Hostile Christmas Mages

December 25, 2014: Jericho is chased again and found by Zee and Constantine


Hive of Villainly



  • None

Mood Music:

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Well, if you're Jericho it's five minutes after someone has slung a rather suspicious amount of magic at you and you've slipped them by introducing a few hostile mages to the business end of his gunblade and then running like hell. No one's flung any entropy bolts or curses at him in the last five minutes or so as he's crouched behind a ruined wall on the outskirts of Gotham and he's just managed to convince the software demon that lives in his systems (no really) that no one else needs killing.

Yay holidays.


Yay, holidays, /indeed/. Mostly because John gatecrashed the Stark tower party and didn't get thrown out ass over teakettle- though, if there's anyone on Earth with the moxie to throw John out of a party, it'd probably be Pepper Potts.

So nursing a wee hangover, John happens to be walking through a rough part of Gotham with a shandy in one hand, drinking from the brown bag and looking even more dour than usual. For some reason, no one seems to be giving him any issue, though it's more the knife's-edge way he cuts through the crowd than any lingering holiday cheer that keeps him from being harassed. Hearing the equivalent of magical muttering, through, John peers around the wall, leaning a forearm against the ragged brick, and scrutinizes Jericho. "Oye mate, what's the commotion?"


Returning the bosom on the Titans has proven quite interesting for one Zatanna Zatara. An encounter with a Wolf-God, a high tech hacker, a would be necromancer and numerous encounters with one John Constantine.

Having celebrated Christmas between Shadowcrest and Titans Castle, Zee's feeling a little displaced. She hasn't been thrown out of any Christmas Parties, in fact she's turned down numerous invitations this year.

Trying to return to Titan Castle for the night, the young magician finds herself teleporting to the exact location of Jericho and John. Dressed in a rather form fitting dress that sits mid thigh, knee high boots and bedecked in flashy christmas tree earrings, the raven haired woman looks at Constantine and then cranes her neck around the wall. It's the high tech hacker! "Oh, hello again. Someone chasing you again?" John gets a quick once over, head to toe, and she smiles coldly "Did you get the kiss you were after the other night?"


The hacker is a bit surprised to find people, two people in fact, in the previously very empty spot where he'd been hiding out to catch his breath following a fight in which three other people died rather messy deaths. He's covered in circuit like marks all over his arms and chest, his forearms have what look like bracers made out of mercury on them and he's holding a bloodstained blade.

Intruders! Kill them!

Jericho jumps at the sudden presence of a rather pretty woman in a form fitting dress and John Constantine (whom he's not seen that much. And his blade starts to move before his mind registers that these were not the HYDRA agents that were trying to kill him.

No Maxwell. Knock that off.


"Oye, put that down, mate," John says wearily, patting a hand on the air before Jericho decides practicality is the better part of valour and strikes first. "Had a ruddy late night all ready. Twice," he says, hoisting the 40oz in his hand.

Hearing Zatanna's familiar, dulcet tones, John turns in place and gives her a creaky smile, his expression still just a bit bleary. "Sorry, luv," he says with an exhalation, sagging against a piece of masonry. "I don't kiss and tell. Bad for business." He bobs his eyebrows once at the dark-haired woman before upending the brown bag and taking a few long gulps.


Zee's standing behind John and as Jericho's blade starts to move, she steps back a little further. Narrowing her eyes at the hacker she speaks a little sharply "Hey! I helped you the other night. Stop that!" John gets a flat look and Zee tilts her nose slightly in the air, she is not impressed with the man at all tonight.


Jericho sags in relief and exhaustion. The blade folds into something that looks like a leatherman and gets slid into a case behind him. "Geeze, you people have odd timing…" He sighs. He's sweating from exertion and has several burns from feedback on his neck and arms. "Is there something in particular that brings you by or did you just come to look at someone whose just had a brush with death?"


"It's Gotham mate, you bumble down the street on any given holiday evening, you'll find someone who just bumped shoulders with the Reaper," Constantine says wearily, slumping down to a squat, the shandy between his knees. Zatanna's ill-treatment doesn't seem to be eliciting much reaction from the man. "You look like you need a bloody doctor, though. Sounds as if you've had a bit of a rough go of it tonight."


"Well, my teleport to where I live" Zees not giving much away her tone light and matter of fact "bought me here instead." the young woman shrugs "Normally that means I'm needed here, rather than where I was going. Magic can be like that sometimes."

Looking at the hacker, she cocks her head "So what happened this time… and should we be worried right now." She peers at the burns and sighs "Johns right, they need attention." Turning to glance behind she chews her lip "Are they going to come after you now?"


If either mage has the senses for it, there's a lot of demon taint hanging around the hacker and in odd places too. Like in his cybernetics and close to his soul. "Well I don't know. That's kind of why I was laying low here and watching." Jericho deadpans as he glances out onto the street.

"Seems safe enough for now. Maybe they decided to try again later. Someone ambushed me is what happened Zatanna. And by that I mean a coven of what I can only assume were witches. Eight or Nine of them. It was a near thing. The burns… they're just sort of what happens when I get hit hard enough." He'll heal. Eventually. It'll hurt for a while. That should cover John's questions too.


"Nine," John says, not quite looking at Jericho. "Nine's traditional if they're witches- probably after whatever bloody thing is stinking up your little doodads," John says, wiggling a finger in the general direction of Jericho's cybersuite. "Never seen a parademon quite like that. Heard of them possessing … trees, houses, mirrors… never a computer, though."


Zee's already done this with Jericho and she lets' John talk. Peering back down the street, she looks for traces of whatever has been chasing Jericho. Shrugging she looks at the burns again "I can heal those for you." John gets a look "Possessing a computer makes so much sense though." Zee shrugs "He got attacked the other night too, by a mage except I was there and they hit me. Gave him time to take out the snipers." Turning her attention back to Jericho "Was it the same people who sent the ones the other night?"


"I'm fairly sure yes. I'll have to double check later but I don't generally piss off random covens of witches." The fact that the attacks are getting more sophisticated than simple criminal wetworks jobs is cause for concern though.

For some reason Jericho looks vaguely apprehensive at the thought of being healed. "Mmmmmmm… if you think you can. Don't strain to put too much power into it though. I'm told it's hard. My traces tend to eat magic. Which brings us to John's observation. It's… not possessing my computer per se. It is my computer. It woke up and got a personality. A demonic one." Which makes sense if one knows that most of the magic his traces have eaten is demonic and largely from the same source. He doesn't volunteer that just yet though because Illyana doens't always like her name getting around to people who don't already know it.


"Still a parademon, though that's a buggering weird one," John admits, scratching behind his ear absently. "I can smell the bloody thing. Corruption stinks whether it's a tree or a microchip, I guess. You could try exorcising the blighter, I guess, but no telling where that'll send it. Computer hell?" he guesses cheerily.


Zee looks at Jericho her eyes narrowing further "You're told you're hard to heal…. I would like to try, if it doesn't work, then ok. If it does, bonus." Tilting her head she steps forward past John and holds her hands over the burns and speaks

~ laeH ehT snruB ~

Looking a little tense around the eyes after that, Zee considers Johns suggestion "And then what happens to him when the personality it gone? The thing is now part of him… I don't understand how that works, but it's an integral part of what makes the whole system tick."


"I rather imagine that would hurt." Jericho notes. Fortunately he gets the sense that John is in the 'giving advice' mode and not the 'I'm going to do this now' mode. He's fine with the former.

There is indeed a drain on the spell. It takes extra effort to pull off because part of the energy keeps getting sucked away and packed into that spot near his soul. Also formulae and odd figures keep flashing across his vision, making him blink a bit as his hud is slowly turned into a hermetic mage's notebook.


"Didn't say it was going to leave him feeling all sunshine and rainbows, luv," Constantine corrects Zatanna. "But I've never known anyone with a demonic infection of any kind who lived to a ripe enough old age to complain about it." He fishes in his pockets for a cigarette and lights up, puffing a few times to get the cherry tip to flare to life. "Demons of any kind are a cancer. If you're lucky, it might just kill you," he says with a negligent shrug.


Zee frowns at the way the power is drained and then at Johns comments before looking at Jericho "You seem to be reasonably familiar with this, have you tried to exocise the demonic element…"

Canting her head John ways, the raven hair mage looks grim "I'm assuming my british colleague here is just making assumptions on ways to remove it. The question is, what do you want to do?"


"Weirdly…" Jericho says, leaning his head against the brickwork. "The demons are the nicer party in this dance of 'I'd like you dead and vivsected' I'm doing with worldwide conspiricies." Which is true. Also the demonic taint comes with someone he's come to care about very much and he's just come to accept it as part and parcel of the situation. Plus it hasn't really hurt him yet. Granted, he doesn't really notice his own corruption these days and can remember a time when his eyes didn't glow and his power fields weren't all demon themed for reasons beyond his control.

"I'm quite familiar… but that's another conversation. If they really are gone I need to be getting the hell out of here. Speaking of…" A shadow moves and a small imp - Zatanna's seen him before - crawls out and hisses at him. Jericho nods and a moment later a stepping disk opens. (To Limbo, of course, where else). "I'll be seeing you two later, I expect, with all the magic that's being thown around. Try not to get Hydra'd before then." Then he steps through and is gone.


"That's how it starts," John says, not moving until long after Jericho is gone. "After the initial shock wears off. Someone starts learning they're stronger, faster, tougher. Then they can't imagine /not/ having that sort of ability."

"Then," he says, holding his cigarette away and looking at the chimney swirl it makes, "the day comes when there's a grey choice to keep that power. And it's just a little step," he says, wagging the cigarette at Zatanna. "No one just puts on a black hat and starts sniggering evilly and twirling a mustache. But one day, he'll wake up and be so far over the line, he won't even remember where it is."


Zee watches the little imp crawls out of the shadows and Jericho disappears. Then John speaks and she nods slowly "I get that, John" and she shivers a little, not dressed to be outside for long periods "But… pushing him to make a decision when he doesn't even know you or I" Zee shakes her head "isn't going to help matters, is it." She peers at John before asking "Are you going to do something about this before it becomes a problem? If so, I don't think you should."


"Should I wait until it /does/ become a problem?" John asks Zatanna, arching an eyebrow. "Because most of the time, that usually involves some poor gel shackled up on an altar in front of a demonic omen waiting to get juiced," he points out, before slamming back more of the shandy. "That's the tough part of seeing a lock and having the key in your hand," John says, his tone almost philosophical. "Do you keep it unlocked just in case, or do you wait for a fire to start?"


Zee shrugs a little "I think you need to be sure that it is what you think it is before you do anything. But… you're the one skilled in demonlogy, not me." The young magician shivers again and looks around "Well, there's nothing left for us here, I'm off to get warm again" And with a wave, she walks down the alley, speaks one last time

~ tropeleT eM emoH ~

and disappears from sight.

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