whattaprick: (SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS)
Lambert ([personal profile] whattaprick) wrote in [community profile] lostcarnival2017-05-10 09:37 am

some people are better at surviving than living

Who: Jonathan Strange & Lambert
What: Lambert drops off Strange's book and asks some questions about the Carnival's last visit to a digital world.
When: After the general presentation/intro to Mainframe!
Where: The Big Top
Warnings: Maybe references to previous violence? Anything is possible with these two!

After the meeting disperses, Lambert sees himself off to breakfast, then back to his trailer, Strange's presence having reminded him of the outstanding matter of giving the man back his book before he drops into Mainframe again. In truth, he hasn't read the book very thoroughly, just the parts of most interest -- anything with the Raven King himself, deals with Faerie, and those King's Roads Strange mentioned before. He also might have casually checked if there was anything in it about binding spells and compulsions, not that he'd be able to pull off any such spell himself, but most of what he can find relates to increasingly long winded stories about fairy servants that make his eyes glaze over. It provides some insight into what Strange was trying to do that buried the Carnival in snow, at least.

... Although it is hilarious to imagine Strange trying any of that on, say, the Ringmaster.

In any case, there's no reason to have it taking up any more space in his trailer than it is -- though that's pretty empty and sparse as is. It's not difficult to find the magician: just have to follow the smell of smoke and crazy. He pushes into the big tent, tail waving behind him and book tucked under his arm, calling out:

"Strange?"
kingsroads: (YAY RASH DECISIONS!!!)

[personal profile] kingsroads 2017-05-10 02:49 am (UTC)(link)
Strange actually practices every now and then. And when he practices, it's in the Big Top. The area is fireproof and he's going to perform there anyway, might as well use it as a practice space as well. And, now that they were back in the Carnival and he could actually access his magic again, of course Strange is going to use it. He hated being apart from his magic, even if only for a little bit. The magic was too much a part of him now to even consider going back to something resembling normalcy.

So, when Lambert finds him, Strange is casting spell after spell, tossing them off as if it's the easiest thing in the world. Fireballs shoot off in the air, exploding as if they're fireworks. Occasionally Strange gestures to a burning piece of something and the dirt of the big top floor moves up to smother the flame out before it can grow. Strange is gesturing to whatever needs to be done as he continually mutters all the while. It's a giant cacophony of magic and Strange looks downright delighted.

Thankfully, he spots Lambert before he can hear him. With one last fireball-turned-firework, Strange stops casting the magic and instead turns towards his friend and boss, hands behind his back as he does so, as he gives Lambert a wild grin. Here, casting spells like this, it's the happiest Strange has ever been since they arrived at the Mainframe.

"Lambert! I assume you've come to watch me practice?"
kingsroads: (sadly resigned)

[personal profile] kingsroads 2017-05-10 03:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Strange's emotions turn on a dime. The wild thrill of playing with his powers and actually using magic almost instantly vanishes, replaced by utter surprise as Strange spots his book. They had talked over the radios of course, but to see it in person, despite the fact that he honestly thought he'd never see it again? Strange has no idea how to feel about this. He's still having a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that Lambert asked for his book and is now actually giving it to him--honestly, he still expects Lambert to laugh and take it all back, keeping the book for himself.

With a wave of his hand, the rest of the fire vanishes as Strange walks over towards Lambert. It's obvious that he has NO IDEA what to think about the fact that here, in this carnival, he's got his book, one closer connection to Arabella. Because really, that's what matters the most. Not the text, or the book itself, but the illustrations. It's one more piece of Arabella that he knows he won't forget and he knows can't leave his already shoddy memory.

"Thank you," Strange simply responds, with perhaps the most honest sincerity that these two have ever had. "You really have no idea just how much this means to me."
kingsroads: (probably thinking bout faeries)

[personal profile] kingsroads 2017-05-10 05:52 pm (UTC)(link)
"I don't. The book was published when I was out of the country." After he straight up did a jailbreak and became a fugitive, that is, but let's keep that little detail to himself for now! Carefully, Strange takes the book from Lambert, holding it as he starts to flip casually though the pages.

"And, even more unfortunately, my former mentor vanished all copies of my book from England shortly after it was published. I've no idea if my book even exists any more back home."

Obviously this is a point of contention: Strange's voice is tight, tense and angry. This is possibly the point of no return for him and Norrell, at least in Strange's mind. Attack him all he wants but to quarrel with his book? To try and attack (what he thought was) the last remaining thing Strange could do to remember Arabella? That was beyond the pale.

"And before you ask, he destroyed my book because he feels it's dangerous."
kingsroads: (grump. >()

[personal profile] kingsroads 2017-05-11 01:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Strange can't help but laugh a little at Lambert's response, a short little 'heh' of a laugh over anything else. Norrell is a hundred percent a dick, and he's glad that other people see so. But at Lambert's question, Strange pauses for a moment, mulling things over before he actually answers.

"Of a sort. He wanted to ignore the Raven King, to deny him his proper place in English magic." It's obvious that this is a sticking point with Strange, who's getting more and more annoyed the more he talks about this. "To cut the Raven King out of English magic is pure nonsense. He's an intrinsic part of the whole thing. Why would you leave English magic toothless and dull just for the sake of a petty vendetta against a long-gone man?"

Because, at least in Strange's mind, that's what it is. A petty vendetta. He speaks about the Raven King with such awe and admiration (something that's amazingly obvious in his book), why couldn't others see that as well?
kingsroads: (dude just stop that)

[personal profile] kingsroads 2017-05-12 05:27 am (UTC)(link)
"At least in your world, your mages wouldn't try to be respectable to begin with. If they were in my place and me in theirs, perhaps they would view less knowledge as a blessing," said as if that's explanation enough. Because at least in Strange's mind, it is. Lambert's world is entirely different from his, of course the mages would act differently than magicians of Strange's world would. Maybe if their worlds were swapped, some of Lambert's mages would act closer to how Norrell behaved and the English magicians would act closer to how Lambert's mages behaved.

Of course, the idea of Gilbert Norrell in freaky grimdark fantasy world is enough to make Strange wince slightly. The poor man would be dead within a week.

"He certainly hates the Raven King...though terrified might be a bit too much." Fun fact: Strange remembers the bare minimum of that prophecy Vinculus told him and has straight up forgotten the part where surprise, turns out that Norrell is kind of terrified of the Raven King.
Edited 2017-05-12 05:28 (UTC)
kingsroads: (maybe staring makes it work)

[personal profile] kingsroads 2017-05-12 05:53 am (UTC)(link)
Strange can't help but wrinkle his nose at that. Power? He could see some people caring about power, and he knows that if certain people from his world gained magic, then of course they'd use it to try and get what they want. But magic to gain power? At least, magic to gain power that wasn't the knowledge of magic itself? That's a bit confusing. What good had power ever done him? All the power on Earth couldn't have saved Arabella from being kidnapped—only his magic could do that. Only knowledge could help her now. And manipulating people? At least in Strange's mind, that's something that just isn't done. Or, at the very least, it just isn't done by him.

"I suppose it doesn't," he adds, in almost a nonchalant tone of voice. All throughout the conversation, Strange had been holding the book, keeping it close to his body as if the book would vanish straight from his hands: this doesn't change now, even though the conversation is shifting slightly. "After all, respectability, power over others, neither of those really matters in the carnival, do they?"

Which is a little bit refreshing, to be honest. Even the supervisors were practically under the same playing field as the rest of the carnival's workers.
kingsroads: (oh my god this is gonna suck)

[personal profile] kingsroads 2017-05-12 06:12 am (UTC)(link)
"I know, I know," Strange teases back, with a roll of his eyes. "And trust me, when I find some sort of jewelry worthy of your...unique sensibilities, I'll purchase it on the spot. But I doubt you'd want anything from the Mainframe to begin with! Everything's just so odd in there."

His prejudice against digital worlds is showing as Strange's tone shifts from nonchalant to annoyed. Is it entirely petty to judge different digital worlds by the same cover? Partly! But Strange has barely wrapped his head around the concept of the internet, power nerfs are awful, and he still has flashbacks to the Matrix, his prejudice against computer worlds isn't entirely unfounded.
kingsroads: (hrrmph)

[personal profile] kingsroads 2017-05-12 01:32 pm (UTC)(link)
"It isn't," Strange responds, with a bit of a nod. And already, things are...not necessarily tense, but it's obvious that from his glower and tone of voice that Strange isn't too fond of the Matrix.

"The Carnival had stopped at the Matrix when I first arrived. It was another digital world, though actual people were living in it, not the programs. I can't claim to understand the ins and outs of that world, but it also had Agents of some kind who wanted to learn about the Carnival. They kidnapped some of the Carnival employees, brainwashed them, and then tried to stage an attack on the Carnival itself."

There's more to the story--it's obvious from the way that Strange is just so downright uncomfortable talking about it. But if Lambert doesn't pry, then he won't answer. He has nothing to hide and will gladly answer questions if needed...but that doesn't mean he likes talking about it.
kingsroads: (well phooey)

[personal profile] kingsroads 2017-05-12 02:09 pm (UTC)(link)
"I'll try," Strange answers, with a frown, as he follows Lambert and sits down on the bench next to him. Because yeah, he too remembers that he was mad when he first arrived--and, also, he arrived halfway through the damn thing. Strange never got as good a grip on the Matrix as he did about other worlds. "The people there were trapped, I remember that much, though they didn't realize it. There was some sort of resistance that was trying to free them from the Matrix, though I honestly don't know how well they did."

Fake 1990s digital world had a Borders and, unsurprisingly, even while mad, Strange spent plenty of time at the bookstore.

He pauses, leaning forward slightly, trying to wrack his brain for as many details about the Matrix as he could. Why couldn't the Carnival have stopped at a damn water world again, he remembered Atlantis! "The Agents were...sort of the police force of that world, I would assume? They were the ones in charge, at least."
kingsroads: (maybe we can talk about other things?)

[personal profile] kingsroads 2017-05-12 02:32 pm (UTC)(link)
"Well I assume it's because we're a bunch of show-offs who can't leave well enough alone," said with a little smirk. Ask a silly question, and all that. There's always going to be some part of these events where some carnival member finds something interesting and bothers the shit out of it.

"Another reason might because of how our abilities worked. In the Matrix, I could tap into a different force and do something like magic. It wasn't magic proper, whatever it is certainly didn't feel like magic and working with it was abysmal, but it was at least something. The trapped people couldn't do tap into that whatever like we could."

And, if people start showing off and doing weird things and stopping bullets with their hands and all that...well, it is pretty darn suspicious.
kingsroads: (GIVE IT UP FOR MAGIC)

[personal profile] kingsroads 2017-05-12 03:10 pm (UTC)(link)
"Grabbing everyone they could, doing something to the people they grabbed so that they would serve the Agents, and then attacking the carnival."

Strange doesn't know the specifics of the Agent's torture and brainwashing, he just knows that it happened, it was apparently reversible, and it must have sucked. Poor Childermass was laid up for days afterwards.
kingsroads: (well fuuuuuuck)

[personal profile] kingsroads 2017-05-13 05:33 am (UTC)(link)
"Was I taken? No, I wasn't." Childermass was. And if pressed, Strange will tell Lambert that fact. That's common knowledge, after all, and Strange isn't going to lie about it (even if he realizes that poor Childermass is most likely going to get bothered by Lambert about all this nonsense).

"However, in the ensuing chaos of the Agents' attack on the carnival, I was shot." It's obvious where as, unconsciously, Strange sets the book down next to him on the bench and reaches up to rub his right shoulder, a nervous tic over anything else. "Obviously I've made a full recovery, but I wouldn't want to relive the experience."
kingsroads: (well phooey)

[personal profile] kingsroads 2017-05-14 05:23 am (UTC)(link)
"Childermass," Strange simply responds, still unconsciously rubbing his shoulder. And that explains how he got caught off guard. Of course Strange wouldn't expect Childermass of all people to shoot him. Still, he feels the need to defend the man, to explain the circumstances, even if they both already know that Childermass in his right mind wouldn't even think of shooting Strange.

"He was one of the people who were kidnapped by the Agents—and don't ask me what they did to him, for I haven't the slightest clue myself." Of course Childermass wasn't going to talk to Strange about what happened in the Matrix. To start with, he was Childermass, wringing water from a stone was easier than wringing a conversation about himself. Even now Strange doesn't have any idea about what happened or the full extent of what the Agents did to him in the Matrix...just that it must have been terrible.

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