"Liebr raz et um," her voice chanted, a pool of internal energy rising further and further up her spine and through each and every strand of fiber making up her metaphysical being. "Liebr raz et um."
A connection was sought, like an errant amp of electricity rushing through a circuit board, hoping to seal some gap in the network of electronics as it was created to do. She searched, yearned, quested for a deeper tie, a closer bonding with that which made her special. That which made her powerful, and masterful.
That which made her different then her father.
Again she nearly lost her focus as her mind wandered to the recent problems she faced. Problems the ritual she performed were meant to help.
Ananym Strange continued to chant, words bouncing off the Mayan temple walls long since over run by the invasion of vine and insect life that had surrounded its borders. Yet still her thoughts were centered on her patronage. Not who or why, like most offspring, but what said parents had done. The actions of one parent in particular in fact.
How had dear old daddy been involved in Stephen's fall?
A Bloodstone, a fragment of her father's soul, rested back in her domicile in New York. Locked under the most powerful of mystical barriers, it still swayed Ananym's musings.
"Liebr raz et um."
More echoes of past magicks funneled into the once religious temple. The sacrificed souls of an entire race of humanity knocked on the temples metaphysical walls as the chanting continued.
Fuck you, Dad.
Somewhere, a Lord of one version of Hell felt a prick of pain near his very heart, or the black ichor that made up the congealed ball that passed for the organ.
In Greenwich Village, a blood red stone shattered into a thousand pieces.
In South Africa, the Sorcerer Supreme just became that much more powerful.
DR. STRANGE: MUTF #7
Written By: Alex Cook
"It would take powerful magicks to do this, Bludgeon." An ominous voice tinted with cold responded. The news that was delivered could have dire consequences, a fact none of the gathered Cult missed.
The Path has none the less altered... again, sir." The samurai garbed construct stood evenly under his master's glare.
"Since we altered it in the first place?"
The eastern styled warrior could only nod in agreement to his Masters words.
"I believe Miss Strange is making a power play."
Blue painted steel, wrapped in metallic leopard furs hobbled out onto the floor. "Let me deal with this Master. I've already bested her pupil." Bantor's chest puffed with pride.
"No. You must recover the next stone." The affixed to his back, white and diamond sharp moved as their lord turned to his side. "You will follow the mage." He said, a curled ball of black cat fur suddenly dropping to the ground and scurrying out of their cavern.
"Tell me more Bludgeon."
She needed nothing more from the golden hunk of circuitry before her.
After Ananym's brief jaunt to the South Americas, she'd returned home, to Bleaker Street, and began her research once again. All she was really doing was verifying her hypothesis, the proverbial light-bulb that now shined atop her head a means of inspiration.
There were aliens legends encoded on that Golden 'Disk'. Myths birthed by a technological race of transformers, whispers of their own religion almost. Ananym had read the few fragments of files contained on the salvaged artifact, but originally had dismissed them. Now, finally, the pieces of the puzzle where clicking all together.
The disc spoke of legends, a myth about a force bringing about unification of their species. Not many believed the rhymes words, the aliens on a whole scoffing at the idea that a metaphysical concept could unite their races warring factions. The legend continued, telling of other worldly gems, alien spirits, and a sequence of events to call forth this little thought of spirit. A cycle of circumstances Ananym had suddenly found herself embroiled within.
The first sacrifice was a teenage girl, a month ago. Ananym had been there, at the tail end, unable to help the dying child. She'd destroyed the Xenotech, and had thought that was the end of the matter. Then the Golden Disk had shown up, sharing its secrets with Ananym's. More disturbances in the magical essence that surrounded humanity occurred, Ananym distracted by the Thinker and his foolish gambit. All the time Ananym felt there was something she was missing.
The former Witchfire hadn't thought the reason for her even being the Sorcerer Supreme in the first place would become entwined with her current troubles. None the less, it had. Stephan fell due to his zeloat like pursuit of the construct named The Beast. He;d been cast aside by the Ancient One, his mantle given to Ananym not long after. She kicked herself for not asking more questions in the first place, her training berating her from inside her mind.
What WAS The Beast?
And finally, that was where Ananym's 'father' entered the picture. The Lord of Hell that was BELIEVED to be her father, but his patronage had never been proven. It was a might hard to do, when one thought about it. Regardless, he played a part in Ananym's first and most vital question. Close behind it was the final question she had, which the book she now closed had answered.
What was a Bloodstone? It seemed Belasco had severed a part of himself as a way to obfuscate some plan he launched against Magick, of the at that time New Mutants. forcing this essence into a gem, the stone fractured and split apart into the Bloodstones, cages for pieces of her dear Fathers soul. Standing, Ananym looked off into the night.
Fuck you Belasco, Ananym thought as she walked out of her study. With a snap of her fingers the Golden disk was gone, teleported away in the blink of an eye. She had no need for it anymore after all. Ananym was armed now with her favorite weapon, facts.
There was someone, or someone's, trying to resurrect The Beast. Ananym herself had intercepted a few of these Bloodstones, however it seemed she had not done enough. The Sorcerer Supreme floated on nothing as the night's air embraced her, her study window closing of its own accord as she left her home.
It was time Ananym learned exactly who was messing with a part of Daddy's soul.
"But they have no SOUL'S man! How can they even CAST!?!"
He had to sigh again, keeping his anger in check. He was the first of their cabal, answering his Thirds inane questions. Yet again.
"The Transformers can't ALL cast magicks dumbass. There's only a few of them. The most powerful of those? Those would be our bosses."
The second of the group, and the only female, stepped forward slightly, looking at the fourth and aforementioned third. "This changes nothing."
"Fuck you it changes everything! These things can't be trusted!" With a deep breath he snarled at his former leader. "You should have told us about this."
"This is what you shouldn't have done. You shouldn't have posed as a cat. I have a thing about cats." Her red hair flashed as she whipped her upper boy to the side, sending a black ball toward the wall. With feline grace the cat pivoted in the air and bounced with all fours off against the wall and landed evenly on the floor.
With a shimmer, Ananym saw the 'cat's glamour drop to the floor. "Fine then." The female mechanoids voice said, standing upright as it shifted into her hybrid state. Sharp claws and a whipping metal coil of a tail crowned off the Maximals cross transformation, cast head to toe in mate black armor the likes of which Strange had to slightly awe at.
Eldritch bolts of crimson rocketed through the air. Sensors within the cat woman's breast shouted alerts and warnings too late for the Transformer to do anything. The tendrils of power crisscrossed around her and tightened, constricting beyond the limit of her constructs limit. With a crack fragments of her body shattered off and fell to the floor.
"Your...," she strained, her voice circuits almost destroyed by the pink oscillating band wrapped around her throat. "Power levels... they... are much greater... then before."
"So nice of you too notice." Ananym said with nothing but honey dripping from her words. "What's your name dear."
"So young. I can tell you're new to this." She suddenly glared at her prisoner. "What the fuck are you doing?"
"I won't...," she started, then stopped as suddenly. With a small gasp, she felt Ananym's power grow again, the pressure around her magnifying.
"Don't try to be cute. What are you things doing?" Ananym flexed her fist as a small explosion of red blanketed her eyes. She fought back her own pain as another patch of cybernetics forced its way out from beneath her epidermis. The Technological Virus she was aligned with continued to feed on her growing expenditure of raw power.
Ananym had a very personal reason for wanting answers from the bitch in front of her now.
"I suggest you tell me everything, child. As you can see," she commented, flexing her fist further as the eldritch constraints tightened yet again, "I have proven I'm more then willing to destroy you."
With a ear splitting howl the cat named Lynx began telling the Sorcerer Supreme everything she knew.
Dust fell around him as the stone was moved carefully.
It was odd, denoting sex to a creature such as he. For a machine, a specimen not even able attain the robotic shape his species was known for, 'he' was an oddity. ON top of the identity crisis already laid at the construct feet, his ability to access Magick had brought about boons as well as further hardships and damnation.
It would stop very soon, if things continued on the Path.
Statues and markings on the walls named the Gods memorial the Transformer continued to raid. Atum was its name, a God of transformation itself. Elder Gods of all names came to be by first taking his form, fitting the creature thought to its mechanical self. Fingers of metallic makings, with fur of sorts covering the top, moved about figurines weighing in the tons as if they were nothing. X-Ray sensors scanned the ancient tomb, the gleaming construction of his body an interesting contrast to its surroundings.
Located, the jewel he sought ebbed with a glow the computer manufactured for his assistance. A fist clenched as he rose his arm back, taking aim.
"I wouldn't if I were you."
Turning, the Transformer looked at the red haired obviously magickal-educated women standing in the hole he had created to gain his original entry. the energy collecting around her equaling balled fists, colors oscillating in chaotic fractal formation, gave away her power.
"Sorcerer." The computer generated voice said as it turned t scans her.
Eyes flared as Ananym glared at him, saying, "Enough of this defamation of a dead Gods tomb."
Atum's grave shook as the baboon feet with a tigers fur strips covering them pushed forward, knuckles of alien carbon based materials scrapping the ground as well. "You should have been dealt with long ago."
Ananym let the threat get the better of her resolve. "The first cat you sent wasn't good enough. Care to try your luck?"
"Bantor shall." The tiger leaped, gears' spinning as the sleek cat was formed in mid air as Ananym took a battle stance. Mystical energies blocked Bantor as his clawed paws landed inches from Ananym's feet. Rearing backwards, the cat transformed again as quickly, a baboon shape now, fists pounding against the shield with a force to be reckoned with. His eyes flashed as well, digital symbols of binary and arcane encircled his fingers, tiny explosions raining down on Ananym's defenses as he continued to advance forward.
"The Bloodstone will be mine." Bantor challenged, his simian form rolling backward. Gears were heard as the ball unfurled in full hybrid form, baboon and tiger fused into one.
Ananym saw the techno organic viruses spores scattered around his frame instantly. "You're infected." she gasped slightly, caught off-guard by the sight.
Bantor almost smiled, if his new forms facial motors had been capable of it. "I am a Fuzor. It is what makes me", glancing at his combined mecha state, "Me."
Fingers pointed as hands rotated in patterns older then wither of them, power drawn toward each combatant like a lightning to a steel rod.
Within the caverns of the Valley of the Kings, the technological and the magickal waged War.
NEXT ISSUE: It's all drawn to a close with only one issue before our grand finale, number nine.
I'm shortening this series by an issue now. I've dropped an extra plot-line which removed the need for a whole issue. Now, the.matrix.grimore will end with a much better punch I think.