1964-12-08 - You're Not Seeing Things
Summary: The Sorcerer Supreme makes a new ally in the form of a hairdresser — well, actually, a crow. You see, the crow is a hairdresser in his time as a human, and — you know what, just read the log.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
reno strange 

Two weeks have passed since the leyline along the Atlantic Seaboard, from Norfolk south, has dried up to a barest trickle. It's a sad state and the Sorcerer Supreme isn't unaware of it. He's had half a Mystical eye on the area since and while nothing has ruffled his feathers, there's a lingering sense of malaise.

The slant of bright winter sunlight crosses his chest, catching on the hints of bronze in view from beneath woven threads in many colors on the Eye's length of chain. He meditates, eyes closed and a serene expression upon his face. Asleep? No, though it may seem so, even though he hovers a good three feet from the circular rise of patterned wood, found beneath the Loft's Window on the Worlds.

With an easy fillip of effort, his Astral form separates from his physical form and flits out through the Window. With hands in half-formed mudras at his hips, he hovers for a moment, getting his bearings as he firmly materializes in the true reality. Those who are mundane can't see him in the least.

Those blessed with other abilities? They can spot the man in brilliantly-translucent storm-blue battle-leathers, with the flash of citrine proving his mantle to be within summons.

Reno Manolo Cordova really hated cross town traffic. He would also testify that anyone who enjoyed gridlock was suspect for mental infirmities and probably didn't receive enough love as a child. Awwww, he made a note to find those people while flying over their head and stamp out little smiley faces on the hoods of thier snowed on cars with his little birdie feet. Maybe wave to them. Potentially make them think they are hallucinating. Flying past the Sanctum which, weirdly he just ignored funny enough like somehting in his brain was programmed to: THERE IS NOTHING OF INTEREST HERE PLEASE FLAP ALONG. BUt there was a floating blue man which brought him up to perch on a nearby bit of ediface. "Woooooah, buddy are you looking for like loved ones? You get crushed to death by a musical? You need help? Ooh! Are you the ghost of Christmas Presents?" Hey he could be hopeful but at least the talking crow was friendly. Wait, we might want to go back to the talking crow part.

Once, Stephen would have wondered if someone had roofied his tea. However, many years in the study of the Arts (and a nice slap-around or two by the Ancient one) has proven his faith in the supernatural to be rock-steady.

Still — talking crow? Turning in place to locate the speaker, his expression is mildly surprised, even if his fingers slowly form into mudras of self-defense. Sometimes, the talking animals want to eat him. Or kill him. Or level some disastrous curse on him.

"While those are all potentially accurate guesses… no, I am not, in fact, any of these things or in a state of death. Help, however?" Thise bright eyes gain a hint of ultraviolescence about their pupils. All the better to See you, chatter-bird. His gaze might now feel to gently brush a touch along the delicate feathers of Reno's neck. "Presuming your connections with the earth itself, you haven't sensed anything awry in the immediate vicinity of New York City, have you? I'm looking far beyond, but I do appreciate forewarning of things brewing closer to home. As Sorcerer Supreme, you do have my thanks if you do have news to impart. If not, no loss." An easy roll of a wrist and he wills himself to float up before Reno, where the crow's beak might be level with the man's collarbone, still an arm's length in distance. Can't be too careful.

Reno listened and scooted back a little bit on teh concrete ledge as if somehow to make room for the trans-substantial guest…or just be afraid of being bit by ghosts. Could be anything. Ghost cooties could be a thing, man! He took the information in tilting his head one way and then the other like birds do. "Sooooooo no presents then huh? That's cool, amigo, that's cool." His weight (all 18 oz. of him) shifted from one foot to teh other curious. Feathers fluffed up a bit at the breeze coming through the arcade corridor that the tall buildings of NYC created and he shivered a bit. A wing gesticulated in place of hand and arm, "By awry you mean like weird-weird? Like them aliens that showed up, or someone in a cab that stopped for a pedestrian, or like creepy dudes in warehouses doing things to other dudes that make them show up on the wrong side of the veil and stuff? I mean, I dunno man. New York is weird. Why you think I'm like this? Dudes? Dudes get shot all teh time, kidnapped, made to pay taxes and stuff. Birds, man? We're good. Unless you're a pigeon. Pigeons is just rude, ya know? They take one unstamped letter from one end of the city to the other and they think they's the bee's knees. Aint' right."

Get a crow going and they may never shut up. Still teh curiosity was greater than the fear of some guy hovering and being clear so he observed. "Sorcer supreme? So like Magic and stuff? Turns out that's real. Still, it explains the cape though. Good lining. I think I can get you a tie to match that. OH!" He stopped yammering and tucked his wings in thinking back. "There was this ooooone guy that came through a thing. Took me and this real nice gal kicking and screaming to some other planet to negotiate with these angry lil union dudes. I dunno if other dimensions count? Maaaan she's unhappy about that lemme tell you."

Indeed — get a crow talking and they simply have so very much to share. Especially this one. Strange settles back in his floating stance, arms folded and brows slightly lifted. Go on, is the implied unspoken statement.

In the end, he has one hell of an update. Nodding to himself, the Sorcerer then gives the crow a slant grin. "Sounds like a typical week in New York to me. At least Bigfoot hasn't decided to come into town. In regards to pigeons, I share your opinions. Flying city rats," and he shakes his head in mild exasperation. "What's your Name then? You're no trickster god. You didn't withhold any pertinent information…" Just the barest uptick in pitch implies a last push for answers and an implication that it's best that they be given.

Reno furroed his feathery little brow which really just made those dark brown beads of eyes squint. "Yeah no, not-…usually. I met that guy. That tricky god guy was increible idiota! Tan grosero, quiero decir. Quien lleva a la gente a otros planetas sin preguntar???" Whatever it was he seemed to have strong opinions on Loki aabsconding with persons and birds to other places unpermissed. The bird looked aroundleft, then right then ba- ooh a bagel bite! Maaaan that can wait. The Ghost of absolutely no-presents was talkin and stuff. Sigh. "Naw, I mean this stuff is in the news and you seem to know a thing about a thing. Outside of that? Yeah typical week in New York I guess. Is better than bein in a box tho. So what's your deal? You stuck like that? Who did this to you? You know I'm thinking gods and wizards and stuff should have to sign some sort of permission slip before doin stuff to dudes like… well I guess and aliens. And… well probably me." Hrmmmm "Yeah let's jsut move on to Que est, man? You okay?"

Strange nods again, mostly to himself, and his smile takes on a thinner if no less amused cast.

"Some beings lack the empathy needed to understand personal boundaries and such. If you find yourself in trouble with the youngest Prince of Asgard again, don't hesitate to contact me. Technically, you are under my protective jurisdiction as an inhabitant of this Realm and Earth proper. Absconding with people against their will is frowned upon." His sigh is slow and somewhat rueful. Joy, trickster gods. "I am not stuck like this, no. This is my Astral form; my physical body is elsewhere. When I choose to exist in this manner, I am able to travel at speed of thought and whim across the boundaries of the various realities. It's one of the many abilities taught to those who master the Mystic Arts. Doctor Strange, by the way, if you haven't heard of me. And you are?" A hand unfurled from his folded arms encourages reciprocation of introduction.

Reno seemed to grasp this in his own way. "Ooooh cool. Yeah, there's this old guy who talks to me sometimes. You sound like him. Doctor huh? Not liek 'The Amazing Strange' or 'Strange the Magnificent'? Doctor is kinda subdued, but I think it works for you." He thought about it and nodded in approval. Still part of his brain. "Awww sounds like we got stuff in common man. Reno. Reno Cordova; hairdresser, and guider of lost souls…wether I wanna or not. Sometimes we don't get to pick this stuff ya know, but people get stuck, they need help, I know this is New York but what're ya gonna do say no? That's just… You gotta be a cat to walk away from stuff like that. Mostly stick around Harlem but ya know the flafel is so good up here. You ever go to that guy on teh corner of 3rd? Oh, disembodied astral esse or not you gotta check it out. Protecting all of Earth has got to be a ehadache. Good falafel is crucial. You want me to go get one I can fly over there."

Ah, a hairdresser — who sometimes masquerades as a large crow and guides lost souls to safety. The world is such a delightfully weird place, the good Doctor thinks to himself. How little I knew.

"I let my reputation proceed me rather than my name," Strange replies with a faint laugh. Oh yes, there's enough ego that the theory tends to hold true. Holding up a hand palm out, he shakes his head. "Falafel, no, but thank you. Enjoy it in my stead."

The crow is given a searching look, just sharp enough that it showcases the small wrinkles at the corners of the Sorcerer's bright eyes. "Reno, then. Who is this older gentleman who speaks to you?"

Reno cosidered the answer for that for a long moment and asked, "Yooooou up on your Mohican mythos? cause if not is gonna be a long story and super needs a falafel man. I'm tellin you" He pointed helpfully with a wing. Over there. That's where third is, "He's there til 5 man. Is not far. Short story there's a guy out on the reservation upstate. Sometimes we play chess. He's like my great-uncle. Pretty smart dude. Actually helped teach my dad turns out. But you didn't ask all that. I either talk or molt when I'm nervous. Too cold t o molt."

That last comment earns Reno a quiet snort from the Sorcerer.

"Yes, I can imagine that you'd be chilly without your feathering. I'm familiar with the Mohican mythos, yes, and I'm going to hazard a guess that you've got a relation that stretches back into supernatural blood, given your current guise. It seems a useful trick. I recently mastered the art of shifting into a magpie, but it does take a while to wear off, unfortunately. The cost of the spell comes also in its duration." The shrug implies a lack of deep concern as a whole. "And please, no falafel, thank you. I can't eat it."

Reno listened fascinated, just fascinated. His weight shifted sideways a bit to keep warm. "Awwwww, that can't be a thing. It's delicious. I'll look into this for you. You save Earth and you can't eat a falafel? I dunno that's a fair trade." Talk about things that make the man truly heartbroken. There had to be a way to fix this. Maybe later. He looked down and considered the insight into his lineage. "My dad's family is related all the way back. Not like the only one. Trust me, Crow got around. But things get stuck in teh middle. Sometimes people. Crow, for all of his fuckwittery, right?, knew what is important is for people to take care of one another even if sometimes they's duped into doin it. I dunno man. Mi padre used to tell me stories when I was like muy muy picano, and used to help people. Now that he's not here one day it went to me and it's not… fun. Like you don't want to be eatin your tamales and then go awwww the nice old lady in 3B just passed. Or like that dude across the bar is about to have like …something bad happen and to call home now. It's not fun. That stuff's like…super hard for people. The regret is worse though. We try to fix it, but I guess like… you know. You's a doctor. you know somethings we just can't fix and is gonna happen and that's just… what we got to deal with. Crow didn't want his people to lose that. But just because people don't remember Crow don't mean that Crow forgot about his people."

Were the man himself corporeal, his sigh would have gusted white in the chill breeze of near-winter.

"I understand, Reno, as both Doctor and Sorcerer. If there are two things I've learned over the years, it's that the gods use their chosen hard. In their infinite wisdom, so broad-stretching into the spiderweb of aspects of all reality, they, like Crow, see beyond the immediacy of our actions. What might not seem fair or right or kind at the time plays out in the future to various ends, sometimes even for the better. No, it's never fun, knowing things that the world does not. Holding your tongue behind your teeth when you could have averted a crisis…" Strange has a mildly sympathetic cast about him now, reserved as he is as is standard. "It is a weight upon one's shoulders. And secondly, the bill always comes due. There is a cost to all magics, benign and malevolent. I have mastery over the Mystic Arts and my deific patrons allow me access to monumental power — at a cost. The food of this reality no longer nourishes me. More falafel for you in the end, however, hmm?"

Reno shivered and tucked his winds in in the December wind. His black beak turned downward. This was heartbreaking, and not just the part about not being able to eat falafel. Perhaps mostly the falafel, but for certain all of it. "Yeah. I guess we don't gett o pick and choose huh. Soooo like…" The bird looked around curious and took a hop forward, "What'chu doing floating around this big old building? You lose a bet or somethin?"

"Sometimes we do and sometimes we don't. In our cases, perhaps not. Still, it's not all bad. Could be much worse," he reminds the crow with no reprimand in tone. Strange then gestures towards the townhouse, Victorian-style with brownstown.

"This is my home. The Sanctum Sanctorum of New York. I was about to investigate an incident far to the south, towards…" He turns and looks in the direction of Ashbury Park, to the Bight and beyond. The air of dissociation about him might give the impression that he's momentarily far, far away. "…towards Virginia, it seems. Possibly beyond. It's far easier to travel these distances in Astral form."

Reno tilted his head this way and that. He thought about all of that, a bit of that went way over his feathered head. He wasn't the most educated man, but he was observant and had heart. Looking back up he met ghost-Strange, "That sounds dangerous. Don't you have like a, um, like some sort of buddy system or something? What kind of incident? Someone hurt? They okay? It's cold. People like freeze alla time in Central Park. Winter's dangerous!"

"I'm Sorcerer Supreme for a reason, Reno," Strange replies in more mild amusement. "Were I not sturdy enough to hold the title, it would go to another. There's nothing dangerous about this jaunt. A check on a ley line is simple. It'll be a quick thing, done in a snap. Distance means little when one can bend reality to their willpower."

He glances down at the Sanctum and back. "I have another who would be more than aware were I to get into any true trouble. Are you offering assistance, however?" Color him curious, the invariable fault line of the man.

Reno shrugged his wings for lack of shoulders, "Hey, even God made angels to deliver babies or something right?" He paused and shook his head, "I dunno, I ain't a crane but Just sayin, like I tell my cousin, you can be all powerful all you want, but it doesn't mean life's gotta be harder and do everythin alone." Reno looked around and waddled in a half circle to look into the inside of the building; it showing him oly what it wanted him to see he figured. Cool. He turned back with a tilt of his head, "Sure. I mean doing things alone kinda stinks. I don't mind helpin. It's…not…being used as a lawn dark it is?" This is where the bird got wary. One might get the feeling this might have happened before.

"I have no need for a lawn dart-nee-crow at the moment, no," and he actually laughs. What a ridiculous image that passes through his mind. "I could always use another pair of eyes about the city. The least I could ask is that you report to me anything of interest, especially if it pertains to the Mystical and appears to have a negative influence upon the city and its inhabitants."

Strange returns that tilt of the head, though he manages more of a fox's sly mein in the end given that faint curl of lips. "You have a rather uncanny view upon the world as is."

Reno would be quite the sight; all beak down in the lawn petrified with wings jut out at odd angles? Oh yeah it would be easy to see why it'd be un-fun to be the bird on that end even if the end result looked like a cartoon with ACME stamped on it. He quint at the myrth but didn't seem to hold it against him. Still it was an interesting offer. He thought about it and offered, "Sounds… alright. Just, ya know, nothing that'll get me thrown in the bird house. I made my Tio a promise, ya know?" He's agreed to do things before and those didn't work out so well. This guy seemed alright and didn't want to hrt anyone though. The man couldn't eat falafel. He needed a break! The bird nodded. "Yeah that seems legit. I think we can do that." At the comment to how he sees things there was a faint cackle that was reminiscent of Heckle & Jeckyl. "Well being fun sized helps I guess. I just see a lot of powered people take a lot of bad turns. Someone's gotta look after yous guys. yeah, I'm in."

"Excellent." The Sorcerer then offers out his palm towards the crow. The scar lines of surgery can be seen, even in his relatively-opaque state; it seems the Astral Plane highlights everything about a person, down to the weave in his tunic and glint in his eyes. "I have no intention for you to get into trouble in my behalf. My word is my law, in the case of my mantle. Care to shake on it? Or shall we just call it a deal?"

Reno reached out with a wing, feathers like long extention of fingers. There was a zap like static which made the smaller feathers fuzz up a bit. "Hey, your word spends here. No reason to drag your fireplace into this. I ain't Santa or nothin. Still though, is a deal." Lifting a wing be pinched a few feathers under neath it to smooth those back down. Yeah. yeah that was going to look a bit like he was having a high humidity day when he was man-sized again later.

Indeed, a low-level frisson of Mystical power dances into the crow. In return, Strange feels something of Reno's powers in turn. They taste of the open air, of clarity of vision, and of the prickling of Fate's touch along the spine. Fascinating. Something to mull over while sipping a cup of tea later in the evening.

"Excellent. Now, Reno, if you'll excuse me, I do have a ley line to check. I look forwards to your future reports and your continued assistance." He gives the crow a truly friendly smile, a flash of a charming grin well-practiced for the past echelon of the vaunted neurosurgeons.

Reno watched the Wizard take off. This stuff fascinated him every time. It was terrifying but so cool. A light damp rain that smacked of the onset of Winter started in with that stiff breeze coming in. THat was the little storm crow's signal. With a jump and his wings popped out like a kite the scardey bird cut a daunting silouette against the dark evening sky and disappeared into the evening with a CRAW! Ca-CRAW! Which thundered with inspiration but really meant 'nonono! Stop raining on my bagel bite! Nuuuuu!'

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