1964-04-14 - When Mordo Met Max
Summary: Mordo the Green meets Maximus the Mad, and the Sorcerer Supreme and Scarlet Witch watch from the sidelines to save the Earth.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
wanda maximus strange mordo 


Arriving in East Village comes not via a Gate, but via the subway, oddly enough. Not for mundane reasons, however, despite what those who wonder may think.

Subway rats, most definitely rodents of unusual size, had been nipping at the literal heels of people awaiting the carriages. Turns out a curse had been in play and after playing tom-cat ratter against the bloodthirsty things, the next thing Strange is looking forwards to is Gating back home to the Sanctum for a well-earned cup of tea. He emerges out onto the sidewalk from the station into the night which wishes to be spring for the hint of teasing warmth to the wind. A sigh and his shoulders drop a bit.

"Thank the gods that's over…" he murmurs.

*

Lorna has arrived.

*

Lorna leaves, heading towards Greenwich Village [W].

*

Lorna has left.

*

Nothing riles Wanda more than a need to traverse those subterranean pathways strung beneath New York. Bad enough she subjects herself to the travesty of a metal car hurtling on rails into the darkness, but wandering hands in a chauvinistic culture requires her chronic vigilance. Staying under the roots of buildings and other structures throws her back in time and stands a little too close to a place she would rather not be. It's not the earth that's the problem, for a witch. Groping hands are another matter, however, and being spun along those tracks means pulling up sparks of electricity from beneath her to strike at the unfortunates who learn to keep their paws to themselves.

Naturally that might leave a girl somewhat tired. Maybe Strange noticed the unusually high rates of static discharge. Maybe not. A smirk follows upon her lips, all the same.

"You did the work you needed to do," she dryly notes.

*

Baron Karl Mordo has not been idle.

Much has happened of late — in the Present, the Past, in other dimensions entirely, and the man seems… conflicted, in some ways… and at peace in others. It is a confusing time for the baron, but for the moment — ridding a subway of R.O.U.S.s (rodents of unusual size) has served as a pleasant distraction. He emerges from the subway tunnel, followed by what appears to be a living snake (like a constrictor)… made of wood. The wooden serpent also appears to have eaten something.

Or several somethings.

Sometimes the term 'living' staff can be quite… literal. "You complain too much, old friend," he tells Strange as he calls the staff back to his hand. It changes shape, shrinking to a wooden rod about three feet long, and he sheathes it over his back. "Some things never change. Now — to my earlier question, before all this mayhem broke loose… how are we going at tracking down the others involved in that jaunt into a simulacrum of the Past?"

There's a pause.

"You did fit the role of 'Bardd' quite perfectly, you know." He turns to look at Wanda, and arches an eyebrow. There are some things about that little 'jaunt' that have left the swarthy warlock with some chilling nightmares — and this guy has dealt with demon-lords, old gods, and Other.

*

You know what is unpredictable? People who aren't sorcerors or witches. They aren't out in the subway…fighting giant demon-rats, or trying to combat otherworldly nazis. No, they are trying to mind control people in succession to go into the bank and withdraw money for them, and then using that money to buy an amazing new, decadent wardrobe. So, while the trio emerges from the subway smelling like cigarettes, wet rat fur and 2-day-old homeless person piss, Maximus is waiting for them on the street looking absolutely, confusingly, amazing. His lips are a pearly pink today, his hair in a perfectly newly trimmed coif of ringlets that toss about in the New York breeze. He is wearing a white suit with a blue dress shirt, unbuttoned by 2, a blue feather tucked into the lapel in a trend-setting statement. His nails match the shade of blue of his shirt and he seems to have grown back his little goatee. The moment he spots them, his elegant Not-British-but-close accent drips out of his pearly lips, "I overheard about a commotion and…I just had an inkling…"

*

Strange has partially disconnected.

*

About to answer Wanda, he pauses and instead turns his focus to frown at Karl. Always the one with the critique, this one. At least it's not like a wounded dog this time around…or whatever the blistering retort was way back when.

Followed by a compliment, it is, and Strange can't help the mild smile. "I'm well aware of it. Public speaking was never an issue for me, though I do wonder where the musicality came from." After all, scarred hands make for terrible piano playing — and instrument playing in general. At least the Mystic Arts bypasses the damaged nerves. "You've been good about inundating the paper. I've been meditating. We'll find them all…eventually," he finishes out as soon as the man in the white suit catches his eye.

Maximus. Now. Of all times.

Drawing himself up tall, the Sorcerer gives the Inhuman prince a friendly nod. "Speak of one. Not so knightly now, but still…dapper. The feather. Of course." At least this one isn't all bent askew.

*

Gazing a gazely stare at all the rising tenement blocks and brick facades of East Village consumes Wanda but for a moment. Little in the sooty gravel fields impacts her perennially cloistered bearing, but being the child begot on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain will do that. Dark tunnels and massive rats feasting on the famine-stricken populace go with comrades and five-year-plans. A cup of dark tea might serve very well right about now, the flavour practically blitzing her tongue at the sheer memory.

Better than construing the rigid shaft of wood as judging her, as it most certainly appears to be from the cradle between Mordo's shoulder blades. Professional interest forces her Sighted gaze elsewhere. Rarely does her outward bearing change for all she never wears anything uniform, the black, waist-cinching bodice and wrapped leggings giving her a living silhouette in leather and hidden steel. A white suit is the sort of thing to require a three second stare. Impractical, Maximus, and fraught.

"How do you keep it clean?" This is essential to know!

*

Picking up on something of Strange's mood, Mordo looks over at Maximus and… smiles. This is going to delightful. Offering the Inhuman a handshake, the baron remarks: "Perhaps some things will stick, after such adventures — who knows? Perhaps the good doctor will be able to carry a tune now?"

He glances over at Wanda and Strange and then back to Maximus. "At least we can make formal introductions now. Baron Karl Mordo."

*

Maximus narrows his eyes faintly at Karl, the person he has not met, except in the other place, though he does extend his hand, albeit slowly. "/Baron/. Well…" His steel eyes rove down then up the new fellow with obvious appraisal, "Stephen never told me he had such a charming friend. I am Maximus." His handshake is surprisingly solid for a dude wearing lipstick. To Wanda, he answers, "I have no idea. Servants do that. I just drop it in the chair and it is returned to me in the closet. Where are all of you headed now? I will join you."

*

Oh no. Ohhhhhhhhhh no no no.

Strange's glance to Wanda is as subtle as he can manage while conveying the sense of concern. An 'old friend' prone to the Darker Arts meets someone not quite home half the time? Chaos. The Witch might note the potential for the familiarity of things rapidly getting out of hand.

"I was going for a cup of tea myself. Mrs. O'Riley might still have the shop open this late, but there's no guarantee. I wouldn't want to disturb her."

*

Chaos belongs at home in the flesh incarnated as a dusky-skinned young woman, every jot and scrap of her mortal possessions and likeness prepared for it. Maximus, on the other hand, simply happens to be the wildcard thrown in by aliens to see what happens. The brief meeting of sky-blue to tawny gold eyes affirms a spark of pomegranate, knowledge captured in the faintest dip of her chin.

Flanking measures will be required, and the fraught expediency requires subtle measures. Let the others speak. Introductions aren't necessary on her part, which makes toying with her belt that much easier. A spherical charm detaches with a mere flick of her wrist. "The too fancy place with bad liquor is around here. The one with an Italian name. Empiria?" Close, almost close.

*

A sly smile steals its way over Mordo's swarthy visage — amid much unnecessary alliteration. He shifts his gaze from Maximus to his other two companions, and lifts his chin, dark eyes gleaming.

"Of course," says he, answering for his friends even if they do as well. "You are more than welcome." Turning to the Sorcerer-Supreme, he adds: "Tea, Stephen? And here I thought you didn't trust any tea made outside of the Sanctum? Since other bars are closed to us — ," (a sly reference to the Bar With No Doors, as a non-mystic would never be able to get in). " — I suggest this tea-house." Of Maximus he inquires: "Since our return from 'legend', what has occupied you, Maximus? I confess to being intrigued as to what you might answer."

He glances askance at Strange a bit.

*

Strange and Wanda may as well be a pair of ghosts, for all the visual attention Maximus gives to them, letting his focus settle with unhealthy a dose of curiosity over this mocha mystic that they have been HIDING from him. Pearly lips grow into a slanted smile. "Oh…I did a little shopping. I never stray from legend, just like the rest of you. No doubt you are back from…saving the world again? Perhaps there were even dragons involved, Karl? I will admit I have had an unnatural desire to purchase a sword, but when I look at the ones in the hunting stores, they are just…/terrible/." He falls into pace with them to walk his white-suited self to the place they have mentioned. "Is there some sort of…mystical sword no one is using?" Like he can just totally borrow some artifacts…its cool.

*

"It was oversized rats," Strange throws in off-handedly, the comment no doubt lost to general chatter. More than fine. No one needs to know of the monstrosities the Mystics tackled not minutes back. Well…the mundane folk don't. Maximus is the odd-ball out, assuredly, but not mundane in the least.

Of course there's a Mystical sword no one's using, it rests in the Sanctum. Is the Sorcerer about to mention it? Nooooooooope. Nope. It's…squirreled away for another time.

"I give no guarantees of the tea shop being open, but there's no harm in checking in on her. She might consider letting us in if I'm the one to ask. I have a good business relationship in place." And he smiles, pleased as pie for it. After all, old Mrs O'Riley has the best brews in town outsde of the Sanctum proper.

*

Mystical swords missing? "I know of several." Wanda was thorough with her Christmas presents, and to be fair, at least three of those gifts remain yet to be claimed. Maybe for Midsummer. She turns over the sphere in her palm, the sleight of hand used to keep it in motion around her agile fingers without being terribly evident a lost cause all said and done. Silence then is her lot, a measured gaze. A measured look towards the others, too, will follow, as her gait increases a fair degree to keep up or give enough space to gauge whether the route is clear to the teahouse in question. How polite a young lady!

A toss over her shoulder is near careless, easily perceived as adjusting her wild hair. The art within belongs neither to pure chaos — a dark magic — or the wicked resonance of her inheritance of an elder god, darkest of the dark there, too. Mischief with magic is bad enough.

The sphere isn't made of anything particularly durable. Far from it. It bounces once, cracks, and rolls on the trajectory to those nearest it on the sidewalk. A child's marble, no more. But the embedded spell is a fleur du mal, a curse wedding the Mystic Arts with witchcraft. Now who to blame for teaching her that? S/he's the other ghost in the mix.

*

Mordo glances over at Maximus and lifts an eyebrow, smiling a little. "Whatever would you want with a mystical sword, my friend? Those things… tend to come with a price. They are, however, not 'unobtainable'…" He leaves that sentence hanging.

So distracted is he by the conversation that he doesn't notice Wanda's 'magickery' as it happens. Even the results thereof go unmarked by him…

For just a few seconds…

*

Maximus is absolutely in the area of effect for this curse-spell. He fails…/utterly/ to resist it. He notices it immediately in Karl, because he was totally oggling all that going on over there when suddenly its a different set of 'all that going on'. However, he is not entirely sure that he's…just seeing things, until of course, he realizes that he, also, has been affected. And HOLY SHIT, has he. /Apparently/ the girl version of Maximus is /ridiculously/ hot. Same outfit, but now that unbuttoned shirt is showing off an ample bosom and he's got an ass that's making those narrow pants weep. And because Strange and Mordo are NOT wearing make-up, they cannot reap the immediate benefits of already being 'done up', like Max. However…he has no idea what he looks like, only that his pants hurt and he has giant boobies. "Ah…did you…perhapsssssss…drag some sort of…problem…out of the sewers?" Pretty frown.

*

He sees the bauble crack upon the concrete far too late to do anything but close his eyes and accept the consequences. Gravity is a terrible burden upon the delicate.

Six foot plus rapidly becomes right around five and a half, give or take, with black hair still silvered at the temples. The clothing adjusts, thank the gods for such little Mystical blessings, and it leaves the Sorcerer Supreme sighing in the alto register.

"I knew that we shouldn't have weaponized this…" It's a mildly plaintive note to the musing even as Strange glances to Wanda. Curves are such a distraction in this environment, even hidden away behind the Belstaff coat and crimson scarf.

*

Yon witch holds the advantage of height, it can be said, and proportions that don't likely cause Leonard Cohen somewhere to pour out his soul to a piano or a sculptor of the likes of Michelangelo go running for chisel and marble. The golden element of chaos is marked, and now they can also enjoy what Stephen meted out for them. The cause slips 'round the corner, and no blaze of light marks a girl stopping traffic. Diverting it, certainly.

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