2011 01 20 Hero's Return (One More Day)

Log Title:
Hero's Reward

Doctor Strange, Spider-Man

IC Date:
Unknown, 2010


Brief log summary::
If what we worship fail us, still the fire // Burns on, and it is much to have believed. ~ Amy Lowell, "Hero-Worship"


There is no TS in this log::

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The world is madness, the sky is a cacophony of color with clouds that swirl and spout malicious thoughts given form and substance. It's a brilliant mix of color and hate, a perfect counterpart to the scene that takes place upon what serves as the 'ground' in Mephisto's realm. What can only be called skulls, skeletons, refuse, debris all stretch a limitless length from one horizon to the other and only broken up by the bottomless chasms that criss-cross the land like cracks in the great canvas of this reality.
Yet even amongst such a nightmare image the mind strives to make sense of it all, must make sense of it. For two minds now witness it and rail against it. Two minds bent on defying the madness that is Mephisto and to save the worlds the great being seeks to conquer.
All around him are monsters. Creatures of nightmare he has never seen before. Venom's gape-toothed maw is nothing to some of the viciousness of the army of devils that seek to taste his blood. Spider-Man fights as he can, leaping away, dodging, kicking, striking, never stopping. He is a red and blue blur as he moves, yet still managing a moment or two to speak.
"Don't know how long I can keep this up, Doc!" He plants his hands on a horned head of a tall demon, vaulting over it and causing two of the monsters to slam into each other.
Standing some distance from the swirling conflict, watching the hundreds of creatures trying to assault Spider-Man yet not watching. His hands held up as arcane symbols are sketched in the air with eldritch power, Dr. Strange practices his medicine. "Just hold on, Spider-Man! What has been torn asunder shall be reborn anew!" And all the while, looming high in the clouds and behind the Dr. is the blazing flaming silhouette of Mephisto himself, laughing at their efforts while he holds the helpless and limp form of a woman in one gigantic clawed hand.
It had only been a handful of days before all of this madness. Only a few days as he perceived it that Spider-Man's life was at least an order of magnitude more normal than all of… this. It wasn't until the Sorcerer Supreme showed up on his doorstep with ominous prophecies and declarations that his world went utterly mad with demons and devils and alternate dimensions.
And then M.J. was kidnapped. That was just plain rude.
She was used as a lever, in an effort by the evil Mephisto to make Spider-Man betray the sorcerer, to get Dr. Strange trapped forever in Limbo. It was through great heroics and coordination that they were able to turn the tables… That is if you can consider having to hold off an army of demons while Dr. Strange finishes the banishment spell as turning the tables.
"How much longer, Doc!" Another roaring screaming winged monstrosity barely misses eviscerating Spider-Man, even as the avenging arachnid dives to the side and between the spined 'legs' of a quivering mass of flesh and thorns.
"Time is entirely subjective, Spider-Man, it passes as you wish it to pass. Let your mind rest, focus on the task at hand." The good doctor's hands twist and turn as the spell continues its course, his own silhouette flickering in the sunless light of Mephisto's realm.
HA HA HA. YOU FOOLS. DR. STRANGE WE HAVE BOTH SEEN HOW THIS ENDS. VICTORY WILL NEVER BE YOURS! The shimmering image of Mephisto flickers and fades, the unconcious woman in his hand twists helplessly in his grasp as he lifts her over his head.'

Yet it is not Mephisto's voice that begins to echo, but Dr. Strange's that takes on a deeper resonance, that with each syllable seems to cause the very world to shake with power.
"Rekoram! Arkoristaie! Avaunt! Mephistum trakoraranae!" Dr. Strange's hands shoot up as eldritch fire burst forth, weaving and lashing through the air in right angles. Blue lightning springs forth from the fire and begins to form a vicious cage about the great figure of Mephisto. The Sorcerer Supreme snaps his arms out to the side, and with that gesture the blazing image of the spell restricts, like great bonds trapping Mephisto amongst them.
The horde of demons rear up, howling all in unison as their master is trapped. They cease to attack Spider-Man, seeming to flicker and fad as the great Mephisto draws on their energy, causing them to disappear as he absorbs them entirely. Yet it is not enough, not enough!
// AARRRRRARGH! MADNESS! YOU WOULD RISK THE ENTIRE GAME FOR THIS ONE PIECE. VERY WELL! THEN TAKE HER! // And with that said the great demon slashes his arm around, breaking blue eldritch tendril bonds and swinging the unconscious redheaded woman down towards the gaping maw and abyss far far below him.
"M.J.!" Spidey tries to dive between the immobile still figures of the demons, leaps high and tries to fire an empty web-shooter, _jumps_ off of a frozen creature's shoulder in some effort to reach the plummeting Mary Jane Watson.
"Doc, you've got to save her! DOC!"

A raging storm of arcane power surges and boils amongst the sky and the gigantic demon that cackles its revenge. As the spell reaches its crescendo, the demonic horde keens as well, raging along with their master as their power is sapped from them by the sorcerous defender of humanity. Yet this victory cannot be savoured, cannot even be realized.
"Doc!" The scream from Peter Parker is wild, filled with desparation and fear. He skids to a stop beside the edge of the great abyss, tearing off his mask as he strains for one last glimpse, one final look upon his love as she disappears into the roiling clouds far below in the limbo of this dimension.
Even as she slips away from Spider-Man's grasp, Dr. Strange reaches out with his own. "Bide, Spider-Man!" He lashes out a hand, orange tendrils of energy slicing out at the gesture, blazing a path towards the abyss, then taking a sharp angle straight down into the ether where Mary Jane disappeared. "I shall hold her. Bind her to us!" The older man's features cloud, a look of utter concentration flickering over his features.

Spinning around and dashing back to where Doctor Strange stands to weave his magic, Peter Parker looks utterly frantic. Helpless in this moment, it is an entirely foreign feeling for him to have to rely on someone else to save his love ones, to be powerless in the face of such a fate. He looks back towards the roiling depths, then back towards Dr. Strange, all he's able to voice is a single word, "Please,"
A beadlet of sweat trickles down the sorcerer's brow, his features contorted as his fingers move through the motions of one of the most complex spells he has ever cast. He casts his head back, shaking with the very power that floods through his body. Then, with little warning, he slaps his hands together causing a loud /CRACK/ of power…
And there, as the energy fades, standing before him is Mary Jane.
"Oh Peter," She rushes forwards in the same moment that Spider-Man steps in to take her in his arms. He holds her close, both of them crying softly in the embrace. He strokes her hair gently and whispers, "It's ok, MJ. You're safe now. You're safe."
"Come, Spider-Man…" Doctor Strange's voice is weak, haggard from all of the effort. "We have done what we set out to do. Reality owes you a debt it can… it can never repay." Those solemn words hang heavy from him, and for a moment it may seem as if he were about to collapse.
"Whoa, Doc. I got you. C'mon, let's blow this popstand." He smiles, wiping away the tears even as he props up Dr. Strange. And with that… the trio move off to whence they came.

Much time passed. Over the next year so much happened in the life of Peter Parker. He finally was able to proprose to the love of his life. Amazingly she said yes. They were married in a beautiful ceremony with their friends and family wishing them well.
Their first year of marrige would have been a storybook thing if it weren't for the madness of his second life as Spider-Man. It would strain any relationship, but for some reason Mary Jane Watson was always supportive, always there to help Spider-Man make it through the trying times. Especially when it seemed that the fate of the world rested in his hands, it was due to the support and love of his wife that Spider-Man was able to endure.
All was well, until almost a year after the fateful day battling Mephisto. A day that just so happened to be their first year anniversary.

The door to the apartment of the Parkers is thrown open and a jubilant voice echoes off the wall, "M.J. I'm home!" And through that door strides Peter Parker, loving husband of Mary Jane. For once he's dressed to the nines, wearing his one black suit and tie. He strides into the living room, hiding a dozen roses behind his back as he starts to move through the apartment, "We've got reservations for six, then it's dancing the night away. I told J.J. that I was going out of town so no last minute assignments!"
And as he speaks he's moving from room to room, throwing open doors. A faint touch of concern mars his brow as he looks around, now realizing that the apartment is empty. He steps back out into the bedroom hallway, walking towards the living room. He pauses there, frowning. "Well heck." He steps to the kitchen, perhaps looking for a note of some kind.
It's then that from behind him, appearing in the window to the balcony, the dark figure of Dr. Strange appears. There are no theatrics, no blaze or flash of energy. Simply empty space one moment, then he is there the next. His solemn voice lifts as he calls to Peter Parker, "I am sorry, Peter. There is much we must discuss…" For a moment he is unable to meet Peter's eyes, unable to meet the gaze of this man he's wronged so.
"Wha… what is it Doc? Where's Mary Jane?"
Doctor Strange has never been one to shirk responsibility, never been one to avoid the difficult duty that only he can perform. He steps forwards, touching a hand to the young hero's shoulder. Quiet words are given, words that Peter barely hears as the world seems to come apart under his very feet. His knees buckle for an instant, the flowers fall from his grasp… and slowly a single rose petal flutters to the ground to land at his feet.

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