1965-09-13 - Just Like Dad
Summary: Vic stops by the Sanctum Sanctorum to have a talk with the old man.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
vic strange 

Vic has brought over baklava for his mother, and for his father, a blend of tea from Mrs. O'Riley's. Sure, he doesn't have to come bearing gifts, but he's a good boy, and he likes to do it. He also brought a bag of cookies with him, since he knows he's going to get hungry. The kid's always hungry. Gotta fuel that fire.

After the basic pleasantries are out of the way, Vic says, "I wanted to ask you about magic. I think I want to learn about it. I have energy inside of me. I can feel it. I was just wondering if, maybe someday, I could do something with it."

"Nothing is impossible," his father allows as he preps the gifted blend of tea over at the tea tray. The ever-hot tea pot, charmed to remain as such, releases steaming water into each clay mug over the tisane. Immediately, a soothing melange of scents rises and he sighs to himself, inclined to be quietly content about such a sensory experience.

"Do you have further thoughts on the magic you wish to pursue? I was taught originally to manipulate energy itself in order to enact changes upon the environment around me." Strange glances up from checking to see if there's honey available. There is. Very good. He's formal today in his Master-blues as he straightens, considering Vic.

Vic is in nice jeans and a blue button-down, doing his best to look like a respectable young man. The resemblance to Stephen's younger brother may well be disturbing, but Vic is unaware and ever earnest. He stirs some honey into his tea, handling the delicate porcelain carefully despite his rather impressive strength. It wouldn't do to smash the crockery.

"I thought I might learn about the different kinds," he says, "and decide from there," he says. "I'm not sure what the different schools of thought are. I know there's what you practice and… gosh, maybe Elf magic? There's this guy at work who changes how he looks sometimes."

The silver-templed man snorts quietly to himself as he stirs honey into his own tea. The spoon makes a quiet series of clinks even as he replies,

"Yes. I know him well. His magics are likely either ego-centric or eco-centric magics. I would have to ask him to be completely certain." Tap-tap, he sets the spoon down, and collects up his mug. Mmm, delicious, and the delight is reflected in the relaxation at the crow's feet about the corners of his keen steel-blue eyes. "The simplest way to define the magics that I access are ego-centric, eco-centric, and exo-centric. These defines the sources of the energy accessed in order to enact the spell of choice. The self, the world around you, and the dimensions beyond."

Vic nods intently, "Right," he says. "Right, that makes sense, ego is self, eco is environment, like ecosystem, and exo is without." He nods some more, and it dislodges a curl that sweeps down over his brow. He gives it a flick with his fingertips. "I would imagine the clearest path for me would be ego-centric. I have the energy inside of me. I just don't know how to direct it. Not very much, anyway. I can feed it into a system or drain it. Sometimes Kellan can't sleep, and I drain energy from him so he passes right out."

Stephen nods despite the faint furrow of concern between his brows. He stays standing by the hearth of the parlor room, backlit by the low glow of the fire in the fireplace — first of the season, first of many, the weather outside warranting a small bump in temperature inside.

"Be mindful of how much you take. There is a risk that you may take too much. Ego-centric magic, if you're considering it, takes from the soul — from the spirit. A clever practitioner finds ways around this because, at one point, one has no spirit left to draw upon. Whether it be life-energy, the soul, Chi-energy…no matter the name, it is a harrowing place to reach that point of deprivation wherein the spirit cannot regain itself over time. I would wish that upon no one. You, however…" He pauses, musing over what he knows of Vic's abilities. "…yes, it might still be best to focus upon the ego-centric. You have more innate energy to be available for your use, after all."

Vic says, "Okay, Dad. I'll be careful. I don't ever want to hurt him." He sits in one of the visitors' high-backed chairs, watching his dad with poignant earnestness. The sorcerer has his attention wholly, minus the occasional small sip from his tea.

"It feels like it's always burning up," he says. "Like if I don't use it, it's going to evaporate into the air anyway." Hence the eternal hunger. "It sounds like a good place to start, then. Though I'm interested in the others academically. I think pulling energy from other dimensions sounds interesting. Dangerous, but interesting."

"It is incredibly dangerous and interesting both," Strange agrees with a slow nod. "It is also advanced magic that goes hand-in-hand with agreements to principalities and powers who do not obey the laws of our dimension, much less the human world we live in. I do not use exo-centric magics lightly, nor did I gain my access to them within any short amount of time and not without sacrifice beforehand."

He sips at his tea again and glances upstairs briefly. A soft 'hmph' and he dismisses whatever the issue is. No doubt either the warding spells or Aralune will take care of the problem. "If you're looking for a use for the energy you feel, again, ego-centric magic may be the best place to start. You might find that your niche strength lies in it as well, given the volume of energy available to you." Vic is a mote in human guise, after all.

"I feel like it already powers everything I do," Vic says. He spares a glance upward, but he doesn't inquire. Whatever's going on, he knows Dad has it under control. Dad isn't actually capable of doing wrong in his book, after all. "I don't think I'll worry about exo-centric magic," he says. "That's running, and I'm still trying to figure out how to walk."

Sitting up a bit, he asks, "So how do you start? What did you do, the first time you did magic? Did you study for awhile first or did it just happen?"

"Would that it had just happened to me," and the man laughs quietly. "Like Newton's apple dropping upon his skull. I worked, Vic. I worked hard. Once I was accepted into Kamar-Taj, I spent many months learning how to open a Gate. It's much harder than it looks." And there he goes, inscribing a circle upon reality itself with a fluid drawing in the air beside himself with outstretched scarred fingers. The flicker-snap of golden light fills the air and seen through it? Some tropical island in the middle of the ocean, complete with greenery and seabirds cawing softly over the shush of waves on a beach.

"Tahiti," he informs Vic before closing the Gate once more. "Once I had figured out how to open a Gate, it was all continued effort from there. I spent long hours over books in esoteric languages and many more in practice. It didn't happen overnight."

Vic grins, dimpled, as the Gate forms. "Oh wow," he says. "Billy kind of does something like that, but he goes wherever he wants, and I always wondered about that. Are there books you learn from? Or did you have a teacher that taught you? I'm willing to study, just point me in the right direction."

He considers for a moment, then admits, "I've been thinking about my motivations for wanting to learn, because I think that's important, and I don't think I would use anything I learned for bad reasons. Mostly I'd like to make my old man proud, and maybe follow after him."

Stephen gives the young man a stoic half-smile. "There's no need to impress me. I ask only that you use your energy to bring peace into this world — and if not that, then to defend it against those who would disturb our peace…because damned if that isn't a hard thing to find these days." Dad grouses only momentarily, shaking the grumpiness almost as soon as it came on.

"I had both books and teachers. The beginning tomes can be found upstairs, in the library, as well as at Kamar-Taj itself. I took the liberty of acquiring copies of the originals housed in Kathmandu. I would look at the basics. Codex Imperium, Astronomia Nova…" He names a few of the titles he once studied from, the easiest level and still a challenge to decode, much less comprehend.

Vic grins. "I know I don't have to impress you, but I want to. If I had to pick a hero, out of all of them, it'd be you. You're who I want to be like. I'll do everything I can to do the right thing, in whatever capacity I can. Even if that means hauling heavy things for Mr. Petropolous so he can run his restaurant."

His gaze strays toward the stairs. "If I promise to be really careful with them, would you maybe let me see them sometime? I wouldn't take them out of the library. I'd just read them in there."

"Of course, Vic. I have no issue with you reading them within the library of the Sanctum itself. I'd prefer that they do not travel beyond it, of course. The mundane cannot hope to understand their worth, much less understand them at all. The next I find myself nose-deep in a tome about some obscure topic, you are welcome to accompany me." His smile grows a little more fond yet, still the more demonstrative of the two parents in terms of affection.

"I'd rather you be yourself rather than like anyone else. I am singular…and that is a very good thing. More than one of me within this reality? It might collapse upon itself." He's equal parts making fun and absolutely serious in this, apparently.

Vic grins. "I'll be as much like myself as possible," he says, laying a hand over his chest with a slight nod. "We all have our influences, though. I've got teachers at school I admire, and my friends teach me about myself all the time. The way I figure, we get to choose who we look up to." At least he isn't making big eyes at his Opa like he used to. Magneto might not be the best influence for a young man.

"I'll come read with you sometime," he says. "Just let me know when. I'll bring snacks, which I won't bring into the library. I try not to eat too much around books."

"Yes, food will have to stay out of the library," says the Sorcerer with a solemn nod. "I can't have crumbs in a dissertation from the third millenium B.C. about summoning Djinni. That, and there's one particular tome that has a tendency to randomly mimic what a reader is doing. If one is eating, well…" And he makes a disconcerted moue briefly. "You can imagine what it attempts. So, yes. No food in the library. I expect to have some time to indulge in my studies sooner than later, so…would you have me call you? Or shall I open a Gate into the hallway and knock on the door? I don't wish to disturb your roommates, however."

Vic's brows lift. "What would a book try to eat? Other books? Maybe postcards? Oh! Of course, alphabet soup." He beams, so proud of himself for that one. Give him a break, he's only a little over a year old.

"If I'm not at work or school, open a Gate," he says. "They'd get weird about a Gate at school, I think, and at work, I should really be working." He frowns faintly. "Sometimes there are workers who aren't exactly giving it their all. I try not to be like that."

Strange just shakes his head and smirks at that literary pun. Alphabet soup. More like the human being reading it. Death by a thousand papercuts! But he's not about to tell Vic that, not wanting to make the young man leery about the library. There are good number of tomes that no one should know about in that library. Billy is wise to be coaching people not to touch anything in the Sanctum.

"You're the better person for giving it all your effort, Vic. Slacking might be comfortable, but it doesn't advance one far in life. I'll phone ahead then if I'm unable to tell whether you're at home or not. While Professor Xavier might know me well and tolerate an abrupt entrance, it's not my place to be disturbing classes there or frightening the students."

Vic's smile broadens in the face of that smirk. So proud of himself. "I'm getting good grades," he reports dutifully. He finished off his first year in good standing, too. Good to see the beginning of his second is going well.

He finishes his tea, then says, "I should get going, speaking of work. Now that the boss is back, there are odd jobs, and I like to get an early start." He gets to his feet and only pauses a moment before he goes to give the Sorcerer Supreme a hug. "It's great to see you, Pop."

Sudden hug! Stephen freezes up for a second, having lifted his tea mug up and away on the approach, but he softens and then brings his free arm around Vic.

"Good to see you too, Vic. Go on then. Keep at the good grades and hard work. You're going places, though it may not seem it now," he replies, giving the young man a bright smile. That's how you make Dad proud: hard work and nose to the books. No wonder he drives the Elf nuts.

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