1964-12-14 - The Possible Impossible
Summary: Philosophy amongst the clouds.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
strange tony 

It's a lovely day to test the suit after a few tweaks have been made. Nothing major, just fixing a few little glitches. With all the tech 1964 has to offer, constant maintenance is a must, and after maintenance is testing. Twist Tony's arm; he gets to zip around Manhattan wowwing people while flying around in his tin toy.

By 'lovely day,' one can infer that, while the weather is bitter cold, it's not snowing. That's practically balmy for this time of year.

Over Manhattan he flies, looking at how everything is more or less all well below. Not even a single cat to rescue from a tree. Dullsville.

Poor Tony — he must be flying over the boring part of town indeed! In Greenwich Village, one dimension over to the 116th degree from proper reality, it's fisticuffs and a massive collision of two spells thrown at the same moment. Thank the gods for the Gate he drew instinctively behind him.

Streaming golden smoke behind him, Strange is thrown bodily through the rift in reality and onto the Sanctum roof. Thump-bump-scuffity-sliiiide…and he comes to a halt with his back to the gentle incline of one of the many glass skylights. Groaning from where he lies on his side, he manages to close off the portal with a limp-wristed gesture and then allows his arm to drop. With the crimson Cloak at his shoulders, he's an easy sight against the duller weather-worn roof of the mansion.

Tony spies the golden smoke and flies for it fast. Shit going down? He's so there! Tony comes to hover above Tony, and his voice comes through a little… tinny. Through the mask. Metallic, anyway. No razzing, no verbal shots fired. He's all business. "Are you all right?"

He lifts his head to where the Gate spat Strange out. Satisfied nothing is coming out of it, he comes down lower, closer to Strange. "I don't think you were pursued."

With a grunt, Strange cranes a look over his shoulder towards the familiar voice and then pushes himself onto one hip.

"No, I don't think anyone followed me through the Gate. It shut before the backlash could cross through." He winces and squints up at Tony. "You would have been useful in that scuffle."

"I guess the timing was just off," Tony says. It seems odd offering Strange a hand in mid air, but rude to just leave him there, so he holds out a metal hand to help him up. "And it was on the other side of a thin air, so the space was off, too. Spacetime just wasn't on your side today."

Up here in the open air, without the crowded conditions of the lab, he floats effortlessly along on those blue repulsors. "You look all right, should I see the other guy?"

Considering the pride is strong with these two, the metal hand is waved away as Strange gets to one knee and then slowly stands upright. There are a few scuffs and one tear on the elbow of his left shirt sleeve. Grime is brushed from the front of his tunic with one hand before he then fixes the fall of the Cloak along one shoulder.

"No need. I can hope that the other caster now understands how foolhardy it is to challenge my guardianship of this realm. The rapid expansion of counter-spells was worse in his direction." With a roll of wrists, he rises up eye-to-eye with Tony. "Better. I prefer to have a conversation as equals." There's the small smirk. "Out testing your technology then?"

"Those were all words," Tony notes, and he shrugs off the refused hand. Due diligence. "So I take it yay, the good guys win, justice prevails?" He leaves the mask down on his helmet for the time being. They are both men of price, and he knows his blue light-gleam for eyes looks cool and the microphone that puts his voice out there resonates deeper than the way he speaks.

"So, equal, you need anything from me? I'm here to protect and serve, though not necessarily to 'protect and serve.' Police are a little too hung up on laws for my liking. Man, the view is just spectacular up here, isn't it?"

The Sorcerer takes a moment to look about. Indeed, the wind might be brisk, but it also plays about the Cloak. At some innate level, he can sense the relic jonesing for a further flight up within the clouds.

However… "Anything?" Strange's smile widens into something friendly and yet still so coy. "Careful, Stark, that's a very open-ended question. Words and promises mean much in the realm of magic." Subtle inflection upon that term, the antithesis of science summed.

"But yes…for now, the realm remains intact. No wandering apocalypse in the guise of a teenager to leave destruction and carnage in his wake. I've had enough of that already. It seems the gods feel fit to test me no further here on Earth." Elsewhere, that's clearly up for discussion.

"They mean much in the realm of business, too," Tony replies. It's hard to tell his expression, and the mask is rather forbidding, so after a moment, he does turn it up. There it is, the wry smile. "But I figure you're not going to ask for something I'm not in a position to give; you're not that impolitic, and I am, of course, an amazing judge of character."

On teenagers threatening destruction and carnage, he says, "Yeah, no reason to let the kids have all the fun when the governments of the world are doing their best. I don't suppose you intervene on wars we start ourselves."

"Unfortunately, not without specific conditions," replies the Sorcerer. "If the Mystical has a hand in a war, you will find me there. The mundane and the physical is under my immediate protection, yes, but I must mind the possibilities and their malleability." He seems no less pleased for these caveats to his powers, but it is what it is. Great responsibility and all.

Another glance to the skies above and the faint smile returns as does his attention to Tony. "I would never ask for something you could not grant, Stark. Mine is the realm of the impossible. Something you may be loathe to part with? Perhaps…but not without good reason and for the better of the world as a whole. I'm not interested in your firstborn child, however, please don't offer that. Or your soul. Or your still-beating heart from your chest. Far too demonic for my tastes." Strange's goatee finally curves in a smirk. The Cloak riffles in a passing breeze; tug-tug on the man's shoulders, can't we go flying, boss?

"Man, I hope I don't have a firstborn out there," Tony says. "As for my soul and still-beating heart, I'm not sure one exists and the other I'm still using, so we're on the same page, there." He spreads his hands, held aloft by the blue jets on his feet. He must have impeccable balance. "I've got loads of money, technology, and charm. Take your pick. His mask is up, so his smile is visible and, indeed, charming.

"My thought is this: if the Ruskies have mystics, they're going to use them. Not a whole lot of autonomy there, not much of a chance to vote with your feet. That's communism for you. So it's a matter of proving it, isn't it."

Strange shall remain mum as this point to the matters of firstborn. Twins make it hard to decide this concept anyways; though bonus point multiplier?

"I can confirm that the Russians have their Mystics — as do the Asians, Africans, those of Australia and South America." He lifts his hands up out at his sides, a conciliatory gesture and acknowledgement that - "This is something that will not ever change. Magic is inherently free of morality. It is as a weapon. Some magic is stricly to cause death while other magic heals all but death itself. It is in the use of the magic that I take offense as Sorcerer Supreme, especially when it threatens the stability of Earth's Fate. If it comes to the point where the Russians attempt to meddle at the level of the metaphysical extreme, I shall…disagree." His own brand of charm takes on a knife-like coolness in passing. Nothing like making the ones in error regret their decisions immensely.

"Your technology… This I can see of being use in many cases. It's clever, novel, something difficult to defend against." His bright eyes travel over the proudly-colored suit before back to Tony's face again. "The Russians should be nervous." Aw, some patriotism to boot.

Tony says with a wry twist of his lips, "They should be. One day I'll invest in highly effective plowshares, but not just yet. The almost-smile fades, and he looks toward the east reflexively. "War's coming, and not just with the Ruskies. Now we've got, what, the Kree? I was there when we brought those astronauts down. We are laughably out of our league."

He shifts a little to maintain his balance. Seriously, he's got to be toned as hell not to just go flying off in some random direction. "But! Yes, the Ruskies should be sweating bullets. Meanwhile, I get to develop weapons to fight an alien empire." He looks… excited. Gets to, not has to. Finally a challenge worthy of the master?

That's a thoughtful sound from Strange, continuing to look off towards the horizon of the rising sun and squinting as if his vision could take flight at Mach 5 to reach the vast lands of the midnight sun and ruddy star.

"The Kree. Really." A glance back to Tony. "I didn't expect them to intervene. I'll have to make contact with them. Technologically, yes, they may out-pace us, but never for ingenuity and never in the Mystic Arts. Perhaps a visit to SHIELD after all." He says the acronym with the same amount of pleasure to be found in visiting the dentist for a filling; not much. "I have my connections, but I find that I accomplish more arriving in-person."

"You're just a mover and a shaker," Tony says, not without amusement. Of course it would make sense for all the clandestine organizations to have an in with someone who defines magic in this world. "So how about you and I stay in the loop? Whatever SHIELD knows, let them know it'll help me develop something to stop the Kree. Just in case."

Now he looks up to the sky, like he could see into space and the ships he knows are hovering there. There's concern there, but more, and almost boyish wonder. Aliens, space travel. Of course he's eager to get up there. "So what do you think? Mystics in space?"

"Of course, Stark. I would assume that SHIELD has your number in case they feel the need to contact you in regards to your technology. I never get called." A dry smirk. "I Gate in." Oh yeah, Tony's seen the level of pithy amusement Strange gets out of appearing like the ghost of Sorcerous Present. Boogity-boogity.

"In space? Space is something more easily accessed in the Astral form for those who utilize the Arts. We find little resistance in this way." Yank-yank-yank-yank: the Cloak tugs incessantly at his tunic now and with a sharp sigh, the Sorcerer glares down at one of the cape-pins. "Alright, alright," he snaps quietly at the carmine relic. Yes, he's talking at the garment. "Stark, if you would join me. This relic has excess intent and it must be further used." Another roll of his wrists and the hovering Mystic turns to flit higher into the air, towards the low-lying scattering of winter clouds.

"I don't answer most of my calls," Tony admits. "I'm a busy man." He shoots Strange a look. Yes, he's well aware of how Strange likes to travel, and to terrify his interns. Which, to be fair, if they can't handle someone Gating in, they can't handle working for Tony Stark.

"Astral form," he says with residual disbelief. He's still wrapping his head around he can see. His gaze shifts to the Cloak. "Is that thing trying to get your attention?" he says. He drifts closer to get a better look, though it's magic and that means he's not going to touch it. "Is it alive?"

He nods absently to the suggestion they take an air-stroll upward.

"Animated," replies Strange back to the man in the mechanical suit as they rise higher into the atmosphere. Up here, the air is more brisk, inclined to mercurial gusts and near-constant eddies. Thank goodness for the warming charm he wove into his battle-leathers along with the fascimile of the All-Speak spell. "The Cloak is animated — though I suppose you could imply that it's alive, but that also implies a central nervous system and while it may have a sense of a humor, it has no spinal cord. Hey — ow, I didn't say that you had no spine!" That last comment can be heard after one of the collars pokes him in the neck in reproof. He tweaks that particular lift of fabric back and it settles, mollified for now. "It's fickle." A lifted finger in the direction of that particular collar forestalls any further response by the Cloak and it behaves. For now. Particularly because the good Doctor did not tell a lie in this instance.

"That's intricate programming," Tony says, eyeing the cloak with interest. He rises with them. He tips his faceplate down since, up here, it's getting nippy. His voice comes out lower, with a muffled and mechanical tinge to it. "I might try to give JARVIS a sense of humor. Right now, I'm focusing on Asimov's heartfelt recommendations. Teaching JARVIS something like a practical joke could end badly."

He considers the cloak again. "It likes you. Did you make it do that or was it programmed to assign itself a user?" Maybe if he wasn't encased in metal he would be stroking his chin. "Risky and fascinating."

With an unspoken decision, Strange comes to a slow and dignified halt. At this height, they're nothing more than specks, and in no way high enough to cause trouble for planes flying overhead the city. The Cloak catches a breeze to fly like a flag before then seeming to close in about the Sorcerer's body, encasing him against chill.

"The Cloak of Levitation was imbued with the ability to make limited decisions via an incantation. Its sense of humor comes from its original creator, about…oh hells, several thousand years ago." Yep, that's an old relic. "You can call it programming, if it helps you to understand it, but in the end, it's magic. Risky? Only to those who threaten it, myself, or anyone under my care."

"You can't deny there are parallels," Tony says. "You call it an incantation, I call it programming. Either way, you're imbuing an inanimate object with motion, purpose and, if you're really good, a series of responses to its environment. Yours is encased in thread. Impossibly old thread. In my case, the 'magic' lives in a database."

He holds up one of his hands, the jet lulled to a thrumming blue glow. "Can you imagine what this would look like to people living around the time your little blanket there was woven? I'd be declared a warlock. Which is pretty cool. I like the term warlock."

He lowers his hand again. "I've always believed magic was science we just don't understand yet."

The soft laugh from Strange isn't mocking, though he does make a point to inform Tony that, "You wouldn't want to have been termed a 'warlock' in that age, Stark. They would have stoned you. Or burned you at the stake. Or possibly both before sprinkling your ashes with some 'blessed' material and burying them in a sacred place that no one would trespass upon."

He folds his hands away to conserve warmth in the scarred digits, sore with cold for the metal within them. Still, this he can tolerate; after all, pain's an old friend and worth the expansive freedom of the open air. "I won't disagree with the parallels that seem to exist. It's manipulation of energy, whether you use keystrokes and soldering tools or Words and willpower. However, magic, become science…?" His is a casual lift and fall of shoulders. "Time will tell. For now, however — and I say this having earned my keep in the world of neuroscience, Stark — magic is the impossible and science does not understand it." Proud little grin here. How not to be pleased? His keep is the ultimate Mastery of said Art.

"They'd have to catch me first," Tony says, and he does a loop-the-loop before coming to rest again. That serious, almost stern mechanical voice is an odd counterpoint to his levity.

"Anyway, science in its purest form is knowledge," Tony counters. "Technology is one facet of its expression." He holds up a finger in a 'hear me out' gesture. "Magic exists, and you can practice it. It is, by virtue of its nature, possible. Maybe not for the common man, or even the extraordinary man who can't begin to comprehend how it works.

He does another loop, moving for the love of motion. "Not everyone can begin to comprehend how I made this. JARVIS is largely unexplainable because no one would understand. I understand the why of keeping the terms separate, but science isn't technology, science is knowledge. Ideally, when previous knowledge is proven wrong, science abandons it in favor of what's true. What can I say? I'm an idealist."

The Sorcerer, half-wrapped in his Cloak, watches the inventor curve about at this altitude. Indeed, this would have been great magic so very many centuries ago.

"All knowledge is worth having…" In this, they seem to agree, both men, with their penchants for pushing the envelope regularly. "However, I'm not about to wish that science drops its current developments over the discovery of magic and its implications. It simply cannot keep up with magic. Human initiative should be turned towards improving society, not attempting to tear holes in the fabric of reality. That power belongs in the hands of the few." Jealously-guarded by said very few, those with the self-control and wisdom to not abuse it. Those that do it willy-nilly oftentimes end up dead. "I'm supportive of idealism and star-gazing, but our interests should remain earthbound, hmm?"

"Of course not," Tony says. "Science's pursuits are a hoot; I'd never say hey, stop all the groovy stuff coming down the pike. However, idealist that I am, I don't see it as a zero sum game. I'm defining terms, not carving a path to the future. No offense, but the idea of a world full of mystics isn't appealing. I'd much rather take my chances with rockets and new medical techniques.

"Don't worry, Doctor. I'm having this conversation with you on purpose. As far as anyone else I talk to about cool stuff, none of this exists."

"No offense taken. I appreciate your candor, Stark." The Sorcerer glances over his shoulder and the subtle motion serves to turn him in place. All the better to look down over the city, with its metallic lines in skyscrapers and office buildings and ant-like weave of traffic along thoroughfaires. "I also appreciate your discretion. The world isn't ready yet to entertain magic as a whole. Let it seem as parlor tricks and visions of the mind. All the better for me to do my job unmolested."

The inventor is given another smile, this one aloof all but for the glaze of friendliness towards a like-mind. "You may have your spotlight."

Tony drifts over to hover at Strange's side as he looks over the city as well. He keeps enough distance his glowing blue propulsion doesn't singe the Cloak. His city, spread out before him. It's difficult to tell what emotion might come with his words. The voice is monotoned, the mask hiding his features. "The average man on the street isn't ready to understand how to make nukes, either," he says. "At our level, we have the burden of responsibility, you know? To decide who gets to know what."

He tilts his head in a genteel almost-bow in response to his spotlight. "You know me so well. Consider it drawing attention toward the possible."

Strange goes home.

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