John Strange


adel_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title John Strange
Synopsis The family that piledrives together stays together?
Date February 3, 2020

New Hammerstein Ballroom
Red Hook, NYC Safe Zone

9:15 pm EST

For the uninitiated, the moniker of New Hammerstein Ballroom might evoke memories of stage plays, artsy performances, people dressing up after saving for months for a legendary night out. But the New Hammerstein Ballroom was named such by Cassius Norville Potts, former protege of Leonardo Raphael Maxwell.

As a registered Magnetokinetic, he agreed to help fix up a severely ruined ballroom, in exchange for ownership of the building at a rather low price.

His plan?

Create a wrestling promotion, EOW, Evolution of Wrestling, and name the building after one of the most legendary indie wrestling venues of all time, the Hammerstein Ballroom.

Now the venue glistens with light from the chandeliers, intentional graffiti on the formerly pristine golden walls, a fairly standard but still rather sick entrance ramp with an EOW banner at the actual entrance, and seating for at least a two-thousand people. The ring itself, at the center of it all, has golden ropes to match the purple and gold color scheme of EOW's branding.

Cassius sits at the announce table where he is the sole announcer, wearing a headset as hundreds of rowdy fans talk and chant. "Welcome back to EOW! For anyone just joining us on this grainy as fuck internet stream, we just witnessed the absolutely terrifying Alison Sunderland dive off a chandelier and deliver an insane elbow drop to Jackie O'Dare, one of the members of the Bomb Ass Squad. They've both been carried off on a stretcher, we're not sure if they'll ever be the same after that. But now…"

The lights go down, and suddenly Metallica's I Disappear starts to blast from the speakers, and the crowd explodes in cheers.

From the EOW curtains steps a man wearing a white full body luchador outfit, mask and all, with reflective gold magic runes and symbols. Behind him, a large red cape dramatically flows behind him rather unnaturally for a place with no wind.

Despite being unable to see his face, his straight posture, arms to his sides, conveys that he's all business right now. He effortlessly does a front flip into the ring, landing on one knee with his finger pointed at the sky while peering up into the spotlight that immediately shines on him.

From there, the lights return to normal, and Cassius begins again. "After last week, John Strange is pissed. I can't even imagine what he—"

In the ring, John Strange catches the microphone tossed to him by one of the producers, and holds a hand up to calm the crowd, which also silences Cassius. "Last week…" he begins, each word meticulous and carefully considered. "Billy Badass stole my Internet Championship. He couldn't lose gracefully, he had to bring disgrace to that prestigious belt and disrespect it by taking something he didn't earn."

He pauses, allowing the crowd a moment to boo, and then they start chanting 'Fuck Billy Sadass, Fuck Billy Sadass'.

John Strange once again holds his hand up, quieting the crowd down. "So this week, I'm challenging Billy Badass to a no-holds-barred cage match, something he can't run from. And I'll put that championship on the line again, because a real champion earns and defends what he has, and that's not what you—"

John is suddenly cut off when Pantera's Cowboys From Hell begins to play, and a man wearing a black cowboy hat, a white tanktop, and some sunglasses and blue jeans steps from the curtain. He lights up a cigarette with flames from his finger, and raises the microphone in his other hand, stopping in the middle of the ramp to speak. "You didn't earn this." he pats the large championship belt around his waist, which is a hashtag engraved into silver on a white leather belt strap.

"I earned this belt! I have one-hundred-thousand, that's one-hundred-thousand followers across all my social media. Every lady in this building knows I'm pretty, and even their moms liked that photo of me holding up that large fish." The crowd boos, there's an aggressively overwhelming amount of boos. And then a 'fuck your fish, fuck your fish' chant starts. "So no, I don't accept your challenge, this is my belt."

John stares from the golden two-way-mirror visor in his mask, and then holds up his microphone once more. "I understand that while I'm not afraid of you, you're afraid of me. So let me make you a deal…" He walks over to the ropes facing Billy, and casually rests his arms over them while leaning into the mic. "If you win, I'll unmask myself.and quit EOW forever, if I win, you never get to challenge for that championship ever again, until I say so."

Billy mauls this over, then suddenly smiles, and shouts, "I ACCEPT!!!"

The crowd starts cheering, and then the show goes to break, allowing fans to head to the concession stands where local businesses are selling food, there's EOW DVDs, VHS tapes, and flash drives, and of course there's plenty of shirts. One is of an artistic depiction of John Strange spinning a no-name wrestler around with his mind, and the shirt reads, 'John Strange: Master of Five Magics', or an Alison Sunderland shirt where a muscular woman is lifting a car over her head, with the words, 'You're Late For A Very Unfortunate Fate'.

John Strange himself is out there in the concession stands signing things and chatting with fans. Most are still waiting for the next part of the show to start, so it's fairly uncrowded at the moment, aside from the food stands.

“You know, if you wanted to be famous, you could have tried joining Wolfhound,” comes a soft voice from behind “Mr. Strange”, one he can recognize easily as belonging to Adel “Lane”. She had chosen to keep that name when they integrated into the present day, a tribute of sorts to both her mother E”laine” and biological father Var”Lane”. She had made the decision after her father had apparently died. It was better than Starkey, which had been a silly reference, really.

No one had believed it was her real name for a minute.

“Though I doubt Avi would have hired you, really. But you could have tried,” she jokes again, settling down on the floor. She had been floating about an inch above it, using it to sneak up without making any sound. Though he may have felt her gravity field anyway. Just like now that she’s close enough, she can feel his.

Once he's signed his last autograph, and the show comes back from commercial, people pretty quickly scatter back to their seats, and he immediately reaches out to hug her. It's a dad hug that he never gave when he was younger, it was one he didn't know how to give. But once he lets go, he laughs and shakes his head. "I was bored doing construction work, but I wanted to escape the crazy life of having to save the world and do something very low stakes with my ability. After seven years going from world to world, and experiencing the kind of war that you're one of the few people who could truly understand here, I needed a break. But I still need to make money for your sister."

He reaches out to take her hands, and she can feel his gravitational field linking with her's, attaching her to his orbit. It's like a weird quantum dad hug that only they can understand. "Besides, even if they would let me join Wolfhound, I don't think it'd be good for you. I'd just be overprotective. Do you know how much willpower it takes not to try and talk you into just doing something that isn't dangerous? I know that Elaine probably doesn't understand the feeling of being a parent yet, not truly, but I do. You're my daughter and I can't stop thinking about you being in danger or wanting to fly in and make sure you're safe."

Looking over at the door to the locker room, he starts to head for it, holding one of her hands and motioning for her to follow. "Since I came back here, since we caught up with each other, things feel so different from before. You don't just feel like an abstract concept of 'daughter from the future', you feel like my actual daughter and now you're an adult. I have to process that and accept that you're an adult. I don't even know how to explain that feeling. But yeah, you wouldn't want me in Wolfhound with you."

“You do remember I’ve been fighting killer robots from the future since I was fifteen, right?” Adel responds with a hint of a smirk as she looks toward the ring. She hadn’t really thought too much about what this could mean to her dad, but she could see the appeal. A fight that was a show, but still felt like a fight. Fun, but not quite as dangerous. Yes, she could see the appeal. “No, now that I think about it, this is totally something you would do. I always got told I was pulling a Varlane, but you’re actually the Varlane they were referring to. I like it.”

She looks back at him and continues to grin, even if she can’t quite see his face under the mask. She doesn’t have to, she knows him, can feel the way their gravity works off of each other. “I actually haven’t been doing too much with Wolfhound lately. We caught Pete and I got this power back, but I didn’t quite know how to use it cause it’s not quite my ability. It’s actually really different. I had to figure out my limits before I could even think of coming back.”

Relearning how to fly, that’s what it was in a lot of ways. How to fight with her new abilities, how to have fine control. She had gotten used to being stuck on the ground and once again she was free from those restraints. For a while she nearly had to relearn how to walk.

It hadn’t been as much a problem til she took her suit off after the mission. It had compensated for a lot of her issues.

“So what ability does this guy have? Is it a good fight?”

Magnes walks her to the back so that he can get away from the fan area. Back there are mostly wrestlers going about their business or discussing their matches. Some are just playing old retro games or having their own private discussions.

It's not the South in the 1970s, so no one's about to drag him out back and stab him for bringing a 'fan' back there. He mostly does this so that he can take his mask off, shaking his still ridiculously long hair out. "John Strange is a wizard, he can move things with his mind and fly and all of that stuff. Sometimes we use firecrackers and other effects. Some older guys from the south occasionally come here to complain that we're 'killing the business', but that's about the only problem we have. Other than particularly rowdy fans on some nights."

He can't help but reach out and ruffle her hair, just full of Dad Special Attacks at this point. "This has been relaxing, and it's strangely popular. I've never known that much about all of this, but New York is apparently a huge city for this kind of thing, and a lot of the fans were lacking something like this, after everything that happened."

"And while I might know that you fought killer robots in the future, having also fought killer robots in your world, I'm not sure that I'm particularly more comfortable with that life for you. But… I can't tell you not to do things that I did myself. All of us, except for your grandmother as far as I know, have the gene where we have to do some big thing." He holds up a hand, slowly spinning his gravitational field, trying to ease her field into gently spinning in sync. "I'm not the greatest at doing certain things with my ability. I had to fight so many strong people, and brute force my way out of so many situations, I've mostly learned how to use my ability like a hammer. I wonder what you've learned how to do…"

He looks off to the side. It's difficult to convey that one is looking 'sideways', in reference to other worlds. "I met so many different versions of myself, and they all learned how to use this ability in a different way. So I imagine you'll have your own unique thing too."

“I mostly just fight dumbasses who get in my way now. But sometimes killer robots,” Adel jests, and she hadn’t done much fighting outside of personal training for the last year anyway. But that isn’t what is important. And if anyone gave her trouble about being backstage, well, she could pull the Wolfhound card. They were famous too.

She looks him up and down a few times, examining his costume. “So you’re a wizard, huh?” She can see it in the outfit, a little bit. And the name choice. She had read comics. More so in the last few years than she had in the future. “That’s pretty cool. But I more meant what the asshole you’re fighting is supposed to do. Does he give you a good fight? I mean I imagine you’re going to kick his ass pretty handily with your magic, cause you’re going to keep doing this, right?”

Unmasking would take all the fun out of the whole set up.

She didn’t duck away from the Dad Attack, even if it muses up her hair a little. She just continues to grin, looking content. One day she’ll figure out what grand gesture she’s going to make. If she hadn’t already done just that in Wolfhound.

"Well, he's gotta come really close, you know? He has to look like a real threat. In EOW, they often put people together who have complimentary abilities, to put on the best show. So he has this thing where he can fling objects with a lot of kinetic force, or at least seem like it. So he'll get the upperhand with his quickdrawing, I won't be able to keep up. But then I'll eventually come back with my magic and overcome, you know?" Magnes slides an arm around her shoulders, smiling as he seems to care very little for the people watching around them.

They all know who he is, even if wrestlers tend to be very tight-lipped. "We need to do father-daughter activities. Elaine's had you all to herself forever, but I don't care how old you get, you're still my daughter and we're doing stuff. We have to get matching shirts, and go on an adventure." He looks around, then holds up a finger. "You should become a wrestler!"

There’s a few nods as Adel listens to the plan, looking back in the general direction of the ring and trying to mentally picture the fight in her head based on that— yes, it could be a decent fight. But she could think of other fights that would be better. When he starts to focus on her again, and father-daughter activities, she looks back at him with a blink, her lips press together for a moment before she shakes her head a little.

“I don’t really have the time right now. I am going to get back to work now that I got my ability figured out— refigured out— whatever. It’s different now.” She had her previous memories to work with. She didn’t have as much, but what she did have seemed to work even better, really. While she would no longer request being used as a high speed wrecking ball, she could definitely do some different fighting that she wasn’t able to do before. “Maybe later if things clear up again. I haven’t actually done a job in a year, and I’ve saved a lot of money on travel by flying myself,” which led to her having much of that last bounty they finished still in the bank somewhere.

“I’ll let you know if I do, though.”

"Well then let's do something after I get paid at the end of the show. How about…" Magnes considers, as this is his daughter after all, what someone so closely related to him could possibly want. "What if we go flying, and jumping? I could show you some of the interesting things another Magnes taught me. The one who's older than me." He pokes at the space just in front of her, causing it to bend slightly. "Still can't do much with it, but I think you'll find it interesting. And I think Addie is taking more after Elaine than me, so gravity will probably be our thing."

“I’d love that. We never really did get to go flying together before you turned into a black hole,” Adel responds with a grin, and now it won’t be as weird because she actually flies way better than she did with her previous power. She just can’t plow into walls without some major issues. “But go out there and get your butt kicked and then come around and kick his butt all the way out of the ring. For actual money.” She reaches up and tags him on the shoulder and then pushes him toward the stage.

“I’ll be watching.”

Magnes can't help but embrace her in both arms now, because his dad-feelings overwhelm him most of the time. "After this, I'll get us frosty chocolate milkshakes." he assures, reaching up to gently pat her head. "But don't worry, I won't wear the cape. I'll be a cool dad, I'll take my new skateboard."

With that lameness out of the way, he releases her, then heads to the ring, his gravitational field very slowly unraveling from her's, but it's slight pull always ever-present with their proximity to each other.

The very definition of an orbiting parent.

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