1965-06-01 - Duel Runnings
Summary: Two men battle with strange, magical blades- Luckily, Heroes show up!
Related: None
Theme Song: None
strange kai black-widow dead-girl 

A battle in the streets of the East Village! Hero and Villain? Weirdoes? No one really knows why a pair of men are hacking away at each other with swords.

In the middle of an East Village street two men are locked in a deadly battle. Both seem highly competent with the particularly sharp swords the pair are dueling with- A blade flashing to cut through a street-light. Another slash that leaves a deep line in the pavement. A third riposte slicing a fire hydrant, sending water shooting into the air. They aren't speaking- their duel takes place in silence, as the world goes to chaos around them- they're almost totally ignoring the collateral damage.

Dead Girl just watches with wide, glowing eyes. A hand over her mouth. "Oh my god. Someone is going to lose an eye!"

Natasha wasn't in the area for a sword fight, to say the least, but she certainly stumbled on one. She's dressed like your everday secretary, well, perhaps a high tier secretary, such as a PA, considering the late hour she's out of work and how sharp she looks. Hearing Dead Girl, she moves towards her, apparently not balking at her very unnatural looks. "Who even fights with swords? We're in the 1960s, not 1060s!" It's hard to guess the redhead's thoughts about mutants, but either way, she clearly feels safer next to Dead Girl compared to psychos with swords.

Kai is eating a pretzel from a pretzel stand as he watches. Mmm, warm doughy goodness. So far, he observes. A little defiling of municipal utilities isn't something he objects to overmuch. He has a dog on a leash, using the term 'dog' loosely. The poor animal is not attractive. Small, wiry-haired, with one ear that flops and the other standing straight up. Once the fire hydrant pops, the dog starts barking incessantly. Bark bark bark! While twining itself around Kai's legs, hiding behind him.

"Fine," Kai says at the dog's barking. He extricates himself from the leash and ties it to a tree. Then he leaves his last bite of pretzel for the dog, who bolts it down. Squaring his shoulders, the elf steps toward the sword-fighters and says, "Oi! You're bothering my dog!"

With a grocery bag in-hand, the tall man with silvered temples pauses in the shadow cast by an overhanging extension of a butcher shop. He eyes the sword-fighters with what almost seems to be a combination of disbelief and chagrin before letting out a slow sigh. That there isn't a huge crowd of gawkers is almost impossible to believe. Plus, the edge on those swords seems…otherwordly.

Barking brings him to glance across the street and that is…the Alfheimian, what on earth? But what is this?! Something pings so very brightly on his Mystical radar that it nearly metaphysically blinds him. His bright eyes, already lightening further with the Sight, narrow in on the shorter young woman standing next to the willowy red-head.

"Hmph," he sighs sharply, and approaches both women. "Can anyone explain this…?" He uses his free hand to gesture at the bout going on before them all. By the set of his jaw, he's not amused. Not at all. Plus, the young lady is giving him the heebie-jeebies. Something about her…just plain eerie. He has a suspicion and a second more pointed stare confirms it. Undead. The fine hairs on the back of his neck rise. Eeep.

The two men pause their battle only for a moment to look towards Kai as he approaches. One speaks- the swordsman with black hair. "Do not interfere."

His blond partner speaks, then. "This is a duel to the death."

The two then take more swipes at one another.

Dead Girl gasps as Kai starts towards danger. "Hey, that guy is going to get himself killed!" Dead Girl says, looking over to Natasha. "Okay, you stay back." She offers, "I don't want anyone to get hurt." she explains before she rushes into the fray.

"Woah, death? I mean, why would either of you want to be dead?" Dead Girl offers with her hands up in the air to appease that she means no harm. "Look fellas, I know all about being dead. I've gotten really good at it."

The men both look at each other once more and then slash at Dead Girl.

Her arms separate from her body at the shoulders.

There is no blood, just a very shocked Dead Girl who cocks her body as if she would put her hands on her hips. "RUDE!"

Dead Girl's arms flop onto the ground- before righting themselves so they were 'standing' on the fingers. All five fingers would be used to drag the arms sans shoulders back towards Dead Girl's body. "Do you have any idea how annoying that is?!"

Dead Girl looks back towards Strange, "Can you believe this?!" Those glowing red eyes- like shining bale-fire from beyond the grave.

"I like your plan making ability," Natasha concurs with Dead Girl, very pleased at playing the role of innocent bystander in need of protection. No need to spoil a surprise unless you have to. "Be careful!" She calls either after Kai or after Dead Girl, both seem like they could use the warning.

When Dead Girl does her schtik after losing her arms, Natasha just stares, blinking a few times, before offering to the sword brandishing men, "I don't think she should be able to do that, so, maybe you should be careful after all…"

Kai waves a hand toward the women to acknowledge their warnings. He hears them. Does he listen? Well… He keeps out of reach of the fighters, but he doesn't leave them be. "Then go fight to the death somewhere else. This world is under my protection." He stands tall. Well, not tall. Tall for him. "If you don't stop, I'll stop you." He lets the statement stand. Ball's in their court now.

Hmm. The arms detach. And move. Strange's dark brows appear to nearly crawl into his hairline briefly before he simply sighs and shakes his head, definitely looking more resigned than usual now.

"Actually, I can," he says back to Dead Girl, loudly enough that his voice will carry across the short distance and overtop the metallic clang of colliding swords. He adds, "And she's correct," thumbing towards Natasha nearby. "Excuse me, would you mind keeping an eye on these? My fiancee would be very concerned if I lost track of them." He asks this of Natasha then, completely unaware of who precisely she is. Inside the grocery bag? A special order of baklava, freshly made that day, light and flaky and just the thing to keep a Witch happy. He sets this down in the empty space between them.

Presuming that the pastries are safe and sound, he then rolls up his blue dress shirt's sleeves, one at a time. "Kai! You might want to take a step back," he calls out even as he wiggles his fingers to loosen them up.

Dead Girl squats down so one of her arms can flop up near her shoulder- the flesh seeming to lift in a wholly unnatural way when it got close to touch severed arm to severed shoulder. Her arm almost instantly heals. She uses that now fixed arm to reattach her other limb. She doesn't seem any worse for wear. "Jeezless." Dead Girl grumbles. "Now. Where were we…"

The two men have continued into their battle- ignoring Dead Girl's antics.

Indeed, the pair are dead-set on making one or the other dead- almost to the point of completely ignoring the approaching heroes. "Hey, haven't you ever heard of Make Love Not War!" Dead Girl says with a frown, "Don't make me come in there! I don't want to have to get mean! If you're going to put people in danger, I'm going to put my foot down!" Dead Girl shouts in peacenik fashion.

One of the men growls- annoyed, clearly, a quick slash going through Dead Girl's skull- an angular cut from chin to ear. Her head slide opened. Again, no blood. Just an annoyed look on the Zombie Girl's face as she lifts that sliced in half head-piece up. It's completely detached, and again she replaces it back where it belongs with everything seeming to heal back into place. "Oooooh!"

Kai is ignored. Strange is ignored- probably a mistake.

Natasha gladly takes the most minor of role in this altercation, taking hold of the prized baklava, which doesn't evade her notice. Because A) She's a spy. B) She's Russian. C) It's delicious and hard to come by in the United States. Lukcily, she's not about to cause a scene by disappearing with it, rather, she does as the Sorcerer Supreme does, and keeps his groceries safe. Not that she knew who he was, she was just generally nice when she had no reason to be otherwise. At the very least, she has some entertainment tonight that doesn't involve any action on her part. That was unusual but welcome.

Kai glances over at Strange, and he smiles toothily. "Oh, you guys are going to regret this," he says as he jogs back away from them, giving Strange all the space he needs. He returns to his dog and gives him an ear ruffle. And he watches. Strange is going to do magic? Yesssssss.

Strange grimaces at the sight of the half-sliced head and brief glimpse of pale, slippery brain. Ugh. That has to hurt…? Or maybe not, the young woman seems no worse for the wear.

"Thank you," he asides to Natasha, giving a quick and polite nod. "And now…for a little sleight of hand." A far more smug smile graces his face as he sets his stance into something balanced, almost eastern martial arts by nature. One outstretched arm, two fingers arrowed towards the dueling men and thumb out at a squared angle, and then he begins to rotate at the wrist. It's a fluid little motion and suddenly: snicker-snack, almost as if DET-cord caught alight, a broad circle around both dueling men sparkles to life. A beat — the circle splits into two, almost Mystical cytokinesis — and another beat. The cement beneath their feet disappears as rudely as possible. Two flashes of light from other parts of the world entirely, one golden and green and the other pale and fluffed with brief snowflakes, shine from the opened ground, and then?

He draws a line of cessation and imparts a closing blip of willpower. To Madagascar, one went, and the other? The Aleutian Islands. Ultimate Sorcerer Time-Out. A sniff and he dusts off his hands as he comments, almost to himself, "That'll do. Thank you," he adds as he takes back the baklava from Natasha and then, he opens another Gate for himself. "I need to drop this off. Give me a few minutes?" He speaks to the group as a whole and then specifically to Kai, "Go ahead and explain as you will to them."

He steps through the Gate and into a space beyond, the Loft of the Sanctum, and then the entire oculus drops away into empty space once more with a final little sparkle.

Dead Girl's eyes open all the wider. "Woah! How'd you do that?!" she wonders, amazed by the magical might of the Sorcerer Supreme. "Did you see that?!" Dead Girl wonders over to Natasha, then over towards Kai. "Did you see it?!"

Dead Girl, despite her natural necromantic abilities and the mystical energies that surround her like a comfy scarf, she really has very little knowledge of the mystical.

"Hey, wait, where are you go.." Dead Girl begins as Strange steps through a gate and disappears, "He's gone." she pouts a bit, wandering to sit on the back-half of a big 50's Ford. IT seemed to make a comfortable seat. She pulls a pack of cigarettes out and offers it around with a friendly smile towards Kai and Natasha, both, "Fancy a smoke?"

Natasha is left to behold one power that is unlike anything she's seen, even as a Red Room operative. Sure, there are all kinds of powered individuals. Heck, there were aliens. There is even one Omega Red. But what Strange just did was game breaking. Natasha stared in a very believable stunned look that could be expected of any regular person seeing such immense power. She doesn't even manage to form words when Strange takes his grocery bags back. At least nothing beyond, "you're welcome," spoke at a barely audible tone, as she continues to stare.

Kai unties his dog and walks him over to the two women. Alas, there is a glint of recognition in his eyes for Black Widow, and he smiles at her broadly. Hey there. The dog barks at the magic. This is not what he signed up for when he agreed to go walkies! When things settle, however, so does he. He trots behind Kai. When he spies the women, he cautiously creeps forward, ears down and tail between his legs, the most pathetic of pups.

"Hello," Kai says. "I'll take one." He glances to the now empty space where the fight used to be. "That was some impressive magic. Better than what I can do."

The fire hydrant continues to spew water into the air, but workers are gathering around it to turn it off.

Dead Girl offers out the cigarette for to Kai to take, only taking after he has. She leaves the pack on the back of the vehicle- an open invite for anyone to take some cigarettes if they were so inclined. She lights up then with a match- offering the box towards Kai to light his own cigarette.

"So, that was pretty wild, right?" Dead Girl asks, "I'm not the only one who's like really impressed? I mean, he was like problem solved! Now, I gotta put my groceries away. Aand Poof!" Dead Girl claps her hands together, "He's gone!"

"Hi…" Natasha murmurs, and catching that bit of a glimpse of recognition in Kai's eyes, she doesn't want to risk exposure. From what little experience she's had with Kai, she has no doubt he is utterly oblivious to the world of spycraft, and would offer her secret pastime activities as a means of having casual conversation with just about anyone. "I'm sorry, but I absolutely have to go…I'm late as it is!" She says stressfully, no doubt a bit fazed by this sword fight and magical show, nevermind Dead Girl, as she rushes to the nearest taxi.

Kai watches Natasha take her leave, looking rather bemused. Hey, he knows what's up. When a woman breaks into your house and drugs you, play it cool. Right? "See you," he calls after her. Then he lights his cigarette and tells Dead Girl, "That's Dr. Strange for you. He's a genuine treasure, that man. It's a good thing he showed up, too, because I wasn't sure how I was going to stop them." The dog at his feet sniffs at Dead Girl cautiously.

Dead Girl wiggles her fingers to the little dog. "Hey there, cutie-pooch!" she offers to the animal, before looking over towards Kai. "Yeah, but I mean. Wow!" she enthuses. "I mean, those guy's had really sharp swords, too!" She should know.

"I mean, yeah, it is good- I think they'd have sliced you up, man!" she continues, excited and animated- talking with her hands. Smoking her cigarette, "Anyways, I'm Dead Girl." she offers over to Kai, "Nice to meet you."

The dog creeps forward, lured by the wiggly fingers. His tail wags tentatively. Kai glances down at the timid pooch and says, "Go ahead, she's nice." The dog proceeds to come closer, his tail wagging more. Kai tells Dead Girl, "You'll have to pardon Kevin, here. He's a coward, but he's friendly."

He pulls a drag off his cigarette, exhales, and says, "I'm Kai. That's an interesting name. Not given to you by your parents, I assume?" Then he waves a hand and adds, "I could've taken them. Somehow."

"Hey there Kevin!" Dead Girl offers to the pooch. "He's so cute." she offers over to Kai, a friendly girl- leaning into the Elf's shoulder a bit with a grin. She's cold as ice. Cold as a corpse. "I bet you could have!" she offers, nodding, "I mean, what would you have done?" she asks, next, "I mean- hypothetically. And nope. NOt my birth name."

Kevin wags, and he sits on Dead Girl's foot. Apparently, in his book, they're friends now. "You're generous to say so," Kai says as he glances at the homely pooch. He is sort of cute in that 'so ugly he's cute' way. Kai leans a little, too. The deadness catches him up a little, but he doesn't draw away. "Wow, you really are dead," he says in a low tone, quiet so as not to announce it to the world. Just in case onlookers hadn't noticed. He scratches his head as he surveys the street where the melee was happening. He gestures to a newspaper vendor, one of those boxes where you put in a coin and take a paper. "I would've thrown that at them," he says. "Maybe a mailbox."

Dead Girl nods slowly, bending over to scoop Kevin up- if the pooch will allow it- for Dead Girl hugs. She's slow and careful and seems to genuinely think the dog is cute. Of course, she's also dead- so maybe she's just weird. "Ooh, you are the sweetest little Kevin.." she coos to the pooch gently.

"Seems like a solid enough plan. They weren't really paying much attention beyond themselves. Worst that could have happened is maybe you distracted one and he killed the other." Dead Girl says, "I'm not sure what I would have done. I mean, I'm no fighter, you know?" she admits with a smile. "I'm strong, I guess, but those guys could probably have whipped me."

The dog is amicable about being picked up. His tail wags so fast it's a blur, and he tries to lick Dead Girl's fingers and face. He doesn't judge people on the basis of having a pulse, he's all about the attention. He's a little on the chunky side. Someone feeds him well. He settles in Dead Girl's arms, and Kai just shakes his head. That dog has no dignity.

"I prefer not to fight," the elf says. "But if it needs done, someone's got to do it. Thank goodness for Strange, though. He's a good man to have on your side. He's a sorcerer." He nods wisely, because magic is totally a thing. "He's the sorcerer."

"Most dogs are scared of me now." Dead Girl says, "But not you, Kevin. You're alright." she assures the dog as she snuggles him up and shows that attention on him.

"I love your dog." Dead Girl then admits to Kai, "He's so cute and sweet!" she squeaks out happily, she doesn't get a lot of snugglin' chances these days- luckily, Kevin is here.

"I'd bet! He can open up holes in the ground that send people somewhere." she says, with a nod of her head, "Yeah, I'd been thinking about magic recently. I mean, being what I am- but I think I'm a mutant- anyways, it's all al little confusing.

"Kevin's not like most dogs," Kai says. He grins with pride. "He's not very bright, but he's a good boy." Kevin wriggles with glee. He knows he's being talked about. He's happy to snuggle a corpse if the corpse is nice. "He used to have to fend for himself before we took him in. He was pretty pathetic." Kai takes another drag off his cigarette and affects a casual stance that screams 'street rat.' "What happened?" he asks. "I mean you died, obviously, but what happened after that?"

"Well, I died- right- stabbed twelve times." Dead Girl says, happy to tell the story- "Ex-Boyfriend, he was jealous- see, I used to be an actress! I'd just gotten my first speaking part in a little show off broadway, having been consigned to choir duty before that." She explains, as she continues to snuggle Kevin up, wriggly butterball of a dog!

Dead Girl smokes, as well- just using one arm now to supply snuggles to the sweet little dog. "So, I don't know how long after, my boyfriend is dragging my body in a bag, and I'm like- aware of it. I couldn't move or talk, then, I hadn't figured it out." she says next.

"Anyways, he dumps me near here- right over there, in fact, near where Mutant Town starts." she points towards an area where a lot of people seem to avoid. One of those streets.

"So, anyways, they find me- it was in the papers- Rising Star Murdered!" Dead Girl continues, "I mean, it wasn't page one of course, but it made a nice fluff piece. A bunch of actors got together, after my boyfriend refused to bury me, friends and people I'd worked with and stuff, and they buried me just outside town."

"Anyways, I spent a couple of months in the ground, just sort of… being there, before I figured out how to move and stuff- and here I am now!"

"That was you?" Kai says. "Gosh, your boyfriend is a piece of work. Did anything ever happen to him? Do you want something to happen to him?" The question is innocent enough if one pays no mind to the glint in the elf's eyes. "That's rough, though. It sounds like magic, but I don't understand very much about mutations. It could be a mutation, I guess. If the Doc comes back, he could probably tell. He's good at that sort of thing."

"Yeah! That was me!" Dead Girl says, with a nod. "Oh, Chad? I'm driving him insane." Dead Girl says casually- as if driving a man mad was just a normal thing to do. "So, like, I sneak into his apartment- I can like go ghosty and walk through walls, right." she begins to explain, flicking the cigarette away into the street.

"And when I do that, Direction really doesn't mean very much. So, I walk up into his bed. Wait until he's really deeply asleep- and then go solid and snuggle up to him from behind and whisper his name." She grins wide, almost evil. "Then, when he wakes up- I fall back through the bed."

Kai's eyes widen and he smiles broadens. "That's brilliant," he says. "I've never been killed by my lover, though I've been killed by my best friend before, but tht's a long story and it's not his fault. But if I ever was killed by my lover, I'd do the same thing. He deserves it for what he's done to you." Kai nods firmly. Justice dispensed, in his mind. "So what do you do when you're not haunting?"

"Wander around. Try to experience the world and figure it all out. I mean, I was really depressed for a while there, and I tried to kill myself a couple of times once, you know, people started shying away from me." She was probably being polite, in that regard.

"I mean, well. Stay dead- it doesn't really take. And let me tell you, after the first few times it started being more curiosity, so, I mean, I've not found a thing yet that'll push me over the mortal coil." You can trust Dead Girl. She's a Dead Expert. "So, now, I just wander. Go to clubs. I'm a cheap date, now. Don't need to eat, or drink anything. Just pay for my cigarettes." she says with a cheeky grin.

"It's good to make the best of it," Kai says. "I came back alive, so that's not the same, but you sort of get some perspective, you know what I mean? A lot of things that seem so catastrophic just aren't anymore. What's the worst that's going to happen, am I right?" Kevin gets his snuggle on, curled up contently. Kai absently ruffles his ears, and his tail ticks back and forth. "You're basically living the best life," Kai says. "Going out to clubs, no need to buy food. Do you have a place to stay?"

"I'm between places." Dead Girl admits, "I mean, luckily, I don't really need anything, but you know, couch surfing. Oh, man. Surfing!" Dead Girl just immediately changes gears, "I can surf in the winter now, it'll be amazing!" she says with a wide grin- living the best life she can, indeed.

"Oh, it's pretty spectacular. I can just party non-stop. I mean, when I'm not just sort of wandering around."

"You know, that's more or less what I did for the longest time," Kai says. "I partied and wandered around. I still do a fair amount, still, but I've got some other things going on. Like trying to save the world, and I have an art gallery now. But I try to keep up with the partying. It's such a fascinating time to be a- around. If I didn't need to eat and sleep I'd be living in clubs. Plus someone has to take care of Kevin. He's a responsibility." The dog's ears perk when his name is mentioned.

"Yes, you are Kevin. I can tell already, you're a heartbreaker." Dead Girl coos to the dog in soft, gentle tones as she continues to snuggle the dog gleefully.

"Oh, yeah, for sure! The world is wild, right?!" she chirps, "I mean, like New York is the place to be. People walk through walls, west-coast girls come back to life, sorta! Superheroes- I met this guy named Thor! Like the God!" Dead Girl says with a hint of excitement. "And I mean, I got cut up with swords- which, let's admit, will be a wicked story for parties."

Kai and Dead Girl are sitting on the back half of a sliced-in-half car- some huge Ford with ample perching room. Kevin the dog is being snuggled up by Dead Girl, who's clearly quite enamored with the ugly-cute Kevin. The pair seem to be talking.

Kevin's tail wags more, and his ears droop as he tries to lick Dead Girl's nose. He charms through sheer patheticness. Kai ashes his cigarette and says, "Kev, have some dignity, mate." The dog just keeps snuggling. No dignity, only cuddles.

Kai perks up at the mention of Thor. "Oh! Yes, he's a good friend of mine. Thor's the best. I'm close to his brother. It's good to see Thor's getting out and meeting people. It's hard to be in Midgard all by yourself."

A few minutes…? More than a handful, in the end, but in just about the same empty patch of air that Strange initially vanished, a wee sparkle appears. Like a flint to stone, the spiraling glitter takes off and again, reality parts. Out steps the silver-templed man once more and as he gestures nonchalantly behind him, the Gate falls apart into thin air. He himself? Truly present.

"My apologies," he says by way of greeting as he walks over to the cleanly-halved vehicle. "I had to be certain that the baklava arrived intact. It did," and he adjusts the collar of his dress shirt just a little higher. Hickie? You saw nothing. "Has anything else unusual occurred in my absence?" Even in civilian guise of button-down and dress slacks, he's all business, and his sharp eyes shift from Kai to Dead Girl and linger. It's not quite suspicion, but rather wise caution, that glint to be found in his gaze. Not all undead things have been kind to him. That the Elf is still alive? This speaks to immediate goodwill, at least.

To the eyes of a Sorcerer Supreme, Dead Girl is a mystery. She casually wields truly vast necromantic power- she seems to exist in the Astral Plane as much as she does on the Earthly Plane. Her body is in suspended animation, and she is very much so Dead. Despite that, she is completely in control of herself, it seems. This necromantic energy is, somehow, natural to Dead Girl.

"Wow, you've met Thor, too? Is he really a God, or is that like just a thing he calls himself?" Dead Girl wonders, next, a hint of the sceptic there.

And then there is Strange, she grins wide. "Hey! Its you!" she says as she presses a kiss between Kevin's ears- fawning over the animal like one might expect any young woman to do.

"Oh, things are chill here." Dead Girl assures Strange, trying to sit a little straighter. "So, Kai told me you know a lot about magic, huh?"

"He's practically my brother in law," Kai says. He should be more closeted, but in his defense, he doesn't care. Ruffling people's feathers is his jam. "He's a god by certain definitions of the term. In the strictest of terms, he's a very, very powerful entity. He may as well be a god."

He perks up when Strange approaches. "Hello! I figured the magic was out of the bag, so to speak." Kevin eyes Strange, then gives him a plaintive 'wuff' before cowering in Dead Girl's arms. The sorcerer needed to be told off, okay? For making strange things happen. "Kev," Kai chides. Kevin cowers further.

Kevin gets a wry little grin out of the Sorcerer. He steps no closer, choosing to remain standing where he is on the sidewalk.

"I'm not out to hurt you or your master, pup. You've nothing to fear from me," he says quietly, injecting a warmth into his tone that few receive from him. It remains in his half-smile as he looks up at the others. "Separating them was the quickest way to resolve the situation without bloodshed. One gets to enjoy the relative island humidity of Madagascar and the other had better find a coat shortly. I believe the seas around the Aleutian Island chain still have icebers floating about them. I'm mildly annoyed that I wasn't able to procure one of their swords, however," he says as he takes in the scene of the street. Various objects, still bisected, lie about, all of material that should have withstood a standard sabre.

"But yes, magic. I know a fair amount." His steel-blues flick back to the young woman cuddling Kevin; about their centers, a faint glow of the Arts. He can see the odd overlapping of states of being and the necromantic magic is almost palpable to his fingertips. They twitch, hidden away as they are beneath the light folding of his arms. "Do you have a name then?" he asks of Dead Girl.

"Oh, yeah. Dead Girl!" Dead Girl says with a little grin, "Oh, don't you worry, Kevin. No one is going to hurt you. Not while I'm here!" She assures the sassy Kevin in gentle coos as she just showers the animal with love and attention. The walking dead are dreadfully low on the huggability scale for most.

"That is really far out." Dead Girl says over towards Strange, "I mean, they're like on opposite sides of the world in a hot second." She snaps her fingers, "Just like that. I mean, wow, that is way cool and far out!" she enthuses again, very much still a young woman despite her closeness to death.

Strange's tone gets a tentative wag out of Kev, who regards him with big, startled eyes. He licks his own nose, whines a little, and wags his tail. He leans forward a little, sniffing the air in Strange's direction. His tail wags a little more. All, apparently, is forgiven. He stays snuggled up to Dead Girl, though. It's a big world, and he's just a tiny dog in it.

Kai puts out his cigarette on the ground. "We were just talking about being dead," he tells Strange. "And Thor! She knows Thor. Isn't it a small universe? This city never ceases to amaze me."

"It is a very small world sometimes," Strange agrees with a hint of knowing amusement in tone. "And thank you," he adds with a nod in the young woman's direction. "Sometimes, an argument is best settled by separation and space. Perhaps it was trite of me, but the volume of space seemed appropriate. I don't appreciate their impact on the neighborhood." He takes a moment to scowl at the broken fire hydrant in particular.

The Sorcerer goes back to eyeing the young woman in particular, with her blued skin and all. "So…Dead Girl, is it? What's your story then? I don't sense any touch of Master Drumm about you."

"I have no idea who Master Drumm is." Dead Girl states simply., even as she continues to snuggle up Kevin. She'll protect Kevin! "Is he someone I should know? Wait, is he the guy with the tobacco shop?" she wonders, then, "I feel like I've heard something about tobacco with that name." she shrugs, "I think. Maybe. My Dad smoked a pipe, so.. he always was doing something with tobacco. Well. Sometimes he was. OThertimes he was smoking other things!"

"Oh, my story? Not much to it really. Got murdered, body dumped over there.." she says with a smile, "Ex Boyfriend. And so, they buried me, and I laid in the ground for a while and then I figured out how to move again."

"Your Dad knows what it's all about," Kai says. "I smoke all sorts of things, myself." Kev might have to be physically removed from Dead Girl's side when it's time to leave. He's made a new best friend. Kai gives the dog an amused look. "So did you dig your way out or did you just rise through the grave?" Kai asks. "I'm haunted, not knowing this."

The young woman's lack of knowledge is enough to confirm to the Sorcerer that he doesn't have a fellow practitioner to hunt down and lambast.

"If you don't know Master Drumm, it doesn't detract from the matters at hand. Simple curiosity on my part. He has a knowledge of necromancy that few can match in the world of the Mystic Arts." He glances between Kai and her. "I'd like to know the same, actually. You're in an interesting state of existance as is." Strange looks Dead Girl up and down once more, brows mildly knitted.

"Oh, I dug myself out. I hadn't figured out the whole ghosty thing, yet. I figured that out times I tried to kill myself and I just sort of… well, let's say that the truck and I didn't have as meaningful a meeting as I'd hoped right there." She speaks about Death very casually now, it seems.

"Anyways, yeah, I dug myself out. My hands can get all like claws, and I'm really, really strong now. And fast, man. I'm a lot more physically potent now, you know?"

Kai winces. "That's rough," he says. "I don't even like to have blankets over my face. I would have lost my mind." He shakes his head and looks to Strange. "Do you know if there are mutations that can make you come back after death? I don't know human biology all that well outside of how it's like mine in the obvious ways."

To Dead Girl, he says, "You could become a hero. The world needs heroes. That would show your ex-boyfriend, Mr. Stabby. I do a little heroing here and there, and it's great. You'd love it."

Strange considers the question posed to him in silence, listening to the conversation as he muses. Shifting his weight to the other foot, he sighs and replies quietly,

"I'm not aware of any mutations, no. Shifts in genetic coding, in terms of mutation, is more the purview of Charles Xavier. I am Sorcerer Supreme, and thus, the Mystic Arts are my forte above all else. I'm not surprised to hear that you have attained a supernatural durability or of the other abilities," he says to Dead Girl in particular. "I hesitate to classify you because you are the most sentient truly-deceased being I have met in a very long time. Normally, I deal with the dead looking to bring me to their ranks. You are a welcome change." The man nods, a faint smile coming to his lips again.

Dead Girl, "Awww! Thanks! Yeah, I mean, that is super nice of you!" In reality, Dead Girl doesn't really understand some of that. "Just call me Stacy Sentient!" she says with a bright smile, beaming wide. "Being dead is mostly weird, to tell you the truth. Things are very different experiencing the world as a corpse. I mean.. I can taste and feel and see and hear." DEad Girl notes, "But.. it's all like a memory."

"Do you get drunk or high?" Kai says. Someone has to ask the hard-hitting, important questions. "Do you feel passion? Joy? Anger? When I was in Niflheim, I didn't feel much of anything. Except maybe sadness. Sadness and regret." His lips press thin at the unhappy memory, and he ruffles Kevin's ears to make himself feel better. The dog licks his hand and wags.

"Oh, well. I can't get drunk or high. I smoke the cigarettes to have something to do. It just sort of soaks up time." Dead girl explains, "Yeah. I still feel. I mean, it's different but it's the same." she offers simply, " The feelings are just as strong, you know? They're real. But, I don't know, things don't affect me like they used to- it's just a little different. Like everything has taken a step left of how it was."

Kai says, "Oh no, that's terrible! Access to all the clubs but you can't blow your mind? Woah. I'm sorry to hear that. It's hard enough getting drunk and high on all this mortal stuff. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't get loaded at all." He lays a hand on Dead Girl's shoulder with deep sympathy. "Mr. Stabby took so much for you. Let me know if you ever need help tormenting him."

"Kai." The name is said with a note of mild reprimand. Strange lifts an eyebrow at the Elf. "I believe she's doing well enough at tormenting the man without your assistance. He's receiving his dose of Karma." His attention then shifts to Dead Girl.

"I understand what you mean, in terms of your senses being misaligned. It may stem from your Astral form's current overlay with your physical form. I would be hesitant in allowing another to tamper with this, however," he counsels. "Your life-force may be affected and seeing as you defy a natural state of being, it could be equally as difficult to return to this state."

"And I don't know anything about being a hero." It seems the conversation piece had not, in fact, been ignored. "I'm just me. You're everyday average hippie-dippy Dead Girl." she says with a grin. "Anyways, I'm starting to focus more on other things. Like my friends, and cute dogs." she gives Kevin another little snug as she pets the pudgy pooch quite contentedly.

"Anyways. Now there are all these ghosts and stuff." Dead Girl says, "I mean, just running around helping them wastes a couple of days at a time, but I mean, who else will help them?" It is probably no surprise that Dead Girl is a beacon for the dead. Her particular mutation- which floats well into the Mystical and Magical- as Strange has noticed and now mentioned.

"Oh, yeah, the strange geometry." Dead GIrl says, pointing around, "It's really very pretty, though." she says- now, like a Ghost on the Astral Plane. When she goes 'ghost' she must shunt her physical form there, without even a spell- just with a thought. But, tethered- in a sense- to herself. To her physical form.

"Thanks for the offer, Kai, but I don't actually want to hurt him. Not really. I just don't have it in me- I just want him to be so afraid of killing again, he'll never hurt anyone like he did me. I also really, really, really get a kick out of trying to make him piss himself."

Kevin wags his tail when he's snugged. He's in doggy Heaven, being given attention and not a single squirrel or cat in sight. His eyes are lidded, and he's got a little doggy 'aw yeah' look on his face. Some days, things are just coming up Kevin.

Kai's brow furrows as Strange reprimands him. "I was just offering to help," he insists in a low tone. Aw, shucks, Mister Magick. To Dead Girl, he says, "Well, I don't want to steal your thunder. And it sounds like you're already being a hero, helping out ghosts. It's like you say, who else is going to do it?"

The Sorcerer suddenly seems to take on a sly air at the mention of helping out ghosts.

"You know…I'm reminded of someone I know, a friend of mine. He too can see the dead, the ghosts you mention and bring aid to. I wonder what he'd make of you. He runs a small barbershop, Pop's. If you're ever wandering about and want to meet someone who might find you equally as interesting, stop by the place. You're welcome to say that Doctor Strange sent you by." He looks to Kai and the charming grin only brightens a tiche. The Doctor can only mean a one Mister Reno Cordova, fellow crow-shifter and voice of the dead.

"Okay, I get the feeling that name will open doors." Dead Girl says, grinning over to Kai. "I appreciate the offer." She assures him. She's a socially aware zombie, at least. "That sounds neat. I was thinking about getting my hair done anyways. A little trim." she says, "I mean, it always grows back to how it was fairly quickly, but I do like the new look for a few hours." she remarks, with a little shrug. "And it be neat to see if he'd want to help me help the ghosts. There are a lot of ghosts who need help, and man, sometimes I can barely tune them out." she just shakes her head.

"Ghosts are *so* needy. I mean, I understand why, but it's kind of a thing when you're trying to just close your eyes and listen to the world, man."

"Oh yeah, Pops," Kai says with a grin cast Strange's way. "Reno's great, and he'll make your hair look fantastic. I don't let anyone else touch mine." To his credit, he does sport some pretty posh-looking curls. He strokes his chin. "You know, I imagine if you're a ghost, you don't have a lot going on, but the one thing you do have going on, it's pretty all-consuming. Stuck in the void between worlds, that's got to be a drag. What kind of help do you give them? Is there a way to make them shove off to the hereafter?"

"I don't think it works quite like that." Dead Girl admits, "Honestly, the passing over thing seems to be super random. I think it happens when the Ghosts give up on something.. or maybe let go of something… but I mean, I've only seen it a few times." she rambles on about it for Kai.

"Anyways, it started as something to do." DEad Girl admits, "I mean, I'd tried to kill myself several times, and then after it stopped being interesting to explore that whole thing it just sort of made sense to do something else. So, I helped a ghost. Sometimes they come to me a couple of times- help me with this, help me with that…. And, sometimes what they want help for is sort of weird and random and bizarre. Oh man, and so many of them are just batshit insane.And then there are the ones who, I suspect, may be evil. Oh, those are the *worst*. I can make them punch themselves in the face, though, if I want it bad enough. Like.. It just sort of happens if they're a ghost. I was *not* able to replicate that on an asshole bus driver who threw me off the bus for burning incense."

"Anyways, yeah, the ones who ask nice though and don't seem evil, I try to help those ones all the time."

Dead Girl grins- "They do love to talk though, and I learn all sorts of things from them!" she adds, after lighting another cigarette.

"Stupid bus drivers," Kai says. "They won't let me take Kev on the bus. Look at his little legs, how else is he supposed to get downtown?" He shakes his head, then glances to Strange and says, "Not that I would ever condone making the bus driver punch himself in the face. I'm a good person who only uses his power for good." He clears his throat. "What do you think, Doctor? All this is blowing my mind. I never even think about what dead people are up to most of the time."

Strange shrugs lightly at the question. "I learned long ago to filter out the insistence of the ghostly undead. Yes, I know they are there, and they are many in number. My concerns have been primarily with the living for many years now. She's correct, however. They linger for their reasons, most of which are unfinished tasks. It may be speaking with a loved one or finding a lost item…their intentions are many."

"Yeah, I mean, I don't really think the kind of thing that keeps ghosts around is something I can really help with most of the time. The old ones, especially. I think they just sort of do their thing and wander and stuff. I mean, some just do the same jobs they've been doing for centuries. There's a group of sandhogs that dig out the subway tunnels. They just dig in a circuit- never stopping. It's like another day at work, or not even realizing that they're dead or something. Like super introverted."

"I don't know that I can ignore most of them, though. I mean, there are a lot of them who just want to talk. Gotta be careful where I do that. I don't ant to look crazy." Says the walking, talking corpse with glowing red eyes.

"Yeah, you wouldn't want to stand out," Kai says wryly. "If I die before Loki, I'll probably just haunt him. That's my plan, anyway." He nods to himself. Yep, he has a plan. To Strange, he says, "How do people become ghosts, anyway? Is it just a mortal thing? I went straight to Niflheim, but I was being interfered with. There were forces at work." He sighs, then admits, "I think about death a lot."

"Well, we'll be able to keep hanging out, then." Dead Girl says over to Kai, with a smile. "We can bother your Loki together." she says, giving the pooch another squeeze. "I should probably get going, though. There's this guy doing some kind of weird painting class, and I so have to be there! It's like you paint, but in the dark. Sorta. Not completely dark, you know, hard to see though. But, it's going to start soon!" She gives Kevin a quick kiss between the ears, "Love you, Kevin. Don't forget it!" she says ot the pooch as she somewhat hesitantly hands the dog off to Kai. He's so warm and cuddly!

"I wouldn't worry so much about death, Kai. It'll just come when it comes. I mean, I was alive one minute and dead the next, and it's kind of a bit transition, you know? Like, I'm a new person now, kinda. That's why I'm Dead Girl now."

The good Doctor clicks his tongue and tries to keep his smile minimal. "Indeed, you wouldn't want to look crazy in the least. If people ask, my suggestion is methemoglobinemia." At the question in regards to attaining the status of phantasmal life, Strange sobers. A glance away to one side lingers and when it becomes clear to his own attention that he's looking beyond some near-distant point, he looks back again.

"That's a difficult question to answer, Kai, even for one learned as myself. The simplest explanation is an Astral form without its host body, the physical shell it usually occupies, may become a ghost. It's been proposed that ghosts may also be the soul of the deceased, or the spirit of the deceased, but then, it becomes a matter of semantics and philosophical discussion about what is the afterlife, where is the afterlife…" His expression is wry now. "I'd rather discuss that over tea, myself, not in the middle of the neighborhood late at night. On that note, however, I am expected back. I promised my fiancee that I wouldn't be gone long. Kai, Kevin," he's sure to add, smiling at the scruffy little dog; "Get home safely. Dead Girl?" Strange looks to her, still perplexed and apparently comfortable with it. "You…get home safely too, I suppose. Good night to you all." A wave, a Gate, and the Sorcerer has left the sidewalk.

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