Some Rest required

October 05, 2018:

Doctor Strange and Fairchild find a tired Maxima in New York and bring her back to the Hall of Justice.

Somewhere in Manhattan

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The woman had taken a cloak from a looted shop that covered her up pretty well. It had done the job of covering her head and shoulders and such so she could move less obviously through the city. She had really needed a chance to rest but she's drained most of her reserves to a heavy point. People still needed help though. A signal was finally sent off to the Justice League to get some help down here but she knew that help was needed everywhere so she didn't mark it as urgent.

Now, standing with what appears to be a long piece of rebar in her right hand, she glares at a massive gargoyle of a demon that is laughing at her as she puts herself between him and a cowering man and woman.

"You?! What ya gonna do, lil' lady? Hit me with your big metal stick?" The beast growls out in a menacing and yet jovial tone.

"That is precisely what I will do. You will not harm these people." Maxima then gestures with her free hand, "Come then, beast, if you wish to meet your final moments."


While demons rain over New York one of the city main defenders has been quite absent. Doctor Strange has been away from Earth most of the week, rebuilding important wards and barriers that keep the Old Ones sleeping and (mostly) away from reality.

He returned in the morning, expecting the American heroes would have freed New York already. But no, of course not. At least the areas around the East End are mostly evacuated.

And then his Justice League communicator picked up Maxima's signal. Truth is the Doctor has little use for the device. Unreliable in most places where he travels. In fact unreliable even in current New York, which is half-merged with another, even darker place. So maybe that signal is not getting back to the Hall of Justice, which means he better take a look.

There is a brief flash of orange light at the left of the demon, and the doctor steps through a 'hole' in space. "Well, now. What is this about a metal stick?"

Uncharacteristically, Doctor Strange is carrying a huge battle axe in his right hand. The thing is too large for a man like him. He is tall, but on the wiry side. That is the kind of axe seven foot tall Viking berserkers would have trouble handling. It is quite anachronic on a guy that dresses up in a tailored three piece navy blue suit. The red and gold scarf is also a little odd.


The demon blinks at the arrival of Dr. Strange and then stares at the thing that Strange is carrying before laughing, "Little man has a big weapon…wait your turn. The little lady was first." The demon then turns and rushes right for Maxima who is ready.
She plants the staff of rebar into the ground and then flips it down to catch the demon right in the chest and then help him to pole vault right over top of her, the couple and into a building to their right. The crash is resounding and the demon flies right through the wall and inside. Maxima then turns and gestures, "Run, quickly!" She states and the couple didn't need to be told twice. She gestures, "Head for shelter!"

She then turns her gaze to Strange and then back at the building where the gargoyle slowly pulls himself up and grumbles, "Well, well, the lady has some tricks." He laughs a little.


Strange looks vaguely surprised when the demon runs to attack the woman and turns his back to him. But he makes a few gestures and the couple civilians vanish, reappearing a second later in a refugee camp in Metropolis.

"This is the Axe of Angarruumus, you ignorant buffoon," he remarks to the pole-vaulting demon. "You should recognize this artifact because… ah, never mind," he starts gesturing again, "too many of your kin on MY city. I can't educate you all, just go away."

The demon's form blurs, and he barely has time to start screaming as the banishment spell hits him full force. He will be falling between dimensions for a few days and crash pretty hard into one of the lower hells.

Excessive force, maybe. Strange is not in a good mood.


Turning to face the demon, Maxima holds on to the piece of rebar before she blinks as she hears Strange. She looks back at him and watches him gesture before she notes the vanishing demon. She blinks several times before she points the rebar at him, "What did you do with that demon? And those people!" She looks around and walks closer to him, "Speak." She nods her head and slams the rebar down with enough force to bury it about an inch into the concrete.


Strange shrugs, studying Maxima for a few seconds. Then he speaks, "I sent the humans to Metropolis and that gargoyle to a particularly bleak exile dimension I read about in one of Dagot's grimories. I can't remember which right now. It has been a long week."

He leans the axe head on the concrete, not bothering with hitting it hard enough to leave a mark. He is diffing for something in a side pocket. A Justice League communicator unit. "Allow me to introduce myself. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer. You must be Maxima, the newest addition to our little society of good-doers, correct?"


A rescue helicopter with Coast Guard markings is on approach. The rotors *thunkwhunkthunk* through the air and send a strong downdraft of wind once it's near an intersection large enough for it to descend, about fifty meters from their position. A rapelling line is loosened and a grey-suited, heavily ladened figure descends rapidly to the ground with nothing but a barehanded grip on the hook. Once it alights, a bundle of tightly-wrapped red hair becomes visible, and Caitlin Fairchild waves off the helicopter. She turns and walks towards Maxima and Strange, one hand negligently controlling the body of a heavy military machine gun on a sling. Her hand lifts from it in a wave of peaceful intent until she gets close enough to make out faces.

"Doctor Strange! Boy, am I glad to see you!" she tells him, moving to offer him a (very careful) hug of sincere pleasure. Bandoliers of what look like holy water ampules are mounted to a tactical vest, and religious icongraphy decorates a pair of brass knuckles sewn into her gloves. Chunks of mismatched steel and stone form a crude but very effective looking armor.

She turns, peering at Maxima, and startles when she recognizes the woman. "Queen Maxima," she says, with a deferential bob. A little nod to formality, despite the serious situation around them. "I was doing a recon route when I picked up a weak distress beacon. One of you has a faulty transmitter," she says, rooting around in a slingpack resting on her hip.

She comes up with a little hard-sided tupperware container, and opens it. "Chocolate chip cookies, anyone?" she says, as the scent of fresh cookies assails the nostrils.


Pulling out the transmitter, Maxima tosses it to Cait's feet and it sparks a little, "It is not Kraken proof." She swallows softly and turns her gaze back to Strange and states, "I am indeed, Maxima." She nods her head, "I have…had better days but I am glad to hear the couple are safe."

She takes a step to the side and leans unto a lamp post, letting herself slump some, "It appears I have over done it." The cloak hangs partially open to reveal her usual outfit in tatters and blood dried on the side of her leg, "There are still in need of help and I am here to do that."


Strange looks somewhat surprised at Caitlin hugging him. "Yes, I was going to visit the Hall later in the evening," he notes. "Wasn't New York a no-fly area? Have they lifted the ban? Then he glances at Maxima, unsurprised by her sorry condition. He has already checked with a diagnose spell in the previous staredown.

"In fact it might be best to go there now," he decides. "I was going to use the axe as a ward-focus for a few… ah, tricks. But it can wait."


"Emergency rescue and recon only," Cait tells Strange, nodding. "We're still pulling out evacuees and I'm trying to track portal hotspots, see if I can establish a pattern for them."

Caitlin eyes Maxima's wounds, and glances at Strange. She sets the open box of cookies where people can go for seconds and stoops to pick up the damaged transmitter. A little interface wire is wormed out of her suit's wrist cuff and plugged into it. "Ooops, yeah. Looks like a capacitor housing cracked. Here— I've got a spare," she tells Maxima, reaching into her pack. She hooks it up, codes it to Maxima's League identity, and offers it to the woman.

"Can I offer you some medical aid, Queen Maxima? Or food?" Caitlin asks, with a solicitous tone and earnest concern for the woman's injuries.


Looking to Strange, Maxima nods slightly before saying, "I…have not rested." She looks distant before saying, "In over one of your planet's weeks…" She shakes her head and then stands up straight as she grabs the rebar, "But do not think that I shall so easily give up."

She pulls the cloak carefully about herself and walks with a slight limp over to Caitlyn, "I have come here to help, not hurt, as I said and have said." She nods her head, "Almerac's greatest warrior does not easily tire." She shakes her head, though she appears to have old wounds on her face as well, her healing having slowed considerably.


"And yet you need rest," points out Strange, who is looking tired himself despite his clean outfit. "Trust me, I am a doctor. We also need to organize better, because there are more demons that I expected and to be honest, resistance has been so haphazardly so far."
He gestures again, opening a larger, more stable portal directly into the living quarters of the Hall of Justice. "Come, I need to know what has been done the past few days. I have been busy elsewhere, but I think it is time the League gathers to deal with this invasion and the instigators behind it."


"I hit my limit about two days in," Caitlin tells Maxima. "You gotta get some sleep. You'll hit the wall soon and then we'll be without Almerac's aid. What's worse? Lose you for six hours tonight, or lose you for six days after you get badly injured?" she inquires, with a pragmatic tone.

"Anyway, Doc— I do need your help specifically," Caitlin says. "I'm working on a model to predict these portals and to shut them— or the demons— out. But I need a stable lab environment to do some controlled testing. I'm hoping you might lend a hand?" she inquires, hopefully.


A look at Strange and she squints at him a moment before she takes a step toward Caitlin and nods, "Well, that is valiant and you would make a good warrior of Almerac if you lasted so long." She nods her head, "However, I am capable still…dangerous even." She nods her head before looking at the portal and tilting her head, "That is…impressive." She states and then walks toward it and looks it over, "How do you stablize such a bridge with such a gesture?" She looks at Strange and then her eyes close a moment and she shakes her head, "Another time…"

She steps to the portal and looks over at Caitlin, "I am not going to flee or turn on any of you." She points at Caitlin, "You will not lose me…but if you insist I must rest…I will." She then walks through the portal and shakes her head as she walks into the main area with a slight limp to her left leg.


"I doubt you can map the patterns from this dimension, Fairchild," replies Strange to Caitlin. "Nor build a model using computers because computers use mathematics that make no sense in the origin realities. I suppose I could use the Orb of Agamotto… but why would you need to predict the portals? Most demons are already here. At least for now."

As for Maxima, he glances at her and frowns. "Yes, we can talk about magic in the morning if you wish. But opening a portal to the Hall is easier because I have done some spellwork here already. And… I really should spend a few minutes with the wards. If you excuse me… I will return soon."


"I've had good luck with my algorithims," Caitlin says. She flashes a smile at Strange. "I'll show you my work. I think if we all put our heads together, we can lick this. Who knows? We might stumble on something entirely novel."

"Rest well, your Majesty," Caitlin tells Maxima, waving her farewell from the other side of the portal. "Don't worry. I'll pull patrol in this sector for a while. You get your rest, get some food, and hit it hard tomorrow." She smiles, waves, and steps into the city as the portal dials shut behind her.

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