Patron Shout-out to David Pieromi and Graham Barlow @
"The world is an interaction of infinitism and it leads to the existence of further living beings and only then, the theory that every individual is unique matters very little," Strange began softly while blowing on his herbal tea. "Your friend, Kiara," Strange turned to look at Gwen, "Isn't a secret witch if that is what you are worried about."
"Oh, no, a witch would never cry like a girl the next day after cursing someone." Gwen shook her head.
"Yes, they would. At least, the mentally disturbed one," Strange smiled, "But your friend isn't contacted by magic."
"Magic?" Anna mocked while Nik looked around.
"Yes, Magic. In fact, this mansion is surrounded by Magic and its application is the reason why the interior is distorted to such an extent." Not taking any form of offense in the mockery, Strange snapped his fingers, making a pot of tea appear in thin air and materializing a cup in front of everyone, Mini cups for mini Gwens, before filling them out with green colored beverage. "To send these two consciousnesses back, you will need to find the portal which led them here. And the fact that they are consciousness, the portal itself can only be found in the metaphysical plane."
"Missing your assignments now, aren't you?" Nik inquired Anna as he gazed at her blank look with a snicker. After all, math should be easier than talks about metaphysical planes and intergalactic consciousness... or not. "Wait!" Anna hurriedly hushed Nik with her expression turning into an excited one, "You mean that we can turn like them?" Anna pointed at Gwenpool and Spider-Gwen as Strange raised his eyebrow in amus.e.m.e.nt, "Quick to catch on, young lady." Nodding his head, Strange spoke a few unintelligible words as he closed his eyes with blue tattoos in the shape of pupils forming over his eyelids. The tattoos glowed softly, turning the dark blue color into a softer shade for a moment as the man continued to chant while Nik listened intently. "Asmodeus, you are the best linguist, right? Anything you can learn from this guy?" Nik inquired internally as Asmodeus spoke quite casually. "Of course, I can."
Focusing slightly, she mumbled, "This guy is just trying to convince the world and all its spirits," her tone dripped with sarcasm, "to help him find the way. That's it, this guy is bogus."
"A bogus doesn't reach rank 6," Sky interjected as Nik perceived another argument coming within moments. "Stop with the ranks already!" Asmodeus groaned, "Ranking the ability to"
"Speak one more word and I'll literally be your nightmare," Sky cut Asmodeus off calmly but from within his spiritual world, Nik not only senses a deep feeling of fear from the violet spirit slime but also Pure and Lilith. "We had an agreement that while I'll guide you for a few days in regards to theory, none should reach Nik," Sky continued, surprising Nik but only slightly. He couldn't really care what his spirits did in their free time and Sky had been a major pain in the 'A' when it comes to him gaining his strengths by his own actions. Including s.e.x. "Fine!" Snorting, Asmodeus gave her 'unbiased' review, "This guy has no powers by himself but uses the technique of persuasion to do stuff. If he earned a power source of his personal origin, then the situation might be different."
"Thank you," Nik nodded and thought carefully. 'Wait, technically... I have no source of power myself. Everything is gained by nutritious spirit beasts and the passive absorption of the known energies in the surroundings.' Pursing his lips and swimming in his thoughts regarding mighty strength which led him to 'Aunt' Nat's figure, Nik hid a smirk skillfully, "We should really her invite her back... maybe give her a first-hand view of the show, too," Nik devised.
"Found it," Strange prompted, "I can lead you there but if you need some time to think before taking the adventure, I completely understand."
"You are going to let a bunch of teenagers enter some strange place?" Spider-Gwen scoffed, "Can't you help us? Maybe escort the both of us personally?"
"And risk my original body's demise alongside the entire planet? I don't think so," Strange smiled, "And the destination isn't harmful in the slightest. Believing that young ones like adventures, especially in vacations, you all might just want to join and explore the unknown."
"To the unknown?" Gwen didn't like the sound of it.
"Oooh!" Meanwhile, Ann exclaimed with an eager grin.
"Well, what is it?" Nik inquired, "You at least need to explain the situation. Or the method we are using to travel into the 'unknown' plane that you speak of."
"Easy," Strange's hand glowed fierce golden alongside an extremely familiar feeling, making Nik's gaze narrow while a head-sized mirror reached out of the magical portal. "This here is what we call the Mirror of Morgana, a gateway to the spiritual world where you will find the portal that led the two visitors here. Only these two know which portal would lead them to their home since it remains open due to their stay in this world."
"I can't believe that we are even considering this," Gwen stood up, agitated, "He's clearly crazy. We all are! Maybe we drank something strange cause this certainly does not feel right." Her outburst timed in the strangest manner as Gwenpool and Spider-Gwen looked at each other, sighing loudly at the same time. "You know what," Spider-Gwen spoke up, "Maybe we should leave now. it was a great change of pace for me to enter this world for this much time but I still have a father to reconcile with. The quicker the better."
"Yeah, wouldn't want one of 'us' to break in a bad manner..." Gwenpool's lips curved downwards.
"Is there a good breaking," Spider-Gwen inquired.
"You have no idea," Gwenpool smirked as Ann spoke up, "Hey, don't be like that, guys. Gwen is just exhausted. She didn't mean that!"
If Gwen hadn't regretted her previous outburst, she did now while Nik held the core trouble that had caused him a headache now, too.
"How can we even trust you?" He looked at Strange, "You are going to shove us in a mirror without any form of guarantee?"
"You all have an option to escort the ladies just because this is completely harmless. Consciousness cannot harm real people and neither each other. You might get a chance to interact with some of the greatest minds in this adventure. As for my guarantee, I can only assure you privately," he pointed out, "And Ms. Stacy," looking towards Gwen who sat back down, unable to look at her other-selves.
"We can meet Newton?" Gwenpool inquired with renewed vigor.
"I am sorry. He's a special case. He doesn't enjoy the interaction with any living being for that matter."
"Aw! I always wanted to ask what he thought when his piss poured down instead of floating about..."
After a few moments of stunned silence, Nik extended, "I am sure he was more busy aiming than thinking."
His words were met with a deep nod from Ann as Nik sighed, "I really want to have a private chat regarding the said assurance but before that, Gwen," looking at the blonde and smiling widely, "You need to know that you are not crazy... just reasonable with a crazy friend for a change." Verbally jabbing at Kiara who wasn't even present, Nik continued, "however, you shouldn't be the one to feel guilty for your reasoning. You can always choose to opt out of this kind of stuff. But these two are... real." Nik shrugged at Gwenpool's exaggerated gesture before standing up. Nik just heard Strange's voice in his head, calling him out to the first floor.
"I'll come back in a jiffy," Nik left as the apparent clone entertained the girls.
As Nik walked up the flight of stairs, finally coming into contact with an even greater presence of energy Nik temporarily dubbed as Magic, until confirmed otherwise, he found his vision swim for a moment as the velvet carpet fluttered slightly and instantly, a door became visible with not a single structure constructed on the other side of the large wooden piece of furniture. "Please enter," A calm voice interrupted Nik's line of thought and invited him cordially. With no knobs to twist and push, Nik pressed his hand and pushed open the door, revealing the sight of traditional bed chambers with Strange sitting on the bed with his legs crossed and his brows knotted in concentration. Sweat trickled down his forehead while green runic chains moved around him, turning the entire setting of the room a notch somber.
"This is an automatic countermeasure I set up before beings from other dimension began their attacks," Strange spoke up, his eyes still closed as the chair in the rook moved on its own and stopped in front of Nik, turning to make sure that the moment Nik sat, he would face Doctor Strange. "Oh, yeah," Nik mumbled, sitting on the courteous chair, "the things we do to deal with those disrespectful jerks," he sounded unsure himself. After all, no sane person should ever expect a serious reply for dealing with intergalactic monsters.
"You are a gifted individual, Mr. Minion," Strange muttered, "Not only physically and spiritually. But your mentality... it is a genuine surprise how a person of your caliber isn't determined to be more ambitious."
"Like? Taking over the world?" Nik jested with an ill-humored chuckle, still controlling himself from sabotaging whatever Strange was doing. After all, the man touched him without permission... the consequence of a clone's action should be borne by the original, right?
"Exactly, like taking over the world. You'd be surprised by the sheer number of people who try the act after gaining powers," Strange smiled despite his disheveled expression. "I have been constantly repairing the fractures in space caused by your... how should I put it bluntly..."
"Saving people?" Nik stated.
"You can save them with that astounding physique of yours. After the first fracture into the mirror dimension, I have kept my tabs on you loosely and from what I can see... it seems training. The ever-changing manipulation into space without a set rule as if you are still finding your own method. Stop me if I'm wrong, but aside from the simple manipulation of space, you don't seem to be aware of the very fabric of reality and its various components."
Not showing any indication of registering the information, Nik inquired in return, "What do you mean by the components of reality?"
"The space surrounding us is not comprised of a single one but an infinity number of overlaps," Strange's body suddenly shook as he spoke hastily, "I need to focus in a bit. This will take time. I meant to talk with you personally to show my sincerity. You can learn the rest from the clone downstairs. And please, be careful with your ability." Strange cautioned once again as the room began to dissolve into a thin fog, leaving Nik in his sitting position without a chair beneath him. "That's a cheap tactic. Others could fall and maybe even break a hip," standing up with a snort, Nik looked at his surroundings. The presence of energy was almost suffocating but until now, Nik had not seen a single item contributing to this phenomenon.
"Could it be that there's a magical vein of sorts beneath the mansion? That would actually explain a lot," muttering, Nik now found himself falling into a hole surrounded by a familiar orange glow and he landed right next to Anna, making everyone within the room exclaim except Strange as he crossed his legs and spoke up, "When you are ready, visit me again and I will lead all of you into the spiritual realm and Nik," turning to Nik the man conjured a book and passed it down to him from Anna and continued, "This is a brief introduction of what we just discussed."
With that, Strange sent everyone home despite Gwenpool's constant refusal. She didn't have a choice since she was instantly transported outside.
Gwen wasn't actually willing to face her other selves alone at home but she didn't have a choice since Spider-Gwen and Gwenpool would begin dissipating. With a reluctant farewell to Nik and Ann, she left for home and slumped down on her bed promptly with her grunt echoing, "I am sorry... again. You guys are away from your families and I... have been acting like a bitch who majored from the annoying academy."
Snickering, Gwenpool jumped on top of Gwen's head as Gwen continued to press her head against the pillow. Winking at Spider-Gwen, Gwenpool continued, "Homes are slightly overrated. I don't think Strange will ever let us back unless we solve our issues. How about we actually share with you who we really are? Hmm? All the secrets to superhero life!"
"And that''s why Reed Richards is better. He doesn't make me do stupid things."
"Can he do magic?" Gwenpool scoffed, "Magic is always cooler! Always!"
Slowly sitting up as Gwen helped Gwenpool stand on her palm, the blonde waited for her two other-selves to finally share their stories with her.
"How should I put it..." Spider-Gwen thought for a moment with her turn being the first one, "A drum player turned superhero who fought supervillains, saved the city, had a squabble with dad, and then saved him. Had to fight off my friend and... it did not end well. In reality, my life had turned into a major screw up but... I am happy that it isn't the same for you," Smiling at Gwen, Spider-Gwen continued, "So please, if you can, always avoid entering into this dangerous business."
"Hah?" Raising her eyebrow in annoyance, Gwenpool practically growled, "Dangerous? I have no powers and I am still the best! What's with that look? I am! Anyway, the thing to know is that whatever you are, try to have fun and excitement," Gwenpool advised.
"You are impossible!" Jumping at Gwenpool and shoving her down on the bed, Spider-Gwen sat on top of her and clutched on her dress, "You don't get to brush off my actions and my suffering just because you think you are cooler!"
Well, that incoming punch was something Gwenpool didn't expect.