1964-05-03 - Whirlwind of Teeth & Fur
Summary: Things go awry when it becomes apparent Skali was infected with the zombie curse. Wanda and Strange have to deal with zombie varg in the mirror dimension.
Related: Tick Tock
Three Chances
Theme Song: None
wanda strange skali 


It came upon an afternoon clear — well, back in New York. In another dimension entirely, Strange is finishing setting the last sigil in place upon the wall seemingly made up of…Jell-O? Ectoplasm? Jellyfish innards? With a sigh and a nod of his head, he flexes and clenches fingers zinging with nerves made sore for the conduction of the energy needed for the spell.

Trishul, there is a hole in space at the Park. This is not good.

Nope. Absolutely not. With irises flushing neon-bright in sudden influx of willpower, the Gate rips a rude oculus in the veil between realities and the Sorcerer steps out into Central Park. The sun is muted beneath clouds in comparison to the dusky night of the other dimension. He blinks a few times and turns on the spot, the crimson Cloak swirling about his person as he pinpoints not only the compass-north of an unbreakable Mystical bond, but a recent rent that leads to…the Mirror Dimension. The air tastes of sulfurous magic gone awry. He grimaces and with a brusque gesture palm-out, shatters the entry point once again. Nebulous, fractally shifting, the wall gives naturally to him as he walks through it. With the other hand gripping a reflexive shielding spell, ready in a blink to be cast upon friend or himself, he sees…


Outwardly there is little to see. Stamped down grass, a few cigarette butts, these are offensive to an environmentally conscious person in an age when people revere DDT. The shuffling undead are quite gone. A small, very present black hole lies above the heads of those who venture into the centre of Central Park, a blot on the face of reality that even a child has no trouble taking note of.

It does not belong.

Through the fractal, fractured wall into the Mirror Dimension, cleaving planes and sparkling facets throw the image of a young woman of seething mahogany hair and burning eyes with her hand outstretched. She adopts a somewhat defensive stance, one well suited to rooting herself against a patch of ground that may spread yards back from the equivalent point in nature. Control in this place is a matter of finesse more than brute strength, though willpower helps a great deal in shaping and altering matters. Wanda lacks for neither, really, but her preference is use of a scalpel rather than a Remington packed with scattershot.

Her gaze is solid amaranth, and she sweeps her fingers with precise, cutting gestures to swing pie-slices of creation in a strange place through their mandala formations to keep the varg out of her hair but, likewise, not running away.


As the varg was pulled metaphysically out of one plane of existence and deposited into another, the desperate need to bury self in the darkness suddenly manifest. For some time, the woman lay panting and prone against the cold earth - feverish and shivering with little shuddering tremors of a transformation still flushing her musculature. To her knees she managed, fingertips shoving into the deep soil, extending and twisting into talons even as her jaws stretched and she screamed, the noise a moaning howl that rolled up from her chest and broke against the fractured sky like a wave.

The wolf rose with a froth in the corner of her lips, eyes as black as the hide she wore even as the maddening hunger finally filled every pore of her flesh and extinguished what human reason had been left, like a seam ripping in one smooth gesture. Skali's massive head rose and her lungs filled with the air, scenting more than seeing the only other thing within this dimension she could rend to pieces - The Scarlet Witch.

The same creature that had affectionately nuzzled against Strange like some massive cat moved silently now, all the speed of her Asgardian blood filled with murderous intent as her paws dug in, her body seized around a few bounding leaps, and then she was airborne - extended fully in that rabid effort to sink her teeth into Wanda and pull her apart.


ROLL: Strange +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 41


Yep, that black hole — pretty concerning.

The arcing Varg traveling towards his Consort with the clear intent to do more than simply hamstring? This is pretty damn concerning too.

"SKALI KINESEEKER!!!" It's a physical blow of a shout, full emphasis shoved into every single syllable, crackling along vowels and consonants, the intent to disrupt the deific predator's attack if only for a second. After all, Names have power. The defensive shielding spell flies from his other hand, erupting from his scarred fingers towards the Witch in an ultraviolet spray of ethereal Mystical droplets.

Whether it coallesces before her in time is another thing entirely.


So many variables work against the very human, very flawed sorceress. Speed, muscles infinitely stronger than her own capable of delivering terrible blows. Great, ghastly claws to rip into golden flesh and open pulsating rose-tinted innards to the labouring hungers of pitiless black eye and ivory tooth. Many teeth, row on row, all set to purpose of tearing, crushing, and ripping.

The advantage of a mortal is their very bane, the genius of inspiration and the torment of their condition. Time. Thick-running, swift current, eddying, puddling time. Not in an instant does Skali fall to her condition, preyed upon by the obvious ichor stolen from corrupted bodies, imperfect flesh.

And time is something a girl born by fell designs, tested on one unlikely battlefield after another by a depraved cult leader, knows to manage. Time is ally to her twin, and much less so her. But she can muster the wherewithal to use it wisely, altering the very landscape to fit the needs of the moment. Rushed turns and hastened leaps articulate the impressive angularity of one flat planes. Space cleaves, it doesn't bend. Here the very nature of the dimension eagerly responds to fractal patterns in kaleidoscopic rotation, the folding of origami distances to open in a wider length than straight line trajectory would ever demand. Turn, twist, open in a spray. Any Japanese mistress of the paper arts would have grudging respect for her initiate's skill. But she is still Chaos' daughter.

Jagged marks pierce their shatterproof angles, barely visible except when viewed on edge through a certain light. Sprays of ultraviolet converge, twist, dance through the maze being built on the fly, biting and folding outwards from her in so many directions. It's not complete, certainly not, but the Sri Yantra is a potent symbol of protection and mystic resonance. She's throwing triangles upon triangles, the mighty Sarva Saubhagyadayak — all fourteen nested interlocking triangles — made in much less time than it should be. Since the Yantra is built on perfect symmetry, she only has to build half of it to get the other half mirrored.

Reflections, get it? Not that it'll stop anyone too insistent on showing up, but it's going to fucking hurt.


Once the wolf had a name, but now she was nothing. Nothing but the blackness in her eyes, the fury in her heart, the hunger that had mercilessly beat upon her senses for days on end spreading out from her gut in a torturous spasm that so closely mirrored more viscerally pleasurable alternatives. The hindbrain whispered in those pin-prick ears pinned against her skull, 'Soon you will eat, soon it will stop hurting, soon, soon, soon.' And it was all she could hear, whispers and promises and desperate, clawing need that drowned out her true title, the roaring snarl loosed from her throat screaming defiance to the wards and protections erected.

The creature hit the wall of light and refraction with the full force of her frame, the angles of the symbols shuddering even as they folded and turned spine points upon gnashing teeth and soon-bloodied pads. A screaming howl of frustration keened from the beast as she set upon the only thing between her and the witch, furiously digging at the thing separating them, grabbing at nothingness with her teeth in sharp snap-snap-snaps as ivories slashed together, until it was obvious she felt no pain by the blood seeping into her hide whilst her efforts shredded through flesh.

Then her nose flared, and she turned, the pits that had once been eyes turning to regard Strange dispassionately with a flick of her tail - like some giant cat who had found a particularly large mouse to redirect her attentions on.


Well, he's been in this pickle before. Once upon a time ago, the Varg wasn't going to listen to him. Somehow, it's not working, even with the proper emphasis on the Name.

It's when those beetle-black eyes land upon Strange, accompanied by the flash of blood-stained ivory teeth — her own blood — that he has reason to swallow down his heart in his throat. He's seen that before, in another body entirely and in another reality-eating sphere of malevolent nothingness. Flicker-flash, the lines are connected, and Skali likely won't see the rending of his conscious to pieces by the understanding. It draws deep lines into his expression.

The zombies. She ate their flesh. This is…oh gods.

"Skali Kineseeker," he tries again, assuming articulated mudras before him that spark to life in brilliant gold and citrine. The concentric circles, shield and weapon alike, rotate in bewildering counter-direction before his palms, at least three feet in diameter each. "To me, Varg." He spits the command, flashing his own teeth. Anything to keep Wanda out of line of sight. Along their private connection, the very same avenue that the initial warning traveled along, he whispers,

Rakshasi, she must be bound. She is godlike and does not know herself. Do not let her touch you, you can see the infection. Bind her, however you must. Only then can I heal her. This flashes to the Witch in the span of a heartbeat, thump-thump.


In the astral reflection of Earth, is not all possible and all permitted? Wanda is not immune to a slavering beast throwing itself through bloodied contortions to reach her, driven by a single minded impulse she can't touch.

Rarely has she ever wanted Karl von Mordo around. This is one of those moments.

Want does not intrude upon the essential reactions of her timed thrusts and folds. She counts off the triangles in her head: Lift, bend, bend, fold. Launching a sharp spear of space and opening it along three axes takes time. It's not like they have the benefit of additional seconds or errors. She crosses her palm in front of her, thumbs a downward diamond, and sweeps her hands in a semi-circle punishing her wrists as they flare open.

A seam in the faceted space bursts vertically ahead of her and rips open, rotating like a child with a colourful tube, turning and turning, even as she herself is forcibly lifted and flipped upside down as her down becomes up and up becomes down.

With the wisdom of the fallen, notably Pietro Maximoff, she sets the world to tumble drying. Her inner ear may hate it, but the inner ear doesn't see the shifting world like this, and the sudden reversal of the crystalline maelstrom in an anticlockwise decision is going to get even more screwball when the surging inner space is going in one way and now the outer parts are cycling in an opposite route. Even worse, there are still jaggedy bits all over.

Asgard, meet the Scarlet Witch's ginzu blender courtesy of Himalayan and Tibetan study. Her thoughts are soaring along increasingly mercurial heights. How well can Skali roar and snap in demented Esscher landscapes?


The command was unnecessary flourish. Skali was coming for him. Along her topline, the shoulders rolled forward, entire body following a singular intent as her lips peeled back and the gait of her massive paws eased into that reckless abandon of speed. The spaces between each fall of her limbs grew larger and larger until she was readying herself to launch for him without a hint of recognition in the pitiless abyss of her gaze. The floating emblems of gold reflected in the pools of darkness like lanterns seeking someone lost in shadowed woods and found nothing.

Except her paws never hit the ground. They hit the sky, sending her writhing in midair attempting to find the purchase she needed to complete the last leap and reach Strange. Like being drowned underwater, the varg thrashed and pushed against unyielding wind and earth like scrabbling beneath the crush of a wave. As soon as she found her weight centered again, everything would shift, flinging her like a rag doll once more to land - but never quite land - into a new cyclone of chaos. Instinct would have demanded she submit, forced a whimper out of her throat, sent her tail between her haunches until the Sorcerers had their fun and she could be released to slink away sufficiently chastised. But there was no instinct left to guide her anymore.

Thus with a raw desperation that would have been pathetic if not for how unnerving it was to witness, Skali put every ounce of her suicidal effort into digging her claws into earth, twisting in sky, scrambling and crawling towards the Doctor with slavering jaws articulating every step. The speed of her attacks was certainly hindered, but the raw strength of her frame put every last purchase it could find into reaching Strange - and killing him.


Pity colors every nuance beneath the stony battle-stance of the Sorcerer. Oh, absolutely, the topsy-turvy shifting of reality is nearly nauseating to watch, much less be a part of. He remains immune to it simply because he will it does not reach him, affect him, swirl him about like a dandelion tuft in the wind.

Still, the Varg fights on and he can accept being the target for the moment, especially with how reality flung willy-nilly stalls out the creature's frantic, slavering approach.

The rewards will need to outweigh the risk of dismissing one of the mandala-shields, the one before his dominant hand, and it falls to a cascade of sparks that puff out about his boots. About this hand, assuming a Karana mudra, the very torque of digits imparting the expelling of demons, a swish of misty celestial lilac form a sleekly-rotating ring. Not entirely banishment, a good part healing, it's a spell that needs time to fully come to fruition.

Keep her captive, Rakshasi! Another entreaty along their connection.


Bindings by way of actual telekinetic bonds holding a figure of questionable strength are right out. Use the Mirror Dimension's physics to their own advantage. Home field advantage is spinning and churning, rather than holding static, and it might likewise limit some of the fight demonstrated in the majestic horror for whom all other black dogs shall never quite compare. The varg can thrash and hiss, but the sorceress throws her energy into cleaving and polishing, a dimensional jeweler cutting movement from the imperfect block of space.

Wanda is not immune to her own work, but a mote in the eye of God, the fulcrum for the tumult. Greater triangles twirl outwards from the point where she stands, rotating and radiating, keeping Skali in perpetual motion to allow Strange his work. When she gets too close to the beloved, the reaction is simple: a hand extended with thumb out, fingers up, swivels a full one hundred eighty degrees to point down. Ring and middle finger cup her palm, horns remaining, thumb crossing the folded fingers below the nail. And when it does, the pirouetting crystal points flip from facing out to facing in. This is significant, because the points measure direction. Rather than coming to a grinding halt, the whirlpool spin reverses and sucks inwards, dragging Skali to Wanda while going wide on a crazy flow. The Witch's aura is impossible not to hear: the clamor a delving against the pentatonic scale, the kind of music used by the Eleusinians celebrating the mysteries of Orpheus' cult, the wild dances in honour of Bona Dea. The dominant elements of the celestial chorus harmonised together are telling of their own purpose: erratic Uranus, breaker of bonds, and Earth, lively and joyous. They clash no little amount.


It hurt; not because of the way the cacophonous chords of revelries lost flooded her senses, or the shards of broken facets of reality slashed through her thick fur to cut skin to ribbons, or even the perpetual churning that twisted her empty stomach into knots and made her head feel as if a vice was being tapped home. It hurt because she was so hungry; starving beyond the stretches of what she had ever imagined possible, and if only they would sit still and let her devour them. Then they could be together - all of them - forever.

As the sparks break apart the only distance between her and the Sorcerer Supreme, she lunges in one final press of frenzied despair only to have her teeth close on the air where a hand had been and her body flung backwards, dragged to the source of those wretched hymnals. It was a rigid puppetry that made the god dance, her spine arching in agony while limbs splayed and made stiff legged little attempts at escape, bloodied lips splitting open her head as she gasped and convulsed while tongue lolled, blackening at the base with each gagging swallow. The thing that had once been Skali rasped, words forming as those black eyes turned to Wanda's careful dance of mysticism and magic.


A wheezing gasp, and then the keening plea of something evil being pulled from her very bones once more begged,

Please just let me-"

Then the words were lost to a savage scream as she flung herself at the Scarlet Witch with complete abandon, all strength, weight, and force hurled into that singular effort to consume her. Even if it killed Skali to try."


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 78


The resonance within the Mirror Dimension to such things as musical auras is astounding. If Strange wasn't expecting to have a headache when all this is said and done, it's guaranteed now for the simple reasonings of reflection. Majestic, enlivening, hectic and prone to set teeth on edge as much as cajole lead feet to move, he can See it dancing amidst the fractal madness that keeps the Varg from reaching him.

Wanda's getting a raise, for sure — somehow — he'll figure it out.

The coruscation about the mudra has increased in intensity and is itself now emitting a bone-tingling tone not too far from the lowest range of whale-song. Above it all, the Sorcerer begins to speak, committing will into being through Words:

"Darkness bound in fang and fur,
From gloaming's null with goading spur,
I forbid thee current state
From Skali Kineseeker now abate!
By might of triad Vishanti — //
Thou art banished, so mote it be!!!//"

The timing is lucky. Even as the contorting Varg pleads and then commits to destroying herself in order to kill the one who plucks the strings of reality to suit her desire, the beam of exorcising power slams squarely into a broad, flat shoulderblade. Within the maelstrom of bladed fractals and inverted gravity, it suffuses the Varg's very being, down to immortal cellular structure. Flashing from the inside out, the skeletal structure can be seen through the thick pelt even as light itself seems to explode outwards from the being, blowing out a fine spray of inky-black droplets that are, in turn, consumed by the ice-fire of the brutally-vindictive spell. A high-pitched shriek echoes and fades out, a sign of the darkness haunting her being to be eradicated as cleanly as the site zero aftermath of a kiloton bomb.


Blackness rushing outwards into the spiraling vortex is going to naturally be pulled inward to the flawed vessel. The stutter stop effect of those few moments of hesitation resembles the oldest silent films where the tape was all but stuck together, glued and pieced carefully. The whirlygig twirl of doom requires two things in short supply: time and trust.

Reflex screams run. Logic stabs that in the bud. Regaining control costs her dearly, the rough edges of magic electrifying her with the cost and ripping a solid chunk of energy out, but the enlivened whirl becomes brighter as her aura sings its thrilling defiance through shimmering spectral chords of a full symphony coming out from every plane, every twinkling facet. They reflect on themselves and hum in support of the sacred 'Om' of the yantra; it is the basis of tantra, and the magic has far stronger resonance with Strange in his proper place, the masculine guardian to her feminine principle of action. Shakti in motion; the Deva-Deva dance. In tandem are they formidable enough, though she is extremely good in her own right balancing against Strange's cosmic divine.

At least that means until the black goo is dealt with. Then she can dance around going 'Ugh!' and hoping it hasn't touched her.


The magic floods Skali, ripping her senses from skin and casting all awareness into the words and symbols that burst against the back of her eyes. Eyes she had once more, even if the heat of healing burned out the retina, burst forth from her blackened mouth, poured across the tortured frame in relentless pressurized execution that purged darkness from capillary walls and nerve endings. For a horrible moment, she is made to dance on strings of raw power, muscles spasming as threads of healing light pour down her throat, reach out into the tips of her fingertips, burrow in between her bones, like thousands of insectile legs covering her synapses and whispering chants in tongues even Allspeak failed to puzzle out.

It was with a final convulsion that Skali stopped struggling, the massive beast's slowly falling as her body came to rest between the two. The spell was spent. From between rows of white teeth and tongue haphazardly lolling free in utter exhaustion, the darkness leaked out in a lazy rivulet of obsidian ichor. The quiet it departed in, the slow fashion it seemed to flow harmlessly across the grassy soil without actually seeping into any blade, undermined its danger. Even as it painted death upon the soil in passing and left the Varg breathing in shallow, truncated gasps.


Strange leaves, heading towards RP Nexus [O].


The magic floods Skali, ripping her senses from skin and casting all awareness into the words and symbols that burst against the back of her eyes. Eyes she had once more, even if the heat of healing burned out the retina, burst forth from her blackened mouth, poured across the tortured frame in relentless pressurized execution that purged darkness from capillary walls and nerve endings. For a horrible moment, she is made to dance on strings of raw power, muscles spasming as threads of healing light pour down her throat, reach out into the tips of her fingertips, burrow in between her bones, like thousands of insectile legs covering her synapses and whispering chants in tongues even Allspeak failed to puzzle out.

It was with a final convulsion that Skali stopped struggling, the massive beast slowly falling as her body came to rest between the two. The spell was spent. From between rows of white teeth and tongue haphazardly lolling free in utter exhaustion, the darkness leaked out in a lazy rivulet of obsidian ichor. Even as it fell from panting lips, it fell apart in the universe, pulled to pieces by the lingering magic of the spell. It left the black heap of fur sizzling, her sides heaving around a rasping effort to breathe.


The Sorcerer Supreme's work is done. Wanda draws the wildly oscillating spell back unto itself and, sooner than later, the mirror dimension will return to its habitual state of formless calm reflecting the world outside. There will still be ripples, of course, and indications that all is not purely well down there. The hints of the odd remain wherever one spies a sharp angle from the corner of their eye, for example, but there may be a sort of weird satisfaction found where the calm starts to settle.

Her breath comes sharply, like someone who finished a sprint down an extended distance, and her sides convulse within the prison of her steel-boned corset. Wanda hasn't much room to adequately inhale or exhale, but she eventually regains control over her lungs and the exceptionally strong need for oxygen this very moment, even though she is perfectly oxygenated and the stress is not at all related to being physically worn so much as mentally.

Still, with the wolf in that condition, she is not going to her knees. Even if it means locking them and swaying on her feet, so be it, pride holds the sorceress in black and wine where she is. "Next time, tell when sick," she mutters, though perfectly audible. "We fix first. Not this."


Skali rolls weakly onto her elbows, the back half continuing to sprawl uselessly as she considered her two saviors with a glowering humility. As the pupils pooled black once again, the tail whapped weakly on the dirt in an apologetic fashion even as the beast grumbled through jaws twisting to properly form the words,

"Glad to see you again too."

And then the transformation rippled out from that cutting tongue, dark fur still spattered with blood slithering back into the pores of human skin that faded to cream and bruised purple as if painted on. The long cords of muscle behind her knees twitched uncooperatively, even as she dragged them into her chest, smile fading as she shivered and closed her eyes. For once, the wolfling looked truly naked and it had nothing to do with the absence of clothing.

And for lack of anything more appropriate to say, the god finally whispered the only thing that could be said, even if it was barely audible to either of the two standing at attendance.

"I'm sorry."


Powerful words are apologies, and not without their meaning to a child born of the eastern fringes of Europe, raised in cultures very old indeed by some standards. She can forgive, perhaps. Forgetting is harder, but that much is allowed to someone through the travails afforded her. The varg earns something of an amethyst look, those eyes ablaze in unholy glory, their concentrated hue shimmering like a heat mirage in the desert.

Finally, she breathes out a long huff and wraps her arms around herself. "The hole remains in the sky. We will try to fix this. The undead cause more trouble. Magic, and more. A darkness. You want to hunt? We hunt its source."


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