|Que John Constantine|
|What: John Constantine makes his debut slaying a demon in Gotham City with the help of the vigilantes Robin and the Huntress|
Rose Lawn Cemetery
Contrary to popular belief, not a whole lot of creepiness happens in Cemeteries. It's not really a respect thing or some nonsensical nestalgia for death being sacred, it's just the first place people look when the shit hits the preverbial industrial strength fan. So, it's usually the last place Constantine looks... which is why this whole situation is really kind of funny.
The professional would have been out ghost hunted by a group of wannabe witches calling the corners, or whatever the hell kids are calling it these days. John strolls purposefully through the gates of the old cemetery with a bored expression plastered on his face and fingers sliding back into his wilde, stringy blonde hair. "Alright..." Shouting at the darkness as he creeps in with a flashlight held up to chase away the shadows. "I'm not sayin' it wasn't easy to find you, but I didn't want to in the first place..."
Turning quickly as a sound of something growls behind him, unafraid of 'whatever' goes bump in the night. "I'm not pleased.. just come on out and we can talk about this.. or I'm going to crack open a can of whoop ass-gic.."
This is /almost/ funny ha-ha. Huntress heard mutterings that something hinky was going on around here, teenage kids all freaked out and stuff. She's been checking in here at least once a night for the past few days, but has yet to see anyth...wait. What's that guy doing sauntering on into that cemetary? It's the most unusual thing to happen so far, so she's NOT about to just ignore it.
Its been a slow night for the Teen Wonder, as he hops from roof-top to roof-top, chasing a petty thief. The closest thing to action all night is a smash and grab from a window front, with this punk making off with a pillow case full of smart-phones. Still, maybe he'll lead Robin to a bigger fish, and so the boy follows.
That is unitl the theif wanders into the cemetery. "Drats." Robin mutters, scanning the street for a moment before leaping off the building and using his rigged cape to glide to the ground just inside the wall of the cemetary. Quietly, the boy slips to a tree and starts to scan around. "Lost him."
This is why John generally works alone. Start adding variables into an equation based on otherworldly math and things can get complicated pretty quickly. The average demon works on some symbolic state of constants, like a particular weather condition, an element, or (as is the case with this little nasty) a certain number of living souls.
That's why it's only been isolated incidents when groups of teen 'witches' come into the cemetary to practice their foolishness at midnight, like a couple of tossers... At least, if you asked Constantine, which you probably didn't.
You probably wish you had though. Common occurance.
Regardless. Where the demon was just a shadow entity before, the more feet that touch dirt in it's 'home' territory, the more powerful it becomes. The more capable it is to manipulate the material world and the bigger a pain in the ass it has the ability to be.
It has the ability to materialize fully at five people, so they're safe from that horror... but at four? It can inhabit the body of the darkest souled individual in the summon area. In /every/ situation that's John... but he's protected from that nonsense. Whereas, the thief? The thief is not.
It starts out as a scream of object pain and horror as his consciousness is ripped from his body like toilet tissue and rended before the beastly claws of the 'Corpse creep'. Then bones popping as his body is reshaped...
THen bricks being hurled as it tears off a huge piece of tombstone and sends it hurtling towards John. "Oh for fucks sake..." Barely not getting dead, by jumping behind another tombstone at the 'very last second'. "Does nobody respect the sanctity of the dead anymore?!"
Huntress hears the scream mere moments after she's hit the lawn inside the cemetary. DAMN. IT. She hates being proven right. Looking around the area, she tries to figure out which direction the scream originated from, then starts running full tilt in that direction. Discretion is abandoned in favor of speed.
Robin starts to move towards the sound as well, but isn't about to abandon his cover until he knows more. The boy sprints from tree to tree unitl he comes upon the scene, the white screens over his eyes going wide a second before the boy blinks, and then rubs at his eyes.
Robin looks again. Yep. Same scene. His thief is...mutating? And who is the dude with the flashlight? Is he doing this?
John scampers, for lack of a better word... no really it's a lot more manly than it sounds, you see how you respond after a few hundred thousand such encounters with inferal creatures from beyond the reality veil... anyways. John scampers behind the tombstone and pulls his legs out of the path of the killer super corpse. Cursing under his breath as he looks back out in the open where his flash light is laying pointed in the general direction of the monsterous new creature, but really only lighting it in a fickle sort of flicker through tall blades of grass.
The thing isn't mortal sized anymore... but it hasn't suddenly grown additional flesh or bones. It's taken what the man's body already had, shifted it, stretched it, pulled it... and generally made it horrible in a manner more akin to some H.P. Lovecraftian shit. Either way, it's mouth is three sizes too big and parts of it's face is exposed bone, muscle, and second layer tissue. It's horrible, if you need more detail you're freaks.
"We're really going to do it this way, guy?" Shouted back over the tombstone. The reply, from the man-thing-creature, is a surprisingly intelligent voice, though it's slurpy.. like the vocal cords are oddly shaped and covered in veceral material.
"Constantinnnnneeeee... Give yourselve over and we will sate our hunger on your flesh... none other need die..."
Right. Not gonna happen. The blond man reaches in his coat and pulls out an archaic revolver which breaches down the center so he can check the rock salt load. "Oy, counter offer.. Go toss yourself you wanker." Pop up over the tombstone like an action movie, maybe in slow motion... to shoot a round at the creature.
Really he's just seeing where the other people are, he knows they're here. He researched the creeper before he got here, so there's definately boots on ground.
Huntress redirects when she hears the gunshots, and skids to a stop when she sees the ... thing that used to be a person. "Ho shit." She throws herself behind a marble headstone and hastily starts switching out her bolts for steel quarrels. What the hell IS that thing?
'What the hell is that thing.' is the exact thought that runs through Robin's head, as he peeks out from behind his tree. He flinches a little as John starts shooting, then unclips a pair of bolos from his belt. The teen wonder then leaps out and sends them twirling into the monsters legs, hoping to trip the thing up and distract it.
'Gotta protect the civilian' Robin thinks, mistaking Constantine for a normal guy. He starts to yell at the Demon, trying to get its attention. "Yo, UGLY!
Really? Constantine is standing here handling business like a magical boss and the professionals whip out bolos against a giant necrotizing facia demon? "This is why I'm never havin' kids..." He muses to himself, dropping back behind the tombstone when the creature throws a hunk of it's useless organs at him. It splatters against a stone infront of him, having soared over top and splashed like a flesh grenade... and immediately starts eating away the stone...
Ofcourse, since the brit dropped down, he missed that the tactic actually did something he never would have suspected... it worked. The creature was going to charge at John's position, but it's spidery thin legs get tangled up in the cording of the bolo and sends it hulking straight down towards the grass... It's long skull turns to stare at Robin, through the shadows, when the kid vigilante shouts it's insults. "I will feast on your eyes, you putulent little worm... I will sate my endless hunger on your lymph for twenty thousand years... You do not know pain... but you will." Crawling at him far faster than the thing has any rights to move.
Wait what? John peeks around the side of the tombstone, "... No shite? Keep it busy, kid!" Using the distraction to pull a silk wrapped bundle from his long black trench, unraveling it on the grass. "Don't let it touch you... Unless you're into that sort of thing, I don't judge.." He's stopped paying attention at this point, in favor of getting out a small pouch which he's sprinkling white powder from ontop of the tombstone he was using for cover.
Huntress watches the fugly fling entrails at the civilian and grimaces in disgust, then can't help but be impressed when the bolos actually manage to take that extra from a Hellraiser movie down, and she curses faintly to herself. "Let's see if you can eat people when you can't see them." She aims for one of the thing's eyes and lets the heavier quarrel fly. She's moving the moment she's loosed the steel projectile, aiming for Constantine's current location.
Its always kid. Nevermind that he's the protege of the god-damned Batman. Nevermind that he's one of the best staff fighters in the world. Nevermind that he'll be 18 in a matter of days. Its always kid. Is it the tights? Robin now has the beasts attention. Now what? As the quarrels fly the boys quick eyes follow them back to Huntress, and he grins slighty. Oh, her again. Robin decides on a course of action as the thing crawls towards him with unnatural speed. He runs. Hopefully the Huntress doesn't miss. The boy sprints away as fast as he can, while pulling his grapple gun. He leaps and spins, firing the hook into an overlarge statue of an angel, and almost causaully releases the gun into the demons path, aiming so it gets tangled up in the bolos already in place. "Stay" the boy quips as he lands.
Okay, let's look at this from the rational standpoint before we get into all this business of hoodoo magic, spell wielding, and flesh eating flesh monsters from one of the various suburbs of hell. Constantine is almost sixty years old. Sure, he's handsome and roguish, sure he's got wavey blond hair and strong masculine features like a super hero. But still, compared to him, everyone in this cemetary, with the possible exception of the century old demon inhabiting the body of a would be thief, is about a third his age.
That being said, the kids are all very impressive. He might even tell them so if they don't all die a horrible death. While the brit continues to work on his spell, sprinkling from another bag retrieved from his kit, making a zig zagging set of lines across the top of the tombstone, a steel quiver smashes into one of the creatures two eyes.
It does not like this. Which is understandable because it probably hurt.
It roars and thrashes, trying to pull the steel projectile from it's face while stumbling at the same speed it was charging, now with less deliberation, into the grapnel hook laid out for it. The gun catches the bolo cords and starts to go tight around the statue anchor... When the thing falls and 'boy howdy does it fall' it's through, into, over, and around everything it's path... which includes monuments that have been here for over sixty years or more. Beautiful epitaphes to families ancient... destroyed in a heart beat.
Huntress is beside him in a beat and Constantine glances up, touching a finger to his lips, "Shhhh.. busy.. nice ass." And goes back to work, setting two black and one white candle in a triangle around his salt lines.
Huntress takes a quick glance at what the Brit's doing and flicks an odd look at him. Occult crap? Seriously? Well, takes all kinds. She flinches at the SPECTACULAR crashing of that thing into the foliage and statues and monuments. "Crap." A hasty change of ammunition to her flare bolts and she aims for the felled monster. "You're busy? Get a haircut." And then she fires the flare bolt.
The beast on it's face, and distracted, Robin pulls his collapsed staff and extends it to its full length with a twirl, ending with him pointing one end at the creature and....posing? Really?
Well, the Teen Wonder would call it a ready stance...but we all know the truth. He stands there, 'ready', and taps a small button on his belt, causing the grapple gun to start reeling in the 500 lb test steel cable as quickly as it can.
"Says Bonnie Taylor in a marti gras mask..." John quips back at Huntress when she insults his hair, "You ever tried to speed cast a binding ritual against a necrotizing fasia demon? If you want to change places, I can shoot at the big scary monster while you handle the important work..." Motioning at the various implementations of his incantation laid out on the ground beside him.
Apparently he's okay with taking time out of this stressful moment to trade barbs with the vigilantes. There has to be priorities in these things and being an ass hole is definately way higher than defeating the evil abomination from hell.
An evil abomination from hell which swipes its claws down through the cording holding its legs and leaps up onto all fours. Since now arms are more like legs and its back has used ribs to form spines... Hey, it was mentioned how horrible it was, right? It snatches the quiver from its eye and blinks the empty socket a few times... the side of its face tears open and a new eye bulges out on its temple, giving it two very different visual perspectives. The flare bolt sails past the thrashing demon, sinking into a tree branch above the things head, adding illumination to the ugly scene below.
"I didn't think so... go punch things while I solve this problem, huh?" Constantine looks back down at the ritual and starts chanting, quietly, in a /very/ secular, /very/ dark latin... It sounds like sickness feels. The tone of his voice /sounds/ like vomiting... Words as tainted and evil as the creature its meant to bind.
Remember how it didn't like the quiver to the eye? It likes this even less... and turns to look over at the sorcerer with venom in its bulging eyes... opening its mouth three sizes too big to roar at him.
John wiggle points in a 'Get'er' motion. While continuing to spew horror from his mouth...
Huntress throws a positively disgusted look at Constantine at the words he starts uttering, then runs to give fugly out there a third target to split his attention on. "HEY! Assbutt!" She fires off another two steel quarrels at the deformed thing, now wishing she had quarrels made of iron, or soaked in salt, or something. Or holy water, like they always toss about in those demon horror movies.
The boy blinks a moment as the creature slices through his steel cables like they were barely there, and then grows a new eye. "What in the hell is this thing?" he asks loudly before hearing the evil sounding Latin. Latin, twice in two days. So much for it being a dead language.
Robin pulls another toy from his belt, trying to buy the sorcerer....demon hunter....old dude some more time. He throws a small canister at the creatures face, yelling to Huntress and Constantine while he does so. "Flash Bang! Cover your eyes!"
Constantine hears the warning and lifts his hand, palm out, a half second before the flash goes off. WHITE LIGHT meet protective wave. The shield around him ripples like a stone cast into a still pond and flashes off in every direction around him like star bursts. Sparkling in every direction.
The creature roars, temporarily unable to hear the sound of the latin... and stops growling.. and feeling whatever pain the horrible, dirty, language was causing him. It also can't see for a few seconds, because even demons have to follow the laws of physics when they're possessing the bodies of former thieves. Now, had it been fully embodied?
Good thing there weren't more heroes, right? This is why John works alone.
The spell continues and the 'old dude'... doesn't seem overly concerned that he can't be heard for a short while. Mostly because the demons attention has turned to someone else. In this case, the source of the nagging sting of another quiver bolt that cuts through rotting flesh pulled entirely too tight across his chest. Galloping in Huntresses vague direction. Gnashing at the air and swiping its claw at her with surprising ferocity.
Flashback: Don't let it touch you.
Huntress knows better than to argue with anyone who yells 'flash bang', so throws herself behind a convenient obelisk and closes her eyes, waiting for the red glow behind her eyelids to darken again before looking back toward the epicenter of the chaos and scrambling again immediately. "Shit!" She dashes toward a stand of decorative trees that will (hopefully) slow the thing down a smidge. Even running, though, she tries to fire a last steel quarrel back at the thing.
Robin coveres his face with the edge of his cape as the bang goes off, and then runs after the creature as it starts to chase Huntress blindly. He moves to cut the thing off at the pass, yelling at it again as it outpaces him. "Ugly and Stupid! I'm over here!" The master of insults, this one. With a click, Robin throws a batarang, aiming the sharp projectile at the back of the creatures..knees? Elbows? The lower extremity that its currenty walking on.
Constantine stops spewing horror latin and snaps his thumb nail over a strike match, lighting each one in turn. It's too bad demons don't adhere to the movie itemization of things... Stopping in their attack while the good guys prepare the various spells and methods meant to keep it at bay, right?
The batarang connects with it's lower extremity and really gets it furious... Its head turns completely around to stare murderously at the young vigilante... Then opens its mouth and roars. Standing straight up, falling straight backwards, bones twisting and popping until top becomes bottom and gallops towards him instead.
"That's smart!" Constantine shouts to the pair, cheer leading while... doing what? Lighting candles. Turning on some mood music and preparing the baby oil? Really, he's letting them do all the hard work.
He's old and earned that right.
Once the three candles are lit, he glances over things and nods. "Bound and broken, bring the flesh of the flesh eater away from the flesh of the living! Be back to none, come out from this evil and down to your own filth!"
Annnnnd duck... back behind the tombstone.
The thing leaps, claws up and out like a pouncing tigar... then it stops. All manner of ichorous blood, liquified blood, muscle, senuous filth, and pus flies in one direction (read: At Robin and Huntress). While something black, horrible, and somehow resembling an infection (though it's hard to say /why/ it looks like an infection since it's so big) falls straight to the grass, bound in tendrils of shadows that form tethering hooks into the grave it was over.
One must really think... He could have warned them that was going to happen... He didn't though.
Huntress baseball slides behind another statue -- thank the stars it's not an angel with its hands over its face -- when the thing roars and turns in the most disgusting possible way to start chasing after Robin again. She finally has a second to reload her cross bow and when she leans around to fire at the thing again, it ... for the lack of a better term, explodes. She yelps and tries to duck away, but isn't quite quick enough. "Augh! You could have warned us, you jackass!"
As the wave of viscera, blood, and other less than savory substances explodes, Robin ducks under his cape, holding it over his head and hoping the water-proof material is up to the job. He stands when is passes, the substance /dripping/ off his cape to puddle on the floor, and looks down at himself. "Eww." is all he says.
The Boy starts carefully approaching the shadowy form tethered over the grave, staff held at the ready, like it will help against something that doesn't have a body. "Somebody please explain to me what is going on here?"
Constantine pops up from behind the tombstone with a hand and an exagerated sort of grunt. He's old and it's difficult work looking this awesome after binding an abomination. As he walks around the edge of the stone towards the bound and wiggling creature... and the long smear that use to be its host.. a cigarette rolls up from between his fingers inbetween his lips.
"mmm.." To Huntresses whining, while striking a match to light the end of his fag. Steel gray smoke rolls up from his nostrils. The cigarette dangles from his lips and that archaic pistol held down in the right.
"I just saved the city from a flesh embodied horror..." Looking between the two vigilantes, "You both helped a little... You didn't get any on your skin, did you?" Brow perking intently, concerned... The pistol lazily points down at the writhing shadow and discharges at what constitutes a 'head'... and the thing explodes into unassuming black shadowy mass and desolves right back into the soil.
Huntress stands and stomps toward Adam Curry the Demon Hunter. "There are GUTS. In. My. HAIR." She is clearly expecting reparations. Immediately.
The Teen Wonder reaches to his belt and pulls out a small bottle of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer. 'Fresh Scent'. He holds if out, offering it to Huntress as he shakes his head at the old demon killer. "I don't think so." he says, in response to the question of did he get any on his skin. "Would that be bad?" A quick look at Huntress makes him hope that its just disgusting, rather than poisonous or something. His cape still has a layer of the goo dripping down it wetly to the grass.
"Maybe you should consider adding a bonnett to your dramatic costume, eh?" Constantine reasons, wiggling the old breach loading pistol at Huntress all willy nilly... like it's no longer a weapon and has thus become a laser point... that fires laser pointer bullets. "How was I suppose to know that neither of you had fought a necrotizing fasia demon? I didn't exactly get a resume when you came in here all half cocked ready to fist-e-cuff with a minion of hell. So don't blame me..."
The pistol goes back into his coat, smoke rolling out the corners of his mouth to either side of the cigarette that stands straight with each drag. Sweet scented cloves. Silk Cuts. Walking advertisment that he is. Glancing up absently at Robin when the question rages, "Oy, it's bad. That shite is fuckin' nasty, mate... Consult a shower, post haste."
John Constantine: Practical every day solutions to other worldly problems.
Huntress says, “It's bad? Damnit." She takes the container of hand sanitizer, but really, what good would it do for the gloop in her hair? "If you're a demon-killer, don't you have a bottle of holy water or something handy?" She's already looking around the cemetary for a pond, bird bath, gardener's faucet, anything. "All your fault, jerk.”
Robin reaches up and unclips his cape, dropping it to the floor, and save for a splatter here and there, is mostly clean. "I think he means its just disgusting." The boy reaches down and grabs the ends of the cape with the smallest amount of gloved hand that he can and frowns at it. "So much for my theif. All right Mister. Who are you, and whats a necrotizing fasia demon?" He pauses a moment, then adds, "And please elborate beyond 'this was a necro whatever demon.'"
"You'll live, relax." John reassures Huntress with a total tone of disinterest. "If it was going to transform you into some manner of abomination, I'd already be saving your life." Which, clearly, is what he does. He also snarks, with the best of them.
Robin gets his vary own lopsided stare, head tilted a bit to one side, "You're awful personal for a fella wearing a chip'n dale make, mate." His hand slides along stubble, grabs his cigarette, taps off some ashes, and replaces it between his lips nonchallantly. "Alright, here's the skin of it... There's several levels of hell.. Some of them deal with ice, fire, etc.. I don't have the time nor the inclination to give you a full biopsy of each one.." Two fingers point to where the demon /was/, "That was a minor minion of Oberta La'Ryho La'feluh Ti'muhyaga Do." Possibly made up, you be the judge, "Temptress of Flesh."
"Some wankers who fancy themselves warlocks accidentally summoned it a few nights ago. Which is why I do not advocate the internet." Pointing, serious point... keep that in mind.. Sternface. He clearly means this. "It is linked to the area in which it was summoned..." Motioning around, "And draws power from the creature used as a vessel for its original summoning.. Usually animals, so that it can be controlled, in this case... they used their friend. So this, is their fault. Blame them..."
"And seriously, shower.. you both stink."
Waving a hand beneath his nostrils with the cigarette clutched in between his thumb and index finger, replacing filthy thief funk with lovely clove sweetness.
Cigarette back between his lips, straightening with a drag, the 'demon hunter' goes back over to collect his things. He ducks down to swipe his flashlight off the grass and lays it ontop of the tombstone to provide light for his collecting. Dropping the two small pouches down onto the silk clothe and blowing out each candle indepedantly as if it's every bit as important as the way he lit them was. As he works, the smoke rolling up over his head /might/ have just resembled something like a face.. a horrible face, glaring down at him, before it dissipates into the night air. The sound of roaring monster replaced with noisy crickets.
Huntress glares at the man for a full second, clearly blaming him for every bit of this horrid evening. Then without another word she turns and starts toward the exit. She's gonna go home and wash her hair about eighteen times. With lemons. ...what? They suggested it on CSI.
Robin tries to shake his cape out once, and regrets it instantly. Making a larger mess and getting more of the theif on his clothes he gives up and just slings it inside out over an arm. He walks over and recovers his grapple gun, hitting the release button to eject the cable, and clipping it back to his belt. "This...." he starts, then shakes his head and turns to follow the Huntress out. 'Let the old man deal with the mess', Robin thinks, knowing that it takes much more than a couple of gunshots in a graveyard to summon the cops in this town. He stops, and looks one last time at Constantine before heading out. "Thanks."
Constantine doesn't get all sentimental. Hell, he doesn't even look up from rolling his kit and looking the strap around it so it can easily be returned to his multi pocketed black trench. The state of his 'your welcome' is a grunt. Which is better than a middle finger. So everyone involved should feel pretty good about that.
Also, he's not cleaning this up. Cigarette taps against the side of the tombstone and his flashlight is retrieved, walking in the oposite direction of the two heroes because... they bring trouble. Which is ironic, if you think about it, since he just liquified a dude.
In his defense, there was a demon inside him.