1965-08-19 - Setting Up a Cartwheel
Summary: John and Halgrim discuss thieves, relics, and the real issue with an unconventional band-aid for the problem
Related: None
Theme Song: None
halgrim constantine 

What the Monster Metroplis lacks in amenities it makes up for…somewhat…by being underground, and so cooler than the city proper by far. Halgrim's lean-to has morphed into a proper structure, though it's still not much larger than a single modest bedroom would be in most of the city's apartments. The entrance remains a thin, plaid tartan, currently tied back, and the walls are pallets along one side and a sheet of corrogated metal on the other two; gaps have been left near the top for additional ventilation.

Inside Halgrim is seated at a small wooden desk someone salvaged; it was probably a fine piece of furniture 30 years ago, but now it's stripped and worn in numerous places and missing two drawers. The top is still solid, though, which is what he's actively using. There are a few stacks of papers to one side, and hes' actively pouring through a book on Babylonian history and taking notes on a note pad, muttering under his breath in Swedish.

There is a dive bar in Monster Metropolis that is impressivly deviant for a destitute communite of underdwellers and lurkers alike. The bouncer cheks ID with Zener Cards and all manner of non-humans can be found. It's there one can reliably find John Constantine on his way to. One might also assume he's driven poor Michael up a damn wall and down the other but somehow hasn't been drown in his sleep and the vampire endures him all the same. This hangover was mot treating the Saint of Last Chances well, but here he was. Two fingers tapped n teh arch of the hovel and the Brit announced, "Be redundant to ask if you're in."

Halgrim glances up from the book, marking his place with a finger. "You'd be surprised, I'm always happy to tell my people that I'm most definitely not in if they try to come to me outside office hours." Given how much he overworks himself this is probably just a reflection of what he'd like to do rather than what he actually does. Like right now; Halgrim sets his pen down on the spot where he was reading so he won't lose it, and gestures at his bed, which is the only other place to sit. "Have a seat? I'm glad you came by, I wanted to…discuss some things with you."

Constantine rubbed a hand over his face that needed a shave. Funny enough bedraggled worked for him in many ways. The many years were wearing on the Magi today. "Been looking into your situation, mate. Came up with more answers but I think it's slowly getting us to where we want to go. I came by," He took a deep rbeatha nd blinked a couple times tas if to decide if more or less sobriety would really help here. "I came by to check in on you and see if you wanted to grab a pint with us." Still hospitality was offered and he could respect an Old Law. He sat and his eyes picked up the faintest of orange glow off the light asking earnestly, "How you holdin up?"

Halgrim looks down at the book he's been reading at his notes and sighs. "A drink sounds overdue, honestly. And regardless of what success you've had the fact that you're making the time to help me certainly means I owe you at least one. But we can sit a moment first." He's not about to hurry John along now that he's sat down. He turns his chair so they're facing each other and leans back.

"I've been…doing better." Despite how exhausted he looks, that doesn't sound like a lie. "I spoke with Stephen Strange, and he in turn spoke with…" He gestures. "My houseguest. He brokered an agreement with it whereby I don't keep it penned up so much and it, in turn, doesn't constantly hammer on me for a chance to get out." He smiles, faintly. "Which seems to be working. At least, I've not felt as compelled, or like I'm walking around with a grenade in my hand, as I was." His expression darkens, and he grimaces, looks aside. "Save for the other night."

Constantine didn't elaborate but to say, "Those of us living with a dual nature tend to face such problems. Sometimes the bargain we strike, knowing or not, is the bargain we have to uphold." While interesting he used the word 'us' in that it didn't necessarily include him in a grand sense of different persons, but it didn't exclude him either. Really there is the echo of Adam's assessment of 'This is John Constantine. That one has seen far worse than we.' seemed to suggest maybe he knew a thing.

"You talked to Strange." HThe blonde nodded and cewed on the inside of his cheek thoughtfully, "I should likely catch him up then too. He might be interested in what we found. Accidents happen mate. Life goes on. Or it doesn't." The Laughing Mage had a dark humor on that, "What happened?"

Halgrim considers John and what he's said for a moment, nods. "So it is," he says, presently, and clears his throat. It's comforting, if unfortunate, to have people in a similar position as oneself. No one really wants to be alone, after all.

"This was less of an accident and more a case of poor timing." Halgrim rubs at his eyes. "I was doing some work in the rare manuscript library late the other night and I came across a young man who had somehow…" He makes a face. "Charmed, or maybe, compelled, the Head Librarian into handing over one of the Unversity's most valuable scrolls." He gestures behind himself at the book. "A very rare Babylonian piece." He's quiet for a second; his jaw works. "She's a good woman, a good friend, and he just, made her do it. If word ever gets out it will end her career." He has to shut his eyes for a moment. "I've never actually, wanted, to let it have its way so badly. But with Renata there I couldn't." He laughs, bitterly. "And it probably would have detroyed the reading room, which would be difficult to explain."

Constantine listened, brow furrowed listening froman academic overview rather than an ethical one reasoning, "Plus you'd destroy countless other things we rather would not want to lose. Did it have any markings?> There's lots of ways we cna go abotu finding things. THe question is, you know who wants it and why?" He paused and rolled his eyes skyward with a nod like right, right, "Your friend? The bird alright at least?"

"Yes, Renata was alright — more or less." Halgrim grimaces; the entire affair has left a bad taste in his mouth. "She had a headache that seemed to clear up within the day. But she only vaguely remembered a conversation with someone, and couldn't describe him, or remember anything they said to one another." He indicates the book open on his desk with a nod. "I've been researching that piece, as discretely as I can—" he gives John a wry smile, " — don't want to look suspicious once it finally turns up missing. It was a grocery list, apparently, for a wealthy family. Prized for its insights into life in late Babylon." Halgrim rubs his forehead. "I told him if I saw him on campus again I'd make sure he regretted it. I wish I could make good on that, but the chances he'll keep innocent people between myself and him are probably high. So I might have to settle for reporting him to security."

Constantine circled his fingers around, "Wait you totld the thief or you told your…other that you didn't want to see them anymore?" Word of the woman safe/ Forgotten. As therewas no curse or alarm? John moved right along hunting facts and curiosities like a wild ferret. "You know," he said hnestly, "Visiting you is never dull."

"I told the thief," Halgrim clarifies, and blows out a breath. "Mostly because I was angry at what he'd done to Renata. The scroll is," he waves a hand, "it's a scroll, it's not worth letting my worse half get the better of me in a public place. Maybe nothing is, really. But seeing him control her like that…" He has to give himself a moment. Something seems to distract him from darker thoughts, and his expression eases. "He even claimed he wasn't going to fence it, that he was 'sending it back where it belonged' or, something like that." He frowns, shrugs. "My primary concern is the — corersion, or whatever it was. With the ability to do something like that there's far worse things he can get up to."

Constantine arched an eyebrow, "Mate you get feisty over everyone that can pull a mind trick you'll kill off a good quarter of the planet including me. You more worried about the dame then figure out how to protect her. The two of you have to agree o a priority. How valuable is the script? We know what was on it?"

Halgrim gives John a tired, almost testy look. "Just because a great many people can violate someone like that doesn't mean I can't get angry about it." It's a testament to both the activities of the other night (whatever they were, because all he woke up with was a sore neck and a fine layer of masonry dust to scrub out of himself) and the value of his standing agreement with the beast, because not a few weeks ago admitting that sort of thing would have had the beast looming over his shoulder, and now, he just seems annoyed. "And it's one thing to know it; it's another to watch it done to someone you count as a friend."

He reaches behind himself and flips through the book. "It was…let's see. A list of items to be procured at a market, including a description of feed for livestock, some bolts of fabric, tools, and stores. To be delivered to, Gimil-Sin." he shuts the book. "Translated from Akkadian by Leo Oppenheim. As for it's value, it's considered one of the rarest of its kind. Nearly fully intact. It's second only to the artifacts that detail the storied exploits of Ea-Nasir."

|ROLL| Constantine +rolls 1d20 for: 6

Constantine held up his hands, "Oh by ALL means get angry about it. I'd rather enjoy the compnay, mate. Michael can't rant with me all the time. He actually needs sleep turns out." Cosiderate of him. Thinking of that though made him rub his face again bringing up ahand as if to gesture, 'peace' or 'oy on teh pitchforks a moment'.

"I seen.," John winced, and had to actually pause some emotion crawling up on him like bile in his throat. He took a deep breatha nd pretended like that didn't happen, "I've seen things happen to friends. You won't find fault from me aboutthat." He listened and siad "So rare article, historic signifigance, but not arcanely signifigant. We make a copy and ptu it on display like they do at the Smithsonian. We have pictures? I can work on getting a forgery for her it's… something I taught myself to pass the time and piss off Lamont. Either way it'll keep her job in tact which seems to me the most immediate threat, yeah? Her prolongedwell being?"

Halgrim's brief irritation melts away into genuine sympathy. He seems to struggle to decide what to say, eventually settling for, "It's awful."

As John continues, Halgrim's expression lightens considerably. "Could you do that? Make a, reasonably convincing replica? I won't have trouble getting it into the Library — I have the access, and I can find a moment when I'm the only one there." He huffs a breath of relief. "If you can, John, I'm going to owe you more than just a beer or two."

Constantine flinched from the gust of hope and wave a hand with a sigh, "Yeeees I can. Also you'd be amazed at what I accept in trade." Both eyebrow arched but really his mind was on sussing out what was going to be needed. "Yeah I just need a … picture of roughly how it's displayed. Not the first forery I've made." He cracked a smirk, "Aren't you glad you associate with wizards on a sliding scale?"

Halgrim arches an eyebrow in turn, and gives John a coy smile. "I'd be surprised, would I?" he asks. He sobers almost as soon as he's said it. "There's photos in this text, but, I can get you much better ones, from the University archives. Those are easy enough to access without scrutiny. I'll bring them tomorrow." His smile is less teasing, more genuine gratitude now. "I'm quite glad of it, in fact. This isn't the sort of thing they teach you to deal with in graduate school. Really—thank you. I don't know what else I'd have done."

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