The Magic Beekeeper [I/IV]
The Magic Beekeeper [I/IV]
What was the last thing he remembered? He felt like he'd been hit by a mountain and left for dead. There was some sort of explosion. Stephen Strange had spells go wrong before but this was different. What happened? Where was he?
He narrowed his eyes and tried to focus more on what was around him. It wasn't the Sanctum. It wasn't Kamar-Taj either. Nostrils flared slightly taking in the fragrance of azaleas and honeysuckle as he wished his head would stop throbbing. Slowly he rose from a prone position. What surprised him was that Cloaky was nowhere to be seen. His stomach started churning. This couldn't be good.
He was still wearing his robes and such like always. His right foot hit the ground then his left. Both hands rested on either side of his rear in order to help him push up. It was never easy to use his hands for much of anything because of the accident. The scars reminded him just how broken he was. His hands trembled often. Stephen Strange sighed when he finally made it to a standing position.
He extended those damaged appendages in front of him. He clapped his fists together to try and show some outward sign of his magic being active. The glow along with his magical runes was present. That encouraged him. The next logical step was to open a portal using his sling ring. Arms extended once more and palm flat, he tried to open a portal back to the Sanctum. Nothing. That galled him especially since Parker's little friend opened up portals to other universes. He should have been able to open a portal himself. What's wrong? He insisted on an argument with himself trying to figure out what the hell was happening.
"It's about bloody time." The voice from behind him was most assuredly British and sounded oddly familiar. "You've been taking up space for three days." The man moved from behind where Stephen stood to take up a position in front of him. "I'm not sure what sort of chicanery is transpiring here but I won't stand for it!" The man was wearing the garb associated with beekeeping right down to the veil in front of his face attached to a hat. This was not out of the ordinary but what made Stephen's brow arch was Cloaky, who had attached himself to this Beekeeper.
"Where the hell am I?" Stephen demanded. When he spoke, Cloaky detached himself from the other man and tackled Stephen much like a dog did who hadn't seen its owner in days. He grunted when he hit the ground. He wasn't exactly happy either as he made his way back to his feet again.
"Coventry, England. Surely you know where England is even if you are American . Did my brother send you? Moriarty?" The Beekeeper kept his veil hiding his face. "You are some sort of Buddhist devotee by your garb, which is of no importance to me. There are other questions I want answered."
"You and me both." Cloaky finally overcame his emotions and allowed Stephen to adjust him properly along with a modicum of his own dignity. "Yeah, I'm American. I spent time learning the Mystic Arts in Kamar-Taj. I don't know your brother." Stephen stopped a moment as the realization hit him who this man was. "Wait did you mention Moriarty? As in James Moriarty?"
"Of course I did. Don't act like an imbecile. What is it man?" The Beekeeper moved to take his hat and veil in hand. He freed them from his head and sat them on a nearby table. He shook his head letting ebony curls fall free. "I find it rather odd that in my retirement a man I've never seen before winds up on the grounds of my cottage with a trick cloth dragging me out to find him among my honeysuckle bushes."
Stephen shouldn't have been surprised that the man looked exactly like him. He'd already seen plenty of multiversal variants to last a lifetime. What caught his attention was the name that was dropped. Moriarty was connected to only one man in all literature. "You're Sherlock Holmes."
Holmes wrinkled his nose in disgust. "Bravo. A fan. I'll have to get on John for those damned blogs." He turned back to Stephen. "Are you going to tell me what in the blue blazes is happening?" Holmes looked him over. "Statistically speaking, I was bound to face someone who looked exactly like me eventually." He muttered. "How absolutely revolting this is…"
Strange heard the mutterings and watched the mannerisms of the man. He knew how this was going to go. "My name is Dr. Stephen Strange, Mr. Holmes. As for an explanation, you're going to need a seat for this. It's going to take a while." Stephen inhaled sharply. He knew this was going to be difficult. Suddenly he had great empathy for everyone he ever spoke to in the past. Holmes certainly reminded him of how he was before the accident. That meant this was going to get ugly.
There was darkness everywhere. What appeared before him was a tear in the fabric of reality. The images of Stephen Strange and his variant Sherlock Holmes appeared before him. A low laugh left the lips of the villain responsible for Dr. Strange's predicament. He studied the befuddled Sorcerer. "You have meddled in my affairs too much Strange. Now enjoy the punishment for your insolence. I know I will."
The smell of brimstone surrounded the monster with the face of a man as he sat upon a throne made of multiple human skeletons. The skull rings on his digits weren't metal. They were human. He was the epitome of evil. He had brought men to their knees. What was one former Sorcerer Supreme to him?
TO BE CONTINUED