Kaecilius traipses around an abandoned swimming pool in a forgotten corner of a dusty city with no name, scowling at himself in the tarnished, water-spotted mirror hung in the cramped, tiny office. A Master of the Mystic Arts, reduced to penury by memories. His fingers curled, itching for the comforts of a spellbook, the familiar mudras he long since left behind.
Pacing around the chipped tiled floor had already left him aware of every last imperfection, the spot where the surface bulged upwards and distorted the neat patterned rows. The place where a cheap patch job on the grouting made it rough against his soft leather boot stood out, as jarring as a smear of red paint in an offensive shape.
He grunted, and the reflection of the sound off the fine acoustics assaulted his ears. Could it be? No. Not since Kamar-Taj had he felt the urge to… But no, there it was, the persistent buzz in his thoughts, filling the space between his ears. The same damn beat, buzzing at 122 beats per minute. The persistent rattle became a hum. He daren't give it a second thought. Return to the schemes of the Master, the promise of immortality.
None else were confined here, and what better things had he to do? Read the newspaper? Bend over another worthless tome, or compare the relative benefits of a badger-hair brush or one with considerably cheaper mink, and their suitability to blend a loose powder over the crease once set with a high quality primer? He sniffed, his thin nostrils pinched. Another wasted night. Another wasted night while that no good, useless, gibbering excuse for a Sorcerer Supreme defied his master's will, and kept him from attaining his true gift.
The tiles cracked under his feet and twisted in Euclidean patterns, rearranged in chunks of blue on watery grey tile desperately in need of a good scrub. He made a mental note. Have the Zealots clean this place before we fill it with the blood of the ancients.
"What happened back at New Y'rk, huh?
Bitch, I'm back by popular demand."
It felt good to stretch his voice from a low, mumbling mutter into something ominous, the reflected echoes filling it with a richness he hadn't heard in ages. He drew in a deep breath.
"Y'all haters corny with that Illuminati mess,
Paparazzi, catch my fly and my cocky fresh
I'm so reckless when I rock my mystic robes (stylin')
I'm so possessive so I rock his eyeshadow
My daddy Dormammu, momma Denmark-ish—uh?
You mix that Zealot with that mystic, make a Kaecilius
I like my grimoire with chains and souls,
I like my bleedin' eyes with sparkly MAC liner.
Earned all this enmity but they never Kamar-Taj outta me
I got sling ring on my finger, arr."
A snap of his finger and he finished the chorus, bleeding into the interlude. His baritone slid over the walls, amplified by his arms flung out to his sides with a healthy snap. Yes. This was power, this was living. The Zealots would conquer the sad remnants of that little school yet.
"Oh yeah, Stephen? Oh yeah, I, ohhhh, oh yes, I like that.
I did not come to play with apprentices,
I came to slay, sorc'.
I like the Darkhold and Cagliostro tome,
Oh yes, you besta believe it."
He repeated the refrain, slinking around like a glittery crow, daring to strut.
"I see it, I want it, I cast, reality warp it,
I seize it, I chant loud, I beg til I got it,
I twirl on them haters, fractal skyscrapers
Magical gate with zealots hatin', kaleidoscopes with no pattern,
Sometimes I go off (I go off), I get mad (I go mad)
Get immortal (take my life), I'm the best (I'm the best!)
All day (okay), I cast (okay), I cast (okay), I cast (okay)," repeated twice, he chanted on,
"We gon' cast, I gon' cast (okay), we cast (okay), I cast (okay)
We gon' cast, I gon' cast (okay), we cast (okay), I cast (okay)
Okay, okay, Zealots, now let's get in formation, cause I pose,
Okay, Zealots, now let's spread information, cause I pose,
Prove to me Dormammu's got some gyration, cause tentacles,
Cast, bitch, or you get eliminated."
Before he knew it, he could scarelessly halt himself from stamping down the center slope of the pool, throwing his arms wide. His ragged robe flapped, sleeves a desperate gale.
"Okay Zealots, now let's get in formation, I pose
Okay, Zealots, now let's get gyratin'
You know Strange's that bitch when he says 'I've come to bargain,'
Always stay amorphous, best revenge is — f***?! — Chthon?!"
Another spin and he addressed the mobile shadow he spotted from the corner, once again repeating the refrain with building vigor. They would be drawn to the power coursing through him, the gift of Dormammu. They would see. They would answer.
"Strange, I hear some chanting,
Mordo, look at that Eye —
The golden light clicked off. The zealot dropped the flashlight to the ground and fled on his heel.
Kaecilius snapped his fingers. There was always tomorrow.