Tom laid back in the water and stared up into a blank, dark sky. Water rushed past his ears, filling the world around him with a hollow and echoing silence. He wasn’t sure where he was, exactly, but aside from the little snatches of conversation he managed to hear he felt utterly at peace. The planeswalker shut his eyes again and tried to go to sleep.
“Good morning, Vietnam!” an all-too-familiar voice sounded cleanly through the sloshing quiet. Tom groaned and sat up. Hovering over the water was the Eldrazi he’d encountered several times now, the Weaver of Deceit.
“Aan… Annynah…. fuckit, Weaver. What’re you doing here?” Tom groaned.
“Figment of your imagination. Probably.” The Eldrazi shifted, transforming into Tom’s general shape, mimicking his position in the water. “I’m curious how that gift of mine is doing.”
Tom stared blankly. “I saw you before, right?”
“And, what, you’re my little cyanide shoulder angel?”
“Oh, come now, I’m a being older than time and all that. How have you been doing since we had our little skirmish?” Doppleganger Tom said airily, stirring the dark water with a fingertip. Tom narrowed his eyes.
“…kicked your ass, didn’t I?”
“It would please me greatly if you assumed such, Wisel.”
“Now, now… and here I was, helping you, and yet you’re so uncouth.” Doppleganger Tom shook his head sadly.
“Helping me? How?”
“You’ll find out. I can tell, it’s written all over your face.” Weaver smiled wryly and Tom snorted.
“You aren’t nearly as funny as you think you are.”
“You’re so much more fun alive, or I’d make you regret that. No, Wisel, it seems fate has other threads for you today. Namely, conflict and conflagration. Won’t that be fun.” Weaver started playing with a loop of string from its pockets. “How’d those spells I lent you work out?”
Tom laid back in the water, staring back up at the blank sky above.
“Oh, so if you ignore me, I go away? Interesting hypothesis… I forget, is this Nick the real one or not?”
“I know you were suspicious. After all, normally you don’t start growing silver chains after touching a real person. It was quite… stylish, I suppose.” Weaver added airily towards Tom’s reclined shape in the water. “And he did teach his little assistant quite a bit about illusions, didn’t he? Managed to make poor Zach look like such a fool…”
“I wonder how your buddy Lee managed all that shifter-based magic, too. Does he have a little eldritch friend whispering in his ear, too? How many of us do you think there are, Wisel?” Weaver chuckled, strolling along the water’s surface lazily. He easily dodged the lash of water Tom whipped towards him. The ‘walker stood up on the dark sea as easily as on a marble floor.
“Get out of my head.”
“Make me, monkey.”
“Enough.” A cowled figure in a blue robe stepped out of thin air, looking at Tom. “I request a word, if you’re done playing with yourself.”
“Now, now, this is a private party” Weaver said, smirking, and the cowled mage held up one hand, a single finger extended.
“Do you really think you can best me, phantasm, here in a psychoplane no less?”
“I’ve seen better.”
“I’ve rarely seen worse.”
The cowled mage flicked energy at Weaver, who disappeared and reappeared in the same spot. “Like I said. Private party.”
“Say your piece and go.” Tom crossed his arms, looking at the intruder. Jace nodded.
“I want you and your friends to surrender to my custody. Children shouldn’t be handling such raw power.”
“And when I refuse on general principle?”
“I could flay your mind and make this minor self-deception seem like a fond memory, if you’d have any left when I was finished. This is not a threat, child. This is a promise.” Jace stared at Tom with a serious grimace until the Izzet planeswalker laughed merrily.
“Oh, wow… that is a cliche and a half, bucko. Who do you think you are, anyway?”
“I am a true planeswalker, not your usual half-trained companions. I am unrivaled in all aspects of blue mana’s sway, and you will treat me with-” Jace started and Weaver flicked dust off his imaginary sleeve. Tom glanced over at the doppleganger, then at Jace.
“Psychoplane? So we’re in my head?”
“Brilliant deduction. A+ work.” Weaver chimed in from the background. Jace scowled.
“Good.” Tom disappeared and reappeared behind Jace, looking around curiously. “So it’s a bit like a dream then?”
Jace turned and stared at the young man. “Who taught you, that he would be so remiss in informing you about psychoplanar magic?” he spat in thinly veiled contempt.
“Can I chime in here?” Weaver asked, appearing next to them. Jace glanced over, and Tom frowned.
“No.” both answered, and Tom sighed.
“Look, oh unparalleled master of blue magic, may I offer a suggestion?”
Jace crossed his arms, energy crackling faintly across his tattoos, waiting.
“My brain is private property, so next time you want a chat, knock first.” Tom waved a hand at the other planeswalker. “In the Emperor’s Name, forsake this game, and begone.” A faint glow surrounded Tom’s hand and Jace narrowed his eyes before being cut off mid-breath. A giant, brightly-painted door and frame appeared behind him, swinging open by itself. From the empty doorway a large wooden shepherd’s crook extended, hooked into thin air near Jace as if digging into a stage backdrop, and pulled the entire dark sea and blue planeswalker through it. Tom and the Eldrazi stood in a blank, white void next to the open doorframe. A few seconds of concentration conjured a vast library around them, repainting the dreamscape to Tom’s liking. One of the bookshelves fell over, and Jace stumbled out from behind a wall, glaring.
“Silly tricks can’t affect me, stripling.”
“My head, my game, and my rules.” Tom flickered behind Jace, causing the blue ‘walker to spin around, and the former held a palm up to Jace’s chest. “I’m only asking nicely once.”
Jace looked down, about to respond, when several thick arms grew out of the walls, textures stretching to cover the new shapes, grabbing and flinging the planeswalker through the doorframe. One arm daintily shut the door behind him, locking it closed. Tom looked over his shoulder at Weaver, then called up another doorframe. “We’ll be in touch.” The Izzet ‘walker stepped through the doorway and slammed it behind him.