Stranger Student

September 08, 2017:

Sofia visits Stephen to continue her studies.

Strange's Sanctum

Characters

NPCs: Wong

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

When Sofia arrived in the Sunday morning she was politely received by Wong and informed the Doctor was not in the building. Or in the city for that matter. But Sofia has a standing invitation to stay in the Sanctum, so Wong offered her tea, and at around noon, a lunch made of cheesecake and stir-fried meat (sheep!) tossed with celery, carrots and fresh green chili. Tibetan cuisine, apparently.

It is nearly dinner time when Strange finally returns to the Sanctum. Although he doesn't use the main door, so Sofia might not even notice until later, when Wong tells him she is around.


Sofia has the same hyper-focus of any teen - at least any teen when they have a something that interests them. This time, the young woman had decided she wanted to better understand her levitation. And that meant /research/.

Dressed in black skinny jeans, a plain black tee and blue suede jacket the girl sits cross legged with a book on her lap. About three feet in the air. Despite the break for lunch (which she gobbled up suddenly realizing how ravenous she was), the teen didn't stop her reading. Not even when evening came and a short incantation was used to bring a glowing sphere resting above the book.

And still she was not even half way through…


"Good afternoon, Sofia," Doctor Strange greets from the door to… well, who knows where the doors of the living room lead. It changes every few days. Since Wong warned him, the sorcerer took a few minutes to clean up and fix his clothes. He is wearing a black two piece suit that looks too warm for early September and hints he was probably not in the same hemisphere a few minutes ago. "I hope you would join us for dinner. Is that book a good reading?"


Looking up, bright blue eyes turn just a shade guarded before a smile replaces the look. The book remains open on her lap at least, so she's not /that/ jumpy. "It's alright, I've always done this without thinking. It's a bit difficult wrapping my head around the principles he had to use…" She doesn't elaborate, assuming he'll already know the book just by it's bindings. "Dinner? What's on the menu?" The book is closed then, her legs uncrossing and dropping until she's left standing, holding the tome under one arm. "Who else is in this /we/?" She adds as an afterthought.


“Just Wong and me,” replies Stephen. “Unless Illyana shows up, she told me she would try but that woman and timing do not get along.” It is about time Sofia meets his other disciple, but the blonde sorceress is unpredictable and often busy in her own domain.

“Otherwise, I have to admit I have no idea what Wong will have prepared, I just got here from a small trip to Argentina,” he adds, “I was tracking down some astrological… bandits, missed them again. But I had much to talk with the locals.”


"They must be pretty sharp if even /you/ can't track them." The multi-hued haired girl quips with perhaps a hint of sarcasm. But just a hint. Well… Maybe a smidge. Whatever the amount, it's soon swept away as she offers him a tentatively genuine smile. "Sure, I'll join you and the Chef for dinner."

It's difficult to work out where she stood with the man who'd not even known of her existence not all that long ago. Anything too familiar still felt a bit wrong, but acting like the strangers they really /were/ didn't seem right either. Somewhere in the middle then; "Sorry you didn't get them. Next time right? Sure it'll be a thing." She pauses, then her smile widens. "I met the cutest kid the other day…"


“They are very careful,” comments Strange, with a grimace. Astrological magic is very powerful, but requires massive rituals and the right planetary alignment, so most magicians neglect it. Being very careful is necessary.

Cutest kid?

“Ah, you did? Please tell me about it, I have barely heard about your life since you moved to New York. We barely have time for the lessons.” Except, of course, it is him who is always out of time for anything. Supreme Sorcerer is a 24/7 job.


"Well I got a job working at a department store." She starts, ready to move into step with him should he start to move towards dining room or chair. "It's better money than waitressing at least. And there's a discount which helps." She gives a little shrug, trying to breeze past the fact that some people still had to /work/.

"And this sweet little thing just comes up to me and asks for the biggest chocolate in the store for her Da. Was so sweet. Had to help her out really. Eventually her Dad came and found her, but I'd helped her buy three of those meter long bars of chocolate as a surprise for him. Was all pretty funny."


Strange is not sure he likes the idea of his 18 year old working on retail. Or waitressing for that matter. But from a purely objective stand point both are much safer occupations than sorceress. He has no ground to complain.

“You don’t need to work,” he offers, somewhat unconvinced. He is wealthy. Sorcerers can get very wealthy if they really try. “Nevermind, lets move to the dining room. Wong must be waiting,” he opens the door for her. “What was this child’s name?”


"Kenneth, or something similiar. They were both /very/ Irish and I struggled to understand everything they said." It pains her a little to admit that, her mouth pulling into a momentary grimace. "But I think I might have an even /better/ job out of it. We'll see though." A pause as she walks along, a bounce in her step at her luck. Of course, that small pause being enough to make her realise the older man might actually /worry/. "As a babysitter! Her current one is going home or something, so he needs another."


Strange is already trying not to worry too much. This getting used to be a father of an adult (barely) daughter by surprise is not easy even for a sorcerer. That Sofia is a sorceress herself, which is normal given her Faltine blood, makes things even more complicated.

To be honest, about the only thing more dangerous that being a sorceress would be (maybe) being a costumed vigilante.

If Sofia wanted to be join SHIELD or become a stunt woman, it will almost be a relief.

Still. "Babysitting? Retail must be even worse than when I was your age if babysitting pays more," he comments dryly. At the dining room the table is set for three. But if Wong was waiting, he managed to hide it well. In fact the man was just entering the room from the (possibly, if the house distribution has not changed much) kitchen's door.


"Well, the guy's loaded. So it's not your average day to day babysitting job. More… Nanny I guess? That's the term right?" She takes a seat at the table, not waiting for someone to pull her chair out or the like. "Course, it won't stop me helping folks as needed I don't think, I mean, it might I guess…" She shrugs, a worry for later.

"Hey Wong!" The guy gets a wave and a smile, before her attention is directed back to her Father. "And I know I don't need to work Pops, but it's still like, early days here isn't it?" She smirks, her blue eyes sparkling; "You might not want me here after getting to know me… What if I…" She shoots a quick glance at Wong, then back with a smirk; "/Bend page corners?"


“I would have to disown you, I suppose,” replies Strange with a chuckle. “Also, studying magic can be a very absorbing work,” he points out while taking a seat. “I spent many sleepless nights at the Ancient One’s libraries in my years in Kamar-Taj. It was a monastery and we had nothing else to do.”

Wong clears his throat, though. “Except the martial arts training, Doctor,” points out the Asian man, serving Sofia and Stephen a mixture of roasted and marinated chicken and vegetables. It smells strongly to curry.

“Which I would advise Mistress Sofia to begin as soon as possible.” Continues Wong. “A young woman living in New York needs to learn to defend herself. And the techniques we can teach her will help her to focus her mystical energies.”


"Wait." The teen puts up a single hand, palm out in a 'stop' gesture. "You mean… I get to learn Kung Fu?" She grins at her Dad, doing his best to tell her to stick with books. Whilst Wong lets slip there's martial arts training available. "That's totally awesome!" She enthuses with a grin, a sniff of the bowl is all she needs to pick up a utensil and shove a piece of chicken in her mouth.

Chew… Chew… Swallow. "Mmmmmmm, that's great Wong. Really must come for dinner more if this is what you guys eat… I mean, Aunt Vesper's gumbo is pretty good, but if she tries to roast something it always comes out black." The girl makes a little 'ick' noise. "Like, totally burnt kinda black. I don't even know /how/ she manages it, the oven's so weak… I normally just heat my food myself."


“Er… yes, except for the martial arts,” admits Strange. Well, he didn’t enjoy those the first years, but the trained proved to be very useful. He is surprised Sofia likes the idea. “I suppose you can learn the ‘kung-fu’ if Wong is willing to teach you.”

“It is not Kung-Fu,” notes Wong. “Although if you wish to learn a Kung-Fu style there are half a dozen excellent teachers in the city. But I would rather teach you Tai Chi first.”


"Wait, that's like, karate kid right? The slow movement?" She grimaces, taking another mouthful of the heated currey as she mulls over this new idea. Once again she swallows before talking, seems Vesper was one for manners.

"Fine, if I gotta learn that first, well then I've gotta learn that first. I had to learn to open locks before I could blow doors off their hinges right?" The girl grins impishly, letting dear ol' Dad make of that what he will.


Strange is a bit surprised Sofia knows who Karate Kid is, anyway. Classics! And blowing up doors is a useful spell. No comment. “Karate is also different,” says Wong, smiling faintly. “Tai Chi is most useful for magic-users. Both because it trains to channel the Chi and because they usually face very strong opponents that they cannot hope to match in raw strength and speed.”


She watches them both for a moment, the silent Doctor and the informative… Just what is Wong anyway? She certainly doesn't think he's a servant, despite his amazing cooking skills. "Well I didn't mean karate karate…" She finally admits weakly, before deciding to concentrate on the meal. For now, the young woman falls silent, working on masticating her food. Occasionally she looks up at one or the other, but otherwise seems to have enough to be mulling over…


“Wong takes security very seriously,” comments Strange when Sofia goes quiet. Wong seems awkward too. “He is my bodyguard and martial arts instructor,” he adds. Wong nods slowly.

“My family has been at the service of the Supreme Sorcerer for ten generations,” he explains. “I will do whatever is required to make the burden lighter,” the man smiles to Sofia, looking apologetic. “I don’t mean to imply you are a burden for Master Stephen, for family is a powerful source of strength for any human being.”


Burden. Well that strikes a nerve. Though Sofia's only reaction is a grunt for the moment. Once she's finished chewing and swallowing however her dry comment is; "Oh no, wouldn't want to be a burden now. Tai chi then, thanks Wong." She offers the man the best smile she can manage, which is about half of one.

"So uh, Pops. We've not really done any lessons lately, is there anything I should be studying in my own time?" Tentatively she brings the topic back to more even ground.


Ouch. Strange will have to talk with his ‘bodyguard’ later. Not that he is opposed to Sofia learning self-defense, but the last thing he wants is her staying away because she is a ‘burden’. “Besides levitation spells? There are a few possibilities,” he starts. “You have a good base on elementalism. It is very basic magic, but gives a sorcerer a good deal of control on the physical world. It is eminently useful and worth exploring. On the other hand I would also like you to learn shielding and protection spells.”


"The best defence is a good offence right?" Sofia asks with a small smile. "I've got levitation of myself down okay, though other things is sometimes wobbly. And uh, no good for long durations. Is there a dimension we can call on to help with that?" Because being able to properly /fly/ would be pretty cool.


"Yes, but you are not ready yet to make deals with entities," replies Strange. He is pretty firm in this. In Strange’s opinion only Masters should try those pacts. "You can do well enough through spells, channeling ambient energy. For a human it would be more efficient than mere levitation, but you might be able to manage a good flight speed by using your personal power. We'll see."

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