“I know you are there, Wolverine,” he says, head lowered.
He turns. Captain America is standing at the head of most of the United State’s heroes. At the forefront are Reed Richards, Charles Xavier, the Black Bolt, Iron Man.
“It would appear the Illuminati had a meeting without Namor and I,” Strange says.
“We’re here to stop you,” Reed Richards says.
“To ask you to stop,” Captain America corrects him.
“Respectfully, Stephen, your plan to fight Eternity.”
“I said: ‘Have words with’, Jessica,” Strange says.
Spider Woman looks guilty.
“We can’t trust you, Stephen, I’m sorry,” Captain America says. “You’ve become too powerful.”
“Doctor…” Iron Man says. “Stand down.”
Strange laughs, a tear falls.
“How does one ‘turn off’ knowledge, Iron Man?”
“Submit to us.”
“So you can lobotomize me? I cannot.”
Hawkeye has his failsafe arrow drawn, pointing at the ground.
“Hawkeye?!” protests Stark.
“Him?” Reed points, incredulously.
Hawkeye takes his mask off. Tears, also, start falling.
“We’re going to fight, aren’t we, Doc?” he says.
“A lot of us are going to die.”
Strange doesn’t reply.
Iron Man is livid. He shouts at Hawkeye while pointing at Dr Strange.
“What the hell is going on with you two? What aren’t you telling us, Clint?”
“’The key to any battle is preparation’,” Hawkeye mumbles to himself, as the tears fall.
“HAWKEYE!” demands Reed.
“I’ll take the Hulk, the rest of you take the Surfer,” Hawkeye mumbles, sadly.
“As if you could…”
“He’s not even…”
The Hulk lands hard, one knee down, head lowered, fists out. Above him and Strange, the Silver Surfer stands on his board, energy escaping each fingertip, held out wide. Like ten inter-crossing bands of lightening, they marginally light Dr Strange’s spheres. The three of them, Spaceman, Magician and Anger, are aligned. Behind them, large floating rocks fill the sky.
“Hulk getting mad!” the Hulk sneers. “You all go away!”
Hawkeye raises his bow.
“Please. All of you, leave,” Strange says.
“HULK HATES!!” shouts the Hulk.
“Teleport him away, Stephen!” Ms Marvel yells.
“We’re threatening Strange. The spheres won’t let him,” says Hawkeye.
The Hulk screams, like he never has before. A thing without words - pure rage. He stomps the ground, causing massive shockwaves, then punches it with his opposite hand. Everybody is jolted, except Strange.
“Hawkeye, don’t-“ Strange starts.
The Hulk screams again, to the sky, then leaps forward.
“I’m sorry, Doc,” Hawkeye says, loosing his arrow.
The battle starts.