Tuesday, October 17, 2017

And In Exchange... Armageddon!

OR: "Then There Was That Time When the Top Brass Chewed Out the Sorcerer Supreme..."

While the military enjoys a cooperative arrangement with the super-beings who often stand between humanity and those foes who prove to be too much for conventional forces to subdue, doubtless there are some within military circles who will (appropriately enough) bite the bullet when it comes to being assigned to approach the Avengers or lesser-known individuals in order to solicit their assistance with a threat to national security. Count Gen. Hoyt Emerson among them. Today, he enters the sanctum sanctorum of Dr. Strange--and he is not at all happy about it.

Frankly, Emerson has a point. We know that Strange has many artifacts from across who knows how many dimensions--but what compels him to have every inch of his decor match his teachings? Does every room have to reflect the otherworldly? Pick up the phone and ask Jarvis to fix up a reception area for your guests, Doc--the man has impeccable taste!

As for Emerson, he can join the club in regard to the level of frustration he feels, since his visit has soured Strange's mood, as well--interrupting his preparations for entering the Dark Dimension and nearly costing him his life in the process. To paraphrase Strange, whatever his visitor has to say had better be good!

Strange, of course, assumes an air of civility by the time he greets the General and his aide--and given Emerson's bluntness and lack of, eh, tact, kudos to Strange for keeping his composure.

Don't you miss the old Stephen Strange in such moments? The arrogant, tactless s.o.b. who used to treat his patients like meal tickets? Emerson would have been fileted like a fish.

As it is, the current Stephen Strange stays reasonably calm and persuades the General to get to the point--which Emerson proceeds to do, with obvious reservations.

But what kind of threat has the military knocking on the door of the Master of the Mystic Arts? And will its representative, the salty Emerson, have the patience to trust in whatever Strange has to say on the matter?

As the briefing gets underway, however, it becomes clear that Emerson has come to the right person, even if the General himself still has his doubts.

Well, this is it, Doctor: Impress the General with your knowledge of the occult!
(But just keep in mind your visitor's low threshold for your background.)

Ah, well--strike one.  Probably nobody bats 1,000 with Emerson.

But when the situation goes from bad to worse, Emerson is out of options--and that's an assessment that a sorcerer who's capable of making your decisions for you can back up.

Sorry, General, you're out of your depth here. Try to keep up!

Let's hope Sara has the good sense to give this man decaf.

As for Strange, he travels interdimensionally to the realm of Kobar, where its ruler and warlord, Chaynn, has ordered incursions aimed at transporting Earth weaponry to his realm so that its components can be adapted to their own meager technology, while leaving on Earth elements of their own realm in exchange while their prizes are studied. Yet he and his mystics have little to no knowledge concerning the items they retrieve, and are forced to make the most basic assumptions as to their function and capability. And as we've learned from the General's call, the stakes have been raised with the theft of a missile with a nuclear warhead--and this time, Chaynn's chief adviser, Tymon, has also brought and enthralled the missile's technicians to facilitate its dismantling.

During Strange's battle with Tymon's forces, a stray mystic bolt snaps the pulley holding the missile in place, causing it to topple to the ground. The accident provides Strange with an opportunity to simulate nuclear armageddon on Kobar in the minds of his foes--and when the experience ends, Chaynn is only too happy to cease and desist in his operation.

The situation is effectively resolved, the danger passed... but since this last exchange involved a nuclear missile, you just know that the brass waiting back on Earth for some word from Strange isn't going to be happy with the minimal explanation that Strange offers.

Man, to be a fly on the wall when Emerson makes his report.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wong recently departed the Sanctum Sanctorum because he wanted to find a wife with whom he could carry on the family name. I don't know if he has since returned - things move so fast in the Marvel universe nowadays it's a struggle to keep up.

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