Hell Hath No Fury...

May 21, 2015:

'Wanda' offers assistance to an old enemy

Underneath the 'House That Walks'

Characters

NPCs: The Watchmaker

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

New York City is a big place that stretches up into the sky and out over the five boroughs. What most of its citizens don’t know is that it also stretches underground. There are the subways…but there are also other things - the abandoned subways; the Prohibition tunnels; the secret caves that harbour creatures from before time began. And, connected to a mansion on the Upper East Side, is also the huge workshop of The Watchmaker.

He did have another one above ground, in Harlem, but that had been smashed to pieces by a collection of ‘superheroes’ under the direction of Pepper Potts. So now he stays below ground in a much safer and secret place…obviously unaware that there are at least two people who know that something is happening here.

The Watchmaker is a frail looking man in his sixties dressed in pants, shirt and apron of another era – Victorian most probably. His head has long lost its hair and currently his eyes look huge underneath multiple telescopic goggles, each of them applying a different magnification as needed. Currently he is working on a small machine of gears, cogs and clockwork. It seems to be another version of the venom dispensing spiders. The Watchmaker’s tongue sticking out between his lips as he concentrates on turning the tiniest of screws in its clockwork brain. The tiny object huge when viewed through his goggles. But what is even larger is the skull of a clockwork guard that is tossed on his workbench and sends the spider skittering across the wood with the impact.

“Your security is terrible” notes a heavily Easter European accent in a bass heavy voice – though it is a woman’s voice. “It is a wonder you are not in jail” Wanda adds as she emerges from the shadows and strides towards him. Her clothing – boots, latex pants, corset, gloves – are all black in colour now. Her make-up now mostly consisting of heavy black mascara around her scarlet eyes that make them look as if sunken into her skull. Even her hair has turned darker and her skin turned paler. The only thing of colour is the long scarlet coat that matches her eyes.

The Watchmaker leaps back from the crashing skull as fast as his aged legs can manage, ripping off his goggles before squinting at the woman. “Do not come closer. I have an army here and they can crush you…”

“Enough” Wanda yawns before sitting herself on the edge of the workbench. “I am not here to fight, I am here to help. You are the Watchmaker? Also known as The Clockwork King?” She looks him over before snorting with amusement. “You do not look like much but I am sure it is your brains that are most valuable.” She picks up the skull of the clockwork guard, peeling off the fake plastic skin, and then peering at the contents within. “It is very impressive work, Mr King, but it has hardly proved successful, has it. What are you trying to do with this army of yours?”

The Watchmaker unties his apron and carefully folds it before placing it on a shelf as he listens to Wanda. “I wish to bring back a purer age” he replies, pulling on a vest and then a jacket – one should dress up when one has company. “An age when we are not slaves to technology but use it to benefit our lives. There are none of those hideous silicon chips in my work. Nothing that can do the thinking for you. Merely automatons that do what they are built to do so that mankind can think for itself. A world of scientific order!” He is grinning by the end of his spiel.

Wanda, on the other hand, looks bored. “Hmm…and the way to do that is to send your war machines into the city to kill? I have no problem with that but it does seem an odd way to go about it.”

“They do not kill…not unless they are threatened” the Watchmaker frowns. “They are…attempting to retrieve specimens for now. There are metahumans…superhumans…alien abominations…all kinds of creature on the streets of this city so I need to know how to defeat them to return mankind to its ordered state. I will not hurt the ‘others’ if they allow me to gain knowledge.”

“Just another bigot” Wanda sighs, “But with a slightly more civilised décor scheme?” A low laugh at that before she slips off the bench. “Then I will help you, Mr King. But you have to do me a favour in return…you have to ‘order’ M-Town first.” She pulls out a handful of Smooth vials from her pocket. “And I have the means for you to succeed in that task. Now, why don’t you show me what you are working on?”

The vials mean nothing to the Watchmaker but he is proud of his work – like many a villain before him – and is happy to show it off. He leads Wanda into a huge hall where assembly lines churn out clockwork people and the war machines they are designed to control.

“You did this all yourself?” Wanda asks him…and she seems genuinely impressed. She notes huge pylons that thrust downwards through the factory from the house above. It looks like the house /can/ walk if it needs to.

“I did” the Watchmaker smiles proudly before pursing his lips for a moment. “Well…I did have help at the beginning. Other minds who wanted to bring back the good old days but…they could not stay the course.”

“Good help is hard to find. Loyal help is impossible” Wanda nods before finding a flat surface to place her vials of Smooth down. “If you can aerate this, then you are halfway to victory. It will take away the powers of any mutant that breathes it in. I can get more of it but I am sure you would be able to synthesize it too. And now for the other half to victory…” Taking a deep breath she strides up to one of the huge machines churning out the templates for construction of people and machine. She places a hand upon it and starts to mumble to herself in a language that was not designed for the human tongue. Her hand glows with her scarlet power…which then seeps into the assembly line. And from there it seeps into the components of the clockwork constructs. Wanda continues to whisper as more and more power is transferred. So much so that she starts to weaken. And when she starts to weaken then a little voice tries to reassert itself in her mind. “No…not yet” she hisses to herself before pulling back from the metal with a shiver and some stumbling steps. Her blazing red eyes look over at the Watchmaker. “That should last long enough” she explains, “But it will not last forever.” A nod to the vials. “Get to work. The sooner you attack the better.” A deep breath from the magi…as her hair starts to lighten in colour. “I must go and deal with something. Do not let me down, Mr King.” With that she strides off into the shadows of the giant factory, leaving the Watchmaker with more powerful weapons than he yet realises.

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