1965-10-19 - Mandiblicious
Summary: Strange and Serendipity fight roach people in the park.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
strange vic 

Vic looks for a payphone nearby, but the closest one he knows of means leaving the immedidate area, and there are people around here who are going to get hurt. Damn it! He thinks hard about calling his dad. Not because he thinks it works that way, but because it's foremost in his mind with a strong pulse of mental energy behind it. There is something wrong in the universe! Dad! Halp!

To set the scene, there is a rift in the air in Central Park, and a half-dozen giant roach-person things have tumbled out, their mandibles clacking loudly. Vic is punching one hard in its insectoid face to get it to release a young woman screaming at the top of her lungs. Its carapace cracks. A black ichor starts to bubble out, burning his hand. "Everyone just get back!" he calls, wincing.

That little scritching at the back of his attention kept getting pushed to one side. Something's always teetering on the edge of chaos somewhere in this world and Strange can't be everywhere at once, despite how he might try. He's just lighting the last candle necessary for a delicate summoning when the tap-tapping burst into a bright and singularly-staticky interference in his attention. A flinch and turn, eyes gone distant as he aligns senses in the direction of the mental beckoning. "Seven hells," he hisses, shaking out the match and then setting the pack aside. An imperious motion brings the crimson Cloak about his shoulders and there goes a Gate, impeccably focused upon arrival at the Park and specifically near the Mote.

The signature ember-crackle of the oculus opening announces the Sorcerer even before he steps through, already moving from a brisk walk and into a jog as he exits onto the greenery. A quick set of motions and the bright flint-spark of a molten surujin comes into being. One of the roach-people attempting to flank Vic takes a sudden snap to the chest that sends it tumbling back. Dad's here! — and by his expression and eyes literally a-glow, he's not pleased to find the Park subject to its current invasion.

Vic spies the sparks from the Gate in his peripheral vision, and he can't help but cry out in his relief. Dad's here! He has the sense not to actually say the words. There are people around, and he knows how Dad feels about secrecy. Still, laughter erupts from him as he punches the cockroach-person again and it rolls on the ground. As Vic's skin sizzles where the black ichor touches, he uses his not-burning arm to steer the screaming young woman away from the creature. "Run," he tells her firmly, and she is startled into obeying. She flees like the hounds of hell are snapping at her little kitschy high heels.

The roaches of hell, maybe. They chitter and wail, and they're deft for bugs, almost humanoid, with waving antenae. "It just opened up," Vic says as he points to the rift. Dark 'smoke' roils around the gash in the air, exothermic energy frosting the grass around it. Vic leaps at another of the beasts, heedless of its claws and mandibles, as it tries to have a go at another gaping bystander. "Everyone, run! For God's sake!" New Yorkers! Thank goodness it's not yet the era of smart phones.

Dad's jaw visibly grits to bring his cheekbones into high relief. Extra not amused now, at how the bystanders continue to linger. "RUN!!!" Two fingertips against his voice box give his stentorian tone a little more 'umph' than normal. Hopefully, those slack-jawed pedestrians are turning tail like startled rabbits and scurrying off now. He's got some metaphysical surgery to do.

"Keep at it, Vic, I've got to get that tear closed!" It's uncomfortable to find one in the Park, much less within relative vicinity to a particularly malevolent Hellmouth closed at great cost. The Cloak snaps out at an approaching roach-person from outside his peripheral vision and the thing shrieks, antennae waving as it wipes repeatedly at one busted multi-facted eyeball. This loyal garment don't play. "Ugh - we'll wash that off later," comments the Sorcerer in regards to the black ichor on its hem. Another crack of the golden whip and he takes the legs out from another creature to leave it weebling about on its back awkwardly. Bummer that he's got to get through two more creatures before he can even begin to work at the rift. These two click their mandibles together threateningly and he glares right back.

T'is the season, alas. The veils between dimensions grow thinner, and the nightmarish horrors of beyond book their vacations for this reality. Just wait until Samhain itself. The roach people screeeeee as people flee spurred by Strange's command. This gives the creatures fewer targets, namely Strange himself and Vic.

Who engages with them without hesitation. He's not quick like his brother, nor can he bend reality like his other brother, but damn, he's ridiculously strong. He lifts one of the squirming roachlings in the air and throws it at another one scrabbling toward him. They both go rolling on the green. "I got it, D— don't worry!"

Strange has time for a fast dimple of a grin at the noticeable censoring, but he's pleased all the same. Less threat can come to the family if fewer folks know about blood/Mystical ties. Those two roaches? Time to squish some bugs. One of the creatures appears to working at something by how its visible thorax is undulating — oh great, vomit! A small Gate thrown up before himself at sacrifice of the molten whip allows the projectile splash of acidic substance to land elsewhere rather than on his person.

In a small corner of the Dark Dimension, roach puke splatters on a large chunk of glowing rock and then the Gate seals away again, leaving the nearest Mindless One wondering what the hell just happened.

The roach-people, while scary and voracious, apparently have few brain cells to rub together. Their antennae wave about. Why isn't the guy in the blue clothing screaming and falling to the ground? They won't have to worry about it for long. The Sorcerer rapidly reassigns the energy from the collapsed Gate to dual shield-mandalas before his hands. Gesture one, two — and now the air around him draws close and tastes of metal — and three as he kneels to touch fingertips upon the grass. Golden bolts of lightning dance in fickle forward motions to hunt out the nearest conductive surface: the roach-people. BZZZT. Giant bug-zapper, coming right up.

Take that, Dormammu! The ones Vic just bowled over are woozy, but their limbs are still flailing and, though their carapaces are cracked and oozing, they're not dead yet. Yet. The surge of energy causes them to frizzle and fry, and they steam lightly in the wake of it. Vic looks around, but the roaches are down. His burns are already healing visibly. "Well, that's that," he says.

Famous last words. Through the rift comes a pair of mandibles the size of a VW Bug. Clack. CLACK. The head belonging to those mandibles stretches the rift as it starts to squeeze through. Vic swipes the back of his hand over the sweat on his brow and just kind of sighs when he sees it coming. Aw, man. He's going to have to fight that? He rolls his shoulders and cracks his knuckles.

He's joined by the taller man taking up a place beside him. The Sorcerer still emits that mild bow-wave of Mystical energy around his person; it catches here and there at loose fabric on his person. The Cloak seems content to ride it out in gentle undulations, like a flag catching at a breath of fitful breeze.

"Hmm." A humming sigh. "Always a big one, isn't there." He narrows his neon-amaranthine eyes. "If you can engage it and keep it from entering further, that would be best, I think," he says, enunciating delicately in discomfort at the size of those mandibles. Yikes. "Allow me to lend you a hand in getting started." Three steps towards the rift and there Strange goes again with the bug-seeking bolts. They make contact with the far larger roach-person and it pauses in its forwards egress to emit a shriek of extreme discomfort. It's not a happy sound, or one in a low pitch. Dogs might be yowling as far out as New Jersey now. "Go, Vic, Go!!!" Dad's apparently going to be right behind readying his Mystical sutures.

Vic nods agreeably. He's an amicable kid, and his faith in his father is absolute. The Mote could have sought out cosmic power and become a thing of great reckoning and ruin, a nemesis for the ages. Instead, it chose hot dog carts, Sundays in bed, and trusting this partiuclar sorcerer entirely. Attack the big thing? Sure thing, Pop!

He waits for his moment, then flings himself at the car-sized mandibles with their horrible clacking. He's got inhuman agility. It's almost poetic to watch. He swings onto one of the mandibles, crouches there, then waits for the clack to jump to the other, sticking a perfect landing, then he whirls and kicks the monstrosity right in one of its faceted eyes. Crunch. The bug makes an ear-piercing screech, and Vic kicks him again. Back! Go back!

Of course, as things stand currently, if the bug withdraws, it'll be taking Strange's son with it.

Ugh. He'll never get used to the sound of collapsing insectoid eyeballs. The Sorcerer readies himself by planting his feet and balancing himself over bent knees, his hands upheld. It's not a dramatic thing to the mundane vision, the closing of a tear in the veils between realities, but to the Sight? Already, the silver-templed man is conducting star-strands of translucent, gauzy light to intermesh with their mates on each side of the rift. His focus is intense and it keeps him looking as if he's in a trance but for the tic of one side of his mouth.

If you go in after that thing, your mother will be displeased, he throws out towards Vic on a thought, sounding as if he's murmuring right beside the young man's ear as a shoulder-angel. When it retreats, clear it and get back to this reality. Already, the mind-boggling gap is no longer leaking energy from its base. Like zipping up a coat, it's closing from the base up slowly but surely.

Now that's hardly playing fair, invoking Vic's beloved mother, for whom he would do anything. He nods, curls flopping, and he grunts with the exertion of yanking his foot free of the collapsed eye. The giant roach tries to throw him, but he sways with the movement of the mandible way too gracefully. Whe one of the antenae pokes through, he jumps up and grabs it like a rope, causing it to yank sharply downward.

The bug doesn't like this, no not at all. First of all, ow. Second of all, it's like a horse being pulled by a rein; its head jerks down sharply. Vic swings out of the rift on the thing, dangling about eight feet off the ground. Those mandibles try to sever him, but at least he's on the right side of reality.

The sense of a resigned sigh, patiently amused in his way. That'll do. Don't get bitten, please, Dad adds as he inhales and exhales slowly. Another influx of his willpower forces the rift's burgeoning closure up higher yet. It's likely a very real threat to the giant roach-creature at this point and with Vic hanging on the thing's antenna, it's at risk of some form of decapitation — if not a mandible or two or that springy antenna currently occupied by one Mote, possibly its head itself. Almost there, Vic, get ready to let it retreat entirely. Looks like some benevolency is in order, even if giant cockroaches encroaching on Central Park are truly disturbing.

"On it," Vic says. He swings out of reach of those mandibles, and when he swings back toward them, he traipses atop the clacking monstrosities. Hellish parkour! "Woah!" he exclaims as the tip of a mandible rips off his shoe. "No, no, no, I need those for running!" He reaches for the shoe, but it's not to be. The thing is pinned on that mandible, and as the bug starts to retreat, it's taking that shoe with it.

Vic times it so that as the bug retreats, he can release the antenna and hit the ground rolling. And rolling. He rolls right into a tree. Oof. He sits up, blowing a curl out of his eyes so he can watch the grand finale.

The bug's reaction, once it has its antenna back, is to retreat post-haste back into that otherworldly haven for its insectoid kind. A final wisp of steam escapes from the uppermost section of the tear and Strange shoves more energy into closing up that last section. To anyone sensitive to the Mystical Arts, it's got the faint echoing sound of a lock-tumbler falling into place along with the teeth-tingling swish of strands of gossamer reality brushing against one another.

Once he's certain of the sturdy nature of his work, Strange straightens up and wipes the back of his hand along one of his temples. "…what a mess," he mutters, glancing over at Vic and then walking over to him. "Fate decided to play nicely today, having you nearby." He doesn't offer the young man a hand, though not out of spite; sensitive nerves would make it difficult and painful.

The bug retreats with Vic's shoe, banished from this realm. Vic lets it go. Such is life. He gets to his feet, nose wrinkling as he socked foot touches wet grass. Then he smiles sheepishly at Strange. "Pretty cool that you came, though," he says. "I was going to call you, but the pay phone's all the way over there, and one of those bug people had this lady in its jaws."

He rakes his hand through his curls. His skin is red and angry in patches from the ichor, but he's slowly resetting to perfect health, like he does. "So, aside from all this, how's it going?"

"Yes, well, your means of contacting me worked in your favor," replies the Sorcerer. He scans the surrounding Park and the distant figures pointing in their direction. His brows meet in irritation. Oh, the general public, always attempting to nose into his business. "I was in the midst of a particularly persnickity summoning, actually, but nothing that I can't attempt again. I haven't lit the final candle, after all. Otherwise, I have nothing spectacularly novel to report. Dealing with the Mystical and extra-dimensional as a normalcy does redefine 'normalcy' in turn. Your mother is well. Aralune continues her patrol about the Sanctu. She keeps the worst at bay and alerts me to loose spirits, of course."

Someone's waving at them now and Strange sets his jaw. "…I've no interest in speaking to the police about matters. You're welcome to join me." He's already gesturing open a portal to the Loft of the Sanctum like the moderately-reclusive Sorcerer he is.

"I think Aralune is so cute," Vic says. "Sure, I'll come over. I have a pair of shoes over there, if I recall correctly." He's got no desire to discuss anything with the police, himself. This body has a record. "I was just out for a walk, and I heard screaming so I ran toward it." Because of course he did. "Oh! School's going well. Everyone at home is well, and work is good."

There's a distant 'Hey!' of a dismayed shout even as the Gate collapses, leaving both gentlemen in the upper story of the Sanctum Sanctorum. Strange simply shakes his head in dismissal of the one officer now probably having to submit a very odd report as to the events of the momentary breach into reality proper. "I'm glad to hear all of that," he replies in terms of Vic's report. A gentle shrug releases the Cloak from its duties and after swishing over to boop Vic on the nose with a clean hem, it swishes away to rest off to one side. "Once company's gone, we'll get that off of you." This murmur for the relic which inclines both collars in mimickry of a nod.

The man walks over to the upstairs tea stand and begins working at brewing himself, at least, a cuppa. Those particular spells do drain his soulfont's stores and there's nothing like a very specific blend to help bolster their refilling — that, and a nice conversation with someone he's extremely fond of. "Tell me which blend you'd like, Vic, and then have a seat. I want to hear about what you're learning," says Dad, glancing over his shoulder with a fond smile towards the young man.

Vic blinks a bit as he's booped, then he laughs with delight. Aw, the Cloak is one of his favorite pieces of outerwear. He takes off his mismatched shoe, then come the socks (one wet). He has a pair of sneakers around here somewhere. Things just end up left at Mom and Dad's place. He leaves that quest for now, walking barefoot over to where the tea is being served.

"I like the one with cinnamon and orange," he says. He takes a seat, beaming with pleasure to be hanging out with one of his parents. He's not great at being a teenager. "I'm studying History and Philosophy this semester. My favoroite philosopher is…" And he's happy to fill Dad in on all the details over tea.

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