1965-06-20 - MOTHS
Summary: Lindon reads a passage in a magic book and all hell breaks loose.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
strange lamont lindon 

It started off with a book. It was only a book! Lindon brought it home because he thought it looked a little too esoteric to belong in a mortal library, and though he had every intention of taking it to Strange, all he did was take a peek. And he read the Latin aloud, the better to sound it out.

Now there is a hole in reality pouring out of the book's pages, the book is on the floor, and a moth with a six foot wing-span is trying to find purchase on his kitchen cabinets. Its wings are beating up a breeze that has scattered papers and knocked kitchenware onto the floor. There are runes glowing on its wings, and its clawlike feet dig into the cabinet wood.

"Kent! the book!" While Lindon stands in his khakis and button shirt, wielding a spatula at the moth, the book pulses, and another set of antenae poke through the hold in reality at its center.

Lindon has succeeded in genuinely shocking Kent, again. For he's dropped the (happily empty) tea cup he was bringing in from the living room, and is bringing up his hands to cast some sort of rune on it. A stoppage, perhaps, or concealment for them…..even as he speaks the words meant to call Strange's attention. The esoteric equivalent of yanking the fire alarm lever. Master, halp.

Yank the fire alarm, the fire truck with arrive.

With a sudden fritz-crackle of bright golden light, a Gate opens up in the foyer and Strange in his mantle-blues steps through with alacrity. He looks left and right and upon hearing sounds coming from the kitchen — many thumps and whumps and clanking and squealing — he stomps that way.

"Cranston, what in the seven — ?!" A quick backstep of the Sorcerer helps him avoid a mothwing swatting him in the head and he frankly stares. "Who let them in?!"

"The book!" Lindon says, either in panic or by way of explanation. He's keeping out of wingbeat range of the moth, though its dust is getting caught up in his hair and shimmering on his skin. "I feel kind of funny," he admits. The moth itself doesn't seem terribly aggressive. It's just trapped in a space not meant to accommodate it, and in its grappling around, its leaving wing dust everywhere, and those clawed feet are razor sharp.

Lindon backs away as the moth turns in his kitchen and comes to light upon the table, scattering the clockwork pieces Lindon had been working with. Lindon swishes the spatula at it, meeting thin air.

Kent's runes seem to be subduing the book, if temporarily. He second moth trying to come through is blocked. That doesn't stop it from trying. It just bumps its antennae against the runes.

There's a dark web of shadow around the book, a woven net of compulsion - this place is scary, don't come in any further. Unfortunately, well, it's only serving to scare the current moth further.

Lamont says, briskly, "Sir, I have no idea. Apparently something from Lindon's work has ….gone wrong." Understatement of the *week*, there.

"Godsdamned books," the Sorcerer mutters, flinching again as the large moth continues its racket about the manor's kitchen. He watches pieces of delicate metal twinkle away to join the relative mess on the floor and spies the book in question.

"Keep the rune up, Cranston, I'll need to reverse the initial invocation if I can. Regardless, that rip is getting shut." He slides into the kitchen, hugging the wall and trying to stay out of wing-flap range of the creature. "Lindon, it'd be better if you left the thing alone and stopped making it fly about. The dust — " and suddenly, Strange sneezes. "DAMMIT." Another sneeze. "Stop making it fly!" He's made it to the book and swats irritably at one of the antennae, his hand passing through the Shadowy runes without disturbing their intention.

"I just don't want it to touch me," Lindon says, and though his voice edges on panic, one has to admit it's a perfectly reasonable preference. He backs away further from the moth, especially once its movements start to become more agitated. It flits its wings and turns this way and that on the table. Must escape. But how? To where?

Lindon holds the spatula still, at least, brandished in two tightly clenched hands. He (perhaps unfortunately) takes deep breaths trying to calm himself. Then he presses himself up against the wall, seeming to half-meld into it for a moment, but no. No, he's fine. Honestly. "I don't like this," he informs the other two.

The Shadow's workings…..start to unweave. Dissolving at the edges like smoke, indeed. He's got an odd look on his face, abstracted, confused….perhaps even drugged. "I feel strange," he agrees, and his voice is thick.

Another sharp sneeze from the Sorcerer probably has the loose moth on edge. The sensation of the moth antennae attempting to escape is ultra-fine, gossamer on a scale that he's unable to process…for a second. Then, the world seems to take on the hyper-chromatic radiance of the Sight without him actually blinking it over his vision. "What the — " A blink and he looks about the kitchen.

The protective spells over the mansion glide noiselessly in their inky blacks and blood reds. Beneath his feet, faint metaphysical cracking releases radiant shafts of thin light from Whatever Lives In The Basement. Puck, he can spot through the walls almost as a heat signature, a bright little light in fuzzy orange he can almost feel on his tongue, like a woozie. "Shit. The dust." Looking back over his shoulder, he stifles a sneeze in the corner of his arm and then squints at the moth. It's a moth…really, it is, if not weirdly crisp in deliniation and distorted about its edges where its own abilities blur into this reality. Its eyes glow from within like lightbulbs and he can now hear a faint repeated chittering, like a mouse-sized windchime attempting Morse. "What?" he asks the thing and it turns to face him, little antennae twitching. Another resonant repetition of that weird langauge and Strange scowls. "Hold — hold on. STAY THERE." He points a finger dead between the big eyes of the second moth attempting to clamber through the portal, almost touching the ultra-fine fur covering its body, and it holds in place, seemingly startled to stillness.

The second moth regards Strange with the most confused look. There's no mothy offense intended. It's just that this reality is like a flame, and moths are moths. It remains still, though. The first one, having reached the flame, now has no idea what to do with it. Not having a spatula wagged at it seems to help marginally, though its still agitated. It was just following an instinct, and now its at the end of the line and there are no further instructions.

Lindon slides down the wall to sit on the floor, and he holds up the spatula so he can study his reflection in it. "Woah," he says. "There are, there are dimensions unfolding." His brain is feeding him information faster than he can process it.

Kent is disoriented enough that he's not swift enough to reassure That Which Dwells In The Basement. He's half-hanging out of his body, which has slumped to the floor in an untidy heap. And that….that is a problem.

For without its master to check it, or Strange's commands, it's misinterpreted the moths as a demonic incursion. Not human? Check. From another dimension? Check. Not approved by the Master? Check. Ergo, not something permitted within the bounds of the house.

That presence in the basement rouses itself from its torpor, and comes up in a rush. It brings the artifact housing it with it, but that's only a fraction of what it is. To eyes attuned to the occult, it's a demon, the kind of thing that tends to show up in Buddhist hells, all huge rolling eyes and curved fangs and claws. Somewhat canine, somewhat dragonish, but really only making a token nod to the physical form. And it goes for the moth like a pit bull let off the chain, roaring.

"Just sit where you are, Lindon," Strange replies as calmly as he can manage to the comment given by the Archive. Lovely. Lovely indeed — and he's definitely spotted that Lamont's having trouble staying within the housing of his physical form. A grimace in that direction and then the Sorcerer puts a palm gently on the intruding moth's head. "Back with you, please. Go back. This isn't the place for you." Intent, strong as spidersilk and shivering like silver wire, threads through his words and down into his touch.

But then…with the distant rumble of a storm, he senses the basement swelling to life. Like an animal scenting danger, his face lifts and turns immediately towards the approaching Phurba. "GET IN THERE!" A firm shove pushes back the moth barely out of the rip in reality and with hands a-glow with banishment magic, he picks up the book from the floor. Muscles and willpower both strain to close the book and his nose is scrunched up against yet another sneeze. Then, with all of the clatter of bodruns and the wild heated winds of the inner-continental desert, the guardian arrives.

"STOP!!!" The bark of a command, in Tibetan, leaves the Sorcerer with nearly-palpable force, likely setting ears to ringing and reality around quavering.

The second moth retreats back into its own reality (or whatever its dusty wings defines as its reality of any given moment) and the first moth flips out. It launches itself from the kitchen table to fly as high as it can, skittering along the ceiling, and dust rains down every time a wing brushes against the physical reality that is wood and plaster. It lashes out with its razor feet, battering itself against the walls as it seeks windows to fly out of and finds none open.

Lindon sees the guardian, and he stares. Then he yelps and hides his eyes against the cradle of his crossed arms, because there's too much information. Too much. His mortal mind is already stretched to its limit.

The expression on the guardian demon's face should be comical - it shuts its maw and stares are Strange in almost feline outrage. Its mane and whiskers continue to lash around it, as if it hovered suspended in some invisible liquid, and it blinks those enormous eyes at the Sorcerer. It dwarfs the doctor - it's limned in lurid green and gold and red, a barbaric splendor. Then it looks to Lamont, and its regard there is far from friendly. The Shadow, in turn, murmurs something to it that has it replying in a voice guttural enough to hurt the ears. But it lurches back the equivalent of a pace, two, and ducks its head. Mollified, it seems.

He almost has the book shut, almost, as he watches the Phurba interact with his fauxpprentice. The nerves in his hands tingle like white-fire as he forces the rip shut rather than sewing it with delicacy. The brilliant eyesore that is the creature and its aura is momentarily ignored while the Sorcerer quickly mutters a metaphysical binding around the book. Almost like taking a belt and strapping it in place, he jams the tome closed and then lets it drop onto the dusted kitchen floor. Fine dust fluffs up and he sneezes again, glowing eyes watering.

"«Thank you,»" he says to the Phurba in a raspy voice, inclining his head. "«I understand that you did precisely as you have been willed and acknowledge it. I shall take over from here.»" The other moth won't get too far into its next flippity-clattery route around the kitchen. Making sure he sneezes first, Strange then goes about a quiet banishment spell. Neon-purple strands wend about the moth even as it struggles against the main kitchen window and then…poof. The creature sucks inwards to an impossibly small point and back to its home dimension it goes.

Now, all they have to deal with are the senses skewed, Astral forms knocked ajar, and a Phurba awoken from slumber. No biggie!

At the 'fwip' of the moth being banished, Lindon slowly lifts his head. His dilated eyes, and the shimmer on his face, makes him look like he's gotten coked out on fairy glitter. He stares first at Lamont, then Phurba (and he curls in on himself a little more), and finally at Strange.

Too much information, and he's having trouble making words. He gapes, like he's got something to say but the sounds are lagging behind. Finally, he manages to get out, "I think that book might be magical. I was going to bring it to you." He just had to take a peek.

The Phurba turns its attention to Lindon. Because that regard isn't stressful at all. It drifts closer, a blazing impossibility, like a war plane crossed with a Thanksgiving Day parade balloon. It doesn't *quite* sniff at him, but it gives the impression of inspecting him thoroughly. They've never been formally introduced, as it were. Definitely up in his space, until a called command from Lamont's astral body has it reluctantly departing…..dwindling and fading as it goes.

Strange eyes the guardian creature with wary respect, as one might a grizzly bear, and watches to be absolutely certain that it departs entirely once it does. Once he can see the radiant sheets of vertical light emerging from the kitchen floor again, he releases a sigh of relief…followed by a sneeze.

"Godsdammit," he mutters as he stoops to pick up the book. It's still complaining in its own way about being so rudely shut; the sound of pages rattling in a confined space sounds a bit like biting on tinfoil. He walks over to the island counter in the kitchen and frowns down at it. "Next time, please bring it to me before you open it, Lindon." He'd give the Archive one of those Looks, but the man seems cowed enough as is by the mothdust and its resulting effects on him. Blocked from the waist down by the counter, he then sighs and releases the binding on the book. It slams open again with a backwash of released eldritch power that has his hair and loose clothing writhing and oh look! Antennae! "Nope, not again." Talk to the hand, moth, because he's not listening. He shoves the creature back inside again before keeping splayed fingers overtop the opening. "Alright. Don't interrupt me." He says this to the kitchen as a whole before beginning to mumble under his breath. Bright light begins to limn his outstretched hand and then…he sneezes in mid-Word.

And is promptly lacking clothing from what appears to be the waist up. Glancing down at himself, he sighs long-sufferingly. "Don't. Say. Anything," he growls before starting the incantation over.

Lindon holds perfectly still as Phurba inspects him. He's got a prey's instinct. He relaxes as the beast retreats. Oh god, this day is going to kill him.

He ducks his head at the Look, and he says, "Sorry. I didn't want to steal a book from the library without being sure." He sniffles, then sneezes. "I'm pretty sure now." He sounds so defeated. So regretful about being correct. He grimaces as the book tries to let moths out again.

Then Strange is less-than-clothed, and Lindon blinks a few times, then glances away discreetly. "Er." He gets to his feet, slowly releases his death grip on the spatula, and offers, "I'll go find you a robe."

Lamont is frankly gawking. At least, for a beat, before he turns away, embarassed. Blushing? Oh, yes. Back in his body enough to do so, at least. Biting his lip in his effort to do as ordered. Lin can see him stifling laughter.

Strange glances up briefly at Lindon's offer, but is unfortunately still in the middle of the incantation that will shut the portal. And then he sneezes again. And now the kitchen table is a giant wedge of sharp cheddar cheeze and the chairs have all turned into gelanitous globules of something that smells like kerosine and mothballs.

"Sorry," the Sorcerer says again, carrying out the ending vowel of the word in exasperation. "I'll fix that, and get my clothing returned, just — stop moving the dust about." Ultraviolet eyes flick to Cranston and linger. "And Cranston. Stop laughing."

Third time must surely be the charm and all that, right? For there he goes, after dabbing at his nose, at finishing the damn incantation once and for all.

Lindon freezes. "Sorry," he says quickly. Then he gives Lamont a quizzical look. What? What's so funny? With his rainbow-dust plastered face framing those big dark eyes, it's all very serious business! At least the gangly, confused heap of Lindon on the kitchen floor stays out of the way while the grownups, er, the sorcerers do their thing. The table and chairs, he regards them with a slightly betrayed expression.

Lamont has his hands over his mouth like a kid trying not to snicker in church….and he's basically on his knees, collapsing with laughter. This is the most ludicrous bit of magic…..he does, however, edge over to try and comfort Lindon.

The Sorcerer is far too dignified to answer what he can see in his peripheral vision — mainly that of Lamont still trying not to melt into a puddle of amusement — and merely doggedly keeps at finishing the damn incantation. With a sharp insuck of air that drags at his loose bangs, the fine layering of mothdust all over the kitchen's various surfaces is pulled back through the portal and with a sound akin to shattering china, it finally shuts entirely. Strange sighs again, letting his head drop for a second, before one can see his brows knit together more yet. A mutter at his sternum and fillip: clothed once more, apparently, back in his mantle-blues. The book looks incredibly innocuous on the countertop and yet he keeps one scarred hand atop the outer cover as he peers at the other two across the kitchen. A lazy gesture at the changed table and chairs and a muttered command means they return to their usual state of being in this reality. He then sneezes again and rubs at his nose.

"I'm keeping this book, Lindon," he informs the Archive. "It'll go in the very back of the Sanctum's shelves, where no one will open it. I think maybe…maybe a sh-AACHOO." Sniff. "A shower is in order, to get all of the dust off."

Lindon sidles closer to Lamont and huddles as well as someone who is mostly limbs can. He relaxes visibly when the table and chairs decide to be table and chairs again. That's a load off his mind. As is the dust going away. There were vague worries about what would happen if Puck got into it.

"Please, by all means, it's all yours," Lindon says. "I'm just glad this didn't happen in the library." He sniffles, rubbing at his nose. "I think a shower would be just the thing. If you want to use ours, there's one just upstairs to the left. We can use ours in the master bath." He clears his throat and glances aside, still awkward about the casual truth that they do in fact share a bedroom. He gets to his feet and holds out a hand to Lamont. "Shall we? Perhaps we can reconvene for tea later?"

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