1965-05-05 - Constellation: Ancient Tidings I
Summary: Confronting Volga.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
bucky strange rogue 

"We'll see, Barnes," the Sorcerer replies quietly to Bucky, his lambent scrutiny then shifting back to the Bohemienne. "It greatly depends on what information I can extract." He makes no move to confirm or deny the thoughts on visiting Russia. Far too late now, especially given the slip in personalities, as quick and easy as disappearing beneath the surface of a twilit lake.

Even as Strange considers precisely what tack to take in sussing out the answers he needs, the corners of his lips are rising into a smile far more toothy than kind. There's a visceral element of delight in looking into those sepulchral eyes. No small wonder the Witch worries at his confidence overtaking his sense of personal safety.

He keeps it simple: "Why?" In terms of answers, it spans a huge gamut — it's a tell inandof itself in how the memory chooses to respond.

Scarlett still carries that ghostly essence of the tea proffered by way of greeting, though the notes attain an infinitely more aqueous run. Winter carries an odd scent to it, clean and clear, tinged by snow and a whisper of pine perhaps. Enough that Bucky clearly ought to identify it with his sharpened olfactory sense, though that wars with the permanent neroli overlaid on cream-pale skin. Other than the restrained visual notes, little about her changes: posture remains the same, and the tension ratcheted up to place her between Strange and the dark-haired soldier, for good or for ill.

In some ways, the lupine metaphors are altogether too real. At least her lips aren't peeled back to bare white canines in a razor-sharp mezzaluna smile. Yet. Sudden movements, on the other hand, may be met with uncharacteristic force on her part, something to bear in mind, given how she rides the lightning of a stolen soul.

"I love my home. You do the same to protect the Earth. Don't begrudge other methods when the spirit is the same, Doctor."

There's no sniffing retort at that from Bucky. But his expression has tightened further yet, a hint of Winter's utter lack of affect. He's raised his head, nostrils flaring faintly, definitely lupine. The dark elves have certainly left their mark.

"Mmm." One could squeeze the acidic derision from the word and it would splatter and hiss on the Mirror Dimension's reflective flooring. "On another day, I might agree with you, but for this…" His irises, gone electric-violet, drag from Scarlett's face and to her toes and back up. "I make an exception. For the sake of medicine bent against the will of those beneath your touch…that becomes personal. There are other methods to vouchsafe your land, Volga. When did it come to blood?"

The Cloak continues to slowly riffle at its base hem. Bucky, with his training, will likely suss the slow creep of readiness into the Sorcerer's person.

English rolling by way of the rose fields of Kent or another home county permeate the redhead bohemienne's soprano, lening the same sound in a familiar instrument. But the betrayal lies in the certain pronunciations and slides through vowel and consonants that no native English speaker on either side of the Pond might commit. Not even the Far Eastern dialect learned by the Asset still harboured somewhere in Bucky's mind uses those inflections, and a linguist would be extremely hard-pressed to identify their origins. Mostly because the last time they were used, a Byzantine emperor shuffled around in silks and a sandy desert was busy maturing the third great religion of the Near East.

The ember-wrack swirling around her murky pupils flashes, catching the fractal lines of the Mirror Dimension where light plays all too wrong. Her hand lands upon her hip, contrapposto position that of the classic Greco-Roman statues rediscovered mid-fourteenth century in the Northern Italian Renaissance. They never sculpted with her proportions, though, no Madonna given that physique ever. "Medicine bent against?" Echoed measure there, her bemused undertone nailed down. "Your meaning is not clear, Stephen." The slow roil of her aura follows those Arctic curtains, hypercharged plasma stilted exceptionally aquamarine rather than her typical emerald, but those phased hues still persist.

"He is born of the Rodina. Shared kinship, a tie of life. Always, then?"

Now he can't help but break in, and the accent is all Brooklyn impatience. Rude to interrupt when the magical adults are talking, but he can't wait. "Wait. What? Who? Me? The kids?" HE glances between them, brow furrowed.

"Volga himself," Strange supplies as answer to the local Brooklynite, his tone perfectly even and cold as a frozen pond. "And allow me to clarify. I don't appreciate his methods. I take offense to what he's done in the name of protection, given the current state of both Barnes and yourself, Autumn. I want him out of you and out of my Sanctum." His bright eyes narrow at her subtle positioning — oh yes, he's aware of what his blood is telling him, even as his own aura cranks up another few notches, the flicker of distant starlight thickening in the miasm of energy about himself.

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d20 for: 1

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d100 for: 3

No sooner said than done.

Redoubled mystic capabilities dredged from the genetic abyss give the Sorcerer Supreme exactly what he wants in a second, no more. The malleability of the Mirror Dimension may be one of its prize hallmarks for the mystically inclined. Its links to other layers of reality is yet another.

A precise flip of those deadly, soul-draining fingers rips a wedge out of true, spinning the redhead along a vertical trajectory that rightly invert her relative to the men. Shattered facets erupt outwards from a point of manipulated impact, kaleidoscopic needles erupting in starbursts that themselves splinter and rotate again. Before she hits the noon-mark on the proverbial clock, she falls headfirst into an aetheric incision for one. Not even so much as a drop of water hangs midair. It's probably worse than being kicked in the teeth.

There is a moment of utter, blank-faced panic t that. Buck's jaw has dropped, and he stares at Strange helplessly. "What….what just happened?" It's a plea. And then it's closer to an order, "Doc, please find her!"

Even as she's in motion, Strange is stepping back into a balanced stance; his hands flicker about as quickly as can be managed and the charged air around him takes formations in defensive mandalas. Even as the string-fire strands spark to life with wickedly-sharp crackles, she's…gone.

A hiss, akin to a cornered cobra, and teeth flash in a snarl. "Just how literal can they be?!" Who's he talking to? Bucky receives a flicker of a glance even as Strange grounds himself again. One mandala is dismissed with a flick of his hand not unlike a paw-wetted cat. His stance takes on width and even as he inhales, the very air in the Mirror Dimension takes on an extra element of charge — something absolutely palpable to anyone within, Mystical or Mundane. Storm-blue fabric and loose hair is set to wafting in the kinetic atmosphere of his intent. His voice drops into a register that echoes within the reflective walls and sets them to quivering.

"By the purview of the Vishanti three,
Through willpower innate to me,
By skein of Fate and truth of Name,
Autumn, your presence, I reclaim."

The edict resounds across the reality proper, echoing even into the parallel dimensions.

"And in my presence…do remain," he adds, tritely, before snapping his fingers with literal sparking.

A rift in space shuts and a brief reunion twinkles countless twists and turns on the cosmic journey away. Reunion cut short, but significant all the same.

Any arcane battle betwixt the Sorcerer Supreme and a being less than an Eternal may be weighted unfairly, at least when the gods involve themselves. Nonetheless, powers of a lesser standard may yet contest certain loopholes in reality where they lie, for not even the Vishanti govern with a complete golden, gem-studded fist.

That reaction takes some seconds to complete, yanking back the absent redhead. Through marigold panes spilling eldritch fire she returns, soaked to the bone, that sunset tunic gone nearly transparent and her nylons vanished entirely. Every braid drips water onto the floor, such as it is, and what traces of kohl outline her eyes washed into a hazy raccoon shadow. Streams trickle down her temples, fingertips collecting beads. Even that faint motion of her hair would imply being underwater, dragged at by a current. Those dark lashes even carry tiny diamond dewdrops. Speech might be ill-advised at the moment, thus she doesn't bother.

It may also have something to do with the fact her mouth and lungs could just be harbouring a significant amount of water, or pent up air, or glitter.

Buck's face is a study in puzzled horror. He doesn't understand what he's seeing, what's going on, so he's gazing between them like a bewildered dog. But when she returns, he's sidling closer, unable to help himself.

The Sorcerer's classical features flicker through concern and back into obdurate neutrality even as he too begins to step forwards. He lifts a hand, scarred palm facing outwards towards Bucky, and snaps, "Barnes, stay back."

"Volga. You — and you alone. Leave her." The long fingers, equally at home at the keys of a piano as once wielding the delicate blades of scalpels during impossible surgeries, spread in a ray towards Scarlett. His eyes have nearly blanked out in ultraviolescence with the intensity of repressed emotions, shoved rudely aside but no less reactive to the wellspring of the Arts within him. "I summon you, Vseslavovich — son of royal blood and ancient earth — he who wears the skin of life — leave —- her."

What terror reflects in Bucky's face only doubles down on that certainty not to remain where she is. The slow blink or two washes over her vivid gaze. Freshwater perfumes her cool skin, and the melodic cascades keep splashing in a growing puddle around her feet. The redhead shakes her damp braids, every aspect of her nature to contain, to drown, and to steal. It's no more separable from her than honour from Steve Rogers, albeit one is something of a genetic vice than a nurtured quality.

Skin shouldn't be translucent in a true sense, either, but there it is, the extremities hovering between their usual cream pallor and the curious liquidity charged around them. Her head shakes at the searing crackle, and for all the girl can be damn resolute when she wants to, something in that summons — resisted, no less — is all the worse when some twist of fate tosses the entangled threads apart from one another.

The body drops like the mere flesh trappings that it is. The girl floats in space, dark-eyed sorcerer rounding out the corner of the diamond.

HE does stay back, but his hands are out, beseeching. Where is his girl in all this? What's Volga and what's her? Bucky can't wrench his gaze away, apparently frozen in place as if Strange had cast some spell on him.

With the circumstances as they are, Strange looks beyond the fallen body on the floor of the dimension. He ignores the assassin entirely. The panes flicker again with a fine and resonating thrum as he cycles through a breath, his hand still upraised. Fine light dances around it affectionately, arcing between line-mapped digits in a hue slowly shifting towards a brilliant infrared.

"This is between you and me now, Vseslavovich, practitioner to practitioner. Surely we can come to an agreement." The blurred flick of his hand announces the fruition of the spell at hand: crimson bands, formed to immaculate geometry, arc around both the ephemeral form of the Bohemienne and the stalwart Soldier, and for the vision of the foreign sorcerer beyond. The other hand, warping and wefting to all sights even as he raises it, is abruptly brought down. Air disappears into a vacuum even as the world blurs. Around both of Scarlett's forms and Bucky, the dimension abruptly collapses into nonexistence — taking Strange and Volga with it.

Around them, the familiarity of the foyer stands in stark contrast to the faint rumble of metaphysical thunder in the distance. This is true reality, this, down to the curl of incense from a nearby taper and the muted honking of a taxi on the street outside, beyond the front doors with their frosted windowpane.

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