1964-10-21 - Consulting the Gutter Mage
Summary: Gwen comes to John with visions and they take an unplanned intra-dimensional short detour, and Madame Web says no to a date with John Constantine.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
constantine gwen-stacy 

In Chinatown there's an address that was given over the phone by one John Constantine: Exorcist, Demonologist, and Master (inserted) Cosmic Midwife and Petty dabbler of the Dark Arts. He really needed to have new cards made. The building looked like any other and there was a side entrance with a black door that had subtle carvings inside the door jamb and a strange sigil carved under the peep slat. Gwen was let in through the only accessible entrance in the place. It's a good thing John is fireproof just in case.

The interior of the room is New York brick with shelves and shelves lined with crazy antiques and several glass cases holding some garments now and then. Craziness. The floor has a large circle painted in white that has all sorts of markings scribbled in chalk on it. Towards the back there is a loft to a second floor living area and offices and hopefully the fucking coffee pot. This was, however, the real deal. There were no gaudy fortune tellers here.

John answered the door in his same wrinkled suit from yesterday and smelling of two day old cigarette smoke. Shirt sleeves were folded up to the elbow leaving several tattoos down his arm in patterns and tiny script which didn't mean much unless one was fluent in Latin, Enochian, and Hebrew. "You're the bird who called. Come in."

The "bird" who called looked mor like a member of the crow variety. Minimal makeup, leather jacket, jeans, boots. Someone you could lay odd on casing the place for a local gang.
Then she opns her mouth and dispels the threat of being sized up for a shakedown. "Yes…my name is Gwen. Gwen Stacy. Seargant Reeves said you were 'the guy' when it comes to weird stuff." She looks around. "May I…come in." Her eyes are very earnest and blue, the color of glacier ice uder tons of pressure for thousands of years.

Constantine caught most of the inference when she had called and he gave her the address. Those brown eyes have seen a lot but seeing someone who still had the stink of death on them from losing their father in the last month? Well, it was never a good time. A hand directed her to a couple of nice, but very worn high backed chairs and a couch near the fireplace which wasn't on yet. "Captain Stacey's daughter Gwendolyn? Saw the paper. That's a bad turn, luv. Sorry t'hear it. What's bringing you all the way out here to talk to me?" He walked over to pick up his cigarette where it was left in the ashtray to finish it; listening, curious.

Gwen walks to the chair, taking off the jacket to reveal a long-sleeved striped shirt underneath. She looks for a place to put the jacket before laying it down over the arm of the chair. "Reeves sounded like he didn't want to believe you could do what you said he could do, but he saw SOMETHING. And…just call me, Gwen, please. The only times I got called Gwendolyn was when I was in trouble. It makes me sound like the girl in a dime-store romance novel. The Perils of Gwendolyn." She rests against eh back of the chair. "Now, I'm an Irish-Catholic girl, so I take all this with a grain of salt…but that was before my summer, and my subsequent fall." She looks down. "Dammit. Sorry. Should get right to it."

Constantine cracked a faint grin at the litany of why not to use the whole name. "As ya like, luv. Go on." She talked while he worked. There was still much to reorganize in the place and at least know what was going on with it all. But presently? Presently he was looking for a map of the city. "Well you should take everything with a grain of salt and question everything. That's the only way to learn shite about shite. You won't find a sermon from me that's Jesse and the Preacher's sleeping, so. You're a skeptic so you can thing for yourself, and you're considering talking to crazy people who know more than what's healthy to know so you're smarter than a pencil. You questioning the nature of your late father's demise or you're in trouble and ran out of people to talk to… or both." It wasn't a question. THe truth was it always really came down to something along those options. He paused and looked to her grimly with stuble jaw set tight, "I won't bring em back for ya, luv if that's what you came here to ask. Bay way in those things."

Gwen blinked. "Bring him? What? No! I don't want that. Even if it were possible, he wouldn't want me to remember him like THAT. No, it's not about him. I've mourned him, and he'd want me to focus on the living." She pauses. "No. I'm having these…dreams, only I'm fully awake. I'm talking to an old woman, dressed all in red. A long red dress, with the design of a white spider on the front. I don't know if she is blind, but when I see her, she has her eyes covered. She sits in a chair, like a throne, but…not really. There is a web behind her chair, but a REALLY BIG web, and…ah, geez, I must sound CRAZY…"

|ROLL| Constantine +rolls 1d20 for: 9

Constantine was listening, but seemed to have his mind on a few things. "It doesn't sound like you're losin your mind, luv. Could be a number of different things." He looked up to her and took a deep breath, how to explain visions and imprints. "Sounds likely that you're not haunted. That seems a form of telepathic projection. She look or sound familiar? The spider symbolism mean anything to you? Did Spider-man bite you? Were you trapped in an attic? Find anything that belonged to someone else? When and how'd this start?

Gwen frowned. "Listen…before we start, do you have some kind of legal client confidentiality clause? Because there's stuff I need to tell you that I don't want to end up on the front page of the DAILY BUGLE because you have to make rent or something. And if you can't do that, fine, but I need to know now."

Constantine stopped and arched an eyebrow to her. "I don't much like my business in the papers, either. That's how bad people get good ideas and good people get hurt. Don't worry about my rent, though I wouldn't turn down a Philly cheese steak sandwich." He considered tilting his head, "Might ask you to pick up something for me, but I don't have use for selling your business to a bunch of nosy tarts to pacify the overabundant nosiness of meandering old hens. You want to sign something in blood we can do it if you want but I try to keep my word binding."

Gwen looked at him, and John got the same sense he got when Reeves had questioned him at the precinct.
It was startling to see a girl who should be enjoying her first drink surveying him like the lead detective in a homicide case.
Who said Captain Stacy was dead? He was looking at John right now. Not possession. Training. What kind of childhood did Gwen have that taught her how to read someone?

Gwen didn't think he was running a line on her. He didn't have the rep, his reaction was tired but indignant, but his eyes flickered at the thought of a Philly cheesesteak. Up at to the right, accessing a pleasant memory, not to the left, which was a sign of creativity.
"Okay…" She took out an envelope, placing on the nearby flat surface. "$1,000. A retainer."
She pauses…then goes for it.
"As far as I can tell, I was made into a human/spider hybrid during the bombing of the Clarisin Pharmaceutical building."

Constantine his cheeks pulled in and he stared at her. John had no horse in this race and wouldn't be involved had she not come. The advantage was entirely hers in this situation. His eyes fell to the endorsement and just stared at it. That was a lot of money for a little girl, not condescending, but that he was far older than he let on. That was a huge bite into her father's posthumous pension he reckoned. She needed the help and badly, and that was fear money; not the cowering in a corner flailing fear money, but that kind that said she was serious about getting shit done. That earned not ambition, but a softer tone of commiseration, "Go on." She spun the web of her tale and his expression turned quizzical.

"You were chemically mutated. That sounds absolutely no fun at all." Waaaaaay to understate it John. "Most girls your age go out and get a boy, you got a bug and a bomb. Not sure this is a fair trade." He nodded slowly and thought going from the map over to a wall of books murmuring, "Goddamn you back from hell, Aloys. Your organizational skills are just shite. Well!" There's a tone of decisiveness for you, "Sounds like someone is aware of you and wants to make contact. The Red spider lady in the pompous chair. She said anything directly to you? Was it in English, Latin? Akkadian?"

Gwen took out a policeman's notepad. Bound in leather, the stamp of the badge in the leather.
Another aspect of the legacy of her father.
She looked up at him. "It was English. Hang on." Sheflipped a couple of pages. A meticulous note-taker. "'I sit at the center of the web that connects all worlds.' Roland of Gilead. 'There are other worlds than these.' Read 'those books' when I'm much older…" She pauses, flipping another page. "'Many universes, each a little bit different from the rest. You are dead in many of them, for one reason or another. But not in this Earth, in the Year of Our Lord 1964.'"

Constantine considered this carefully and rubbed a hand over his jaw. "Oooooh lovely. Could be a thought weaver. Could be an inter-dimensional gnat too. Someone wants to reach across the gap and connect quite possibly our world to a parallel on. Imagine," he motioned for her to stand up and look into the mirror above the mantle, "You see that there? Is that you in the mirror? It is and it is not. Imagine a state of existence where you could be alive here, but not there. There is here, there is the mirror and between it? The glass that divides. It seems like someone is possibly contacting you from the space in the glass. They need something because something is broken and either is or isn't in the mirror there and what you should find out is: Why and should it be that way?" Yay for big questions. Well he wasn't freaking out. "Be careful making sure you know what side of the glass you wake up on is my first piece of advice."

Gwen frowns slightly. She could hear what Constantine was saying could understand it, but everything seemed to go swimmy for a moment. She wondered what…
Oh, crap in a hat.
Constantine had enough time to sense the sudden upswell of some all-encompassing energy surrounding them. Then red smoke seemed to blow in, swirling around them both.
A red storm of smoke obscured everything for long moments before it was suddenly whisked away. They were in the dark place again, but no long journey this time.

This time, the one who had called herself Madame Web was sitting in front of them on that ornate chair.
John could see what Gwen couldn't. The web behind and under her seemed to glow white, each strand of the web reaching out to destinations John could sense.
Thousands of worlds. Millions of them.
The elderly woman in the John Lennon glasses looked at John Constantine, then back to Gwen.
"Hello again, White Widow. I see you can reached out as she had discussed, but…was Dr. Strange occupied?"

Constantine reached out and grabbed her wrist and hopped she didn't pull awaybecause that makes transport and dimension shifts very awkward. To his merit he was an unflappable as ever. "Bloooooody hell if this scorches my floors we're having words." He looked to Madame Web and pursed his lips together before glib retort, "You know Doctors. Always on call, never where we need them to be. Never marry one. You'll never see em. Yoooou went through a lot of trouble to contact the White Widow." He'd roll with it. "What can we help you with, luv?"

The woman in red smiles knowingly. "You may call me Madame Web, John Constantine. I approve that Gwendolyne has sought out assistance. I know of you, street sorcerer. Perhaps it is fitting for her to reach you, you would better understand the trials and temptations of Gwendolyne's existence. If nothing else, that you have partaken of them and possess the inevitable scars."
Gwen looks at Madame Web. "You're calling me 'Gwendolyne' again."
"You are still in trouble. Even now, Ray grows impatient. He means to have what you possess. He will move very soon, and then you will have to be very clever, indeed." She glanced at John. "I take you you have questions, sorcerer."

Stay casual, John, stay casual. "You mean White Widow here?" He looked to Gwen and had an apologetic look, "You'll never get a spouse with that moniker, luv. Sorry. Sort of a built in deterrant. May want to look into changing it." Sage advice. He looked to madame Web and nodded "Right, like he does. So this Ray? Causing a problem mucking up the wirks? WHat's he want and are you free for dinner later?" Did he… he did.

Gwen looked at Constantine and groused, "Not MY fault the good names were taken…"

"The one known at Ray is a small man who believes himself to be a Lord of Chaos. He is not, but is too narcissistic to see the truth. His strand will intersect with yours, White Widow, and only one will remain."
Gwen frowned. "Are you saying I'll kill him? Or he will kill me?"
"Only that one of you will survive the encounter." She turns to Constantine. "Dear boy, I am much too old for you, and you would not enjoy the courtship of a psychic. I could appear younger, but very few men enjoy spending time with women who can see them for EXACTLY who they are."

Constantine murmured to Gwen offhandedly, "We'll talk to marketing and look into this." as if 'heroing' had a PR office. Listening to the eventualities he nodded to Gwen, "Yeha, luv, seems so." There was a half grin and he retorted to Madame Web, "Aaaaah to be fair it's liberating. No lies. Dated three. Kind of a trip really."

Madame Web smirks. "Perhaps in a century or two, when you've seasoned a bit." She looks back to Gwen. "I heard of the Bride's decision. Her life is her own but your presence in her existence will refine her drive to succeed. There are no small acts, only small people."

She reached out with a wave of one hand. "I will speak to you both again. Be watchful and wary."
The red cloud surrounds them, obscuring them from each other, and then it disappears and they are back at Constantine's place, Gwen still sitting in the chair. She blinks and sighs. "You…you saw it, too, right?"

Constantine took a deep breath and answered Gwen, "Yeah yeah yeah she turned me down. She's not the first or the last, luv." Yes he saw it. He paced and said, "You have yourself an extradimensional quest to help some people, and some ass thinks fashions that he's Loki. You're not losing your mind. I have to do some legwork, but check back with me and I might be ale to get you some armament to take into this thing to aid ya. You're alright. Be nice to see you survive."

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