Monday, December 03, 2001

Doctor Strange #4 - The Matrix Grimore

Deep breathe. Center. Pause. Thought before action. Ananym's mind was acting on pure instinct, her motions and actions being decided more by her subconscious than herself, ripping the window sill with a spell of weight from her conscious mind. Coiled, her legs tightened as her knees bent, readying herself on the ledge before she sprung into action.

No one on the street looked up and pointed at the odd woman who appeared to be close to jumping off the house's precipice, the emergency services failing to be raised due to the lack of notice of her location. Ananym favored the Mansions obfuscated nature, the attribute making her life and job much easier than it would have been under different circumstances. A node of magickal resources, the residence on Bleaker Street resonated to the magicaklly affiliated, however.

Ananym listened closely, hearing the soft motions of her intruder, unaware that it was in fact being monitored, moving about the study. Her study. It would have found the diagrams she had left on the table by now. She had no choice but to treat the visitor as a threat, the ex-spy reasoned. Smiling, the Sorcerer Supreme's legs twitched for a second before she jumped up and around, her hands gripping the windowsill, rotating her body around and through the opening. The fingertips of Ananym's hands touched the Transformer's shoulder quickly as a bright blue spark shone and the thing seemed to convulse in pain.

The spell undone, the mage righted herself as the mechanoid turned to meet her. Dropping to the ground, one knee touched the carpet briefly before the red haired dervish was in the air again. Spinning, she cast another simple spell of weight, this time increasing her mass to add weight to the upcoming attack.

This Transformer was of human height, perhaps a bit taller, standing at eight feet none the less. Ananym would have deduced that it was in fact its chosen alter version that dictated its size, but instead the mage thanked whatever Gods the constructs would hail that it wasn't too big for her crescent swing, heel connecting smartly with its jaw area.

"Argh!" He screamed, the electronic voice male in tone. Green and silver, the Transformer moved quickly, shoulder pads of a emerald reptilian variety connecting against Ananym's side, shoving her back. Timing the motion correctly, the Sorcerer Supreme stopped as the robot fist slammed against her jaw.

Shrugging her neck, Ananym enforced the spell of weight, with an added enchantment to even the score between the two combatants.

This was fun.


Written By: Alex Cook


An emotion described with the words joy and elation,being the fun the Transformer was not having as Ananym fought back hard and fast. First a right hook rained down on the metallic faceplate, while her left hand sailed up, crushing the housing of the thing's ribs. Eldritch energy circled her fists as the assault continued, a foot snapping up twice, using the confusion of the Transformer to her advantage. Leveraging her weight to the right, Ananym hooked her arm around one of its, spinning back as the low-tonned monstrosity sailed over her shoulder.

Mystical construction went a long way to surviving the sudden lurching against the floorboards, the house's owner paying little note as she jumped into the air once more. Somersaulting twice while turning a few hundred degrees, Ananym came down on its chest, feet crushing it slightly as she dropped down near the Transformer's head. Its eyes flashed red as it felt sudden constructions around its limbs.

"You weren't prepared."

"I was in your damned home, woman! Who would assault anyone here??"

"Obviously your assumption has been proven false."

"I can't believe you just did that."

Ananym smiled as the bands of energy securing the Transformer to the ground disappeared. "All part of the tutelage."

"You're more sadistic then a Predacon."

Ananym only raised a single eyebrow, dismissing the comment with a stare of heat, centered on her pupil.


With dilated pupils, the man shoved the soup kitchen worker forcefully aside.

"Hey! Excuse me for offering you food!"

An unkempt beard of black, his eyes hidden behind the shadow that was cast by the large-brimmed hat the derelict wore, was all that Mark saw when the head looked toward him.

"Soup, for you, good. Ya know?" Mark motioned, mocking the obviously insane gentlemen. Damn the high school and their stupid idea that volunteer hours were required to graduate.

"Hurgh" was all the other one said, if the sound could be deemed a word in the first place and not simply that, a sound. A sigh even, as aged and stank breath left the wizened man's throat along with it.

Mark waved a hand in the air near his nose as the line moved forward, the man who'd just accosted him walking away. Clearing the air proved futile, the stench of the man hung around Mark like a cloud.

The soup flowed, its server unaware as the derelict continued his movement toward the alley, still mumbling. No one around really heard what was said, but if they would have, the words wouldn't have made much sense. Who really understands what Vishiniti and Agomatto means anyway?


"Meaning we move tonight."

The DigitalConstructs halted as their players attention moved to look at the speaker. With One's sudden comment, the room had grown silent. Nodding, he hung up the phone and turned to the odd stares and glances that was directed his way.

"We're doing what?" The sole female asked, closest to her lover and leader.

"Another ritual." One answered nonchalantly, groans being his answer from the other two that made up their quintet.

"Why? I thought that was a one-time gig," Three said. "I'm still wigged out from the last one."

"Cash is cash, people. We've got plans tonight." One finished with a smile. To him, the conversation was over.


Over and over she turned the priceless gem, emerald in tint. It reflected the red hue of her hair in the oddest way, fractal patterns within the surface of the stone oscillating randomly. An odd cacophony of hues resulted, pinks and greens twirling about each other.

Placing the item down on the table, Ananym looked over at the still- bound Transformer. Dropping into the chair nearby, propping her feet against the table, she smiled at the expression on the construct's face. It could almost be described as annoyance.

"Oh, what's wrong?" Ananym asked in a high pitched voice, playing with the snared opponent.

"Master, you've proved your point. Would you PLEASE release me now?" It asked, digitized notes of sound emitted from its skull.

With the sap of her fingers, the wish was granted. Standing, it made sure that each tendril of energy was in fact no longer visible. "Did you enjoy that?"

Ananym winked as she said, "Yes, I did." Motioning a finger of her steeped hands to the stone, she continued. "Where did you find it?"

"South America. It was easy enough to locate once I knew which energy signature I had to look for."

"The beauty of science."

The Robot smiled, looking at its Master. "Coming to my train of thought, ma'am?"

A silver tendril of circuitry cut a grove across Ananym's left check, receding beneath her healing skin just as quickly.

"No." An awkward silence hung, Ananym using it to prove her point and silently admonish her student for his transgressions. "Go on, Fractyl." She finally said, punishment rendered as the Transformers face seemed to be painted with embarrassment.

"I also heard some interesting rumors while there, Master." Fractyl said, changing subjects. "About a Golden Disk."

Ananym's eyebrows showed her confusion. "What?"

"The Golden Disk?" Ananym continued to stare back at him blankly. "You've never heard of it? In your overzealous pursuit of magickal artifacts, I was sure that you would have learned of some of my own species' items of note."

"So I haven't learned about it. Educate me."

Fractyl made a swallowing noise, straightning before continuing. "There's only a handful of myths within the culture of my species. One refers to these 'Golden Disks'."

"You sound like you don't believe in them."

Fractyl paused, considering the notion. "No, I do. It's the nature of the Transformer condition I guess. We KNOW our creator. We have factual evidence of its existence. These Golden Disks are revered in the same respect." Ananym took on a new interesting, something peeking her senses as the Dinosaur-based Transformer continued. "Supposedly they prophesized our landing here. Lord Megatron..."

Ananym let out a small sigh at the name. "Again with the single minded approach to alignment."

Fractyl collected his thoughts again, waging into a mine field he'd been in before. "Regardless of my current affiliations, I have my heritage to respect."

Ananym waved her hand, dismissing the conversation before her student could. "Go on."

"Megatron, the original, destroyed the twin disks eons ago. Their very existence was a rumor on Cybertron. Even within the camp of the Decepticon, who was supposedly the original creators of the Golden Disks. The how and why of the Disks were preposterous to most."

"Then why bring it up?"

"Have you read any Archeologic periodicals lately?"

"My, how we've acclimated to the new world."

"If you had..." Fractyl said, brushing past the comment. His Master enjoyed keeping a sarcastic atmosphere between the two. He never felt beneath her in most areas, only in the ones he sought her tutelage for in the first place. "..You might have noticed the interesting find near Mexico City."

"Like what?"

"Like a certain artifact uncovered in an Inca Temple with circuitry inside it. And golden plating."

Ananym smiled slightly, looking at her student in a new way. "I knew there was a reason I accepted you as my student."


Student of the technological arts, the man moved through the alleyway slowly, watching and waiting. Foot traffic slowed, a red light halting its movement and allowing him passage into the shadow-encased area. A canyon between two dilapidated buildings, the stretch of asphalt was a shantytown of sorts, homeless and derelicts creating a home for them where before they had none.

'If only they put their minds to work for them, rather then their brawn,' the man thought to himself. He looked around, noting the sign of the store he was looking for not much further down. It was the sole business within the alleyway, it's wares of the less than legal kind. Only a few knew of it, and it's security precautions were equally extreme.

The fact he had to come here himself, rather than one of his creations, all to take a ridiculous blood sample and retina scan to prove his identity appalled him. The grin that was seemingly permanently painted on his face, frowned, resulting in an odd facial expression.

Entering the archway of the 'shop', the man moved apart his brown strings of hair, opening his eyes and staring directly into a small camera within the peephole. A flash of red light and his retina was scanned, a process taking seconds to complete and costing him more time and money then he cared to think about, finishing.

The door swung open, leaving an unassuming entranceway of classic Mexican flavor to greet him.

"Please enter." a voice called from the back. The man did indeed step inside, a hand of strength gripping his shoulder as he did so. "Manuel will guide you."


Lead like a blind man, the 'guest' of the shop keeper, named Rico as far as he knew, was seated within an even smaller den, complete with oak desk.

"Welcome." Rico said, leaning forward on his elbows. "If you wouldn't mind?"

Manuel offered a digital scanner, complete with prick to snare the man's DNA. His thumb was placed on the screen, the cuff of the green jumpsuit rolled up to his elbow to make sure there were no tricks. Five seconds later and the device blinked a green light. "Checks out sir."

Tapping a few keys on his keyboard, Rico lit a fat cigar, chewing its end as he puffed on it.

The customer, brown hair long and unkempt past his shoulders paused a second, looking at the reseller with interest. "My package?"

"Sir, we have as you would say a problem."

A raised eyebrow was the man's only response.

"There turned out to be more cost associated with securing your item. Say... another five hundred thousand."

Sitting up closer, the man replied evenly, "A half million dollars more?"

"Yes, sir."

The man's grin widened a little, his eyes equally growing in size. "I thought you might say that."

Rico's small shop suddenly was greeted by the sudden destruction of it's rear wall, white fingers attached to super strong hands gripping the Mexican man's neck.

"Pop goes the weasel." The man said as his body spontaneously combusted, destroying the remaining support structure that still stood. Mexico City was never known for its promptly responsive fire unit, the dwelling turned to ashes in an hour, as no one paid it much mind.


The conflagration grew as another few logs were placed on its burning ridges. The bonfire grew as new substance was offered to burn, the four gathered stepping back and watching it intently.

"Everyone ready?" The obvious head of the cabal asked. Nods of assent were given all around, all bowing their heads as they prepared themselves.

The moon hung heavy in the sky as their chanting began, the orb of rock looking down on a strange circle within a circle pattern.


Patterns of binary codes, data detailing certain archeological facts scrolled past Ananym's silver patched eye. Fractyl had once asked her about the odd addition to her face, but he hadn't gotten much response. Ananym rarely spoke about herself, Fractyl thought. She was the fly on the wall type, not because she was shy but because being unassuming was what she was taught. Espionage and subterfuge was intertwined with her very soul it seemed, although Fractyl thought this always wasn't the way. There was something hardened with his Master. Something akin to his own nature, perhaps offering suggestion on why their partnership worked at all, much less as it did.

Looking over at the human-shaped reptile, leather-like skin of green still visible in his humanoid shape.

"Did you find the affinity I sensed?" Fractyl asked, noticing the glance.

"Yeah, this is exactly the type of stone we're looking for. Two down." Glancing back at an ancient tome near the hologram-based display, she finished with. "I'm really not sure how many that are left."

"What are they, though?" Fractyl asked for the hundredth time.

Ananym looked back at the display, a screen of scientific and mystical facts streaming against her eyes. "Still not sure there, either. But there is a strong Earth affinity to it's aura. Something," Ananym said, squinting. "Dark inside it's edges as well."

Fractyl returned to his net surfing, hitting the latest DigitalConstructs website created. The Transformer really had an addiction.

"Fractyl, stop playing. You've got somewhere to go."

"Again?" he sighed, standing up.

"Enough. There's a few leads here," she said, throwing a mini-optical disk at him. "About possible locations for the third gem. Contact me in a week and let me know how you're doing."

Fractyl inserted the disk into a drive in his chest, securing it as he answered. "Alright then. What have you got planned?"

Ananym smiled as new information scrolled past her optic nerve. "A little gold digging I think."


Digging proved to be the exact action Ananym found herself doing, hours later and miles away from her estate. Sifting through rubble was never a favored past time for the Sorcerer Supreme, nor anyone else's for that matter. Snapping her fingers, large sections of debris was removed in the blink of a eye, Ananym appeared to been none the less for the wear. Physically at least. Mentally, the task was exhausting.

Mexico City wasn't greatest of cities to start with, Ananym thought. The destroyed building that had been left to rot seemed to fit the area's decor.

A support beam surged as the mystic removed it from its grave. Ripping out large sections of rubble in the process, the former building stood revealed, albeit still surrounded by ruins. Ananym ducked inside the newly formed opening, a shield of energy shimmering and pushing things out of her way as she bore deeper.

Slowly, the ruminants of blood could be seen, the red haired woman sniffing as she smelt the decay of the hidden bodies.

"Be my Eye." She whispered, invoking the talisman of Agamatto from within the clasp at her neck. Spinning in a gyroscopic motion, the ancient optical based fetter opened its eyelids, a beam of pure light casting into the destruction.

Closing her eyes, Ananym saw what the Eye did.

A mad grin, looking down on a Hispanic man, no more then thirty himself.

Deals being struck, the grinning man waving his hands about madly.

The sudden destruction of the wall, followed by the explosion of the man in green.

Ananym gasped slightly, looking around as the Eye of Agamatto returned to its home, it's service rendered. 'Know your enemies' she thought, looking around the former merchant-based building. The question of who had been answered; now it was a matter of why.

"The Mad Thinker." She said to the air, raising from the ground and blinking out of reality in a wash of static and colors.

~+~+~+~ BINARY BRIMSTONE ~+~+~+~

It seems that people are enjoying this, thanks to those that have commented.

-ALEX 12.03.01