Dealing With The Lesser Evil

Summary:
December 7, 2014: In the continuation of a very busy day for Keith, he and Bunker consider striking a deal with Constantine to protect the Titans from mirror magic.

The Titans' Castle

It's fancy


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


A circle of salt, broken.
Four candles at four corners of the square that encloses the circle.
A branch of holly in his hand to make the summons. Yup, everything is in its place.

Oh, and the brass bell without the clapper. That's important, too.

See, Keith can't do magic. He can use magic- as Vorpal, he can impose his will on the universe in limited ways through the power of chaos magic, but the act of magic, the finer work, spellcasting? He used to be able to do it, back when he was the Cait Sidhe and immortal. Bound to a human soul, however, the finer aspects of his powers were bound into the magical act that combined both souls into one.

Not to say that he couldn't perform a spell, if he so chose and had the required incantations and things handy- but the issue with that is that, with the finer aspects of his Magerium (the name that some of the Fae gave to the part of their power that was capable of the Subtle Arts) bound irreversibly to Keith's soul, there was no fine mystical control. It was like a man without fine motor control trying to fix a delicate watch with tiny tools— the results would be hard to predict, but they would be disastrous. A 'botch', for those mortals who have spent time behind little screens and rolling dice around.

Keith isn't technically performing a spell. That's something that needs to be observed, as he told Bunker while they prepared the circle. There is a difference between a spell and an invitation. A spell imposes your will on the world. An invitation doesn't- it's basically saying 'Hello! Will you please come this way? That'd be nice.' The ritual was old but nevertheless effective, and something the Cait Sidhe remembered well.

"- and thus I call upon John Constantine: Constantine, I have need of thee." He says, arms held to either side as he finishes the recitation and, with the move of one hand, swings the bell without a clapper.

And nothing happens. At least for a while. Of course, the bell produces no audible sound, as it has no clapper…

But there is a tolling sound to those who have mystical senses, as Keith's call moves towards ways unknown, in search of Constantine. If the call finds him, it will deliver the message of need and vanish with the tolling of a bell without a clapper- an incredibly Zen thing, really.

Keith waits… and then shoots Bunker a nervous look. Just in case it doesn't work. He doesn't want to look like an idiot in front of his friend, as they stand in the courtyard of the castle underneath the large tree, the sun beginning to set.

Bunker looks over the mystical proceedings, something he's seen back when John was here before, but now… he looks to Keith, off to the circle, back to Keith. "Are you sure you don't have a cell number or something?" he says, the masked boy shifting back and forth on booted feet.

Bunker paces a bit. "Doctor Bombay, Doctor Bombay, it's an emergency, come right away!" he says towards the circle. Hey, the intent in magic is what counts, right?

Nothing happens.

"No, he's never given me his number. Besides, he's usually in some other dimension… I don't think ther eis such a thing as a carrier that has a signal there." Keith looks at the circle.

Nothing happens.

"Maybe we should have offered girls and booze…"

Nothing continues to happen. Loudly.

Bunker shakes his head. "No, no, then you would have summoned my tio Manuel," the boy says as he looks off to the sun, back to the circle, back to Keith. "Maybe some nudie magazines?" he shrugs.

"Do we even have those?" Keith asks, feeling like an idiot while holding on to the bell aloft.
"I mean… I don't need 'em. Gar is my nudie magazine."

This has gone beyond nothing. Now Nothing is staring at what is not going on and going 'Boooooring.'

Hours pass, and Nothing gets so bored that it turns on basic cable for a while, orders a pizza, smokes some pot, and goes home.

It's hours later. Vorpal is curled up on the floor and Bunker has fallen asleep on the sofa, with more Nothing playing on the TV set.

The pantry door slams open, and loud polka music fills the apartment, along with brilliantly reflected gas lights and a fireplace. Constantine walks into the apartment in the Titan's Tower with a theatrical scowl, cigarette smoke twining around his head and a half-empty bottle of Macallen in his right hand. "Fuck me, I thought that summoning smelled of catnip," he grouses, looking at Vorpal. He turns his hard gaze on to Bunker. "Hey, I know you. You're that other asshole who was there when the druids showed up."

Constantine finds a chair- Vorpal's favorite- and drops his cigarette-reeking self into it, slouching comfortably, and takes a few healthy swigs from his bottle of scotch. "What do you need, kitty cat?" he asks Vorpal. "I saved your ass once already this year, and everyone only gets the one," he says, arching an eyebrow at the bearer of the Cait.

GAME: Vorpal has set the pose order to Keef/Const/Bunk

Bunker snaps awake as the pantry door bangs, and is on his feet a second later. The masked boy dissipates the mass of bricks he summons almost as soon as they form up when he sees the trenchcoated wizard walk in and take a seat. "Madre! Don't you knock!?" he grimaces.

"'Course he doesn't." Keith mutters as he stands up, looking at Constantine as he helps himself to the chair.

"Not here to save me, Constantine. We've got issues and some information, maybe some help, would be appreciated."

The red-headed human who houses the Cait Sidhe sits on the armc of an unoccupied chair. "One of our team-mates was killed recently, and the perpetrator sounds like someone just up your alley. A cataptromancer of incredible skills… you are familiar with mirror-magic, of course," he says, not making it a question.

"Knocking's for people who didn't get a bell-toll summons," Constantine says, belching softly and taking a few long drags on his cigarette, before gesturing vaguely at Keith and Bunker. "You two arseholes summoned me here, so here I am. You're lucky I dropped in at all. Last time I got mixed up with the Cait, I had to tapdance around the Circle Ouroborous. You know what a colossal pain in the arse that is?"

"So what do you need?" Constantine says, looking from Vorpal to Bunker. "Bear in mind that I'm hourly and my rates aren't cheap, boyos. Clock started the minute I landed. Tick tock. Sixty words or less," he suggests.

Bunker opens his mouth with a smart remark on his tongue, then snaps his jaw shut and crosses his arms, the masked boy shifting to keep the mage in sight. He wrinkles his nose at the smoke, and gives a subtle cough to clear his throat, before he looks to Keith again.

"Fine. Name's Veruca, she can teleport through reflections and apparently she can create duplicates of herself from mirrors and reflections." Keith catches Bunker's glance and crosses his arms, watching Constantine. "Does it sound familiar to you? We need to find a way to break her game, and I suspect she's either a mutant or a witch. Either way, she's using reflections. What've you got?"

"I like a bullet to the forehead, myself. I don't care what eldritch sorceror you are, even Doctor Strange will fold if you put a bullet through his amygdala." Constantine belches again and drags again on his cigarette, ignoring Bunker's annoying helpful hints. "Or is that not what we're going for here?" he inquires, looking from Bunker to Vorpal.

Bunker snorts, which also keeps him from coughing as well, and shakes his head. "No way, we don't kill," he says, frowning at the sorcerer. "We need a way to put her away and keep her that way, so she can serve her time."

"Or disrupt her little mirror games. Mirrors are easy to shatter. Reflective surfaces, on the other hand? Not easy. You don't have any magic at all that can turn reflective surfaes in an area, say… matte? I'm sure someone of your resources could wizard up a juju of some sort?" Keith asks, following on Bunker's line.

"Sure, I can whip up something," Constantine says with a nonchalant shrug. "Not sure how effective it will be," he adds with a frown. "I can't just turn off reflections. Your /eyes/ are reflective. Making them matte will leave you blind, probably. Maybe. I wouldn't risk it." Constantine tucks his cigarette butt into his pocket and lights up a fresh one, tobacco crackling and flaring to life. "Let me look into it. I think I've a better notion, but it's going to take a bit of tactical planning on your end. Meanwhile, stay away from her?" he suggest. "Or put some good wards up. Mirror magic is handy for a lot of things, but you can still ward her out of your immediate area."

Bunker coughs softly and shakes his head, eyes watering a little. "Madre. You think she can use /any/ reflection, like that?" he says, clearly troubled by the idea. "As far as we know, she's not gunning for us, specifically. Just one," he says, sidestepping the question of 'who'. "Though… she might try something. I mean, she must be knowing we'll be coming after her with everything we have," he muses.

"Alright, so you can get back to us," Keith nods, "But in the meantime, how do we ward our place? I can't actually perform spells anymore because- you know. So something we could do without having access to that sort of skill would be nice. Currently we're out of wizards- Zatanna and Zachary are on their tours and may not get back for a while. And our witch is still being held captive by Namor."

A pause, and a look. "… I don't suppose you could… you know… whisk her away from Speedo Boy's clutches?"

Constantine says something impolite. "Yes. Fine. I want payment, though," he says, pointing at Bunker and Vorpal. "I don't work cheap, and setting up a wide-range ward like that isn't easy or simple, and I'm not one to piss off the Sea King on a lark." He starts to head towards the larder door through which he'd entered. "I'll bring by my bank later. Talk amongst yourselves who is willing to give up what- memories, a happy thought, the melody to a song you heard when you were young. That sort of deal. Or powerful magical artifacts," he suggests. "Maybe you've got a few of those laying around?"

He opens the door to the pantry, firelight filling the room. "I'll be back shortly with my equipment to start setting the wards up. Don't cheap out on me. Shoddy payment gets shoddy work," he reminds the men.

Bunker looks to Vorpal, confused and concerned. "What in the world does that mean? I mean… is he for real?" he says, having no real first hand knowledge of magic or it's rules beyond what he's picked up 'on the job' so to speak.5r

"He's rather very much for real." Vorpal mutters, and ponders. He knows how this works… the stronger the memory, the more significant, the more proportionally powerful the work. "Leave it to me, Miguel. I know what I'm going to give up."

It was personal. Very personal. But he had his reasons. "You won't need to give anything up."


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