Friday in evening in Central Park in the middle of March yields the promise of a change of seasons. Longer days, warmer weather, and a hint of spring permeate the city's air. And, as the seasons begin to change, the Park has begun to change as well. Only five months ago, teams had tirelessly worked to restore the beauty of Central Park.
The fallen trees had been removed. Disaster clean up had cleared the remnants of an apartment building that had been utterly destroyed upon the North side of the Park. Grass had been replanted where it had refused to grow thanks to the appearance of a Hellmouth.
But now, the promise of rebirth has begun to bloom. Little sprouts tug through the surface where the ground had become bare. Even the newly planted mini-trees have begun to take root. In many respects, spring itself restores what the Park was always meant to be: a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the city streets.
The weatherman had called for a warmer evening with a zephyr moving along the water, and spreading through the city. Consequently, those in the Park are not dressed for winter. Instead, they've dawned cooler jackets for warmer season.
Yet despite the weatherman's prediction, some remnant of old man winter breathes cold from the North — an odd change that bears with it an eerie feeling of deja vu for anyone in its wake.
Remy Le Beau is in his classic trenchcoat that's left open to reveal a purplish colored outfit. On his head is some sort of head covering that takes care of his ears, neck, back of the head, and a line of black across his brow. It's not a mask, though it probably should be. In his mouth is a flashlight that lights up the desk in front of him. He's seated at a desk, not far from the edge of the park, in one of those construction trailers that contractors use as a mobile office. What he's after is anyone's guess. His partly gloved hands are pouring over several documents as he commits them to memory.
It's not the first time in recent weeks that this particular pair of practitioners have been seen meandering around the captive greenery of the Park. The man, deigning to continue wearing his black knee-length coat, compensates for the persnickity temperature swings by allowing the crimson scarf to hang loosely about his neck and for a button opened on the collar of the dress shirt beneath it all. Striding along the cement pathway, he has a pensive expression and a far distance to his gaze, even as it fixates off towards magnetic north.
Reality has been uncomfortable as of late. Akin to growing pains, something unable to be ignored even when at rest, it has left him equally unsettled. Scarred hands are jammed into pockets, unconsciously in loose fists for the disquiet in the marrow of his bones.
"Something's not right," Strange finally murmurs, glancing to his companion. He's likely stating the obvious; it's not like he was hiding the concern from her in the least.
"You know I rather thought they'd never get the 'stains' out," murmurs a swarthy man in a suit and tie, and bearing what looks like a cane in one hand. He is the baron, Karl Mordo — standing just a few feet from where he had once battled demons in this very park.
It feels like another life, now.
The cold does not appear to bother him as he makes his way along a path… heading straight for a pair of familiar faces. His meeting them here may not be entirely the province of chance.
"It is preferable to seeing a hellmouth, I admit." he remarks aloud to no one in particular.
Stirrings of spring throw cracks through the lethargy left by late winter. Lengthening days and later sunsets impart a lighter step and bolder adventures without necessary pauses to obtain hot beverages as protection against fat, wet flakes spiraling to the cookie-dusted life. No cup in hand, this time. Wanda proceeds single-file for a moment behind Strange to allow an overeager dog and its hurried owner past at a clip much faster than her own. Dusken-clad as she inevitably is, the Sorcerer Supreme's companion takes advantage of the brief interlude to open her senses to those stirrings under the cold topsoil and deeper into Central Park's natural blanket drawn right up to 110th Street.
Her own sense of ease might be mistaken at a distance, though the opposite is true. She never loosens her guard, even if they happen to be disturbingly close to the Huddlestone Arch and other landmarks seen under a mire of infernal sickness. "No." A short, Slavic-inflected word agrees with the assessment. The witch's rich burgundy coat keeps her relatively warm. Mordo's appearance, and notably the mention of a hellmouth, receives a cat-got-the-canary smile. Whether it extends to her eyes is entirely the swarthy mage's impression to make.
Billy doesn't believe in hells or hellmouths or anything quite like that, his view of the afterlife is somewhat nuanced but colored a lot by being raised Jewish. That said, he can't really deny some Creepy Holey Thing happened back the day he arrived in 1963, and ever since then has been making periodic checks of the general vicinity. "Maybe its a wormhole to some dark dimension where the Evil King Bob is from." he muses aloud to him, himself and hisownself as well. He's wearing a black outfit with this dark red hooded cape, with the hood up, to uhh, 'disguise' himself. He's not immediately in the area of anyone else, mostly because for him at least this wasn't a planned outing. He's just happening by! But he's drawn to this place. His whole life changed here, in a rather weird way. But soon his wandering will make him happen from behind trees to stumble into where Strange and Wanda find themselves.
The cool breeze causes some people in the Park to move from their places of revelry — determined to return indoors in order to seek some semblance of shelter. And, if anything in the span of mere minutes, the temperature drops further — at least a few degrees. It's possible snow is on the way.
And with the breeze, a new scene teeters in the air. It wafts in perfect notes along the wind. The rotten egg smell of sulphur trails along that cool-breeze, much like the coolest depths of a mine. But along with the sulphur, campfire seems to find its own strange notes — a vague retelling of the shifts transpiring along their own axes. The bend in reality is so minute that many in the moment miss it — its length grants a vague look, yet those whose attention seems piqued might fall into that chasm, if only for an instant should their psyches be so engrossed.
And when reality flicks back to normalcy, faint groans deep into the Park may gain some consideration…
ROLL: Gambit +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 86
ROLL: Strange +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 20
ROLL: Mordo +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 85
Gambit wrinkles his nose in disgust as the odor of sulfur enters the camper office. He takes the flashlight out of his mouth and covers his nose. "Aww, 'ell," he says to no one in particular. "Who pooted?"
He takes it as an open and begins to close all of the files he's been looking at. Apparently he's satisfied with what he found. Or maybe he just wants to get away from the smell. Either way, he stands and heads for the door.
"You too…then…?" The question, spoken in near perfect overlap with the Baron's musings, peters off as Strange glances up at the approaching man, suit and cane and all, and his nose wrinkles before he manages to smooth out his expression to professional neutrality. No use even trying to walk by one another, it'd be impossible even given the width of the path.
"Karl." His stride slows into a stilted walk and then to a stop off to one side of the sidewalk, if only to allow others to pass by. With his focus on the Baron, he's certainly not expecting the appearance of Billy, cape and all, and not looking for him in the moment — he'll be surprised when the young man shows. "What brings you to — to the Park?" Wait a second…is that…sulfur? Uh oh. Flip-flop, there goes his stomach, enough to cause him the moment of pause between words, and his apprehension increases ten-fold. He's quick to glance to Wanda, the other half of the Mystical radar, habitually on alert. Along their personal avenue of mental communication, secured from hearing by all others for the relic necklace's power: "Rakshasi, there was a shift." He's looking to confirm it.
Before he has a chance to respond to any of the people around him, Karl Mordo stops dead in his tracks. One moment he had been walking along a footpath in New York's Central Park — in 1964, one should note — and the next…
"Where the devil am I…?" he wonders aloud, and turns about in a circle. "Europe? No. I sensed to translocation spell… Dormammu's Dangly-Portions, what time is this?! Stephen, I swear if you've… no. This is more the work of his 'bit of crumpet'. Maximoff."
He blinks, and immediately he finds himself back where he had been — in the park, New York, 1964 — standing right next to Strange, Billy… and Wanda.
All of whom would surely have heard him speaking aloud to himself. Maybe. Mordo closes his eyes and resists the urge to groan. "Hullo," he pseudo-brightly greets his fellow sorcerers, and then he fixes his eyes on Strange.
"Did the Earth move for you too?"
Foul smells come with the proximity to many vehicles idling on posh uptown streets, nothing that immediately distracts Wanda there. Diesel exhaust and heavy fumes mingle with the odd bit of rotten trash often times, carried too well in the clean air. Her nose wrinkles a fraction when the sulphur skates through, an unwanted guest at a dinner party. Thin fingers tighten around Strange's arm to prevent him from floating off in another direction, the trees and wind not assisting her in deciphering an immediate source. Her normally amber eyes glitter a deepening amaranthine shade not far off her coat, deepening as the moment passes, pupils blooming wide and black. They seek something, staring at Billy, possibly straight through him. Not without her eyebrows arching in a silent question, though.
A terse nod answers Strange with all he needs to know. A hand slides to her hip, feeling for the charms strung there, mentally indexing them. "Something is shifting like water?" Inexpertise in English may hurt her here, and she's bound to say more before Mordo goes in and out of space. While that might have escaped her direct notice, not so much his frosty reception. Distracted somewhat, she murmurs, "Yes, you. Hello."
Stepping out around a tree, Billy comes to a sudden halt with a wide-eyed look of oh-shit-I-got-caught, only in Billy parlance its 'oh-shoot-I-got-caught', his expression turning immediately guilty. The thing is, he wasn't really doing anything at all wrong, so there's no reason for him to suddenly look like the kid with his hand in the cookie jar, but he looks it anyways upon seeing Magic Mom and Magic Pops. And with Magic Mom just seeing him with that look he is suddenly convinced he did *something* he just can't remember what it is. Its something to do with the surprise of everyone suddenly being here. "Errrr is weird happening again?" He eyes the ground and sorta toescuffs it as if to move aside a mat of reality to see what's underneath, "This spot seems to attract the weird, and since this is about where I appeared I've been keeping an eye on it. I've been at Weirdcon 4 just as a matter of course, but suddenly I'm thinking we might need to bump it all the way up to Weirdcon 2."
Remy reaches for the door handle, but as he touches it, his eyes go into a bit of a tunnel vision. The door opens, but he's not even sure if he was the one who did that. He looks out onto a thriving city centre of old, with men and women dressed like they might have been hundreds of years ago. And just as he begins to inspect it, the vision is gone and he's standing outside and wondering if he's been drugged somehow. If so, he'd better get home quick. The fastest route is right through the heart of Central Park and he doesn't waste time.
"Did it..move for me?" The question brings his focus back to the Baron and those raven-black brows knot tightly. Uh oh indeed! With Wanda rooting him in place rather than letting him hare off after the nearest trace of brimstone and wood-smoke, he's left to consider just how much information to grant…and then he notices Billy. The young man might get the distracted look from Magic Mom — Magic Pops is definitely giving him the gimlet squint. There he goes, using jargon from another time and place, but Strange gets the gist of it.
"Aether, so kind of you to join us. No doubt you felt the shift." He uses the code-name first given by the cape-wearing vigilante and the inflection on the words are terse. His eyes are beginning to bleed towards frosted-violet around the centers, seconds away from fully accessing the Sight and Seeing just what happened around them. The discordance is stronger still. "Give me a second and — "
The Sight flicks into use and the Park around him falls to an inversion in reality reflected through time.
"Oh…gods below," the Sorcerer spits, hands rising from coat pockets even as he takes in the enormity of the circumstances before him. Cobblestone, market stalls, peasantry going about evening tasks in clothing not seen for hundreds of years.
"You know," Karl muses aloud — eyeing Wanda, then Billy and then Strange. "They still refer to Miss. Maximoff as 'the Concubine Supreme' in Transylvania. It eludes me how that tradition started…" His eyes gleam as his voice trails off.
Turning around to get a better look at his surroundings, Mordo spots LeBeau coming from across the Park, and arches an eyebrow. "One also wonders how these shifts in reality would affect the mundane populace…" he murmurs aloud, addressing no one in particular. "The children as well," he adds in reference to Billy.
"Aside from the smell, that is — of the park, not the children." The man wrinkles his nose, and waves a cane-hand in a muted gesture to banish the foul stench from his nostrils. Perhaps it would be better if the warlock stopped speaking for the moment…
"I wouldn't want to get your lover's knickers in a twist." Inwardly cringing to have said that out loud instead of in the quiet recesses of his mind, Mordo takes some steps away from the little group of magi, and focuses his Sight upon the area.
More seeing than speaking. For now.
Possibly the maternal progenetrix opts to overlook sins of Billy, opting to allow the other parent to deal with their wayward offspring. Exchanging responsibilities comes naturally. Strange is already angry at reality, fit to be tied with Mordo. She needs to add no more fuel to that fire. "Path goes north to south." The fact her eye colour practically mirrors Strange's is no accident, though the moment his fur is rubbed backwards, she pulls a knife from a sheathe in her boot.
"I miss Grandfather. Truly, I do," she says, apropos of nothing. "Everyone is leaving. You may want to now, Karl. Though you will probably not. It may be wise. I do not want you to be hurt." Probably time for him to start hobbling down the path, because a fast-moving storm of a man is probably barreling down it at a healthy clip en route to them. Her fingers curl tighter around the hilt of the weapon turned back, hidden against the line of her jacket sleeve. "Aether, watch the ground. Can you feel that? Turn the noise down with me?"
Oh, what joys this could offer. Might as well trust Karl and Stephen not to spit tacks, or do it too fast for them to have anything to say about it. But her slender digits are casually enough poised, left hand idly sketching motions to classical dance, except the idle bit of performance isn't idle.
"I… felt the something." is as far as Billy is willing to admit to Strange's question, "I don't know what it is but suddenly math doesn't add up right." He waves a hand in front of him as if to demonstrate. Whatever the heck that means is anyone's guess, then he catches 'the children' and he eyes Mordo with a warning look. He better not be thinking of one Aether, certified and licensed superhero, as a child! Still, he wanders over towards Wanda and eyes the ground, squinting. He bites his lower lip, "I can try to make two plus two equal four again?" he murmurs to her, sounding a bit uncertain about it. He's not used to other people warping reality around him. "I didn't… do that… right? Mess up the math?"
Not far away from the magic folks (TM), a woman slaps a man on the bench next to her. She presses a hand to her neck and emits a faint sound of disgust. "How dare you!" she exclaims.
A faint moan escapes his lips — evidently being chastised doesn't elicit an apology. Instead he leaps forward with teeth chattering and growls of various sorts emitting from his lips as she attempts to push him off her.
As Remy cuts through the Park, something might catch his attention. He finds himself atop a bridge, but should he look down, a horde of forty ambling bodies, disconnected, unfocused, and altogether empty feast on several coyotes beneath him. Their teeth gnash at flesh, tearing it beneath their work. Their nails and hands entrenched in congealed blood scoop bits of innards from the coyotes that they assault.
And as that sight enters Remy's gaze, the sound of more amblers with their moan-ing chorus, straight through the Park, seems to call.
The twist in reality caused by Wanda and Billy, with its bend, gives way for the strange surreality to descend once again, and the magic that brings it dictates a quiver about the city. Anyone within blocks could feel it — the ping that causes New york to give way to something different. Cobblestone for roads, buildings like those of great European houses; even the towers disappear for very different looking towers. Bell towers. Castle spaces. But it's not an actual place. Anyone who's spent years in Europe realize the layout is wrong.
But as the pair push reality over the edge, the wrinkle — the ripple — seems to dissipate. For now, anyways. Who knows how long that will last?
Remy comes to an abrupt stop as he looks down and can hardly believe his eyes. At first, the grotesque sight shocks him and his wrinkled face recoils. But then, he's unable to look away. Disgusted, he pulls a card from his pocket, not sure why he hasn't stopped to think about the oddity of what is happening. Instead, he just really wants these beasts to leave the poor coyote alone. The card charges with a purplish energy and he flicks it down toward them with not enough charge to maim—he hopes just to scare them away.
The outcry from the woman on the bench draws Mordo's attention, and his eyes widen at the seemingly rabid man's advances. Then his eyes flash. The warlock also notices LeBeau draw his card and charge it (kinetically, not financially) and makes a mental note of it.
Powers of some description.
But it is the rabid man's efforts that has Mordo's ire kindled just now, and he taps his cane upon the ground.
Thine efforts vile, to incur wrath
Be bound, I say, by Sham-Horoth!
With the incantation spoken, spider webs speedily emerge from the ground at the base of Mordo's staff, and weave themselves toward the man — clawing like splindly wires at his feet, legs, arms and hands…
Wanda's focused look becomes a glare when towers and crenellated walls burst through the greenspace, wattle-daub and masonry replacing familiar concrete and sheet glass. Yelling at the architecture solves nothing, just ask cabbies, developers, and beatniks. Yelling at the shambling figures with nothing sensible to say, on the other hand… Mordo and Remy apparently have those well in hand. If not, Strange has no doubt some strong Words to hurl at them.
"Two and two is still four. Someone wants to be seven and two parts, but it is not." Maybe that will assure Billy. The sorceress presses her thumb to her ring finger, other digits extended, and swivels her wrist to present her palm outwards at a seventy degree angle from her forearm. The bent curl to her digits straighten through another mudra, sinuously executed. Ring fingers touch the tips of her smallest fingers, index to middle for an interstitched position, thumbs braced upright.
The Masters of the Mystic Arts ought to recognize the modification of the surabhi mudra, suited for purification and obliterating blockage. Wicked sparks of burning scarlet light take shape in her palm, budding into a spade. A breath later, it opens along multiple axes, the visible effect of her catching reality's tiger by the tail and swinging it around a few times until the manipulated tapestry of creation settles down a bit. Preferably without involving dear old Dad. No one needs Elder Gods at family reunions yet. That can wait until Easter when Karl has to awkwardly play the rabbit.
"Some places it might still be four, but right there…" Billy gestures to the warp in reality, "… something's trying to change it. At least that's what I see. I see the aura of the magic as mathematics and the algorithms are going wonky." he explains some of the metaphor of how he perceives magic, but still. After the pair of reality warpers bend their will to trying to push the warp away, each in their own style— Billy chanting 'four is two and two' somewhat nonsensically as a sort of general anti-warping spell more then an attempt at a specific effect— he settles in and looks around a bit pensively, "What's the chances this is a coincidence that something wierd is happening here, where that hellmouth-thingy was and where I appeared from youknowwhere?"
The zap towards the not wholly-there-bodies eating the coyotes causes them to lift their heads. While some are not distracted from their feast, others perk up. There's no hesitation in movement, no pause that delays them, and, in fact, they move freakishly quickly. Fortunately, they aren't too bright. Three run into the wall of the bridge in an effort to reach Remy, but they bump against the wall of the bridge time and again and again.
The spider webs that draw around the violent man, snake around him and pull him back into an unnatural pose that doesn't seem to leave anything to chance. But rather than submit to the restraints, the man hisses and gnashes, still trying to get the woman. Yet she trails away from the man, launching herself away from him as quickly and hard as possible. Closer inspection of his eyes, however, demonstrate an odd milkiness, and a detached kind of presence. He's physically there, but mentally something sinister has consumed his very being.
The woman's hand remains pressed against her neck, staving the blood that seems to gush. "Carl!" she screams loudly as she stares at her companion now writhing on the ground. She stumbles backwards, the scene seemingly too overwhelming for her delicate sensibilities, but as she steps backwards, her high heel catches uneven ground. In New York, the unevenness is not seen. In the medieval world, however, high heels against cobblestone roads hardly act as practical. Her heel snaps as it catches the edge between two bricks.
Her ankle twists and in seconds the woman is pasted against the pavement. Sobbing uncontrollably at whatever has happened to Carl.
Wanda's focus earns another ripple; smooth exposure of whatever facade lingers beneath this reality, but it doesn't resurface. It's possible she and Billy have resolved the through. Or it's possible that it's gone underground somehow.
The spiral of New York pushes through that cobblestone, and any mirror between the two worlds seems to fall away. New York and New York alone remains. For now, anyways.
Gambit shudders. Now he's sure he's been drugged. Badly outnumbered and in no desire to take on whatever these hell beasts are, he makes a run for it, mundane style, over the hill and far away.
Well, that escalated quickly!
In the time it takes Strange to acknowledge that the converging realities have separated themselves once again (due to the ministrations of Wanda and Billy, reality warpists extraordinaire), he's got a thumb against the pulse of logic's take on the chaos expanding in the Park. Warlock's got the slavering paramour under control, even if the method used is enough to set his own pulse to thumping against his skull — emotions in the heat of the moment and all. Someone, in passing, dealt with the nearby influx of all-too-familiar mindless meat-munching drone-people before scarpering, which seems like one of many wise options available.
The good Doctor blinks away the Sight to find the greenery still present even though he can sense the lingering presence of That Other Reality, lurking like a deep-water shadow beyond immediate identification. The woman collapsed draws his attention and after one last glance towards his Consort and her apt pupil, he darts over to kneel beside her. The chaos is, at least, under immediate control.
"Sit up slowly," he commands in a calm baritone. "I'm a doctor. Let me see your neck." Extra sympathy points earned for past experiences on his part. "Ah-ah, don't look at them, look at me," he adds sternly, attempting to reign in her panicked focus.
Mordo breathes a sigh of relief once Strange attends to the bleeding woman. It feels good — doing good, that is. It feels… really good. It becomes hard for the swarthy warlock to resist the urge to smile.
And then he notices the look in Carl's eyes — Carl, who is frothing at the mouth and fighting fiercely to break free of the webs of Sham-Horoth. Fortunately, those webs should take the fight out of him completely… in time.
"There's something else amiss here…" Mordo calls out to the others. "I'm sensing… a Presence — in this frothing buffoon on the bench." It is bad enough that reality is warping around them all. Bad enough that they seem to be in medieval… somewhere, rather than Central Park.
And now… possession?
Mordo crosses over to the bench, his disguise falling from him as he walks — no more suit. He is garbed in an emerald tunic, wielding a living staff. "I speak unto the Being within this mundane human…" he tells whatever it is that has control of Carl. "Mordo, baron of Transylvania, emmisary of the Other and the Old Ones, commands you: come forth — or be lost to the despair of Sham-Horoth!"
Mordo glares at the man. "Release your soul to me."
Should Billy Kaplan who gave him a talent for mathematical equations and interpretation, it's not some distant ancestor or accident of fate. Unless fate messed up. A moment of silence follows his question, then off-handed, she says, "A percentage? Coincidence is point zero five eight one." The knife ends up slipped back into her boot where it safely cannot stab anyone, her position rotating to worrying after Strange.
Words that trail across the distance do not come in a language that Wanda expects the troubled, bleeding victim on the ground to understand. Living with a neurosurgeon, she learns a thing or two about keeping a modulated pitch and speaking in calm, rational terms when there is nothing calm or rational about the situation. Staying close to Billy draws the exact lines of her allegiance, though her voice carries well enough… in Tibetan. "«There is no soul, Mordo. The man is gone. He acts as the empty chalice, the animating essence of himself poured out and a temporary force replacing it. Have a care or the blight infecting him will strike you.»"
It may just be the most complete, salient statement he's possibly heard from her lips ever.
Billy's sign is long-suffering in response to Wanda's opinion on the coincidence, "Okay, we're at Weirdcon 1 now." he says in a tone that's a bit on the grumpy side, "Imminent magicular war is on the horizon. Possibly involving Evil King Bob." He pauses, and looks between the Mordo fellow and his webs to the… creepy guy, to Wanda, and all in all, Billy isn't sure what to do about this scenario. He is totally the intern mage at the moment.
The woman stares in horror at Carl, but Strange's voice cuts into her momentary rapture, and she's very slowly sliding her gaze away from her friend and whatever is happening there. She shivers as she finally focuses on Strange — clear panic reflects in her eyes.
The injury should leave something to be desired. The bite had obviously cut into her flesh, but around it her veins have become black tendrils, moving into her bloodstream like some kind of poison, leeching into her system. And its path seems quite purposive. White, nearly-translucent, flesh spreads as does the black matter, demonstrating an oddity of a different sort that follows the decay that the poison seems to cause. "He bit me!" she finally asserts. "He bit — " but her words are ate as she collapses back to the ground. Her eyes roll into the back of her head and she begins to seize.
The gnashing body does not respond to Mordo's orders. Instead, the body keeps writhing.
"Oh…gods below!" Strange's aura flares brightly as he lowers the seizing body to the ground. The Word rings clarion across the air around him and the hand pressed against the bite wound on the woman's neck shines with spring-sky-blue. "Changa!"
It burns out whatever disturbing inky lines paint themselves deeper into her frame and brings back flushed life to the skin going paler. He squints, eyes nearly blanked out in Mystical light for the amount of sheer willpower he's needing to force the spell into capillaries and into the thrumming heart with its cadence like a trapped bird — it's clear that the woman's psyche fights for her own life even as the spell cascades through her.
With a sudden choking cry, not too far from the sound one might make with an impaled weapon removed, the woman goes limp. With teeth bared in elemental reaction, he keeps his hand there even as the power is cut. There — gone, she's emptied of the foul presence that attempted to take her own life and sense of self from her. She doesn't weight too much, just enough to cause a little stumble as Strange collects her up and makes his way carefully over to join the Witch and Aether, crystalizing his own alliances even as he levels a glare at Mordo, tainted as it is with rueful concern.
"«She's right, Karl. Be wary.»" Tibetan as well.
Mordo — hands and staff extended toward Carl — glares sidelong at Wanda. "I thought it best to try and extract the… blight, but my dear girl… since you are so very sure of yourself…"
The webs surrounding Carl envelop him even more, pinning his arms and legs in place — distended and twitching as they are — thus turning him into something of a star-shaped cocoon. Almost.
His hands, feet and head are still visible.
"Beyond saving, this one," the warlock casually remarks — and closes his fist. Immediately, Carl screams. Fire appears to billow up from inside the man — emerald fire. Its light pierces through the webbing surrounding the poor fellow, accompanied by wisps of smoke rising from his wrists, feet, eye-sockets, ears and mouth.
It lasts all of two to three seconds… and Carl disappears in a ball of jade fire, webs and all. There is nothing left — even the bench is gone. Mordo banishes the flame completely, and walks over to the scorched spot to sense for any residual blightness there.
"Purged," says he. "What about his woman?" And the warlock begins to conjure the same emerald flame again, weaving tendrils of it around his wrists, arms and staff. He fully intends to 'purge' the lady who'd been bitten by Carl, as well…
"They are listening." Words echoed dimly from earlier before, they come from the young woman whose loose hair is curling of its own accord, twisting and lifting off her shoulders. Invocations of them, whomever Wanda refers to, leaves her voice exceptionally tight and her eyes full of a bleeding red light darker than the wandering glow either of the Masters of the Mystic Arts choose to display. Their power doesn't drip from under their lashes, and run in twin strands towards her cheeks, matching the motes occasionally playing over their nails.
Her shoulders ratchet back and she gestures to Billy. "Not a safe place to come together. Dead bodies walk here. We are a light in the dark." Softer spoken then she typically tends to have as her wont. Neither Mordo or Strange will keep her from moving back from the green flames, if only because the natural tension in her is dialed up sharply and hard enough that she might just burn the park to the bedrock or the mantle, whichever comes up first. Children of revolutions don't tend to do things by half-measures.
"Wait, did he just woosh that guy into dev null?" Billy blinks, taken aback by the display of green fire that goes and cancels out… someone. He didn't quite get the whole empty soulless thing, mostly because his paradigm doesn't quite understand souls to begin with, so there's something about that there. He frowns at mention of dead bodies though, cracking his knuckles together, "Being light in the dark is usually good. Unless zombies are hungry for brains, then that's bad. Should we away, or is this like a Fear the Walking Dead situation and its time to fight?"
"It's not time to fight." The words are spoken with an edge to cut like a scalpel with their emotionless calm. With the unconscious woman in his arms and his morality pricked to bleeding by the display of sorcery before him, this is a Sorcerer Supreme closing upon a level of temper that, unleashed, would make reality shake around him. "It is time to gather forces. I suspect that I know who controls these strings. We waste time and power dealing with stragglers." The blowback of his silvery-amaranthine aura is violent enough to cause the flora around them to shudder as if in a passing gale. Black Belstaff burnt away by retreating fringes of molten lightning leaves Strange in the full regalia of his mantle, bruise-blue in the falling dark; the scarf unfolds tens of times over and flows out to full Cloak status, spreading wide behind its master to threaten in turn like the hood of a cobra. "We need to cut off the head."
The Eye winks at the Warlock standing not far away, glaring brightly to the Sight. "Mind your decisions, Karl. They have consequences in the end." Seeing as this is but a transgression upon a husk and not one with a soul, the very life he holds slack in his arms, it ends as a black tally mark behind Mordo's name — and a painful reminder that he is strong-willed in his own beliefs. "Mind them well." Oh yes, it's a threat, make no mistake, that the Sorcerer is watching.
A Gate drawn up means that his family can leave. Another afterwards to the nearest hospital means dropping off the fainted woman for a careful once-over by professional medical staff. It leaves the mystery of the mingled realities alive in the Park, with all the malice and shambling threat it entails.