1965-05-01 - Not THE Chimera but A Chimera
Summary: While giving a tour of the city, Morbius and Adam accidentally come across an unfortunate man getting mugged. An unfortunate man getting mugged with a terrible, terrible secret.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
morbius constantine adam halgrim 

New York City is a city of wonders, great and small. But it's also a city with a very healthy degenerate population, a shadow which is cut just as deeply as the shining lights can cast, and destitute populations sprinkled in the oddest places throughout the city.

This is actually extremely helpful for individuals who do not 'pass' well in the human world. Mutants use it to their advantage, as do the myriad other species who live here, just trying to make it by day to day. Nobody looks twice at you in hell's kitchen if you're 8 feet tall and wear a trench coat. They're all too worried about their own problems to actually care about what you have under there. The same can be said of some parts of the island surrounding the college, just before Harlem becomes East Harlem, there are neighborhoods where people are out for themselves, buildings are in disrepair, and in the winter, the snow turns dirty far quicker than it seems to over on 5th Avenue.

Cue the early evening, as two figures seem to crawl literally out of a hole in the ground down an alley surrounded by a laundry, a sign shop and a convenience store. The steel plate covering the cement was once an old subway entrance, but it was closed down a decade ago in order to build the city around it. Now? It serves as a subway for the subteranian races.

Morbius lifts the steel plate and waits for Adam to follow him up onto the street. Flickering streetlights cast dancing light and shadow while they try to decide if they're working this week or not, but the people here don't care what crawls out of their sewers as long as it's not an alligator—and even then, hey, you can eat and skin an alligator! The good doctor is dressed in a short wool jacket with a very, very high collar which covers his face up to his nose. Keeping his head tipped forward and tucked beneath a gray hat with a black band in a polite attempt to hide his unsettling eyes as two black pupils dart back and forth in a sea of bright red. Skin as pale as death and at the moment with a grayish cast, on the gaunt side of things. He's a bit of dapper with a ragged trim to it.

"This is between Harlem and East Harlem. Generally safe due to apathy, though not as 'friendly' outright as some," his accent trips delicately against his front teeth, though there is an odd harshness in his annunciation. Educated, but faulty, and forced out in a rough, charred voice. He seems to be…giving a tour? To the enormous fellow who follows.

Adam's wearing a hooded cloak, because even if humans are going to accept gigantic monsters coming out of the sewers, he knows that subjecting them to his face is a different matter entirely. "That I can walk the streets at all is an astoundment," he murmurs in his double-bass voice. He towers over Morbius and everyone else. His body language is subdued, very still. He too has an accent, something like if a native German speaker learned English in London.

The convenience store, unfortunately, is an age-old anchor for kids from other neighborhoods who want to explore, and tonight, a trio has opted to do so. Or, they probably had been exploring, but now they've caught some sort of quarry and cornered it in the alley, just out of reach of the store's lights. The object of their scrutiny is bigger than them, generally; the tallest of the sharp-speaking punks is stilla half a foot shorter than this man, and yet you'd never know it by the way he's half-turned away from them, seeming to press himself into the alley wall.

"Come on, big guy, I know you've got more than two bucks." His accent is decidedly midtown, as is his outfit, and he's brandishing a switchblade in one hand. One of his fellow harassers is holding some sort of large, dark leather bag, and the third has a beer can at the ready.

Yeah," the bag-holder says, sounding more Jersey than local, "no college professor's this poor." The one holding the beer squints down the alley in Adam and Morbius' direction, and though his posture becomes tense and wary he just watches their general area. He doesn't have a good look at them to know they're worth raising an alarm.

And the man at the wall, well, for being a fair-sized, strong-looking sort he's…not cowering, though you he seems on the verge of it. "Please," he says, his tone pleading. "Just take whatever you want and go." His accent is clipped and lends a downward angle to the words; Scandanavian, for sure.

"It's a peculiarity, isn't it? There is a neighborhood, which we will visit shortly, where you could likely walk freely," Morbius hums to Adam. "A greek restaurant owned by a satyrkine hosts a safe place for those like us, and you may see him time to time at Home." Greek! That was it. A bit malformed, but that seems to be the origin of the smaller of the two men's accent. Slightly nasal and clicking delicately against his teeth.

Morbius lowers the steel sheet which everyone assumes is sealed to the ground—and by all normal means would be far too heavy for any normal human to lift anyway, and pauses. The voices down the way are not distinct to him at first but gain his attention as he slowly pivots about. And sighs. "This is the trade off, I'm afraid." Like an old man, irritated over teenagers walking on his lawn, there is not much for a sense of urgency, but he also is not about to let it go.

His rasping voice picks up, forcing a goodly amount of breath straight from his check in order to throw his crackle of a voice down the alley. "Yes. Listen to your elder. Go on." Whether or not Adam chooses to join him, Morbius begins to stroll, slowly in that direction. His steps deliberately placed, hard soles clicking against the pavement.

Adam's noticed the mugging in progress, and dismissed it out of hand. It's nothing different than he's been seeing the past two hundred odd years. When Morbius does something, though, he drifts after, as looming and dark as a stormcloud, but more inquisitive than one. "Doctor, you care to protect them from each other?" He watches the youths menace Halgrim, mildly.

Beer-holder straightens up as Morbius and Adam approach. He's a scrawny, pale, scrap of a young man, with scraggly blonde hair, and is at most in his mid-twenties. Morbius gets a sullen glare for his efforts, and he might even be about to sneer and say something inane and snarky…until he sees Adam, and draws up, entirely at a loss for words. He glances furtively back at the knife-wielder and says, "Ah, PPaul" His voice breaks, and he clears his throat. "*Paulie.*"

Bag-holder, a little older and heavier, faces them and stills, and one of his hands goes into a pocket and grips something.

Paulie sighs and looks at Morbius and then Adam. The later gives him pause, if not as much as it did the others. He actually does manage to sneer. "Yeah, pops, how about you do what your friend says and mind your own damned business." And without looking at Halgrim again, he reaches to grab something at the man's chesta necklace, by the way a bronzey chain glints in the lightand yank it off.

Halgrim makes a sound like he's been struck and collapses to the ground, much to the delight of Paulie. "Really, guy, it's just a rock," he says, turning the rough, unpolished, wine-red stone around to catch the light. "Might be a little…pretty, I guess…"

Morbius smiles to himself from beneath his collar when he watches the glare turn into shock and alarm. Oh, Adam. Stand beside me forever so I may yet feel like a man in comparison. Still, he advances slowly, giving them time to talk it over, speaking conversationally with his companion along the way. "Oh, some times. I try to mind my own business, but it /digs/ at me afterwards. So when it crosses my path so blatantly…" His words trail and there's a gesture of a gloved hand in the direction of that trouble, as if they couldn't hear him just fine.

"Unfortunately, /Paulie/, you have terrible timing. Go on, boy. Shoo, shoo." Lifting his chin to allow that sickly glow of red across his eyes to become visible, casting a demonic resonance over him.

Adam smiles unkindly at the young men looking at them. Stray light gleams briefly across his enormous teeth. One wonders where Frankenstein found body parts this big. "Hurry," he murmurs, voice so low that it's almost more felt than heard. Perhaps this is less about aiding a random human and more about terrorizing other random humans. Yes, that is a fine way to look at it.

"Awh Jesus, we need to get out of here," bag holder says, and he does just that, dropping the leather bag and fleeing back out into the light. The one with the beer can seems like he's going to follow suit, but Paulie grabs him by the shirt as he tries to movie past (nearly dropping the necklace in the proces) and shoves him back towards Adam and Morbius.

And Paulie must have more…something, than sense (or maybe he's just that high), because while his friend is plainly terrified of Morbius and Adam, he just turns to them, still holding the necklace in his hand, and says, "I ain't afraid of a couple of freaks just because one of them's tall and one of them's—" And there he's cut off by a sound that begins as a moan and ends in a guttural growl, coming from the man on the ground, who's beginning to look less man-shaped by the second. Dark grey fur and oily black feathers and gleaming scales sprout out all over him, and a huge pair of ram's horns curls back from his forehead. His face lengthens with a sound like breaking bones into a wolfish muzzle filled with razor-sharp teeth, and his body bulks up and shreds his clothes. Just like that, Paulie and his friend don't know who to stare at; the two further in the dark, or the slowly standing thing right next to them.

Whatever helps you rationalize sticking your nose where it doesn't belong, Adam. Truly, Michael seems pleased as punch at the moment while one goes running and the other gets shoved hastily in their direction. Tough words from the 'leader' are greeted by a bubbling feeling of suppressed inhuman glee. Morbius' bloodthirst has been running a little rampant since his, ah, accident, so with that slow growl in the back of his predatorial mind, always humming, always watching, this excuse to /chase/ something is a delight.

Right up until the man the teenagers was tormenting is decidedly less man-like. Morbius stops suddenly, straightening his spine to his full, meager height, a hand cast out slightly to one side in a protective gesture. As if Adam needed his protection. "He's a were," come the rasping words of shock from Morbius, making the snap judgment. But what kind of were has horns and fur and feathers and scales and, and, and?

"Adam. How are you with pointy, spikey, bitey things?" Morbius asks with a sense of calm just above his urgency. Pulling his hat from the top of his head and setting it on top of a dumpster for safe keeping.

"Ah," Adam says, surprised. "The gentlemen is other than human." Halgrim's a were all right, but a were-what? Were whatever, it instantly elevates him in Adam's interest. He slides his weight back, shifting to pounce on the transforming creature. "I've wrestled my share," he answers Morbius, amused.

"Sh-shi-shitshitshhhitt!" Paulie's friend stammers, staggering back, and throws his beer at the creature as it stands. The can bounces helplessly off its shoulder and sprays beer all over, though neither of them reacts to that. Beer on their clothes is, at best, the tenth most significant thing going on.

The beast flicks an ear in response and begins to growl. It's low and rumbling at first, and gradually climbs to a sound like a souped up Chevy crouched on the starting line. Now that it's on its hind legs, the thing is easily over eight feet tall, and if not for all the rest it might resemble the typical werewolf told about around the fire. There's too much else, though; the wolf is subletting the same body as four other animals.

The beast's red-gold glowing eyes are fixed on Paulie's hand and the necklace, and Paulie glances between its head and his hand. He stumbles back from the thing, holding out his knife in a pathetic show of strength at first. Then he turns to flee, and at the same moment, the beast lunges, going for his upper arm with those huge jaws.

"Well then, sir," Michael hums in Adam's direction. "I believe that dance is largely yours. I'll let you take lead." A glance in Adam's direction, the merry little conversation finds its end with an emphatic eye roll which cannot rightfully be seen while that ghoulish glow engulfs his pupils. "A can. Brilliant. We clearly have a scholar, here."

He is wary, that's for sure, but more than that, Morbius is /interested/ in what the man /is/. A chimera? A manticore? No, no, none of that was right. But he's wracking his brain as the good doctor seemingly vanishes, but instead simply runs at a rapid speed, reappearing beside Paulie's friend, Beersy McCanface, and shoves him bodily toward the exit of the alley. "Run, fool!" Paulie? Well, Paulie may be on his own initially. He's a thief. Morbius cannot feel /too/ bad about instant karma, right? "I would give him back what is his, child."

Adam darts for Halgrim, plowing through the air at shocking speed, those tremendously long arms reaching to grapple him before he can escape. He doesn't bother trying to keep him from biting; the kid has his property, who is Adam to interfere there? He is astoundingly strong, and tough as boiled leather, in addition. What exactly he and Morbius are going to do with the creature is a total unknown to him, but NOW is for wrestling!

The beast and Adam meet just as its jaws are closing down on Paulie's arm, which is enough to turn what might have been a limb-severing bite into a nasty gash, the teeth raking down one side. Paulie shouts and drops the necklace, stumbling to a stop against the side of the alley. He's immobile for just a moment, though, because the gruesome tableau of these two huge Things grappling while the strange, unnerving man comments idly in the background is enough to propel him on his way.

The beast's growls turn fiercer as Adam collides with it, and it starts to snap at anything available on Adam. When its teeth and claws find difficult purchase, it thrashes harder, and tries to bash Adam in the head with its horns.

The necklace sits on the ground, glowing faintly (or possibly that's a trick of the light); the chain is rough hewn and smoothed from consistant wear, and the stone has numerous flaws, occlusions, and cracks, which is a shame, for its color is quite remarkable.

Morbius is something of the odd man out at this point, it's true. He is not well suited at this current injured state to go wrestling phenomenally lethal looking were creatures which look like a drunk and angry god made them. At least, not as well-suited to it as Adam is. The injury that Paulie sustains puts the scent of blood in the air, turning the screws at Morbius' self control as the peculiar man watches the street punk flee. The necklace on the ground. That /is/ quite the oddity. Who the hell wears something like that around?

Sparked by his curiosity, with inhuman speed, he dashes in to grab the glowing stone. Glowing things, in his experience? Definitely worth taking a second look at. Staring at the odd stone, Michael lifts it outward, toward the creature-once-man Adam is currently wrestling with. His rasping voice struggles to call out. "Excuse me, sir. I believe this is yours. If you could stop trying to gore my friend, there, we would happily return it." Lord, Michael. It's worth a try, isn't it?

Adam gets bashed, which makes even his enormous frame stagger. "Control yourself!" he rumbles at Halgrim, like sweet reason will have some kind of effect. Subduing the chimerical creature isn't happening rapidly, or possibly at all. Sharp scales, sharp feathers (it turns out, feathers can be very sharp), bashing horns; the creature is a weapon. He plunges all his weight to pin Halgrim to the concrete.

The barrage of razor-edged flailing is halted by Morbius picking up the necklace; the creature's struggles alter towards trying to reach for the necklace rather than carve chunks off Adam. First it snaps at it with its muzzle, then tries to get a long arm free to grab for it, and all the while it kicks at Adam as he pins it down. Its divided attention does it no good, now, though it seems to be getting more frantic the longer Morbius holds the necklace. This continues for another handful of seconds, and then finally it stops, panting in between ragged growls. Its eyes move from Morbius to the stone and back, and makes a hard snarl-bark. It could be an unintelligible curse, but it might also be a general agreemnt. (As it's not fighting Adam for the moment perhaps this isn't an important distinction.)

Morbius holds the necklace when he sees that the were-creature has turned its attention on him, dividing its focus from Adam and hopefully giving the large puzzled-together monster a moment to breath as well. "We are not intent on hurting you, good lord, man. Get a grip." His attention flicks between Adam and Halgrim, holding on to the trinket. Resolute and firm while the panicked creature seems to understand that the squeeze may not be worth the juice.

This is good! This is very good. If he can be reasoned with, then perhaps…

The struggling slows, and for the first time it seems like the chittering creature is making noises /to/ him rather than /at/. The vampyric man nods his satisfaction and rather than risk losing a hand and having to regenerate a the limb, he tosses the necklace in an underhanded arc in Halgrim's direction. "Adam? Are you all right?" Morbius' attention still fixed on Halgrim, just in case being reunited with the stone does something, well, undesireable.

Adam's pleased, that awful-looking smile back on his dessicated face. "Quite, thank you, Doctor." He's enjoying himself. Finally—a real danger, a real challenge to relish. He shifts his weight so Halgrim can get at his necklace. Probably enough to squirm free, because this isn't an exact science, and his strength has a match in this man-turned-beast.

The object of its deadly affections within its reach, the creature kicks free of Adam in a burst of new energy and snatches the necklace out of the air by the chain with its mouth, which brings it right in front of Morbius. It takes the chain in one hand and snatches up the discarded leather bag in the other, and curls its lip, snarling a clear warning of a decidedly, 'Don't touch my things,' nature. Now that it's close and holding still, it's easy for both Morbius and Adam to see a huge, knotty, diagonal scar cutting through the black pearly scales across it's chest, almost exactly where the stone might hang if it were inclined to wear it.

Glad for Adam's response, there is a nod. All chittering scales, claws, horns, feathers and teeth, Morbius' skin crawls and eyes blaze with crimson light as Halgrim stops directly in front of him. Every single instinct, down into his bones, screams with every warning when two predators are stuck in the same cage. Dipping his head low into the high collar of his jacket, Morbius grips his humanity tightly by the scruff of the neck and wills himself to not do anything stupid. A single, upswept eyebrow arches over the snarling. "I have no interest in your affects. I'm not a filthy /thief/."

Adam growls back, almost playfully. Better sense prevails, though, and he veers off inviting the shifter-being to wrestle more. "Reclaim your senses," he urges Halgrim. "You are such a remarkable creature. There's so much I'd like to ask you."

The beast pins its ears back at Morbius, and its lip trembles in a repressed snarl which immediately becomes an actual snarl when Adam speaks. It flashes its teeth and and looks past the two of them, down the alley, clearly looking for a less well-lit way out of the area than the store front offers. If Paulie and his friends have opted to seek out the police, the response is slow, as despite the creature's loud snarls there's been no one to investigate. Or, more likely, the story is a hard sell; 'I was attacked by a chimera-werewolf and a giant and a weird creepy person' doesn't really have 'legitimate report of suspicious activity' written all over it.

"He doesn't seem to be in the mood for conversation," Morbius' eyes lid and something of that vibrant glow dims enough to bring back the visibility of his pupils, rather than just that gaping maw of red entrenched in his face. "Or maybe just not here?" He glances over toward Adam at the suggestion. Turning with a languid pivot to retrieve his hat from atop the dumpster and place it back on his head, tucking his elongated ears into it. "Your clothes were shredded as well, if I'm not mistaken?"



Adam, a massive horrifying construct of a …being, and Morbius, face off against a curious wolf-dragon-raven chimera, in this shady little alley where Halgrim was assaulted. Adam is regarding him with interest. "We will not harm you," he says, sternly, in that resonant double-bass voice. "We are like yourself." He frowns, magnificently ugly, at the creature that is Halgrim, then, risking it, lowers his hands in a universal gesture of peace.

Hat reclaimed, Morbius tugs at the brim neatly, glancing over his shoulder toward the chimera and Adam, there is an exasperated little puff of air exhaled between the vampire's lips. Allowing Adam to try to bargain for some kind of parlay, he has lost his temper when logic didn't win out outright, and instead calls coolly toward the recessed entrance to the occult shop hidden in the alleyway. "Do you intend on lurking there all evening, or do you have some actual constructive advice?" Speaking to…who, exactly? The dark?


John COnstantine, Gutter Mage, was illuminated in teh dark alley by the yellow,-green flame off his zippo. "My lily white arse you're alike. That fucker's got three heads and… well Michael's lucky to bloody have one." Who invited this English asshole? FIiiiine, he lit his cigarette and ambled forward a few paces eyeing the being carefully, with consideration. "Now then these lads mean you no harm… I can't promise that for New York. They're all set to sod off, but I'd believe they are here to help you, mate. Chance us a name, luv?"

The monster in question looks somewhat like an unreasonably large werewolf with some fringe benefits: huge ram horns, a thick mane of oily black feathers, and dark, bronze-brown scales under its fur. Its possessively gripping some sort of pendant on a heavy, dark-bronze chain in one of its massive, clawed hands. It bares its teeth as Adam says they're like itself, and shakes its head, causing its feathered mane to whip about.

For all that the necklace was being worn by a normal-sized man not minutes ago, the chain seems to fit perfectly well around the creature's thick neck as, in a display of incongruous dexterity, the beast carefully clasps it into place. The unpolished gemstone gleams in the light, resting almost precisely over a knotted scar across the beast's chest. When Morbius speaks, its tall ears lie flat against its head and it turns it nose unerringly down the alley, lips trembling, like it's preparing to snarl again.

Adam's head goes up, too, looking down the alley at Constantine. "Doctor?" he asks, cool as a cucumber. But Halgrim's putting the necklace back on and he observes that, noting the scar. "You are not like us, you say. Come, speak to us." In the spirit of sharing, he offers, "I have named myself Adam."

"I got better," Morbius protests in a cultured tone to John, then lifts his hands upward, palm out, when Halgrim's lips tremble in his general direction. Spindled fingers slightly curled in a lazy man's exasperated surrender. "For God's sake, man. We mean you no harm. My name is Doctor Michael Morbius, and we have a sanctuary for damnable souls like us," he gestures with a flick of wickedly taloned fingers toward Adam and himself. As an afterthought, he gestures to John as well. If nothing else, they don't need Halgrim eating John, thinking he's not with them. "This is John Constantine." Then, a mark quieter in reassurance to Adam. "He is with us."

Constantine almost asked Morbius why he intended to bring this creature to Lass Vegay. It's dry. and far. It has weird bugs. Never mind that John was attacked by a swarm of etheral undead scarabs before. Instead he offered to to teh doctor whom he was obviously in teh familiar with, "Really all of us, Michael. Trust us on that one." The words were crude but the tone was frank, genuine, and sincere, "You can fuck around up here all you want, but were I you I might consider friendlier company thanwhat you might find with infantile residients, mate. Doc's not wrong on that." He paused and looked over - no up - at Adam. "Adam then is it?" There was a brief, but flickering amusement, though he nodded. That made about as much sense as anything else.

The creature's attention drifts back to Adam; it gives him a once-over and licks its lips. This seems to be an expression of distaste, though about what is less clear: the request to converse, or the concept of using a name. Morbius and Constantine's repeated offers set it on edge, and it shakes itself out and scoops up the battered, black leather work bag it had set down to put on the necklace. It looks over its shoulder at the still-quiet alley entrance, ears forwardhow long can the ruckus go uninvestigated?and huffs in apparent frustration. It turns back to Adam and jerks its head towards Morbius and Constantine, possibly indicating, 'You first.'

Adam gives Halgrim a complicated look. Yes, even other monsters find him gross. He knows. The motion Halgrim gives him he interprets as not wanting to be penned in. He tips his head, acquiescing, and approaches Morbius. "Doctor Morbius and I are not those you should fear." To Constantine, he bows, very shallow, precise and Old World correct. "John Constantine. Your name is not unknown to me."

Morbius slides a look in John's direction that is 90 taunt 'ohhhh, fancy you. I wonder /whyyyyy/', then shifts his attention back in the direction of the odd amalgamation of animal parts they still haven't gotten a name for, but damn if he doesn't have fancy taste in jewlery. Hands lower and then gesture with a fan of his fingers in the direction of the steel plate covering the hole in the ground that Adam and Morbius crawled out of earlier. "If you believe you can fit in that particular form, sir. You're welcome to join, but I don't suggest running around the streets of Harlem in the nude, or as you are." Morbius gives their edgiest companion a wide, wide berth, walking past John to give him a long look. "You're welcome along for the ride, John. May as well." His tour seems to be shot for the moment, anyway as the doctor walks to the far end of the alley and reaches down with a hand to seemingly peel up part of the sidewalk. Really it's just the inset steel plate which covers the old and forgotten subway entrance, but, eh. He holds the 'door' open as he straightens up, gesturing welcomingly toward Adam and whoever else actually chooses to come.

The hole is dark. Damn dark. The first few stairs have been chipped and worn to old cement, but half way down there seems to be a transition to old foot-worn tile on the steps and along the walls as it opens up into a wide expanse. Subway. Old, damp, mildewy subway.

Constantine let those tired eyes withthe tired bags under them heavy from having seen too much and slept too little, The ratcheted look that followed Morbius past him seemed to carry that message of We're still having -that- talk aren't we? punctuated by the push of one eyebrow upward. He flicked his cigarette and followed pushing his messenger bag to ride the back of his hips so he could manuvre forward easier. "Might as well. Don't call me the Gutter Mage for no bloody reason." Mage it was now? Perhapsan affectation but no one would believe it a ruse from a man covered in that many crazy tattoos in dead languages. Sailor Jerry perhaps, but not this.

The beast watches Morbius produce an exit down, and its ears lie back in response. It doesn't hesitate to follow Adam, though it's giving each of them a definite look of 'I've got my eyes on you' as it approaches the entrace. There's just enough room, provided it holds its head just so (to get the horns through), and though its body language exudes reluctance to use this exit, it's also not sprinting for the open street. Any port in a storm, it would seem.

Adam barely clears the entrance, too. He navigates it with ease, though. He gets through more difficult places, but he's glad to straighten up once the subway opens up. He turns to watch the others come in. Eyes on both Constantine and Halgrim. Apparently he trusts Morbius, who goes unwatched. "I came to the New World to find this place," he tells Halgrim. "You have perhaps been fortunate to find it as well."

"Is that why your house is always in that state?" Michael asks 'innocently' of John. "I thought the nickname was colloquial." All the fond sniping to be expected of these two, Morbius remains very still as the large beast passes by him, though his pupils do follow Halgrim along with the same suspicious attitude while he attempts to feign relaxation. Adam seems to have a far better relationship already with their newfound, uh, friend, so the good doctor sits back to allow the two pieced-together-monsters try to find a common ground.

Morbius follows up last of course, lowering the steel plate behind them with a resonant clatter which echoes for seemingly eternity down a long, vacant tunnel. "A moment," Morbius hums, and a click later, he produces a flashlight since he's forgotten a million times before that not everyone can see in the dark. Indeed, it's an abandoned subway station, falling into disrepair with graffiti and new natural growth included! "Come along, please, this way. And stay somewhat close. Our neighbors are not necessarily friendly people." Morbius steps ahead, the vampire gestures toward the subway tunnel itself and hops down onto the tracks, giving Adam and Halgrim a bit more head room at the very least.

Constantine made his way down the ladder. While he was no stranger to teh undertunnels and catacombs one never gets used to any of the lingering interesting smells, or wondering if they landed in something to regret later like sewage or poor life choices. John, for all Adam hinted that his name was known, was nothing if not unapologetic for who and what he was.

His hand formed a cup' like he might catch a baseball, but instead pulled the flame off his cig into his hand, gave it a moment and let it swell like some fell …well teh baseball was a good analogy. Let's just stick with that. Fire should be orange though, not occasionally have a green tint. Right? On the upshot they could see i f they could not. More importantly, John could see. "My house is in New Castle. What you suffer is a mad acquisition of mine, Michael. Though per the edict declared by the late pharoh Nethlothep, the Right of Dibsies goes to me."

The creature watches Morbius and Constantine as they produce their chosen lights, and if the baring of its teeth is any indication, it doesn't care for Contstantine's. But Adam's statement draws its attention, and the creature narrows its eyes at Adam and stares at him. Presently and with some obvious effort, it makes a sound that begins as a guttural snarl and then resolves into a series of short, barely intelligible words. "Nothing. Fortunate. About. Me." It snorts and shakes its head; even that many syllables was a struggle for it.

"So it is with us all," Adam says, without pity. Life sucks. Monsters know that. "You can speak in this form, then. What is it we may call you?" He glances over at Constantine's flame, and it reflects in his own ice-white eyes, an animal eyeshine. "Rumor has spoken much of you," he says to the mage.

"Oh, so he is a self-loathing one," Michael observes, trying not to be too overtly fascinated when Halgrim actually succeeds in speaking. But it's difficult as he leads the way down the abandoned subway. "Yes, you're in rather good company." Though he doesn't go so far as to tell them to ask John how delighted he was about his latest parlor trick, because that would be outright cruel, rather than friendly banter. Still, the weight of 'subjects of self loathing' seems weighty in the relative darkness, illuminated by hellfire and D batteries.

Behind them, footsteps chatter in a rapidly running pitter pat, away from them rather than toward. Ah. The neighbors.

Michael continues forward, unbothered by the sound as it runs away from them. "Nethlothep, was it? I thought it was Pharoh Yerfulluvit. Thank you for the correction, that could have been embarrassing."

Eventually, the smell of the subway changes. No longer filled with the assaulting smells of questionable human habitation and instead the tile and 'god, I don't want to think about it', they get the smell of cavelike surroundings; mineral collection on cold walls, water, brick, stone, soil. The surroundings shift in like rather than cement and cool tile and old tracks, Morbius takes a turn and instead they walk down a brick-floored man made cave of the same. Ahead several yards, his flashlight's beam lands on a roughly maderather embarrassingly madeplank-wood barricade at one end. Light shining through it.

Constantine listened to the patter run off. Cig still clamped in his lips one hand passed the other and they were both on fire to just increase light range, careful to keep it away from others. Oh what's this? Dry wit? Nice. "Oh yeah, you're in good company, mate. No fortune found with this group, to be sure." At the pharoh comment he added drily, "Stop bringing up Strange's many names for me." His eyes drift back to Adam and ??????? with the fangs and feathers like a Quatol and a Chupacabra had a fight and this fella lost. "Everyone with us? Right. Bravo."

The beast considers Adam's question, but before it can answer it's distracted by Morbius and Adam's comments, and snorts. As the others move on it follows them down the tunnel, pausing here and there to listen with its ears up, or sniff at the ground or a wall. And through all this, it apparently hasn't actually forgotten what Adam asked, because as they approach the barricade it says something that's an odd string of human-made syllables tripping over his not-human mouth. "Fjorskar." It glances at Morbius and Constantine, including them in this revalation…whatever it means.

Adam inhales the scents of the underground deeply, although he cannot translate them. He just looks between Constantine and Morbius, without joining in, seeming to listen to them without humor. Maybe he's missing that part. At last, Halgrim responds, and he rewards him with that shallow Continental bow. "Fjorskar." Pronounced as if it's his own native language. His weird eyes flick down to the scar on the creature's chest. He adds, in the same tongue, «You are far from your native lands, are you not?»

"Sounds Swedish," Morbius mentions over the reveal of the man/monster's name. "Well, a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Fjorskar."

It's miraculous, the sorts of things that their types of beings can manage. Powers. Magic. Abilities. Natural and not so natural. Whatever the case may be, it's rather surprising when Morbius pauses perhaps ten feet from the rough barricade and into the beam of light in front of him steps a creature which honestly rivals Adam in height with great curling horns on top of its head. An enormous, brutish figure, roughly man shaped and wearing a white tank top, suspenders and slacks. Covered in brown, coarse fur and—oh yes, sorry, the hooves and the enormous bull head. A minotaur. An honest to god minotaur guards the way. He sure as shit didn't SEEM to be there, before. Where did he come from?

Morbius stands still, between the Minotaur and the rest of the party. "Robert," he greets genially. "These are my guests, Fjorskar and John Constantine." Presumably, having brought Adam 'home' earlier, Michael watches the bestial man's eyes flick seriously between the larger and the smaller figures. Uh. Huh.

Slowly, Robert steps aside, grabbing on to some kind of latch hidden off to the side and heaving at it with a muscular arm until it gives with a loud, grating THUNK! Then pushes on the barricade, which opens smoothly, pouring brighter light into the tunnel.

Michael nods to the mother fucking minotaur and walks forward. The light embraces his silhouette, leaving only a gray shadow in comparison. "Welcome to Monster Metropolis, gentlemen."


Fjorskar's lip curls as Adam speaks. He makes a fierce, dismissive gesture, as if to shove the language aside. He coughs some, trying to force out a difficult word, and manages, "*Christian* speech." 'Christian' might as well be a stand-in for any number of epithets, given the way he spits it out through his teeth. "The. Old words. *Proper* words." He stops, seems to struggle, then heaves a sigh. "Can't. Use. Now." And if he were about to get maudlin over that, it's short-circuited by the arrival of what is definitely a Minotaur. His feathered ruff starts to stand up, at least until it's clear Morbius and the Minotaur are, well, familiar, at least, and then his sense of curiosity seems to take over. He follows after Morbius, nose working, though he can't help but spare another wary glance at the entrance's guardian.

Fjorskar pauses as his eyes properly adjust, and he looks around the 'metropolis' with uncertainty. He makes no move to explore on his own, instead waiting for some sign or another from Morbius or Adam.

Adam had nodded politely to Robert, going by. Now he slowwwwly tilts his head. Studying Fjorskar. "I regret I do not know the old words. Perhaps I shall make an effort to learn them." He looks at Morbius and…is that a smile? It might be a smile. His features are doing something, at least, that to another monster might not be pants-wettingly terrifying. "I thank you once again, Doctor."

Morbius steps aside and pairs his hands elegantly together at the small of his back with all the gracious poise of a host allowing his guests to get their initial lay of the land.

There are people here. Well, 'people' as in 'a people'. A society. Many of them simply would not ever be able to make it on the surface safely. There's a zombie woman hanging laundry on a line between two shamble houses. A small gang of four alligator-human hybrids hang out near the pool in the center of town, one of them in a pretty floral dress and another in a leather jacket. What could only be described as a very small, delicately boned raptor-like human walks hand in claw with a mummy which only appears as so when in shadow, but otherwise appears as a quite lovely dark-haired, middle-eastern woman in the light. Don't ask about the logistics there. They're all just…living life.

Waiting until their attention both strays back in his direction to continue, Morbius is silent until Adam grimace-smiles at him. The pale vampire inclines his head deeply and removes his hat again. "You are most welcome, Adam. Fjorskar. John. This is my home, and a sanctuary for those not safe elsewhere." He eyes Connie long and hard on that one. SANCTUARY. No exorcising. "We are all present-minded creatures able of sound thought and consideration. You are welcome here as long as you are able to live by those peaceful expectations."

Fjorskar's eyes drift among the denizens of town as Morbius speaks, but eventually make their way back to him. "Peace," he seems to say, or at least tries to, and chases it with a grunt. "Is…difficult. For this." He bares his teeth. "Shape." His eyes flick to Adam, no doubt wondering if that's something they share in common. "Perhaps. Other one. Could come here."

Adam glances at Morbius, to see what he makes of that. "The…other one. You are not he? You are a separate being?" He looks back at the chimera. "If peace is difficult, I will pin you again." It's an honest offer. Fjorskar can't control himself? Adam will control him for him.

Oh how kind, Adam. Morbius exchanges looks with the stitched together man, silent, but certainly they are exchanging some sort of thought, yes? At this point it's a general confirmation of lacking understanding. Your guess is as good as mine.

Morbius turns back to the large chimara like creature. "The other would be welcome as well, yes. I'm curious your relationship, though perhaps that is a conversation best left for him rather than yourself." His eyes tip toward his fancy necklace, then back to Fjorskar's face parts again. "We would rather not lose our hard work to wanton destruction, but we have found useful purposes for some of our more…spirited members, suitable for their temperament. Guards, typically. Our neighbors are not always gracious. But there are also moments where…well," Morbius looks over to Adam in a meaningful beat of silence. "We need to protect our own through less than peaceful means."

SOOOO Many words, from this one.

"Yes," Fjorskar says. "And. No." He flashes his teeth, both at Adam and Morbius; a grin, for sure, as there's no indication of ill humor. Well, he thinks it's funny, at any rate. His mirth fades as he seems to consider Morbius' words. Then he says, "The other. Will not…know." His lip curls. "Never. Remembers."

Adam bares his teeth back, congenially enough. "You strike me as the werewolf," he says, pronouncing it in the Old Nordic way: verevolf. "I have never known one as disparate as you, however. You are quite the collection. Much like myself." He nods somberly, agreeing with Morbius. "For those who can live nowhere else, we must keep the peace."

"Well, that's inconvenient," Morbius sums up simply while Fjorskar explains the separation between himself and the man they saw getting mugged. No bearing of teeth from him, one way or the other. Quite the opposite in fact, his lips moving as little as possible around the bulging of too many elongated teeth in his mouth. "That's actually a very astute comparison. Do you remember what he goes through? Is the separation both ways? What triggers the exchange, is it stress as we saw? Or is it the article that you're wearing?" Million questions as his scientific mind hums with activity.

Fjorskar blows out a breath. Inconvenient indeed. "Anger. Fear." He makes a face and shakes his head. "Upset." He starts to become agitated at the continuing questions, however, and instead holds up his leather bag. He fiddles with the straps, again using those claws which were meant for skewering to do something much more deft, and once he's done, the bag is open, and he upends its contents onto the ground. There's a wide variety of things here: a small leather pouch that clinks with metal items; a leatherbound, creased notebook with a pen hooked onto the cover; numerous knicknacks and keepsakes; various papers; and, most importantly, a Swedish passport. This he careful picks up and offers to Adam. "Speak. This one. When." He shakes his head. "After."

The text inside is helpfully in English, though really the only thing necessary is the name ('Halgrim Lindqvist' it reads); the picture is of the same man they saw previously, with the barest hint of a smile and the usual expression which suggests he knows that this, like all passport photos, will come out terrible.

Adam takes the passport, but does not make a single move towards the rest of the items. They've seen what Fjorskar will do when his things are touched. He examines it. "Halgrim Lindqvist," he says, mostly to Morbius, because he isn't going to offer to let him touch it without explicit permission, either. There's too many people around to risk it. He does show it to him, however. "The man we saw assaulted. Who will now, it seems, know nothing of what we have discussed."

Morbius slowly looks down at the cascade of personal items on the ground after a rather long silence of awkwardly watching unfortunate Fjorskar struggle with the satchel. He clears his throat delicately and seems to understand the agitation from all the questions, cooling it with the onslaught. The good doctor leans over to take a look at the passport when it is offered to him to look at, but will not reach out to touch it. "Mm, well, that's every bit as inconvenient as we assumed. He must at least be aware of what's happening to him to some degree. And he did see us, did he not? I can't recall offhand." Looking down at the items, he tries to get SOME idea of what this man may do. Context clues.

Maybe noticing Morbius' gaze, Fjorskar suddenly begins shoving everything else back in the bag. He's not exactly gentle, but he doesn't manage to break anything either. He pauises when he comes to one item, though: a brightly-colored, Bolivian style, woven wallet. He makes a low sort of growling noise, then reluctantly offers it over as well. Inside there's not much, but there is one useful item: a university ID, for Columbia, announcing the bearer as an adjunct professor.

"There cannot be many university professors named Halgrim in New York," Adam says, upon examining the wallet, although without even a slight hint of joking. Dr. Frankenstein couldn't find a sense of humor big enough for him. He passes it back, with another little bow. "Your other self may not remember, but now you have given us means to find him. We will not harm him. Perhaps I am not the best choice of ambassador to him, but we do what we must."

Academics can smell their own.

Morbius still takes a half step backward to separate himself from the items being possessively scooped back into their bag. Instead, he turns his full attention on the wallet and identification therein, to give Fjorskar a moment of separation to pick up his things. "Columbia. How charming." Does Morbius actually sound delighted? That's an odd sound. He nods slowly several times in agreement to Adam's words. "Perhaps we'll send John to speak to him. As an exorcist, he at least has the best credentials, and he appears human. Thank you for that information, Fjorskar. Creatures of our sort need to look out for one another. Whatever we can do to assist you both."

Fjorskar wrinkles his nose at Adam as he accepts the pasport back and adds it to the bag. He cocks his head at Morbius, considering, blows out a breath. "Yes. Or. If. See." He gestures above them, presumably at the streets of the city overhead. "Might…not. Run." He gives a small sigh. "Might." His feathered mane rises and falls in a shrug. "Try."

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