(New York City, 24 hours ago)
“A Wolverine appearance? How novel,” comments Iron Man, as Wolverine squats atop a snow-covered Brooklyn Bridge. It’s the third time Iron Man’s run into him this week. Wolverine replies that ‘Captain Flag’ asked for his help, so here he is. Iron Man acknowledges that when anyone in the hero community is attacked, all Avengers take on extra shifts. He still can’t get over what Cloak did to Dagger. He always seemed like an upstanding young man. Wolverine reminds him that youth doesn’t always equal innocence. A boy can kill just as good as a man.
Iron Man asks if he’s had any luck tracking down their fugitive. Unfortunately, Wolverine lost Cloak’s scent an hour ago. Tony informs him that his armor is networked into a little over a billion dollars’ worth of geosynchronous surveillance satellites, but he hasn’t found a thing. Wolverine knows they aren’t built for this kinda work. They need a local to find their needle in the haystack. They need the kid. Iron Man’s tried him already, but Wolverine asks him to try again.
Cloak opens his arms and says welcome to New York City. The runaways tumble out into the snow, a little weary from the experience of being teleported from coast to coast. Gert reckons it still beats flying America West. Victor is shocked at what just happened, but Chase is in a worse state. He lies in the snow, shivering, and mumbling about space sharks. Molly says he smells like he went in his pants.
Cloak asks them to forgive his hastiness. He realizes that the darkforce dimension is not the most comfortable way to travel, but time is of the essence. Chase reckons he could have given them a second to grab a coat or something, but Nico reminds him that they’ve lived their entire lives in Los Angeles. Does he even own winter clothes? Cloak informs them that Father Lantom should be able to supply them with donations from their last clothing drive.
Molly asks Tyrone if that’s his dad, but he tells her he’s a catholic priest who has been providing both himself and Dagger with sanctuary for the last few months. He wishes to introduce them to him. Victor asks them to slow down a moment, motioning towards New York City. They’re in the big apple; home of Spider-Man, Daredevil… the Fantastic Freakin’ Four live here. This is hallowed ground.
Soon, without a grand tour of the city, they find themselves at the church and, after Tyrone explains everything, Father Lantom asks if he’s possessed. After all the trouble he’s found himself in, he’s decided to drag five wayward children into the situation? Gert asks him not to forget their wayward pet. Suddenly, Old Lace pops its head up, which frightens the priest.
Backing slowly away from Old Lace, he asks what the hell this is. Who are they? Victor tells him that Old Lace is kind of like their guardian, and they’re just good Samaritans who want to help uncover the truth. Father Lantom says that the truth is that Tyrone is innocent. He’s known both of them long enough to know that he would never hurt Dagger. But, he fails to understand why he doesn’t just surrender to the police and let themclear his name. Cloak reminds him that, if he had any faith in the authorities, he would never have aided their crusade over these past few months. He knows this is unorthodox, but the runaways represent their last best chance at hope.
Nico asks him not to be afraid to put them to work, before quoting a verse from the Bible that the father fails to recognize. Nico says she’s a former alter girl. Father Lantom takes them into a room and shows them a surveillance tape of Dagger’s attack. On the monitor, it shows Dagger taking down three hoodlums, only to have Cloak appear with his back facing the camera. As he approaches her, his cloak opens and she tells him to get away from her. Her muffled screams can be heard as the cloak envelops her.
Tyrone insists he was miles away at the time, but Father Lantom points out that it appears fairly damning. Tyrone holds up a glove, which was found at the crime scene. He’s never seen it in his life and certainly never worn one like it. He hands Nico the glove, still in its police bag, and Nico asks where he got it from. He replies that before leaving California, he teleported inside the NYPD storage locker to retrieve clues that might aid their search for the real culprit. Gert comments that he’s stealing evidence from an investigation where he’s the prime suspect. ”You’re not exactly helping your case, O.J.”
Nico asks him who Dagger was fighting before someone assaulted her. He informs her that they’re a gang of narcotic dealers who’ve been pushing designer drugs like Mutant Growth Hormone in Washington Square Park. This gives the user temporary supernatural abilities. Victor asks if there’s any chance that an impostor might have used drugs to simulate his condition. Cloak replies that the pharmaceuticals that were forced upon both he and his partner had long-term effects, specific to their biological makeup. But, if that drug were laced with MGH, there is a chance someone could replicate his powers. But, why would anyone willingly take on his curse?
Nico doesn’t know the answer to that, but at least it gives them a place to start. Father Lantom is reluctant to have them confront drug dealers with a girl as young as Molly at their side. Chase figures he has a point. If they’re going undercover, an eleven year-old will stick out like... an eleven year old. Gert reminds them that Old Lace would do likewise.
Nico figures she can kill two birds with one stone. She uses the Staff of One to cast a spell, turning Old Lace into a small dog. The effect isn’t permanent, but Gert and Victor can use her to track down the person behind the glove, while she and Chase shake down pushers for leads. Chase asks how come Victor gets to be with Gert. Nico replies that the two of them would simply make out, and this isn’t spring break. Cloak thanks them for their help and remains with Molly and Father Lantom. Molly wants souvenirs, or someone’s gonna get a beating.
(New York City)
Nico and Chase wander through the streets of New York City, passing She-Hulk along the way. Chase tells her that super heroes are an everyday occurrence for these people. Seeing She-Hulk is like an Angelino running into Steve Guttenberg. Nico asks who he is. Exactly, replies Chase. Nico doesn’t see how he can compare some nobody to a former Avenger. Chase says that at least celebrities worked to get where they are. All these super-types ever did was get born a mutant, or fall into a vat of chemicals or accidentally get zapped with… Nico asks if he’s jealous that he lost his super toys. He reckons he isn’t. He doesn’t need x-ray specs and flame gloves. He’s cracking skulls today.
They see a shifty-looking man nearby in the park who keeps checking his lookout and drop man. He asks Nico to follow his lead. Chase steps up and tells him he and his girl just came in from Brooklyn, ‘cause they’re trying to score something a bit more powerful. “What do you need, Los Angeles?” replies that guy, without missing a beat. Chase is a little lost for words, so Nico tells him they’re looking to taste a little darkforce. The man looks around and says they need to talk to the Pusher Man ‘bout that. Chase asks where they find him. The man opens his coat and they see a portal where his body should be.
Nico heads straight into it, followed by Chase. Inside, they find three people sat on a couch. An alarm is set off due to one of them carrying weapons. A pink-haired woman named Bo searches them. Chase apologizes that he’s carrying a switchblade, but Bo informs him that it’s his girlfriend that’s carrying. She lashes out at Nico with a knife, cutting Nico’s sleeve and nicking her arm. The Staff of One emerges from her chest, only for Bo to grab it from her. Her employer, Pusher Man, who looks like an upper class pimp, says they can now show these cats what they do to narcs.
At the hospital, Captain America is looking on Dagger, who lies asleep on the bed. An orderly arrives with some food, and Cap asks him if she’s had any visitors, other than when Cloak was there. He tells Cap that the only person to stop by was Father Lantom. He’s a priest at St. Patrick’s, who usually comes by to do last rites and stuff. He spent an extra long time in here, now Cap mentions it. “Why do you ask?” he enquires as an idea pops into Cap’s head.
Victor, Gert and Old Yeller are also walking the snow-covered streets. They cross a road, and Vic thinks it’s amazing that they can do this. If they jaywalked in Los Angeles the cops would be all over them. Gert thinks that if that’s Utopia, then he should try her burrito. For a town that has so many great restaurants, their Mexican food is a crime against humanity. Old Yeller picks up a scent, and leads the pair of them to an alleyway between two shops.
Once they’re in, they hear a voice, which asks if they wouldn’t happen to know a fella named Cloak… tall, dark and billowy? Vic responds to the voice by charging himself up, ready for action. Who said that? he asks. The voice replies that he sorta figured Ty might try something like this, so he planted a tracer in that glove the cops found at the scene. He’s been from Harlem to Coney Island trying to find the signal. Now, it leads him to a couple of kids.
Gert asks him not to call her kid. Spider-Man then drops down beside them, hanging upside down from his webbing. “Wow… I was just telling a hairy little Canadian guy the same thing.”