1963-09-19 - Unexpected Flames
Summary: A foray by Dr. Strange and Illyana to the Hellmouth for demon-hunting turns into a race against fire when Marcus is overwhelmed by his sigils.
Related: http://marvel1963mush.wikidot.com/log:1963-09-16-welcome-to-the-hellmouth
Theme Song: None
marcus strange illyana 


There's a rippling of aetheric energy— a bit on the sloppy side— and Illyana and Strange enter Central Park via way of a more traditional portal, rather than Illyana's stepping-stone via way of Limbo. "Do not understand why I must learn how to portal around," she grumps. "Can step myself wherever I wish— why learn two techniques?" she inquires. Illyana's ready for a fight, wearing her leathers and leggings, and stands akimbo as she surveys the carnage around the Hellmouth freshly opened in the park. It's largely under control, but various 'hellblisters' open periodically in the vicinity to admit other fiendish beings from secondary wells of infernal power, so it's requiring almost constant maintenance and monitoring from dozens of heroes. The recent spate of explosions and damage to infrastructure hasn't helped, either.

"Would still just be easier to unleash army of Limbo and invade the hellmouth," Illyana reminds Strange, again. "Go in, chop up unfriendly demons, walk out. Easy. Done in ten minutes," she assures him, with a flat wave of her hand.


Three days since the Hellmouth. Three days since he was nearly assassinated by a well-timed and fiendishly well-planned psychic dagger. Strange has used those three days to rest and regain his sense of self. During this time, his mind indeed strayed towards the fate of his erstwhile apprentice, Illyana. The general public, if they knew of his semi-true status as Illyana's 'keeper', would probably stick him with accusations of 'endangerment'.

But some simple scrying had shown him multiple evenings that she was sound, if not entirely safe. Keeping the blonde waif away from danger seemed most impossible these days.

Thus, he craftily combines a lesson in summoning gates between places in the Earthly realm (excellent practice for Illyana, as it involves great control and finely-tuned willpower to manipulate the strings of magic that comprise the general being of the realm) with a visit to the outskirts of the demonic hell-hole. His attention, upon stepping from the gate (which was fairly well-drawn, despite his initial concerns), flicks about in multiple facets: with his own eyes and again, with his Mystical senses.

"Because you may not be able to use your true powers in the future," he replies distractedly as he glances about. He wears his Cloak via disguise and it suits his broad-shouldered, lean form in a blazer jacket in a shade of red near-to-black, edged on the inside with a thin strip of white-sigil-on-gold-silk. It clashes a bit with his storm-blue pants and strap-laced fighting boots, but oh well - it has been literal years since Strange cared about the nuances of his wardrobe choices. "And we are not unleashing an army from Limbo," he reiterates in a tone that indicates he's already shared his sentiments multiple times today and doesn't want to explain why again. "We are here to root out any interlopers to Earth's realm and destroy them. Is that not enough for you?" His steel-blue eyes shift to her and he lifts one eyebrow in sardonic amusement. Surely they would find something waltzing about and attempting to eat a random passerby. His senses were tingling.


Illyana rolls her eyes a little and mumbles something unintelligible in Russian, but doesn't contend the point. "Fine," she says, sighing with adolescent exasperation. "No Limbo. Will make capturing them more difficult," she warns Strange. "My sword is not good at nuance with demons. Will try not to ruin your experiments," she assures him, drolly.

"Well, let's get to it. Which you want first?" she asks, summoning a scrying glamour and sending it winging to the Hellmouth's entrance. "I see… two of the dog ones and a monkey, and something that looks like… what is word for small horse, with big horns and sharp teeth?" she asks Strange. "The ones that Christmastime, they do with the present delivery."


Strange tries very hard not to smile at his apprentice's stance on her sword; he succeeds to some extent, but for the tiniest quirk along one line of his goatee. With his sense of memory, highly-trained due to his medical studies, all he needs to do is see the demon and sample its aura. This is more than enough to allow him to meditate on it later and decide what further steps are needed to ensure that no more of its type enter his Realm. If Illyana manages to destroy it in the process, wonderful - less of a waste of Mystical energy for him and an outlet for her.

At her delightfully-foreign description of the antlered demon with fangs, he pauses for a second in bemusement before uttering a short laugh. "You must be speaking of reindeer, but no reindeer that I've ever encountered during Christmas time had sharp teeth." He will have to be careful not get caught up in staring at the thing, if this is truly the case. Hearing many of the children's Christmas carols will also never be the same. "I assume you don't mind drawing them out so that I may study them briefly…?"

The near-black blazer seems to melt away into semi-presence briefly after a quick gesture of his hand and idle glance downwards. The infamous crimson Cloak swirls about his form now and with a graceful push upwards from his heels to toes, the Sorcerer Supreme rises up about two feet from the ground. "After you," he grins, though it's an edged thing and the coldness in his eyes is meant for the demon-kin, not Illyana. Revenge is a dish best served cold. And with a sword.


The battle in the Kitchen may of been more taxing than Marcus first anticipated. He hadn't so freely cut loose like that. As in, never. Which caused him to stumble about the sewers to escape before the police arrived. It's left him, and more accurately his powers in a state of flux and causing perhaps a slight bit of dazed and confused. It was the same sensation he felt during the fight, only it hasn't exactly left him. Thankfully he hasn't blown up anything by accident.

Somehow, in his wandering, he's found himself in Central Park, even if he can't quite remember exactly how he got himself here, walking at a stagger that might be reminiscent of a drunken misstep. Not like he's the first homeless drunk guy to walk that particular zig-zaggy line. The only difference here, as opposed to the rest of the people in the park that he passes by, he's exuding magical energy off like some freakish magical battery or dynamo. A beacon or miasma that goes off like a flare to anyone trained or sensitive to that kind of thing. Sadly, Marcus has no idea that's going on.

Did that bush just ignite on fire? Biblical connotations aside, Marcus didn't do anything to it, he just passed it. Maybe it was a firework some kids are messing around with. Are his eyes shifting colors? Yep. No real particular pattern to it, beyond the shades being red, yellow, blue, and black. Then again, why the park? Well, he might not even know it, but he's likely being drawn to the magic being used in the area.


Illyana moves to the front of the Hellmouth and does the equivalent of ringing the dinner bell— she slaps her hands together a few times, sending pixie dust everywhere. It reeks of fresh, envivified magic and it's better than A1 sauce on rare steaks for a demonkin.

There are growls and snuffling snarls from Down Below, and the two big wolves come baying up from the entrance. The recent magical countermeasures have beaten them back a few yards, sure, but they're definitely more than willing to come get a snack.

Illyana's Soulsword comes out and whips through the wolves— they crumble like charcoal statues as she rips their magical life force from them in two fast, sweeping blows, leaving them little more than hollow echoes of hellish activity.

"Loboumbras!" she shouts back at Strange. "Shadow wolves! Not dangerous except in packs," she assures Strange. "You want something bigger? Could put better bait out."


Her mentor nods thoughtfully from where he hovers. Indeed, he's seen the Loboumbras before, but a facet of them, with the elemental weavings of granite rock rather than the nebulous substance of shadow. Fascinating…and despicable, the lot of them. Not an ounce of honor to their form.

"What bait are you thinking of?" he asks, half-suspecting that she'll volunteer herself and go skipping down into the blazing depths of the Hellmouth as if it were a jaunt through a flowery meadow of butterflies. If so, he'll follow her down and drag her back out, one way or another. Maybe she's aware of his concerns, maybe not - but Strange suspects that prolonged exposure to this Hellmouth may begin to influence the status of her Bloodstone. He would be…disappointed and enraged beyond measure if his machinations and attempts at bolstering her humanity were trashed with such neat disregard. A silent prayer to the Vishanti is sent from him to the broad expanse of the sky above.

He's about to speak his addendum of, 'No, you cannot go traipsing down there yourself' when his Mystical senses flare in alert. His gaze whips towards the rough direction of this new signature. It's akin to something he's sensed before, but again - as with most magic users - to each their own, and their personal touch adds individual flavors to their castings. "Hold, Illyana," he asks instead, and watches the far edges of the gentle knoll that stretches opposite of the Hellmouth, with its various scorched runnels of half-melted earth and singed half-dead grass. What new devilry is this…?


From the view of your normal layman, Marcus appears little more than a wandering drunk looking for a his next drink. But to others, ones more specifically attuned to things like that, it's a figure of a man with elemental sigils magically seared, burned, and branded onto his body. And each glow and hum with a color particularly attuned to that certain element. A massive torrent of energy, elemental energy to absolutely specific just pours off him. Though again, to be more exact, those sigils. In essence, he's a vessel carrying them.

A sensation barely contained raw power, like the elements themselves. There's only a little degree of control, even as much discipline, which is to say little. This was not a figure acting like they know what they're doing. There's no training, more a 'learn as you go'. And sometimes obeying the elements more than the man trying to keep them in check. Which makes sense for how all this magic is barely restrained.

As for Marcus himself, he may not even see the Hellmouth in the park. Or maybe he does, either way, he's being drawn towards it, even if he himself isn't aware of that. To him, he's just trying to find some shelter for a time. Or at least get back to Danny's apartment. If he could remember where it was. And considering his confused and hazy state, that's going to be a task.


Illyana freezes, one foot off the ground as she prepares to just traipse right into the mouth of Hell itself. Strange's command checks her reflexively (progress!) and she turns with interest to regard him, sensing his distraction at the arrival of the newcomer. She swings her Soulsword onto her shoulder, the thin saber-like blade sporting a single, glimmering rune near the hilt, and then walks out of the Hellmouth towards Strange and his view of the newcomer— making them both hard to miss. Strange radiates magic like a flaregun at night, and Illyana's sword seems to be greedily consuming every iota of ambient energy floating around.

"Is elemental magic," Illyana tells Strange, lifting her chin to call to him. "Hey! You! With the runes!" she barks at Marcus. "Is open portal to hell here! Can not read signs and see police cars?" she demands, wiggling a sword at the perimeter in the distance.


Marcus was looking down at his feet, but then again, he doesn't really appear like someone who has his wits about him. He lifts his head up, hood of the hoodie he's wearing tilting back at little. He looks a bit perplexed at the sight in front of him. Then looks around, looking for said signs and police cars. Doesn't anyone else see this portal in the park? And then he looks a little more bewildered at the fact that he can. His glowing eyes shift from blue to red. Then to yellow and to black before going to blue again, the cycle repeating at random.

Which is about the time that he realizes his arm is lifting forward, open palm pointing not at Strange or Illyana, but at the portal itself. "Wha?" he stammers before he sees what he's doing, other hand clasping around his wrist, trying to pull it down. To note his eyes have shifted to red, which might make sense considering there's elemental fire licking around his fingers. "Stooooop." he grunts. Again not at either of them, more like he's telling his own arm to stop what he's doing. "Why am I being pulled to it?" he suddenly asks, voice somewhere between frantic, yet confused.


"Oh Agamotto," Strange hisses softly. The frustration of dealing with unknown entities is becoming a near and dear friend. His eyes never leave the nearing figure of Marcus, flame-licked hand and all. With a huff of a sigh, he cuts the flow of minor magic to the Cloak and drops lithely to the scorched ground. "Illyana, if you would please guard our back." For now, the trust in her aid outweighs his concern of the draw of the Hellmouth to her.

With strides that quickly cover the ground between them, he approaches the young man frontally and bearing the aura of his mantle. Subtle waves of power roll before him like the first gusts of wind before a thunderstorm. It's not a threat, just a reminder (or a Mystical introduction, in Marcus's case) of the near-limitless depths to his spell-casting. Perhaps Marcus can even see the auroral lights that twinkle like fireflies about his carefully-stilled hands and wrists.

The question posed by the young stranger reaches his ears even as Strange stops short of him, about ten feet away, and he responds in a calm, neutral tone of voice: "Because like attracts like in the world of magic. Your name, please, and your reason for being here." A beat. "And also, please withdraw your magic." Strange is uncertain if Marcus is capable of doing this; if unable to, he will offer assistance to the young man.


Illyana wanders up towards Strange and Marcus until Strange orders her to maintain her position— she huffs noisily and rolls her eyes, but half turns anyway to keep a curious eye on the situation. She keeps that sword balanced on her shoulder, listening to make sure that nothing ugly swarms up from the Hellmouth while Strange and Marcus are having their little confab.

"Well?" she asks Strange, .01 seconds later. "What is he? Some kind of golem? Or runemonster?"


The sensation of wind comes almost like affront to the sigils burned on him. Marcus' eyes flicker to yellow, and the flames vanish. Though it's replaced by a gust of wind of his wind, even if it's not exactly done so by the man himself. More like self-preservation on the sigils part, which might negate each other out. Where Strange is control, keeping the bottomless depths of his power hidden or in check, his is plain to see. It's torrent, different elements swirling and flowing from each mark, rising and ebbing like some kind of unnatural tide.

"Marcus…" he says after a moment, still holding on his wrist. "I don't…I don't understand. I'm trying to but…it's not. I used it too much. Not like before. In the Kitchen. Now it wants to do whatever the fuck it likes. " It's elemental, of course it wants to do whatever it pleases, how exactly to you control something that never really liked to be controlled?

His shifting eyes snap to Illyana. "I'm a man! I never asked for this! They did this to me! I was just a soldier!" There's an obvious struggle, and it takes him pushing his arm to the side before something cuts loose. They might see it though. A yellow-ish crescent of elemental wind slices out from his hand, causing a tree nearby to snap back like a toothpick, the burst of wind so jagged. It should be noted that his hand was pointed at them until Marcus managed to shove it away. "The hydra. The hydra did this to me. And I can't…remember."


Strange's hands have whipped up into place before him, ready in the thud of a heartbeat to defend against this elementalist before him. It is noted, post-tree-toppling, that the young man steered this rogue hand's aim away from them and he oscillates between immediate suppression of the unpredictable elemental powers and offered assistance. The good doctor knows well of the feeling of being completely out of control with magic sluicing through one's body; it was a one-time foray into a place he never wants to be ever again.

"Hydra…?" he asks quietly, eyes shifting to his apprentice quickly and back. "I'm not aware of this…hydra." Slowly, Strange releases the shaping of his fingers from their counter-signs, but doesn't completely relax; instead, his hands linger about his waist, elbows crooked, muscles tensed, ready to fast-draw like the gunslingers of old. "Elemental magic can be difficult to contain, yes - would you like assistance? I am Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. It is within my powers to temporarily place boundaries on your magic if you feel unsafe."


"I can fix!" Illyana informs Marcus, brightly, swinging her sword around. "You come here, I make some few small slashes— runes all broken, you probably will be /just/ fine," she says, looking brightly helpful as she approaches the man, bringing her sword around to a ready position. "Sword only hurts magic, so you won't lose arm," she offers.

"Probably not. Might be numb for few while," she admits, a beat later. "Or you know, might rot a little and fall off. Haven't tried it much on people, just demons and constructs. Works /great/ on constructs," she beams at him. "Ready?"


"They were…Nazis." Marcus finally says, looking a bit shocked at that tree. It's never been that strong. "I was soldier in the war. I was captured. They kept me…somewhere. They did things. I can't remember." He struggles to try and recall, but the images still, to this day, do not reveal themselves. "I helped take care of some mobsters in Hell's Kitchen. I, ah, cut loose. I hadn't ever done that before. It was like a gate opening. And now all these damn brands on me want to do is, I can't even really describe it."

Something peculiar, which might be more obvious to the Sorceror Supreme is the brands on him, revealed through his clothing because their aura are growing, the circles and elemental runes and sigils of power are growing, expanding out, slowly creeping, very slowly, becoming more complicated, more complex. And more powerful. A suggestion that more he uses the abilities, the more power he'll eventually have access to. But it is a slow process, likely it'll pan out before his next surge of magical use.

The ask for help, he finally looks a bit desperately at them. "I don't want to hurt anyone. At least, well, anyone that doesn't deserve it." Then a blink. "It's changing again. Fuck. I can't…shit, yes, help!" Which might be a good time for one of them to do something, because his eyes shift to red next, wholly consuming his pupil and whites of his eyes. And that's about the point where he screams, elemental fire creeping over his booding. And like a miasma, it eventually explodes only able to take so much, causing a pillar of magical fire with him at the center, five feet in diameter, and maybe thirty feet high, or raw, unbridled, and uncontrollable fire.


Strange's hand had been reaching for his apprentice, his face screwed up in consternation at yet another impulsive offer of aid on her part, and now it grips into her leather shoulder piece to yank her back with him. He stumbles away, his other hand finishing the minor casting of a basic Mystical shielding that blocks most of the damaging heat that erupts with extreme intensity around this Marcus person.

"Illyana, back! Don't get closer!" This is elemental fire at its finest, not some magically-enhanced version. Pure heat, nearly white in the center, and something Strange has to think quickly about to suppress. He has to drop his shielding in order to rapidly gesture at the air before himself and he can feel the prickling of the skin on his hands telling him that he can't stay this close for much longer.

"By the grace of Agamotto, mighty Oshtur's spawn - let these flames of great chaos be smothered and gone!" From deep within the earth of Central Park, he draws power from the Dragon ley lines that converge distantly beneath the Sanctum. It flows through him with electrifying strength and leaves everything loose on him writing as if alive; his hair dances and the Cloak ripples like wings about his form. The auroral sparks seen earlier about his wrists now triple in sizes, becoming small comets that spiral in huge loose loops about his form before darting at the funnel of raging fire - and passing through it unharmed. If Strange is lucky enough, he's caught the beginnings of the deluge of force coming from the sigils he noticed earlier on Marcus's skin. In hindsight, he should have been paying much more attention to them when he'd first spoken with the young man! Won't this teach him to look closer from now on!


Illyana is about to jump in, but it's good that Strange intervenes— she can squelch magical flames, but the searing heat flaring the air around them is way beyond her ability to mitigate. Strange's shield lashes into life and protects her from the fire /and/ the searing air before her lungs are blackened.

She takes refuge behind Strange, looking around him, her cornflower blue eyes wide and shocked at the sheer heat and power roiling around them. She squelches her sword, knowing it can interfere with magic at such close range— and leaving her utterly reliant on Strange to defend them as he drops his shield to try and squelch the magic at the source, and grab the proverbial tiger by the tail.


Whatever power was tapped into to be branded on Marcus, the Hydra occultists may of not exactly been all too sure what they were dealing with. Old, ancient words of elemental power etched in alchemical runes form each sigil. Luckily, the power is tapped into based on his emotions. That would be even more unpleasant. Likely more intense, and even more uncontrollable. Thankfully that's not the case here, it's just fire wanting to do whats to do, to simply burn. Not a primal urge, it just does what it was meant to do, what it was brought into the universe to do; burn. He's screaming something, but it's drowned out in the whirlwind of the inferno, the flames raw and unabashed in their fury. Whatever strength of mind he still has is doing what he came to make the pillar shoot straight up and not outward.

There is struggle at first when Strange begins his enchantment. Elemental fire does not want nor wish to yield to another force. And a struggle ensues, the sigil for fire on his should burning brighter through his hoodie than the other three. Between the pair. The pillar shimmers and wavers, trying to push his counter-spell away. But while elemental magic is wild and powerful, Strange is focused, experienced, and equally powerful. Likely moreso. It takes a moment of real struggle before he finally reigns in control of the fire, diminishing it until it finally come under his reigns, until it's finally extinguishing, leaving only a charred circle on the ground, and Marcus, seemingly unharmed at the center. Who falls to his knees, gasping. "Wha…what."


All Strange can do, after those shimmering stars of suppression have disappeared behind the seething circular corona of flame, is hang on. He dislikes dealing with fire most of all the elements. Water can be redirected and composed into other forms such as ice or steam. Earth, as immobile as it seems, can be halted using its own properties. Controlling air comes easiest to him, almost second nature. Fire, however…fire consumes and destroys without bias. He sees the ancient sigil denoting 'flame' burning white-bright through the wall of flickering heat and grits his teeth. He's drawn his hands as close to his body as he can, but must remain in the form or lose the focused intent of his own. His exposed skin everywhere tells him that he'll have a moderately-awful sunburnt color to him at the very least once all is said and done.

It's like trying to keep a grip on the reins of a bucking horse. He can feel the struggling of the element and gives one…last…shove of willpower, forcing his intention into the searing veins of the fire's magic. It shows in the minute checked lean of his body.

He can feel the very second that Marcus's psyche regains control of the inherent magic within him and slowly, as if drawing out some foreign object from a wound, he releases the pressure of his willpower on the young man's elemental might. The scent of charred grass and blistered, half-glassed earth is strong in his nose as Strange inhales and lets out a slow sigh. He's thankful beyond measure that Marcus is intact and able to speak - this means he has his wits returned to him as well. Swallowing against a severe case of acrid cotton-mouth, the good doctor glances back over his shoulder at Illyana. "Are you alright?" he rasps. His hands remain half-raised, the slightest tremble in their tendons.


"Da," Illyana says, looking a bit awestruck. That was some serious mastery of the mystic arts— throwing a shield down to grab the whirlwhind and check its momentum. She dismisses her Soulsword, marveling as Marcus regains control of himself and Strange resettles his hands by his side.

"What /is/ he?" she murmurs, looking shocked at the raw power flowing around. She glances at Strange, then reaches up to grip his palms, blue light glowing from her fingers. It takes intense focus and concentration but she repairs the damage to his hands, then touches his face and repairs the sunburn, too, her touch surprisingly delicate and efficient.

Maybe a bit TOO efficient— one of Strange's laugh lines vanishes. Oh well.


Marcus looks pretty much as he was before that little incident. His clothes don't seem burned. Though he does smoke a little, but that could just bee a result of being so exhausted from that expenditure. "Yeah…" he looks up. "Whatever you did, thanks. I don't know what's going, but I actually feel better. I could make a really lewd remark at this moment, but I think it better if I didn't." he doesn't get up, smirking almost a little sheepish. "I wish I had more answer for you. But I'm just as clueless as anybody else. Though…it's quiet. I don't feel the pressure as much right now. And that's, holy shit that's a relief."


His brows knit in minor confusion as he's approached and then…wait, what? Oh. Strange recognizes the pale sky-blue hue of the spell even before she casts it and closes his eyes to quiet his thoughts. Her grip on his hands is gentle as the healing washes over his skin and the prickling discomfort vanishes. The equally-careful pressure of his apprentice's hands suddenly on his flame-touched face, as well as her sudden close presence in his space, is absolutely unexpected. His eyes shoot open wide momentarily as he freezes up out of parts astonishment and other parts acknowledgement that jostled spell-casting is a recipe for trouble. It's a different sensation than what he'd cast on himself days earlier; this has elements of Illyana in it, more like a warm bath that soaks away sore joints than his own cooling rinse. Regardless, once the magic ebbs, he feels…much more comfortable - though there is this odd sensation of a lacking familiarity around one side of his mouth. Gently leaning away from Illyana, he reaches up and touches at his goatee. Nope, it feels like it's all there. He makes a mental note to look in the mirror once he returns to the Sanctum.

"Well done, Illyana," he finally says, with a smile that carries hints of chagrin. She's stepped in more than usual lately to support him and it's…an oddly-welcome occurrence. He looks over her shoulder and, with a mouthed 'One moment' to his apprentice, he steps over to kneel on one knee before Marcus.

"I understand your meaning entirely, regarding relief," he murmurs to the young man as he looks him over. Other than smelling of smoke, he seems hale and this is wonderful news in light of what could have been. "It isn't too much, is it? The warding?" Strange means any sort of feeling of foreign magic, with his own touch, that temporarily binds away the scintillating power of the fire sigil. "In light of your own safety - and that of others - I wanted you to be able to release the spell once you feel comfortable and back in control. Perhaps take a few days to rest? And I find a cup of tea soothes the soul," the good doctor adds with a kind smile.


The shifting colors of his eyes has fading, leaving just natural looking pupils, appearing as normal as anyone else. Though he itches at his shoulder, enough to pull the collar out to look down his chest. "It's gotten bigger…" he says almost sadly. "Not a lot, but enough to notice. I don't know what that means." Getting up to his feet, he's able to take stock of the circle of charred and glassed earth, like the sun had suddenly been very offended by this particular spot of earth. Then a sheadshake. "No, I probably needed it. Give myself time to get back in control. Better control anyways." Then a shoulders slump. "I just wish I knew what this is." he waves a hand at his chest. "What I am. Scares the shit out me." Then a look between, and suddenly he sorta feels more than a little awkward. "Yeah. Yeah, I'll do that. But, uh, sorry, didn't mean to disrupt whatever…this all is." He takes step back, as if ready to leave. "Thanks again. About the tea too. Look in that. But, uh, I should go. Got alot to. To think about."


"The Sanctum Sanctorum," Strange calls to Marcus's parting form. "Bleecker Street." Whether the young man heard him, the good doctor doesn't know. He hopes that his words did reach him because the Sanctum is a place of sanctuary in this busy city that can't ever hope to logically deal with the abilities and powers cropping up in its midst.

With a sigh and sideways glance to Illyana, the Sorcerer Supreme murmurs, "Well…that was unexpected."

Perhaps the understatement of the day.


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