Advice from the Doctor

August 18, 2015:

Wanda visits Doctor Strange, they talk about her problems and the problems of the world

Sanctum Santorum - NYC

From the white marble floor to the artistically painted domed ceiling,
everything about this foyer expresses opulence. Two wide curving staircases
balustrade with filigreed wrought iron skirt the east and west walls of the
oval shaped room, leading to an expansive mezzanine. Elaborate sconce
trimming marks the point where the walls meet the ceiling, decoratively
illuminated with hidden candles casting a bright golden glow throughout the
room. Light beige marble pillars border the square archways leading north,
east and west to other parts of the suite. On either side of the entrance
are two large golden urns housing meticulously kept white roses.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Wanda had been involved in a Purifier scuffle earlier in the day and, well, she went a bit crazy with her magic trying to do the right thing. It is 'chaos' magic she wields rather than 'I am in control' magic so what she did upset some of her friends. And that upset her. So now, some hours later, she arrives at the house of the Sorcerer Supreme hoping that he can help in some way…even just a chat about flowers might do it. She rings the doorbell even though she has no doubt he already knows she is there.

In fact Doctor Strange detected the ‘chaos magic’ use earlier in the day, not so far from his place of power. Deploying magic like that is dangerous, but he is not a magic-cop. Every magic user needs to learn and find their own way as they will, after all, or they would never become all they could be.
The current conflict going just a few blocks of his home concerns him greatly. But he has to remind himself racial conflict has been part of humankind struggles to advance socially since the times humans lived in caves, and they can’t be solved magically. As a citizen of New York he has written letters to his congressman and the mayor office. As sorcerer, he resists the temptation to interfere. As a doctor, he could and would have volunteered to help the injured at the local clinic, but there is a mystical ritual that he has to develop and he is working 12 hours every day in the problem.
He still has time for certain business, though. So although it is Wong who opens the door for Wanda, she doesn’t get the ‘I am sorry, the doctor is too busy today’ most people would receive. Instead she is invited into the living room and offered tea, and Strange appears a minute later. “Ms. Maximoff, it is good to see you. Welcome to my home.” He looks tired, but manages a polite smile.

"Thank you for seeing me, Doctor" Wanda smiles nervously, not used to being around such power. They have met a couple of times but compared to Strange, Wanda is a street magician - more con-artist than actually gifted. She stares at her feet, unsure of what to say first. Her clothes are a bit better than normal and they are now embossed with the X-Red logo. "I…umm…I'm sorry to bother you but…" She rubs at her forehead before hissing off to one side, "I will tell him!" A deep breath. "I sometimes think that I am not in control."

Doctor Strange invites Wanda to sit down and takes a seat himself. “I see. I imagine you feel the need to use your power in the current conflict,” he noticed the X logo. “But I suspect you do need far more training. Have you tried to learn spell-casting with the traditional means? Human sorcerers grow in power through understanding and refinement of the spirit and the will. But you already have access to more power than all but the greatest supernatural beings.”

Wanda shakes her head as she sits. "I have never trained. For a long time I did not even think I was magic." She taps the side of her forehead. "The voices. They would tell me what to do or…" Wanda thinks and shakes her head again. "No…I do not think anyone told me what to do. It just flowed." She looks over at him, hoping he understands. "I am not really aware but…I know words come out of my mouth. I know my fingers make signs in the air. But I do not know what they are."

Strange doesn’t seem surprised to hear about ‘voices’. Hearing stray thoughts, or ghosts and spirits or even the voices of past incarnations are normal occurrences among supernatural beings. It can happen even to human sorcerers with great potential, and he is pretty sure Wanda is not fully human. It doesn’t necessarily mean Wanda is mentally ill. On the other hand, great power can cause insanity too.
“Sings and words are the way most humanoids perform magic,” explains the doctor. “It is possible to just impose our wills by shaping magic with thought, but it is not something I would recommend trying. We are beings used to express ourselves through world and physical movement. And magic is an art, after all. You do so instinctively. I would usually recommend you formal study, but in your case it might be better to start with standard self-control techniques. Meditation and kinesthetic.”

"Meditation?" That seems to amuse Wanda. "I don't know if I will ever find peace, Doctor. I try to help. I try to be what people want me to be but I even get that wrong. My friends wanted me in their team…" She touches the X-Red logo. "…and then I was me and they yelled at me. I could hear the fear in their voices about what I could do, Doctor. I don't want to be feared…or hated…but I think that is all that I have to look forward to." She purses her lips in thought before quickly wiping away a tear that threatened to emerge. "My English is not as good as my brothers. What is 'kinesthetic'?"

Strange shakes his head, “did you know for a long time sorcerer kings and queens ruled most of the the cities and nations of Earth? It wasn’t a fair arrangement, and ultimately it stifled the development of humankind. Eventually most of the schools of magic agreed political power and magic power should remain separated. But distance and secrecy led to fear and hatred. For the last two thousand years magicians have often been misunderstood, persecuted and even killed.” So there, Wanda is going to be doubly discriminated. “Some would say we do have a choice. We can renounce the Art and return to mundane lives. But it truth for most of us it is impossible to forget what we know, and easier to give up breathing that to give up magic. What most of we do to resist the pressure is to find friendship and support among our peers, as well as open-minded humans, and struggle to remain virtuous and controlled when facing irrational hatred. I have found solace in my studies and the many wonders my magic has allowed me to experience. Other magicians cope by different means. Some find love among their peers, and raise families in secluded towns. Others lead double lives, having what now the public calls ‘secret identities’. Others become monks or hermits, and find peace in solitude. You will have to find the path that best suits you. But if you desire to live in society and make a difference with your power, I’d recommend you to associate with like-minded individuals. Which, I think, you have just done.”
He pauses a few seconds, so Wanda can digest what he said. Then he adds, “kinesthetic is learning to feel the exact position of your physicality, your muscles, your tendons, your bones. Control your body and you will feel magic flowing through your gestures much easily. Just as controlling your mind would allow your will focused in words to create the effect you want.”

"I am a gypsy too. I was feared and hated even before they had reasons too. Now…" Wanda sighs and puts her head in her hands, rubbing at her temples even as she processes all that was said and tries so hard to find something to grab on to. "I thought they were my friends. I /think/ they are still my friends. But I…" A shake of her head. "I was a monster to them. Will they accept me again, Doctor, or will they just be waiting to put me down the next time they think I have lost it? They are open minded, I know that, but…I think they are frightened too."
A deep breath as Wanda flops back onto the plush seat. "Love? I do not think that is an option for me. Even a vampire finds me horrible. Solitude? Maybe…but I want to help and protect these people. But you are right, it is up to /me/ to find the path." Life choices are not her forte. She always had her brother to help before. "It sounds like this 'kinesthetic' would be a good idea for me. Anything would at the moment."

“Call them and see what they have to say,” advises Strange. “And vampires are rarely good differentiating horror. I believe you desire to help and protect speaks highly of you virtue, and the world needs more protectors. Master Darque remains a threat for the world, for instance. And there is even a worse threat in the horizon. An alien race is setting up world-altering artifacts as a prelude of what will be a large scale invasion. The Justice League is struggling to stop them, and the problem is consuming most of my time.”

"Then I should not take up more of your time" Wanda softly apologises before rising. "Thank you for your advice, Doctor. I appreciate it. More than you may realise. If you ever need any help then…I will do my best. I can show myself out. Goodnight." And with that she is making for the door.

“Not at all, we have much to…” Strange blinks as Wanda stands up. “No, wait,” he stands up himself, trying to reach the door before Wanda does. “Please, wait. I didn’t meant to infer by any means I had no time to speak with you. Quite the opposite. Even if you had no difficulties with your abilities, I needed to talk with you. About Master Darque, and also about these alien obelisks.”

"Darque? Oh…yes…I have heard of him. I have helped Zatann…oh…I have helped you too" Wanda's memory has some holes every now and then. "I saw the obelisks on the television. Are they connected? And you think I can help with this too?" She purses her lips in thought before she shrugs. "I am a superhero now" she notes without much conviction, "So of course I will help."

“Oh, certainly,” the super-hero part makes Strange smile amused. “Your help was extremely appreciated during the conflict with Doctor Eclipse. Miss Zatara is making every effort to foil Darque’s insane ambitions and I will also help as much as I can. Darque’s attempt to turn himself into a god-like being will cause millions of human deaths.”
He ushers Wanda back to the living room, “I can tell you all I know Darque, should you want to know. But my main concern, right now, are the obelisks. They are impervious to any technological attempt to remove or destroy them. They also seem impervious to magic, but I have identified several weaknesses in their defenses. I believe I can destroy them, but not alone. I need the help of other powerful magicians and you are one of the strongest I have seen on Earth.”

"Why would anyone want to be a God?" Wanda frowns about Darque. "It does not get you what you really desire. But so many will die before they learn that and then they will be so angry that they will never regret what they have done. Tell me what I need to know to help, that is all for now." She listens intently about the obelisks but then blushes brightly about being proclaimed a powerful magician. "Zatanna is a magician…a sorceress…like you. I am…" She shrugs. "Something else. But I am nowhere in the same league as you and she." Wanda holds up a hand. "But we shall not talk about that now. What did you have in mind with these obelisks. I deal in chaos and the changing of reality. I find that can usually help with anything…even though it can be nastier than some would like."

"Because you are a mutant?" Asks Strange. "However, I can sense great reserves of mystical energy within you. And I am sure you tap into that power to alter the world around you. And that power could be channeled into a spell to shatter the obelisks. Which is what I am going to do, but I can't do alone."

"A mutant? I suppose I could be. My brother must be…he does not use magic to move so fast. And I am his twin…" Wanda laughs softly and shakes her head. "Witch. Mutant. Twister of reality. Jealous monster. No wonder people are afraid of me." A moment's thought before she nods firmly. "Which means I need to show people the real me. I shall help you, Doctor, as best that I can do so. I am at your command." She plucks her phone from a pocket before looking at it and then at her host. "You probably do not use a phone" she smiles.

"I certainly use the phone, I still have a few friends that have nothing to do with magic or super-powers," sadly, most are getting very old. The doctor is outliving his own generation, as wizards often do. But he gives Wanda his number, and the cellphone number too. "Ah, the labels, we get a few and rarely flattering ones. Mutant I thought because you joined the X-Men. Mutants could control and shape magic through their genetic quirks, why not? They also do so with other fundamental forces. If you wish to study the origin of your gifts, I think I can help. Regardless, you are welcome to my home if you need advice or refuge."

"Thank you, Doctor" Wanda smiles, happy to take the number and the offer of both advice and refuge. "Hopefully my friends are now not so afraid of me that they refuse to let me come home. You are right though. I am an X-Man…Woman…so I must be a mutant." Seems logical. "Call me when you need me, Doctor. Good night and good luck with your tasks. We can talk about me when the world is safe. I think it has priority." A faint smile for Strange before Wanda is heading off once more.

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