(Continued from: New Amalgam Universe: John Strange the Magician from Mars Part 2)
Village of Chowtung, Tibet
The three companions; J'onn Strange, Daniel Brand and Cynthia Wong found themselves in the village nearest to Nanda-Lun. From there they searched for any clues to the mysterious 'Logan' from Daniel's memories. In the local bar J'onn could see a man that had had contact with a man called Logan through the Eyes of Agamotto. He could try to invade the man's mind with telepathy but his proteges need to practice their skills as well.
"Daniel, you will possess this man while Cynthia you will disguise our presence from those around us." J'onn instructs.
"Are you sure about this doc? Can't you just....zip?" Daniel asks and points at his forhead.
"You've got to practice Danny if you plan on improving. You're an athlete, you know that." Cynthia says as she preps her illusion.
"Yeah, but this isn't like riding a bike....it's like riding a person." Danny protests but soon he disappears becoming an incorporeal spirit.
Cynthia doesn't miss a beat and creates an illusion that Danny is still sitting there for the rest of the bar patrons. Only J'onn is still able to see Danny as his spirit moves across the bar to the person in question. J'onn follows and sits down at the table just as Danny's spirit enters the man. Cynthia and the illusion of Danny soon join them.
"This guy's name is Hobart, can you believe that?" Danny says from within Hobart's body. He tries to breathe through his mouth because Hobart's body hasn't showered recently.
"Focus Daniel, try to remember what we're here for." J'onn says.
"Right, sorry. It's just...being in someone else's mind takes some getting used to. There was a guy named Logan who came through here around the same time I was killed. Middle-aged but fit, sort of scruffy, not very tall." Danny describes the man.
"He was heading north in to the mountains. Hey doc, isn't Nanda-Lun West of here? Why was he going north?" Danny asks.
"I don't know Daniel but that is a good place to start. We can go now." J'onn instructs as he stands up.
Danny leaves Hobart's body and takes the space exactly where Cynthia had the illusion of him sitting. As Danny departs Hobart's mind takes over again with no memory of the past few minutes. "What do youse want?" He asks the strangers.
"Sorry we thought you were somebody else." Cynthia explains as she follows her two male companions out of the bar.
They leave the village and head north. To anyone else the trails north all look the same but to one in possession of both Eyes of Agamotto one path has a completely different feel. Following that special path up in to the mountains they find an old hidden temple. And not just a hard to find temple but one hidden through magic, a psychic blind spot that actually stands out to the three companions.
"Are we sure this is where he was headed? It could be a coincidence." Cynthia suggests. "Something about this place just feels....strange."
"That is the psychic blindspot, like a filter on your perceptions. The perfect way to hide a place, I am not detecting anything sinister within, just three life forms though they feel....different. It is odd that it is so near Nanda-Lun and we haven't heard of it." J'onn says.
"Well then lets go knock." Danny strides forward and bangs on the ancient door. "Housekeeping!" He says in a shrill voice.
A few minutes go by with no answer. The doors don't even budge when Danny tries them so he decides to try something else. He turns into his spectral form and passes right through the door.
"Daniel no, we don't know what's inside." J'onn phases and passes through the door after him.
"I'll just wait here then?" Cynthia says.
On the other side of the doors in the main chamber there are two young girls approximately 15 years old. One has shoulder length red hair and is wearing white robes while the other has short dark hair and black robes.
The moment that both J'onn and Danny become corporeal again the redhead girl speaks. "Eeek! Master, we have visitors!" The redhead levitates and then flies down a hall and around a corner.
"Is this a test?" The dark haired girl asks. Instead of waiting for an answer or running away though she runs towards them. She strikes quickly and efficiently. It is only the quick reflexes of both men turning insubstantial again that prevents them from being quickly overwhelmed.
"We have not come to fight. Let the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak hold you!" J'onn forms a few gestures in the air and red bands of energy appear around the girl. She actually manages to dodge the first band but there are too many coming in on her and soon she is held immobile in the air.
"Perhaps this will teach Cassandra that not every visitor is an intruder and that it is better to gauge a person's abilities before rushing into battle." The redheaded girl has returned accompanied by a man with redish blonde hair and green robes. "It is good to see you again J'onn. We don't often get visitors, how can I help you?"
"John Dragon? I did not expect to find you here. One of my companions is still outside." The Sorcerer Supreme says.
"Of course, Megan if you would." John Dragon says and the redheaded girl who was standing slightly behind him steps past the visitors and unlocks the temple doors to allow Cynthia in.
As Cynthia enters she quickly surveys the scene. A man and two girls in robes, one hanging suspended in the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. "Missed the fun again did I? I wish you could teach me that phase shifting thing."
The redheaded girl returns to John Dragon's side and stays quiet. Now that her master has arrived the dark haired girl called Cassandra has ceased struggling within the bands.
"Daniel, Cynthia this is John Dragon. He passed through Nanda-Lun during my early days there, before either of you arrived." Said to his companions. "John Dragon these are my companions Daniel Brand and Cynthia Wong." Said to John.
"Many, many years ago. These are my students Megan." Gesturing to the redhead. "And Cassandra you've met." Gesturing to the girl in being held in the Crimson Bands.
"My apologies." J'onn dissolves the Crimson Bands and Cassandra moves to stand beside her teacher. "We have come searching for a man called Logan. We believe he might have come this way." J'onn explains. He doesn't probe minds without reason but he can sense the two girls are shielding their thoughts.
"I know the man you are seeking. Though I do not know his current whereabouts he will be returning in two weeks. You are welcome to wait here until his return. We have much to discuss and learn from each other." He opens his arms in a welcoming gesture.
"Are you sure about this Doc?" Danny asks, even though J'onn seems to know this guy he doesn't really understand what is going on.
"We can trust Master Dragon, and he can teach us much Daniel. If you give him the opportunity." J'onn responds.
"Good. Cassandra and Megan will show your two companions to some spare chambers. I assure you she will not try to fight you again within these walls. Unless it is a sanctioned training exercise. Is that understood Cassandra?" The green robed man adds. Cassandra just nods, approaches Danny and tilts her head for him to follow her.
The redheaded girl, whom Dragon called Magan, approaches Cynthia. "If you would come with me please, it's right this way." She says in a polite voice.
Both Danny and Cynthia look at J'onn at first. He nods slightly. "I will stay here and discuss things with Master Dragon." The others depart.
"Quite the traveling companions you've got J'onn. You are aware that Daniel is no longer alive?" The mysterious John Dragon asks once the others have gone. He leads J'onn down another hall.
J'onn almost chuckles. "I am. We are seeking his murderer." J'onn responds as he follows and shifts to his partial Martian form since John Dragon is already familiar with him.
"I didn't think anything would get you to leave Nanda-Lun. You wouldn't accompany me on my quest, but these two seem to have reached that heart of yours. I'm glad to see that." John Dragon leads him to a meditation chamber. Within the chamber there are a number of candles that are burning with a green smoke and arcane symbols on the wall.
"Why are you here John? Why not just return to Nanda-Lun when your quest was over?" The Magician from Mars asks. This room feels like a home away from home, like his own Sanctum Sanctorum and will be perfect for him to wait until the man they're looking for returns.
The martial arts master responds. "After my quest was complete I had become a different man than I was during my training. I no longer felt at home within Nanda-Lun so I took up residence here to train my students." John Dragon explains to his old friend.
"I do sense something different within you. You are more centered than you were when we first met. Perhaps that is why I didn't recognize your spirit when we approached." J'onn says as walks the perimeter of the room. A little ritual he often does before meditating.
"Yes well I have come to understand my place in the world. I am John Dragon, the Prince of Orphans." Green smoke similar to the candles wafts off John Dragon. But J'onn the Magician from Mars knows this isn't an attack.
"We will talk at length tomorrow. But first you must know my student Cassandra is the daughter of the man you seek, he brought her here for training and sanctuary. He will return when I said. What will you do when he arrives?" John Dragon asks.
To which J'onn responds. "I am helping Daniel find justice, not vengeance. We will wait here and train together but we should not tell Daniel of the girl's connection. At least not yet." He doesn't like keeping things from Daniel but he is at such a critical stage that might be too much for him.
"Agreed. We will talk more tomorrow." John Dragon turns from the room and departs.
In another part of the temple Megan has shown Cynthia to a room and they've begun talking as if they're old friends. Meanwhile Cassandra showed Danny to a room and quickly departed choosing to continue her training rather than attempt socializing.
"Well isn't this just cozy." Danny says to the empty room.
Ten days later
The days have been spent with physical training and meditation. J'onn found that Cassandra is even less interested in meditation than Daniel is. However what she lacks in meditation skills she more than makes up with physical prowess. Megan seems to be the reverse, less interested in physical confrontation but excelling in mental abilities. Cynthia tries to learn a balance of both.
Danny is sparring with Cassandra and after ten days of training he's managing to almost keep up with her. Cynthia is definitely proving a better combatant than Megan but Megan's increased strength and durability allows her to keep up. Master Dragon and J'onn watch the training when suddenly J'onn and Megan drop to the ground from a psychic attack.
Danny is distracted by J'onn dropping to the ground and Cassandra takes the opportunity to toss him across the training mat. As he picks himself up he asks. "Are you okay doc?"
Cynthia checks on Megan. "She's breathing but something knocked her out."
"She will be okay. It was a targeted psychic attack." Using the Eyes of Agamotto the Sorcerer Supreme gazes through the temple's walls. "We are surrounded by a small army. They are resisting my mental probes and there are two powerful presences with them. We are under attack."
A figure in a red cloak draped with golden chains hovers in the air. "He has resisted my attack but the spells are intact, they will not be able to escape. Your prize is within, my Lord."
"Thank you Mordo. I was hesitant about this partnership at first, however it seems both of our goals are within reach." A man with red skin and vaguely demonic features says. His suit is a very old style but the two most distinctive features of his clothes are his cape and the sword hanging from his belt.
"Attack." The red skinned man says.
A winged man with golden trimmed armor takes to the air unsheathing a flaming sword and flying towards the temple. A blue demonic figure standing beside the red-skinned man disappears in a puff of smoke and reappears on the temple's roof. At the same time several dozen ninjas and various assassins follow their commander's order and charge the temple.
Ra's az Azel and the sorcerer now calling himself Baron Mordo stay where they were standing to watch the carnage.
(To be continued.)
(Continued from: New Amalgam Universe: John Strange the Magician from Mars Part 2)