Mystic Picnic

Summary:
September 22, 2014: Paul, Hellboy, and Constantine meet in broad daylight, where the Elder Gods can't get them.

Central Park

Sitting on 843 acres of public land, Central Park is one of the most famous sight-seeing spots in New York, and is considered large enough to have its own police precinct (the Central Park Precinct) dedicated to its protection. The Park boasts several lakes — all of which have been created artificially — extensive walking and bridle paths, two ice skating rinks, a variety of outdoor theatre spaces, several playgrounds, and a considerable collection of whimsical statuary. It is home to Belvedere Castle, the Carousel, the Central Park Zoo, the Conservatory, and Cleopatra's Needle (one of three, 70-foot Egyptian obelisks from the Temple of Ra in Helios, its mates residing in London and Paris).


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:


Paul has learned over the years that if you want something done, do it yourself. This applies to getting wizards, sorceresses and other assorted supernatural types together to save the world. Maybe it applies /especially/ to them given their penchant for secrecy. And egos. But start small, right? He gave Hellboy a call and asked him to meet in Central Park at noon just at he base of the Obelisk. A few minutes before noon, he's there and has Constantine's crystal in his hand. Earth to Constantine. Come in Constantine. Get your ass over here. The wizard did suggest that Paul try and see when he asked if it could be used to let Constantine know he wanted him.

-

Constantine doesn't immediately show. Which is inexcusable, because he walks out of the door to the men's restroom, which swings open to reveal a rather posh living room, swings back, then swings open again to reveal the dirty facilities.

Produce a pair of sunglasses from his breast pocket, Constantine squints skyward, then wanders towards Paul, looking a bit more relaxed now that he's in the sunlight and with a clear line of vision to everyone nearby.

"Detective," he greets with an insouciant tilt of his head. "Something amiss in the park today?"

-

The search for something amiss will yield results almost immediately, because this location at this time of day is definitely the best imaginable venue for a meeting with an eight-foot-tall bright red demon. Hellboy shows up wearing sunglasses and a hat: a stretched-out wool beanie with the BPRD logo embroidered on the front. It's an infallible disguise that helps him attract way less attention than he would otherwise, as one can easily imagine. People rubberneck and stare, totally blown away by how nondescript he is. They step right off the paved walkways as he passes, wanting nothing to do with someone so completely anonymous.

When he arrives at the obelisk, he turns and sits next to it without so much as a greeting for the cop waiting there. A smelly cigar and a zippo are retrieved from within his coat, and he goes about the process of lighting up at the same unhurried pace he uses for everything else.

-

"Not amiss, no." Paul answers and gestures to the demon. "Hellboy, John Constantine. John Constantine, Hellboy. Remember when I suggested all the supernatural types get together and chat? This is a good place to start. Get intros out of the way before the big get together." And what better place to discuss Elder Gods than in Central Park at high noon? Seriously, what better place?

-

Hellboy's little ritual reminds Constantine of his own nico-habit, and the man's hands are moving automatically to produce a zippo and a cigarette, a snap of his fingers opening the zippo and producing a flame.

"So, this is the Hellboy, huh?" Constantine says, looking the big red lug up and down. "Big bloke, aren't ya," he says, mastering the obvious. "Heard some good things about you," Constantine says in a grudging tone. "Don't normally like devils, but you seem to have shaken off the worst of it." He flicks his cigarette to dust some ash, then lifts his hand in a wave and bobs his head in a nod. That's John, being friendly.

-

"I'm not the devil," Hellboy corrects reflexively, without even looking over at the man. He gets that, from time to time, and the clarification is weary rather than vehement. "Heard of you, too — don't you mostly work in England?" The BPRD agent pulls back his beanie and scratches at his forehead, right below the rounded horn-stumps that have made it look like he's wearing ski goggles underneath the cap. "I've done a lot of work in England. I'm sort of from England. Pretty decent myths you guys have got there."

-

Demon, devil, semantics. Except to demons and devils. "Constantine said the other day that the incidents of people trying to release Elder Gods are increasing. Possibly beyond his ability to keep up with by himself." Paul tells Hellboy. "Which means something coordinated must be going on. Which means that we need to start actually talking to each other and coordinate ourselves."

-

"Elder Gods, huh? Gross," Hellboy answers casually, his deep voice altered slightly by the cigar clamped in the corner of his mouth. "We can play whack-a-mole with the things that come through pretty easy, but you think there's some kind of coordination going on? Maybe a larger, organized cult or a herald at work?" He doesn't sound concerned; the idle, almost bored tone of his questions is like that of an office drone trying to decide whether to use a stapler or paper clips to hold some paperwork together.

-

"That's for you all to figure out. Get together, talk, compare notes." Paul points out. "For all I - or you - know, each of you are dealing with the same thing but are like the blind guys trying to figure out that it's an elephant. We won't know till that happens. You're not a wizard but you do have contacts and connections."

-

"Wizards don't have contacts and connections. They have big beards and dumb hats," Hellboy answers with a muffled snort. "But I don't mind comparing notes with a bunch of eggheads. Hell, if you know anybody who knows a lot about demon politics, that might be useful. I usually just punch 'em 'til they stop punching back, but apparently I should be a little more delicate about the current group."

-

Demon politics. Who better than Jason. Alas. "Yeah, I've got someone in mind who's probably an expert." Paul agrees. "He's also on the list of people to contact. If we can ever get them standing still long enough." he adds as Constantine rushes off to go rescue a kitten or stop a demonic threat or some such. "But it's my understanding that once the Elder Gods come through, the chance to play whack a mole is over. It's too late once that happens. So making sure it doesn't is the priority here." Hence the meeting.

-

"That's right, but getting an Elder God here isn't just a matter of opening the door and inviting 'em in," Hellboy points out. "There's a whole friggin' step by step hierarchy thing you've got to work your way through. You summon the little guys, get enough of that going to get a herald's attention, they summon more little guys, conquer a city or something…" The red demon trails off and puffs for a moment. "You've read Revelation, right? That sort of thing. Beasts, horsemen, trumpets, the whole nine yards. We're pretty far from that, thank God." He turns to Paul, tips his sunglasses down, and glances over the rims at him. "Who's your expert? Anyone I might know?"

-

"I think they're might be different ways of going about it." is all Paul says. He's less concerned about specifics than making sure it doesn't happen. Those who make a study of it can argue about it all. At the question, he considers Hellboy a moment then shrugs. They'll meet sooner or later. "Jason Blood."

-

"Oh, sure, tons of different ways. Armageddon, Ragna Rok, Frashokereti — the list goes on. But they're all pretty complicated and the windup ain't exactly subtle for any of 'em." Hellboy is trying to be reassuring, he really is. But staving off end-of-world scenarios is, for him, a typical Tuesday, meaning that he's more than a little flippant about the whole thing.

"Oh, sure, that guy," he says, wrinkling his nose. "Kind of a bore, but he's pretty smart."

-

Ah, good. No immediate hatred. Always a plus. Paul nods at that. "He seems to be, yes." Though bore wouldn't be his first choice of adjectives. "We're also planning on getting hold of a sorceress named Illyana and a Norse wolf god named Fenris."

-

There are very few people for whom Hellboy will offer immediate hatred — which makes him a bit unusual in occult circles. Almost everybody has some immortal enemy or dire force that they are locked in an eternal, unyielding struggle with. HB just wants everyone to stop trying to end the world or enslave humanity or otherwise ruin everybody else's day. Anyone who is okay with that is okay by him.

That said, anyone who spends a lot of time reading books and can talk at length about magical forces qualifies as a 'bore' in his accounting.

"Illyana, huh? I've been looking into her. I should finally get that meeting done — she seems to have it together, but I might have to punch some demons to keep it that way. And Fenris — you mean Loki's Fenris?" That last seems to have caught the BPRD investigator's full attention.

-

"She's not what I would have expected a demon sorceress to be." Paul agrees after a moment's thought. At the question though, he hesitates. "I… mean nothing." he finally decides. "I haven't met him myself. My partner has. That's the name I was given. If he's Loki's kid, I don't know one way or another. But nothing I've heard implies he's a rabid wolf looking to attack Thor and kill off the rest of them."

-

"There's only one Norse wolf named Fenris," Hellboy points out, chewing on the end of his cigar. "Add on that Loki's in town and it's way too big a coincidence." He folds his stone hand over his knees, grinding the fingers and thumb together thoughtfully. "Mythological figures aren't all as bad as they're made out to be. You have any idea where he's staying? I should have a chat. That fits in with the Loki investigation I'm doing anyway, and if he's a good guy, he could be a good contact."

-

"I can find out and give him your contact information." Paul offers. Fenris is Sara's contact more than his so he doesn't know how to get in touch with the guy. "If he's willing to talk to you, he'll give you a call I'd guess. I'll avoid mentioning you want to… Just what do you want to do about Loki, anyway? You never said."

-

"Well, first I want to meet him, figure out what he's like," Hellboy answers. "That has a lot to do with how I'd approach the problems he's causing. Sometimes, with trickster types, if you play along with their little games a little, you can get them to leave everybody alone. Sometimes they're nastier, and you have to trick them back, or bind them, or something." He gives Paul a quick glance, before staring off into the distance. "With a figure like Loki, killing him is probably out of the question, if that's what you're worried about."

-

"Worried? Never crossed my mind." A dead Loki is something to be relieved about not worried. Just so long as he stops causing problems. "Well, it'll be Fenris' decision one way or another. I'll pass along the message." Paul says.

-

"Killing Loki is part of the lead-up to Ranga Rok," Hellboy clarifies, establishing why Paul would have reason to worry if that were Hellboy's plan. He's so accustomed to some people assuming that he's trying to end the world that maybe he just assumed that was the subtext of the cop's question. He draws a business card out of his coat pocket and holds it out to Paul. "Here, have another," he says. "That'll make it all official-looking. You met this guy? Any impressions of what he's like?"

-

"Fenris? No." Paul takes the card and slips it into his pocket. "Never met him. My partner knows him is all. So did you meet up with SHIELD yet? How'd it go? Learn anything about what Loki's up to?" It's been long enough to assume it did happen at some point.

-

"Oh, yeah. Met with Hill — she's the one who said I might be interested in Illyana." Judging by the neutral tone of Hellboy's voice, one can infer that the meeting went surprisingly smoothly. Maybe Hellboy's brusque attitude and Hill's actually harmonized, or something. "I also think I've got a bead on where Loki is staying, or at least somewhere he likes to hang out. Gonna pursue that step by step, though — not smart to just barge in on a trickster and start punching." He sounds a little disappointed about that, to be honest.

-

"Interested in Illyana? She's not a problem that needs fixing." Which is one of the nicest things Paul's ever said about her. "Can't help you with Loki though. Gods are a bit out of my pay grade." Thought he same could have been said about demons. At one point.

-

"She has problems that need fixing, though," Hellboy answers evenly, bringing his 'interest' in Illyana into better focus. "I think I might be able to help her out with some problem demons." As opposed to demons who aren't problems. Hellboy might be able to name a couple! "Man, would it ever be great if you got hazard pay for dealing with gods!" Hellboy says with a laugh. "No such luck."

-

"Hazard pay? I think the brass want to make that phrase illegal." Paul says with a snort. "Not that the Captain would admit there's a god causing problems. He doesn't like to hear about that kind of thing. Gas explosions are his favorite explanation."

-

"Yeah, I'm sure they've tried," Hellboy agrees with a rare smile. "Fortunately, my bosses are at least open-minded about gods. We use gas explosions occasionally, though. Only if things get really out of hand — usually a made-up rat infestation or tainted drinking water covers it. But I have had to blow up a couple of historic sites. Don't tell the preservation committee."

-

"Rat infestation. I'll have to remember that one." Paul grins, committing the excuses to memory. "Usually you use them on the public though. We use them on our superiors. For a department called Extranormal Investigations, they really don't want to know something was extranormal. Nice, mundane explanations are encouraged.

-

"Normally I'd say you should try to get transferred into a BPRD unit, but these days we're technically part of Stormwatch, and those guys are sketchy as hell," Hellboy says, sympathetic to Manning's workplace woes. If there's some sort of confidentiality to the arrangement, he certainly doesn't seem to care about preserving it. "We sort of have to pretend I'm a mutant with them, because they kinda … overreact about the supernatural. They'd rather we were just bulldozing rather than trying to keep the peace."

-

"Oh, gods no. Stormwatch? SHIELD is bad enough and they're an international peacekeeping force. The last thing I'd do is join up with a government agency." Paul's idea of what's best for the country is very far from what the government's is. "If anything, I'd suggest you sign up with SHIELD instead."

-

"Hey, I didn't like it, either," Hellboy says darkly. "The Bureau worked just fine before Stormwatch came along. But someone decided that a bunch of agencies like ours should be combined after the Soviet Union fell apart." This description implies that Hellboy was already experienced at the Bureau before then, which would make him considerably older than he looks. "But as long as they just let us do our thing, which they mostly do, we're still okay. SHIELD means well, but they don't really get it."

-

"Just think, you could be the head of their brand new department and teach them to get it." Paul suggests but then shrugs. He really doesn't have a horse in this race. "But whatever works for you." Pulling out his phone, he checks the time. "Right, lunch is almost over. I need to get back to the department."

-

Hellboy nods, pulls his hat back down over his horn-stumps, and stands. "Sure thing. Good talkin' to you." He doesn't mention that he gets to set his own hours, lunch and otherwise, as that would dent the rapport they seem to have built by complaining about their respective workplaces. He just starts off in the direction he came from, shocking whole crowds of people with how seamlessly his 'incognito' disguise blends in with them.


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