You are Wanda Maximoff. You are the Scarlet Witch. And you are in the right place. And you... you're ready for whatever comes.
'This is it. This is the place' Wanda Maximoff tells herself in Lotkill, New York, as her incredible powers whirl around her in a flurry, reconstructing a building, every brick and piece of furniture inside it. She turns her head and senses more danger.
The Pacific Ocean, where a huge creature has risen from the depths, and holds a large cruise liner in its hands, while firing a beam of icy-energy that collides with the ocean, freezing part of it. The Scarlet Witch dodges the icy-energy as she flies under the energy, her powers appearing as a magic-trail that flows from her hair. On top of the creature is a green-skinned man in a skimpy outfit, who shouts 'Know your place, witch! This is the domain of giants!' Onboard the cruise ship, someone pleads for help. 'They're tearing the ship apart!' they shout. 'Doctor Hydro – Herman, he was one of us! A believer! But he just dove over the side!' someone else cries out. 'That's right, I did! To wrangle Caeceleon!' Doctor Hydro exclaims, referring to the large monster. 'A masterpiece of the slow science movement! First of my great hydro-fauna! And after suffering so long a gestation, my creation demands – meat?' Doctor Hydro looks confused, as suddenly, Caeceleon begins to sink back into the ocean, with Doctor Hydro still on top of the monster.
'You sound ridiculous, Hydro' the Scarlet Witch calls out as she hovers above the cruise ship, which lands back on the surface of the water. 'I cannot! I am a doctor – I -' Doctor Hydro calls out before he vanishes, as does Caeceleon. The Scarlet Witch uses her powers to repair the damage to the cruise ship, and moves towards several men in suits that can be seen on the deck of the ship. 'Where'd you send them?' one of the men asks. The Scarlet Witch reveals that she sent Caeceleon to a new home on Monster Isle, while for Hydro, she sent him to the worst of hells – a bubble reality woven from the New Jersey DMV. 'Are...you joking?' one of the men in suits asks. 'You'll never know' Wanda tells him, before pointing out that the men are safe and their ship is repaired. 'We came to witness Caeceleon, not be eaten by him' one of the men remarks. 'A brush with the primordial quickens the soul. This is our religion, but it's not one of sacrifice' a man explains to the Scarlet Witch who tells them 'That seems impractically dangerous'. 'We're bored and very rich' the man replies. Wanda hears the chime of a bell and glances sideways, before telling the men 'How nice for you' and then announcing that she is late for work.
'Hey! I let myself in!' a woman with glasses calls out as she leans on the counter within a store called the Emporium. 'I appreciate your enthusiasm, Darcy' Wanda calls back from upstairs. The woman called Darcy suggests that someone has got to be here to sell Early-Bird Brenda her diagnosis dice. 'Plus tinctures for Tim the Forager, chapbooks for Chad the Complainer...while you're off fighting Doc Seamonster'. 'Doctor Hydro. Herman Frayne' Wanda corrects Darcy. 'A broken man intent on mutating people into amphibious horrors' Wanda reveals. Wanda makes her way down a staircase within the Emporium, her costume magically transforming into a fashionable purple dress. 'When your crib was a mad scientist's incubator, you dislike such things' Wanda tells Darcy, adding that her life has been a roller coaster, sometimes strange, and often painful. 'But I'm excited to lay new track. This shop. This town. The last door. With your help, of course'.
'I can't even claim victory over this weatherproofing. This damn draft...' Darcy's voice trails off. 'That? That's not a draft...' Wanda replies as she leans over the other side of the counter. 'A bauble shop?' Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver asks as he speeds into the Emporium. He flicks through a book and tells Wanda that if she wanted to see how the other half lives, she might've conjured a station wagon – then she could at least race behind him like old times. '... that's my brother' Wanda informs Darcy while rolling her eyes. 'Always good to see you, Pietro. How's my niece?' Wanda asks. Quicksilver smiles and closes the book, informing Wanda that his daughter, Luna is off in space with her mother, or so he is told. 'I read all your little books...what? You blinked?' Quicksilver remarks, before he turns and speeds back out the door.
'So he's fast... and a lot' Darcy remarks. 'Quite. But trust me. He'll be – back' Wanda replies, and on cue, Quicksilver returns, carrying some cartons of food. 'I thought we might abuse ourselves with the local fare' Quicksilver suggests. Wanda informs him that they are called Utica greens, and tells him that she does not expect him to eat standing up. 'Honestly, Wanda... what are you doing here? Besides testing my biology with saturated fats?' Quicksilver asks as he sits opposite Wanda and holds the carton of food in his hands. 'Balancing past mistakes' Wanda tells Pietro. She explains that darkness held her back for too long. 'I fought. I helped...but how many people suffered because I didn't reckon with myself sooner?' Wanda asks. Pietro tells her that martyrdom is a sorry answer. 'That's not this. I'm going big. Making it so no one slips through the cracks again' Wanda declares while Darcy listens. Wanda explains that is why she built a spiritual mercantile, so here at the Emporium, people can get help with the small things. 'And as for those in greater need...' Wanda begins, while Quicksilver rolls his eyes. 'There's the Last Door' Wanda reveals, motioning to a red door nearby.
Wanda explains that it is part seeking spell, part portal, that it finds those at their lowest, those with nowhere to turn and brings them here. 'You nailed together some railroad ties and gave them a conscience. Shall I clap?' Pietro smirks. 'No need, Pietro. You've got a tell' Wanda replies. 'A millisecond of truth before you make the face you want people to see. So years ago I enchanted you. Think of it as an astral snapshot. I can see what you're really thinking. So I know you're impressed' Wanda reveals, causing Pietro to go wide-eyed, he folds his arms across his chest and spins around in the chair he's sitting on. 'I'm not familiar with the concept' he snaps, before telling Wanda that if she likes, he could feign surprise for her pantry creature. Wanda puts a hand on Pietro's shoulder and tells him to take it easy. 'Darcy minds the shop' Wanda tells him, to which Pietro replies 'Well, you're lying about her. Even if by omission'.
Quicksilver then declares that Wanda has her own tell – when she speaks she is being cryptic. 'Still... so nice to see your new venture! Quite the flophouse full of toothless trinkets you've built' Quicksilver then slides his chair over to some containers and jars and Wanda tells him that if everything she sells is so benign, then it is no problem he is holding up a sterility potion. Pietro goes wide-eyed again and declares that he no longer enjoys this game of words. Suddenly, there is a creaking noise, as if a door was opening. 'A customer? How unexpected!' Quicksilver exclaims. 'Of sorts. It's like I told you. When someone has nowhere else to go... they open the Last Door!' Wanda declares as the red door opens and a woman with brown hair appears. 'This isn't the farmer's market. Also... help!' the woman utters in her native Italian.
'My pleasure!' Quicksilver calls out as he speeds over and puts his hands on the woman's elbows. 'What is – is that English? Who are you?' the woman asks, confused. Quicksilver introduces himself as the god of speed and thief of gravity. 'I caught you' he adds. The woman looks unimpressed and pulls away, remarking that she doesn't need a catch, she needs clarity. She introduces herself as Jarnette Chase, and explains that a second ago she was in Italy, her wife's hometown, looking for fresh vegetables to cry into. But now, here she is in the land of English and leeks that go bad in a day. 'I'm not stupid. I've watched every docuseries on Stephen Strange in existence. This is magic, isn't it?' Jarnette asks. Wanda approaches Jarnette and tells her that it is magic made to help her. 'I thought I might offer you an ear, some safety...and some tea' Wanda offers, holding a with a teapot and some teacups out towards Jarnette.
'Like... magic tea?' Jarnette asks as she looks curiously at the teacup Wanda offers her. 'Only when fermentation counts. It's pu-erh' Wanda replies. 'We'll see' Jarnette tells her as she takes the tea, before remarking that she knows who Wanda is, that she is the Scarlet Witch and has seen her on those same TV shows, kicking Doctor Strange's ass. 'Stephen is a good sport' Wanda replies, before offering Jarnette to take a seat. Wanda informs Jarnette that she has come through the Last Door, a portal of her own creation, which appears only to those in the direst of need, those who feel they have no one left – to those souls on the brink, the Last Door can open from any doorway and bring them here to help – free of charge. 'So... tell me what troubles you. And know, no matter what... you will be believed' Jarnette listens to Wanda and sips her tea – she appears to be reassured.
'You don't know how it feels to hear that...it all started a month ago' Jarnette begins, explaining that it has been a whole month since Jackson Day came to town – the Corruptor. 'It all just... happened. Maybe that's what he does? Maybe it's right in the name, you know? I don't know. But it only took a few hours for day to take over'. Jarnette claims that Amatrice was a good place to live, that she built a life there and was happy there. 'But now? The whole town answers to the Corruptor'. Jarnette explains that everyone from the mayor down to their favorite buskers all bend to his will – it's like they see someone else when they look at him, someone ordinary – he moves them like clockwork, working them to the bone. To death, slowly. Even the police, the fire department – and her own wife. Jarnette remembers the town appearing before the Corruptor, wearing his purple costume, but to the people he is just a man in a suit. Two men knelt on the ground so the Corruptor could stand on their backs and appear taller. But the worst part is that Jarnette has been worn down – even her own wife told her that she was crazy, that it was all in her head. She defended him, said everything was normal, even as her hands cracked and bled. No one else saw what was happening.
Energy crackles around Wanda's fingers as she tells Jarnette that she noticed her worry stone, and asks where it came from. 'This? My father gave it to me. He was a miner. Grew up around here, actually' Jarnette explains while Wanda looks at the worry stone hanging from Jarnette's neck. Wanda finds the stone intriguing, and tells Jarnette that she has been all over this and many worlds, and rewritten reality itself – yet even rough, this stone resists her, her spells bend around it, like oil in water. Wanda is curious how she cannot influence the stone. 'Not directly...this should not be' she declares, explaining to Jarnette that if her stone is opaque to magic, she supposes that would be what protected her from the Corruptor, and whether he knows it or not, the Corruptor's power may be rooted in spells. Wanda remarks that this is rare, and announces that she thinks it is best that she visits Amatrice. 'You – you really believe me? You'll stop him?' Jarnette asks. Wanda switches to a magical energy form and walks towards the Last Door. 'Your pendant protected you. Polished, its strength could grow to shield others. Normally, that would take hundreds of years. Luckily, my brother loves a project'. She states that her brother will shine the worry stone, it won't take him long, while she goes ahead and makes her presence known.
Wanda appears in Amatrice, her magical energies trailing behind her like long hair. She passes a woman mowing her lawns, and several boys playing soccer. Suddenly, 'Hey!' someone shouts in Italian. 'You!' they exclaim, grabbing Wanda by her writs. 'You're not from around here!' they snarl, as several others, branding knives, baseball bats and other weapons they surround Wanda. 'What gave me away?' Wanda asks, when, a moment later, 'Mayor Day sends his regards!' a truck driver shouts, driving the truck towards the crowd, and Wanda. 'As do I' Wanda responds casually as she warps reality, transforming the truck into water, which splashes to the ground – and she catches the driver, a teenage boy, in her arms. Wanda speaks Italian and asks the boy what his name is. 'My...my name is...my name is “Mayor Day wants your head as a centerpiece,” Witch' the boy replies, looking up at the Scarlet Witch. 'That seems unlikely' Wanda responds and tells the locals that they are all suffering from a sorcerous chemical suggestion. 'But not for much longer. Now. Sleep' Wanda declares as she uses her powers to put the locals to sleep. 'I'm due for a word with a cruel, sweaty man' Wanda announces as she makes her way down the street.
'You say that like it's a bad thing' Jackson Day a.k.a. the Corruptor remarks as he appears on the front steps of the mayoral building, wearing his purple costume, while Jarnette's wife can be seen at his side. 'What could possibly bring the Scarlet Witch to this humble village?' the Corruptor grins, his blue skin glowing brightly. Unimpressed, Wanda stands with her hands on her hips and replies 'Just your poison talents. These people have done nothing to you, Day. Why attack them? Why come all the way to Italy?' 'Because a personal fiefdom should be in paradise, not Poughkeepsie. Because I can. And there's nothing you or your tiara can do to save this town' the Corruptor explains. 'Never speak ill of a tiara' Wanda snaps, before flicking her fingers, and adding 'As for saving this place...I won't be doing it alone'. A portal opens and Jarnette appears. 'She's waiting, Jarnette. Call to her' Wanda remarks.
'Her? The lone holdout! As if her cries could matter! This isn't her home anymore!' the annoyed Corruptor exclaims. Jarnette holds the worry stone and tells the Corruptor that he is wrong. She calls out to her wife, 'Look in my eyes. Come to me' she utters. 'Jar... Jarnette...' her wife, Rocca, replies as she slowly walks towards Jarnette. 'No! You'll do nothing of the sort!' the Corruptor snaps. 'Family has power, day! You were a fool to test it. And a bigger fool...to test me!' the Scarlet Witch cries out as energy whirls around her and she levitates up into the air above the Corruptor as she causes the ground around the Corruptor to begin exploding. 'Yes, well. You'll forgive me if I don't kneel' the Corruptor responds while shielding his face from some of the debris. 'You won't have to. But your actions come at a cost. Just like everyone else's' Wanda replies.
'Please. You're not special, Witch. They all think they can resist... until they're swallowing their own tongues at my slightest whisper. 'And the best part? Deep down, everyone wants to be told what to do. Just like you. Just like youn want...to remember' the Corruptor utters, narrowing his eyes at the Scarlet Witch, who suddenly looks confused, 'Wha – what?' she gasps. 'Did I mumble, woman?' the Corruptor asks. 'REMEMBER!' he shouts, as memories suddenly flood Wanda's mind: the House of M, being a child with Pietro, losing her children Billy and Tommy, her dark days, and battling Hope.
'You dare talk to me about the cost? About consequences? Consequences are the latticework of your life. Without them, who are you?' the Corruptor exclaims, while, at that moment, Rocca walks closer to Jarnette, who holds her arms open to her wife. 'It's okay, Rocca – we'll get through this, just...just focus on my father's stone...come closer' Jarnette smiles. The Corruptor stands behind Wanda and asks her if they shun a snake for biting, and points out that his words gturn people into their worst selves. 'This is my nature' he remarks. Jarnette and Rocca embrace, and Rocca utters that she can still hear the Corruptor, feel his voice pushing her. 'I know, Rocca. It's okay...just let him fade...forget him...and remember me' she urges her wife. 'But you? All the good deeds in the world can't erase your mistakes. We all know you, Witch. Saving these people won't change what you've done' The Corruptor remarks smugly. Jarnette tells Rocca not to look at him, not to listen to him, and to come home.
'Accept what you are – do you hear me? NEVER FORGET IT!' the Corruptor shouts, when suddenly, Wanda puts a finger to his forehead. He goes wide-eyed and is turned to stone. 'Corruptor...we've all heard enough' Wanda declares as the Corruptor remains frozen in stone. Wanda looks at his face and tells him that she won't forget – that she knows who she is. 'And it's not who you think' she adds. Wanda smiles as she reminds the Corruptor that she did say he wouldn't have to kneel. 'Enjoy the spell. I cast it, but I can only be broken...by the ones you hurt. The people of Amatrice'. Wanda looks out as the citizens of this town begin to rise and walk towards the mayoral building. 'How gracious do you think they'll be?' she asks, waking them from the sleep spell. 'Wake. My name is Wanda. There was a shadow on your hearts. Ine I know well. One I'm too skilled at casting out'.
A little girl walks towards Wanda and introduce herself as Giulia, and tells Wanda that she didn't like Mayor Day, that his voice was so bad. 'But now it's gone – you took it away' the girl remarks. 'You think I did this, Giulia? No. You all owe your freedom...to one of your own. Jarnette Chase' Wanda announces, motioning to where Jarnette and Rocca are standing. 'If she'd given up, I'd never have known to come here' Wanda explains. 'Move! As long as that thing's in one piece, the job's not done!' one of the citizens carrying an axe shouts as he makes his way towards the Corruptor. Wanda tells the civilians that is up to all of them: 'Free the Corruptor, let him stand, drop him at the town line...his future is in your hands, as yours was in his'. Wanda tells them to consider that the villains corrupt their own worst impulses, and that destroying him would only prove his corruption of them was complete. 'Don't let him keep manipulating you. Vengenace is attractive...but it brings only more pain. Trust me' the Scarlet Witch utters. The civilians listen as Wanda tells them to celebrate this day, to live their lives, and to imagine how it must enrage the Corruptor to know he is helpless to stop them.
'Rocca, is it? I'm Wanda' the Scarlet Witch remarks as she turns to Jarnette's wife, apologizing for her Italian, and revealing that she learnt it from a demon. 'You're a strange woman, Wanda. But thank you – thank you for being here' Rocca responds as she shakes Wanda's hand. 'Jarnette summoned me. Your wife is quite impressive' Wanda responds, looking at Jarnette. 'Always has been' Rocca remarks. Wanda then shakes Jarnette's hand: 'You trusted yourself when all of reality and told you otherwise. No small feat, Jarnette'. Wanda adds that whether the worry stone was polished or not, it would have been nothing without her to wield it. Wanda states that she has known plenty of tokens, tempered against magic, but that none have affected her like this. She informs Jarnette that she would like to study it further, with her permission. 'By all means' Jarnette replies as she removes the worry stone and hands it to Wanda. 'A trade, then. A wonder for a wonder. Of equal or greater value...naturally' Wanda smiles as she hands Jarnette a business card for the Emporium. 'Visit us anytime in Lotkill... no emergency required' Wanda remarks as she vanishes.
'Welcome back' Darcy calls out as she pops some bubblegum over her mouth. 'I sold three books, some incense matches, a slow-jazz madrake and one of those furry bottles' Darcy reports. Wanda materializes and tells Darcy that it is pink mink extract, and that someone is about to have a lucky day. 'Lucky enough, at least' she adds, before noticing that Quicksilver is gone. 'Bolted after he finished polishing the stone. Said it was the worst ten minutes of his life' Darcy remarks. 'Not that I didn't like watching him work with his hands' Darcy admits. Wanda holds up the worry stone and tells Darcy that Pietro's speed isn't magical, and that only his speed could polish the worry stone into a talisman. 'I might've saved Amatrice, but my spellwork bent around it. Just touching it numbs my hands. If there is more of this out there...I can't afford to let it remain a mystery'
'Sounds like a dinner conversation to me' Darcy replies as she puts on her jacket. 'Dinner and drinks' she adds. Wanda realizes that it is closings time, and turns a “closed” sign into view in the front of the Emporium. 'Dinner, drinks...and a bit about what brought you through the Last Door?' Wanda suggests. Darcy reminds Wanda that she promised not to ask questions, that she said she wouldn't push. 'And I won't. This was a friendly nudge at best -' Wanda begins, but before they leave the Emporium, they hear a creaking noise. 'Hear that, boss?' Darcy asks. 'Almost sounded like... was that the Door? The door door?' she asks. Wanda apologizes to Darcy and tells her that dinner will have to wait, as a strange sounding voice asks '...Wanda? Wanda Maximoff?' Wanda looks on, wide-eyed, while Darcy is confused: 'I'll bite. Who is this strange girl calling your name?' she asks.
Standing at the Last Door is a girl with red skin and green hair. 'It is my dreams...they will not let me go. And they refuse... to stop killing me' the girl utters. 'That strange girl is Vivian Vision, Darcy. And by measures stranger yet... you could say she's my daughter!'