1964-09-23 - Impish Issues
Summary: Doctor Strange and the Ghost Rider deal with an Imp infestation because being proactive is much better than letting the nest fester.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
robbie strange 

"You waste my time!" The angry hiss precedes the whip-crack of a molten surujin. The weapon wraps around the Imp's foot and trips up the wrinkly-skinned little demon. It shrieks to shatter windows — and the ear-piercing cry nearly does — before a quick flick of the wrist and terse Words swallow up the creature in a translucent ball of violacious light. A sharp yank loosens the Mystical whip from the thin ankle and proves to send the ball spinning in mid-air. The Imp is treated to a good number of rotations, its muffled cries rising and falling with circumferential predictability.

Eventually, Strange has finished winding up the golden line (completely unnecessary, truly, more of a habit) and he gestures to stop the spinning. The Imp lies inside the sphere, groaning, and he speaks softly to it.

"We had a deal. You attempted to break your word. I don't appreciate it." Faintly-glowing eyes rise up and pin the little demon in place. "Tell me where your colony is and I'll banish you to someplace kind." Well…kind enough for demons. The Imp chatters fearfully like some demented parrot and the Sorcerer can be seen to roll his eyes, his patience wearing thin.

There's been enough sound in the side alley that anyone curious walking by could stick their nose in. The glamour is a minimal one, enough to fool the Mundane. Anyone else with supernatural powers? That's less likely.

It wasn't hard at all to get this particular spirit's attention…the screaming from the creature was good enough.

Even Strange could hear the loud revving of Ghost Rider's motorcycle, and it was getting louder and louder. Eventually, the Rider pulls up to the side of the road where the alley was -very- easily visible, and there he is. Flaming skull and all, with flames covering the wheels of his bike continuously, and a trail of fire still behind him as he arrives. Those hellish eyes lock onto the imp, then move onto Strange.

With a dismount, the Rider approached Strange in cold, calculating steps. He wore his signature leather jacket with the upside down U white decal, a black T-shirt underneath, full black riding gloves with support for grip, dark pants, and combat boots. He also had a chain wrapped around his torso diagonally.

The creature before Strange and this Imp doesnt speak, only releases a hollow breath that would cause the standard mortal to piss themselves in terror and tend to scream…however, he was dealing with the Sorcerer Supreme, and he knew it. and thus, did it finally speak, pointing to the Imp "I'm here for that, Sorcerer.", the Hellhunter not too easily amused when creatures from other planes come into this world.

Indeed, the mechanical rumbling quickly overtakes the terrified chatter from the Imp in volume and Strange levels an annoyed look back towards the alleyway's entrance. And that is a sight.

Dealing with the gods regularly tends to strengthen one's constitution against the sounds of the otherworldly and so the Sorcerer simply observes as he's approached by the flaming-skulled being, his arms hanging loosely as his sides. Scarred fingers habitually flex in slow undulations, the myriad of mudra options racing through his mind, each combination considered and re-considered to suit the moment at hand.

"And you're welcome to have it once I'm finished with it," he replies, tone level and aloof. The crimson Cloak at his shoulders shifts in an absent breeze, like a guard dog pricking its ears, and the alleyway drops into silence as the Imp basically collapses in on itself, very much convinced that its existence is about to be ended.

Farther down the alleyway, beyond the dumpster tucked to one side, the shadows gain a sudden depth. Bright lights in hollow sockets detach skeletal-smoke forms from the miasm and step out into view. Oh, how delightful. Hellhounds. Maybe the two metaphysical masters accidentally tripped a trap? Regardless, the behemoth hounds, easily the size of a thoroughbred horse, rumble to match that motorcycle's engine. Two in total, the creatures.

Strange has the audacity to run a hand down his face and mutter, "When it rains, it pours. I'll take the one on the left, you get the one on the right?" He looks…bored when he glances back at the Ghost Rider.

The Rider would pause at Stranges words, stilling looking the master Sorcerer right in the eyes. He also noted his incredibly annoyed expression when Ghost Rider demanded it's intention, just stopping a few feet from the Sorcerer Supreme, and while exercising caution, the Spirit of Vengeance shows no fear to him…or anything, for that matter.

It looks like the Rider was going to speak again in that ghastly…Hellish voice of his, before it pauses, turning his head to the sound of the Hounds and now standing next to Strange, a crack of it's neck…and if it was possible to even see, because…well, flaming skulls, the Rider appeared to have a similar expression to the Sorcerer beside him.

At his words, Ghost Rider would simply nod. "Agreed." he says, in a 'waste of time' kind of way, but it clearly has a cruel pleasure in the oppurtunity to banish these creatures back to hell from whence they came. and with an extended hand, Hellfire rolls upon both of the Rider's arms, and he leaps right the hellhound on the right to start off an assault that would lead to a mutlitude of ton-backed punches to the Hound, leaving the one to the left to Strange as he agreed to.

If inclined to dredge the depths of Sorcerer's soul in passing, the Ghost Rider will find the man…exquisitely human, in the end. He has the flaws of the proud, the weaknesses of the confident, the cold facets of the intelligent — but all is balanced with a need to do good, to imprint his presence upon the world in the most enduringly benevolent of ways, and there's a good portion of it dedicated to the concept of 'love', the coloring a rather infinitely-reaching ultraviolet shade in the end. Wending through all of this? The touch of the three-fold gods he calls his patrons, a brilliance in starfire and unbelievable power.

A blink and Strange's irises share that same bright frosted hue of love-lies-bleeding. "Have at thee," he mutters lightly, after watching the Ghost Rider get down to business with some serious hound-thrashing. Dark eyebrows rise at the force exerted. Well then.

The other Hellhound, having danced away from its beleaguered companion, turns its attention to Strange and snarls loudly.

"Alright, Spot, let's dance," growls the Sorcerer, rising from the alleyway's pavement. Scintillating globes of light begin to dance around his hands and it's clear that both creatures don't like this particular wavelength. Both wince; the one in the midst of attempting to bite at the Ghost Rider's flaming arm yelps.

Ghost Rider did indeed use it's empathic abilities to see the Truth of the Sorcerer Supreme. What kind of person was this seemingly overencompassing mortal? He found it's truth with an appeased emotion. if it had to judge at this very moment? 'innocent' would likely be the call of the jury. Strange is a friend, for now it seems.

Meanwhile, Ghost Rider would down the hound with one solid hit, even when it bites him, it feels the agonizing heat of Hellfire. Eventually, the Rider just becomes annoyed, not even a breath of pain to this worthless attempt at harming him. and throws it at the wall with a single hand, regardless of it's effect. But Ghost Rider doesnt appear done as it now tries to burn it further with a stream of Hellfire, roasting it away with his superior ability. It does turn his head though When Strange prepares his magic, and he gets a growl….magic was -not- his thing.

and thanks to this, the Spirit of Vengeance puts his foot on the creatures neck even as it burns under it, giving it the Hellish agony it deserves. "*growl*…Hellhounds." it mumbles boredly, before glancing back to Strange to see if he needs any help.

Unlikely, but somehow strangely considerate.

The Hellhound beneath the Rider's booth flails and makes strangled sounds of displeasure, its ghostly talons attempting to embed all three inches of their lengths into his leg. It kicks wildly, hoping to score a wound in passing. Those coals-for-eyes shine brighter still for its efforts; teeth as glossy and sharp as obsidian blades snap up at its captor, smoky strings of drool swirling up in poisonous wisps. It may all be for naught; the flames of Hell begin to crackle on its skin and a screaming yowl shatters the close confines of the alleyway.

The other Hound has a moment to prance and dance in place, torn between aiding its brethren and chancing a sack of the Sorcerer, and this is its own downfall. Strange, hovering now a dozen feet in the air, is framed by the spread of the crimson Cloak and backlit by the spell-fire.

"Hound of hell,
Ghastly spawn,
By might of the Vishanti three,
So mote it be — begone!"

The spell comes to fruition in a hail of arrowing light-strands in pearly-lavender that wend about the second Hellhound. It has time for a choked cry before the entire area flashes brighter than a collapsing star and — gone. Banished, back to whence it came.

The Rider simply nods at Strange's display of mystic might, though it doesnt seem intimidated by it. and when the Hellhound attempts to claw and scratch at the sin hunter, it's claws don't even pierce it. it might as well attempt to stab air. and with a shake of his head, the Rider just presses it's foot down hard into it's neck, hellfire projecting through it as well…it's neck easily snaps, and it's body dissintigrates, returning to Hell where it belongs where it will likely serve anew.

The Rider then walks towards Strange, still gazing into his eyes. "Innocent. Befitting of a Sorcerer Supreme." he doesnt say to praise or compliment, but used as an observation. Even though it wasn't using the Penance Stare, which wouldn't work regardless, Strange could still see Hell through the Rider's eyes. Though it does turn it's head slowly..slooowwly back to the Imp, cold, death-like breath being uttered as well as a small growl.

But then the fires stop atop it's head, and bone because moist as the living. Muscle tissue folds over, between, and covers the bone in moments, and skin takes over the muscle like grass covers the ground, and a full sheet of flesh covers his face, much like a standard human. Hair returns, curly atop his head with perfectly trimmed eyebrows, and a faint beard. This was the man known as Robbie Reyes as he resumed his human form to speak with Strange more casually, while Also convincing the Spirit of Vengeance that he would be better suited for this part.

"Doctor." he greets, knowing full well who he is, like many other powerful beings in other dimensions. "How fast will your business be concluded." he turns his head back to the Imp "I have a loose end to mend." he glances to the Imp, clearly with intension to destroy it. not wasting time on basic necessities like 'good job' or 'thanks for the effort'. nope, straight to the point was Reyes.

With both Hellhounds now disposed of, the two can count themselves the victors in this bout. His boots make little sound of impact upon the pavement as Strange floats back down, per his mental edict to the Cloak. The relic riffles once more before becoming still.

Starlight still clouds about his hands, nearly hiding them entirely from sight, as he stares right back at the Ghost Rider. One doesn't assume the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme without a backbone of steel and he's slapped away the kidskin gloves of Lady Death herself. He doesn't respond immediately to the comment in regards to the status of the soulfont within his chest; instead, he watches the host come back to his mortal form before granting the man a professional smile, no more cheer imparted than absolutely necessary.

"It will be concluded soon enough. There's no need for you to stay further. However, it seems my reputation precedes me," he adds, the corners of his mouth threatening pleased dimples. "Do you go by a mundane moniker? A name? Or are you simply ridden by this other spirit?"

With a faint smirk at Strange's words, Robbie would cross his arms then when he says it will be concluded soon…and that his reputation preceded him. "Most powerful beings in many dimensions pays attention to the Sorcerer Supreme. It's not exactly a subtle position." he states somewhat knowingly. Though when asked if he had a name by asking him in various ways, he shakes his head "That was the Ghost Rider. My name is Robbie Reyes. Just call me Robbie, please." he states, still being professional even when dealing with supernatural threats, before he turns back to the Imp.

"I overheard some of your conversation with this." he gestures to the Imp with a look. "I imagine he's slighted you if something this insignificant gained your attention." he states, because why the hell would this little imp have the attention of one of the most powerful beings in existance?

"Robbie," Strange echoes, and there may come a brush of power in the wake of pronouncing the young man's name. Just like the springtime breeze in passing, it pronounces the forename as dreadfully important and so very much possessed by the singular Ghost Rider. "No, not subtle, and frankly, I'm tired of Imps. There's a colony nearby and when the rest of the neighborhood ignores one of them, the rest follow. I can be rid of them as easily as the next practitioner."

One can almost hear the Sorcerer lecturing: do you want Imps? Because this is how you get Imps. Stop leaving crumbs around.

"I'm not so proud to not lend a helping hand in an Imp infestation. It only gets worse if you ignore it." He sounds so resigned that there must have been an invasion in the past. "It's not stooping if it's proactive." With an idle twist of his wrists, the sparkling spell-fire is extinguished, leaving them with the distant streetlight as illumination. All the while, the Imp locked in its sphere trembles. "The little bastard isn't going to turn on its hive-mates. And here I'd hoped that they'd accidentally bred the trait out of the species." The creature squeals mutedly as Strange glares flatly at it. "I'll find it, one way or another," he informs his captive.

..and boy, did Robbie feel that, almost enough to make him turn his glance back to Strange somewhat cautiously. though not intimidated, even situational allies should remain cautious of each other. "A colony? -again-?" he asks, taking his tone as if there was a previous infestation, turning just slightly to face Strange. He could totally hear him in that feel of imp lectures…. or at least have that 'feel' about his words.

"Agreed. works same with most infestations in that case." he shrugs a little. "If I recall, Imps are savagely loyal to their kin. You just need the right touch." he shrugs a little "Mind if I give it a shot?" he asks, because he would prefer -not- to get blasted by great magic power, even if he would survive it…magic, still not his friend.

"By all means, have at," the Sorcerer replies, lazily waving his hand. The sphere of pop makes a Mystical pop and suddenly the Imp is dropped about six feet to the cold pavement below. It lands headfirst, unfortunately, and clutches at its skull with its delicate three-fingered hands as it lies there, whimpering.

No sympathy for this little devil. If left unchecked, the horde will spread like wildfire across the city and leave avalanching destruction in their wake.

Reyes walks over and picks up the Imp with a single hand..really, really easily. "Now then, play nice and tell us what we want to know." he says simply, holding it by the back of the neck with his hand like a tiger or lion would it's young. and feeling that the Imp would just shake it's head or whimper at him in response, his eyes started to glow a little, Strange could see the fire in Robbie's eyes…those were the fires of Hell.

In Truth, Robbie was giving the Imp a version of the Penance Stare, though showing it the full terror of what awaited it should it refuse to tell him. "Tell. Us. What. We. Want. To. Know." his grip tightened, and his expressions were cold…death was a mercy, but this….this was agony in it's purest form.

The Imp squeals again, to no avail, because sympathy is definitely lost on this one. It manages to clip out the location of the nest — in a basement, abandoned workshop, two blocks away — before wriggling like a demented earthworm in Robbie's grasp.

"That'll do, I think," Strange opines, never one for excessive use of force when precision does the job just as well. "It's not far. I know the very building." And what a pain. He would bet a satchet of rare Oolong tea that some idiotic kids playing with a Ouija board managed to open a rift there on a dumb dare. Ugh.

Robbie would nod a bit, at the Imp's words, that sucker wasn't going anywhere anytime soon in his grasp. "Was that so hard?" he asks it, before looking to Strange "Your way of dealing with it is far nicer than mine, rest assured." he says, as if asking Strange to deal with it…though he does follow Strange.

"I might as well come along. My reason for being here was that Imp. Figure I might as well tag along just to see the job done." he nods faintly with a small crack of his wrist. He does ponder a moment "So then, How is it? Being Sorcerer Supreme and all that." he asks curiously…why not? Right next to the guy.

The Imp is summarily banished. It takes far less Mystical juice to get the job done and the creature is likely relieved to be freed of the hellfiery grip of the Ghost Rider's host in the end.

"I'm not stopping you," Strange comments as he leads the way towards the abandoned workshop, his stride long and purposeful. "What is it like to hold the mantle?" Their steps can be heard in the stillness of the neighborhood. Only the feral cats and night creatures are out now, maybe interrupted in passing by a late shifter coming home or a teenager slipping off to some liaison. "It's a responsibility like nothing else. I wouldn't trade it for the world — and couldn't," and he laughs faintly. "Very little other than myself and my efforts keeps the Fate of this Earth on its tracks. Occasionally, I have time for a cup of tea." What a sardonic little smile.

Robbie looks to his glove that he held the Imp by, humming lightly. someday he'll hone his demonic prowess to maybe sen a creature somewhere -other- than hell. BUt for now, free tickets to the demonic world at your leisure!

At Strange's answer, Robbie just chuckles a little, showing some human emotion at least. "Yeah..Wouldn't understand that feeling. All I really gotta do is make sure demon filth stays in Hell, and make sure rightful vengeance is given when it's due." he shrugs a little "Not the most favorable spot, especially if you don't know advanced magic, but my issue compared to yours? pales." he nods faintly with a small sarcastic smile. "It is what it is." he shrugs, figuring it was safe to leave his bike there…after all, people who touch it tend to literally get burned.

No one in their right mind would touch that bike. It screams my owner will skin you alive if you lay a dirty finger upon me. The fire is an added element of persuasion.

"I don't envy you your own powers, Robbie. It seems that it lacks humanity in order to show and to utilize its strength." The Sorcerer shakes his head. "I'll stick with my nightmares and migraines."

They reach the abandoned workshop shortly and he ducks into the side alley there, the Cloak catching some light in a bright swirl of crimson. Indeed, someone's torn out the boards that once covered up the basement window and the darkness seems unoccupied at the moment. It's very black, no illumination within.

"Hmm." He sounds displeased as he kneels, considering the innards of the building. "Let me check…" That bright violet color is back in his irises and with the Sight, he looks — and there's the nest, a pulsating rift in reality. A few Imps patrol outside of it, crawling about in Impish boredom. "I'll need to sew shut the tear in the veils between the realms," he explains, glancing to Robbie with glowing eyes. "Care to scatter the guards? They'll need to remain distracted."

Very True.

"Not many do, Doctor. Not many do." he says with a small sigh. He equally loathed his position, though it was a necessity. His reasons were his own. "Such is the price of being the Rider." he nods a few times, though he doesn't kneel when Strange does to check out the environment.

"This is the place huh?" he questions, though otherwise remains quiet as to not attract attention to themselves. and When Strange asks him if he can distract the guards, Robbie grins a moment. "Sure." he sighs a moment, perhaps thinking of how he wants to do this…

"Best get to it." Then because apparently no damns have been given, he just hops right on in looking like a complete moron for a moment, before he talks like he was just some average joe "whoa….Uh yeah….this is my basement…could you kindly fuck off?" he says point blank to the guards, who will likely try to murder him.. -try- being the key word.

Well….it -is- Robbie.

Every Imp turns on a dime to stare at Robbie. There's a handful of them, maybe seven in total, and all of them have big, bulging surprised eyes. All the better to stare at you with? One suddenly screams and launches itself at the young man, small talons and teeth bared. The rest follow a split second later, all arcing at him.

Strange, still on one knee, simply observes with a moderately amused expression. "That's one way to do it," he murmurs to himself. He'll wait a few seconds, to allow Robbie to sow the honest truth that the Ghost Rider is no one to take on unprepared, and then drop into the basement with little sound, sneakity-sly.

This is immediately a bad idea for the imps. That first one that charged at him? Backhanded straight into unconsciousness, and then he cracks a bored smile as the rest of them just kinda lunge at him, giving Strange the perfect oppurtunity to do his thing. He burns one of them alive with Hellfire, just because and otherwise, just kinda stands there as there attacks do literally nothing to him. their nails can't even pierce his skin thanks to his durability. He fakes a yawn, and if Strange looks at him, he has a 'take your jolly good time pal' look on his face.

They were just so cute in their attacks against him when he just stomps on one to pin it to the ground, leaving the rest of them to jsut kinda poke at him with their spears, unknowing it's not effective.

The Imps try and try again, probably in some primal and hopeless attempt to scare off the Big Bad Ghost Rider from their den. With their attention diverted, it gives Strange the opportunity to begin weaving.

He pulls delicate strands from reality itself, the threads visible to only those with the Sight, and begins stitching the rift shut. From neurosurgery to sewing upon reality itself — the parallels are obscene to him at times, almost self-mocking in a way. His eyes half-lid for the concentration it requires and should any Imp launch at him? There is the Cloak and its wicked snapping hem, ruddy guard-dog in lieu of the wards at the Sanctum.

It'll be another few minutes for the Sorcerer to complete the task. The rift itself seems to shrink further and further during this passing time.

Robbie just keeps knocking skulls, actually stifling a yawn with a covered hand, he eventually breaks another neck of one of the imps and tosses the body at another, leaving only 6 left to deal with, and he still isn't actively fighting really at all…it was like if a bunch of infants swung randomly at a tree..it just won't work.

Reyes glances to Strange as he works his magic, sighing lightly. Taking his time alright. Proceeding to use his elbow to knock one clean out and breaking the neck of the one under his heel. He resumes standing there as they poke at him, eventually picking two of them up, one in each palm, and they both get disintegrated by Hellfire. 4 left…he sighs.

The remaining Imps snarl at Robbie before launching at him again, heedless of their dead, maimed, or missing counterparts. One attempts to latch onto his hair while another clearly aims to plant itself on his face, blocking his view. One for each ankle, to attempt to topple any balance.

Nearly completed, the closing of the rift, and no Imp may escape to join the others — or attempt a retreat from this world. Strange continues gesturing fluidly in the air before him, auroral sylphs of power arcing about his scarred fingers.

Robbie would just stand there with his arms crossed as the imps try to no avail to knock him off balance. he rips the one that tried to latch onto him off his face and promptly crushes it in his hand, the one that pulls and tugs at his hair is allowed to stare there a moment "That's just rude…" he murmers.

in his last depth of annoyance, he bends over to grab the two messing with his ankles, and promptly breaks their necks as well. Quick, clean, precise. The one that messes with his air, he sighs, before grabbing it by the leg to pull it off, and disintegrates that one too. That annoyance was handled. He crosses his arms then, and waits for Strange to finish.

Robbie might feel the final throes of resistance die down at the rift's split. Strange grimaces and then spits a sharp Word that rings in the stillness of the basement. The air shivers…and then calms. Has the general darkness of the area lightened somehow? Maybe it's just the aftereffects of his efforts. After all, the Sorcerer still glows faintly about the edges of his person to any person, mundane or Mystical.

"And that's that," he comments, actually dusting off his hands as if they'd touched grit or dust. Starlight scatters and dies out like tiny falling comets. He stretches and then glances at Robbie. "I trust they didn't give you a difficult time?"

Cracking his neck a little, Robbie cracks a small smile at the Sorcerer Supreme when he finally finishes "Took long enough…" he dusts off his jacket a little bit, brown eyes locking onto the eyes of Strange. Though he did feel a 'shift' as it were that was hard to explain, at least in Robbie's mind it's generalized as magic…'nuff said.

When asked if they give him a difficult time, Robbie shakes his head "A cricket gave me more trouble." he shrugs "Good work though, not that you need the compliment." he says lightly, crossing his arms again.

Strange nods. "My job is a thank-less one, though I appreciate the compliment in this case. Likewise. Those little bastards attacking me would have tripled the amount of time and effort needed. I dislike calling upon powers beyond the pale when dealing with simple Imps."

One last Mystical touch upon his work — the sutures will hold unfailingly — and he strides across the expanse of the basement to the door. Locked from the inside, all it takes is a turn of the bolt and one can make their way up the stairs and outside to the alleyway again. He stands by the door, arms lightly folded.

"I don't walk home these days. I presume you'll ride your bike."

The sounds of an engine revving can already be heard from outside the house they were in, and Robbie would nod a few times to Strange "Likewise, friend." he dares call him, since they were situational allies. "No problem. Just happy it was dealt with.". "Maybe I'll pay a visit sometime. Have some tea or coffee."

once they were outside, Robbie would nod a few times, his bike literally right there in front of the house….how'd it get there? Ghost Riders. /scoff/. he does extend a hand for a handshake. "Until next time, Strange." he nods then, after the fact, he moves to his bike, giving it a few revs. After another silent goodbye to the Sorcerer Supreme, Robbie would drive off into the night, flaming trail following where he went thanks to the hellfire wheels.

The Ghost Rider rides into the night.

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