Rick Jones struggles as he climbs up the side of a snowy and craggy mountainside. He nearly slips off, but manages to hold on with one hand. Rick says that he has had some crappy months before, but that to beat this one you would have to go back to when he was dying of cancer. Rick says that he is the best at what he does, and that what he does is get himself into more trouble than any ten human beings put together. Rick ignores the wind and pain as he continues climbing looking for the wise man named Shinga Doon. Rick looks up to see an enourmous being with long curling horns and flowing white hair looking down at him. Rick says, “You… wouldn’t happen to be Shinga Doon… would’ja?” The gigantic crature looks down at Rick and says, “And if I were? I’m not saying I am, mind you, but… if I happened to be… what of it?” Rick starts to tell Shinga that Siffrin Froid sends his greetings, but he slips off the moutain. Shinga Doon catches Rick and says that him falling to his death won’t accomplish anything. Shinga Doon says that he is who Rick thought he was, and that Rick is a fragile thing. He suggests going somewhere that won’t freeze Rick to death and he can tell him why he has sought him out.
In a cave, Rick and Shinga Doon sit next to a fire. Rick eats as he tells Shinga the story. Shinga says that he wants to see if he understands this. He says that Captain Marvel is out in Rick’s universe while Rick is stuck here in what he calls the ‘Microverse’, and that about a month ago Marv had a nervous breakdown. Rick says that is pretty much it. Rick says that Marv’s cosmic awareness completely overwhelmed him. Rick says that for days he just shouted at Marv to try and bring him out of it. He says that all he did was eat, sleep, and shout at Marv to get up. Finally Rick thought of the right words to make Marv get up and felt foolish for not having thought of it sooner. Rick said, “What would your father say if he saw you like this?” Rick says that he read that most of American literature’s main theme was of a child looking for the approval of the father or father figure. Rick says that he isn’t sure about literature, but that in Marv’s case it is true enough. Marv tries to live up to his father’s name and, though it took the better part of a day, Marv got back on his feet. Rick begged him to bang his bands and send him back to his universe, but all Marv said was “Discipline.” Marv then flew off into the air.
In Detroit, the Punisher has finally managed to corner a criminal named Tomas. Punisher says that right now he isn’t really interested in killing Tomas, but he is looking for the name of Tomas’ employer. Punisher has Tomas cornered in an alley. He tells Tomas that he will cut him a break and that it isn’t often that he does that. Tomas asks Punisher if he thinks that he is stupid.Punisher lobs a smoke grenade into the alley hoping to drive Tomas out, but when Punisher rounds the corner he sees that Tomas has found himself a human shield. Tomas tells Punisher to drop his gun or he kills the man. Punisher says that if he kills the man that he is going to join him in death. The man begs for his life, but Punisher says that Tomas is not walking away. The man says that Punisher is one of thise hero types and that he has to save him. Punisher says that he is afraid not. Marv says, “Don’t worry. I am” as he stands in the alley. He says, “A hero, that is, in the classic sense… rather than, say, the sandwich sense.” Marv says that he wants to avoid confusion. Tomas asks Marv if he is nuts. Marv says, “If you mean in the hard-shelled, dried fruit sense, or in the device used to tighten a screw sense… no. No, I’m not. If you mean in the sense of insane… mad… crazy… I believe I am, yes.” He says that Rick used to help him with meanings, but that his voice has just become a buzzing in his head lately. Marv says that the human shield is very effective. Marv uses his cosmic awareness and the human shield’s face goes all starry like Marv’s. Marv says that the human shield’s name is Sid Fisher. Marv says that when he was five Sid smothered his baby sister in her crib.Marv says that crib death was blamed. Sid liked the power trip, and that when he was fourteen Sid tried to rape a girl from down his block, but that he couldn’t perform and so he beat her to death with a baseball bat. Marv says that this time a known child molester was blamed and he is still in jail for it. Marv says that Sid has been inactive since then, but that the beast grows within him and that he is watching a social worker he knows. Marv says that Sid imagines what it would be like to have her writhing under him and screaming for help. Marv says, “Isn’t that right, Sid? Lie to me, I’ll kill you.” Sid says that it is all true and that he is so sorry. Marv places his hand on Tomas’ head and says, “Calmly, Sid. The important thing is, you told the truth.” Marv lets off a blast from his hand that disintergrates Tomas. Marv says, “And the truth shall set you free.” Punisher just stares at Marv and decides to follow Marv’s lead. Marv asks Punisher if he hears the buzzing too. Frank asks if he is supposed to. Marv says that he supposes not, and that it just keeps getting fainter and fainter. He says that it is nothing to concern himself with. Tomas starts to run. Punisher is going to shoot him, but Marv zaps Punisher’s gun. Punisher asks Marv if he is insane. Marv says that he thought that they covered that. Punisher says that Tomas is a mass murderer. Marv looks Punisher in the face and says, “So… Are… You.” Punisher asks what that means. Marv says that he wants to learn from him.
Shinga Doon guesses correctly that what he wanted to learn from the Punisher was “discipline”. Rick says that Punisher used to be a soldier and that Marv admired Punisher going “about his business in an organized, ruthless fashion that he ‘found appealing”. Shinga Doon asks if Rick was able to perceive this. Rick says that part of the link still works and that he can perceive through Marv’s eyes. Rick says that they used to be able to talk, but that Marv no longer seems to be hearing him. Shinga Doon says that it is not unlike God. Rick says that was when he decided to get off the planet he was on and got onto a cargo transporter headed for Galaxion Center. Rick says that he was to caretake a collection of rare animals headed for a zoo. Rick says that he loved animals, but that now he loves them a lot less. Rick is seen carting out an enourmous pile of animal feces. Rick says that the nega-bands enable him to understand most any language and thate he started asking around to find a way to make Marv trigger the change and get him himself out of the Microverse. Rick says that no one seemed able to help, but that more and more Shinga Doon’s name kept coming up as the go-to guy. Shinga Doon asks what Rick’s association is with Captain Marvel during this time.
In Punisher’s headquarters, Marv has been sitting for two weeks reading every book Punisher has on war, strategy, and everything other facet of his operation. Punisher had tried to shoot Marv, but Marv just told him not to do that again. Frank said that it isn’t like he could call in the Avengers. Punisher says that Marv also mentioned his cosmic awareness and that he could pass on some of it into Punisher. Punisher imagines being able to know when crime will happen and being able to stop it from happening instead of cleaning up after. Punisher says that Tomas has vanished and that he is no closer to learning the name of his employer. Marv closes his book and says, “Shelton Hemmings”. Punisher asks what he said and Marv explains that Shelton Hemmings is Tomas’ employer. Punisher asks how he knew that. Marv says that enough time has passed to convince Tomas that Punisher is no longer following him and that he just reported to Shelton at 423 North Ford Street. Punisher checks Hemmings and says that he owns car dealerships and has no record. Marv says that he is just a front. He says Punisher ruined some of his operations and so he sent Tomas after him. Punisher asks if Marv is sure. Marv says, “As sure as I am of anything.” Punisher says that isn’t an answer. Marv says that it is, but that it isn’t the one he wanted to hear. Frank says that they will go pay Heemings a visit. Marv tells Punisher that he is not going to kill Tomas now or ever. Punisher says, “The hell I won’t…” Marv says that in two weeks Tomas is going to be arrested. In jail he will find God, seek forgiveness, and become a jailhouse preacher. Marv says that he will reduce the recidivism rate in Joliet singlehandedly. In twenty years he will be released from prison and lead a life of piousness and community service before dying at the age of 73 from a hit and run. Marv says that if Punisher hurts him that he will hurt Punisher. Punisher concedes.
It’s Halloween and Punisher and Captain Marvel step onto Shelton Hemmings’ front doorstep. He asks them if they aren’t a little old for trick or treat. Punisher says that they are going to have a little chat. Hemmings tries to play dumb, but Punisher says that he is there because of him. Hemmings’ face goes all starry and Marv says that Hemmings doesn’t care why he is there. Marv says that he admires Punisher’s singlemindedness of purpose, but that his methods are time-consuming. Marv shows Hemmings his likely future. Marv tells Punisher not to reach for his gun and that it won’t be necessary. Hemmings runs into his house. Punisher asks where he is going. Marv says that he is going to go kill his eight-year-old son. Punisher is shocked, but Marv says that Punisher would be “ill-advised to interfere.” Shelton is about to blow away his son when Punisher blows a hole in the man’s chest. Punisher is holding his gun and asking the boy if he sees that he had no choice in the matter. Marv says that the boy does not see. Marv says that his father saw what the boy was going to turn into and what it meant to him. Marv tells Punisher to see what it means for him. He said that he promised Punisher future sight for a brief time and that now he can decide if it is a gift or a punishment.
Shinga Doon asks Rick if he knew what Punisher saw. Rick says that he figured it out. Rick says that Punisher saw the grown up kid killing him real slow. He saw his own death “swathed in vengeance”. Shinga Doon asks how Punisher took it. Rick says, “Like a man. A man who broke down and sobbingly begged an eight-year-old not to kill him. Not his finest moment.” Shinga Doon says that he doubts Rick’s version and that a man like the Punisher, if threatened… Rick cuts him off and says htat he prefers the story his way. Shinga Doon says that he understands and that they won’t talk of it anymore. Rick asks Shinga Doon if he knows what he needs to do to solve his problem. Shinga Doon says that it is quite simple, but when he starts to elaborate he is suddenly crushed and killed. Rick is stunned when a disembodied voice says, “Accept your fate, Richard Jones. Do not seek aid from other innocent creatures… lest they suffer as this one did. In a universe filled with ever-changing possibilities… the destiny of Captain Marvel is sealed. And there is nothing you, nor anyone else, can do to alter that.” Rick asks who is speaking and if he had something to do with Marv’s breakdown. The voice says, “I am No One.”