There was something about the dead that Jacob Crawford found incredibly appealing, in a sick, demented sort of way. Maybe it was the cold stiffness of their corpses... or maybe it was the pure sensation and thril of taking another being's entire essence.
Regardless, Crawford had issues, something he very much understood as he walked across the black, damp grass that decorated the ground. He was dressed in a black duster coat, combat boots with a fedora atop his head that had been placed in such a way that it covered the thick, fleshy scar that ran across his left eye.
"Ah! Mister Crawford! Thank you for finally joining us!"
The Magus had been a client of Crawford's for the past two centuries, yet Jacob still knew very little about the man. For all Crawford knew... he wasn't even human.
"The honour's all mine." Crawford said as he stepped into the small, wooden hut planted in the middle of the graveyard. Magus conjured a thick black slime out of nowhere and placed it around the hut's entrance, sealing it off from the outside. "I tend to enjoy your work, Magus. It keeps me... entertained." He muttered while pulling off his coat and hanging it up on one of the severed hands lining the walls. There was just... something about Magus that put a man on edge. He seemed to have some kind of aura around him that left disgust in Crawford's stomach, it felt like a damp, sticky substance that could have been found lurking at the back of the darkest and deepest cave.
"Great minds think alike." The Magus said before snorting slightly like he'd just thought of something funny. "Oh wait... there's no mind greater then mine."
Sometimes the Magus could also be a bit of a d!ck.
"That why you need my help in this little ritual you're planning?"
Magus looked away from his ally and pulled off his own coat.
"I'll show you what I'm working with." He told Crawford as he spun his hands in a circular motion. Jacob watched the Mage in silent admiration as he effortlessly tore a hole through the very fabric of space, there were very few men in the universe like the Magus... and as he summoned his targets into the center of the hut, Crawford couldn't help but feel jealous at his client's abilities. "I was keeping them in a pocket dimension for safe keeping." Magus explained while summoning a ghastly green armchair to rest upon. "It also helps save space."
Crawford looked at the five captives tied and bound up before him. Each of the captives varied in age, race and gender, the youngest was clearly around 7 years old in age... while the oldest, and the only one not looking directly at him, was somewhere in his early 30s. The eldest seemed to be completely oblivious to his surroundings, he was looking around the hut blindly... and upon closer inspection it became clear to Crawford exactly who this man was.
"Is that the Mime?" Jacob asked. Magus nodded from his armchair, seemingly proud of his work as he took a sip out of a small China cup filled with tea. "What's wrong with him?"
"He's a superhero. So I mystically erased his senses. I'm not leaving him any chance of escape that could affect the plan."
"Nice." Crawford pulled out his round glass eye and revealed a small glass container from the back that was filled with a murky green liquid.
"Are the children going to be a problem>" Magus asked as Crawford pulled several large chunks of raw, bloody meat from a container on his belt.
"How rude." Doctor Myrick Mute exclained whie turning his nose up, a clod shiver filled his body as he stood alone atop Mount Damavand. "Not that I was even REMOTELY interested in joining your little gaggle of misfits." He spat. "A superhero team... how common!"
Keeping true to his name, the Doctor silently levitated himself into the cold winter air and willed himself down the landscape, mentally shielding himself from the horrors he'd faced and vanquished mere moments ago.
After several minutes of silent flight, the Doctor arrived at his destination, a small village just on the country's border. Cape flowing behind him, the Magician Maximus soared down through a building's window and found himself stood within a warm, clean bedroom.
"I'm back." He said while placing his cape onto a nearby table. "...and I think I've figured out what our safe word can be." The Doctor waited for a response. "It's 'Gunship'." He finally said.
"That's a shame." A low voice called from the building's bathroom as the door swung open, revealing a somewhat scantily dressed woman smiling seductively at the Doctor. "...I was hoping Gunship would join in."
"Trust me madam." Mute clicked his fingers, switching his Magician's robes into more... 'relevant' attire. "I'll make up for him."
The woman awakened the next morning to find herself completely alone in bed... and later awakened 9 months later to find herself cradling a new baby child.
"FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! I SWEAR I KNOW HER!"
Doctor Mute had never been one for physicality... which was ironic considering he prided himself on his physical appearance, this weakness couldn't have been more apparent as he was dragged through the halls of Buckingham Palace by several Royal Guards.
"What's going on?" Queen Elizabeth the Second asked as a figure clad in Victorian era cothing was tossed before her. The elderly man looked up at the Queen of England, clutching tightly at his crushed top hat.
"What's going on?" Doctor Mute repeated, two guards firmly keeping their hands on his shoulders. "WHAT'S GOING ON?!" He screamed. "YOUR BLOODY GUARDS STOMPED ON MY DAM HAT!" Mute snapped, while pointing at the purple mess that he had once proudly worn. "And I'll be sending YOU the bill!"
One of the guards stepped forward. "We caught Doctor Mute trying to enter the building ma'am. When we tried to restrain him, he resisted." Mute rubbed slightly at a purple bruise forming on his cheek.
"Please leave us." The guards saluted smartly before spinning on their heels and walking towards the exit. Doctor Mute dusted his clothes off before standing up. "Oh Mute..." Elizabeth said from her throne. "What have you done?" She clicked her fingers creating a mystical aura around the Doctor, cleaning off any dirt and grime from his outfit and body.
"How was I supposed to know you'd installed magical barriers since last time?!" He moaned, tossing his hat aside in despair.
"What do you want?" The Queen snapped impatiently at the pathetic little Mage before her.
"I... I need your key to the Limbo Markets."
Elizabeth looked at the Doctor in surprise. For a moment she thought she'd simply misheard the elderly sorcerer... but that was largely impossible for a mystical being such as her.
"Why?" She asked. "Just use the public entrance."
A look of disgust and revulsion filled Mute's face.
"Do you have any idea how much that would cost me?" He asked. "I'm not made of money! And... and the public." He stuck out his tongue. "Disgusting. Ugh... people."
The Queen pulled a small, black metallic key from her pocket. It had a green aura that seemed to shimmer around it... the key was a priceless artifact that had been passed down through the generations of her family.
"Don't. Lose it." The Queen said sternly as she handed it carefully over to the Doctor.
"I'm very careful with these types of things." Mute said as he placed the key in his suit's pocket.
"Mute!" The Queen said as the Doctor walked towards the building's exit. "I'm serious. If you lose that key... don't bother coming back."
"Don't worry." He replied. "I never liked Buckingham Palace anyway. Something about it seems very... hostile."
"I was talking about the United Kingdom."