Apocalypse Later

May 04, 2015:

Wanda's mind goes a wandering

Who knows?

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: Windmills of Your Mind


Fade In…

The green grass is soft beneath her bare feet. The sun is warm on her skin and Wanda looks up at the clear blue skies with a smile of contentment. A deep breath of the clear air as she walks up the gentle slope. “Mommy! Look what I found!” Wanda stops, crouching down as she turns to face the young girl of seven that runs towards her, tightly grasping a flower in her small hand. The girl is almost out of breath as she thrusts the flower forward. “For you, Mommy” she beams.

“Thank you” replies Wanda with a warm smile, taking the gift and tucking it into her hair. “How does that look?” she asks and the girl nods happily. Wanda picks up the child as she stands again, cradling her on one arm while looking around the idyllic fields that stretch off to verdant forests about a mile away. “Where is your brother?”

The girl shrugs before waving off into the distance. “He ran away. Said he was going to hide but I didn’t want to play.” Wrapping her arms around Wanda’s neck she snuggles up against the witch. “I love you, Mommy.”

“And I love you too” Wanda replies happily. “Your brother is just like your uncle” she smirks before turning to start up the slope again. “Let’s see if we can find Daddy.”

“I love you, Mommy” repeats the little girl. And again. And then again. Each time her voice is exactly the same. The inflections and tone duplicated to perfection. The words becoming a mechanical mantra. Unceasing. Unchanging. Wanda looks at the child in her arms. The girl is no longer flesh and blood but a cruel simulacrum. Her skin is now a pale, painted cloth stretched over a frame.
Wanda gasps and drops the child and it lands hard on the wooden floor, splintering into bits of metal and cloth. Gears and cogs erupting from the broken covering to spill over the ground. “I love you, Mommy” it repeats, its mouth now just mechanical jaws opening and shutting as a recording plays within. Wanda steps back. The grass is gone, only cold hard wood beneath her bare feet. The beautiful horizons are now painted on a tattered dropsheet that surrounds her. She runs to it and starts to claw at the linen surface, picking at the twine that holds it together. She has to get away from that incessant voice.

“I love you, Mommy.”

The sheet tears and unravels and Wanda pushes her way through the opening. The girl’s voice stops and she doubles over to retch onto the cold, grey earth that now sits beneath her feet. The air is cold and bitter; each gasping breath stabbing at her lungs as she raises her head to look at the new world.

The sky is black but it also moves. It roils and swirls like a black fog that encompasses the world. It is not night…it is how it always is. The grey ground is like the surface of the moon; rock and dust. There is nothing green. Nothing grows here. The only sign that life ever existed are the thousands upon thousands of bodies that stretch to every horizon. Wanda steps warily forward…there must be something, somewhere. She does her best to not step on any corpse but there are so many and sometimes she cannot help it. And some of the corpses look familiar. Their faces are as pale as the earth beneath them but they do not look like they died painfully…just suddenly.

“You had to do it, Wanda” a familiar voice offers in a calm and soft tone. “And by doing it, you saved us all.” Wanda looks up to see Bobby Drake standing atop a slight rise surrounded by the bodies of men and women who look even more familiar; some of them famous superheroes and superheroines…who were cut down in an instant.

“I did this?” Wanda asks as she approaches Bobby. “How could I do this? I don’t understand. Are you okay? I wouldn’t hurt you, Bobby.” She looks over the dead. “I wouldn’t hurt anyone.”

“They were not hurt” insists Bobby quietly. “They were freed. You are a heroine for the ages.” Behind him is a statue of Wanda that wasn’t there a moment ago…and it would have been hard to miss. Easily twenty feet tall and made of marble, she is in a suitably heroic pose looking out into the future. Engraved in the base is ‘Wanda Maximoff. Saviour of humanity’.

“This is not right” Wanda mumbles as she stares up at herself before there is a flash of green and purple in the darkness above. “What is that?” she asks Bobby.

“An enemy” replies Bobby, “One you must destroy if we are to be happy. You want to be happy, don’t you?” His eyes burn red. The edges of his form turning into curling black smoke indistinguishable from the ‘sky’. “You and I could be happy. Pietro could be happy. All you need to do is find the Blood of the Lord. Take it. Let it guide you to what must be done.”

“But you said that was bad” Wanda replies, studying carefully the evaporating smoky form of the Iceman. She takes a step back, her foot landing on a body and making her stumble and fall upon it. She stares wide eyed at her dead brother. “No” she whimpers.

‘Bobby’ is now just a face in the black fog, his red eyes glaring down at Wanda as he rises higher and higher. “It is your destiny, Wanda. It is /our/ destiny.”

“No!!!!!”

Wanda wakes suddenly, sweat streaming down her face as wide, panicked eyes try to understand her surroundings. An alley. It seems she hasn’t made it back to her room yet. Her chest heaving with desperate breaths as she pushes herself to her feet, warily expecting an attack at any moment. But at least the dead are gone. It wasn’t real. Just a dream. Somehow that doesn’t make her feel any better about it. Rain starts to fall – spring in New York – and she pulls her scarlet coat closed around her frame before shutting her eyes. “Pietro is fine” she tells herself. “So is Bobby. So are the others. Everything is okay.” Wanda wipes the sweat and rain from her face before her eyes flicker open – and she is still in New York. “I need to find that room” she decides before walking towards the street. Thunder rumbles as she reaches the sidewalk and turns her head in each direction. “I think it is…”

One of the white-robed men is across the road and a block up. He chats happily to a group of wet and miserable people who must be mutants. He is gesturing to some stairs leading down to a below-ground apartment and the mutants shuffle downwards.

Scarlet flames flicker in Wanda’s eyes as she glares at the scene before crossing the wet road. She will be joining them tonight.

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