4736/Climbing the Social Ladder

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Climbing the Social Ladder
Date of Scene: 15 January 2021
Location: On a frozen mountain face in the Mongolian region
Synopsis: Lara climbs a mountain when some old goat shows up.
Cast of Characters: Lara Croft, Stephen Strange

Lara Croft has posed:
Lara's continued investigations in to the nature of the Dropa Stones continues.

She hadn't been back to New York City for more than a day before she'd come across a new lead and had set off again to a remote village in the Himalayan mountains. A day trek from there, and a campsite at the base of the mountain range... Lara is now scaling the western side of a snow covered peak...

Dressed in a red and black snow-suit, the experienced explore and adventurer is hundreds of feet off of the base, dangling on a red and white rope that she's securing clip by metal clip to the side of the rock's face.

The winds are rushing over her as she works her way up the mountain, her eyes covered by fiery-hued climber goggles, her hair flowing around behind her shoulders as it pours out from under a black wool-knit cap on her head...

The good news for the intrepid adventurer is that it is at least not snowing, right now...

Stephen Strange has posed:
    A sudden voice fills the air around Lara. "Let the ring bearer decide!" followed by deep, almost cavernous laughter. "I've always wanted to say that." Says a much less, boisterous voice as there's a man beside Lara suddenly with a pair of ice climbing axes held in his hands. The man wears a tobogon with a large puffy ball on the top that belies how poorly prepared he actually is for such a climb, and yet, his beard is nearly frozen over with frost. A pair of deep blue goggles reflect Lara's face back towards her when she looks at Stephen's face.

    "You busy?" The mostly disguised, but poorly implimented, wizard asks, showing his clean white teeth with a smile.

Lara Croft has posed:
Lara's concentration is pretty good, as good as it can get in this kind of activity. But even she's going to falter at such a suddenly unsettling thing as how STrange decides 'best' to announce himself to her.

Lara's grip on the rock gives loose and she slips down on to the grip of her ice axe's hold on the wall all by itself. Of course, she's also secured via her climbing rope that she's been attaching to the mountain via clips as she ascends the rock face... so she's not overly worried.

When the realization of who is beside her settles in after a few seconds Lara just exhales, a puffy white cloud of steamy breath before she looks away from him and resecures herself on the side of the mountain. "Adorable!" Lara says back to him, their voices being a bit flat this high up with a good frozen wind rolling over them both too.

"A little busy, but nothing to write home about." The Tomb Raider says as she kicks her spiked boots back in to the cliff's edge, her covered eyes scanning the rocks before she gives him another glance to her right. "I'm guessing this isn't a house call, asking to borrow 'eggs' or anything quite so mundane." She tells the Wizard.

Stephen Strange has posed:
    "Nothing to write home about." Stephen smirks as he drops one arm from the hook and allows himself to swing outward, so he can take a look at the majestic view behind them. "If this isn't worth a tweet, Lara, nothing is." Stephen says as he turns back and wraps his gloved hand around the handle of his spike.

    The wizard's eyebrows furrow as he looks ahead at the iceface before him and then shakes his head before twisting to address Lara once more, "What is it you're all the way out here for?" Stephen inquires as if they were passing in the grocery store.

Lara Croft has posed:
While Stephen is taking a moment to sight see, Lara is huffing another exhale at his response to her. She'd thought he must've been here for a rather important reason at first, but now at his casual-demeanor toward her she's starting to believe otherwise. So as he views the vistas behind her, she's continuing her climb upward now.

At his question as to WHY she is here, she takes a second of working her bear before she looks up and to her right, above and beyond Stephen's back when he's looking at her.

"There." Lara up-nods her chin in said direction. He'll see an outcropping, a pathway that looks like it collapsed at some point... and the snow encasing the broken pathway will yield a familiar pattern to the Doctor.

Stairs. Built in to the side of the mountain.

"Aliens." Lara cryptically adds as she adjusts the clips on her belt that she's tied to the mountain with, then continues her climb upward and a little to the right so she'll eventually reach that point.

"And what about you, Doctor?" She calls out. "Is this a ... random encounter? Have I trekked across a favorite meditation place of yours?" The Briton questions him.

Stephen Strange has posed:
    "Meditaiton, no, but you could say my origin wasn't too far from here. About ... three mountains over." Stephen says calmly, though his breath is shorter in the shallow air. Stephen looks up to the outcropping and frowns deeply. "Aliens... around here?!" He repeats with surprise and then a look towards Lara. "I fear I'm not familiar with this part of the Himalayas."

    Stephen then pulls a pick out of the ice and pulls his arm tight and up against the other before stabbing the free one higher into the ice as it seems he is in fact going to climb up with Lara.

    "I fear I need your help!"

Lara Croft has posed:
The climb is as climbs are, perilous and time consuming, and the way to the point Lara is vying for is a ways off yet still. So to have him climbing alongside her now is the two of them in for a bit of a long haul, and a heck of an exercise if one isn't accustomed to how to properly relax their muscles at the right times and moments.

"Well that is interesting to know." Lara comments about Stephen's admission of his origins being not far from here. She has some instant guesses and mental images of what he means by that, but keeps them to herself for the time being.

A gust of wind rushes over their heads, and sends down a wave of snow flurries that buffet against the rock wall in the harsh mountain air.

"You know me, Doctor..." Lara says in a dry tone of voice. "Ever happy and eager to help." It's almost sarcastic, due to their situation, but it rings true all the same. "I hope it's not time sensitive, however, it may be awhile before I'm back in the city." Though she knows he could change that with a wiggle of his nose, she doubts he plans on doing that, or he already would've.

Stephen Strange has posed:
    "I'm afraid I can't be trusted at the moment. In fact, I'm surprised Zatanna hasn't confined me..." Stephen says with a frown towards Lara, barely visible around the frozen beard that covers the lower half of his face. The man lowers his chin as the snow comes flurrying down in a hurry and he shivers slightly, struggling as a bit of snow might have found his neck. "Are you aware of the conflict that happened ... over in India..." Stephen asks, though under his breath he mutters about this cursed mountain range.

Lara Croft has posed:
Lara's axe is put back in to the rocks above her head and she hoists herself up to another poine on the wall. This poitn has enough of a ledge on that she can lean her left hip up against it for some leverage that will allow her fire-hued visor to look over to the Doctor. "Conflict in India?" She asks. "No, I haven't heard of that." The Briton says as her eyes drop down to her side while she uses one hand to reach down to her jacket pocket. "What happened?" She asks, snow covering her shoulders and falling down past them both as they hang together on the side of the Himalayan peak!

"And why would Zatanna need to confine you?" She then asks, knowing Zatanna quite well at this point, having had worked with her a number of times now, and even having attended one of her shows!

Stephen Strange has posed:
    "A giant elder rock god woke up and started rampaging. Wonder Woman, Zatanna and others." Stephen stops as he has to take a breath and even in that pause he realizes he's falling behind Lara and with another full body shudder he starts to climb once more. Spike going up and back in with a lot of force.

    "Aaaargh!" He lifts further and further, slow going, but they have to be meticulous and purposeful in every moment in this environment. "It was defeated but it was also infested with giant bugs. Aliens we think, but ... we discovered the magic the bugs use, and likely are, are derived from. Well from me." Stephen says with a frown as he pulls up again.

Lara Croft has posed:
"Elder Rock God?" Lara questions, having all manner of visions fill her mind from what that could look like. She slows herself some to let the Doctor have a chance to catch up with her, being that she has a fair amount of experience climbing with others, but rarely side by side like this as that is not typically advised.

"With that much super powered muscle, I would imagine they at least dealt with it." Lara calls out and down to the Doctor as he starts to gain ground on her again.

"Please tell me you're not here to warn me of an alien bug virus that you're infected with, Doctor." Lara dryly quips then as she starts to continue her journey upward now, pushing closer to the ledge she intends to swing herself over to. "Are you all right?" She does ask, earnestly concerned for the man though.

Stephen Strange has posed:
    "No no, the bugs were as large as you or I. You'd notice if I had an exo skeleton." Stephen takes a deep breath through his nose and then shakes his head again and continues to climb upwards. "I'm... I'm worried I'm losing my touch if I created a army of huge mystically vampiric bugs and didn't notice or ... worse." Stephen says with a frown as he takes another reach and lifts himself up slowly.

Lara Croft has posed:
"I should certainly hope so." Lara's voice calls back down to Stephen as she once more gains ground on him, rapidly this time though.

He'll note the sound of her moving above him and suddenly not 'being there' anymore, but certainly not having fallen. She'd leapt. Leapt to the stone pathway she'd been navigating toward his whole time.

Now, five or so meters to his right, Lara steadies herself and turns around to stare at him, her breath leaving her lips and nostrils in clouds of steamy puffs. She offers a hand out toward him, indicating him to jump toward her so she can 'catch him' to join her.

"How can I help you then?" She asks him along their conversation.

Stephen Strange has posed:
    Stephen looks over to the girl's hand and shakes his head, before he lifts his pick once more and pulls himself even higher, he's not even close to where she was when she leapt. And he doesn't want to risk both their lives on the idea of her catching him and him pulling her down. "One moment!" The wizard says in a struggle.

    "What-GASP-What I need from you." Stephen takes another breath and fights to stay in the moment mentally. "There's something ... I need you to get some information for me." The wizard reaches up once more. "I need norse legends. Amora is up to something."

Lara Croft has posed:
With Stephen turning down her offer for a bit of a reckless jump, Lara's eyes go down to her waist again where she works with her climbing gear and adjusts it upon herself before planting one more clip in to the rock wall to her right. She stands there up near the wall while the snow-swept pathway stretching out beside her is certainly calling to her, since it's the essential beginning of her entire point in coming here...

But Strange's arrival is a bit more pressing, since he clearly had something big unfolding.

"I left my Prose Edda back in my Manhattan flat." Lara quips back tot he man as she turns around once more, adjusting the backpack she's wearing on her shoulders now that she's off of the side of the mountain, with the gut-wrenching cliff side, and breath-taking horizon nearly all around them.

"But I'd be happy to do my best to help you with Norse myths and legends." It's true that the Norse mythos were one of her expertise-areas, and very nearly became her primary focus in college, though she ultimately decided on Asian history.

Stephen Strange has posed:
    "I don't need your Prose Edda, Lara." Stephen howls over the wind as he reaches the peak where Lara was before her jump. "I need you to actually get closer. I need you to get first hand experience, possibly within Asgard." Stephen shouts before he turns, and sizes up the gap. "Oh ****." He moans to himself with a deep frown. Here goes nothing and with a deep breath, he rips the picks from the ice and he dives outwards across the gap.

Lara Croft has posed:
Lara is looking back to the Doctor prior to his leap, and her right gloved hand goes up to raise her eye shields up over her forehead, which allows her to look over at the Wizard as he is preparing to join her over on the old rock ledge. Her long dark hair is flecked with ice and snow, the locks waving against the isdes of her face.

"You want me to--" She cuts herself off as he makes his jump and she moves to help him whether he wants it or not.

When he lands, she's there to help steady him with gloved hands. Her eyes go to his face and she exhales relief at him. "That could be tricky, not that I'm against tricky expeditions." She tells him then with a smirk. "Asgard is certainly on my 'bucket list' of places to visit before I venture in to the great beyond, Doctor, but i'm not sure I can just walk up to Thor and ask him for a visitor's pass."

Stephen Strange has posed:
    Stephen's hands grab onto Lara's arms with all the fear of a man about to fall off an ice cliff down into his death. He then falls forwards onto his hands and knees and even kisses the ground beneath their feet. "Oh my god. Lara." Stephen has to catch his breath while still doubled over.

    "I... I think that's the idea." The wizard says as he struggles back onto his feet. "It would work best with no one knowing you're there." Stephen says with a frown.

Lara Croft has posed:
Lara takes a step back as the good Doctor drops down to his knees on the snow-packed pathway atop the mountain's perilous ledge. She watches him lean down to kiss the rock which draws a big smirk across the British noble's lips. She steps around him then as she takes the first few steps beyond him and up the staircase carved in to the side of the rocks. "Your limitations on your magical preservation of your existence never seems to baffle me, Doctor." Lara tells him as ehf scans her eyes up around the corner of the staircase leading upward to an old stone archway.

As she looks back tohim her hands are going in to her jacket pockets where she produces a small brass sphere, adorned with intricate carvings. "But you have me intrigued. I'd be happy to help you, once I'm finished up here..."

Stephen Strange has posed:
    "Once you're finished up here." Stephen says, still catching his breath. "Great. Just, come find me." Stephen says and with that, he turns around and sits down on the steps, still catching his breath. "You go on ahead... I-I'll catch up in a bit." It's kind of easy to guess that he won't, but he's been nothing but a bother this whole trip anyways. The whole trip? He's only been beside her for like, an hour, max.