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In The Dark And Outside Ti[m]e (continued)

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Offline EvilCopepod

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Eddie was flustered by the other's words, with most people he'd think they were just trying to make him feel better, but Strange wasn't one for compliments, and he was sure he wouldn't have held back on insulting him if he really thought he was worthless.

"Way to keep me humble, Doc." He deflected, a bit flushed now, the alien complimenting him internally didn't help either. "Thanks." He added.

Venom could always refuse to give the stone back if it didn't want Strange to have it again, so it accepted his agreement. A black tendril oozed out of Eddie's chest, reaching over and offering the stone to the sorcerer.


Offline Aries Jordan

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"It hardly seems necessary.  You've internalized a message of humility," Strange observed. 

He took the Stone without touching it, the same way he would the Time Stone -- it floated between his thumb and forefinger.  Sitting zazen, he used both hands to expand the Stone to about a foot across, which made it easier for him to peer into and contemplate its depths.

When he expanded his consciousness, he felt a tremendous pull toward it and instantly backed off.  "Traps for the unwary sorcerer," he remarked, and laid a careful and very decorative fretwork of spells between himself and the Stone before trying again.  "It's hungry."

This time, examining it, he was pressed up against a magical grating that he could see through and that the Stone couldn't drag him through, though he still felt it sucking at him like the vacuum of space.  "It wants souls.  We are within yet outside at the same time and it wants us all the way in like Parker... no, he's not all the way in, more like a way station... "


Offline EvilCopepod

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"You are definitely not the internalized humility he's talking about." He muttered at Venom's non-verbal comment.

"Whoa." He said when it got stretched out without lowering resolution. But he didn't see anything striking revealed by the expansion of it. "There are traps?" He squinted, trying to see something different. Venom had moved out of Eddie again, several black tendrils reaching out to try and touch the larger Soul Stone, only to have Eddie grab and pull it back so Strange wouldn't get interrupted.

"Yes. Hungry." Venom formed a mouth to speak with the other, "We will feed it." Given its own hunger, the alien hadn't been put off by the stone's desire to feed on souls, and since there were bad souls it saw no reason to let it starve.

"So we can get him out?" Eddie asked as Venom squinted at the stone, trying to see if Peter was visible.


Offline Aries Jordan

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"It's easy here," Strange said, of expanding the Stone.  Eddie still didn't understand how malleable reality was in the Dark Dimension.  It might be he had shrunk himself and Eddie rather than expanding the Stone; there was no point of reference to make it clear which had happened.

He looked sharply at Venom when it said it would feed the Stone.  "You might want to think about that.  At least in terms of what advantage it might be."

Peter was not visible in any recognizable form, but Strange understood Eddie and Venom were trying to see him, so he sent a little energy into the Stone to give form to what he could sense.  For a moment, Peter's face and figure shimmered in the depths of the Stone -- only he looked about seven years old, wearing Spider-Man pajamas, with an expression somewhere between confusion and curiosity.  Then he was gone.

Strange frowned.  "I could try summoning him out.  But... he made a bargain.  Bargains are very important in the mystic arts.  If we break this one... the most likely result is that we will lose the Stone.

"Peter's not in pain, he's not in danger... he's not even scared."  Strange sighed.  "At the very least, we should use the Stone to free the other souls before we try to rescue him."
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 01:47:00 PM by Aries Jordan »


Offline EvilCopepod

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"How easy? Easy for a sorcerer or anyone?" If he and Venom could do more than they were usually able to, he wanted to know.

"It will be less hungry." Venom said, barely thinking about the advantages, "And get stronger."

"What are the disadvantages?" Eddie asked Strange, as the idea of devouring souls, even bad ones, sounded a lot worse than killing people. He took a step back when Peter's face appeared, his eyes widening, Venom leered at the stone.

"That is not him." It growled, "That is a small human wearing his costume."

"Yeah, that was him, he just looks younger for some reason." Unlike the alien, he was better at recognizing faces, and Peter's hadn't changed that much in less than a decade.

"Will he come out a baby?" Venom asked, since it hadn't been able to smell or touch the avatar, it was still skeptical of it being him. Only Eddie's certainty made it believe what Strange had shown them.

"He'd be pissed if we brought him back after all that. And the stone wouldn't want to make a deal with us again, I bet. What do you think, V?"

Venom considered Strange's words and the way the boy had looked in the stone. "He was afraid here. It is better if he stays in there." It would also be easier to keep him safe, as the symbiote could only fully protect one host at a time. "And we will rub it in his face when we are the ones that save everyone." It added, grinning.


Offline Aries Jordan

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"Easy for a sorcerer.  But theoretically possible for anyone with sufficient imagination and willpower."  Unless  Dormammu was around, because he had the ultimate control over the etheric substance of the Dark Dimension.

"It responds to bargaining."  Strange explained his thought to Venom.  "It will not be anxious to bargain if it is sated."  To Eddie, he said, "Aside from the obvious moral implications, I don't know yet.

"It is him.  That is his soul.  The purest, most innocent part of him.  We're souls too," he added, to fend off any questions about that, "but we're so recently dead we have full memory and residual self-image." And he had to wonder whether his or Eddie's soul could ever possibly be that pure.  "He's been concentrated down to essentials.  No," he answered Venom.  "Not unless our out option for retrieving him is reincarnation."

He studied the Stone again, but for its general properties this time.  "I think the only way to learn how to use this is to try it.  We need to find some of the people it's trapped here.  Did you leave anyone alive back there, Venom?"


Offline EvilCopepod

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"We should try it too then." Eddie didn't know how they would do it, but he also hadn't known how he had managed to bond with an alien so he was sure he could adapt with Venom's help.

"Eddie does this." The alien said, with bitterness in its tone as Strange reasoned why they shouldn't feed it.

"It's not starving you to say you can't eat anybody you want. On that note, I think we shouldn't be eating peoples souls."

"Eddie starves us."

"Still coming to terms with that." Eddie admitted about them being souls, "He'll be less worried like that." Even if Peter had been safe in there, if he remembered even a bit of what was going on he knew there was no way the kid wouldn't be anxious as all hell waiting for something to happen.

"You did not let us eat them all." Venom growled out an affirmation.


Offline Aries Jordan

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"Save it for lolcats dot com," Strange said of the banter between Venom and Eddie, just because the symbiote reminded him of an overfed Persian insisting that it had been starved to death.  "So, if Peter's fate is settled, let's go try an experiment."

"Feel free to munch on Kaecilius," he told Venom, "he's here because he sold himself to Dormammu.  But leave at least one of the others alive for me to try the Stone on." 

He opened a small gateway back to the spot where they had left and peered through to make sure the Master of the Dark Dimension hadn't showed up in their absence.


Offline EvilCopepod

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"Lolcats makes us hungrier."

"Speak for yourself, V." Eddie said as the symbiote started spreading over him, its face moving behind the man's as it opened its mouth and swallowed up his head.

"We hope he tastes better than he looks." They said with a grin, looking over Strange's shoulder and drooling a bit on the cloak. There were a few of the new sorcerers still, but they were all injured or trying to heal the ones that were. Neither Kaecilius or Dormammu were there, the novices being left to take care of themselves.