1964-10-17 - The Rising
Summary: A mutant is kidnapped, and Consantine follows the signs
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
constantine chance 

It's three in the morning, the witching hour.

There have been signs all day for those who know what to look: shadows that in the corner of the eye struggle to free themselves from what cast them. John's milk was fine when he set it out and went sour when he poured it into his cereal— or coffee, or oatmeal, or whatever it is that he uses milk for. The smell of rot drifted through a perfectly clean store. The wind itself whispers in dead languages. Trusting his own instincts and his fate, John was able to follow these signs to this place, this cemetary, this night. At the entrance, there's nothing immmediately obvious.

Chance has no such ability to read the mystical: but what he did do is catch sight of someone grabbing a kid off the street, and high above he flies through the air, he follows, intent on saving him. The van pulls into a separate entrance from where John is, and Chance watches from the sky: dressed in black, masked black, with a baton in each hand. There's a lot of minions there, dragging the kid— an obvious mutant. Light radiates out of the kid at random intervals, something John just might see.

Constantine was a lot of things, and chief among them was inconvenienced. He had dirt under his nails, smelled like 2 day old cigarette smoke, and the suit he woke up in some foreign place still wearing adding to that roguish devil-may-still-not-care bullshit air about him. Cemetery? really this is where all things of things led him? "Bloody brilliant." His tone was flat and humorless. Fingers dipped down to touch the soil off one of the newer graves and put it under his tongue curious. Almost immediately he spat it back out. For one it was dirt and no one wanted to actually eat that over the age of three, and for another, there was an absolutely acrid taste to it. Something was running afoul.

John, the canny creature he is, took a look around for a few key things: vehicle count, friends lingering, and things on hand that might be of use creeping forward.

There seems to be quite a few cars parked out here at the moment, especially considering the cemetary is closed, and this is not exactly a cemetary that gets a lot of visitors at the best of times. After all, most the kids and grandkids of the people buried here are also buried somewhere. He hears a voice on the wind, a whispered chant in a language long dead— akkadian. John may recognize two words in particular: lord and masks. If it is Lord of the Masks, or Masked Lord, is unclear. There is magic on the wind.

Chance continues to watch, a shadow in the sky, as the mutant is dragged forward. There's a little too many people for him to handle alone, so he is hesitant, considering.

Constantine pulled out a switchblade from his back pocket and methodically went and said 'hullo' to the rear right tires. He left two untouched. It was going to be a bad night, it was. The god news is not overthinking things meant he had time a plenty to get things prepared. Investigation and a little footwork went quite a ways. Knowing how to call up the souls of the cemetery itself would be another fun event if push came to shove. In case of that he kept that knife handy. Then from his boot a thin slim jim to work a couple locks though that someone might bother locking their car in 64 in the middle of nowhere? Odds were with him. Swiftly he glanced through the cars as if he was late looking for anything that might work in a pinch in the dark for a disguise; a blanket, a scarf, something. What were they up to now he wanted to know and the way to do that was, well, acting as if.

John manages to find all that he needs, and he disables most of hte vehicles with ease. As he approaches closer into the cemetary, he sees a series of people who are dressed in deep, dark red, each wearing a mask. Some are silly, halloween, some are elaborate, works of art in their own right. They surround a nondescript grave, and John's own necromantic abilities recognize a similar ritual right then. The mutant is dragged to the circle and forced to his knees, "Be honored." intones one man, whose mask is a mirror, "Your will be the vessel of the Lord." The chanting in akkadian continues around, and a spirit stirs, awakening. A strange spirit: a spirit unlike any other John has seen before.

Chance continues to watch, his expression grim, and he slides his batons together into a spear, and a mechanism triggers and a six inch blade comes out each side. He suddenly falls to the ground, landing silently and with grace, and stalks up behind one of the outward guards, having arranged for his fall to be behind the man. The blade goes right into his skull: the gurgle can barely be heard.

Constantine pulled out a cigarette and lit it. "Honoured? You lads don't know the half of what your'e askin' for. You bring a lamb brazed in the venom of a scorpion? You set your candles in the proper order or did you cock that one up too, mate?" By now his hand was in the dirt in his pocket. Who the hell was this guy? He took a deep drag off his cig and lit his finger off the end of it and let the flame jump from one finger to another eyeing the bunch. "You spent all morning calling me. What do you want?" Oh let them be confused, but here was the asshole with one hand casually on fire. The soft *thud* nearby did titch his eyebrow up though.

Only two of the masked ones turn when Constantine arrives, and they step forward: the other begin to chant as a shadow rises from the grave. But these two step in towards Constantine, pulling knives, "The Lord has slept for long enough, it is time for the Awakening. You will not interfere, outsider. The kindred have made ready for this for generations. Leave, or you, too, will be masked." Speaking of masks, one of the chanter holds a shiny silver one over the rising shadow.

"Right, so no. This isn't happening." Chance, dressed in black with a black mask, glances over to Constantine and asks idly, "ONe of the not-bad guys, I take it?" he asks of the man.

Constantine went to answer that but how do you. Wrinkled suit, hand on fire, and a mild hangover? John answers Chance with a dry, but honest, retort of, "Well, not that I have time to delve into that now, mate but that really depends on who ya ask. Take these lads here. They'd answer yes. Yes, we're about to be very bad men I reckon." His yes though were on the shadow. "Right you, whatever your name is, grab the kid, I'll work on that devil they're looking to invoke. Meet in the middle? Drinks later over answers then." Sure let it sound casual, truth was he was one hand into the pocket of grave dirt he grabbed on the way in, slowly he walked forward making an X on his forehead with a heart and a cross inside of it. It was a tad Creole for his tastes but you know he was nothing but a thief of traditions. Invoking The Lady of the Gates and working to counter the chanting through sanctifying the ground they stood on and war: Yes it was a Latin chanting dance off throw down.

The chanting continues, as other shadows stir in the ground, though do not rise, …yet. The one that has risen touches the offered silver mask and is absorbed into it.

The two minions see that Constantine is doing something, though they don't know what, so they come at him with their knives; but Chance heard the instruction. He reaches out to touch one of the chanters, and the man goes flying sideways to crash into one of the men going for John, sending them both tumbling away until they crash into a grave. For his part, Chance leaps up into the air— soaring high and spinning to land down right in front of the mutant. A touch, and both *zoom* upwards, but only about fifty feet before they come to a quick halt, and Chance descends, landing in the middle of minions with his staff swinging out and ready. He left the poor mutant up there where its safe.

The mutant starts screaming a bit. He's not at all clear why he's not falling, and he's not dealing.

The head minion growls, "You will not stop us! The Lord will awaken! The masks have spoken! Ishad! ISHAD!"

Constantine focused hard on the counter spell. They were hurting kids to make them an agent of Hell and that… was too close to home. "In nomine S. Teresiae et sanctus Christophorus: Adiuro te et damnum huic puero. Relinquo vobis offendicula sua in inferno esset, et manifestum est quod esse illius ultra!" It was a force of wills nearly broken when one of the cultists lunched at the exorcist in the wrinkled suit. Bad move, Joe. John planted his feet and brought the one hand which was still clutching fire around and gripped the front of his garb letting the fire stretch over him and try to cage and consume him. You know, nothing like breaking one's concentration like being on fire. Funny that.

The spell is effective at silencing the rising shadows, all save the first one that inhabits the mask; fortunately, with the mutant stuck up in the air, the mask isn't getting anywhere near him. Fire causes some screaming.

And with that, the cultists gather around the main one the one with the mask, and he a group of them break off to run the opposite direction and take that mask with them.

Chance lands upon the ground, looking a little baffled by the mumbo jumbo, and just takes to working his bladed staff as a swinging and spinning instrument around at the minions. He's not really concerned with putting holes ont he people who were trying to sacrifice a mutant.

The hard part was over and frankly, the Brit looked a mite bit tired. THe kid? Ah the kid was hovering like kids do. Brilliant. Well then on with exterminating bad bahaviours. The fire engulfed both of John's hands and to his merit, it did not seem like it bothered him much if at all. The rest was inelegant. He was brawling on fire and leaving a mark as he went. Were he and Chance making short change of these blokes because John was any sort of great fighter? Hell no, but no one wants to brawl a man on fire. There was an advantage to be had. "Lads, now, is your time, to star talking."

The core group of minions escape with the silvered mask, and between the two of them— Chance showing frankly impossible acrobatic skill that pays very little attention to silly things like 'laws of gravity'— and John being on fire? What remains is some groaning, minor minions. One stands up, trembling, this one not wearing a nice mask, but a silly goofy vampire halloween mask, but his posture holding some defiance, "The kin will never bow to you: we bow only to the Lord. The House of the Masks … the House will raise Him again as we have always done! He will devour the mysteries!"

Chance moves over to stand beside John, and asides, "…do you have any idea what the fuck he's talking about?"

Constantine rubbed his hands and shook the flames out. Neat trick that, though it smelled faintly of butane. A boot to teh man talking was the answer. He pulled out another cig having lost one in the chanting, and lit it with a *fwink!* of his zippo. Squinting he offered, "I can put worse in you and make you my fekking house maid. Layman's terms. Speak." Idly he glanced up t o teh kid and asked him casually, "You going to hang around like that all day, mate?"

Chance looks between John and the guy floating up there, and he asides to Constantine, "He actually can't get down until I get him down; for now he's safe there, I'll get him in a minute." He crosses his arms over his head and turns his masked face to the minion.

The minion trembles, a mix of fear and fury filling him up, "The Lord Clad in Chains has risen, and though you have robbed him of his vessel, he will ride the Masks! He is ancient and the House will serve him and this time the world will be his to take!"

Constantine looked to Chance, then up to the mutant and then back again, "Nice work. Good plan." THis wasn't a time for long conversation, but that was mightily onvenient. Looking back John looked back at him and said, "Tell your fekkwit Lord of CHains that there's a man named Hargrove hunting him down to eat his secrets. Bet he'd love to hear that. As for you? Eh you can send him a postcard." Looking back to Chance he asked simply, "We need him for anything else?"

Chance shakes his head, looking a little bit lost, "Honestly, if any of this makes any sense to you at all— it makes no sense to me. Before I saw any of this I would have thought 'magic' was tomfoolery. I'm a mutant, an investigator, but not an occult one."

Suddenly, the last of the few minutes look at eachother, and break in a run to try to escape!

Constantine still had his hands a going and with that loosed a fireball at the man in his custody trying to escape. He had no time to spare mercy or empathy for someone trying to hurt a kid and didn't hesitate to light him up. "Grab one if you can!" The gutter mage tore across the lawn at him where he'd really have likely have to stop, drop, and roll. That's right, asshole, you're being chased by a smoker. Take that!

Chance leaps up into the air— jumping easily three times higher then anyone should, but when he falls back towards one of the fleeing minions, but something odd happens. There's a whisper on the wind, and they focus on a path, and become indistinct, and the path… closes behind them. Chance comes up to a halt, confused.

The minion that Constantine fireballed screams, and he doesn't quite have the presence of mind to stop drop and roll. Instead he flails his arms around screaming, only falling and rolling almost by accident, "Jester! JESTER HELP ME!"

Constantine chased down the man on fire and descended on him in an effort to just punch him out. Could he kill the flames right now? Yes but why bother? "Gaaads man, stop running! It's not like they're going to help you or that you're leaving." Man these guys did not get it. Say what one will about John, but he could slug it out! Eventually the scrappy lad from Liverpool won out and called the fire back to him off the cultist and he extinguished it pressing his pals to the dirt. A few deep breaths later and he rolled the guy to a sit and pulled him up into a fireman's carry over his shoulder and marched him back to one of the two cars without the slashed tires, and dumped his body into the trunk, hogtied him, and closed the trunk lid locking him in there. He was exhausted. "Blimey they never mke it easy do they?"

As things are wrapping up, Chance leaps up into the air, touches the fellow hanging there a little weirded out about being stuck in the ground, and holding his shoulder, falls him back to safety. He cocks his head, "Come with us, we'll get you back to Mutant Town, alright?" Then he jogs off towards Constantine and his captive, "So, is here anything you can explain to me about what all is going on here? I just saw them lift the kid…" He nods to the mutant, who isn't really a kid, "…and trailed them looking for a chance to save him."

Constantine stood on the bumper and sat on the trunk. He fished out his pack of cigs, tapped it twice into his palm and pinched the end of one with his lips pulling it from the pack before lighting it with a zippo. "Well," SNAP the zippo closed, "Back in Victorian times and likely a hundred years before that bad then before that, there's a cult of people believe they can trap the soul immortal in masks. Like that silver one Arsehole McJackass had, and feed it souls to gain eternal life and favour for their lord who is likely as errant as the rest of the damn gods."

Chance stares long and hard at Constantine, "Do you think that's actually really possible?" he wonders aloud, shaking his head. "I'm not sure I ever even believed that souls exist, let alone the idea of trapping them in.. masks. Cheap, halloween masks, at that." He nods to the prisoner, "What are you going to do with him?"

Constantine smirked, "Maybe play pinyata. Get some more answers. Turn him over to a friend of mine good with interrogation. and soul or not, mate, You know that thing that makes you you? Think that. Unfortunately, it's quite fekking real." He took a drag and squinted, "Let's go get our friend and help him get back first though. That's the most important thing here. Kid's gotta be scarred as hell." A thought occurred to him and he looked to the Mutant offering a hand out. "John Constantine."

There's a pause, and Chance lifts a hand up to pull off his mask, and offers his hand to Constantine and shakes, "Chance Alexander; when I'm out doing the hero bit, Freefall, but I keep the mask — though after tonight I'm gonna be a bit creeped out about the mask thing — in case the police are involved. THey don't really always understand." He nods, and gestures the kid to the car, "Lets get him back, yeah."

Constantine pulled a card from his wallet and handed it to 'Freefall'. "Chance? I approve the name, mate. All this? Sadly more commo than you'd think. Love to chat you up about it if you have the interest in knowing but right now our lil friend is probably wetting his trousers going what the shite jsut happened. Let's find out why /him" He followed Freefall over there though because the Mutant might appreciate seeing one of his own first.

Chance takes the card, pockets it, and grins about the name, but then heads over to the mutant. He's still glowing randomly, light just radiating off of him, "Soo, Hi. I'm Chance. I'm a mutant, too, obviously; thus the sticking you up safely in the sky. Sorry about that." He grins and shrugs, "I'm guessing your power is light-related, what with the random radiance thing, right?"

"Y-yeah." Lightboy says, hesitating, and then pointing— a laser strikes out and burns a line in the side of a nearby tree.

"Right." He glances at Constantine, "I don't know what questions to ask since this is mystical-ish?"

Constantine stood by Chance's shoulder with one hand dropped in his pocket watching the show and complimented in a way that happy GOrdon Ramsay would be proud of, "That was bloody brilliant. I'm John. This is a shite situation. We're here to get you home. You willin to talk to us about the men that grabbed you, on the way?" The Con Job had a way with people when he wanted one. Kids getting hurt though? He didn't really abide by that. Really of all the politicians they could have picked from they chose a kid who was really good at referencing things from a distance and entertaining cats. Not fair.

"Yeah, like, okay." The kid says, nodding his head, and willing to follow those guys who saved him anywhere, really. "I don't really know anything. They just grabbed me, and kept talking crazy stuff about this Lord and the House and… I don't really remember it all, it was nonsense."

Chance glances at Constantine, "Could they have been wanting his soul? For… some reason? What does it mean if you can take someones soul?"

Constantine looked to Chance and siad, "Well it means he'd be qualified to go to Law school likely." He wet back to their friend's cars and went through the glove boxes for any drivers registration or id that was kept in the glove box. Yup. He was going to ID all these fuckers later on. "It also means they can use that as payment. Things that devils and demons and gods dont have: souls. It's why they're so bloody interested in ours. You ever collect baseball cards as a kid? Not much different."

Chance nods his head slightly, and gets in the car, waiting for the rest, "Well, they are clearly some sort of cult, do we think this is a demon or god or spirit?" he wonders, looking back at the kid, "Do you have somewhere you can go that would be…laying low for awhile? In case this wasn't random: this seemed all very purposeful to me, so I don't want to rely on the idea that they just grabbed the first mutant they could find in the Town."

Constantine dug out his other card and handed one back to the kid. "Incidently, that's my card. I have someone that'll take calls for me. Something happens you call. We'll get you sorted." Altruistic john really wanted information. It might be connected to Hargrove. He didn't think it was but it might help him solve that lose end by really wrecking that asshole's day and that… was called using your assets. He looked to Chance and popped the keys from teh visor over to him. John blinked, "Well I don't drive."

Chance blinks, shrugs, takes the keys, and gets out and heads over to get into the driverseat and swap. He eyes Constantine in passing, "You didn't answer; do you think its a demon, god or spirit? Or just a crazy cult being crazy? If they're just all nutters, I can work with that and know how to handle it. Hit them repeatedly in the head until they stop being stupid."

Constantine kept his voice down giving Chance a winning, wolfish grin, "Well if it is a God? Better hit em twice, yeah? " He thought about it and looked back thoughtfully. "I'll research the god, but what there is to know is there's power in belief and these lads did some research. Even if the god isn't real a well read cult still is."

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