“Oh Wanda,” Stephen Strange’s eyes welled with tears as he took his wife’s limp hand. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s not your fault, dad,” Max Strange comforted his father. “Mom saved the world from Kang, single handed.”
“If I was here...”
“We can play What If all day,” Max said gently. “You weren’t, she was, we deal with what we have, okay? She’s okay, we have the best doctors looking after her, at the moment she won’t wake up.”
“She’s in a recuperative coma,” added Dr Jane Foster who entered the room. “Hello Stephen.”
The old friends embraced warmly.
“Wanda’s body was bombarded by chronal energy along with a physical assault by multiple Kang’s along multiple time lines. By rights she should be dead. But she’s tough, and very lucky.” Dr Foster said. “We’re also using a few unconventional treatments...”
Stephen and Max noted the golden liquid in the IV bag.
“How long?” Stephen asked.
“In real time, Kang attacked nine months ago,” Max said. “But he popped up all over the place causing divergences so it kind feels like years; sometimes like it happened yesterday.”
“Where is he now?”
Max and Stephen Strange stood inside a shiny cube made of magical energy looking at the Super Massive black hole in the centre of the galaxy. In the heart of it was Kang undergoing the process of spaghettification which is what happens to matter as it is stretched and ripped apart gravitational forces from an object several hundred billion times larger than the Sun!
“Old Man Forge tinkered with Kang’s armour and mom provided the power, so when he tried to retreat from battle he ported here,” Max said. “And hopefully he’ll stay here but he’s a master time traveller so I honestly don’t know how long it’ll last. But for now, he’s here.”
“Good!” Stephen stated turning his back to the massive hole in space/time. “I don’t think I would’ve thought of something so...imaginative.”
Max waved his hands like he was conducting an orchestra. “Winds of Watoomb and Bridge of Bifrost! Carry us home!”
“Asgardian magic,” Stephen noted.
Max sat opposite his father in the Inner Sanctum of the Sanctum Sanctorum. “After you vanished in the fight with Mephisto, which I eventually found out was Dormammu, the Ancient One choose a new Sorcerer Supreme.”
“Actually it was Dane Whitman,” Max said as he conjured up an image.
“The Black Knight?” Stephen was baffled. “He’s not a mage!”
“But like you, me, Mordo, anyone, can learn spells,” Max said. “It’s like a times table. Plus he’d had some basic training from Merlin, had lived in the sixth century and wielded the Ebony Blade. And for three years he was great. Then Doom struck! Because Victor thought HE should’ve been next in line.”
“Doom thinks that about everything,” Stephen remarked.
“His attempted coup nearly worked, except he underestimated Dane and paid the ultimate price.”
“You’re telling me The Black Knight KILLED Victor Von Doom!?!” Stephen was astonished as he watched magical images of the event swirl around him.
“Drove the Ebony Blade up under his chin and out the back of his head. Game, set, match. But by killing Doom, it activated the Blood Curse within the blade which sent Dane into a murderous frenzy. Imagine a well trained vampire...”
Stephen could only picture his occasional ally Blade and the thought of him going on a slaying rampage was terrifying enough, let alone adding in access to magic and an unbreakable sword.
“Dane was defeated and the mantle passed to mom and now it passed to me since she’s in a coma,” Max said. “For the past nine months I’ve been Sorcerer Supreme. Any time you want the job back dad, it’s yours!”
Stephen smiled. “Thank you, but no. My time has passed.”
“If you...” Max paused as his hip began beeping. “Sorry, it’s my Defenders alert. I’ve got to go. Will you be alright?”
“Go, go save the world,” Stephen said proudly. Max spun his hand and made a hole in the air and walked through it to a room full of costumed people, some Stephen recognised.
“See you soon,” Max smiled at his dad and stepped into the room. “What’s happening?”
Stephen Strange watched the hole close and stood silently, alone in the room.
To be continued...