Maria Hill marched over to the body, the SHIELD tactical team surrounding her in perfect formation.

"I want confirmation that Strange is dead."

The medic waved a small device over the body of the Sorcerer Supreme; confirming his diagnosis before nodding. "No signs of suspended animation or other fake-outs ma'am. He's worm food."

Hill scratched one worry off her list. "I want the occult team getting everything they can off his body. And ..." she trailed off, distracted.


"Where did his cape go?"

The Avengers were gathered in the mansion. More accurately, the New Avengers were huddled around a table keeping their voices down.

"How do we know the spells are still active?"

"'cause I'd hear them Parker. Stark might be able to screw with that sense of yours but my ears still work."

"Calm down people. Strange my be dead but ..."

"That's right."

The heroes turned as one.

A man was limping towards them with the aid of a cane, wearing battered sneakers, three days carefully cultivated stubble and a KISS t-shirt.

"Your most powerful pal is dead, the guy who kept the spells running and let you live in this Greenwich Village monstrosity. But what the hell, you don't have to pretend that pirate shirt of his is fashionable."

"Who the hell are you?"

The man grinned. "The guy who roomed with Vinnie Strange at John Hopkins."

"His name was Stephen."

"Until someone stole his ID and told everyone he was in the mafia."

Wong leaned forward. "That was you?"

"And you must be Steve's life partner." The man headed towards Cage. "But the good Doctor Strange thought it might be funny to give me his powers. Anyway ... thought you might like this."

The man handed Cage a DVD, then flashed a salute as he vanished.

Later, Cage would find out that the DVD contained footage of Hill attempting to arrest Captain America before the SHRA was passed, including shooting him down. Meetings between politicians on how the SHRA was devised to increase arms spending in anti-superhuman technology. Footage of a familiar looking woman in a SHIELD uniform shooting Cap at point blank range.

According to Parker, the resolution was too high to be faked. Cage, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, started to organise a raid on a TV station.

Just why would this guy help them ...?

Doctor James Wilson blocked Doctor Gregory House's attempt to filch food from his plate. "So the sole reason you helped a bunch of vigilantes ... was that you objected to the SHRA?"

"Licencing superhumans? Sounds like a good idea, making sure that people with super powers know what they're doing."

Wilson parried a stab by House's fork at his fries. "So ...?"

"Apparently there's a provision in the SHRA for mandatory service at a certain power level."

"You screwed with a major international intelligence organisation, sabotaged a standing piece of legislation and are going to cause a major international political upheaval just because you didn't feel like performing community service?"

"They would have had me stop bank robberies."

"Oh God."

"Bank Robbberies, Wilson? I'm the Sorcerer Supreme baby." House leaned back, and waved his hand in the air.

The glow from his fingers and the shriek of dismay outside the canteen convinced Wilson it wasn't a co-incidence. "What did you ..."

"Clothes Off. Apply directly to the Cuddy."

"Oh no."

"Clothes Off. Apply directly to the Cuddy."

"Do you want more Clinic Hours?"

"Clothes Off. Apply directly to the Cuddy ..."