1964-01-12 - 12 Days: Seven - On the Horizon
Summary: Part I of 12 Days of Christmas: Seven. The House of S assembles to recover the grimoire of Davai-jin, Master of the Mystic Arts.
Related: Why Not A Shark Tank?
Theme Song: Calypso - Klaus Badelt
billy pietro tommy strange wanda 

With an angry white-tip shark in residence somewhere around Pietro's flat, and the Sorcerer Supreme's cloak convinced it can also be a spectacular waistcoat, the stage is set for quite a fanciful expedition. What does one bring? Themselves, and nothing more than that. Wanda's instructions are simple: don't bring anything more than normal winter attire. Everything else is likely to be supplied. Take that as they will.

The next point is a meeting at the Sanctum on Bleecker Street, for essential details. "We are going to recover Davai-Jin's grimoire. I cannot do it myself, it moves too fast. The pieces of it he scattered to flee from living and dead," she explains simply. "But the key to claiming them is in the Chapel of the Winds. Take it, they should be easier to recover and his wisdom is found. The chapel is somewhat guarded by the winds themselves. Maybe elementals? Getting inside should be easy for Tommy and my brother. Catching them will be all your responsibility. Also, the rum is very good."

To Pietro, she adds in Transian, "«It's superlative, and I expect you to keep the children from the whores. They look human, but they are no friendlier than the sharks.»"

Her fingers tap against her temple, and the witch says, "There are two ways to enter the realm. We can go by the gateway, but there are angry sharks who want to eat you as soon as you appear. It is dangerous. They also might fly. Squiggly jumped high. Or we take the route I use, but that means you become a ghost on a ghost ship. It is… Disconcerting. But your body appears on the other side in flesh. Which way do you want to go?"


Pietro sticks up a hand.

"Um…" says he, appearing somewhat confused. "Sis, could you please go back to part where 'sharks fly', and… more importantly: what is so bad about the whores that I have to keep Tommy and Billy away from them?"

Then the silver-haired man grimaces.

He had asked that in English. Not Transian. In front of everyone. "Also, who is Squiggly and why does he jump high — and why am I considering myself for drug-testing? Last: do these trousers make my butt look huge?"

He helpfully indicates his rear-end, over which he is wearing jeans. Pietro doesn't seem to care too much about the cold, and is dressed only lightly — but still in long sleeves.


"I'm not all like super keen on being ghost-Billy, even if you end up not-ghost-Billy on the other side. Besides, if I have to fight undead pirates or sharks, I'm going to pick sharks every time, if only — " Billy's stream of consciousness response breaks off as he turns and blinks at Pietro, "… whores?" Sounding very skeptical, but also a little it curious, "Wait, there are whores? Are they with the pirates or the sharks?" This sounds like a factor, but— "Wait, are they only girl-whores or do they have boy-whores too?" He is bundled up in sweater, jacket, and a beanie. He does not have gloves on, so they're hiding under his armpits as he shivers a it.


"Nothing moves too fast for us." Tommy replies, smugly, nodding over towards Pietro, "So you turned to the right people for the job." Of course, which of the two is actually /faster?/ That's a question. Both of them are slower than they remember being. There's little subtle differences in their abilities. It's a good partnership to bring along, all things considered.

Pietro's question brings two raised eyebrows from Tommy. "Wait, /whores?/" he echoes, blinking rapidly. "Do you seriously think I have to /pay/ for it?" Pause. "…unless you're thinking of a late Christmas present for Billy, in which case…"

There's a glance thrown over towards the dark-haired twin, and a grin that he just can't put away worn across his lips. Then the question about which way they want to go is posed. "Well, first of all, I ain't scared of no ghost — but you said everything we need will be here. I'm not seeing any saddles for us to ride on these flying sharks. I mean, Squiggly was a little on the small side, but there /have/ to be bigger ones, and seriously, if these sharks can fly there's no way I'm /not/ climbing on."

Tommy Shepherd, reigning king of bad ideas.


As if the crimson Cloak would settle for anything less than spectacular, especially if they're going a-pirate-ing! The Sorcerer stands beside Wanda, hands in the pockets of said target-red waistcoat. Double rows of brass buttons, hemmed in a thin line of gold, and with (of course) a bit of a collar, he clearly didn't get the memo about winter clothing or chose to ignore it. Surely the Witch will forgive him?

He knows of Davai-Jin through readings and second-hand tales and this…this is a proper adventure. To have the grimoire once more in the hands of the Masters of the Mystic Arts will be something much lauded by the Mystical community. His mind is in the midst of plans for dealing with the Chapel of the Winds (those air elementals can be so pesky and terribly difficult to make contact with, even with spells), so Strange keeps his thoughts to himself until the subject of whores comes up.

"No whores. None." He squints at the boys and shakes his head. "I don't need to go into the concept of diseases." Unspoken, please don't make me. "I'll also take sharks over ghosts, even if they fly. Not the worst thing I've dealt with lately." He shrugs, lips curving in a devil-come-hither smirk.


Wanda pulls her jacket tighter around her, leather hugging every curve and plane jealously. "The sharks can leave the water and get quite high in the air. They move quick, like a bus." A city bus, apparently, is the great hazard of the Caribbean. "So it is not an easy fight in water or in air. And we show up under the water. They are intelligent, more than a regular shark. The white tails like Squiggly hunt in packs. The black tails have a way to hide that even if you are near, you cannot see them." Stealthy chameleon sharks, go. "The sailors say the sharks guard the Drowning Deep to stop escape. So they will eat us. One of many dangers upon the island, including the sailors themselves."

Of course they want to know about the harlots. Everyone does. "Sharks only eat your body. Whores are spiders, they will drain you in more ways than body. All, male and female, belong to a company. Best I could learn, the headmistress uses the black arts, or she is a captive, bound spirit. Maybe Davai-jin trapped her. Port Royal is false, a place of sin and lies, and believe nothing as you see. All that looks human is not human. Your choice, which way. The ghosts do not drain us, at least."


Pietro holds up his hands.

"Hey, don't be blaming me about the whores — ," and he points a finger at Wanda. "She brought it up. Is not might fault if it is hard for a boy to get it back down after a girl brings it up — ." Pietro frowns.

"Or boy, I suppose. Um…" Frowning, the elder Maximoff looks up and around at the little group of adventurers and gives a helpless shrug. "I… have forgotten what we were here to d — oh. No, remembering now. Take us… away, Sis. Flying sharks and no whores. Is too late to grab beer?"


"Hey, I wasn't wanting to you know — partake of their wares — I was just curious where it is my parents and uncle are taking my innocent and impressionable self, so that later on when I'm in therapy and writing a best-selling book, I have the details down set." quips Billy with a quick grin, rolling his shoulders and nodding, "Hmm yeah, so, I'm ready. Sharks bad."


With decisions made, the House of S' adventure takes them to Fire Island. A long barrier isle along the Atlantic Coast of Long Island, the rolling dunes, treacherous currents, and abandoned groves provide a lonely backdrop to the march of the centuries. Time slips away, if one looks to the 19th century lighthouse or out on the grey sea. Easy to imagine sailors rowing ashore from a masted schooner anchored offshore, their loot and goods being traded for hard coin from New York. Bleached grass rattles about as they gather in one of the many eroded bays, a sandbar offering protection from the crashing waves and heavy surf. An incurious gull yells at them. Admonishments are very simple: "Hold your breath before entering. Get to the surface and get out of the water fast."

The keystones for the spell are disturbing. Several metal coins, a bottle of rum, stinking cigars of pure tobacco, a leaflet from the First Anglican Church and, of course, blood. Wanda pays that tithe, the spell being her own. One incantation later, and the wind moans in warning. Nothing much seems to happen as the treasure on the sand shifts among the crystals. But when it moves, the speed is far from forgiving. Water comes rushing up from the wet sand, lying upon it. The faint slope to the dune buckles and starts to step inwards, spreading out like a great sinkhole. Coins sift away through the cold, sedimentary water, and the further the sand drops away, the more it starts to churn. Though it's no normal maelstrom given the whirlpool doesn't bore down — the water spins wildly around the central axis, and anyone caught in it will soon discover the tidal pull is too strong to resist. Hydraulic forces pull them in, even at a speedster's rush, and the inexorable drag down betrays the eyes' certainty there shouldn't be more than five feet of seawater.

When each is pulled under, the experience is not pleasant. Pressures of multiple atmospheres start squeezing down, but at speed, treating their tumbling bodies rather like ragdolls. Light vanishes as they plow through the pelagic zone into a far darker world: one full of debris and surf thrown upon reefs, of sunken forests and the world itself shaken to the brim. Maybe they remember the fate of Port Royal: destruction by earthquake and tsunami. Reality does as they drown down down down…


LOG THEME: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdaHCbxlmWw (Calypso - Pirates 3)


Goggles are pulled down over eyes. Deep breath is taken. Teleportation was the kind of sensation that Tommy doesn't think he'd ever get used to. He's been through it before, in a timeline long lost — but it didn't make it any less jarring to be in one place, then another very different one, without moving a muscle to get there. This was a little different, with a whirlpool trying to suck them in — but this one acts, he doesn't react. Others might be pulled in, Tommy /jumps./

…and he's sure he's going to have to steal a new jacket after this, he's pretty sure — store leather isn't really meant to be swam in. Maybe goggles too. Except, as the water's pouring against his eyes immediately after entering? Tommy realizes that he's *not* wearing them. Eyes go wide and try to focus. Try to spy which way's where. He can't see which way he needs to go, so Tommy does a very un-Tommy like thing.

He goes /still./

After letting the feeling of sinking determine which way is actually /down,/ legs start doing what legs do best — and find that they're getting tangled up in… something. Is he wearing a DRESS?! Did Wanda put him in a dress? Did Hope put her up to that? Oh, /both/ of them are going to have revenge-pranks coming their way if that's the case. Either way, legs kick, arms thrash — all done with the speed that would make a boat's motor jealous. Even with the encumberments, it still means getting to the surface quicker than someone who /doesn't/ have that speed behind them.

…and once he arrives at water shallow enough to walk in? He's moving for the shore. And falling over himself. Why? Because he's wearing a dr—

…well. Okay. Maybe that black fabric that keeps tripping him up is actually a /robe/ he's wearing instead. Like some kind of wizard. Well. Vaguely appropriate, if not conducive to running. Which means this /book/ he's been holding must be some kind of spellbook. Green eyes glance over. Lips try to pronounce the words on the cover. "Ha'lie Beeblee? What kind of spellbook is—" …nope. No spellbook. The letters start to make sense as he starts to make it onto the shore. The letters arranged to say 'HOLY BIBLE'.

On the plus side? As a hand reaches up to brush hair out of his eyes, he feels hair on his /chin/ too. A goatee? Palming his face confirms that. Well. At least whatever happened to him left him stylish. Time to see if he remembers anything from the days he went to Mass.


ROLL: Tommy +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 68


It isn't quite shore where Tommy lands, not with the furious attempts at submerged motorboating he makes. His attempts to reach solid land are, in fact, a reef. It might feel like dry land, for so many of the atolls in the Caribbean are sandy reefs or the eroded remnants of volcanoes flung up along the arc of colliding trenches. Too he might mistake it for land given the hulks of ships gathered up there among the surf, and they sort of look like buildings, albeit there are more sounds of surf than people. There are people… leathery ones, still dressed, hanging from the broken masts and swinging from cages where the wind perpetually blows. Not many birds fly here, it's too dangerous. But he's found himself in good company: the unshriven dead.


Also? There are lots of pointy dorsal fins if he looks hard enough in the water beyond the reef. And beyond that, the swelling majesty of a tropical island, jagged cliffs and tumbling waterfalls in all its glory.


The Gate to Fire Island from the Sanctum collapses behind him with an inwards rush of glittering lightning and he samples the rush of salty ocean air with a quietly-gleeful sniff. Having been born and raised inland, it's always a delight to appreciate the torrentially-singular nature of the crashing surf. Glancing around, Strange can see that time has done it work here. It cares not for the past society lost to natural disaster.

The warning gains the Witch a silent glance of concern, but he knows to heed her. She doesn't warn without good reason. Rolling his shoulders to loosen them, he readies himself for a rapid ascent — or descent, actually. The disappearance of the offerings into the sloping saltwatery quicksand is quickly followed by them!

What the Sorcerer assumed was chest-high water turns out to be anything but. A huge inhalation of air is saved away, lost only to bubbles as the cyclonic drag of the spell takes him down, down, down…

Opening his eyes shows naught but murky water around him. Up! Which way is up?! A single bubble escapes him and drifts…diagonally down — no, wait, up!. Righting himself, Strange uses all of the long limbs god-given to him to power towards the surface that gets brighter as he gets closer. With a whooping gasp and a few coughs, he lingers there for a minute before remembering Wanda's warning. A brushing sensation at the side of his leg is yet another reminder that it's best if he gets to paddling. Blinking saltwater from his eyes, he can make out something not-water not far away. There's solid ground and it seems the rest of them are making their way towards it.

The appearance of a dorsal fin grants him a burst of adrenaline that carries him to the shallows with speed and with some semblance of composure (okay, not really, let's face it, that was a shark fin!!!), he slogs his way up onto the atoll. Glancing down at himself, the Sorcerer pauses as he stands in the edging of the waves. Black boots, ivory breeches and stockings, a blue waistcoast?! Where's the Cloak?! Oh, the soaked crimson sash about his waist along with his belt that apparently keeps a sabre within reach; it gives a friendly squeeze, dripping water as it does. Feeling at his neck proves the finding of a rather uptight white tunic buttoned nearly to his chin. A bump at his ankle proves to be a…hat. His hat? Snagging it, Strange shakes water from it and looks up at Tommy. Tilting his head to one side, the Sorcerer eyes him from toe to head and then…cannot help the stifled snicker.

"Not what I expected. At all," he announces even as he slaps the hat on his head.


Wanda takes Halfeti Rose.


Halfeti Rose has left.


ROLL: Strange +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 15


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d8 for a result of: 3


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d20 for a result of: 17


So… Is how it feels to be laundry, no?

Pietro finds himself underwater, tumbling over and over — struggling as much to see around him as he is to get his movement under control. So far this is 'not-fun', for him. He can barely move — much less swim — in what he finds himself wearing.

Boots… pantaloons? The billowy shirt, the vest and jacket with the outrageous buttons, and cuffs, the tri-pointed hat, and — I have a moustache?? Sis, if you turned me into Errol Flynn…

Maximoff practically forces his arms and legs into high speed — which only succeeds at first in propelling him DEEPER underwater. It takes a couple of seconds for him to changes his trajectory and veritably torpedo himself to the surface.

Up, up, up he goes! The light changes — the water is getting clearer! He can almost taste the air. Just IMAGINE how it will feel to blast out of the surf like a dolphin…


Would that he had not been wearing an entire wardrobe, for Pietro's heroic leap into the air turns into little more than a wet smack upon the water's surface… before his clothes start to drag him down again.

Great. Just great.


ROLL: Strange +rolls 1d20 for a result of: 8


Once engulfed in water, Billy reacts instinctively, he presses his arms out and he presses the water away from him, trying to make a bubble around him telekinetically. Unfortunately, there's no air to fill it up, so it doesn't do much besides stir water as the bands of force form up. Still, he manages not to panic, but instead to take stock, think, feel. Eventually he has an idea of which way he's sinking, so he wills himself UP. He can teleswim faster then he can kick swim, after all. All the more reason for him not to think about why in the name of all that is unholy is he dressed like Captain Jack without any of the cool doodads, because that's a level of what-weird he's not prepared to deal with. Fins? Fins are bad. He might not be able to make himself a bubble without any air, but he can still surround himself with a spinning band of telekkinetic force. It looks something like Billy has a cyclone spinning around him. Take that finheads.


This is living: standing on a reef, being pounced to pieces by vicious waves in an endless blue sea. Those not speedsters can easily be crushed, and the footwear of the speedy mutants is going to be shredded by the jagged structure.

Strange moves slow enough for the vigilant guardians in the water to react. Thrashing tails mark the torpedoes launched by silent command, and a trifecta submerge, unseen beneath the turbulent sea. But as the roaring waves expend their energies pounding the reef into sand on the seafloor, the same momentum catapults three leaping horrors straight towards the good Doctor and his somehow son. Was Father Tome (accent too!) paying the least bit of attention. No sound follows, no whistling arrow or keening 'NOMNOMNOM' to accompany the explosion of said airborne shiver angled with unblinking precision.

Squiggly's elder brothers have arrived, and as their great mass open, they bull(shark) rush the trio(!) now presenting itself. Because a red sash is already starting to wiggle with great alarm and tighten itself firmer than any corset around Strange's waist, probably so constricting he's lost three pant sizes and been whirled.


One shark that attempts to blitz Billy discovers that telekinetic bands are a thing, especially when roving by at rapid speed. It doesn't smash into him at twenty-six knots, sadly, but darts away at the last moment like it sees something, or detects it, with those magical piscine senses honed to react a little like lightning in a bottle. On the other hand, when a cyclonic lash flips it out of the air, it simply uses that momentum to belly flop Pietro instead.


ROLL: Pietro +rolls 1d20 for a result of: 20


Tumbling water and biting sharp corals are enough to run anyone ragged. The witch plunging through the dimensional barrier carries the fury of the maelstrom with her, and she does not so much emerge as burst above the waves like a particularly vibrant dolphin, and drops down again as churning flotsam, driftwood, and sediment pours through the narrowing dimensional aperture. Tommy and Strange have already seen her in full piratical regalia, scarlet frockcoat and skyscraper leather boots, right down to the ring of metal loops on a belt that supports a pair of cutlasses. She fights her way through the roaring waves to the surface again, as much staggering as swimming. The undertow here is ugly, and face it, she's no speedster to wrest herself free.

Light flashes twice underneath the pounding breakers rolling eight feet high against the sandbar, and the second time, chunks of coral start raining down on the broken ships around the reef. She comes skidding out a moment later atop broken wood, waterlogged remnants of some spar. Yes, she is surfing, and call her Legolas at one's own risk. (Hello, wrong elf princess.)

"This is why I said bad German ghosts!" she announces, spitting out seawater. And possibly cursing that her board isn't slowing /down/ on the sand. Jagged wreck incoming. What else? She jumps onto the sand, before dealing with sharks.


"Not a word out of—" Tommy starts speaking and stops himself. His /voice/ doesn't even sound right. He can't place it, but that's definitely a Portuguese accent that's attaching itself to each and every word. These are distractions. Tommy, alterations or not, is still easily distracted, and these are the kinds of things that keep him from immediately noticing the fins in the water.

Sounds /are/ hurt, and while there's no initial Jaws theme to precede or ominous music after the leap, the sound of /things/ jumping out of the water certainly don't escape his ears.

First second. Water breaks. Tommy spins. Nearly trips again. Eyes focus on angry faces coming out of the water. There's a big grin coming to his lips. He could.

Second second. His brain catches up and realizes that he's not the only one /on/ the reef. Barring the zombies, of course, the sight of the Doctor — he's pretty sure that's Steve, anyways — catches eyes and both hands move to hike up the robe to free up his legs.

Third second. Almost too late to move. "JUMP!" is yelled towards Strange and Tommy's already in motion. Running right /at/ him. Full speed. Planning on running /through/ him. If his guess is right? It should result in something like a tackle, with momentum beating gravity to force the good fancy Doctor's body against his shoulder while Tommy's feet can carry /both/ of them towards the shore. He's hopeful that he can still run across water, at least. At least the robe won't be too much of a problem. Even if the reef will shred his footware and possibly his feet as well.


THEMESONG: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFbGqzKLHO0 - Run, Shay, Run! (Elitsa Alexandrova)


ROLL: Tommy +rolls 1d20 for a result of: 17


The crimson Cloak needs a pay raise because it's all that keeps the Sorcerer from taking the initial impact of the first shark, with its rows of glistening teeth, right to the ribs. Tommy's yelling something, what on earth is going on?! His confused expression rapidly turning to concerned apprehension flips to sheer shock as he's yanked to one side with such force that it will leave bruises around his floating ribs in the next few days. Shark skin abraids the sleeve of his coat as that first attack is narrowly dodged.

Adrenaline turns it all crystal-clear. The second shark arcs towards his hip, the third clearly attempting to take out a knee or perhaps a shin. His brain thinks so very much faster, but his lips cannot keep up. The Words glove a flailing hand — no sense of poise at all in this move, it's a panicked swat — that makes glancing contact with the white tip aimed for his sabre. Sabre!!! Even as the tail of second shark gives him an insulting swat to the side to counter the balance attempted by the crimson sash's yanking and snapping, he attempts to draw the blade.

For all the intent to save, Tommy's impact against him knocks the breath from his lungs and places his shin in just the right place. The third shark's impact is brutal and takes out his already stumbling stability entirely. It's a swirl and tangle of limbs and frock and waistcoat and glittering blade stained with blood belonging to someone (something?) that collapses into the surf once more. The agonized cry that forces its way from his mouth is garbled by sandy saltwater and Strange can't do much more than react in sheer panicked pain as the white tip grinds serrated teeth through the leather of his knee-high boots into skin and bone alike and thrashes. His blood spills brightly into the receding surf even as the scarf snaps the shark right in the eye and gills, CRACK-CRACK! It's enough to make the creature release its grip and flip-flop back into the churning water to disappear.

The Sorcerer doesn't even need to ask to be taken away from the immediate attack site. Within Tommy's surprisingly-strong and speedy grip, he's rapidly taken away from the cloudy blood spot in the waves. The crimson sash manages to keep a grip on the sabre's hilt that his hands could not.


On Tommy's accelerated sprint across the sand, his foot kicks up coral sand, bits of wood, and splotches of kelp. At some point his foot lands with a disturbingly hollow thud. Perhaps the priest also has a peg leg.


"Eh? What happened to the sun — ?"

That is all Pietro Maximoff manages to say before he finds himself belly-flopped by a 9-foot white-tipped shark. The beast hits the disoriented speedster just as he manages to draw forth his cutlass…

And with an almighty SPLASH! the shark's body carries Pietro down, down, down, down…

Alas, poor Pietro.

He did not even have time for a witty retort before the shark left its impression upon him. And what an impression it had been. In the seconds after shark and speedster disappear from view, the murky water turns RED. Bits of flesh rise to the surface, bobbing there like bait for more beasties in the water.

And then the fin appears.

Leaving a trail of crimson behind it, the shark's fin can be seen going one way across the waves. And then the other. And then back again. And then it does a circle. Which becomes a figure-eight. Followed by a love-heart.

All at high speed.

Very high speed.

'Pietro' high speed. A few more seconds pass, and the 'shark' makes a bee-line for the reef or shore — or so Pietro hopes. It is difficult to see out of a gutted shark's body while he moves his feet fast enough underneath it to mimic a jet-motor. Fortunately, he is coming right at the sand — and those standing there…


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 59


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d20 for a result of: 17


The problem with riding a cyclone is— it's actually a little hard when you've never ridden a cyclone before. Billy shoots himself up and into the air and by the time he gets to the sandbar, he's spun over and over and over again and lands somewhat head first, ass-up embedded in the sand. Burying his head in the sand is how you don't deal with obnoxious situations, right? Problem: sand is not oxygen. Wiggling and pulling, he yanks his head out a moment later, shakes his head and sends sand everywhere, "Shitmonkey there's gonna be sand everywhere." This is in time to see a shark fin rush at him, and though if he thought about it his next action might not be the best solution, but still. In alarm he suddenly flings his sandy hands out, and sand goes flying forward until it strikes the solid wall of force he throws up between Family and Turboshark. "… I CHANGE MY MIND BRING ON THE GHOSTS."


Options present themselves in rapid detail to Wanda, who responds to the appearance of seaborne shark missiles by drawing a cutlass from her belt, leaving the other sheathed. She points the blade in front of her as a guard, drawing back into her heel into a defensive stance. Too many to follow, too many to focus on, and the shout from Strange tears one way, her brother vanishing under a growing shadow bringing her to a rather hard decision. Her eyes start to burn red as the blood smiling on white sand shores, and the emergence of her bruised aura to any mystic warns what she plans. This is not their dimension. Their rules don't apply here.

First choice: deal with the incoming bloody shark. Second: handle the injured Beloved. Thirde: find her missing child.

Until he appears to do the very thing she herself was planning, and she goes running towards Billy, ready to pull him towards the other pair. "Good!" Approval may be a rare thing, but it's not like she or Pietro ever received much. A whip of her hand crosswise over her body flings a hex through the air, a radiant bolt turning increasingly violet as it soundlessly shrieks past Tommy to take the Sorcerer Supreme straight into the chest. He'll know what unfolds in a scent of roses, sandalwood, and rum, even if it means a persistent craving for coconut.


Running across the water is a sensation that is reserved for those who can move this fast. It's also going to lead to wet feet thanks to the shredded state of his shoes. Oh there's no sensation /less/ comfortable than wet feet. And he's going to complain about it when his brain slows down enough to think about the fact that he's got wet feet.

But, at least he's managed to save the Doctor! For the time being. No sense in letting him become shark food before Tommy decides whether or not he'd have a /problem/ with this.

Then there's sand! Glorious, glorious sand. /Warm/ sand that Tommy can feel a bit more accurately than he should. That's a bit surprising. Then that foot strikes the hollow point.

…and the ground gives way under him. Gravity doesn't usually stop him, but this time he feels his body going down, down, down…

…whether Strange ends up thrown forward onto the beach by leftover momentum, or tumbling down the same trap door that Tommy himself is yet to be seen.


Lorna has arrived.


Between the whiplash of sudden movement and the shock driving any common sense from his mind, Strange is incapable of doing much more than attempting to breathe against the rapid vacuum of air moving around them. Are they running on water?! That photographic memory of his will be accessed later for purposes leading him to very impressed with the magnitude of the speed he was subjected to.

The realization arrives a split second before the impact of the healing hex directly to his sternum — remind him to never play darts with her! - and as the blurred visual of water becomes sand, the near-blinding and searing pain of a tibial fracture and shredded skin becomes nonexistent. Poof. Magic! Not only that, but the rapidity of their travel has blown away all but the most stubborn seawater from his naval officer's get-up. Nifty!

Not so nifty? The sudden stop that comes with Tommy's vanishing and the lack of propulsion. The jouncing, bouncing, loose-limbed tumbling thuddity sliiiiiiiide to a halt on the sand leaves the Sorcerer groaning into it on his face. Insistently poking at his shoulder is the crimson sash and finally, he presses himself up to kneeling in the fine white grit. Spitting it out, he wipes it from his face and blinks around himself. The beach. Tommy. Where's Tommy? Where are Wanda and Billy?!

He's on his feet and gripping the offered sabre before it catches up to him that he was just bleeding. A quick test of weight-bearing pans out that he's back to snuff, despite the torn and blood-stained breeches and boot alike. Won't that be fun explaining later? What do you mean it looks like a shark attack? What? Not the foggiest.

"Wanda! Billy!" The Sorcerer's shout attempts to carry across the distance, overtop waves, and through the chaos of flying sharks. A few steps towards the shore takes him to the open trap door and he stops short of it before peering into it. "Tommy? Tommy! Say something!" If the young man can talk, he's alive.

Speaking of something…why does he have a British accent? Oh well. Something to entertain later when everyone's not under imminent threat of shark.


Sea-scoured boards break as the ships torn by the coral reef shatter. Another volley of dust and sand flung airborne create a toxic plume, grit in the eyes and harsh on the lungs. Gravity takes care of Tommy in a way no other force seems to be capable of doing, hauling him down into the bored tunnel dug into the belly of the coral reef. He goes crashing into the darkness, no light to join him except the bright tropical sun obscured overhead. His footing gives way through a hole sufficient for the others to wiggle through, though perhaps Strange might have the hardest time squishing himself through on account of the blades and greater dimensions than his peers. Though portly priests, otherwise, ought to be the cork in that bottle. Alas. The speedster is still a string bean. Mostly.

The sand falls into the hole in trickles, showing a comfortingly dark wall with a thin meniscus of dirt and much, much more ragged rock chipped away from the limestone casings of long dead corals, the higher strata part of the living belly of the island.

More flying sharks are inbound, certainly, the waves starting to heave with a full shiver on the move. Their slick, agile bodies crest over the heaving sea and arrow through, as though they're performing some aerial show. It's not the case, not at all, and anyone with half a mind for tactics might realize the awful truth: they're building up their speed by current and wave, seasoning their approach with classic wolf pack tactics. Worse, really. The white-tips are damn hard to see thanks to their natural colouration, and where might the blacks be? Certainly none of the sunken ships or beached wrecks seem to be concerning them in planning their assault…


It would appear that a shark has been gifted with speed.

Which does it a whole bevy of good when the unstoppable shark meets the immovable force-field. Gore, blubber, teeth and fins SPLATTER against the protective shield thrown up to keep the sea-predator from colliding with Pietro's relatives (and Strange). Bits and pieces of goo and blood land upon everyone, but what of Pietro? Cutlass in hand, and bathed in gore the elder Maximoff lies in a deep groove in the sand several feet behind where the shark had exploded.

"I…" says he, coughing up seawater and grit. "I… I really, really wish… right now…" And he rolls onto his back.

"I still had some of those vampire powers, no? And a beer. Wanda — Sis — I want a beer. And a bath. Is thinking it is official: I hate the beach. 'Come to the 19th Century', she said. 'Let's play pirates in the high seas!' she said. In the high seas… not on it."

Pietro ceases his complaining as he notices the other sharks preparing to attack, so the silver-haired man throws his cutlass at one — blade first — and stands up.


Looking over to Wanda when she praises him as doing a good job, Billy flashes a grin, but holds his hand up to keep the telekinetic barrier up— he's not quite sure how many— if any— sharks he can hold off, but he's gonna try. He follows Wanda towards the Doctor, and a thought occurs to him, something to try. Something that might just not at all work, something that might be completely crazy. He concentrates: "Just add cement." There's a faint rippling around him, and for those who can see it, tiny cracks in reality. "Just add cement." He lets the telekinetic field drop as his hand reaches out, a bending around his hand as reality becomes fluid, "Just add cement." What is he doing? Why, trying to turn the ocean into concrete. Possibly liquid concrete and not solid, but, something antithetical to sharks. Of course, who knows if it will work, and if it does, how much of the ocean would even turn. An inch? Ten yards? A mile? He's not very good at this whole thing yet.


"Take it to the sorcerer who made Port Royal this way. I had a boat, Pietro, a boat you said no to. You have boats, anyways," the sunnier twin throws back to him. She waves her hand in a circle around the beach. "Look! A dozen wrecks. Pick one! Float it, you have a boat. Drag it to Port Royal on the ocean bottom. I bet you I can still get to a bar where they have rum faster than you."

Maybe she can, but the question will not resolve itself immediately. Not when she goes hastening around the belly of a wreck turned into a bloated, sagging nest for hanging bodies turned to jerky by the pitiless sun. The sandy plume and Strange's confounded sprawl is enough to follow, and she shouts, "Boat or hole, and we pick hole! Come on, the hole goes somewhere without sharks and you can cement us in there if it is so important."

Behold a central European: for whom cement is like duct tape. It fixes everything. Further proof Billy = Maximoff, and Maximum Awesome.


ROLL: Billy +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 37


"MY. FEET. ARE. WET." is the response that comes from inside the whole that Tommy's fallen. Loud and grumbly and just utterly disgusted with the situation as a whole (or as a hole? Maybe both. Much growling. Much grumbling. Oh, he's definitely going to need a new pair of shoes. And warm socks. Like, fresh from the dryer socks. They're the best kind of socks to battle the scourge of wet feet.

"Uh. you guys. There's, like, a passageway down here. It goes back out there. And /down./ I don't see anything wet. Should I try and follow it or try and get back up there?"

From the sound of Tommy's voice, he's not /that/ far from the surface — a dozen feet at most probably a couple less than that. In fact, thanks to the color of his hair, that mop can barely be made out in the otherwise darkness within.


Water starts to turn grayish, and if it's not rocky in consistency, it certainly creates a rather imposing presence for sharks to get coated in. Cement shark torpedoes? Maybe, though it also impedes the waves crashing in from the open sea. Beyond the island, the greater isle that Port Royal sits upon — Tortuga — looks positively serene and welcoming. Maybe because it isn't strewn with corpses.


ROLL: Wanda +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 71


Oh good, the mini-speedster is alive, even if he sounds disgruntled in the darkness of the space beneath the trap door.

Glancing up and around him, Strange quickly weighs the odds and doesn't like what he sees. "No, Tommy, stay down there!" He shouts back, sabre held at the ready in case of another attempt by the sharks. The destruction of the old ships throws up more grit and he coughs into his sleeve, squinting against the sudden darkening of the air around them. More dorsal fins on the approach and he bares his teeth in response; there's an eerie logic to their movements and it's seeming more and more wise to follow old adage of 'Those who fight and run away live to fight another day.'

Dashing around the trap door's opening, his path takes him diagonally across Wanda and Billy's travels. "Go, go, I can cover your backs! Pietro, come on!" Time to repay the favor granted to him by Tommy's initial dash and Wanda's quick spell. He's all hexed up and ready to go.

The water is sludgy-looking now, grayish, and he tries to keep out of it even as he plants his feet. The sabre goes back into its sheath and the air around him begins to rotate in a centralized tornado of sorts as the Sorcerer Supreme draws on his mantle. It clears the immediate space around him of any airborne debris and drops glacially cold, so quickly that the sand around him fractures in sudden audible cracklings. His exhale curls like dragon smoke as he takes a martial stance with mudras outstretched. At his neck, the Eye, never far and presently summoned, winks citrine in an extra burst of empowerment.

The Words are barked out harshly and splinter the air around him into wide swaths of sheer-wind that blast out across the surface of the ocean before him. Carrying the heartless high-altitude chill of the Himalayas, it's meant to stall the sharks at the very least, either by swatting them away if in mid-air or by causing blistering frostbite to any exposed dorsal fins above the surface of the water. Hopefully it grants the others enough time to reach the trap door and slip in it as well as himself!


Pietro Maximoff is up standing in a heartbeat.

Between the magic in the air — and the sea-water in his ears — it is momentarily difficult for him to get a handle of the situation, and he finds himself silently cursing his most recent 'fortunes' (or misfortunes).

In a spray of sand, the silver speedster firstly takes off across the water, scarcely touching it, to retrieve his cutlass from the corpse of another shark. He also takes a handful of the shark's teeth — as mementos. By the time he returns to the trapdoor and the tunnel through which he and his friends are escaping, only a couple of heartbeats have transpired — and the man himself is finally dry.

"What?" says he as he moves past his companions, counting his shark-teeth. "I wanted to look my best. You try being squished by a flying shark and see how you like it…"

Pietro stops, holds up a finger, and adds: "It occurs to me how crazy these words sound now that I have spoken them. Is everyone alright?"


Grim waves pound against the reef, driven ever onwards. How can a single man stop the sea? He can't. Even Billy might be challenged by that, raging water hammered home by the pull of an unseen satellite or seven. Heaving crests pound into the liquid cement, spray thrown upwards, creating a mist that turns almost impenetrable the moment the cold burns away the tropical heal in it for now. Add to that the furious energy being expended through the labyrinth of sunken ships, and it's a dangerous mix with winds in the air. Especially as the sharks now have to navigate being deflected through the wintry gusts, flung off target despite being wonderfully streamlined. Well…

The sharks coming from the south, that is. Those headed from the opposite side of the reef are not subject to the same wind, and the snap of jaws is perilously close then Pietro and Strange decide to jump down the hole.


With a look of satisfaction, Billy eyes the sea-unto-cement. Okay, so it didn't work perfectly, and the waves are a thing, but, really, that's Spell Done On Purpose Number Two, and it didn't go half bad. His expression is downright cocky: he's the cat that ate the canary. Still, there's a trap door, and he glances around to see everyone's coming— though Papa Steve is holding up the rear, so be it— and so he makes his way down there. There's a dubious look between the trap door and Strange for a moment, "Want me to turn you into a dwar— little person, Stephen? Cuz otherwise you might not just fit— I promise I won't all out and oompa loompa you." He sounds a bit eager. And he will totally oompa loompa the Sorcerer Supreme if he gets the chance.


Flying sharks, check. Rapidly chilly weather? Check. Getaway blocked by Sorcerer Too-Tall? Check.

The two reality warpers aren't in real danger; Strange is not Colossus. Or, for that matter, the Blob. A wrench of his shoulders and scratching of the limestone walls will send him falling or floating down, and that's quite helpful when all Hell breaks loose above. Wanda still has her cutlass out and, lovingly it should be said, she shoves both Billy and Strange before her. No magic ripples around her, only the cerise hue burning around her fingertips as she twists fate. Everything in life amounts to probabilities: the way someone walks, if they fall off a curb or stride on. A few choice atoms shoved here and there changes the probability both of them will tumble through before she gets atop them, though it's going to be a narrow call. If Billy doesn't keep moving, a palm to his back means to shove him in, with the admonished, "Down!"

Down, down, down. It's a drop, a roll over hard-packed ground, and darkness beyond the sunshine. Hopefully someone thought to turn a light on. Maybe the Bible, if Tommy still has it, can enlighten the darkness of pagan ways. But given a slim body follows Wanda's in seconds of a plunge — barring Billy insisting on staying topside — that light will go out.

Because a damn shark, Squiggly's second cousin once removed's wife's litter mate is apparently trying to fly down the tunnel with them.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License