Now I really want to learn that trick, he managed to shut you up” laughed Logan “ good hunt Noble, we keep you informed about the Wanda mess and the Eight day gathering”.
“Thank you my friend” nodded Noble before raising a hand to his mouth and whistling loudly in the night.
As soon as the sound ended, a loud neigh could be hear as the mount of Noble answer the summon of his master.
As all Riders, Noble had a mount, in his case and considering he was from 1700, it was a humongous warhorse enveloped in fire and brimstone, he could summon other mounts, specially bikes, it runs in his family and they love to run together from time to time.
It was better reunion for the family than any other, together with their bikes and running in the road of heaven and earth.
Noble get up the horse, taking the reins of the animal and taking command of the beast before it gets to nervous and start destroying everything around, the last time it happened, the war horse demolished a castle belonging to the Stucker family in Germany.
“Point me to the direction of the club” said Noble to Spiderman.
“The Nightlights, downtown” said Peter “ good luck and please bring her back will ya?”.
“Consider it done, Farewell my friends, may God protect you” Noble turn the horse and both Rider and mount, jumped a hundred meters in the air, galloping over the night sky like it was a solid road for them.
Only a blazing trail of flames was left of their pass over the sky, like a living comet in the dark and starry sky of New york night.
“Showoff” squished Logan his cigar against the wall on where he was leaning.
“Yeah” chuckled Peter and followed Logan inside the building, to join the rest in the reunion.
Not a surprise Noble didn’t want to be, after all, it was just recently that he has relinquish the mantle of Supreme Sorcerer to Stephen Strange, when the previous Sorcerer reject the power of the Vishanti before they oblige him to fight in a mystical war that they were having against an unknown entity outside the common mystical realms.
Noble took the mantle and defended it with honor and respect, before Stephen found his balance again and could retake the role as primal magical defense of the earth, along the so called Midnight Sons.
Noble rode the night over his blazing war horse, traveling the miles that separated both buildings in a matter of minutes, he could do it in a matter of seconds but a blazing comet and the power output he could emit in that shape will rise the alarm of any mystical sensitive being in miles around about his presence.
The horse galloped, exhaling flames in each breath as he wanted to increase the speed and just charge ahead like the warhorse he was, not a surprise the beast was a violent one, it has been like that since the day Noble infused his spirit with pure celestial fire.
The joy of the animal as the energy that shaped creation rushed his veins was still present on him even after three centuries of service to the Rider that bonded him to his service, and the animal loved the free reign he had to gallop the heavens without any restriction like petty gravities of physical laws.
Soon they reach the place and Noble pull the reins, making the animal slow down to an easy jog that allow both of them to reach the roof of the building of the club and run over it as it was as easy as a solid earth, the horse whined, wanting to run more and to stomp some heads in his way.
It was a warhorse so it did not surprise very much Noble, it was in his nature after all but he has to be more collected about this one.
First of all, the vampires were not the usual scum without a House or a Clan to belong, the caste of Drakula or Varnae will not be caught in this mess by any means, they had their own little war brewing in the horizon as Drakula has reclaim Transylvania as his own kingdom and Varnae wanted a piece of that cake too.
Two Vampire lords fighting over a piece of land will only mean that lots and lots of blood will be spill, and Noble make the two of them clear that any single drop of that blood out of the frontiers that Drakula ;unfortunately; truly have rights upon, and he will rain fire and brimstone over their heads until all the country was nothing but an smeared surface in face of the planet.
He torched a castle to the ground with a carefully picked meteorite just to give his argument some weight.
It was a bluff, in order to call a devastation like the ones of Sodoma and Gomorra, the vampires truly had to piss off the balance of the world and the heavens, but what those leeches didn’t know the better for the rest of the world.
The second reason is the presence of Spiderwoman in the fray, the girl had power as she collected in herself the power of the Spiderwomen previous of her and in the state she was, something tells Noble that she will fight for his vampiric master to the death, something that will not be tolerated by any means.
He will not fail his friend if it was in his hands.
The third reason was the vampire itself; Blackout.
Noble was a little confuse about this one; he was a vampire up to a point but the unique mix of blood in his veins make him an unique and dangerous wonder in the mystical world.
He was supposedly of the progeny of Lilith, the demi-goddess: but a second or third iteration of that blood, perhaps one of his parents was a vampire and the other a true spawn of Lilith but in any case he had part of the demonic strength of his heritage and the blood drinking needs of a full fledged vampire.
So, what the hell was he doing with spiderwoman?, he was not precisely the most clever or flamboyant of the leeches that roams the night, in fact he was supposedly declared KIA after Noble descendant, Danny Ketch, the American Ghost Rider, chained him to the top of a skyscraper and let him roast in the morning sun.
Noble sense something odd going on around here and thanks to the years of suffering as Lord of Hell, he learn to trust his instincts when something was off and need to be double or triple checked, just to be on the safe side.
Standing over the roof of the building, Noble could sense the energies that emanated from the inside, the humming and rich essence of young souls, dancing and gorging in sins as their fathers did, as they grandfathers did, until Adam and Eve.
For God sake, next time a fucking celestial told you Not to eat an apple, do yourselves a favor and listen to him...or not, if Adam and Eve have listened, none of them will be there now, ah time paradox, sure way to get a headache.
Humming to himself a little, Noble considered what could be the best approach for this situation, he could sense now the presence of a dozen mystical beings down there, one of them had the sick lingering of the dark dimension and other had the unmistakeable stench of the Darkhold.
Dangerous, all of them, no matter how low they could be in the food chain, they could still, cause a fucking massacre in the mortals of the club, in fact perhaps that’s why they are there.
It was not a secret that vampire tend to trick their victims into a wild night before they feed on them, and as one say vampire, same could be said about demons, Sidhes and everything in between, so it was very common to find one or two predators among the sheep.
Noble raise a hand and perform a couple of magical gestures, his coat surrounded him completely and soon there was a completely normal person standing in the roof of the club.
Being unable of change back to a human form, Noble had to resort to all kind of glamours, illusion and shape shifting spells, most of them a variation or an adapted version of the original as they were not designed for entities like him.
Noble examined his reflection over the metal of one of the AC outlets of the building, he did had a passing resemblance with his own descendant, brown eyes, short hair, strong jaw lines and a three days beard; dress on bike leather jacket and jeans, coupled with biker boots.
Not sure if that was exactly the dress code in the bar but he had no idea of the current tendencies of the youngsters this days and he always had a soft spot for the biker stuff his descendants seems to be so fond of.
Any case he make the warhorse vanish in a implosion of fire and start walking down the emergency stairs at the side of the building, he jumped the four meters that separated the floor from the first set of stairs with easiness.
Under the spell, he was a seven feet tall hulking and blazing skeleton, so this kind of physical feats are quite easy, he could not compare in agility or speed to Spiderman neither in a contest of pure strength against Hulk but his powers were a bit tricky.
They were directly proportional to the retribution he had to exert over his enemies.
That could be a little confusing without further explanation.
Imagine that he was facing a band of street thugs, then his strength will be around the twenty tons at most but when he face enemies like Dormamu or Baron Mordo, his power went through the roof.
He was a Spirit of Vengeance but most exactly, he enacted Retribution with capital letters, as more sinner his enemies had, more powerful will he became, not limit tested yet except for the fact that he knew that he could face Dormamu and give the ruler of the Dark dimension a run for his money, and it was before Azrael give his sword to him.
As the chorus of the Seraphims sang during the creation of the universe, the sword of Azrael, angel of death will produce no wound that will not be lethal; making the sword a very dangerous relic to have around.
Noble chained and bounded the weapon so deep within him that only when the fate of the entire earth hangs in the balance, allows himself to handle the sword and collect the souls of the transgressors.
Noble past through the corner of the building and grunted when his eyes perceived the decorated glyphs that surrounded the arcade of the entrance of the club, those are some serious symbols and it could mean a lot of problems if he had to resolve to violence.
It marked the building as a safe mystical heaven for all creatures of the night, no matter what kind of creature are you, there you could enter and be among peers but at the same time, mingle with the human cattle, like lions eying their victims in the savannah.
In resume, it granted Blackout and whoever was having a drink inside, relative diplomatic immunity.
“God, give me patience” muttered Noble doing the cross sign over his chest and forehead before walking to the door and the big bouncer that stand like a stone statue in front of the metallic door of the club.
And it truly was a stone statue; a gargoyle under a very expensive and master crafted glamour that make him appear like a common human bouncer, yet bald and with features that seems made of stone, not pun intended.
The guardian look his way and no doubt his eyes pierced the low illusion Noble had cast over him, but it matters little, the creature will know that he was not one to be mess around and let him pass into the club, giving a step to the side and mechanically opening the door.
Noble entered the club and as soon as he crossed the door, the noise of the club almost hit him like a physical hit, grunting under his illusion, Noble keep walking into the dark hallways of the club, reaching the dance floor easily and as soon as he reached it, he instantaneously regretted it.
Not a surprise the lions loved this place, this was a sea of young and vibrant flesh and energy bouncing and dancing around, loose to the primal sounds that a DJ with headphones keep throwing at them in waves.
Bodies, clothes and hairs of all kind of style and form mixed in the large dance floor as the sounds of the DJ; Noble think this modern musicians are called that way; waved over them like a push coming to the shore.
It was exhilarating for ones like him that could see beyond the common senses and perceive the reality like it truly was...most of the time, glamour and illusions can blind and cloud even the sharpest minds as emotions are the quintessential strength and weaknesses of both mortal and immortal.
He knows well, he fought, driven by an emotion called Love, against heaven and hell before he became what he was today.
Walking around the dance floor, he manage to dodge the massive dance audience that seems to fill every inch of space available in the club, he was looking for the presence of vampires or for the unique bastard mix of Blackout in the middle of that stench.
The presence of the vampires, even the most balanced ones like Hannibal King, is like a stench adjourned to the souls of the humans, although he has to admit, vampirism is not a human thing only; in fact several demons and fairies had fallen to practice it in a lot of degrees.
He felt awkward trying not to push the mass of humans, after all his appearance was nothing but an illusion, his real physical mass was still there and considering the shit that some of the presents in the club were exuding from their auras, his strength was slow but steadily increasing.
That was never a good thing considering the hundreds of possible collateral victims that he had around him; all of them so focused in their sinful trance that...wait a second.
The dancers were all in trance, now that was a complete bullshit, no matter how drugged, drunken or lost in their own worlds the youngsters could be, this was way beyond any normal party; the music, the drugs and the alcohol had mixed together to make a living sea of devoted flesh inside the club.
A low and dangerous growl surged from the skeleton throat of Noble; he could; barely but could; tolerate up to a point some sins, after all, he was guilty of all of them at some point of his life, from his gluttony of good food and beer to his lust for Satana when they were together before she broke with him, it was an odd break, but one did not debate with the daughter of Satan, even if one had all the reasons of the world to be confused.
Back to the topic on the dance floor.
This was slavery, they were forcing a deep and thralling trance in the minds of the dancers as they will follow any command or desire, the ones behind the hypnotic music, wanted.
Clever, Noble has to admit it, it was despicably clever, you don’t have to do a thing, just let the prey lost to the songs of the mechanical and screeching sirens and they will just follow you to their own demise with a smile in the lips.
However two can play that game.
Noble slipped past the mass of dancers, using the mere sheer presence of their auras to hid his advances towards the DJ cabin, as he feared, there was a bulky ogre hid under a bouncer glamour, protecting the door of the cabin, not letting any of the trance dancers or supernatural beings in the club to get closer to the origin of the music.
Noble simply walk right to him and knock him out with a savage uppercut to the chin that raise him a feet in the air before connecting a devastating jab to the side of his head, making sure the ogre was totally out could.
With his kind you can not be too sure, more than once they do seems as they are taken down and yet keep fighting like madmen; Noble only saw two other beings like that, the trolls and the berserkers of Asgard.
Another confirmation of his suspicions was the fact that none of the nearby humans reacted at all to the violence that has happened in front of their clouded eyes, well they could be drunken and drugged stupid but even them, it was kind of disturbing that a man just move in front of the bouncer and knock him cold without even a word.
Noble quickly did a search in the suit of the ogre, looking for any kind of symbol that could allow him recognize whose caste is behind bullshit and why the hell there are so far from Albion or the Sidhe lands.
He surprised a little when he tool a simple metal disk from one of the pockets and saw the symbol of the fairy court of Oberon, the lord of the fairies was a famous isolationist, not wanting any relation between the fairies and the humans, he was happy as hell in his eternal summer and hunting winter.
One of his court has decided to ignore his orders and play a little with the mortals, now that he thought about it, it did had some sense.
A joke from the fairies, one that has been already registered in a lot of tales was that they took a mortal and when the mortal wanted to go back, the time has passed and they had lost all families and loved ones.
The sirens are not the only ones that could sing a song of memory loss and slavery, more than one fairy is capable of pulling out of their sleeves a trick like that, so it was just a matter of what kind of fairy was acting as DJ and why was the fairy doing this little work for the vampires and the rest of the supernatural present in the bar.
Noble crunched the door handle, breaking the door lock with easiness and entered in the curiously spacious after taking from the insides of his coat a pistol; it was a great thing that he had access to the heavens armory thanks to his brother Metatron.
He could adapt to anything just by putting his hand inside his coat and pulling out the right tool for the task at hand, in this case a heavy built 45 ACP Colt handgun that had enoquian inscriptions all over the rail of the cannon.
Colt has always been a favorite of him since he meet the man during a time travel and help him forge some serious arsenal for the superheroes of that age, his weapons and style are, even today, a very solid option for the serious professionals.
Noble called a lot of modern weaponry, specially firearms, but in all honesty he was not a savant of the modern weaponry, he did know the basic but he could not tell the difference between a G36 and a M4, for him they are just fire weapons, different names, equal function.
He calls for fire power and the armory of Heavens put in his hands the precise weapons he need to deliver retribution, it was a nice deal and he had not any intention of messing it up but he has to admit that he tends to be a little picky when it comes to hand to hand weapons.
He grow up with a flintlock pistol and heavy cavalry sword as supreme weapons of his era and it tends to left him a little lost when the most militaristic of his fellow superheroes comrades start discussing about machine guns, automatic fire, calibers and all that.
The DJ was as lost in the music as the rest of the listeners, so it was a simply job to simply walk behind him and a with a specially satisfying hammering sound put the gun in the back of her head.
Her, yes, it seems that the DJ was a red haired beautiful fairy of long wings that was masquerading as a man, not it was uncommon for the fairies, but he could pierce the glamour at first sight and see what the girl really was.
Still, she was a little odd for what Noble knew about fairies, he was dress as some kind of punk girl but with her classic fairy wings and had several piercing and tattoos on her back and arms, any case she slowly raise her hands after he felt the cold and hurting sensation of cold iron over her skin.
“Good night member of the Beautiful people” can resist Noble to mock the young and rebel fairy, could it be that even the fairies had teenager problems?, it would be most hilarious “I will be grateful if you are so kind to explain me what are you doing with the minds of the dancers”.
The fairy flinched at the mention of the beautiful people remark but the pressure of the cold barrel of the gun on her head prevent her to do anything rash, still the reaction did not go unnoticed for Noble who simply noted it in a corner of his mind.
“They are dancing” shrugged the girl “ no drugs, no alcohol, I make them dance and that’s all” said the girl between her clenched teeth.
“Lass, that’s bullshit” Noble couldn’t prevent it, he was knowledgeable enough to know when a fairy was trying to sell bull to him and he didn’t like it “ the music of the Sidhe courts is not for mortals, as it works with the fairy food, it makes the one that listens to the music, the slave of the one that play it, making them unable to enjoy any other music from now on”.
The stunned silence of the girl was all Noble need, to know that he had hit the nail on the head, although he must admit that it was not the case, not entirely, the mortals are not completely swayed by the music, they have received a low dose and it will not cause permanent harm for their minds and souls.
The girl reacted and Noble was caught by surprise when she turned at amazing speed, caught his wrist and pull the gun low before she pull out a knife from God knows where and try to stab him in the shoulder.
Noble was not as fast as her, so much was obvious, she could give Peter a run for her money in the reflexes department.
He block the knife by grabbing her on the wrist and before she could react, he headbutted her with a lot of strength, considering how many sins and sinners were around him, Noble knew that he was very strong right now and with that force, it was more than easy to knock out the fairy in one brutal headbutt.
The collapsed body of the fairy fell backwards with her eyes blank, before rebounding against the table and felling face first into the floor of the room, it was a little despicable now that he thought about it but the girl did try to stab him and that did not exactly made her win points with Noble.
Sighing, Noble readjusted his illusion and walk over the unconscious body, to look at the mixing table, of course as soon as he glanced at the dammed artifact he almost felt a migraine.
He didn’t understand a shit about what all those buttons and levers and all kind of lights and sounds means, so he opted for the easiest way and simply grab the power cable and pull from it, disconnecting the machine form the electricity that gives him life.
Simply but efficient, he was by no means a technological savant, more the opposite as he still had some troubles adjusting to that things called smartphones and Ipads and other artifacts that were as complex as they could be, without any real advantage that he could see.
He was old and put more faith in magic that in tech, sue him; he was an old Ghost Rider after all.
As he expected, the effect on the audience were instantaneous and soon all the dancer start to looking around in confusion and surprise, a lot of them were starting to ask where the hell were they and soon all the mass start to abandon the local.
Noble abandoned the DJ cabin and focus on the mark of the vampires, more concretely in the markings of Blackout, it was easiest to locate thanks to his mixed blood of vampire and Lilithean demon.
He join the mass of dancers, trying to hide his presence among the flesh mass that tried to move out of the local but in his case, he was moving to the bar of the club, allowing the dance floor to be cleared and preparing for the inevitable confrontation with the owners of the club.
Being honest, he was expecting some battle or confrontation since the beginning, after all he has trashed a slaves operation and no matter how many times has tried to warm the supernatural, the arrogance of the older beings was too much for them to listen to good advice when it was given.
He sat in a stool and eyed the fairy posing as a barman, both recognize each other and the fairy just freeze in the place; his fame did precede him, judging from the reaction of the fairy, and not in a good way, but as usual, it depends a lot on what side of the fence you were standing.
Noble has never been the most popular of the Avengers, in fact the press tend not to display him too much, his scary appearance tend to fright a lot of the children of the audience and make him the less popular avenger to have in a cover.
Not really a surprise for him, between his biker clothes and his rune trimmed duster added to the fact that his skull was a monstrosity of long fangs and tusks with a crest of spikes, all those elements combined to give him a very intimidating appearance for the common mortals.
The supernatural was more than accustom to even odder looks and perhaps that why he past too much time among the supernatural and not along the humanity that he was destined to protect. Not to mention, sometimes he was completely lost about that same humanity.
They were so odd at a times, that Noble had already surrender to trying to comprehend some of the modern tendencies.
Among the supernatural community he was both feared and respect in equal measure, now that he had used the sword of Azrael to kill a minor hyborean god, half of the community was scared shit less and the other having a field trip.
Lots and lots of deities of all eras and dogmas were cautiously rethinking their campaigns to win the hearts and souls of the mortals, and in all honesty, it was a good thing, some R&R will be good after the massive workload he had to deal with during the Chaos War and the consequences of the Gods war that shocked the heavens of the Skrull pantheon when the main god of their pantheon was slain by the demogorge.
Interesting times to say the least, but that was for he was made on the first place, well, half of him actually, after all, among all those angelic essence was the soul of a man called Noble Kale, an stupid man who fell in love and become the sword of the heavens among his fellow Riders.
Do not say out loud but there is a dozen Riders in earth almost every time, simply they get out of the public eye and deal with the supernatural as quick and fast as they can; most are completely fooled by their caretakers who made them believe they were agents of the different pantheons and goods of earth but in reality they were Agents of Heavens.
He tear apart that shitty system as soon as he gain a new body, that will only lead to a shit ton of confusion, brawls with other pantheons and in general a complete pain in the ass to deal with, much better to have a network of Riders, one in every country, all cooperating and dealing with the supernatural so the everyday man was safe and ignorant of what lies behind the curtains.
Finally the dancers get out of the place and after he manages to convince the fairy that he was not going to eat his soul, that he only wanted a cold beer if he had; Noble find himself alone in the bar, surrounded by the presence of a dozen individuals.
Taking his beer with him, Noble walked to the center of the dance stage, winking an eye to the fairy in the DJ cabin who was recovering her senses after the headbutt; she shook her head and blinked a pair of times, not very sure about how to take that a flaming skull has winked her.
At the center of the dance floor, Noble just spoke to the private rooms that surrounded the place, it was constructed as a poor imitations of the circles of hell, were the private rooms were directly over the dance floor, allowing the ones inside the rooms to observe the floor and pick their food at their leisure.
“I came as representation of the House of Kale” said Noble, not very sure how many of the present in the privates could pierce his illusion and see him for what he really was “ I humbly ask for a woman, Lady Franklin, to be delivered to me”.
“And why the hell should we do that juice bag?” asked a very arrogant voice.
Soon, Noble find himself surrounded by a trio of young vampires, all of them with the fangs bare and their faces twisted in a wicked smile and tongues, their pale skin had a tone of gray that Noble recognized immediately.
This fuckers were the progeny of Blackout, they carried the same mixed stench of demonic and vampiric presence, now it seems that the little shit head was capable of infecting others and transforming them, like a true vampire would.
And that’s horrid news, he will have to disclose that to the rest of the supernatural defenders all around the glove as soon as he can, enough troubles are already with the know houses and castes of vampires, adding this one; this chaotic and demonic empowered one; to the mix, could result in something explosive.
Before Noble could respond a loud laugh could be hear in all the room, the one behind that laugh was standing in the verge of one of windows of the private rooms.
Grey pants, black boots, ragged muscle shirt, brow ragged duster and a black top hat with feathers, pale skin, strong built and an arrogant smug that make anyone who sees it, a deep desire to erase it from his face with the heaviest bludgeon item available.
“Sorry pal but the lady is the best juice I have found in decades” shrugged with his despicable smirk, all arrogance and fangs “if the house of Kale wants her, sorry, her sweet ass is all mine, in fact...its all yours boys, rip him a new one and send him in pieces to whatever this house of Kale is”.
Noble was on the move before the first vampire reacted to the permission, decking him in the jaw before delivering a devastating ax kick to the side of his head and crushing his head against one of the columns on the sides of the dance.
The head of the vampire, crushed like an egg and spread all his brains all over the column, leaving a wide stain of blood and gray matter, curiously the corpse didn’t disappear like they usually do, it seems that the blood of Blackout made them more resilient that the usual leeches.
It will do shit against his Ghost Rider powers but good to know, they will have to burn the corpses after they killed them, more work and more expenses for any hunter out there, Blade will be seriously piss off when he would caught ear of this new vampire breed.
Another vampire jump at his back and he dodged to the side, slamming his fist against the back of his skull and splattering all his head all over the floor when the sudden force, crush his head between the floor and the punch.
The last one, perhaps the clever of the trio, tried to feint and then slash his throat with his claws, Noble moved his head back, letting the claw pass without any harm and kick the vampire in the inner side of the left knee making him kneel.
He punched his face with a crochet and then throw him against the same column on where his friend has had his head crushed; the vampire fly and slam all his spine against the column who seems to protest with a resounding crack.
Noble used all the momentum gained from the throw and kicked the mid section of the vampire with enough force to liquify his internal organs and bust the column in a explosion of blood, debris and the colorful paper that covered the column.
It was a bad thing that he was the one saying it but...Wow.
Noble knew that he was no martial artist, he knows how to fight, anyone fighting for three hundred years must know a thing or two to survive the night but in all honesty he was not a brawler, he was a swordsman; and the finest of the hand to hand combat were lost to him but he was a Ghost Rider and had the soul of a Seraphin.
No matter how many times he entered in combat, he has to admit, he was fucking impressive, specially how efficient the violence seems to be every time he fought an enemy, no displays of technique, no flaunts, taunts or feints, direct, brutal and merciless violence that end in the death or defeat of the enemy.
Noble loved to be able to respond to any violent situation with such dexterity and efficiency, its a pity that Danny and Jhonny didn’t seems to inherit that traits from him, they do tend to be as destroyer as they could be and smash their enemies like walking hulks of fire and chains.
Damn he was proud of his descendants, they do have inherit the Kale temper, and it was a good thing consider all of them were Ghost Riders.
The silence in the dance floor was dense, it was not a surprise for the most capable of the witnesses, as they would already pierce through his illusion but for the lesser ones, they must be freaking out right now, specially his objective, the bastard called Blackout.
Dusting himself a little and drinking from the beer that he didn’t let loose in all the fight; God above, he was truly good; Noble end the beer and crushed the can, throwing the empty and crushed can over his shoulder and spoke once again to the audience.
“Once again, I humble request for Lady Franklin to be released and delivered to me, as spokesperson of the House of Kale”.
Once again, he was surrounded, in a display of strength and acrobatics, by another couple of young vampires and Blackout himself jumped from the privates to the dance floor, the hybrid landed without a sound and adjusting his hat, disdainfully kicked one of the crushed corpses that Noble had left in the dance floor.
“Tch, kids this days, they are useless” shrugged the hybrid without ever losing his arrogant smirk, Noble was starting to truly hate that fucking smirk, no surprise both Jhonny and Danny hated this bastard guts.
“You are a thought nut” nodded Blackout taking a sip from the glass that he had in his hand.
Even with the fall, the glass was still full and no drop has been wasted, another vampire trick, most of the youngest ones tend to use that parlor tricks to impress their victims and mortals around.
Now that’s a curious thing, Blackout was a professional hitman but he was acting like a rookie vampire on a high of blood...wait, blood..could it be?.
“But you have dig your own grave here, chum” laughed Blackout emptying the glass and throw it to Noble.
The vampires jump at him and he simply caught the glass in mid air with easiness and jump backwards, out of the reach of the vampire hybrids.
Smelling the contents of the glass, he confirmed his suspicions.
Blood; not a surprise but he was ready to bet half his fortune that if he made a DNA test, the owner of the blood will be Mattie Franklin.
Fuck; this were very bad news, if Blackout started creating vampires and all of them had a craving for superhuman blood, the hunt will be on and the cape community will be on a war that they were not ready for.
This has to end and it will end now.
Fate on the other hand, had another plans and before he could take out of his duster some weapons to vaporize those fuckers, the heaven fell upon him.
Well, not exactly the heavens but a big piece of ceiling feel directly on top of him, burying him under tons of rubble and debris.
Laying over the rubble and massaging a wounded side, was the leather goddess called Black cat and she has seen better days.
She was one of the best thieves there was, something that has put her on danger more times that she would like to count, but it was on her genes as she was a Hardy, a lot of them are white gloved thieves that stole and leave their victims mouth agape.
She was trained by her father, the legendary cat burglar; to be the best there is at stealing and despite her actual status as heroine, she couldn’t endure the temptation and did some good nature thievery here and there.
Specially if the targets are criminals and all kind of corrupted people that pay more attention to their greed that to the evil they cause. Businessman, bankers, corporations, she had no problems in giving them a lesson from time to time.
But she was now a heroine and that means doing heroine business, rescuing the stupid apprentice of Jessica was one of those heroine things that she had to done, not to mention Peter will be devastated if the child died at the hands of those pale freaks.
At soon as she discovered the place she immediately recognize the vampiric traits of the ones that hold the child hostage, being friends with Blade and Morbius did have its perks, one of them how to identify and kill all kinds of vampires.
But this kind of vampires were a complete new breed of vampires and they are twice as resilient as the common ones, that was giving her a lot more of troubles to keep up with their dammed preternatural strength and agility.
Thankfully, her bad luck powers were working on her favor and they molested each other trying to reach her, something that she took advantage of and proceed to eliminate as much as them as she can before the powers just turn down at the most inauspicious moment and let her in very compromising position among an horde of bloodthirsty vampires.
Then was then the floor collapsed and she fall several meters down, along a bunch of vampires, landing in a very rude manner against the floor and crushing down a lot of vampires under the rubble.
Good point, she has deal with a lot of this mutant vampires.
Bad point, she had one or two ribs broken, as consequence of the fall and she was starting to get tired, still what did surprise her the most was the boisterous laugh of the white paled freak that was the sire of this cabal.
“Oh, fucking priceless!” laughed the vampire with the hat, almost bending from the laughs “you just crashed the poor bastard!” pointed at Felicia who blinked in surprise and then flinched when the consequences of what she had done reach her brain.
Oh dear lord, she has just killed someone, she was not a killer; she will never kill anyone, she was thief not an assassin; but her luck powers had play a very bad joke on her.
At the expense of another live, they had saved her own, by burying someone alive under tons of rubble.
“Ow, Ow” stopped laughing the vampire “ my ribs hurts, oh dammit, I didn’t laugh so much since I killed Dannys girlfriend in front of him, thanks bimbo, that was a good laugh”.
Felicia stiffened at the calling of bimbo, something that only serve to remind her of the broken ribs she had, but the fury of the insult put new adrenaline in her veins, perhaps she couldn’t rescue Mattie but she will scape and seek vengeance another day.
She hissed, the adrenaline running through her veins give her the edge she needed to make a run for the exit and lost them in New york roofs, a place she rules along Peter and a dozen of different heroes that plagued New york skies and night.
Scratching the stone with the claws in her gloves, she prepared to fight.
The vampires jump at her, fangs bare and jaw open and she tensed to jump and behead one of them with her claws, but then the debris at her sides exploded with a sound that remind her a lot of the starting of a High-power engine.
Two twin high caliber pistols barrels clogged themselves in the mouths of the vampires who whined in surprise for a second, before the guns thundered spreading their brains all over the ceiling of the place.
The thunder of the guns, slowly dispersed but no one said a word as they are all still stunned for the sudden and brutal death of the vampires, however, Felicia roll over the debris, hissing from the pain in the ribs when the concrete, metal and plastic under her start to crumble and tear apart.
Like the fin of a shark, the crest of Noble pierced the material that had almost crushed him, at his contact the concrete shattered and broke, until he stand over his feet in all his blazing and pissed off glory.
The barrels of his guns were still smoking and bathed in the gruesome remnants of the heads of both vampires.
His anger was almost palpable and waved over the club like a tsunami, none of the present could ignore the presence that the flaming skeleton was radiating like a fire in the middle of the darkness.
The blood dripped from the guns as Noble stand over the collapsed ceiling, he turned his face to the privates room and let the ones hiding in the shadow know, that no interruption will be tolerated and without the need of words, an understanding was reach.
It was a good thing that his fame precede him, it was no secret that he had an ax to grind with any kind of vampires, so far the only ones that he had allowed to live where Detective Hannibal King and Doctor Michael Morbius, the rest that had faced the Ghost Rider has been found roasting at the morning sun or butchered like cattle.
The ones hidden in the shadows over him were no pushovers but at the same time, they had nothing to gain in this conflict, the cattle has already leave the building and the spell of the songs has been broken.
Interfere between the Spirit of Vengeance and his objective was always a bad thing, specially when his objective is a vampire of any house or caste, not to mention this was one of the most powerful Ghost Riders that the world has seen in centuries.
Turning his gaze to the fallen Black Cat; who was already on her feet and ready for combat in a crouching position that will allow her to claw the throat of anyone stupid enough to have a go at her; Noble just eyed with curiosity the woman.
He didn’t expect to find any ally inside the building and he didn’t have meet Black Cat personally until now, well, not Black Cat but yes Felicia Hardy, and for a one like him who can not be deluded by simply masks, he could identify the curvaceous black leather dressed woman at his left as Lady Hardy.
Curious, but as a lot of other occasions, he will keep the secret for himself.
The dangerous topic of the hidden identities was starting to became a hot topic in the TV and those things called social networks, it was terrific how the humanity has dumber itself in the technology, so dependent of those shiny screens and things.
He put the guns back into the coat, and turning his gaze directly to Blackout, who has lost his arrogant smirk and had a snarl of fury barely contained inside his throat; the hybrid had lost the control of the situation and knew a menace when he saw one.
This was not one of the Ghost Riders he knew and fought in the past, Danny was not as versed in his powers as this monstrosity was, even her grandmother Lilith feared this Rider, as he was one of the most powerful of them, in fact he once ruled a layer of hell and for that one need some mayor balls.
The silent extended until Noble give a step ahead and unconsciously, all the vampires and Blackout give a step back, showing fear was a great mistake in the supernatural community but his animal instincts, her demonic essence were telling them to run and hide or fight and die, there was no other options.
Noble raise his flaming gloved skeleton hand and pointed directly at Blackout, speaking with a voice that make the club rumble for a second; a trick that he learn from Metatron; voice of God; the angel always knew how to make some serious spectacular entrances when it wanted.
“Give the girl to me, leech, and you will walk away tonight” sentenced, not say, he directly sentenced to all the vampire hybrids in front of him.
“Fuck you bulb” hissed Blackout who didn’t want to lose face in front of the witnesses and could not lose such a powerful blood like the one of the girl he managed to seduce accidentally.
Her blood was addictive and rich, so fill with energies and power that he has evolved just from the first sip, he will never let her go, he knew that if he stop drinking her blood, his powers will diminish, he need to drink a lot of her before his new powers established.
“I don’t swing that way leech” laughed shorty Noble and suddenly a chain erupted from within the sleeve of his duster, grabbing one of the vampires in front of him and making him explode in flames, like he was just combusted spontaneously.
The screams of the dying and burning vampire made everyone react and all jumped, ones to took distance and others to rescue the girl on the private room that had the windows open, leaving the groggy girl over a couch with her pale skin visible.
Blackout jumped at Noble, the other vampire jump at Felicia and she shoot her claw and steel rope to the floor so she could take the girl out of there ASAP.
Noble smiled and drag back the chain, punching Blackout in the face before the hybrid could reach him, the sudden force stop him mid air and broke his nose in a nasty crunch sound before he fall to the ground and rolled frenetically, not a second after the boot of Noble stomped the ground where his head has been, creating a two inch crater in the dance floor.
The chain in Nobles hands whistled as he start to rotating it at high speeds and then erupted in flames, making it appear as he had a wheel of flames in his hand, with a lazy gesture, Noble throw the wheel in front of him and suddenly the wheel disjointed himself, throwing a rain of flaming links at Blackout.
The vampire saw the apocalypse coming at him and in an impressive display of acrobatics, he jump back with a back flip and jumped over all the links before they torn him to shreds.
He has saw how easy has managed the chain to complete obliterate one of his new children, and by no means will he allow any of that shit to touch his skin, the touch of the fire of the Riders was deep pain inside his mind as in one occasion, one of them burn half his face and almost killed him.
Noble called back the links, who obeyed quickly and with a twist of his wrist all the chain readjusted and slit inside of his sleeve.
Blackout was in a crouching position on the wall over him, as all mature vampires he could glue himself to the wall and stand in that position for as long as he wanted, however Blackout should not be able to do that, he was a hybrid, not a full fledged vampire.
That was another serious divergence, so the theory Noble was formulating in his head was taking more and more sense by the moments and if he was human, he would have already experimented a serious chill up his spine.
If, and that’s a big IF; if the blood of spiderwoman, a blood both enhanced by magic and science had produced the effect of evolve the powers of the hybrid into the ones more adequate to a full fledged vampire, that will means that all of those bitten and transformed by him will look out for the blood of the superhuman as it will be far more beneficial for them that the common mortal blood.
By accident, Blackout will became a plague to the superhuman community, Superheroes and Villains alike, none shall scape from the thirst of the vampires, they had tried a similar bullshit in the past, when one of the bastards child of Drakula tried to transform the entire X-nation of Utopia.
However this ones will be different as the demonic blood of Lilith, even diluted as it is, will make them more dangerous that the common vampires, for example they could withstand the sun light up to a point considering how Blackout seems to have survived to be exposed to the morning suns.
In resume, he will be a fucking plague, and just get Lady Franklin out of his hands will not be enough, he will just charm another and if the blood of spiderwoman caused this, Noble didn’t even want to know what could happen if he managed to seduce Jen or Carol.
No, he will not allow it, neither in this life or any other.
Blackout will die tonight at his hands, and if by any twist of the always unpredictable fate, the bastard manages to scape tonight, he will put a reward for his pale head, so high that all monsters hunters out there will salivate at the mere sight of the numbers.
Noble pick up a weapon from within his duster and smirked mentally when a heavy, silvered broadsword exited from the confines of the duster, all over the flat of the blade, enoquian letters for punishment and death glowed in red, announcing the vampire that he will meet his fate tonight.
Noble raised the sword and comfortably supported it over his shoulder like it weights nothing, he extend his free hand and shoot a bunch of chains to where Blackout was crouching like a beast waiting for a chance.
The vampire moved at amazing speed, dodging the chains that simple destroyed the wall on where he was just a second ago; landing in the floor, he pounced like a lion over Kale that simply raise the broadsword to intercept the claws.
Recognizing the danger, Blackout twisted in mid air and throw a round kick to the side of Noble head, the flaming skeleton just moved his head a little backwards and let the kick pass in front of his face.
Blackout backpedaled to dodge a incoming attack from the sword, the blade buried himself in the floor, like the concrete was nothing but fine sand and before the vampire could take advantage, the chain come back to Noble, surrounding him like a cyclone of very sharp links.
The vampire take a stance far from Noble and hissed in fury and fear, he has sensed the power of the broadsword and he did fear it, the runes, although he couldn’t understand them, had only one meaning.
Simply as that, those runes were designed to be the bane of all kind of supernatural beings, specially demons, his demonic blood boiled at the sight of those dammed letters.
Kale took control of the chains, letting then hang from the free hand and recover his weapon, extracting it from the floor with easiness.
Both glared at each other from their side of the dance floor for a minute.
With a roar, Blackout jumped at Noble and the Rider solidify his stance, allowing his chains to rise like serpents, preparing his red glowing broadsword for the combat.
Meanwhile, Felicia had his own problems to deal with.
She has jumped far from the main spot, looking for a quick grab and run, picking up the devastated Mattie, she couldn’t know that the girl has been used for feeding recently, in a manner that the kiss of the vampire produce ecstasy in the victim and leave it as nothing more than a flesh doll, lost in the ecstasy of the feeding.
Mattie was lost on the unnatural pleasure that comes as result of being blood sucked by vampires, a lot of blood junkies like her tend to lost themselves in the pleasure of the kiss, very similar to a very powerful orgasm but without the funny activities before.
The kiss of the vampire could be pleasurable or painful as hell, it does depend on the caste and the preferences of the vampire, the caste of Drakula prefers to drown the victims in pleasure instead of fear and pain.
Varnae on the other hand could do both but he tends to left her victims in a frozen expression of terror and pain, just his style so it seems.
With the agility that only an Olympic level athlete would be able to display, she jumped into the open private, rebound in the debris and the columns that surrounded the room, entering in it and quickly checking the state of the girl.
Sighing in release as the girl was only dazed and still under the trance of the kiss, she pick out of her utility belt some salts to try to wake up the girl, even in this state she could fly and that would be great to get the hell out of here.
She barely dodged the claw that almost decapitated her, the nails of the vampire managed to rip of some of her silver locks and she hissed from the sudden stingy pain and the lost of her hair, she was very proud of her silver locks, they were the same as her dad and she loved them.
Dodging the claw, she launch a devastating kick to the vampire, any human being would be ready for count, but this things are made of sturdier material and he just shrugged the impact and catching her by the ankle; he just toss her against one of the walls.
Twisting in mid air, Felicia managed to transform the maneuver into another that will favor her as she used the wall as support to launch herself against the vampire, surprising the hybrid with her attack; and clawing his face with her own reinforced claws.
The inch deep gash made the vampire cry in anger and pain but for the amazement of Felicia, the dammed wounds start regenerating in front of her stunned face.
Now, that’s unfair; but fortunately for her, she knew how to deal with the vampires.
Landing in a crouching position, she waited and pick a little thing from her utility belt and patiently waited for the vampire to turn around and focus her anger on her, with a teasing smirk, she licked her gorgeous red lips and make a come hither move with one of her claws.
The vampire just take it, hook, line and sinker.
Jumping at her with all the fierceness of a ravaging beast, any thought lost, other than bite her neck off and drink her blood, the vampire extended her claws and opened her grotesque fanged mouth at her.
It was bad luck that some dust from the battle find its way to his eyes, blinding him for a second, so he could not see how Black cat dodged jumping over him in an acrobatic pirouette, and it was real bad luck that he could not see the little ball in front of him, so he just take it in his mouth and by reflex gulp it down.
The vampire landed and coughed violently, before he turn around to see Black cat standing in a provocative pose and blowing a kiss to him along waving a hand in a “good bye” motion.
He blinked by the absurdity of the action, considering how he was going to tear her a new one and suck her blood dry, but then, the tiny ball in his stomach reached the end of his countdown and exploded.
The vampire stiffened and with a gurgle he collapsed over the edge, falling to the dance floor below; cause of death?, having all his inner organs tear apart by silver shrapnel bathed in holy water.
She will have to seriously thanks Blade later for this lovely things, thought Felicia smirking in satisfaction and returning her gaze to the body of Mattie that was starting to finally recover, kneeling at the side of the girl, Felicia took out form her utility belt a little canteen.
Mattie blinked, starting to regain consciousness again and groaned in a mix of protest and whine, as the aftereffects of the vampire kiss were still acting over her pleasure nerves like a potent drug, gasping a pair of times, she tried to focus her attention on the woman kneeling at her side but she was still stumbling between her pleasure trance and consciousness.
The entire building tremble when a column of raging fire erupted in the middle of the dance floor, calling the attention of both women as the fire was far for being a common fire, it carries a purity and power beyond whatever fire the mortals could create with any tools.
Mattie stumbled but she was not in condition of doing anything, however Felicia; once again ignoring the pinches her bruised and probably broken ribs were giving to him; move closer to the edge of the edge of the open windows of the private room and took a look to see whats happening below.
She smiled at what she saw.
Blackout was not by any means, a pushover, however he was way out of his league with Kale and soon the difference made itself clear.
When they clashed over the dance floor, Blackout noticed how stronger than him was Kale but at the same time, he took good notice of how he was way more agile and faster than the Rider.
Dodging and getting out of the attacks of the Rider, he managed to tear his duster with his claw before the blazing skeleton could launch a replica or trap him with that dammed chain of his.
Still, he had taken some minor wounds every time the Rider launch the links of the chain like a hail of deathly shrapnel at him; those things hurt like hell and he noted how his wounds were not healing at the usual rate.
In fact they were not healing at all, something that send a shiver through Blackout spine, that means that chain could really kill him, neither his new vampire powers, neither his demonic heritage would do shit to keep him alive.
He had lost his fedora hat a while ago, when the sword almost decapitated him as he tried to get a good shoot to the neck of the skeleton; fighting against a thing like the Rider was a difficult thing as the usual crippling and lethal attack do nothing to him.
Perhaps if he managed to broke some of his bone,s but for that, he will have to get too close for his tastes and being completely realistic, this was a very unfair battle for him, he could bleed and die but the Rider not.
Blackout jumped and feinted to dodge the chain before it created a new crater in the dance floor at the same time the sword draw a line in the air that almost bisected him, but the hybrid slip under the cut and kicked the side of the left knee of the Rider with all his might.
The flaming skeleton lost balance and kneel because of the impact but the bones and knee didn’t shatter as Blackout hoped they should have done, considering the his new strength and how had he put all his new found might into the brutal crippling kick.
Using his crouching position as starting position he tried to jump at the head of the Rider and rip his head of by pure brute strength, it could be one of the ways to end the battle and get his well deserved price.
The old and the new bimbo will be a sweet dessert after all this exercise.
But one blazing hand caught his face and with force enough to crack his head, it slammed him to the ground, creating a two inches crater on the place on where he has been brutally slammed to the floor, his eyes went white for a second but his new found vampire resilience allow him to recover almost instantaneously and with an expression of horror push the hand that was burning his face out of his face.
Recovering his chain, Noble was about to pierce the head of Blackout with his sword as soon as he had choke slammed the hybrid to the floor but the vampire took strength out of his desperation and managed to get free of his grip, rolling and back flipping out of his reach before he thrust the sword into his head.
Blackout get up and grab his face, the hand had left a very nasty burning imprint over his face, it was a mark that will cost a lot to heal, if it even heals at some point, the pain was unbearable, this was not a normal burning, it grates on his nerves and soul like an acid.
Eying with hate the bastard between his fingers, Blackout gaped and barely reacted in time when a beach ball size fire ball fly his way.
The explosion send his body flying against the wall, adding the pain of the impact to the already great pain of his scorched face, barely standing over his legs, Blackout look at the one that was making him suffer and gulped.
Usually, Noble is a very scary presence, the flames, the monster like skull, the black duster and the biker gear was not precisely an image that served to calm anyone, well, he was not the usual superhero out there but the truth is that Kale is always containing his own powers.
He reacted to the menace, as his powers depends greatly on the sins that his enemy had committed and the number of victims that claim vengeance against him but, there is a fact that can not be forgotten and is the fact that his powers are equal to one of the Seraphic Chorus in Heaven.
Noble had the soul and the power of the Seraphim Zadquiel, angel of Retribution and Vengeance, one of the Seraphim that fought during the Great war and created reality as we know it.
Now, Noble was very piss off and his presence erupted from him like the waves of a Tsunami.
With a sword in one hand and the chain in the other, duster flowing with the fire that roared all over his skeletal body, he was a very terrifying figure and for a second, a glorious set of fire wings erupted from his back before vanishing in the air.
Blackout knew it, if he didn’t get out of here, this Ghost Rider will kill him in the most gruesome and painful way he could imagine, and the taste of that chain and sword was still burning on his nerves.
The hybrid look up and saw the Black Cat smiling at his suffering, hate filled his mind, how dared this stupid slut to laugh at him?, she was nothing but a source of blood, and for what he smell, she was nothing but a human with a slutty leather costume.
Nothing like the delicious and empowering blood of the girl, although there was an aftertaste of poison that Blackout didn’t like, he couldn’t denied the effectiveness of the blood of the girl that has allowed him to became a full vampire.
Anger and hate start to battle in his mind but he was not a youngster in the blood, and taking the reins of his own dark emotions, he channeled them into strength, using his daemonic powers to increase his strength, endurance and speed, his fangs become longer and his already odd eyes went totally black from the sudden increase in physical capabilities.
Still, Blackout will not use his new found powers to fight, not even with his sudden power up will he be able to match the sheer power that the Ghost Rider was emanating in waves, so he opted for a more clever tactic and get the hell out of there.
But of course, before he would left them something to remember; this was far from over as he will hunt down the girl again, in fact he will create more vampires like him and start hunting the superhuman community in a search for more blood like the one that little one possessed.
He moved and the rest of the world seems to react in slow motion, it was one of the best things that had come along with his new found powers, his speed was now off the charts, and that only made him enjoy more the terrified expression that his victims used to make when he rips their throats out.
He jumped over a column and rebound from one side to another, gaining more and more closeness to the silver haired bimbo that was slowly turning her face to him and her expression slowly changing to one of terror.
His senses pick up the faint smell of silver and how she was pathetically slowly trying to get out of her belt something that smelled like garlic; the smell offended Blackout deeply, not that he cared in the beginning but he was now very susceptible to the smell of silver and garlic, not to mention holy water was like acid, even worst than before.
Blackout landed in the edge of the room, and with a quick round kick, send Felicia tumbling to the side of the room, in a slow pained expression, he smirked, he has barely put any strength in the kick; he wanted the bimbo as dessert and for that she must be alive, for now; but her ribs were already bruised if not broken and the kick had only remind her of her painful wounds.
He turned to the wobbling Mattie and smiled, in a way that only show his feral and monstrous teeth to the girl, she did try to present battle, oh, he could tell from the shacking of his legs and her defiant eyes but that only made her blood even more richer.
He give a step ahead and the universe erupted in pain, agonizing and scorching pain that made him scream at the top of his lungs.
Mattie blinked, Felicia blinked, hell, even Blackout blinked a pair of times, not believing what just happened.
Two feet of the broadsword of the Ghost Rider has erupted from his chest in a shower of blood and flesh, tearing apart his spine, organs and ribs like they were wet paper and what was worst was how the sword was burning the wound, impeding it to regenerate.
Blackout tumbled and try to turn around to see his killer and founded how Noble has just link the chain to the handle of the sword and toss it at him like a lance, piercing his back with easiness.
Noble smiled internally, this leech has been specially annoying and that cheap trick of going after the ladies has piss off him greatly, so he just treat him like the annoying mosquito that he was portraying himself to be and swat him.
Rolling some chain over his left arm, he pulled back with force enough to drag Blackout out of the place and flying right at him; channeling all the strength he could in his right arm, Noble simply punched the face of Blackout as the hybrid struggle to get free from the sword that had impaled him through the back.
Two forces collide and the head of Blackout was simply blown away from his shoulder as the fire covered skeleton punch of Noble meet his face with enough force to bypass all his unnatural resilience and tear apart the reinforced muscles and bones.
The bloodied and beaten heap of flesh that was the head of Blackout, fly all the way back to the open private room and with a resounding and wet squelch, landed in front of the stunned Mattie who was still trying to process all that has happening.
Felicia was as amazed as the younger woman but she was more accustom to this things and fighting the pain of her busted ribs, she smiled fiercely, feeling a lot more better, now that Peters fellow Avenger has taken down that hybrid thing.
The body of Blackout fall at the side of Noble, lose all the inertia from the pull by the sudden punch, tensing the chain Noble channel some fire into the links and soon a line of fire run along the chain to the sword and make the corpse burn in flames.
White and red flames that consume the body of the hybrid vampire with greed, burning it completely until only a shadow remain, forever burned to the floor of the club, the sword clanged at the floor and with a twist of his wrist, Noble pick up the sword and put it back inside his coat, sending it to where it belongs.
Suddenly pointing a one skeleton finger to the cabin of the DJ, he turn his blazing skull to the fairy inside who was watching it all with an stunned face and one of those freaking apparatus called Iphone, Ipad or whatever the hell they were.
“Lass, I seriously hope, for your own health, that you have NOT record and upload any of this to that thing called the internet” said Noble in a very, very dangerous serene voice.
The little punk fairy just froze and just erased the vid she has just recorded, she prefer to live, thank you very much and right now, fucking the seven feel tall flaming angry skeleton was not precisely the cleverest thing to do.
Pity, she will hit the roof of the visits in youtube if she upload this to her channel, the rest of the fairy court will be so jealous, it would have been worth the headache she had because of the headbutt she has suffered before.
But all things considered, she was more than happy that the Ghost Rider did not blow his head of with the revolver he had before and just headbutted her to the next Sunday; good thing she was from a sturdy caste, otherwise she would been still unconscious.
“Good girl” chuckled the skeleton and turn his gaze to the rest of the private rooms, his constant aura of flames erupted into a pair of wings again for a second, allowing everyone with a bit of occult knowledge to know who exactly are they messing with.
“Let this be a reminder” thundered and the crystals of the place shatter “ that the shadows of the Earth belong to the Ghost Riders, that humanity is under our protection”.
Noble walked next to the private room of Blackout and with a single jump, he reach the place with easiness, turning his body to the rest of the club and chuckled again.
He was going to be a little vulgar but sometimes, being rude is the wake up call, all this cretins need to remember who are they fucking with.
“You are warned children of the night, you fuck us, we fuck you, hard, long and without lube”.
Noble moved to pick up the mangled head of Blackout, he could still see the lingering soul of the vampire on it, as all the lineage of Lilith, they are a sturdy bunch, as hard to kill as fucking cockroaches.
“Tough son of a bitch, literally” with a couple of mystical hand moves, the head of Blackout disappeared, safely stored in a personal pocket dimension, something that you must have already prepared when you are dealing with dangerous artifacts and things like that.
Black Cat has already surrender and was more interested in be sure that Mattie was alright, she owned this favor to Peter and she knew what was to be the rookie in town, specially when you had no superpowers, well except her bad luck, but they were unreliable as they act when they please.
Noble appeared over both of them, scaring both, none of them had any kind of previous contact or interaction with the Avenger, and after the violent and ruthless display he has presented against the bastard that hold Mattie thralled they were a little worried about changing one master for another but as soon as he talk, their fears dispersed.
“You alright ladies?” asked Noble in a soft, serene and deep tone, if this skeleton was no medic, Felicia will eat her cat ears “please allow me to help you get out of here, you need attention, both of you had suffer enough today”.
Noble pick up from the pockets of his duster a little silver canteen and put it over the dry lips of Mattie who eagerly start to drink from the fresh and delicious water of the canteen, however she soon fall unconscious again.
“Sleep lass, let the Water of Galilee help you heal in body and spirit” chanted Noble as a tiny light aura appeared over the body of Mattie, making her sleep soundly and more relaxed.
Taking her in bridal style, Noble turned his gaze to Black Cat who was already more than ready to exit the place but the adrenaline was starting to gear of and her wounds were starting to affect her and erode her will, she unconsciously care her ribs and other minor wounds all over her body.
“Come on lass, we need to get you treated as soon as possible” said Noble, whispering some words, only hear those words make Felicia shudder, it was something that resonated within her, like the words touched her soul.
Soon a portal, an oval silver hole in the reality, surrounded by golden lightnings appeared in front of them.
“Ladies first” bow slightly Noble, with care of do not harm the girl in his arms, letting Felicia enter first in the portal.
She smirked a little, he was kind of a gentleman, who knew?, she entered the portal and feel a cold sensation run through him as she crossed a great distance in a second.
Not her first rodeo with portals and the such, she had traveled to parallel lands, time shifts, crazy dimensions and even to hell itself but this portal had two differences from any other that she remembered.
First of all was the coldness, usually the portals left those who travel throught them with the stomach upturn, much like forced teleportations but this portal just leave her with a fresh sensation all over her skin, not a chilling sensation but the same as a gentle cold breeze in a hot day.
The second was how easily was the passing, no confusion, no tumbling, it was like crossing a door, there was no physical consequence from the transportation, nothing and it was kind of a surprise; a very welcome one.
She eyed the room on where she has been moved and blinked a pair of times, it does resemble a little hospital room, with a pair of clean white beds, golden colored room dividers and some medical machines here and there.
It was not precisely a big room but it was more than enough to attend a pair of patients like them, however did truly call her attention was the alchemist like desk and paraphernalia that covered one of the walls of the room, at the side of both beds.
Carefully ordered and displayed, along all kind of tools like a wooden mortar and mace to grind ingredients, a long and complicated alembic with a little oven under him to produce flames.
She moved when the other two appeared in the room, closing the portal behind them.
“I bid you welcome to my private hospital” commented Noble, leaving with care Mattie over one of the beds, the girl look much more relaxed and her body did seems to be recovering from the draining of the vampires.
“Knew it, you truly are a doctor” teased Felicia but when she moved, her ribs reminded that she was wounded and it was about time to take a breath.
“Oh, yes and no Lady Hardy” shrugged Noble walking to the desk and picking up some ingredients and ignited with a snap of his fingers, the fire under the alembic.
Felicia was so stunned by the response that she even forgot of the pains of her ribs.
“How on earth?” ask her, the secret identities are a very serious matter this days.
After the mess with the skrulls, there was rumors that some clever; please notice the sarcasm machine has exploded; politician decided to vote some superhero regulation, one that will control the superhero population so they will not run amok among the civilians.
Being completely honest, Noble was convinced it was a good and a bad idea at the same time...
How did Peter put it?, ah, yes, “The big guy-bad guy factor”.
As big is the bad guy, bigger must be the good guy to stop him, unfortunately, most of the bad guys are bad guys one hundred percent of the time; the good guys on the other hand are good guys part time, they had families, jobs, responsibilities to fulfill apart of saving the world dressed in spandex.
There are heroes like Cage that didn’t care a shit, he had no secret identity itself, Noble was very similar, he had no secret identity, simply because he was already dead, he was a body bring back to life by Metatron, the voice of God and became one of the most powerful Ghost Riders the world has ever saw.
Not to mention, that thanks to Drakula, he couldn’t transform back to human for the moment, it would mean his human body demise and total transformation in Ghost Rider, losing a very needed human anchor for the power of a Seraphim.
“Do not fret my lady” calmed Noble, mixing some liquids and after dropping a pinch of white powder in the mix, put it over the flame, leaving it to boil.
“But, how?” demanded her a little apprehensive.
“Well, that could be a long tale lass” chuckled Noble turning to him “would you be a dear and sit on that bed so I can treat your ribs and explain myself?” pointed Noble to one of the empty bed.
Felicia was wary of the blazing skeleton, she knew that he was one of the Avengers, he has appeared more than enough times on TV to not recognize the seven feet tall and scary form of the Ghost Rider but she had never guess how he was a mix between a brawler, an European noble and a witch doctor.
It was confusing and Felicia hated to be confused, she was the one with the secrets not otherwise, however she must admit that this time, perhaps she has chew more than she could shallow and owed her live to the Rider.
That was no excuse to intrude in his real identity like that.
Noble picked up a jar with a balsam and a piece of white fabric, walking to the place where Felicia was sat and knelled so he could be at a similar height with the ribs of the woman, with the precision and ability of one that has done the same thing a thousand times, he covered one side of the fabric with the balsam.
“My lady, I need to press this against your skin, not your uniform” chuckled Noble and Felicia send a cold glare at him for the smartass remark.
“Answers first tall, dark and brimstone” smirked her.
Noble chuckled and sighed, he could understand the wariness of the lady, a lot of his fellow Avengers went great length to cover their identities.
“As you wish lass” shrugged Noble standing up and leaving the fabric and the balsam over a table near the bed.
“As you can see, I do not have eyes” explain Noble “ so I do not perceive the world as the rest of the mortals”.
Now that he mention it, Felicia felt a little stupid, how was possible for a flaming skull like him to “see” the world?, but that doesn’t explain how was possible to him to identify people under mask.
“I do not see physical appearance only, I see all, I can see souls” said Noble looking over the shoulder to the boiling mix “ and being completely honest with you lass, I do tend to remember beautiful souls like yours”.
Felicia blinked a pair of times, was him flirting with her?, she was a little taken aback after that but, what the hell, not every day you can flirt with an avenger, pity it was not Thor or the Captain but the Ghost Rider has prove to be a gentleman so far.
“Oh, flatterer” Felicia lean a little to show a little more cleavage but her ribs stung and she hissed from the pain, cutting her flirting response short.
“Now, my lady, lets have a look at that ribs, we don’t want to leave a mark in such pristine skin isn’t it?” laughed softly Noble and pick up again the balsam.
Felicia frown, she hated to not be able to tease back, but he was right, she was more wounded than she would like to admit, still, she didn’t lost the chance to slowly open the zipper of her uniform and deliberately slow reveal the perfect skin that lies beneath the leather, along her more than well endowed breasts.
Of course, she frown a little more when she took notice that the skeleton could not blush, not show any reaction, nothing and that infuriated her a little, she wanted payback against this smartass...Ohhh, that was good.
With the expertise of a professional masseuse, Noble put the wet and cold fabric over her swollen ribs, carefully spreading the balm over her defined stomach, back and side, barely touching the underside of her breast.
For her embarrassment, her nipples were starting to react by their own to the wonderful effect that the balsam and the fire hands of the Ghost Rider were provoking, she glared the skeleton with a mix of a blush and a scowl; leaning on her good side and letting him whatever he wanted with her.
Noble didn’t show anything, how could he?, flaming skeleton with a duster and biker gear remember?, no facial expression, no body language, nothing.
Of course inside his mind was laughing his ass off and finely appreciating how all the woman that he knew during his hero career were always stunningly hot women.
“Well, that should be sufficient” said Noble and Felicia couldn’t but purr in protest for the sudden absence of touch.
When she noticed what she has done, he send a cold and murderous glare to Noble, who just close up the balsam jar and let the bandage spread over her ribs, damn him and his unreadable body and skull, Felicia felt frustrated...was this how Peter felt when she played with him?, uh, she was not accustom to be on the other side of the teasing fence.
Noble put back the jar on its shelf; it has been very funny to mess a little with the Black Cat, for what Peter told him from time to time, she was the master teaser, so he had enacted a little retribution on the woman.
Angel of Vengeance remember?, its on the blood or fire, whatever.
Not to mention he did have enjoy teasing the girl, she was a very beautiful woman, in mind, body and soul, and it has been quite the long time since any woman was valiant enough to flirt with him.
Noble was very conscious of his intimidating physical aspect, he knew that he was not made to be an epitome of the social relationship and being unable to change back into a human form only add an extra layer of difficult in any relationship.
That’s why he could only establish relationship among the cape community and the supernatural community, who are accustom to the impossible being done everyday and to accept odd appearances as a common thing.
However, despite all his powers, under God blessings he was only a man, and as man he was as susceptible to temptation as any other man, he was simply more prepared to deal with it or simply shrug it off when the situation demands it.
Being forced to stand as Rider one hundred percent of the time had only complicated things even more, not to mention that Satana and him, kind of broke before she disappeared with the Thunderbolts to God knows what dimension.
Noble was actually single but in all honesty, now he couldn’t care less for the other sex, even in the lust in his soul actually get the best of him, he is incapable of loving a woman the usual way, he will have to fabricate a body for that.
Easy as pie when you are Supreme sorcerer but the body will fell like a prison, a jail for his soul, he will feel oppress and chained, never again, after the chains in hell, never again, not now, not never.
The other option was to simply let her fire roam over the body of the woman and sent fireworks through her mind, body and soul, if the victim was not a supernatural being capable of withstand the wave, she will be put under a nervous breakdown, resulting in a coma.
He would never put a woman under that trance, although he suspects there was a lot of possible candidates that would and enjoy such coupling, it was one of the few good things about this age of wonders.
There is no impossibles, only improbable.
Taking the glass with the boiled mix over the fire, out of the heat, he inspect the beverage with attention, this must be perfect otherwise it will be a waste of resources and time.
Removing the contents with a wooden stick, he chanted a little aria and the contents of the glass turn it color to a dull gray.
Temporary satisfied, Noble put back the mix over the fire and let it boil again.
He turned to check the pulse and mouth of the sleeping Mattie, examining her canines, fortunately, the water of Galilee were doing a wonderful job keeping the vampire infection at bay, until he could cook a more permanent remedy.
Alchemy was one of the best branches of the Occult arts, he didn’t understand why they were so little magicians versed on it, it could cure and kill at the same time and was versatile enough to always had something at hand against all kind of menaces and dangers, pun not intended by the way.
Unfortunately, alchemy did not follow the usual chemistry rules and you can found yourself mixing water and oil into a paste and making it work.
Magic was the supreme cheater as a lot of heroes put it; in reality it was the same as science but from another perspective, this age focus so much in the supreme value of science that they forgot that the letters and the numbers are exactly the same.
1 is ONE, equal value, equal results.
Whats the difference between?:
One plus one equals two and 1+1=2.
Lady Hardy was glaring daggers at him from the bed, he could sense her annoyance of being the teased and not the teaser but he was enjoying the punishment of the woman too much to cut it short.
Doing some quick calculations about boiling points and some extra ingredients, just to be in safe side, now that he has already rescued the girl, it will be very rude to let her transform and became a vampire; he calculated that he had one hour ahead.
“Calm your anger Lady Hardy” said Noble without even turning, putting some more yellow powder inside the boiling mix “ relax and let the balsam do his job, tensing your muscles will only slow the healing”.
Felicia wanted to stab the bastards in the back but she has to admit, the balsam that he had put over her ribs has completely cut off the pain better than morphine, not to mention the extra massage has made her purr...
“You still hadn’t told me how you know my name?” that’s it girl, no not focus on that flaming hands against your skin, save that thought for later, when you are alone.
“We have meet before” shrugged Noble “ just we had meet under our civilians identities”.
Noble let the silent expand for a minute as he could sense the frustration of the girl grow bigger by the moment, she truly hated to be in the dark and not in control of the conversation, but the soothing effect of the balm was too much for her anger and soon relaxed and sighed.
“Well, are you going to tell me or not?” pouted the girl from the bed where she was laying, his superior half naked and it was a supreme upper half, any model out there would sell their souls for half the physical perfection she had.
“Well...” said Noble incapable of resisting to the temptation of mess with the woman, it has been so long since he could flirt, joke and tease a female that he was loving every second of it.
Felicia waited and Noble just keep stirring the potion with the wooden stick, without saying anything, the silence prolonged for another minute until Noble took out the stick and turning to Felicia he just say.
“Its a secret”.
Felicia groaned and just feel like facepalm herself, now she was convinced, she hated to be the teased one.
Noble laughed and his laugh was a deep one, full with power yet the unmistakeable tint of amusement was hid within his laugh, no doubt the Ghost Rider was having a great time, walking in front of the bed, where Felicia was laying, he suddenly bow in front of the woman and with a voice that send shivers through the spine of Felicia, he presented himself.
“I am Noble Kale, of the proud House of Kale” said Noble “ I am honored of make your acquittance Lady Hardy”.
Felicia blinked, blushed and frown in a matter of a second after the elegant presentation of Noble, as a well educated lady, she knew the ways of the high society and as secret reader of all kind of romantic novels, she was sure she has read something among those lines in her books.
Well, the ladies were not half naked with their broken ribs in the process of healing and the men were not towering flaming skeletons but you get the essence of the matter.
“Charmed, I’m sure” said Felicia as she get more comfortable in the bed where she was laying, this ointment of his was a wonder, how come he has not commercialized it already?, half the cape community will donate a kidney for something like this.
She asked that same question, trying to push out of her mind how the bastard was playing with her without even trying.
“Well, for starters the USMLE had not granted me a medical license” shrugged Noble leaning on the wall at the feet of the bed where she was laying, always monitoring the sleeping girl, the concoction in the glass and the ribs of Felicia.
Another wonderful thing about not having eyes, no one could say where are you looking at, so you could see an entire scene and no one will know what are you fixing your visual at, in this case Noble was looking at the three of them at the same time.
Multitasking, another useful gift of his enlightened conscience as Ghost Rider and having the soul of a Seraphim inside his soul as core for his powers.
“What?” ask Felicia a little surprised “ but this is a private consultation, are you practicing medicine without license?”.
“Yes and no” explained Noble “ I do treat supernatural beings in this little hospital, werewolves with wolfs bane poisoning, a troll what has eat iron and its hurting his stomach, respiratory problems of a dragon, thinks like that”.
“Wait” raise a hand Black Cat, maneuvering in the bed to face Noble, her ribs were not as painful as they were and showing her naked breast was a cat already out of the bag “ are you telling me that you are the supernatural equivalent of private health care?”.
“In a sense” nod Noble and Felicia look at him completely stunned, before she started to laugh, a deep, good and sane laugh.
She did have a pretty laugh by the way.
“Oh, that’s rich mister Kale” clean the tears Felicia “ its just I has just imagine you with a medical gown and a stethos...” her voice went down slowly as she just blinked seeing how Noble was exactly dressing like that in front of her.
“How on earth?” muttered her.
“Glamour, a single charm spell to create a image over mine” chuckled Noble, disappearing the previous doctor appearance for his real duster and biker gear “ very useful to move around and do not cause panic, Amarna, the sphinx I have employed as nurse around here always says that I am the best cosplayer there is...never knew what the hell did she wanted to say with that”.
And Felicia broke in laughter again, this time picturing in her mind the image of this monster, dressing and acting like one of those hardcore fans that are in the conventions, oh, it would be fucking great to see him pose as She-hulk, Felicia almost broke again her ribs by the laughter.
“Good to see you in such good spirit, lass” commented Noble as he moved to the table, pick up some extra ingredients and add them to the mix in the glass.
Soon the potion will be ready and will cleanse the infection the little apprentice of Peter was suffering, that fucking cretin of Blackout didn’t know that his bite was incredible contagious and if he didn’t kill his prey, it will be more than probable to made the victim transform into an hybrid like him.
He double check that the potion was going well and satisfied with the results he turned his attention back to Felicia who was slowly recovering from whatever joke has he put unto himself accidentally, he didn’t have the slightest idea what the hell was so funny but it did the trick to quell the anxieties of the woman and make her relax a little from her suspicious.
“Ah, ah...” tried to recover her breath and slow down the severe stings that her damaged ribs were sending at her brain; now that she was recovering, the last thing she need was to buster back her own ribs by pure laughter “ oh my god, I needed that” she had to get rid of the mask to clean the tears that were forming from the laughter, revealing her beautiful face, a bit reddened from the laughs but beautiful anyways.
“One day I will have to ask the significance of that phrase” commented Noble “ it seems its hilarious but by my dear life I do not get the joke”.
“Oh please do” smiled Felicia, laying on the bed recovering her breath “I grant you it will be most hilarious”.
Noble knew in that moment, that he will regret for all eternity sharing that joke with the Black Cat, but it seems a good maneuver to gain her trust at the moment, and at the end, it has end in a success.
May it not seems like that, but Noble knew that the confidence and the trust among the cape community was not as easy to gain as it seems in the TV and the rest of the magazines and newspapers that cover the superhero side of the world.
That was the reason why cheered and nurtured all the bonds he could make during his career, he has visit both, heaven and hell, he has ruled hell for a century and he has learn valuable lessons from that time.
Perhaps that’s why his descendants call him a meddlesome grandpa, well, they will have to suck it and deal with it, Noble will not allow any harm befall to anyone under his care.
Noble shook his head and noticed how the fabric has fall from the sides of Felicia when he bent for the sudden laughing fit, moving at her side, he put a hand over her forehead and another over her side.
“What a bad kitty do I have here” chuckled.
Before she even had the chance to protest the magic of Noble start to make effect and she felt in an ocean of warm fire that turn off any protest she could have, turning her brain to mush instead as the fire of the Ghost Rider cover her body and start treating her wounds.
Being completely honest, Noble didn’t like to force curative magic on the bodies of his patients, it was much better, more natural if the body heals himself, he only needs help to deal with the most grievous wounds.
Any magic or science, is in essence, interference with the natural world, that’s why Noble usually prefers alchemy and natural remedies that crude magic surgery but he knows the tight time schedule that most of the superheroes have and how they have little time to heal wounds and broken bones that most probable comes as result of their actions.
Usually he would let the ointment to do it job and then let her rest a day or two until her ribs were completely healed back but at consequence of the laughing fit he will have to restart the treatment.
However, the fact that she purred during all the healing did make him smile inside his mind.
One of this day he will study a spell to grant his skull some degree of facial expressions, that would help him to socialize easily, or at last that was what he hoped.
He finished the spell and retire both hands from the forehead and side of Felicia who moaned in protest; well, he didn’t expect his healing magic to be so good, could it be that his fire augmented the power of the spell?, ooops...it will be like having a fire running through all your pleasure centers.
Her breath was a little jagged and she did moan a little when the fire left her body.
Mental note, never again this spell over a human being, it overload the pleasure centers, bad thing.
Second mental note, check out if someone has already patented an orgasmic spell, Noble had just stepped into one by accident.
She left the woman to recover from the experience and pull back the fabric with the ointment over her ribs, so it could heal naturally whats left of the couple of broken ribs he had along a little muscle puncture of the shards of bones in her insides.
Fortunately not enough to cause an hemorrhage, but yes more than enough to cause serious pain if they are left untreated; nothing that a week in a hospital could not heal but considering who was the one under the mask, not very sure about how much time did she had to spare.
Whatever, the spell had work, spectacularly he must add, and reduce his healing process to a tenth of what would be needed, she will be running in ten hours tops.
Damn he was fucking good, suck on that bastards of the USMLE.
Leaving her to bask in the afterglow of the spell, Noble turn his face to Mattie as the powers of the waters of Galilee would combat the infection for the moment, but the bite of Blackout carried the stench of her grandmother, the vampire Lilith and that means it will be needed something more that some holy water to cleanse her veins and soul from it.
He get closed to his alchemy desk and carefully making space for a new potion, he pass his flaming hand over the jars in the shelves.
Perhaps it was about time to left this place in the hands of Amarna, she was as good witch doctor as him and she could gain the confidence of the patients much better than him, in all honesty only the most desperate ones of the dwellers of the night had the guts to came by.
His fame as Spirit of Vengeance was well know and his appearances along the Avengers has done little to quell the fears of the possible patients, all of them prefer to endure the pain than to enter through the door and be burned in a explosion of Soulfire before they even can say hello.
However, the few that come with a good reason, spoke well of him and in the supernatural community the fame was all, he became something akin to a witch doctor, one that took care of the sickness and wounds of the supernatural beings of the city and afar, but only if they are good people.
He didn’t care if they are soldiers or miners, brokers or lawyers, they couldn’t hide what they are from his eyes, he would see their souls and judge appropriately to the circumstances if they deserve fire or healing.
So far the system has work and thanks to the dozen of wards that he has installed in the walls and ceiling of the clinic, he was more than convinced that the place will be safer from any possible intrusions.
Not the first time a demon, doppelganger, changeling, abyssal and so goes the list on, has tried to enter the clinic and feed on the wounded or stole the expensive and sometimes unique ingredients he had on the work desk.
Acquiring some of them were a total pain in the ass, and other can only be made during certain events and moments, other had their origins completely devastated and other simply didn’t exist anymore.
The brew inside the glass let go a bubble and suddenly the smell of garlic and silver coped the place, Noble took the potion in his hands and put in a glass of crystal, slowly stirring the liquid, he muttered one word and the potion suddenly erupted in light, changing the color to a cyan blue one.
Smiling inside his mind, Noble sit at the side of the sleeping Mattie and raising her head put the edge of the glass over his lips, whispering a command to the unconscious mind of the girl, she open her mouth and slowly drank all the potion, licking her lips after she has drank the contents of the glass completely.
Noble smirked mentally and surrounded the body of the girl with the blanket, the only thing that was left was to put her into a human hospital and let them treat her anemia, the potion cleanse and the waters restore mind and spirit but she has lost a loot of blood, better for her to recover as human and not as part of the supernatural.
Noble fingers rapped slowly the arm of Felicia, who slowly opened her eyes, protesting in grunts and moan for interrupting such a wonderful feeling like the one she was experimenting right now.
Lazily and without strength, she launch a punch to the face of Noble, who simply took it like a champ, laughing his ass off inside the safety of his mind, it would be against his image to bend over and laugh to the face of the poor woman.
He didn’t intended to transform a healing spell, into something more akin to tantric magic, he only tried those kind of things when Satana was around, and boy, that was a weekend to remember; they had experimented a lot of things but this was completely unexpected, he swears it.
“Ohhh” groaned the woman, zipping back his suit; careful of do not put out the cloth that bandaged her side and put her mask over her face again“ I swear I am going to make you pay for that...” promised the woman, still a little wobbly in the movements but glaring daggers and blushing slightly, feeling incredible guilty for the almost orgasmic sensation she has suffer.
“I deeply apologize lady Hardy, I will never call you Kitty again” bowed Noble in apologizing manner, even with Mattie enveloped in a blanket on his arms.
Felicia lost her words for a second, as she didn’t expect him to sound so sincere and apologizing, well, she did had hissed for the kitty remark but there no one single heist ;where she had to deal with thugs and other knuckleheads; where she had not hear the damn nickname.
Not she expect that he will bow again to her with such sincerity ringing in the voice and now that she noticed something, her ribs didn’t hurt anymore, well, that...whatever the hell was, she must admit that it was fucking awesome.
In a lot of ways.
She just pouted and get out of the bed, she did thought about what will happen when the clinic open in the morning, but Noble quickly told her that the clinic only opens at night, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, with some special days and a lot of Saturday nights.
Those were the days, the night seems more active and he had some time to spare to attend the patients, and before she could even ask, yes, he did home visits when the patients couldn’t move or it was real emergency.
See aforementioned remark about a dragon with respiratory problems.
Noble conjure another portal and soon they found themselves in the entrance of the Saint Mother Mary community hospital in Brooklyn.
Noble knew an svartalfar that was trying to make a living out of Svartalfheim and as far as he could from the reach of Malekith, disguising himself as human and when his talents as healer came to the front, Noble found him this job.
A lot of supernatural beings came to this hospital, the svartalfar treats them quietly and with discretion so when an Avenger enters by the door with a girl in his arms and a leather enveloped goddess at his side, the poor bastard knew that he was in a for a long night.
With the help of a nurse, an apprentice of sorcery, soon help them to accommodate the girl into an empty room; a private one.
Noble will carry all expenses, Peter was a friend and this girl was important to him, period.
The svartalfar soon closed the door with all of them in the room and chanted a spell over the body of Mattie who was soundly sleeping.
“Anemia and some minor contusions” declared the svartalfar doctor to the nurse who took note of the diagnostic “ make sure her food had an extra of garlic and her serum is the blessed water kind, just to be sure” smirked and Noble applauded for the precise and accurate diagnosis.
“Vampires my dear” said the doctor to the learning nurse, she wanted to be a witch doctor in the future so he was teaching him the ropes of the supernatural every chance they had “ their kiss is highly contagious and this poor girl has been infected by a demonic one, although I can sense something in her, cleansing the infection as we speak, your doing Noble?”.
“Yes, a blood cleansing potion, byzantine consecrated bread and nature Transylvanian garlic based” nodded the Ghost Rider.
“Noble” sighed the doctor “ that was fucking overkill, not to mention expensive...byzantine bread?, nature Transylvania garlic?, those things worth a fucking fortune!, each!”.
Noble just shrugged, he didn’t care a shit about money, he had it but what could a flaming skeleton spend it on?, he didn’t need sustenance, all he eats is for gusto not for need, his clothes are enchanted, created and modified by magic.
In all honesty, alchemy, ecological tobacco and music where his vices.
Black Cat smiled at seeing the five feet old elf giving an earful to the seven feet tall blazing skeleton, it was shocking and highly amusing at the same time.
Her diagnostic was far more quicker, some minor bruised ribs that were healing at an amazing rate, but she glared daggers at Noble when the doctor ask what kind of spell he used, Noble simply said that an imposing hand spell, empowered by a little of soulfire.
The doctor said nothing but the smirk he show, said all about how had he deducted what were the interesting secondary effects of the spell on the female body.
In a short amount of time, Mattie was already in a private room, protected under a ward and attended by the nurse, who put serum on her so she could start recovery from the ordeal, she will phone the familiars to inform them were they could find the girl.
Meanwhile, Noble has just hid himself under a glamour and moved right to the roof where he could enjoy himself in some of his special tobacco.
All this mess has left him with some questions to ask to the vampire community, who the hell give them the idea of start feeding on the superhuman?, and who the hell thought it was a fucking good idea?.
Lets review a quick fact about that statement.
What do you think it will happen if some cretin manages to transform the Hulk?.
Yeah, that exactly pal, and for the fucker who believed that he will gain a wonderful slave, just remind the fucker that any other vampire could use the same vampiric gaze to turn Hulk around and if by whatever reasons, Hulk lost control, he will drain entire cities.
Sometimes, the supernatural are just a bunch of cretins with too much power and not an inch of common sense.
There was a reason why not Varnae, not Drakula has never try to pull such a stunt in big numbers, it doesn’t work, Drakula tried with the X-men some years ago; in an attempt to gain a queen and a cohort and it almost end on him death at the hands of the same people he wanted to convert.
What his idiotic son tried to do with Utopia was very similar but into a bigger and more idiotic scale.
Noble sighed and pull out of his duster his smoking pipe, with a snap of his finger ignite the mix of herbs and inhaled deeply, thank God for the sense of taste and smell he could enjoy from time to time.
He stands in the edge of the roof, hidden between the AC extractors that were on the roof, the humming noise and the big form of the AC machines, covered him from any witness of his presence, they could not see him from the streets and if some personnel from the hospital exit to do the same as him, they will not see him behind the plastic and metallic squares.
Inhaling deeply from the pipe, Noble eyed the night, he could ear the sins of the humanity calling him, he could ear the screams of vengeance from the victims, he could taste the blood that the blood crimes produce.
He was Noble Kale, he was Ghost Rider and he will enact retribution in the name of those that could not achieve it by themselves.
This was not the law of the jungle between predator and prey, as ancient and true as that law is, that law didn’t contemplate one single thing.
Animals don’t want vengeance but humans, oh believe him, humans do claim vengeance every time they can.
And if the cause is right, Noble will be more than happy to fell over the guilty like the hammer of god, he was made for that after all.
The swift and agile form of the Black Cat appeared at his side, crouching over the AC in a cat like manner, the girl was regal as only she could be; smirking widely, she has managed to move into that position with a plastic glass of coffee and do not drop a tear.
Such skill must be respected.
“Goodnight Black Cat” saluted Noble even if they had only been separated from a couple of minutes, you don’t know who could be listening or watching the conversation now that they were in the open.
“Goodnight tall, dark and hot” teased the Black Cat taking a sip from her coffee “ any thoughts worth sharing?”
“Hum, perhaps a few, would you be a dear and listen to the ramblings of an old man?” ask Noble exhaling some smoke into the nights.
“Sure, nothing better to do tonight anyways, that job on the club has left me exhausted” she said following suit of the Rider and appearing as they had just meet, she thought it was a little paranoiac of him.
“Ah, vampires, I hate those leeches,Michael and Hannibal excluded of course” said Noble “ they only bring more troubles that they are worth”.
“Blade uses to say the same” nodded her “ but I didn’t know you knew Michael Morbius in a first name basis”.
“I did help him to find a cure of his artificial vampirism” shrugged Noble “ it was fun but the lad needs to find his balance, otherwise the cure will be useless”.
“Ah, so it was you who helped him with his blood thirst” chuckled Felicia “he is more happy now that he doesn’t have to feed on human people, your treatment did wonders to his character you know”.
“I am to serve lass” said Noble making a circle in the air with the smoke of the pipe “ he was just a poor bastard that fall on the supernatural side of the things by accident, so I just play a little damage control before things went south, happens more times that it should be”.
“Ohh” smiled here with her hair dancing in the breeze of the night, playful as a cat from whom she took name and character “ give me an example”.
“IMA” said Noble with a grunt “ they thought it was a fucking good idea to clone Snowbird, the daughter of an old and powerful Canadian goddess, using the tissues and blood of the clones to empower his agents into a superhuman state”.
“Ouch” said Felicia enjoying the coffee and the night, now that her objective has been accomplish and she even had picked up a plus, despite it being a favor to Peter “ and when did the shit hit the fan?”.
“The goddess listened to the soul of her children and tear the place apart” said Noble forming an image of a raging arctic pole bear “ pity the fucking base was under a human population, the little town of Southbear, the place no longer exist, fortunately the place was evacuated at time”.
“Imagine this lass, a one hundred feet tall white bear that wanted to tear the place apart, whose roar could shatter iron like it is wet paper and who is blind with rage” said Noble remembering the battle that he fought to give the Avengers enough time to evacuate the place “he shatter a tank like a beer can with a glance and you don’t want to know what did she do with the IMA fools that fall in her paws”.
Felicia picture the image in his mind and with sip of her coffee she just said.
“More or less what I said” nodded Noble “ and like IMA, another dozen of fuckers that had similar brilliant ideas and just go ahead indifferent to the consequences of what they were doing and the rest have to deal with their stupidity”.
“Calm down Rider, you are burning strongly” said Felicia with a hint of worry in the voice, she has saw what he could do and if that was when he was just annoyed, she never want to see what he could do enraged.
“My apologies lady” sighed Noble controlling his flames and tuning them down, it would be dangerous if he just let them roam free “ sometimes I just amaze myself of the stupidity of the so called intelligent men”.
“Not the only one” chuckled her “I had my share of crazy doctors, scientists and men of science playing god”.
“Don’t ever mention it” sighed Noble fully understanding what Black Cat wanted to say.
They let the silent extend for a minute, a little of peace will be welcome after the crazy night they have had but for Noble it was just business as usual, a little more worrying considering the problem of the empowered vampires but nothing out of the ordinary beyond that.
“There is something I wanted to ask” said suddenly Black Cat as she ended her coffee and jumped down in an acrobatic pirouette.
“Is there flesh under those deliciously fill pants ?” crouching like a cat she smiled at Noble, oh, she hated how she couldn’t pick up a reaction from him but that only makes the challenge even better.
“Was and will be, I will inform you of the success in the project” replied Noble without losing a beat and Felicia pouted.
“Spoilsport” muttered her but the part of the was and will did stir her curiosity, standing over two legs, she grab a protected smartphone from her belt and check for news and work messages.
“What do you mean with was?, you are a skeleton in flames all the time?” asked her with curiosity.
“For the last year and half, yes I am” chuckled Noble “ previously I had a human form, and I am confident that I could be able to create a body for me to use, not to mention I am found myself quickly learning the usefulness of the Glamours of the fairies to interact with the rest of the mortals”.
“Aren’t you the optimistic one?” teased Felicia who couldn’t exactly match the terrifying image of the Avenger of the Club with the gentle and playful doctor she has met in the clinic it was shocking to say the least.
“No matter how cold and dark the night is, persevere, for the morning always comes” said Noble with a hint of nostalgia in his voice.
“Deep, yours or borrowed from someone book?” said Felicia, sending a message to Peter that Mattie was safe and to inform him of where she was.
“Gospel of Kale” smiled in his mind Noble “ as the prophet Abakam wrote”.
“Gospel?” chuckled Felicia “ yeah sure, why not?, with the craziness I have seen in the night, I don’t even know why I bother”.
“That’s good, means you are learning” exhaled Noble a circle of smoke with a cross inside “whatever makes you survive the night is a good thing”.
A sudden beep, interrupted the conversation and Noble search inside the common pockets of his duster for the damn communicator, he hated the things, a simple spell will be much better but the dependance of the technology seems deeply engraved in the minds and souls of the superheroes of this age.
Taking the device from the pocket, he push the A over the plastic and soon an hologram of the head of Ironman appeared in front of him.
“We need you Ghost Rider, Magneto is adamant on do not deliver Wanda to the authorities and has closed Genosha borders” informed Ironman of the situation.
“Ironman, I am a mystical being” sighed Noble making the device float in front of him,so Tony could not see the Black Cat at his side, she has been clever enough to get out of sight but closer enough to hear everything.
“Strange said that the Chaos magic emanations from Genosha are off the charts, Wanda is about to do something drastic and we need you here, Cap is calling all the Avengers available into a priority Omega”.
Noble sighed again, he feared this but at the same time, it was perhaps his fault, he has been to lenient with the treatment of Wanda, after all she was sick on the mind, not on the body and her spirit was strong.
He feared the consequences of a being like him messing with the core of a chaos magician, with the level of power Wanda had, the consequences could be disastrous, but at fate seems to have decree, the consequences are already disastrous without any need of him intervening.
“Understood Ironman, where are the coordinates for the rendezvous?” asked Noble, who would have starting to nurse a headache if it wasn’t for the fact that he had not head to ache to start with.
“USS Philharmonic” said Ironman “ five miles outside of Genosha waters”.
The hologram disappeared and Noble, just inhaled from his smoking pipe for the last time and let go into the dark night a dense cloud of tobacco, it appeared as his skull was emanating smoke, making the effect even more impressive.
“Sound serious” commented Felicia, all playfulness out of her voice, she knew when to play and when the shit has hit the fan “need a hand?”.
“I would gladly accept the help of a professional like you any day, Lady Hardy” said Noble whistling into the night so his warhorse knew he need him “ but as talented as you are dealing with some aspects of the night you are by no means a sorceress”.
Felicia felt in part proud, in part disappointed and in part agreeing with the Ghost Rider, he was right on the last part, she was a good vampire killer; not like Blade that has made his life of that job; but she had no idea of magic, apart of the few knowledge she has pick up here and there during her clashes with things of mystical origin.
“Scarlet witch is a Chaos sorceress of the first order, a danger for herself and everyone around in the state she is” explained Noble to Black Cat “ even Doctor Strange tips on his toes around a chaos magician and I do fear what could happen if her magic and mine clash or worst, mix”.
The whining of his warhorse pierced the night when the beast made his appearance in a explosion of orange fire at the back of Noble, who was more than accustom to his dramatic entrances but Black Cat has jumped by reflex over the AC machines and almost hissed like a real cat to the massive warhorse.
Noble let it go, despite how much he wanted to tease the woman, he had another preoccupations right now, he had to travel to the ship and join the rest of the Avengers to see what will be their course of action about Genosha.
He feared the worst.
Genosha water borders
The silence in the command room was dense and heavy, none of the eight superheros present in the room could utter a word after the bomb Captain America has drop on them, and what its worst was the fact that almost all of them considered Wanda a loyal comrade not so long ago.
Noble has only need an hour of riding to get into the battleship and join Logan, Peter and Carol in the outside of the ship; they were in the deck of the ship, along a dozen of fighter planes that were being geared up in case things goes south.
Miss Marvel, Wolverine, Spiderman, Captain America, Ironman, Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange and Black Widow were present on the room, they are all the available avengers at the moment and along the X-men would have to be the ones that had to put a stop to the Genosha crisis.
Genosha was one of those countries that the rest of the world would like to ignore as their population is practically entirely made of mutants and some humans here and there, families and things of the sort that take residence in Genosha to be with the people they loved.
So far Magneto has been doing a good job, keeping the mutant population safe and slowly growing into developing country but this mess with Wanda could send back Genosha; and the rest of the world probably; back to the stone age if they were not cautious.
Wanda hit bottom when she accidentally erased Hawkeye from the world, literally, she screamed and in a burst of magic she made Clint Barton disappear like he has never existed, then she collapsed and Magneto appeared to pick his daughter and bring her back to Genosha were she will be safer.
But it seems that his plans did not work as good as it seems, considering the massive amount of Chaos magic that was emanating from the center of the island, the place where Magneto placed his residence.
All the heroes had his own thoughts about all this, and not few of them wanted blood for the death of Hawkeye, the man has been part of the Avengers practically since the beginning and dying like this was not a good way to go.
Noble on the other hand, had other preoccupations, he has been monitoring the chaos emanations and surprisingly, he has found a solid patron on it, something that make him suspect that there was a third hand in all this, no chaos magician would establish a patron like this for their spells, that would be contrary to the essence of the chaos magic.
Meaning, all this magic had a purpose, has an end and a objective to achieve and judging for the amount of power involved, this was going to be a global change kind of spell.
Noble was silent during all the debacle that has followed the recent reports of activities in the Genosha borders, the mutant population, was fortifying the coast and considering the variety of powers they have, any military operation will be suicide to say the least.
Any case, Noble was meditating over the patron of the spell, he has saw something very similar before, not sure where but there was something on it that ring a bell on his memory and it was not a good memory.
Steven had raise a barrier that would prevent any telepathic intrusion in the planing session, Genosha had the best spy network in the world after all, just send a telepath to find a secret and voila.
Not to mention Emma Frost, AKA White queen has been reported as main teacher in one of the most prestigious schools for young telepaths inside the island, that alone, considering how she alone was more than enough risk for the security, installing some very powerful psy wards was a must.
He listened to the last plan of Cap and changed his position calling attention to him from the rest of the presents, that route will only end in disaster.
“Do not force his hand Captain” advertize Noble “despite all his defects, Magneto is a worried father, if you bring him war to his yard, he will respond, hard, and we know how dangerous Magneto is when he is cornered”.
“We are getting out of options fast Rider” shook his head Captain America “ considering the mutant population they had, it will a complete suicide to send in troops and Magneto has block any diplomatic attempt we have send him”.
“I know Captain” nodded Noble “ I sense the massive amount of magic that is gathering in the island, soon it will start affecting the systems of the ship and possible a couple of hours later if the spell is not finish will start to mess with your perceptions”.
“What are we dealing with here Noble?” ask Captain America with a tired voice, the menaces were just adding one on top of the another and the good guys are starting to notice how the less and less of them are and how the dangers just keep growing.
“With the injured mind of a cursed innocent” sighed Noble in the same voice “ Wanda is injured, her will shatter and damaged, the stress of her life added to the need of perfect control to keep her powers in check was too much for her”.
“Fuck it Rider” grunted Logan “ what if she decided to do the same she did to Barton to the rest of the world?”.
“As nerve breaking as that though is, never forget that she will not want to die” replied Noble with his usual calm and solid demeanor “ she wanted to live as much as the rest, what happen to Clint, despite being a tragedy is the result of an accident, I’m afraid that Wanda has been push beyond her limits and this is the result of such actions”.
“Don’t get it G.R” said Spiderman “ are you telling me that Wanda has no idea of what she is doing?”.
“More or less, yes” nodded Noble and the rest just reacted with surprise, sadness or just shaking their heads “ She is slowly losing control over her sanity, the perfect state for a Chaos magician as their powers will not be contained and she could just do whatever the hell she wants”.
“And that’s why we have to stop her” there was sadness and tiredness in the voice of the Captain.
“Ha!” barked Logan “ easier said than done, you see Genosha Cap, their will fight for her, Magneto couldn’t have picked a worst moment to play papa bear”.
“Rider, would her death stop all this madness?” asked Black widow and some of the present look at her in horror.
“Perhaps” shrugged Noble “ or it could make it worst, depends of what are her last thoughts”.
“What?” ask Miss Marvel “ tell me you are not seriously considering kill her, she was our comrade not two weeks ago”.
“Then she vaporized Barton” interjected Logan in his usual rowdy style.
“I will not participate in an assassination” stated Peter solemn.
“Neither do I” added Miss Marvel.
“That’s a solution I do not even consider” stared Captain to Wolverine and Black Widow who just stared back.
“Not to mention, it will only complicated things further” said Doctor Strange after exiting his trance.
The astral is a complete mess, and he was more than just shaken for the massive amount of power that was gathering over the island.
“At this point killing the caster, unconsciously or not will only provoke a massive explosion of unleashed power” shook his head Steven taking a glass of water from the machine in the room.
No one missed how his hands trembled, he was visibly pale and sick, the bags under his eyes a proof that he has not sleep in days.
“Chaos power; I even shudder to think what could happen if that happens”.
“Dammit Steven, you forced the soul protection again isn’t it?” growled Noble putting his flaming hand in the forehead of Steven and quickly muttering a prayer, the effect was instantaneous, clearing the bags and giving a more healthy tone to his skin.
“My apologies old master but it was needed” smiled Steven still thirsty from the ordeal.
Noble grunted and slapped Steven back, making the sorcerer wince from the impact.
“I did not taught you soul wards to see you jump to the shark pool lad” said Noble with a serious tone, even now he was still considering Steven a young and brilliant pupil but a little fool sometimes.
“So, what can you tell us Doctor?” said Captain America.
“Its a ritual” said Steven “ or it did seems like one, its focusing all that energy into a point, then Wanda only had to express her desire and the magic will make her words reality”.
“That’s it!” exclaimed Noble suddenly “ that’s why it resulted so familiar to me, Kotodama, she is just using Kotodama without any words, oh God above how I hate chaos magic, its almost unfair”.
“You lost me” twist his head to the side Spiderman.
“Make two of us” add Miss Marvel.
“Kotodama, meaning words of power, ancient Japanese style of magic” explained Noble “you take energy, say the word and it happens”.
“Abracadabra and all that?” questioned Spiderman with curiosity, he was a scientist after all.
“Easier and more powerful” said Strange “ you said car and a car will appear in front of you, as easy as that but the power is needed to fuel even the most basic of the Kotodamas spells is huge, only gods dare to even try”.
“Chaos magic” pointed Noble out of the window of the ship to the island “ she spokes and it happens remember, chaos does not obey any rules at all”.
“Oh, that’s unfair” said Spiderman and Miss Marvel snickered punching him on the arm to shut him.
“Totally concur lad” nodded Noble “ but then, it works to our advantage”.
“How?” ask Captain America.
“Kotodama, even if is enhanced by Chaos magic can be undone or reversed or twisted” explained Steven, seeing some hope in the horizon.
“We, either Strange or me or any superhero you had with any mystical affinity, could enter in the vortex and pronounce new words” continued Noble “ effectively shutting down the spell and perhaps using the connection between the energy and Wanda to put her into a healing coma, where we could treat her broken mind”.
“Sound like a plan to me” smiled Captain America, who has learn to trust into Noble judgment and skills when it comes to magic “and is much better than any other we had so far”.
“Move people, we will deploy in ten” said Captain to the rest of the heroes “ we had to reunite with the X-men and the rest of us in the beach via teleportation, Strange, that’s your call”.
The heroes start to move to the deck where they will join the others into the attack into Magneto mansion, only to cut down the massive spell that was casting, no matter if intentionally or not.
Captain feared a lot of resistance, after all, all the population has powers up to some degree and all of them will defend the daughter of their savior from any outsider, no matter if they are the Avengers or Galaktus itself the ones calling at the gates.
Noble feared that this conflict will only weaken even more the good guys rooster, the seed of dissension and mistrust was already planted, it was only time for it, to grow and collect a bountiful harvest, diminishing the numbers of heroes.
Between the law to private all of them of masks and the constant pressures of the life of the superheroes, it was a matter of time before even the best of them will fail to the pressure and another warrior would have to carry the blade.
He has seen the cycle enough time to recognize that some dark times where looming in the horizon, it was only a matter of when will the lighting strike and how will they face the storm.
Business as usual.
But for that, he will have to survive this mess and make sure the heroes are ready for another round, because there is always another round.
Noble was the last exiting the room, as the rest of the heroes had already move but he surprised a little of finding Spiderman sitting in the wall near the door waiting from him.
“Ey, G.R” saluted the man in the red and blue suit “ just wanted to thank you for saving the bacon of Mattie and Black Cat out there”.
“Uh?!, how come you already know?” said Noble, it was not a couple of hours since he left both in the hands of a doctor of his trust.
“She text me” said Spiderman showing Noble one of those things called phones.
Noble felt the sudden urge to facepalm himself.
“Of course, those accursed things that only serve to flood you with thrice dammed spam mail” groaned Noble looking at the thing “ I hate those apparatus Spiderman, they are only a headache”.
The laughs of Spiderman resonated through the ship as he crawled on the cell of the corridor accompanying Noble into the deck.
As Captain had promised, they soon found themselves standing over the beach of Genosha, ten members of the X-men and another group of Avengers had reunited, elevating the number of heroes present to the thirties.
Noble was over the sand of the beach, eyes on the sky as the light of the magic of Wanda could already be seen by every one, being magical sensitive or not.
The ritual was already reaching his climax and that would be a very bad thing, not to mention Noble has sensed something odd in the power; the one that emanates and is controlled by the unconscious of Wanda is clean, pure and chaotic as Chaos magic can be but the mass of the spell, the typhoon of power that is gathering over it is tainted with the reek of sacrifice.
Blood sacrifice, someone is empowering Wandas magic by sacrificing people, up to a point where she could have use Kotodama freely and send ripples through all the earth.
Fools, this was like throw an ignited matchstick into an ocean covered by gasoline to clean the waters; it was far worse the remedy than the sickness.
A lot of heroes were preparing for the battle that will come, a lot of them knew the auburn haired woman and still considered her a friend, such thoughts were dangerous in the battlefield.
An amalgamation of thoughts and emotions was present in the souls of the heroes, some were just wary of the possibility of being invaders of this country, one of the few places on earth were they could be accepted.
Others just wanted to end this as fast as possible and be back to their own devices, others just enjoyed the opportunity to enjoy themselves in the thrive of battle and others simply were there because it was their duty as heroes to help as many as they can.
Noble was proud of being an Avenger, no matter how many times did he discuss with Captain America about the attitude and reactive way of doings things and how they are a lot more preoccupied with what the world would say than the real threat.
The work the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, The X-men, the Defenders and so on goes the list of super teams; is good, its necessary, something has to uphold the balance, no matter how many times the bastards tend to trip on their own toes, they persevere and keep maintaining the earth safe.
World domination?, stupid, money, fame, fortune, glory?, temporary at best.
Only the Eldest one is eternal, and even God will have to see the time and the universe collapse as it happens time after time since the beginning of the cycle.
Sighing mentally, Noble turned to study the heroes that had reunited for this battle.
From the boasting Hercules to the young Shadowcat, every one of them heroes that had suffered quite enough at the hands of fate, yet they persevere and that determination is something that he could respect.
Was not so different from his own stubbornness after all, only differently focused.
Cyclops and Captain America were already discussing about strategy and how to proceed, Noble could sense dozens of souls moving around the place and sooner or latter, a telepath will found them and sent reinforcements to drawn them off the island.
The wards that young Rachel Summers has put around them to prevent psy detection were solid, but Noble and Steven had added some extra layers as an extra precaution, with all the chaos magic that is floating in the air, the wards could simply stop working any moment or shove all their thoughts into the head of any nearby telepath.
He could sense the distrust that the X-men fell around the Avengers, not really a surprise for him, there was not exactly love between both groups lately, it did seems that everything they done only served to widen the breach between the mutant community and the cape community.
Such a stupid distinction, they are all humans, their souls are the same, their bodies and blood are the same, their minds are the same.
One can do wonders, the other no, that the only differnce.
That was stupid.
Humanity is limitless, potential knew no bounds, that was God tried to smash in their think skulls since the begging, they were all made in its own image, male and female, that means they have infinity potential, if only they would see that, it was obvious yet none of them seems to realize and the few that saw it were ridiculed by their more “ sensitive and intelligent” kin.
Mankind never learn, but they try and that’s a point in their favor, actually the only one he could think about now.
“Good to see you around Noble” noticed Noble how She-hulk has appeared at his side along other fellow Avengers “ I am a little surprised to decide to join this party”.
“It was against my better judgment but circumstances forced my hand” sighed Noble “ anyway good to see you too Jen, didn’t see you since that mess in Canada with Alpha flight, I thought you will be busy with the trial of the Conglomerate ”.
“Don’t ever remind me” she frown, Jennifer Walters, AKA She-hulk, strong as hulk and one of the better lawyers that exist, she and Mathew Murdock are the best bet when you had a legal problem to deal with and you are a cape.
“That case is a complete nightmare” she sighed “ I will fight Galaktus with an arm tied at my back than pass another day at the office”.
“Something that a lot of us share up to a point” added Black Widow adjusting her bracers “ you don’t want to know how many reports we had to fill when Shield helped in that operation”.
“Bah, how could we drown ourselves in ink and paper when battle awaits us?” laughed Hercules as boasting as always, the Prince of power was always a joyful addition, pity Thor was impossible to locate, since the supposed Fall of Asgard.
“ A sentiment with I completely concur” laughed Noble “ but please be cautious my friends, this is a battle that could only end bad, as we could see the need of spill the blood of innocent ones”.
“Damn, you had to say it” punched She-hulk his arm with a solemn tone.
“Where did the plan of keeping her safe at all cost go?” snorted Black Widow.
“There” pointed Noble to the turbulence of light and red streaks that filled the sky of the island “I will do all I can to protect Wanda from herself and to prevent any casualties but I can do nothing if the loyal to Magneto wanted to play kamikaze on us”.
They were professionals, in fact Hercules was an immortal that had seem more than enough blood, so they all understood what Noble wanted to say, Jen, however was a lawyer and taking a life, no matter the circumstances was against the law that she swear to protect.
This was a very thought pill to swallow and the fact that she was already neck deep in a complicated case on where an innocent was forced to kill heroes in Canada only aggravated the situation.
“Just remember my friends, we are Avengers” said Noble and just channel a bit of his power as Seraphim to add weight to his words “ and we had never fail humanity before, they will need of us and we will come, we are Avengers and if we can not save, we at last can Avenge”.
All three of them stiffened their posture, their will reinforced by some words, its wonderful how the words could do the impossible.
Be careful for thoughts became words, words roots and became realities.
Soon they were called by Captain America to inform them of the strategy they will follow during the mission.
Noble was not an strategist, every time he played an strategy game with Captain or Black Widow he had lost, that doesn’t mean he can not be a bastard when the time is right but now he will follow those who are prepared to lead.
Neither Zadquiel or him were generals, but monsters that roam the battlefield; you only need to point him at something and he would do the rest, just make sure the cleaning team had extra supplies to clean the gore around.
In a sense he approved the plan.
Doc Strange, being human as he was, was more prepared to deal with the typhoon, if he gets inside the maelstrom, there was a tiny possibility that it will became even bigger, as the typhoon will feed on the massive power core that the essence of a Seraphim was and that will only make things complicate.
So, he was put on the distraction teams, the ones that have to put down all security patrols they found and cause enough commotion to distract the forces in the house of Magneto an allowing the small infiltration team to go and cut short whatever the hell is happening inside.
Noble find himself among some of the lesser infiltration oriented heroes, She-hulk, Hercules, Colossus, Miss Marvel, War machine and Iceman.
All considering, they are a group that can cause a shit ton of damage if they wanted, however they had an order, search and neutralize all patrols they could find, Noble was among them in case some of the Chaos magic slipped and start affecting them.
The groups moved and Noble felt a chill.
That itself was a novelty, he didn’t know a body like his could fell something like that, in fact it should have been impossible but this days, impossible was a very common thing, however the chill itself was more akin to a premonition.
He didn’t know he was a Farseer, in fact none of his powers had nothing to do with prophecy itself, for something like that he usually went to Julia Carpenter.
The blind ex-spiderwoman has the ability to see the Webb, the line that connects all lives, a very fascinating piece of art that was made by Anansi, the primordial spider, one of the oldest animal gods in existence.
This chill was something that put him on edge and make him stop for a second as he quickly check his wards, perhaps the chaos magic has started to filter and was messing with his powers but there was nothing like that on his wards, so all of this could been a trick of his mind.
Things just got curious and curious.
Noble step in the ice ramp that Iceman has provided for the non-fly capable of the group so they could move faster, it was a clever action, so Noble just hoped in and enjoy the ride, releasing a bit the chain on his arm.
He put his hand in the shadows of the duster, looking for an appropriate weapon, he didn’t wanted casualties but that doesn’t mean he will not hit hard and without mercy, for his amusement, he extracted a large baton, about two feet long, golden and metallic, engraved with enoquian runes of strength and victory.
Playing with it a little to accustom to the weight and form of the baton, he observed the two heroes of the sky, as soon as he raised his head, both of them were already dodging a dozen of lasers, fire and lighting beams that came from some point ahead in the beach.
Hercules laughed and pointed to a bunch of missiles that were right in his direction, Iceman grunted and was ready to change trajectory but Noble put a hand in his shoulder and tell him to keep going.
Releasing a lot more of chain, Noble toss the chain in a straight throw, imbued with the soulfire that was the core of his powers, the chains became an extension of him, he could control how the links of metal will move and so did.
The chains shoot like serpents and circled all the missiles, stopping them in their trajectory and crunching them, making them explode without any harm, as few things on earth could cause any harm to the metal the chains are made of.
“Wow” resume Iceman, still focus on bringing them to the fight.
Noble drag his chains back, and they simply circled his chest and arms ready to be deployed again at his master will.
“Showoff” laughed She-hulk thundering her knuckles and ready for some old good action.
“As usual your dexterity with those chains of your would have earned you a place among Odysseus crew any day” laughed Hercules, looking for the battle.
They didn’t have to wait longer, rushing for the attack of the missiles, Iceman soon bring them into the middle of what it like to a tidal wave of mutants of all kind that were fighting against War Machine and Miss Marvel like there was no tomorrow.
Noble just jumped in the middle of their lines and start dispatching them with ruthless ability and swiftness strikes to vital points.
Soon the rest of his team join the fray, Hercules with a loud battle cry that made Noble smirk, the Olympian will never change; stamping themselves against the mutant horde to prevent them to reach Magneto house and cut the path of the infiltration team.
Noble let his chain dance and done at their leisure, being part of him, he could control it perfectly and by so it became a whip, a barrier, a lance, a hail of sharp links, whatever he need. Versatile as hell and compliment with the baton in his hands, they became a storm of metal and fire that cleave a path in the middle of the horde.
The baton block what seems to be a talon form a bird like mutant and his chain grab the body of another that was like the Thing but with hair and a lot of jewelry, pulling the chain, he slammed the rock man into the bird mutant and them cross their faces with the baton leaving them both k.o.
Not a second after he raise his chained hand and block a stream of ice, the ice soon covered his body but the ice just crumbled when he augmented the output of his flames and shatter the ice provoking a wave that grounded a dozen mutants around him.
Ice, please, that was so cliche that it made him laugh, as soon as he started his superhero carrier a lot of mad scientists and criminals had just try to put him on ice, from spells to liquid nitrogen and none of them had succeed.
The fire around him is soulfire, the pure essence of heaven, the fire that lighted stars and bring the first humans to life, they would need something akin to Yimirs ice to make him fell a chill.
And speaking of which, there is another one.
This time was double the size and despite being in the middle of a battle, he raised a white dome around him and double check the spell patterns around him; the sky was a red and white as he remembered so the spell was still working and it has been only ten minutes since the start of the operation so where does this chill come from?.
Collapsing the barrier, as it has been attacked by a dozen of mutants with elemental attacks and pure brute force, he charged them and start putting them down with his usual ruthlessness, he only allowing himself an extra measure of brutality when he face one whose sins were greater than the common.
It did seems that Genosha did host people with criminal pasts and Noble was all about rehabilitation, but true rehabilitation and not that poor excuse of bureaucracy shit that he has saw in the penitentiaries all around the globe.
Perishing the thought for latter, Noble put down a trio of lizard like mutants, hitting them on their heads with the baton in quick and brutal succession and tossing them chained to a big and resilient mutant he tossed in the water after that.
Miles and miles ahead in the water, he used that strategy with a lot of super powered brutes that are all about strength but are sorely lack in any other department, tossing them into a mass of water or into an empty land reduces the risk of any innocent being harm by the fight.
He broke the arm of a young piroquinetic, she screamed when the twin bones of the forearm snapped under the strength of Noble, without losing the arm, he kicked another mutant in the chest with enough force to knock him out and then put the young fire psi talent to sleep with an arm lock.
His chains were already broking and choking, snapping and crunching, it was better to had a broken arm than having their organs reduced to a pulp by the sudden impact of an unbreakable chain with force enough to trash a tank like it was a beer can.
The combat was a joke, or at last, that what it seems to Noble.
Oh, he was pretty sure than a non-empowered hero like Punisher or sword master will have a lot of problems, solved with a lot of ammunition in the first case, but in the case of the ones involved in the battle, it was just a matter of time before they win.
Considering the strength, the endurance and the powers involved, the little army of mutants can only use the horde card and it was pretty useless against people who could absorb his attacks and smash them like pins.
He channel some fire into his chain and with a whipping motion, the links separated and went flying in all directions.
It was like a grenade would have exploded in the middle of them, and they were lucky, the links were dulled, if they were sharpened as usual, all will remain of a dozen of them would be a very mangled corpse.
Soon the explosions and the sounds of all kind of rays start to wear down and the lamentations of the wounded started to became louder, the groans of pain of the incapacitated victims soon became the only sound apart from some minor fires in the nearby forest and the ice over the sea water crackling for the difference in temperature.
“Fah” spitted Hercules in the sand with a frown “ this was not a battle, just a bunch of children being spanked for idiots”.
More or less what Noble thought, but then, he repaired on how young the mutants were, perhaps he has been to rough with them, but perhaps it would serve as a lesson for all of them to what they could expect if they dwell in the way of the violence.
Some of them did have talent, however they were rude and they molested each other instead of collaborate. Seems that only a few of them knew what where they doing and they has been taken down quite quickly, the rest was just as Hercules said, adults beating the shit out of them.
Well, their work as distraction did work like a charm, the noise of all this fight would not doubt call in for all the reinforces, the island could call in, and fortunately even big bad Magneto will come out to play.
Aaand speaking of that...
Noble raise a hand and block completely the two tons iron beam that said master of magnetism has launch without even batting an eyelash directly at him and the rest of the diversion team.
Noble has to admit that he was honestly surprised, he had never take Magneto for a fool, and the man had enough battle experience to recognize a diversion when he sees one, and yet here he was, accompanied by an electric girl Noble did not recognize and a pair of brutes, one of them was an old sidekick of him from the days of the Brotherhood.
Usually one will think that they were the ones in inferiority, but with Magneto around, calculations, went off the window quickly.
He didn’t even start talking with his usual grandiloquence and that put Noble on edge, however when the beam at his hand suddenly twisted and became a ball of iron that imprison him and start crushing, he sighed and focus on the moment.
As soon as he pronounce a word inside the crushing metal egg, the mortal iron went white hot in an instant, melting like ice in from of a torch, he didn’t care about the molten metal over his body, it was nothing compared to how his own flesh could torch apart the sun.
Literally, that’s the bad thing about the power of a Seraphim, they took things literally, they were given a task and a purpose and they did posses all the authorities they needed to fill that role, considering how a lot of them just shape the reality in the earlier days, it was not a surprise.
Noble observed the scene and sighed inside his mind, once again, mission accomplish.
They managed to get Magneto out of his house to play with them; Hercules and She-hulk were busy dealing with the pair of brutes, one of them was already covered by a metallic like skin that made him shine under the sun of the day and reflect the exchange of electric blast and ice spikes that Iceman and the electric woman were having.
Not a surprise War machine has get out of the battle, his systems were not ready for Magneto, he would crunch him inside his armor without any problem, Miss Marvel on the other hand was giving him a lot of trouble.
She could absorb any lost lighting from the battle below and use it to empower herself and smash by brute force the magnetic bubble of Magneto, even shooting at him some of her photon blasts; she was playing this like it was an air strike, quick hit and run.
Carol was one of the best pilots he has ever saw in action and when she acquired the power of flying, she only get better at it.
Noble focus on Magneto, Jen and Hercules had it cover and Iceman even seems to be enjoying the action so it was up to him to end this battle and for that he will have to use some magic.
He couldn’t fly, that was not among his powers, of course he could call his warhorse but that will add another powerful magical presence to the already overloaded magical web of the chaos spell Wanda was unconsciously creating.
Not to mention he didn’t put wards on the mount, considering that he will not use him this time.
Time to get creative and for that and considering who was his rival, he had the perfect spell, something that he pick up from an old dragon as paying for the surgery he perform on him after he had a battle against Captain Britain over West Hampton.
Noble chanted the words and open her skull jaws as much as he can, however he did take a bit of time to use those things called earplugs to inform Carol of his intentions, she will kick his ass all ways to Sunday if she get caught in the fire explosion.
“Carol, Ghost Rider here, I am going to shoot Magneto a massive stream of flames, attack when the shield starts cracking”.
He could see the smirk on Carols face when he informed her of his intentions.
A sudden and loud ignition like sound deafened every one in the beach when Noble, like he was some kind of dragon of old, breathed enough fire to imitate the ignition of an space shuttle, the burst of flames and heat traveled the distance between him and Magneto in a blink.
Magneto widened his eyes and frenetically empowered the spherical magnetic shield that has been protecting him from the attacks of Miss Marvel, sensing the impending doom that was the stream of fire that has appeared from nowhere.
The fire and the shield collide like a hammer against an anvil and the shock wave send Carol flying backwards almost twenty meters, even the people fighting on the beach felt the pressure that the impact has provoke but all of them shrugged it off easily between their superhuman resilience and endurance.
However the fire and the shield were emitting such an amount of light and heat; one trying to overcome the other; that blinded the fighters who couldn’t see well, only the lighting girl and the metallic man seems to be all right.
The metallic man take advantage of the occasion and sucker punched Hercules, sending him flying into the little and already damaged forest around the beach; meanwhile the lighting girl send a volley of lighting against Noble, who couldn’t move as it was the only weakness of the spell, you have to be still to channel the fire.
He was about to create a shield with his chain but Carol appear in front of him and absorb the electric rain like like nothing, smiling and feeling much better now that she had recharged her powers a lot.
She smiled widely and punched the electric girl on the face, sending her to the ground where she groaned; the sand around her starting to scorch and became black and fragile pieces of crystal; before Miss Marvel landed over her and punch her again and again until she fell unconscious.
Damn she was ruthless when she wanted and the smile on her face was beautiful, a truly blonde angel of war.
“Thanks lass” sound Noble in her earplug “ let me start the fireworks, you go help Jen until Hercules get back from the jungle”.
Not has he ended that phrase, said demigod appeared with a roar over the fighting group and landed in a brutal way directly over the metallic man, cracking his skin and making him scream in pain.
“Never mind” chuckled Noble.
Focusing back in Magneto, Noble increased the output of flames and this time channel part of his own soulfire on it, unfortunately for the Lord of Magnetism, despite all his good intentions and the good job he was doing in Genosha, he was responsible for the deaths of a lot of people, for the death of thousands and all of them screamed Vengeance.
The fire duplicated his strength and Magneto could only see the apocalypse coming for him before the magnetic bubble cracked and he was send flying into the distance, his body badly burned from the massive heat and power of the flames.
The charred form of Magneto fell into the forest beyond the beach, deep into the mainland and far more deep than he was going to travel to check if he was alive or not, honestly he didn’t care a lot about it.
What Magneto has done in the past is not easily forgive, not forgotten and him being an angel of Retribution with capital letters had some difficulties on tuning down the spell so he didn’t kill the mutant and give him time so he could redeem himself.
Noble was all about redemption and put people in the right track but he was not an idealist and knew that for every one true seeker of redemption there is a dozen fuckers who will stab you in the back as soon as you turn your back on them.
This time was to much at stake to be with kiddy gloves.
Cutting the fire, the rest of the Avengers reunited again, even Warmachine, who seems that he too has had some action in the skies; most probably mutants with flying powers trying to fall upon them where they were busy fighting Magneto and the other mutants.
“Well, so far, so good” said War machine trough the speakers of the armor “ team beta is having a lot more difficulties as they were facing old brotherhood members and other people with real war experience, Alpha is under radio silence since five minutes ago”.
She hulk stretched her powerful body, the little fight has been exactly what she need to forget the damn case she was neck deep in.
“Not much of a challenge” smirked the gamma amazon.
“Humph, this was not a battle worthy of the Lion of Olympus” grunted Hercules with a frown, he was feeling very disappointed.
“Be happy that Ghost Rider was capable of dispatching Magneto so easily” laughed Carol still a bit hyped by the electricity recharge she has absorbed sooner “otherwise this could have gone south fast and ugly, nice trick by the way” said Carol with a smile to Noble who was busy readjusting his lower jaw.
“ Thanks my lady; its called Dragons breath” with a loud snap, the jaw clicked in his rightful place “ very powerful spell that allows me to imitate the fire breath of a dragon” explained with amusement in the voice.
“Magic, bah!” snorted Hercules “ you are a worthy warrior Rider, why resource to the foul and treacherous ways of magic?”.
“Supreme sorcerer of earth for a short time until Doc Strange could pick up the mantle” shrugged Noble “I get used to it; tools in the toolbox as Cap uses to say”.
A sudden explosion cut the conversation short when all the power lines converged into one single line and along that explosion, the universe, all the world around the Avengers disappeared into an explosion of light and a single set of words.
“No more powers”.
The Space between dream and reality
He was sad, truly sad, he understood yet no matter how much he trust in the good going of things, the universe always finds a way to bitch slap him into the harsh reality with a shit ton of new responsibilities and a dozen new menaces that had to the deal with.
Still, being ripped from his body was something new, he was pretty much sure that something like that was completely impossible unless direct divine intervention, the level of a Throne or a high level deity like Hera.
Chaos magic, sure way to have a headache along with time travel, he knew well, has had more than enough of both of those and his human part was three hundred years old meanwhile his core as Seraphim was running around since the beginning of the creation.
Well, he had his wings back all six of them; it was good, he had forgotten how good actually flying was.
The empty space was not a surprise for him, this was a place between matter and mind, a space that can be accessed only by those who had already ascend into a higher being of things or simply are illuminated enough to know how to enter.
Ironically a lot of crazy people was capable of entering here, not to mention the uncountable mind gods that plague this place, everything that humanity has ever dream was here.
Nightmare should be around here, feeding in the fears of the humanity as he usually do but it was not time to kick the ass of the Lord of Fear, he had an entirely different task to do before he could vent some frustrations with the parasite.
After all, he was dead.
Dead as dead, his human body, his anchor to the reality was dead, and as Seraphim he couldn’t posses a dead body, it will taint forever his essence and the sudden corruption will be more than enough to destroy his core before he could anything to prevent it.
Laws of heaven are unbending, the burning ones can not taint the purity of their souls and purpose.
So he was fucked.
And he had still a shit ton of things to do, there is never enough time, there is always something that must to be done, something that must be accomplish.
Not by him, so it seems.
And he was having such a good time...
But lamentations are for lesser beings.
Noble Kale or better said now, Seraph Zadquiel, extended his wings and let his flames burn like a sun as advise to anything that could be lurking around.
The pure radiance of the Seraph it was like a sun has exploded in the middle of the dimension, raging fire illuminating even the darker corners of the place, showing what hide in the shadows that there is a new alpha predator.
Noble/Zadquiel was divided by his human emotions and his Seraphic perceptions, both of them flowing at the same time at the majestic celestial form that he has taken in the only place where his dead state could not reach him.
At last for the moment, soon Death will come for his soul; Azrael takes his job very seriously and Lady Death even more, she was permissive sometimes and gives some souls that distract her eternal watch some measure of extra time to sat good bye but she was a harsh mistress when she wanted and Noble/Zadquiel prefers not to mess to much with her.
She had a mile long vindictive streak.
First comes first, he must locate the focal point of his own death, something not that easy when all the place is completely mess up, he didn’t know what the fuck Wanda has done but the time has stopped and...
No, the time stop thing was his own doing, that’s why he was in full Seraphic form and inside the only dimension apart from heaven when he could exert all his powers without worrying of the consequences.
So, when Wanda pronounce her desire, something that sound incredible farfetched to Noble/Zadquiel, the reality became what she had desire and to prevent a massive global change, Noble/Zadquiel abandoned his human host, something that killed the host immediately and enter into this space between realms to produce and time stop.
So, he had a short pause before all went pear shaped; stopping the time was not as easy as everybody think it is, the time is never fully stopped, you could pretend to stop but sooner or later the time will recover its natural rhythm, well you could put yourself out of it; in a perfect frozen point.
But the time beyond you will go ahead, realities that are created in a flash, universe exploding in a glorious big bang, universe collapsing again when Galaktus ended the last star and the cycle could begin again; Death smiling at him and waving a hand...ok, now he was losing himself.
Back to the main topic, the focal point.
Noble/Zadquiel just had to track himself, following the invisible marks that lefts when a being as powerful as him goes anywhere, it was not very complicated, it was only a matter of concentration and perception.
Soulfire lefts a mark, such is his power.
It was then a simple thing to just follow the trail of soulfire and finally arrive to the place where his human body will be laying and to the center of this world shattering spell or worst, something was telling him that the spell has changed something more than just the earth.
Such power at such a scale could cause ripples through the reality and start affecting other civilizations, the matter was how those reality scale changes could be disabled and what kind of after effects will suffer all the affected by them.
Focusing on his own Soulfire, he left behind the dimension allowing the darkness to grow once more.
Nightmare has sensed him and he simply said good riddance to the Seraph, he was to dangerous to cross, not even Mephisto wanted to mess with the Ghost Rider, he has conquered and keep a layer of hell for a century, so none of the Demon Lord wanted to call the attention of the Rider so he repeated the stunt, this time in their realms.
Other Lords of Fear, mind gods, ancestral entities noticed the passing of the Burning One and despite some of them will love to challenge the angel, this was not the appropriate time, reality has been altered to a level that few of them could really understand and they were consolidating their power bases before making a move.
That was good for Noble/Zadquiel, who was not in the mood for a pissing contest with any of them, free of the chains that the mortal flesh and human mind had on his Seraphic core, he was more than capable of stand his ground against entire pantheons burning them down like he did with Lucifer the day of the Great Fall.
Speaking of which, Satana was going to kill him, again.
They kind of broke some time ago but still she considered him, her property, and that kind of difficult any other relationship, when the daughter of Satan considers you hers and hers only, no matter if she was the one that broke with you.
Well, in fact it was something akin to a dimensional jump with the rest of the Thunderbolts but still, she was a little egoistic and told him that he would better not dare to cheat on her, despite she was the one that had bumped him.
Women, demon or human, they were always complicated.
Any how; now that his human part has died and his Seraph core was free, the most probable outcome will be his return to the celestial chorus of Seraphs in the Golden throne, he will no longer be Noble Kale but became Zadquiel completely.
Nah, not interested, his life as Ghost Rider, as Avenger, as Defender, as Supreme Sorcerer of Earth, as patriarch of the House of Kale, as Witch Doctor, as Midnight Son, as biker, brother, friend, comrade, lover, fatherly figure, grumpy old man, and so goes the list on, was fucking interesting to simply let it go.
But sometimes sacrifices must be made and now he was beginning to understand what were those chills he has been felling when he was in the beach came from, looks like he was going to be the proverbial sacrificial lamb.
He follow his own trail and he facepalmed himself with one of his wings when he took a look to the world the poor girl has left after she private the world of all his super powered defenders.
The Avengers were now using all the Stark tech they could under the guidance of an old Captain America now that the Supersoldier Serum was no longer in his veins, where trying to defend what remains of earth from a super powered coalition of super criminals.
IMA, Hydra, the Hand, name it, all of them had lost their superpowers but the real powers of this organizations came with the numbers and now that the playing field was even, only tech for all; the good guys are in severe disadvantage.
Ah, and the aliens and supernatural didn’t give a shit about the No powers spell, they were no humans for starters and by so, they were not affected by the spell, well, not the majority of them.
A dragon has no powers, they born that way, same could be said of any fairy, demon, angel and so goes the list, the words of Wanda were a complete clusterfuck for humanity as they had lost the any advantages they could have to face the darkness.
Ah, the magic didn’t disappeared neither, not all of it at last, the hermetic magic that has a lot in common with science, the alchemy and similar branches of magic where perfectly fine, so the few magicians that did survive to the first onslaught were putting a brave resistance against the incoming darkness.
Of course, she forgot that mutants were not powers, they born that way, so now they all lived under a mutant empire, leaded by Magneto and his family who were called the Dynasty of M.
Now he was convinced that this was a joke, that the Oldest one was messing with him, this was madness, this utopian empire will crumble as soon as Magneto kicked the bucket, neither Lorna, neither Pietro were prepared for the burden of leadership.
Oh, God, what is this mess?.
Fortunately, it can be solved, it was only matter of play the right pieces and all the puzzle will crumble.
Whispers, the gift that some angels had to infiltrate in the minds of the mortal kin and start prophecies and all kind of messes, don’t even make him start about the crusades or how they had to put a goat in Abrahams way before the crazy fucker almost kill his son.
He will not be so subtle, he was going to hammer the true reality into the heads of some of his friends, so they could understand how messed up the reality was...although now that he thinks about it, how come he was seeing all this things occurring at the same time?.
Then the realization hit him.
Because there was not only One reality, but a dozen different ones cohabiting together in the same space time.
Once again, he hated chaos magic, he didn’t saw a mess like this since the first days of earth when the angels played with the primordial clay and fire and created earth and all things that are on it under the guidance of God.
Just don’t ask about dinosaurs, that was a failure, he told Numaral, the angel of the heart of the beast, that reptiles are not a good idea. Good thing Chiton managed to shoot down her petrel plaque before she could convince the rest of the Thrones that a race of cold blood beings were a good idea.
So, the threads of reality were just dancing between each other and all of them trying to be the dominant one as the chaos magic Wanda used; sacrificed based one; could only empower one of them, the others will collapse sooner or latter and the reality was already barely holding with duck tape and a lot of prayers.
There was only one being in all the universe who could see the world in such a way, and he had swore that he would never intervene in any event, they were observers not offering help, not offering nothing, only to witnesses the events that could change the world they are assigned to watch.
“Uatu” said Noble/Zadquiel.
But he didn’t pronounce the name with vocal cords but in enoquian, a language that establish purpose, the language that made the earth in the first days, so when he said the name, was not only telling a name but calling him as it was his true name, the one that contains his essence.
The bald giant; dress in his eternal blue and white toga with golden boots and gloves; appeared in front of the Seraph, his expression unreadable as usual looking at the Seraph in front of him with the same indifference that uses with everything.
“Watcher, Observer, you know that this is not right, this is not natural, Chaos magic has force the change” said Noble/Zadquiel showing the silent cosmic being the multiple realities that were about to clash and mix with each other until they destroyed themselves.
“The multiverse is already damaged, too much cosmic beings and Dimensional jumpers messing with the foundations of the reality has toss the balance into disarray” the Seraph burn brightly as his human emotions only enhanced the power of the Seraph, even Uatu has to frown from the sudden radiance.
“Balance must be preserved at any cost, this is not balance, this is madness, all of those realities will just butcher each other and the aftermath of such clash will only mean that the rest of the adjacent realities will experiment their own chaos”.
“The Oldest one did not create the universe to see it torn to pieces by a sudden whim of a poor sick child, this can not be tolerated Watcher, you and your race know this very well, the Sin you committed at the begging of the universe is what forced your hand into your role as watchers and witnesses, never intervening unless the universe is about to end”.
“Well?, I am pretty sure, the lost of an entire set of universes and only God know how many cataclysm in the rest, would be suffice to force your hand?”.
“No Seraph” said Uatu, speaking for the first time in the same language as Noble/Zadquiel “I will not intervene”.
“Coward” cut the Seraph short “ don’t shield yourself in the oath that Watchers take when they took their responsibilities over a world, don’t even dare to hide yourself form the responsibilities you have when you had already broken the oath”.
Uatu felt silent and start to move to left the place when the power of the Seraph burn like a sun, obliging him to shield his eyes, even for him, who was capable of walk under the heat of the surface of the sun, the light of the Seraph made him broke a sweat.
“Don’t you even dare” thundered the Seraph “ you will not walk away from this, son of Ikor”.
Uatu froze when he ear the angel of heaven call him by that name, it was impossible for him to know that information, only a being older than him, older than the earth itself to recognize who was Ikor and what blood did he share with one of the oldest of the Watchers.
“Surprise coward?” there was a whip hid in the words of the Seraph and Uatu find the sharp touch of his words none of his liking.
“You have no right to pronounce that name son of the Golden Throne” hissed Uatu “that was not for you to know, the secrets of the Watchers are from the Watchers, don’t dare to threaten me or you will suffer the consequences”.
“I dare!” roared Noble/Zadquiel and his fury sent the watcher a step back as he focus his own considerable powers to face the Seraph.
Uatu was no pushover by any means, at full power he was more than a match for even Galaktus himself but Noble/Zadquiel was a Seraph of the higher order, a being that only God was capable of erasing completely and his human fail safe was no longer.
Soulfire and Cosmic power clashed and the dimension around them vaporized by the sudden clash of such devastating powers.
None of them had done any aggressive movement against the other, yet the pure presence of their powers combined was more than enough to crumble the foundations of the dimension around them.
Nightmare sensed the clash and along another dozen of similar beings high tailed out of the place so any lost bullet didn’t send them collapsing into oblivion.
Uatu was surprised and not in a good way, the power of the Seraph was more than a match for his and yet the Seraph was so tinted by human emotions that it would have been a miracle that his human counter part had not already exploded...ah, he has forgotten that.
There was no longer any human counter part, he was a pure Seraphic essence, one that could match the gods of the earth and laid waste to their pantheons, he was the fire and rage of the Heaven, the Ghost Riders.
The Watcher could recognize a serious threat when he sees one, and now that there was not any chain that could slow down the Seraph, he was a very powerful being, completely devoted to the duty of correct the reality.
Uatu created a pure force cube to contain the radiance of the angel but with a single swing of his middle wings, he totally obliterated the containment before send another burst of light in all directions; like the shock wave of a bomb.
The watcher raise a shield and observed how it blocked the onslaught with easiness.
This was getting nowhere and the watcher knew it.
In a match of pure power, he was probably far superior than the Seraph, but he had no limits now, he was pure power and in this state it was more than probable that he will suffer gravely wounds if not crippling ones if he start a direct conflict against the angel.
Still, he angel was right and he knew it but his oath prevented him to intervene...
He has already done it, he liked the human beings, as chaotic and insignificant as they are, their potential was greater than any of the other races of the galaxy.
They could grow in power and strength, up to a point that they could be a new power in the already stagnant empires of the rest of the universe, from the crippled Skrull, to the bellicose Kree, not forgotten the ambitious Shiar and so goes the list.
In none other planet exist such diversity, such craziness and life than in this mud ball called earth, perhaps that was one of the reason because Uatu would have hated to see the end of the planet.
No matter at whose hands, the complete destruction of earth was not something so far fetched that could not be done by the hands of the already more than powerful enhanced populace of earth; from magicians to mutants.
He has already helped humanity in a four hundred occasions, the majority of them in a subtle and swift manner, so it could not be traced to him and be put in trial by the council of Watchers back in his own home planet.
In recent years he recognized he had to take a more active role, specially after the Onslaught debacle that send several powerful heroes of earth into another reality where they had been living and surviving for an entire year.
But he has never intervened directly and none will force his hand.
Uatu channel a powerful eruption of cosmic power and send the wave directly at the Seraph, this ridiculous conflict must end, this was useless.
And then the Seraph cut the wave in two.
The ridiculous radiance of the Seraph became focused in one single cut that cleave the wave in two and keep going until Uatu stopped it by raising a hand and blocking it, with a massive and equal barrier of cosmic energy.
Still, a soft cut in his glove made the watcher pause, looking at the golden and beautiful sword that the Seraph was sporting in his hand now, he knew that sword and know full well how much power, power capable of ignite suns and destroy planets; that sword could hold.
Deus Xiphos, the sword of Metatron, the sword that bring the judgment of God itself.
A sudden change could be felt in the posture of both beings, until now Uatu has considered the Seraph a child with a tantrum, but now, he was respecting the being for the immense power that he represented and under whose authority was him acting.
Even the Watchers had to be careful around the forces of Heaven and the Oldest one.
“This is pointless Seraph, I will not intervene, the reality will correct himself, even now there are special ones that remember” Uatu made images appear in the air, showing a bunch of individuals that were as the watcher has said, fighting with the memories of another universe “ those few will send ripples that will eventually led to the correction of the reality”.
“Your cowardice astonish me” roared Noble/Zadquiel “ those are sacrifices, lambs sends to the slaughterhouse so the reality; and its not a certainty; could be set straight, and I ask you, watcher who is capable of see all consequences at the same time, how many will be destroyed?”.
“That kind of ethical dramas are not of weight in this decision” shielded Uatu in the oath.
“How many?!” roared the Seraph.
“Uncountable, every change leads to another reality that leads to another decision” shrugged Uatu.
“Four hundred and twelve realities will see his demise, they will vanish like a dream, only remembered by the ones like us” the disappointment in the voice of Noble/Zadquiel was like a slap on the face of the watcher.
“How many will perish if you intervene?, if you allow me to find the original Scarlet witch and cure her?” the whip on his voice keep lashing Uatu who just keep silent but do the math in his head and had to admit that the Seraph had a point.
“None” conceded the watcher, whats logic was logic and the numbers didn’t lie.
“Then what the fuck are you waiting for?” the human was more than evident in his voice and Uatu almost smirked.
The defiance was deeply engraved in the human souls, they will never surrender, there will be always one that would challenge the unknown, that will carry the torch.
That was one of the reasons why Uatu was so protective over mortals, they were unique in the stagnant picture of the galactic empires.
There was no need of words, beings like them has longer surpass the necessity of verbal communication, capable of communicating through telepathy or even more strange methods, so there was no words said between them and yet an understanding was reach.
Plans were made, test and countermeasure were develop and modified so the watcher could not be accused of intervening in any way or form in front of the council of his peers back in his own home world.
Both disappeared from the dimension and the darkness reclaim the place again, much to the relief of the inhabitants of the place, the light of both of them was more than enough to burn his souls with their mere presence.
They were a creatures of light and they had no right to interfere with the darkness.
Of course, none could admit that they feared the power of Uatu or the Seraph.
The travel of Noble/Zadquiel was not as rough as the Seraph was fearing it would be; no matter how resilient his core essence was, being drag between hundreds of dimension so he could put the pieces in motion to save as much realities as they can, was a taxing task.
A lot of surprises in those travels.
He already know how the universe was infinitely layered, how exist a myriad of multiverses all at the same time and how they could interact and mix between them up to a point, but the sheer variety of the consequences of what Wanda has done was a little mind blogging.
There were simply, too much realities and of course all of them wanted to beat the shit out of each other as only one of them could be stable and keep going, the rest will vanish or be obliterated in a second, it will be like they have never existed in the first place.
Noble/Zadquiel get back to work and moved along all those dimensions, reaching for the individuals that could make a difference and help the place to stabilize, to give them a reason,a motivations and a possibility so the universe on where they live could continue existing.
He had to hammer their minds a little sometimes, a lot of said individuals were a very stubborn and strong willed personalities that had a shit ton of problems to accept some truths but at the end, all of them could be organized to do what must be done.
It did not pass unnoticed to him, how a lot of said individuals are similar in all realities.
Logan, Peter, Carol, Jean Grey,Thor, Emma Frost, Bruce, Xavier, Steve, Janet, Doom, Fury, Maria Hill.
With variations here and there but in all realities, at last one of the previously mentioned were vital for the continuation of the universe, they had the influence, the contacts, the force of will or whatever was necessary to made the push that send the reality back in the right direction.
He has to admit that perhaps is was little unfair for the alien races but unfortunately for them, the focal point of their realities was a very psychologically damage chaos magician of humongous powers, so this time, they had no saying in this debacle.
Traveling between dimension was taxing indeed, but at the same time he was having the time of his life, it was so similar to the first days, when they created the universe along the Oldest one; all creation happening at the same time, in so many layers that only beings of pure energy and purpose like them are capable of keep up with the establishment of what everyone consider reality today.
Humanity has barely scratch the surface, no matter how much the scientist of the XXI century fills their mouths with how much had they discover and how the science was the greatest gift for the humanity since the invention of the fire.
Sometimes he understood why Melchizedek wanted to smash his book all over the head of those arrogant fools, only a century and they already believed gods, poor cretins, mastering the inner works of a complete reality was way beyond their minds and experiments.
It was not arrogance, it was just that the humanity was not evolved enough and what is worst, they were putting their hopes in machines that did the work for them, they were stunting his own growth, as they only order a computer to do all for them.
The ones that were evolving at astonishing rate were the fucking machines, from scratch to dammed IA in less than a century.
Humanity was running to much and that was what has lead to this situation, instead of machines, the result of them tinkering with God domain had bring this consequences and people like him are the ones that had to deal with all the resulting mess.
Sometimes he pondered at the idea of just ask for professional insurance much life firefighters and police man, they did the same job but the dangers are bigger and the consequences of their failure simply catastrophic.
The government will never allow something like that to ever happen of course, that will be like legitimate the superheroes and that will cut short the ambitions of any political leech who wanted to make himself a career by belittling some less popular heroes and by so win some quick votes.
The idiocy of humankind was as infinite as their potential.
Traveling and putting pieces on the table was a very extenuating activity, specially when you had to convince the one hundred and forty version of Peter/Logan/Carol/Jen/Stephen/etc, to get their heads out of their asses and start moving already.
They have a lot of work to do if they want to keep existing.
As Seraph he has forgot what it was to see the world from a hundred different perspectives at the same time and he has to admit that he has forgot to accept, to recognize how the possibilities are endless and how the universe could be all and nothing at the same time.
Million of events that happen and did not happen, yet happen and yet they did not happen.
Not a surprise the Chaos spells was so spectacular, this was chaos incarnate and inside that chaos, order and civilizations where born.
It was like seeing a child play about how the heaven created the multiverse the first time, he did felt a nostalgic feeling waving over him for a second after he pass through another reality and had another chat with the chosen ones of that dimension.
Noble/Zadquiel end his end of the bargain and at the speed of thought, he took the direct route to the root of all this dimensions.
The core of all this fake/real realities was none other than a wounded woman, someone that was in pain, someone that has been forced beyond her limits and had paid a high price, not even knowing that someone was empowering his unconscious magic with blood sacrifice.
Ignorance was no excuse in the world of magic but at the same time, chaos magic is ignorance of what the fuck was about to happen as soon as you want something to happen, chaos grants you what you wants, however not in the way you want, in fact in any ones wanting ways.
Noble/Zadquiel travel through the non-space, pass through the Microverse and accelerate when he reach the end of the universe and get back in an spiraling trajectory, he had to know what is hiding in the deep corners of the mind of the core of all those realities.
Knowledge is power, true as hell and what is best, he could use that knowledge to heal a sick girl with too much power for her own good.
Somethings happens, Metatron always said that one of the worst days of his eternal existence was the day that he had to appear in front of a young Jesus and told him that he was going to die for the redemption of all humanity sins.
He was innocent, he was not of sin and he was the son of God, yet he had to die in one of the most painful ways humanity has never develop surrounded by criminals and under the despite and hate of the same humanity he was dying for.
Unlucky, angels could not drunk themselves, Metatron and Azrael almost tear apart the creation when they observe the torture of the poor child, Zadquiel wanted to join them but he was busy plotting how to fuck for life a cretin called Longinus and any other bastard that injured the child.
Dark days those ones, the heaven was never the same after Jesus took one for the team, perhaps that was one of the reason why Zadquiel became a Ghost Rider, to enact retribution on the same stupid humanity that had kill the son of God, despite how he did save them all.
He has to admit that landing in the middle of a snowy forest was not in his calculations, neither it was to have a corporeal form; passingly resembling a mix between his human for and his Seraph form; and of course he didn’t expect to find a wooden house in front of him.
The weather was criminal, the blizzard was shacking the trees like the toys of a raging boy and the snow make it impossible to see anything in front of your nose, the howl of the wind was deafening and the constant fall of the snow make moving a very hard exercise.
Good thing he was not bounded by human limitations, other wise this could be seriously problematic.
His eyes over the surface of the wings that hide his face from the rest of the universe, opened allowing him to see what was in front of him and noticing how the wooden house had only three inhabitants.
Noble/Zadquiel cursed in his mind, this was going to be seriously dangerous, in the creation that was nothing as dangerous as a mother protecting her progeny and inside the wooden cabin, Wanda was nursing a pair of babies like they were the most precious thing in the world.
Well, he has seen worst happy places, so much was true, but this will complicate the healing in a lot of ways, it was time to put an end to this chaos and bring her back.
Facing the blizzard like it was nothing, the Seraph just walk to the entrance of the cabin and with all the politeness of the world, just knock on the door, calling the attention of the woman inside with the sudden knocking on the door.
The situation was a little surrealist, a giant six winged angel was politely calling permission to enter inside of a house with a defenseless woman with some kids.
It was classic twist for one of those terror films that the younger generations of heroes tend to see nowadays, being honest Noble/Zadquiel has seen some, just as pure curiosity and laugh his ass off so hard that he had to go out of the cinema for annoying the rest of the presents.
“Please leave us alone” whined Wanda from the inside, she was more than capable to sense the humongous presence of the seraph behind her door.
Now, one could think that it could have been simpler to the seraph to bust the door and put the fear of God in the mind of the woman, destroying the spell and set the things right, unfortunately, those kind of kick the door and beat the head of the villain to a pulp was never a real solution in the real world.
“Wanda, I am not here to harm you” sighed Noble/Zadquiel “ please let me in, its a very cold weather out here”.
Remember that all in this dimension is a representation of Wanda mind, a manifestation of her power and thoughts, resolutions made form and substance from the nothingness.
One of the most dangerous powers that the chaos magician posses is the ability to create something from nothing, completely ignoring the laws of the universe in a way that all the rest of the magician could just observe gobsmacked.
So, kick in the door and kill the monster tactic was utterly discarded, not to mention she was a woman with two babies in the middle of the forest, it would be wicked if he just kill them all and destroys this little refugee in the middle of anywhere.
The silence extended between the both of them and the blizzard just got stronger, forming a cape of snow and ice over the wings, shoulder and head of Noble/Zadquiel who patiently waited for Wanda to make a decision.
Nor that he cares a shit about the blizzard, he has suffer way worst weather conditions when he was flying through realities but he has to admit the cold sensation in his wings was quite welcome after so many time being a skeleton covered in flames.
Slowly, almost with fear, the door started to open slowly, revealing a very distress Wanda who peek through the tiny space that she has opened, eying Noble/Zadquiel with suspicion and fear.
“Hello Wanda, may I enter?” saluted the Seraph.
Wanda just keep staring at him, trying to figure out what he was doing here and what could be his intentions, as a side note is was a very curious thing that despite the strong of the snow outside, neither the wind or the snow has affected the door now that she had opened it.
She opened the door and Noble/Zadquiel nodded in thanks for the gesture, entering in the warm house and taking a sit over one of the wooden tables near the kitchen that fills one of the walls of the house.
Wanda close the door with some effort to fight the wind; now the wind was trying to push the door, how curious; and move back to her children who was soundly sleeping in their cradle, the smile on her face was real, was happy and Noble/Zadquiel felt seriously bad for what would happen in the next hours.
Well, at last she has founded her happy place, the core of what she wanted in life, and seeing how she only wanted to have a family and live where she lived when she was young, the Seraph has to admit that is was a very good desire.
It was interesting how the majority of the happy places he has found during his adventures have always a relation with the things that we dont have in life, heaven had a very similar method, give the soul the craving he had for all his life and from there let them evolve and grow into a state of enlightenment.
Wanda start singing to the sleeping babies, a boy and a girl, twins for what the Seraph could discern of the mass of chaotic energy that was their bodies and souls, sooner or latter, they will collapse and with them Wanda will collapse too.
Poor child, fate had an ax to grind with her so it seems.
Noble/Zadquiel just sat in the chair and the eyes of the wings over his face start digging all the things that surrounded him, common and supernatural, and after a minute of research, it was not a surprise that all of this, from the humble glass at his side to the body of Wanda; was a very complex construct of chaos magic given shape, form and consciousness.
So, as he has feared, they were residing in the deepest corners of the mind of Wanda, hiding within her desires and dreams.
Nice digs by the way, he always liked the cabin in the forest kind of life, far from all the shit the humanity tends to did to themselves.
“So, how have you been Wanda?” started Noble/Zadquiel to test the waters “ I didn’t see you around the Avenger tower this days”.
“I’m happy here Noble” replied her with a smile, slowly caressing the cheek of the girl in the cradle “ I always wanted a family and now I had one, they are a blessing for me”.
The Seraph sighed and understood this was going to be a lot more difficult that he initially considered, she must recognize the mess on where she was hiding, this will collapse at some point, there is nothing eternal except the Oldest one and even him will face Death at the end of the days.
“So I see” nodded Noble/Zadquiel following suit “ have you been progressing in the mastery over your magic my friend?” asked casually, wanting to guide the conversation to an specific point.
“Agatha says that I am competent enough to do not cause harm to my surroundings” said with a proud smile, the same smile that one makes when he achieved something after hours and hours of effort.
Agatha Harkness, a very competent witch that has helped both Avengers and Fantastic Four for years, so, considering how knowledgeable she was and how she knows perfectly well how unruly the chaos magic really is, there was no way in hell she could have said something like that.
“Could you show me?” chuckled the seraph with amusement “ your magic is as unruly as your gypsy soul Wanda, I will believe when I saw”.
Wanda puffed in offense but she raise her hand a red sparks formed over the empty glass at the side of the Seraph, changing the water of the inside in a black substance with bubbles.
“Coca-cola?” deadpanned Noble/Zadquiel “seriously?”.
“Oh, shut up” she puffed again and with a shade of a blush, she keep singing to her babies.
She has forgotten any possible fear about what could be the intentions of the Seraph, and it was not a casually, as soon as he entered the home, he had perform and hospitality spell, one that grants that all people invited to enter into a house must always keep the best of his manners and never spill the blood of the host or the other guests.
Wanda, although unconsciously, has sensed the spell and how it prevents him to do anything rash and that has quell all her fears, now happy to see a friend after so many time.
Noble/Zadquiel pick up the glass and took a look at the dark liquid, with a sight, he stand up and move to the kitchen to drop the beverage in the faucet, apparently, it was coca-cola however it has a very crucial difference to the common coca-cola that you could find in the supermarket.
“Wanda, as much as I appreciated a cold refresh” commented the Seraph dropping the liquid on the faucet “ but I think you have overload a little the spell”.
The black beverage touch the bottom of the sink and the hissing of the metal corroding could be heard over all the comfortable silence of the wooden cabin, a trail of smoke surged from the sink and a deep, acidic smell lingered from a moment in the air.
Wandas face take a red nuclear color after the obvious failure of the transmutation spell, she was in control now but even then, sometimes she overloaded things, it was not her fault that her powers were so big that sometimes they slip and just overdone things a little.
“So, perfect control eh?” smirked Noble under his wings.
“Oh, shut up” said Wanda again, carefully covering the bodies of her babies with a soft blanket so they will not feel any cold.
“We are always in time for a little review” chuckled Noble offering his hands, palms up, to her so she could put her own over his and start channeling her magic.
Wanda huffed but compiled and put her hands over the palms of Noble, as soon as they begun, the magic around them start to coalescence into a red and golden auras, none of them in conflict but in harmony.
Noble felt a pang of guilty in his human soul, but the soul of the Seraph soon cut it short, it was needed and there was none other way to repair the reality.
It started with a widening of the eyes of Wanda, then she look around frenetically and screamed in pain and fear when she discovered the truth about all that surrounded her, her powers went mad, a chaotic surge of pure entropy and possibility, a tidal wave that will vaporize everything around her.
But the wave disappeared as soon as it appeared, when Noble/Zadquiel exert his own powers over the soul of Wanda, the act of touching the hands was more than just a gesture to help her channel and control her powers, it was an act that allow the Seraph full access to her very core, she has invited him to enter in her soul.
And it was time to do some reparations in her damaged essence.
“Please stop” pleaded Wanda with a semblance drenched in tears and pain “ please stop, I do not want to suffer anymore”.
“Wanda” he just say her name and she stiffened, not because danger or the promised of pain but because it was her name, a call to the core of her soul.
“Wanda, you are the only one who is hurting you” explained the Seraph, not letting the witch go, not until she learn and heals herself “ your powers are a very heavy burden, yours is the ability to shape possibilities”.
“I don’t want it” whined the poor child “ I killed people, I lost my children, I don’t want to suffer anymore, I don’t want to cause more pain”.
“That’s the price of the power and the responsibilities that comes with it, but did it not bring you happiness somewhere along the road?” smiled the seraph under his wings “ you loved, you felt happy, sad, anger, embarrassed, exalted, exhilarated, crazy, funny, unbelievable, impress, honored, cared, desired, playful and so on?”.
Wanda stood in silence as the words of the Seraph were not just words but images, sensations and memories as well, all the adventures she lived with his fellow avengers, all the times she was part of that family that was the avengers and all the wondrous and terrible things that she had witnessed during all those times.
“Even the most glorious one fell Wanda” chuckled Noble/Zadquiel “there is nothing akin to perfection, only effort and a lot of embarrassing failures all the way to the goal but it was not totally worth it?, never regret to love Wanda, such is the most wonderful gift any being could have, love is a sensation that could make you high and drag you to the pits of hell with equal easiness”.
Wanda was slowly sobbing and slow but steady she was moved to enter between the wings of the celestial being, who just hug her like the scared and confused child she was, she need comfort, she need a breath that the world has denied her.
“You committed a lot of errors, some of them a really screw up”.
The soothing voice of the Seraph contradicted a little his words but he was trying to reach the girl, not scare her even more and made herself hide in the deeps of his own subconscious forever.
“But fortunately for you, you are one of the few that can undone whats you have done and then start anew; for even in the darkest nights they will be a glorious dawn”.
Wanda just basked in the comfortable presence of the angel, for the first time in weeks she felt at peace and that was just the mood the Seraph needed for the healing to work, however, one can only heal those that wanted to be healed and that will be the trick, all of this will be useless if the girl just shut herself and refuses to accept what has happened.
“I will not abandon you Wanda, think me as your own guardian angel for this occasion, together we will heal you pain and mend the broken bonds” announced the seraph with mirth in the voice, Wanda has reverted to a more child-like mind and as child, almost every one love to had a caring protector watching over us.
The reality around them disappeared and Wanda find herself being carried by a six winged angel that show the infinite variations of the universe she know, however she soon fell an immense guilt as how her actions has bring severe pain to the world and how some of her best friends has suffered from it.
“Consequences, no matter how careful we are with our choices, there is always consequences” they float to the origin of all those realities and when they reached the center of the Maelstrom, she flinched and start crying softly.
She was there, hugging the dying form of his silver haired brother, as the fight around him has cost his life when he was trying to reach her, however, she could see too the variety of actions that had lead to that moment and in one of them, she saw how his brother has orchestrated sacrifices in her name, so her magic will feed on the blood and when the time was right pronounce a set of words that would transform the world into a mutant utopia.
“There will be only mutants” nodded the seraph and show her how it could have been possible, how it could have been an utopia and a distopia, and the end of the earth and the beginning of an Empire and the extinction of the human race and so goes on until the infinitum.
“Do not hate or blame your brother Wanda” read the mind of the woman the Seraph “ he was a loving brother trying to do what he thought it was best for all of you, for all his family and friends, for his people”.
“You, Lensherr bunch, tend to be a little over the edge when you wanted to make a point” chuckled the Seraph and Wanda softly blushed a little embarrassed, it was true that her family was infamous, their history was not precisely bright and honorable, or at last, not in the eyes of the rest of the world.
“But alas, you are not the only one who had done similar shit, just ask the Richards or the Starks, by the Oldest one, not even make me start with the shit Odin and his kin has done for eons, now that is overkill” humor, humor in the face of the tragedy, the business as usual kind of attitude that half of the capes community had to adopt if they wanted to survive another day.
Noble/Zadquiel made both of them land in a silver platform in front of the floating and glowing image of the moment that cause the eruption of the realities, the pivotal point that could prevent of destroy completely all the realities around them.
“Wanda, I am not a god, only a miracle worker but I am a Seraph and by the Golden Throne I swear to you, that I will respect whatever you choose” he let the hand of her go, this was a decision she had to do by herself but he stood near her, letting her know that she was not alone “this is your Rubicon, this is your crossroad, so tell me Wanda Maximoff, what is your choice?”.
Wanda look at the wings of the Seraph and despite not being able to see his face under the wings that covered his face, she could felt the kindness and support of the angel waving over her, she was not alone but the angel, a being that could rip her mind and just force her to do whatever she wanted was offering her freedom of choice.
She look at the myriad of realities that danced in front of her, all of them created by a desperate act, by the guilt, sorrow and hate she suffered when the world just broke her and made her suffer.
In her haste, in her hate, she has done terrible things to people she ones called friends and all of it, no matter how she tried to hide it or rationalize it, all of it was in a good part her own fault, blind to her own weakness, blind to her own slow eroding of her mind and sanity, she force her mind in the reality and as Peter uses to say.
“Great power brings great responsibilities”.
It seems she didn’t had learned that lesson too well, and now she was facing the consequences of her act and in all honesty, she fell guilt, proud, impress, sad, happy and in general confuse as hell.
“What can I do?” whispered to the angel on her back, the radiant and warm presence that has guided her here, the one that has not hate her, blame her or anything like that, but to help her to recover her own mind form the maelstrom of her own delusions.
“Whatever you want” said the Seraph “ you are the core of this nexus of realities, just do what you want to do”.
“Will they ever forgive me for the pain and suffering I have cause?” ask her with sadness in the voice.
“Could be or could be not” shrugged the angel “ I think Peter, Carol, Steve and some other will forgive you but I am sure they will be other that will not forgive you so easily, trust betrayed is a nasty wound to heal Wanda, believe me, I am still healing from one of those”.
“How can I make things right?” ask her a more than overwhelmed from the images that saturated the mosaic around her.
“Oh, that´s easy” said NobleZadquiel “ just said it”.
Wanda turn and facing the seraph she smiled and looking at the images she just say the two words that has saved the word, over and over again, the words that bring hope to humanity wherever they are said.
Noble was back in the beach, surrounded by his friends who were looking at the bright red storm that fill the island, however they are like frozen in the spot, not really a surprise considering that he is not longer contained by his flesh body; instead he was a mass of Soulfire with his usual flaming skeleton appearance but with the extra detail of his wings flapping in the frozen spot in time that was the island.
Still, looking at his flesh body dying was not a pleasant sight, sighing he just moved and fly through the island, correcting the mistakes that will lead to the death of Quicksilver, not very sure if the bastard deserve to be alive, however he seems to be a pivotal point, one of those things that must be in a place at a determinate point.
Keeping him alive was like a kick in the bollocks but there is nothing he could do, Wanda wanted for her brother to be alive but she said nothing of making him suffer for the deaths that hangs on him and his botched up and amateurish blood sacrifice.
Noble slips past his friends, blocking at the same time a pair of lost chaotic rays that would have mess up the powers of Jen and cause severe damage to warmachine and Carol, for him they were nothing that possibilities and the possibilities ends when the order is imposed.
He was not limited now by things like gravity, friction or any other physical law that would prevent him to just fly around enveloped in flames as the rest of the world was almost frozen on the spot.
It was the good things of his miracle like powers, to simply ignore sometimes the same rules that he and his kind put in the universe during the first days.
Uh, now that he noticed it, the rest of the group was going to freak out a little when his almost beheaded body splash them with his blood, now that he was no longer keeping the body alive, the human body will perish like it should have, when Drakula cut his throat with his thrice dammed sword.
Noble shrugs and keep going, passing through a new horde of mutants, waving over them like a tsunami of soulfire, instantaneously punishing those who were guilty and shutting down any aggressive attitude of the rest.
He jumped over the forest, landing in the clear where Magneto lays, burned and pained, with a touch of his flaming fingers and a quick pray, the flesh of Magneto was healed and his burns disappeared, he could be guilty of a thousand deaths and a lot more of sins, but Noble could not blame him for doing his best to protect his family.
In a zig zag, he pass the forest that surrounded the mansion where Wanda was and took good note of the battle that the Alpha team was having with all the loyal to Magneto, his royal guard so to speak.
Blob, Avalanche are old pals of the lord of magnetism, part of his Brotherhood on the earlier days, when things appeared to be a lot more easy and bright.
They were fighting the Alpha team but there was something odd in the picture, for starters, the Alpha team were fighting defensively and not taking the offense so they could get inside the mansion, uh, the spell, it was already in process of happening and Steven is trying to minimize the damages.
Clever tactics but...ah, there you are, Noble changed a pair of runes and moved the fingers of Steven a little, whispering some old and secrets words that no mortal throat has ever pronounced since the beginning of the days.
Satisfied he moved to the next hot spot, taking Spiderman out of the trajectory of a chaos beam that will make him transform into the six arms monstrosity that even today cause him nightmares until his DNA was corrected once again.
And now that he was at it, he tattooed a protective glyph on his ribs, so Anansi or any other mystical being could not mess with his arachnid essence, a little of magic resistance will be a welcome addition for his powers, specially now that Anansi has taken a liking to the boy.
He kicked out of the mansion a sturdy piece of concrete, the same that Cyclops will volatilize with a beam of his optic rays, the debris from that explosion will the be the responsible of slow down Quicksilver long enough for a lighting from Ororo and a burst of metallic debris to deadly wound the silver haired speedster.
And speaking of the devil.
Noble stamp a haymaker in the middle of the face of Quicksilver, breaking his nose and leaving him with a bruise the size of all his face, the bastard deserved it and more but Wanda wanted him to live to make amends for the casualties he made in her name.
That didn’t stop him to put a redemption mark on him, he will suffer the same agony that he has provoked until he find the forgiveness of the victims and earn himself the absolution.
He had it easy in Noble opinion but that will be all for the moment, it was time to face the real elephant in the middle of the room.
Wanda was glowing in barely contained power, her presence was one like a red sun, all of her make the rest of the reality scream as they was nothing sacred around her, the chaos magic was already changing all the realities around her and what is worst she was just there, looking around with surprise, hurt by the image of his family and friends trying to tear apart each other.
“Nasty vision uh?” commented Noble standing at her side.
She just look at him with widened eyes, surprised that he could be there and a little afraid of the massive power that Noble was emanating, she could move in this frozen time spot, how could not?, she was a chaos magician, possibilities and probabilities were nothing for her.
“Noble?” asked her blinking a pair of times “ what is this?, why are they fighting?”.
“Watch and learn little one” said Noble putting a hand over his forehead and another over her mouth.
It has always being said that the knowledge is more a curse than a blessing, that once you know what lies behind the curtains you can not be the same, that is sometimes truth and sometimes a lie, it depends on how the knowledge is being used and how much knowledge one had.
Unfortunately for Wanda, the knowledge was too much for her and she start screaming and crying as Noble put inside her head the consequences of the actions she was about to perform if it weren’t for the presence of the Ghost Rider at her side.
They stood like this for a minute as Wanda took all the memories and after that, he just hug the crying girl, letting his soulfire comfort the child after she had witness the horrors and wonders her powers could have unleashed.
Well, to be exact, her power are already being unleashed, she only need the words to start the massive changes, however that words will never be said, instead another option has been created due the interference of the watcher and the machinations of the Seraph.
The crimson magic was dangerous but as any other energy source, it was not intrinsically good or evil, it will depend on the one who used it, a fireball can ignite flesh or wood, can save lives in the middle of a blizzard or can torch alive any witnesses within his range. Uses as different as the persons that performs them.
In this case, Wanda could be the origin but she was not the cause of the blood added to the spell, in fact that was her idiotic brother fault, still she was the core, and now she knew the truth.
There is an old saying among some of older packs of werewolves in America, there is only three things that you can not hide, the sun, the moon and the truth and the truth will make you free.
Hiding and running can only lead you so far; at some point you will have to confront your ghost and make peace with them, otherwise you will live a very bitter and regretful live, something that he knew well, he was in the verge of being one of those if it weren’t from the power of the Ghost Rider.
So far he was pretty much convinced he was doing a good job and improving the quality of the life of the people around him, even if it is a tiny bit, it will be worth it; enough hard already was the superheroes lives to be mopping around all the day.
But time to get in the main topic, what Wanda will do with all that power on her hands?.
When she calmed enough, she look around and see how the world seem froze in the spot, with all the powers and fighters freeze in a moment like they were living pictures. She knew that was not her doing, she could not sense any chaos magic in them, so the only one who could have done it was Noble, but he has never show any time related powers.
“Why is all the people frozen in time?” asked the witch a little bit surprised for what she was seeing.
“A business partner considered that, what you were about to do was too much for the reality, who is already hanging with tons of duck tape and prayers” chuckled Noble “so he did me a favor and granted me some No-time, so I could reach you and show you what would happen in you fall into the despair you had been suffering this last weeks”.
“I never wanted anything like this Noble, I swear I didn’t wanted anything like this” protested Wanda, terrified of her own powers “ I was suffering and I only wanted to be alone and my father helped me...oh gods I did kill Clint, oh gods what have I done?” Wanda was starting to suffer a panic attack but before she could collapse, Noble was there.
“Enough Wanda” the voice of Noble was like a lance that pierced directly through the doubts of Wanda and calm her inner turmoil before it could get way worst.
“Do not dwell in the past, now is time to focus on how you can stop this madness before it gets worst and someone dies” said Noble taking her from the shoulders and explaining the situation, she was a professional, an Avenger with years of experience and a tremendous force of will; once an Avenger, always an Avenger.
“But Clint..” she shuddered at the thought that she was already a murderer.
“Can be brought back” said Noble “ you used Chaos magic, that magic had no fucking common sense so you only need to bring him back, usually it will need a shit ton of power but...” Noble intentionality look at the massive red energy that swirls around her “ I do not think it will be a problem”.
Wanda look at the crimson sky and smiled, she could do it right this time and taking her place in the middle of the crimson storm she raised her arms and start channeling the same magic that almost killed everything dear to her.
She focus in the chaotic waves and crazy lines of the spell, this was not her usual spell, Agatha will kick her ass ten ways to Sunday for doing such an sloppy thing like this but at the same time as she deepened the link with the spell, she sensed the blood that the lines contains and her mind froze in fear and repulsion.
This spell was baptized in blood, there was vital essences mixed with the arcane energies around her, that means that someone has used blood rituals, sacrifice lives so her magic will be more powerful and dangerous.
The repulsion she felt when she discovered that some has perverted her magic with human lives almost made her lost control over the spell matrix that she was preparing, it went against all her belief to use lives in such a way, specially when it mixes with her already more than uncontrollable Chaos magic.
But Noble was there and with a series of words he impose order in the chaos that was the spell, focusing the will of the girl back into the matrix and putting her mind right on her track, for a second they had got to close to a disaster here.
“How could this be?” she shouted alarmed and nauseated for being using life essences as another ingredient of the spell “ I would have never do such an abomination as this!” protested her for the use of blood for her magic.
“I know Wanda” nodded Noble “ but please now focus on the spell, we had to regain control of the magic and correct what has been done, its time to save the world, again” chuckled the Ghost Rider with the humor of one that has done things like this dozens of times..
“Be strong Scarlet Witch, we are Avengers and we don’t fail” reassured Noble the woman who changed her face to a determined one and start pulling her part of the spell.
Together, they start converting what could have been a total disaster into a siphon that will take all the chaos magic and transforming back into different kind of energies and among that transformations and with a little help of Noble, slow but steady, the body and soul of Clint Barton was back to business.
Erased by a sudden outburst of Wanda, an action that she did regret deeply, it was time for a miracle, exactly the kind of things that the Ghost Rider was expert at, so, between the both of them it was only a matter of time before the man was back, just as he was when Wanda accidentally erased him from existence.
Noble noticed how the price of his bargain was already consuming him but he ignored it, he knew that he will have to pay the ultimate price for the miracle he was performing and he will happily pay it, it was his job.
Bulwark of humanity, the Ghost Rider, the Midnight Son, the defender of the earth against any magical threat.
Wanda clench her teeth and start sweating profusely, the spell was taking a great deal of concentration from her and she has to admit that this was much more difficult being conscious than when she just done it without even knowing what the hell she was doing.
Suddenly the duster of Noble covered her frame and her body fell refreshed, her mind much focused on the task at hand, looking at the flaming skeleton in front of her, she smiled tiredly and keep pushing the spell back to where it should be, dispersing the chaos magic and correcting the wrongs she has done when she has lost her marbles.
At the time both of them keep dispersing the spell, the time stop being freeze in one single spot and slowly, the flow begun to recover, however the consequences of what Noble has done during that frozen spot in time where clear as both bands stop fighting and observe in mute awe the complicate and powerful pillar of red and gold magic that Wanda and the Ghost Rider were managing in front of them.
Everyone keep their breath for a second as the light and the power on the pillar started to go overload and Doc Strange summon a ruby like barrier that keep all the witnesses save, however all the Avengers paled when the Beta group informed of the sudden and violent death of the human host of the Ghost Rider.
They sense everything, not difficult considering the level of power they were using, so when Wanda felt the human death of Noble, she lost control over her part of the matrix, knowing that she was the responsible for the demise of the human host of the Rider, she was there the day that he was condemn to always walk over the earth in his Rider form and why.
Now, her guilty was unbearable, as she knows that because of him another good man was about to die, Clint was saved but Noble...the wound of Noble could not be healed, it was permanent and nothing on earth could be done about that.
Her magic has separated both entities and now the angel and the human who could not survive without each other will vanish, one of the mayor protectors of humanity, one of the best friends she had ever had, a comrade...killed by her own hands.
Wanda screamed, but the duster hug her, the duster became his skin, limbs and legs and took her out of the massive pillar of magic power before she was smashed by the power that she has stop controlling and keeping at bay.
The Ghost Rider took the burden with easiness, steeping inside the dome and speaking in the ancient enoquian language that all the angels spoke to communicate with the humans of the earth before Lucifer start the Great war.
“Noble!” shouted her “ Noble, no!, please!, do not die for me!” Wanda couldn’t get rid of the black and golden duster that keep her out of the pillar, trapping her inside the cloth who was acting as prison and protection at the same time.
“A sacrifice was needed Wanda” said the Ghost Rider and everyone hear the words of the Seraph as his radiant wings expanded beyond the pillar, covering completely the island in a protective manner.
Long gone the human from his body, Noble Kale/Zadquiel stand in the middle of the conflagration in his fully Seraphic form, his golden light illuminated the island, washing over all the present in the island and remembering them that the heaven has descend to earth to protect them of their own childishness.
“Sacrifice created this spell” explained “ and sacrifice will destroy it”.
“But it should be me!, all of this is my fault!, I should be the one dying!” cry her heart out the woman, protected by the duster of noble as the piece of cloth created a golder barrier around her.
None of the other Avengers could get close to the epicenter of the magic pillar, Steven was sweating and step by step increasing the dome that he has made in a haste, he was trying to save his friend, his mentor and by everything that is sacred in this world, he will achieve it.
“And why should it be like that?” ask Noble “ I am already dead Wanda, the moment my human host died, I died too” the revelation froze everyone “ when the spell rip my angelic essence of my human body, the human flesh finally perished by the wound Drakula made on me when I purified San Francisco and Utopia of their filth, until now I was just prolonging the inevitable”.
Wanda screamed in sadness and guilt, but her powers were now completely contained, no more chaos magic shipping, no more madness, Wanda was complete, and like all operations and rebirths, it was not free of a lot of pain.
“Do not be sad my lady” Noble/Zadquiel raised his hands and the pillar pulsed a pair of times, sending brutal shock waves over the atmosphere, dissipating in the air like bad dreams.
“This is a destiny I gladly embrace” chuckled Noble taking in his hands energy and tossing it to the heaven to create a massive hole in the tear of the reality, a hole that glow white and golden before an empty dark could be seen inside of it.
All sounds were cut short, all movements stopped, everything stand still when the tear in the fabric of space time engulfed the place totally, shutting all communications and effectively silencing all protest that any could have.
Wanda was looking at him with a supplicant expression on her eyes, red and swollen from the tears, she was not the only one, a lot of friends where in similar yet different, shape, as they show their frustration and sadness for the lost of a friend in different manners.
“For Mankind, for the loved ones, for one single life” said Noble facing the tear in the space and converting himself in the same chaos magic that almost destroyed the universe and with a final shout of defiance and a thunderous war cry that destroy the oppressive power of the space.
I am Noble Kale, baptized in SoulFire
I am Zadquiel, Seraph of the holy Chorus
I am the Ghost Rider, Harbinger of Retribution
The power became a comet and in a blink it fly straight to the hole in the universe, illuminating the island and all under his light with a golden light that enlighten their spirits at the seeing of how a celestial spirit sacrificed himself to save them all.
I march for the humanity, for the innocent ones
I march for the Golden Throne, for the Oldest one
I am of purpose, I bring Retribution
As soon as all the power entered in the hole, the space itself collapsed around it, soon it was like there it hasn’t been there at all, revealing the silent and beautifully clean skies of Genosha.
Crying and hugging the fallen and scary skull of the Ghost Rider, Wanda just beg the forgiveness of the lost Seraph, the protector that now was lost.
None dared to say nothing, some vent frustrations with the objects around her, other were openly mourning the lost a friend, other just wanted the same vengeance that the Rider incarnated, but all of them were felling the lost of another comrade.
Still, there was a hope, a final word that ring in their minds, the final gift from the normally silent watcher to the friends and comrades of the seraph that had teach him a lesson about responsibilities and sacrifice.
The Ghost Rider has forgot to add a key lines to his chorus, a line that the heaven itself granted to them to they could be the Spirits of Vengeance the heaven wanted, the beings that put the fear of God in those who wanted to destroy the creation of the Oldest one.
I am the one who could walk among the worlds.
I am the Ghost Rider.
And so, the hope was once again, restored in their hearts.