DD: We’re back on the Drake Dingwell show. In hour three, we’re going to talk about all the kooks and loonies running around and the S.H.I.E.L.D. ships and the jailbreaks. It’s nuts out there. Who’s to blame? I’ll tell you what I think. If everyone in this city who says he has superpowers jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge tomorrow, it’s be a better place. Especially the ones who have, how do I put this delicately… identity problems.
We’ve got enough problems in this city without costumed crazies running around pretending they’re Norse gods and Middle Earth wizards fighting demonic oogaboogas from other dimensions! But let’s hear from one of those crazies and see what he has to say for himself. We’ve got open lines. Keep calling in and maybe you’ll get your chance to talk to Dr. Stephen Strange, who’s on the line. Doctor, are you there?
SS: I am.
DD: So let’s hear it. You claim to be Earth’s “Sorcerer Supreme.” Really? Of all of Earth? Who elected you? The United Nations? The Tri-Lateral Commission?
SS: It is a mantle I inherited from my mentor, The Ancient One, after a number of profound spiritual and mystical trials in his mountain retreat in Tibet--
DD: Tibet! Are you working for the Chinese? Why aren’t you America’s Sorcerer Supreme?
SS: I am sworn to protect all mankind from otherworldly threats and hostile incursions into this dimension, no matter where they occur.
DD: So magic is real.
SS: You’re a bit slow to figure this out.
DD: Listen, you jackball halfwit, I’m way ahead of this game. You’ve got a scam going and everyone’s falling for it. Ohhhh, the Sorcerer Supreme, he’ll save us from…what was it, Doomoomoo? Demon Prince of Cows? Isn’t it true you’re washed up physician who just started practicing a quack kind of medicine when a car accident messed up his hands so he couldn’t do the legit kind?
SS: You are a fool who panders to other fools. You mock what you are not capable of understanding.
DD: Is that so, David Copperfield? You tell the cow demon I’ll have him on my show and tell him the same thing. Bet you can’t do that, can you?
SS: Arrange for you to interview Dormammu? No. I would not. I believe that would run counter to S.H.I.E.L.D. regulations.
DD: There you have it. When the rubber meets the road, he hides behind S.H.I.E.L.D. regulations. Heroes. These are heroes? Screw ’em. Get the hell off my show, Strange. Rudy in Bay Ridge, you’re next on Drake Dingwell. What you got?
PREPARED BY JASPER SITWELL
S.H.I.E.L.D. PERSONNEL FILE: Strange, Dr. Stephen, MD
Classification: Independent Operator
Criminal Record: None, although his bonafides as “Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme” has been questioned by a number of professional skeptic organizations.
Powers: Dr. Strange evidences a skill set commensurate with “magic use,” the exact definition of which is currently under review by the Directorate of Intelligence’s Terms & Classifications Committee.
Known History: Once one of the country’s most respected surgeons, Dr. Strange fell off the grid for many years following a car accident that injured his hands so he could no longer operate.
Eventually the Directorate began receiving intel that Strange had taken up residence in an old brownstone in Greenwich Village, New York City, and been garnering quite the reputation consulting against threats of a so-called mystical nature. He claimed to have traveled to Tibet after his accident, where under the tutelage of a mystic going by the name “The Ancient One” was taught the ways of black magic, which his mentor convinced him should be used in the service of humanity.
Observations: “You are combating The Pulse through science, and I see nothing wrong with that. Your physical world has certain rules, and The Pulse has violated them. You are trying to stop it with the only tools you have available to you.
“But my world also has rules. And The Pulse has also violated them. At the moment of its eruption I felt a great disturbance, a rending in the veil of space and time.
“So I warn you that if you only combat The Pulse using science, you will fail to appreciate the full totality of its threat. And thus put all of Earth in the gravest jeopardy.
“So in the name of the Vishanti I implore you to accept my offer for help.” — Dr. Stephen Strange
NF: Doctor Strange.
SS: Director Fury. I have come here to be blunt. Yours is a well-earned skepticism, but like any closely held belief, it is not rational.
NF: Not believing in Norse gods makes me irrational. All right.
SS: It is not rational to reject evidence because it conflicts with your ideas.
NF: You tell me what’s happening, then. You were in the field. Did you fight Norse legends?
SS: I did.
NF: Right. Here’s my problem, Strange. I’ve seen aliens and mutants. Shapeshifters, people who could turn invisible. I’ve even seen you. But you’re saying I should believe in gods.
SS: No. I am saying this: If you believe I can do the things you have seen me do, why would you not believe someone else can?
NF: Maybe they can. That doesn’t make Thor the actual god of thunder.
NF: So on top of the Pulse and Iso-8, not to mention Hydra and AIM and the Hand and Dr. Doom and Magneto , I have to put Asgardian gods on the S.H.I.E.L.D. enemies list. Tell you what. I’m still not going to believe it, but I’m going to respond like it’s true. You need resources to fight the Enchantress and Loki, you got them. But don’t tell me what to believe.
SS: I have no interest in your beliefs, Director Fury. But I do have one other topic to broach, and I fear it is related to things magical.
NF: Go ahead. It could hardly get worse.
SS: Loki’s failed enchantment has awakened latent magical qualities in objects all over New York. Emanations of magical energy are everywhere. The darker powers will take note, and will try to corrupt this energy for their own purposes.
NF: Which are…?
SS: Often they do not know themselves. Loki has perhaps done much more damage than he knows. No doubt this would please him.
NF: It doesn’t please me a bit. Now if you will excuse me, Doctor, you delivered your message. I’ve got a war to win.