1964-04-19 - Honestly Not Doing So Great
Summary: Doctor Strange goes to check on Lindon a few days after his incident.
Related: http://marvel1963mush.wikidot.com/log:1964-04-13-discovering-the-archive
Theme Song: None
lindon strange 

Should one happen to come check on the living relic, one would find him in rumpled clothing he's slept in, but not very much, and his hair standing on end from all the times he's raked his fingers through it. He hasn't eaten, his eyes are sunken, and his dark eyes wild. There are sheaves of papers on his desk, all filled with recent writings of the secrets of the Mystical. Where the Sanctums are, who tends them, histories of each, as well as spells, a listing of artifacts, and even a few nuggets of information unknown to the Sorcerer Supreme. The writing continues onto the one wall without shelves obscuring it. Pictures of fanciful monsters that lurk in the outer regions of conceivable space. Lindon sits pressed against a set of shelves in a corner, his fingers stained with ink. He mutters under his breath, horrifying things a mere mortal mind shouldn't be burdened with knowing.


Might as well check in. After all, the good Doctor with the memory of a steel safe mulled over what the Archive muttered about both on the sidewalks of Queens and within the safety of the apartment.

If the living room is darkened, the silent appearance of a firefly-cloud's work of golden sparks brightens it with diminuitive but present light. Reality parts and in steps the Sorcerer Supreme, looking blase with his hands in his dress pants pockets. The button-down today is cobalt-blue, with a sheen to the weave in peacock feather's hidden aquamarines and violets. He pauses not far from the Gate and eyes the scattering of papers before his eyes settle upon the librarian.

"Did you drink any of the tea?" His voice isn't loud or knifing by its tone, quietly-moderated, but does contain its usual underlying note of authority.


The room is quite dim, with only one lamp on a side table offering any illumination. Lindon watches the sparks appear, finally finding something to focus upon, if scarcely. "The tea," he says. "Yes." He begins rattling off the ingredients, in which proportion, how long to steep it. There are teacups littering the room, the pot unwashed in the sink.

Lindon smiles a little was he says, "It helped. Til the dreams came, it was quite calming." He wraps his arms around his skinny self and draws in tight, knees pulled to his chest. "It wants out, though. It wants out. I tried to get it all out. The are hiccups. Something big out there. I can't see it, but it wants to be seen." There's a tic at the corner of his eye.


Strange nods, his lips drawn thin in sympathetic appreciation for the Archive's plight.

"The dreams are always the worst." His voice is no louder than before as he continues farther into the living room, taking Lindon's words as unannounced permission to remain in the apartment. "If you can tell me more, I may able to explain what it is that wishes to be acknowledged. Details…but don't strain yourself. If you'd rather not, I won't force the matter."

His ambling takes him to the desk, with the messy piles of paper. One scarred hand spreads out a small stack, his long fingers splaying wide as the pages open like a fanning of cards. Ah, yes, Kamar-Taj. Hmm. This information shouldn't… His brows dip in pensive concern.


"It's like a planet," Lindon muses. "Big. Think cosmos big, but it's alive." He shakes his head. "Too big. Like three blind men and an elephant." He doesn't look at Strange but rather through him. He doesn't seem to make much of the Sorcerer Supreme going through the papers. No real attachment to them. "It's big and hungry. I can't see the other shapes, they're outside my purview."

"I'm starting to forget," he says hopefully. "The stuff I wrote down, it's gone. The place, the, uh, the Taj place." He laughs a little. "I don't know!" He leaves a smudge of ink on his brow as he rubs at his eyes. "I don't know where it is. I barely know who goes there." Such elation.


"Good…" It's a distracted sort of acknowledgment of Lindon's point in his Achival episode. Strange is still squinting in the terrible lighting at the writing cramped over the spread of papers. An idea is blooming in his mind…a terrible, questionably-ethical idea. A foray into magics he chooses to avoid if at all possible.

Others might not think twice, but…it is doing harm, in a sense.

"It's probably a god," he adds, glancing down at Lindon. "Some of them have sympathetic connections to those who turn their attention to them. If you can, push it aside. Allow the memory to melt away. Crumple it up into a ball and toss it. Force it to dust." No one unprepared for the touch of a god needs to deal with it, especially one looking fair to crack with the strain of immense amounts of information coursing through synapses.


Lindon flinches and closes his eyes. "No, no, no go away," he murmurs, "Go away, I can't." Deep breaths. He's remembering his meditative breathing, so that's something. He utters a helpless little laugh and says, "I hate this. God, what did I do that I have this coming?" He might be a lapsed Catholic, but the guilt never really goes away. It's hard to remain a good Catholic anyway when one's paradigm has been chewed up and spat out so thoroughly.

He lets his head fall back against the books on the shelf. "Do you have any more of that tea?" he asks. "It might help me get past this big… thing." He won't call it a god. Naming things what they are tends to get their attention, and whatever it is, it's paying attention to his thoughts.


"The gods use their chosen hard. Their touch is unkind now and then. Same with Fate." Strange flips a piece of paper over to continue reading of what Lindon knows about the Sanctum Sanctorum mansions. His concern deepens. This should not be lying about in an unwarded apartment. "No more tea currently, no, but you're beyond that. Besides, one can overdose on it and I won't have that."

He leans on the desk's surface for a moment, rolling his lips inwards and closing his eyes. "Lindon. This information cannot be available to the world like this. I'll need to take it — all of it, all the papers, drawings, whatever else has come from your…moments." Pushing off, he then stands tall, looking down at the librarian. "Do you understand why I need to do this?"

Unfortunately, he's not asking permission to do so. Under the Rule of Shade, this can't fall into the wrong hands.

"I can…offer you something else in return." It's clear by the hesitance in his delivery that this is an offer with risks to it.


"No, you wouldn't," Lindon muses. The Sorcerer Supreme, he has learned from all this, is an ally of sorts, by virtue of his personality and Lindon's predicament. He waves a hand. "Take it, take it away, I don't want it. I'll have to paint the wall again." Just as well. Those sketches are incriminating.

His gaze finally focuses on Strange. "Something in return? You gave me the tea. I don't need anything." His face squinches up, and he tugs at his hair. "Except rid of this. And… and the others who try to get at it."


The slip of dry amusement causes the corners of his lips to upturn even before he looks back to the desk. Photographic memory, click — not a single piece of information committed to paper will be left behind.

"I'm not ridding you of your hair. You can do that well enough." After all, if the librarian keeps pulling, it's going to come out. "It's more magic, Lindon." The steel-blue gaze landing upon him, still curled up as he is against the bookshelf, is circumspect. "It's rather…grey as well."


"My hair?" Lindon asks, and he glances up at the strands fallen forward. Though he's still quite thoroughly a brunette. For now. Then he sighs quietly. "I know," he murmurs, "that it's magic. I don't hate all of it. Just this." He continues to breathe properly, and it brings him back from that edge, letting the hammer like tapping of that god to his cerebral cortex fade into the back of his mind.

"There's more," he admits as he glances to the shelves. "I bind it and store it. I can't bring myself to destroy it. Not for the price I pay."

He turns a skittish glance back to the good Doctor. "I'm going to go mad," he says with a fleeting, sad smile. "The worst part is knowing that every time it hits me, it'll chip away a little more of my mind. I'm just going to…" He gestures vaguely and shakes his head. "All I wanted was to be alone with my books."


"I understand the need to be alone. It's cruel, how the gods expect one to be able to channel their own understanding. Omniscience will never fit into an human mind, not without issues…as you mentioned." The good Doctor's shoulders lift and fall in a little shrug. "My magic allows me protection when the gods choose to speak to me. You have my sympathies."

A pause. "My offer, in return for taking your records from you regarding everything connected to my mantle, as Sorcerer Supreme, is respite. To forget, Lindon. To forget all of it…and all of me," he adds with a hint of warning. "I will know of you, but you will have no idea that I exist. Next we meet, I would be a stranger entering your life again. I may never speak to you face to face again. It would grant you the privacy you want." Again, that ghost of a smile. It fades even as he continues. "It is dangerous. I don't utilize mind magic because everything is interconnected. I wouldn't want you forgetting how to swallow liquids on my account."


"It wasn't the gods who did this," Lindon says, and perhaps one could excuse his bitterness. His gaze slides off Strange, wandering his cramped and cluttered flat like he's seeing it for the first time, taking note of this and that. "It was a sorcerer trying to create a repository. The spell was on, but the aim was off. I was just walking home, minding my own business. Then I got hit with lightning. I woke up from a coma like this."

Lindon lowers his face to his hands. If he shuts out the sight of things, maybe it'll help him retain the calm he's struggling for. He tries to imagine it. Life without this burden, the salvaging of the sanity he hasn't yet lost. He lifts his head and casts a weary gaze upon the sorcerer. "You can make this go away? What's the catch?"


Ah-hah, and there's another rumor confirmed. It's a damn shame that the sorcerer in question is dead. Strange would have a field day with them for not setting up the proper wards and anchors.

"Would that I had the opportunity to speak with this practitioner." A quiet melancholy seems to settle over the Sorcerer in front of him, most Supreme of all. "As I mentioned before, mind magic is a dangerous business. Removing a set of memories is difficult enough. I can't fathom you keeping your sanity intact if I attempted to remove all of the spell from your mind. This magic blends nearly seamlessly into one's brain, psyche…perhaps even soul." He blinks and the Sight bleeds his irises to glowing frosted-amaranthine. "It…might take the will of the gods itself to remove it from you, Lindon — and they ask for much." He sighs silently. "All I can offer is the removal of the memories of Sorcerer Supreme and all that it entails. Remember that this includes myself. I would be stranger to you."

Stranger still, absolutely.


Lindon says ruefully, "Yeah, well, it went worse for him than it did for me." Maybe that was the gods; they don't tend to like their secrets being pried from them by force. Lindon relaxes further. The worst of the storm has passed. He still wears the scars of it in the weariness around his eyes and the way his face is drawn and sallow.

"I don't think there's a me left without it," he says, flipping a hand vaguely. "I can't remember most of my childhood now. I have trouble with names. My sister's name. I have to look it up every time, because I can't keep it in my head. My sister."

He shrugs then and says, "I'll forget the heavy stuff. I'll probably remember who you are but not the significance of it. No more than anyone else would. No, if you really want to help me, Doctor? When I'm too far gone, don't let me suffer."


A period of heavy silence follows. The good Doctor knows exactly what Lindon is asking of him. That…he may not grant.

"Yes, you'll forget what you know of the Sorcerer Supreme. Maybe you'll know my face, perhaps my name, but nothing of my mantle." His expression seems to grow professionally distant once more. "I can't abide by suffering. I also will not kill. Should it come to that…I will do as I feel necessary." What this entails will be decided then and there, not now, not while there is a psyche intact. "Do you agree to my removal of your memories of all of this, Lindon? I won't remove them without your explicit permission."


Lindon tilts his head and says, "Are you going to wipe my mind of you for your sake or for mine?" He smiles faintly. Now that he can focus, his focus is intense. "See, I think you're doing it for your benefit, and I'd rather you didn't. I can't remember my sister's name, Doctor. Or where I grew up, or any of my pets, if I even had them. Most of my time at school is just gone. These thoughts twist their way into my brain, and they're destroying everything inside my head that makes me me."

His gaze drops and his shoulders slump. "I've lost so much of myself, and I know eventually there'll be nothing left. You'll understand, I hope, why I'm hesitant to have more taken away." He scrubs his face with his inky hands, leaving a smudge on his cheek. "Take the stuff the revelation gave me. The stuff that's not me. But I know you now, and who you are, and what you are. Given what I am, I should know. Don't worry, I won't bother you. Just don't take away what I managed to work out for myself. It's all I have anymore."


"I do understand." He nods solemnly, the shine of Mystical power within his irises never abating. "I would be…very depressed if I were to lose track of the memories of my family. I'll take ones that don't belong with you — or anyone else," the Sorcerer adds as he raises his hand up, fingers in a neutral gathering with scarred back towards Lindon. The magic snakes up around it from seemingly nowhere, coming to visibility as an auroral wisp in scintillating hues of silver and blue. The scent of petrichor hangs in the air, heavy enough to linger in clothing and hair alike. "You'll know me and my title when all is said and done. It seems foolhardy to risk safety and take that from you."

A graceful rotation of wrist and gentle gesture towards the librarian sends the spell at him. The room might bleed like a watercolor left in the rain; perhaps it goes staticky; maybe the aura about Strange brightens to the point where he's a blurred black silhouette backlit by the light of a star. His incantation is precise, lowly-spoken, in the language of the breathlessly-high mountains where Mysticism was old when his mentor was but young.

However Lindon perceives it, the end result is as they decided upon: forbidden memories gone, remnants of the librarian left undisturbed, and he should have the quicksilver neural flash of recognition of the voice that asks of his name when the spell has ceased to be.



It's not difficult to tell where the knowledge ends and the man begins. The man had a personality once, still does, though it's been cracked and crumbled. There is a passionate love of books in that mind, pride in his intelligence, the awkwardness of never having been good with people but still wanting to be liked. Telling the difference is no trouble, but separating one from the other…

It requires a surgeon's precision, carving out what doesn't belong and preserving what does, and what luck for Lindon that there is one such person in the house. The forbidden and foreign is already receding, but where it pulls back, it rakes over the man's psyche; no wonder he's gone mad. It's a soothing mercy to detach it and draw it away.

As his mind is being fixed, inasmuch as it ever can be, he stands poised and still, with only a small rocking back and forth brought by weakness, too long without food or water. What he perceives is the weight on his mind lifting, and the fading knowledge just… goes away. He relaxes visibly, exhaling a pent up breath.

He blinks a few times, snapping out of whatever hypnotic state he's been in. "Doctor," he says. "Or is it Sorcerer Supreme? What do you prefer?"


Strange brings his hand down, unlimned as it is, simply that of a ruined surgeon and Mystical keeper, and smiles faintly.

"Doctor, please. You should eat some food, drink water. Sleep if you can — doctor's orders." Whether the comment gains a laugh or some fleeting moment of amusement matters not. He turns to the desk and mutters some Words under his breath. The papers begin to condense into organized stacks, perhaps even by Mystical topic. File away 'Dragonfang' under 'Relics' under 'Sanctum Sanctorum', 'Hoggoth' under 'Vishanti' under 'Gods'. Little twinkles of starlight seem to flicker in the air above the shuffling paperwork. The Sorcerer keeps his focus on them, idling undulating one set of fingers in fluid motion while the other remains tucked away beneath the arm folded across his chest.


Lindon exhales sharply, almost a laugh, and he nods. "Yeah," he says. "I haven't been myself." But now he is, inasmuch as he'll ever be. Stress lines fade around his features. The driving intensity is gone, leaving him in peace. "Thank you," he says, and he rakes a hand through his disheveled hair. "God, I hate to be seen like this."

He watches the Sorcerer Supreme gather up all his works of the past few days. "Here," he says, and he walks over to one of the shelves. He sets some books upon it aside, revealing more books behind them, as well as sheaves of paper gathered in files. He offers them over. "From previous episodes. Look, if any of it is useful, maybe something good can come of it. I don't want to get robbed and have it fall into the wrong hands."


Glancing up, the good Doctor accepts the offering of collected paperwork and thin journals with his other, non-enspelled hand.

"Thank you, Lindon. I'll keep it all safe." Understatement of the century. Even the Gods have to knock before entering the Sanctum Sanctorum. "And you're welcome. It seemed a fair exchange, considering I caused it in the first place," and he smiles wryly, glowing eyes shifting back to the mostly-organized desk.


Lindon shakes his head and says, "No, you didn't cause it." He makes his way to the kitchen to put on a kettle. Then he rummages to see what food he's got to scavenge. Not much, alas, so he satisfies himself with taking down a tin of tea. "Maybe touching you triggered it, but you have to understand, these things have a will of their own. I could be walking down the street and get hit with one. I say lay the blame where it belongs: on these stupid fucking visions."

He pokes his head out from around the corner. "Do you want tea? It's Pur-eh, I learned a shop nearby who carries it." Being an encyclopedia isn't always bad. "Anyway, if this is going to happen, at least it's you and not some asshole who's going to try to sweet talk me into coming with him. Or her. 'Oh, I'll help you.' Yeah, right."


"Hmm?" He's tapping the last pile of paperwork into line on the desk and looks towards the librarian. "Tea? Normally, I would say yes, but this all needs to get back to the Sanctum and properly organized."

Wait, filed away by topic and overarcing theme isn't enough? Manilla folders abound somewhere in the mansion, one supposes. The journals will go in one of the myriad bookshelves in the extensive library, likely alongside those penned by other persons of Kamar-Taj and past practitioners.

"I would rather help than hinder." A well-practiced gesture off to one side opens up a Gate to the Sanctum, specifically into aforementioned repository of spellbooks and tomes. It shows one of the large study desks and he begins carefully reaching through the rift in reality to place the stacks upon it. "Hopefully I can continue to help as need comes. Don't throw the title around idly," he warns, his expression slightly pinched with irritation at the very fact that he should share this caution. "Some asshole might attempt to pummel you rather than simply borrow you."


Lindon says lightly, "I'd rather be helped than hindered." There's a man with a sense of humor in there, somewhere. He glances at the Gate, though his intrigue at what lies behind is minimal, all things considered. The files and journals will be happier there, and he's already read what he's wanted to. "I know the gravity of your name," he says. "Trust me, the less attention that I draw to you, the less attention I draw to me."

He continues making his tea. The ritual of it is calming. "I don't intend to haunt your doorstep either," he adds. "It's just that if someone tries something, you're the one I'd have to find anyway. What am I going to do against a sorcerer, you know? All this knowledge of magic and I can't actually use it."


The Sorcerer nods, reaching across the desk in the apartment for the last of the stacks of papers. "Yes, it's like knowing how to fly and not having wings. I suggest martial arts classes, self-defense. Charms. Protective amulets. There are items that can deflect an initial spell or even transport someone away."

The Gate is collapsed, leaving the living room in its dim lighting and the good Doctor, in his cobalt-blue button-down, walks to the kitchen entryway. "I'm sure you can think of something," he comments, clearly attempting to not smile. He's clearly been living with Wanda and that dry, sometimes questionably-timed sense of humor.


Lindon regards Strange blandly. "Yes," he says wryly. Then he sighs, leaning that lanky frame against the counter, long arms crossing over his narrow chest. "I'm thinking of getting a gun," he says. "I know all about handling them, which kind I should get, statistically the safest way to use and keep one."

Waiting out the steeping time (and knowing it to the second), he sets about finishing up the making of his Pur-eh. "I want to tell you I'm going to be all right," he says. Which is, itself, no lie. He really does want to tell Strange that.


"A gun will work…adequately against magic. You'd have to shoot before they cast, which turns into some screwed up Old Western draw-at-noon fiasco. I still recommend the amulet or charm. Like deflecting like." There is a logic to both stances. Technology has advanced far enough to be a sufficient challenge to most practitioners. Most. This only leaves the best and brightest…or darkest…to come after Lindon if he arms himself with said weaponry.

The good Doctor's gaze lingers on the tea steeping away. He marks the curl of the steam in the middling distance before he leans against the lintel of the doorway. "Then tell me this. Say it aloud. Willpower trounces nearly everything. Make it be so."


"I know where I can get a gun," Lindon points out. "If you've got a lead on a charm I can get without having to answer some questions I'd rather not be asked, I'm all ears." He pours a cup of tea and offers it to Strange lest he's changed his mind.

He takes a deep breath. He knows words have power no matter who speaks them. "Willpower trounces nearly everything. Make it be so." He even smiles a little after that. "I was always a go-with-the-flow sort of guy."


Ah, the literal sort. Strange does not laugh, at least not outwardly. Those glowing eyes, losing their initial intensity, have begun to slowly dim back to their normal steel-blue.

"Devizes might have your answer. Any memory of the shop? The shopkeeper would carry a few basic defensive charms, things one could hang on a necklace or sew in lieu of a button on their shirt collar. Cufflinks. The man is incredibly creative. Even I'm impressed now and then with what he comes up with — and I've seen a lot over the years." True statement.


Lindon does so much parroting, it's second nature now. It's kind for Strange not to laugh. It's just one of those little things people who aren't artifacts don't have to worry about. His brow furrows, and after a moment's thought, he says, "Yes," he says. It was in the mental rolodex.

The more he thinks about it, the more the details unfold. "I'll try to get by that way and see what he's got." He pours himself a cup of the tea, leaving the first one on a counter. It's rude to not offer at least. "Thank you. I know I keep saying that. You're the first sorcerer I haven't told to fuck off."


"I'm honored. You wouldn't be the first to say that to me if you had done so." His little roll of laughter is baritone warmth in the dim apartment. Strange does note the tea and lifts a hand while dipping his head in unspoken apology. "I've got to get back to the Sanctum. Those papers can't be left out. I have an adolescent Malk with a penchant for scattering the piles simply to get my attention."

Perhaps somewhere in Lindon's mind exists a file on the Fae felines. It might intrigue him to know that the Sorcerer Supreme keeps one around the Sanctum, bad-luck mouser with jade-green eyes and striped-grey fur. She's an excellent cuddler, having been raised from kitten-hood by humans rather than feral Malk parents.


Lindon's brows lift a touch. "Good thing all it does is scatter papers," he says. He does look somewhat intrigued, though. A tamed Malk? "Anyway, as for those papers, if there's anything in them tat's big? I mean really, really big? World-alteringly big?"

He smiles. "Don't tell me."

On that note, Lindon tops off his tea from the pot and says, "In any case, I know where to find you. You know where to find me." Even if Lindon does have to move (too many people know where he lives), the Sorcerer Supreme found him just fine before. It's not the smoothest of good-byes, but Lindon is not the smoothest of people. He wanders off with his teacup in hand. Lindon needs to shower, get dressed. Food is outside, and his appetite is returning. Just like that, he leaves Strange to let himself out.

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