Sanctum Here

February 25, 2017:

Strange brings Tattoo back to his Sanctum and tries to put her at ease.

Sanctum Sanctorum - Somewhere Beyond

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.

Characters

NPCs: Wong

Mentions: Rune Flash Spoiler

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Strange has been catching up with the Justice League business. Of course the Inhuman Mists are worrisome, and the DEO is up to no good again. But he is the guardian of the mystic world, how much time can he devote to those problems. Oh, the biochemical and genetic analysis of the Mists are fascinating. He used to love that kind of research. Still does, to a point.

But those are not supernatural problems, and he has to focus in his area of expertise. So what else he got from the reports: This woman - the tattooed mystic that he met in Hellgate, and that also helped Flash later.

A lost magic-user from another world is Doctor Strange's business, and so he has invited her to visit his Sanctum, to talk about her home and what he can do to help her back there.

Inviting Kida requires him coming and getting her. What he finds though, is her sleeping off a sickness of sorts, and it reeks of magic. Her own magic though, and it shows as a vein appears black beneath dirt stained skin, leading to the tattoo on her left bicep of the snake looped through the skull, part of the snake still formed and wrapped around her arm on the outside while the other part is bled back into the inked form. Almost 3D in appearance, but very (sur)real. She had used the necromantic based power to help a friend days ago, and it was the first time she had done it on a metahuman. In her world, the metas, mutants, etc never existed, so this packed a punch.

No wolves were around her this time, they had "returned", necessary for the reserves.

Flash had offered to mentor her into the League, she did not get a chance to respond, but her answer would have been no anyway. This is her place, these are her people, this is like home and has become her home.

But when Strange shows up in the abandoned garage she had taken up home in she cannot protest too much to his invitation although he likely would have to practically carry her there.

Strange does insist, indeed. Doubly so because the young woman seems to be suffering of mystical trauma. "Wong, bring some tea, please," he tells the butler-bodyguard. He helps Kida into a couch, and then adds, "or would you prefer something stronger?"

Instead of taking a seat himself, he walks to a corner to pick up a mirror, and then back, removing the Amulet of Agamotto from his cloak clasp. "What happened? I feel a necromantic energy disruption." And any use of necromancy is likely to get a stare from the Supreme Sorcerer. Dark magic is dark. And although he is not going to say it should never, ever, absolutely not to be used, it is certainly best to be avoided.

Tattoo's eyes blink, once, twice…. Placed upon the couch within such…regal confines he can see her breathing almost skip a beat before she is scrambling to remove herself from the couch, standing, and landing right back on her ass on the couch, but her eyes are almost wild in their pale inset as she looks around. She doesn't like being inside, and nice things did not ever belong to good people, right?

There are whispers, but they are faint, and they are too fast.

Kida doesn't respond to the drink offer quite yet, she'll take whatever, but when Strange asks her about the disruption she looks down to her arm and then slowly tugs her coat back up and on, the sleeve covering it as the serpent seeks to rehome itself in her skin. "I helped a hurt friend. Flash. He helped us, it's the least I can do." Stated lowly as she still looks around the room and space, then finally looks at him, recalling the man from Hell's Gates bridge.

A light shudder to escape the chills and her jaw sets, that defined bone structure that even cuts to high cheek bones seeming to go into denial of pain, or his tone that seems disturbed even remotely.

"I called the Diamondback."

Strange frowns. "And it hurt yourself," he concludes with a sigh. "Necromantic magics are best to be avoided, young lady. Unless it is a true life or death situation and you are a master of the arts. And even so, they usually carry a heavy price."

Her bewildered glance to his sanctum gets an arched eyebrow. "This is my residence," he explains, "it is built on a potent nexus and the building has become alive, after a fashion. But you are safe in this room, and any room Wong or I take you. Just don't go exploring alone, please."

"It's never done this before." Tattoo states, her eyes skipping from Strange to Wong, and back to the room itself, the hand that bears traces of the slowly fading black veins flexes, spreads and rolls inward to clench and release. It felt like the limb had permanently fallen asleep and now its that damnable pins-and-needles feeling.

"I know the price, they tell me when I open to them, but his life is more important then mine here." A pause as Strange speaks of the House and her head tilts, almost birdlike as that feather-light hair of pitch falls over a shoulder. When light touches the colors shift, like a raven's feather, bearing the purple and blue pearlescence.

"Where does the nexus go?"

"Hmm, it might be in your world necromancy is not as dangerous?" Wonders Strange. It would be a world not touched by the Elder Gods, which means it is dimensionally pretty distant. But those worlds do exists.

As for her question, he hrms. "Several places. It is connected to a few lower dimensions and shard realms, as well as the Dream and Nightmare domains. All the gates look like normal doors, but all of them are warded and sealed. I have been stacking spells on the house for several decades, so it is quite safe."

"Oh, it is. But a necessary evil for those worthy to host it." A lowering of voice and Kida stops the frantic looking around but her movements, although strained and lethargic, show the nerves are still raw and she is on guard, pensive…. Uncomfortable.

"I was told magic is accepted here, not hunted, and there are many of us. Why don't we stay together then? Why aren't we joining together with the others? Why do you seal the domains off, then if you are safe?" That strangely accented tone wavers a bit as she asks, sliding her bag closer to herself, that shrunken pommel that forms into her spear tucked safely in a side pocket.

Strange shakes his head, "sorcerers are willful people. I have a couple apprentices, but they don't live here. I have a few friends, but each follows his or her own path to wisdom and power." He sips his tea, thoughtful. "Also, we are not many. A few thousands practitioners among billions regular humans that lack the spark. Of which only a few hundreds are really devoted to the mystic arts."

"That is more then back… where I came from. Much more." Kida looks down and turns her palm up now, the tingling and stabbing gone, the warmth returning as the veins start to fade away and bleed upward in their path of disappearing.

"Everyone's touch with the spirits is different, but when they touch the people why do they not devote? It's a gift many have died for." That is all Kida has known, is hiding, hiding her power, hiding herself, all the while learning her gifts as each became a part of her and learning how to use what she is to survive another day. Her and the few of her family.

Finally she reaches for her tea, the heat coming from it drawn in close as she just watches the surface before she sips. Her actions seem younger in the wonderment and curiosity, but beneath the layers of time and dirt she has long lost any childlike features, or times. "So I can practice here, and it is truly safe?" But here was not meant only in the Sanctum, it was all encompassing.

"Do you know Dana?"

"Yes, almost every sorcerer is different," agrees Strange. "There are a few established traditions, but as many follow one of them as they ignore them all. And even within each tradition there is little order or hierarchy. Otherwise, yes. You can practice your arts with little opposition. I do recommend you a private space, as any kind of power display can cause fear among the non-initiated. And what is lawful and allowed is not always safe." He pauses to think. Dana. Doesn't ring a bell. "I don't think I know any Dana. Have you found a place to live?"

"You should meet her as well then, she is also, umm. She sees." Kida states with a point of emphasis before absorbing the rest he said. Definitely different. Her people lived as a family and practiced as one, and their Elder was who they went to for everything. To stray was death, strength only came in numbers because if they found you… At least their chances were higher.

… But she still hears the screams and feels the flames before she was shoved through and landed in the Slums.

"You found me there. The garage is it. Needs a bit more work, but I can fix things there and there is plenty of space for the people. Flash brings us food and goods. It's nice." No joke, no hint of despair, all truth.

Strange looks at the woman with some concern. "No. I mean, it is a garage. To leave vehicles. Not a place for humans to live. The Justice League can help you obtain a legal identity, and then you can move to a normal dwelling. Have you seen how people live in our cities? I suspect it is a little better than in your homeworld."

"It's a garage to fix vehicles too, I was told I should and I'm good at it. Lots of space for work and to stay." The tea is sipped slowly as Kida leans back, lowering the mug to her lap and watching Strange.

"I know who I am. I like my home. If it gets taken or lost it is just a place. The nicer things are, the more you get attached," pausing her eyes close slowly, tucking her coat in tighter to her while booted feet prop on her backpack. "Back… Before here, if you had nice things, you were not a nice person." A deadpan stare Strange's way then, but it did not seem to matter.

Kida was tired, almost fully healed and her reserves were tapped. She was going to dirty the hell out of his couch right now and he'll have to deal. Because she was asleep sitting upright as such with her brow still furrowed in that distrusting leer.

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