How Christ's Granddaughter Got Her Spear Back

June 07, 2015:

The Magdalena shows up at Sara's apartment to ask for the Spear, pretty please.

Sara's apartment

It's a mess.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Sara is not known for her cooking skills. Really, she's lucky if she can boil water for pasta. Which is sad, because no Italian should be unable to make pasta sauce, but there it is. So after a long night of work looking into some rogue Angelus warriors who've supposedly been roaming the city, she invited Paul the bottomless pit back to her brownstone in Brooklyn, picking up a pile of Chinese takeout on the way. The lady at the restaurant was terribly excited to see her, and with a man, no less! She refused to believe it was just her partner.

"Not a word about it," Sara mutters to Paul as they walk up to the house. "I sort of cut down on the take out when I was seeing Steve. Good news, they still remember my order."

"The chinese place keeps track of whether you have a boyfriend or not?" Paul asks, completely ignoring the warning to ignore it. "I could see it if it was a bar, considering your normal method of coping with a breakup but takeout Chinese? And they're happy you might be ordering less food now too. Weird."

"Excuse me. I wonder if you could help me." It is a woman's voice and the speaker steps out from the shadows offering a warm smile rather than a sword. In fact, she isn't even dressed in Magdalena armour! The young woman in her business suit, glasses and tied back hair looks more like a librarian than the curse of demons everywhere. "I was wondering if you knew who lived there." She points at Sara's house. "I was hoping to speak with them."

"The Chinese place knows my order for one," Sara explains, dry. "And I ordered less when Steve was a thing, because we weren't here so much. Now we're back to the regular orders. Because it's right there, and it's easy, and it's a short walk back-" She pauses as the woman steps out, brows rising slightly at the question. "Yeah. Detective, used to work down out of one pp. I heard she got into a government position with SHIELD, though. Why do you ask? Never get many visitors around here."

"She seemed particularly pleased you had a man with you." Paul points out. "Or maybe that was shocked." He stops and automatically tenses when someone steps out of the shadows. Seeing it's just a normal looking woman does nothing to immediately reassure him, especially given the question. "Oh, is that who she was? I always assumed she was a hooker or something, the number of guys that showed up at her apartment at all hours."

"I had heard both stories" the woman replies with a teasing smile, "But I would prefer the police story. Though I am not sure how one works out of a pee-pee." There is a subtle Italian accent to her words though she looks more South American. "Excuse my rudeness. My name is Maria Esteban and I believe that Miss Pezzini has an object that I am very interested in returning to its previous owners…if she is willing of course. And if she does not have it then I hope that she knows where it is." A slight frown as she looks up at the house. "But she is no longer resident here?"

"Well, you'd know about hookers," Sara snorts with a look at Paul, passing the bags of Chinese food over to him and sticking her hands in her pockets. There's a glint of silver at her wrist, but with her hands in her pockets, her jacket sleeves cover most of whatever it is. "One Police Plaza," she clarifies for the woman, smile wry. "Police headquarters here. What sort of previous owners?"

Paul bites his tongue at the question about a 'pee'pee'. She's a stranger and a foreigner. He takes the Chinese food. "If she's working for SHIELD now, it should be possible to get a message to her whether she lives here or not. Are you a private investigator or something?"

"No…I am a librarian" Maria smiles to Paul's qustion, "And sometimes I acquire artifacts to return them to their owners. And I do like to ensure they are a valid owner before doing so. I would prefer to speak to Ms Pezzini in person about the details, you understand, since I do not actually know who either of you are."

Artifacts. Sara knows a thing or two about artifacts. "Do you do a lot of lurking as a librarian, Miss Esteban?" she asks, glancing toward Paul again. Trying to look casual or not, it's hard to hide the posture and attitude of a career cop. Especially one who smells a rat.

Artifacts. That can really only mean one thing. Well, 13 things technically. "A librarian? Seriously? Like in that television show? A bunch of librarians traveled around the world colelcting artifacts to keep safe and out of the hands of the bad guys who were trying to bring magic back to the world." Paul tells Sara, assuming she never saw it. "Which sounds like a pretty cool thing when you first think about it but it would have lots of bad effects on the way things are now. Did they base it on a real organization?" he asks Maria.

"I do not watch a lot of television" Maria apologizes to Paul before looking to Sara. "I was not 'lurking'" she assures, gesturing back to where she was standing. "It seemed the best place to meet someone who knew the owner and it just happens to be dark there. But I have obviously disturbed your evening and I apologize for that. I will attempt to find Miss Pezzini in another way."

"I hear email's all the rage these days," Sara says, then grimaces, pulling her hands out of her pockets. "I'm Pezzini. And I've got a feeling I know what you're looking for. But if that's what you're looking for, then you probably know the last person I dealt with regarding it wasn't exactly trust-inspiring. Where've you guys been, anyhow? It's been almost a year. Vatican paperwork red tape, or what?"

"You're Pezzini?" Paul asks, feigning surprise. "You said your name Crystal and promised a good time. Joking aside, this is not the place to be talking about this." he points out and makes a shooing motion toward the door. "She already knows where you live so there's no point in not going inside."

"A pleasure to meet you, Ms Pezzini" Maria smiles…and offers a polite nod. "The Vatican is a rather monolithic organization as I am sure you are aware. And like all such large organizations, there are checks and counter checks and set procedures to be followed." A pause before she sighs. "Yes…the red tape is excruciating. And, as you have assumed, I am indeed the new Magdalena. And I am not the previous holder of that title. So please do not assume that I will be the same as her. From what I read of the last, she was…unstable." A nod to Paul's suggestion. "Yes, if we could go inside rather than…lurk."

Sara sighs, but trusts Paul to cover her back as she steps up to the door, getting it unlocked. "Come on in," she invites, pushing it open and stepping aside. "I'm happy to talk, but if things start getting to the stabbing, I'm going to be extremely unhappy. No stabbing in the house."

"Bitch was crazy." Paul corrects. Sometimes, you need to call a spade a spade. He motions for Maria to preceed him and then follows her inside. "That you're not screeching at the top of your lungs and making threats is promising. I was beginning to wonder if Sara was the only sane one around." For certain definitions of sane, says the bland look he gives her.

"I have no desire to stab anyone" Maria assures as she steps into the house, politely awaiting directions for where she is to go…or sit. "Our information on the events leading to her death is incomplete" she notes, "As you can imagine since she was slain in the line of faith. We assumed that you were with her when you died if you have…it. Would you mind telling me what happened?" A faint smile for Paul's use of both 'bitch' and 'crazy' but she will not comment on that. "I do not make threats" she also notes with finality.

"Etrigan happened." Sara steps inside, nodding Paul toward the kitchen counter for the food. It's an old place, clearly, and while it's not exactly the neatest house in New York, it's at least in good condition. There are a few empty take out boxes on the coffee table, dishes in the sink, and a stack of mail on a table by the door, but no bugs. Small mercies. "Paul and I'd been tracking someone who'd been doing something to kids. Hollowing out their souls to make room for something else. I don't know if that's when she found us, but she tracked us to Etrigan's human host. She killed his wife. And the demon came out to play."

"And while the human host isn't a saint, he didn't deserve that." Paul notes as he goes to the kitchen to put the food down. "Not to mention his wife. But she killed her just to summon the demon so she could kill it. And then she failed and it killed her. She's getting her well deserved reward for that in Hell." Seeing her there was probably the only good part of his being dead. He knows where everything is kept so starts getting out plates and utensils.

Magdalena listens with interest…and an open mind. "She murdered?" That is rather a distressing bit of news. There is divine retribution and there is murder…this sounds like the latter. "And what of Etrigan? Where is this demon now?" She does her best to stay out of the way of plates, food and dinner preperation. "No one /deserves/ Hell…there is always time for forgiveness."

"Back under lock and key, the way I understand it. I spent a day and a half keeping an eye on him in a circle, so I haven't exactly been searching the host out lately," Sara says dryly, stepping into the kitchen to pull out a trio of clean plates. From the dishwasher. What? They're clean. "That was as much time as I ever want to spend doing that. His host seems to keep him in check pretty well. Has for a thousand years. If I were you, I wouldn't screw with that unless I had a foolproof alternative."

No one deserves Hell? "Really? Then why does Hell exist in the first place unless God want it that way?" Paul asks. It's really a rhetorical question since he's still not convinced there even is a God. "Anyway, Etrigan is back in Hell where he most certainly deserves to be too. Do you want sesame chicken or pork lo mein?" he asks Magdalena.

Thankfully Magdalena recognised it as a rhetorical question before she launched into religious debate. "If the demon is in check then there is no reason for me to change that" she replies to Sara, "And I have other problems to concern myself with. Current problems." She considers the really important question of the day. "Sesame chicken, please." Then a deep breath. "So…do you know where it is?"

"Oh my God, Paul, can we not have a religious debate with a nun?" Sara groans, adding silverware to the plates. "Trust me, you won't win." Says the lifelong Catholic. "Also, I'm sorry, are you actually still in doubt about Hell?" she asks, arching a brow at her partner. She doesn't say why she doubts that; that's Paul's secret. "I know where it is," she adds to Maria. "Like I said, I was expecting someone from your organization to come for a lot sooner. But it was obviously not the sort of thing for just anyone to hold on to."

"Of course not." Paul answers as he starts dishing sesame chicken onto plates. His portion is double the size and there's room on it for the lo mein too. "I'm in doubt of God. Hell is just another place that exists out there like Asgard. Etrigan is just a creature like Thor. Demonds, gods, whatever you want to call them they're just extradimensional beings. Now, some omnipotent creator of all of existence?" He shrugs then adds to Maria "No offense meant."

"No offense taken" Maria assures Paul with a friendly smile. "There is still plenty of time for you to gain wisdom if that is your path." She quirks a brow at Sara. "Why does everyone assume I am a nun? I am the Magdalena and that is quite different. I am a direct descendent of Christ and his blood runs through my veins. If there is to be continuing Magdalena then there need to be more descendents." A nod to Sara. "We should have been a lot sooner but there was a delay in the choosing of the new Magdalena. Politics. You have handed the Spear onto someone else? May I ask why you did not return it yourself?"

"Hell no, I didn't give it to someone else," Sara snorts softly. "For a few minutes while we were dealing with the demon, I had the Witchblade, the Rapture, and the Spear. It was enough to make so I could feel the power in the world turning to look at me. No way I was putting that anywhere I didn't know was safe. And I didn't exactly have contact information. The last Magdalena and the priest who got me to the Rapture both died. I'd've gone to Saint Vincent's, but I had a feeling you guys aren't exactly in the normal parish hierarchy."

Paul takes the plates out to the table, saying over his shoulder "Bring some beer." before he sits down. "Don't take this the wrong way but how do we know you're who you say you are? There's plenty of people who'd love to get their hands on the Spear and it's been long enough that I'm frankly surprised none of them have tried yet."

"I could suggest you have faith" Maria offers to Paul, "But I doubt that will be enough for you. How could I prove it? Hmmm. Well…it won't reject me if that means anything to you. It will not burn me to a crisp when I touch it. Most of the people you were worried about stealing it would not even be able to touch it. As for myself…my blood can heal if anyone is hurt." She's not used to having to 'prove' matters of faith. "You are right, Ms Pezzini, only a very few in the Church know of us…though a call to Rome would have helped. Though I am thankful that you have kept it safe."

"I'm a good Catholic, but I don't think the Pope's taking my calls," Sara smiles ruefully back to Maria, piling some food on her plate. A pair of beers join the party as she steps back out. "Not after the SHIELD thing with HYDRA and the mantle, at least. It's safe," she nods, though she drops a beer with Paul and settles into a chair with plate, taking a few bites as she watches the other woman. "The last one didn't burst into flame either. Didn't stop her from stabbing me, though."

"Etrigan wanted it if I remember right." Paul says after a moment. "Granted, he /did/ burst into flame but he rather enjoyed it." He shrugs and looks at Sara. "You're the expert on all this. Up to you." Now that everyone settled with food, he starts eating.

"A demon held the Spear?" That's news to Magdalena…worrying news. "And as for the actions of the last Magdalena, I think we have all agreed that she was not performing as the Lord intended. That a demon could hold the Spear would suggest she could as well even if evil filled her heart. And…this is something I do not understand."

"Like Paul said, it wasn't working well for him. But the way I understand it, he's pretty insanely powerful. So maybe that contributed to it," Sara suggests, taking a bite of her food. "I believe his plan was to essentially desecrate it for his own purposes. Luckily, I- we were able to stop him. Barely. With some help."

"Insanely powerful." Paul agrees. "Bringing him out of Hell was probably the dumbest thing anyone could think of and led directly to my being killed." So yeah, kind of biased.

"You look remarkably well for a dead man if I may say so" Maria replies to Paul while picking delicately at her food. "Nothing should be /that/ powerful…I will have to let the Vatican know. Perhaps it /has/ been desecrated and you are unaware of it? I can fix that if need be. May I ask who helped you? I owe them some thanks too."

"A priest, I think," Sara replies. "I didn't know him for long. He gave his life to the fight." She looks to Paul, then sets her plate aside, standing up to go to the hall closet. After some rummaging, she pulls out an old golf bag, full of clubs with silly head protectors on them. She pulls a Mets cover off of one, revealing not the head of a golf club, but of a spear. When she pulls it out, it's with her left hand. An odd choice, but the way she winces when she does it suggests there's a reason for that.

"The demon's human host rescued me from Hell." Paul tells Maria. "He also helped us defeat the demon. Without him, Etrigan would be running loose on Earth." As Sara gets the Spear, the space between his shoulder blades starts twitching even more. "It'll be nice not having that around."

A golf bag? Well…why not? Once Maria's look of horror leaves her face she actually finds it amusing. "It seems the world owes you some thanks" she nods to Paul's story. "Though no one will ever get to hear of it." She wonders if she should move to take the Spear from Sara…would that be too rude? It looks to be uncomfortable for the former cop but Maria doesn't want to be /too/ enthusiastic. "I will keep it safe" she promises, "And only use it against true evil."

"I'd appreciate both of those things," Sara nods to Maria, looking grateful to hand it over. In something of a hurry, even. "I'm glad it's been safe, but there's something not quite right about keeping it in my closet when it's clearly needed in the world," she says with a small smile. "I just wanted to make sure it got safely to the right person."

"And know when not to use it." Paul puts in. He pulls out his wallet and digs a card out, sliding it across to Maria. "Stay in touch. Having that kind of firepower on call could come in useful the next time some demon prince tries to bring Hell on Earth."

Magdalena says a little prayer under her breath before she bows to Sara…and the Spear…and takes it from the Witchblade. "You will have my word that it will only be used when necessary and for the good of all. Thank you. Thank you, both." Is there a little moistness in her eyes. She picks up the card before offering her own - albeit it is the number of the Cathedral library rather than a personal number. "Perhaps you can help me with what I am looking into at the moment?"

Sara lets out a sigh of relief as she hands over the spear, shaking out her hand once it's gone. "Thank you," she says with a small smile, taking the card and heading back to her plate. "I think I'll sleep better at night not worrying about someone coming to try to take it away, honestly. I know enough to know these things are better off with the people who're meant to have them."

Paul looks over at Sara. He should totally have seen this coming. "What are you looking into?" he asks Maria. Still, this is a big change in attitude from the last one so he's not immediately dismissing the idea. "You wouldn't like to join SHIELD, would you?"

"SHIELD? I do not think so" Magdalena replies honestly as she spins the Spear in her hands like she has been doing so for decades. "There are some demons infiltrating the world via exorcism. For some reason, when the ritual is performed, they are not sent back to Hell but rather escape their victims and inhabit other bodies brought to them by other demons who have escaped in this manner. I know of four that are already loose…but that is not a magical number. There will ned up being seven…or thirteen…or…six hundred and sixty six by the time they are done."

Sara looks back to Paul when Maria explains. "Sounds like it could be connected to the kids," she says quietly, letting out a heavy sigh. "Everything comes full circle. Should talk to Constantine," she suggests. "He might know a few other traditions to help keep the things in place once they're out."

Paul nods to Sara. "It does sound similar. Not exact though. Tell us more." he says to Maria. "When it leaves the body, is the person normal again or is their soul gone? Does the demon have any physical body at all? And do they immediately go to a new body that's waiting for them or do they hang around till one becomes available?"

"The victim of the possession recovers…thank the Lord" A little genuflexion on Maria's part before she continues. "For a moment the demon is present…at least it was…what is the term…up in my face when I saw it happen. Its new vessel is present, brought by the others and usually waiting nearby. I do not know if the vessel is a dead person or a willing sacrifice as I have yet to be able to stop them before they are gone. Constantine? The Emperor that brought Christianity to Rome?"

"I don't mean the original victim," Sara shakes her head. "I mean that the kids could be secondary targets. Available vessels in case the demon gets shoved out of someone else. Would explain why the men kept the kids around and close, too. Easy to move close to where an exorcism was happening." Maria's question gets a faint smile. "Not exactly. John Constantine. Bit of a wizard, exorcist, jack of all magical trades."

"I should be able to track the demon one it leaves the host." Paul decides. "Or maybe even stop it as soon as it does. I'd suggest you hold off on the actual ritual until we arrive. And then we can see what we can do. Though I wouldn't be surprised if the Spear can kill the demon once it leaves the host."

"There is a very thorough process to allow an exorcism" Maria replies to Paul with a sigh. "And if it is allowed to take place then it is ususally too late to /not/ go ahead with it. These are souls at stake. As far as I have seen, the demon transfers to an adult…though it usually possesses a child first. They are innocent and defenseless for the most part."

"Well, either way," Sara says around a mouthful of food. "If you need help, give us a call. We may not have much in the way of ritual, but between the two of us, we can put a serious dent in any demons we run into."

"And in the past, doing it that way was effective. Now, it's not." Paul points out. "So you may want to tweak the process a bit. But try the Spear first. It really doesn't like demons from what I saw. Although… killing the demon might not be a smart idea if it can lead us to the others. Then we can get them all at once."

"I was hoping to use them to find the source" Maria nods to Paul. "Somehow a demon has learned how to ignore the ritual of exorcism…or someone else has interfered. And now they all seem to know. This is planned…not an accident." She looks at the Spear in her hands before turning to Sara. "Could I borrow one of those club covers? I shall leave you to your date now. I believe I have a lot of rebuilding of the Magdalena's reputation in this city and I hope that I prove to everyone that you have nothing to worry about from me. Unless you are evil of course." There may even be a smirk there. "Goodnight"

"He's my partner, not my date," Sara laughs, standing up to go pick up the head cover and offer it over. Mets. She'll fit right in, as long as she doesn't run into any Yankees fans. Who probably deserve to get skewered anyhow. They root for the Yankees. What could be more evil than that? "Give us a call if you run into anything. We'll be there."

Paul laughs at the idea of calling it a date but Sara's already corrected her. "And we'll do the same. I'm sure something will turn up sooner or later that'll need the kind of power the Spear can supply."

"Then never hesitate to call me" Maria replies with a bow before she is heading off back to the Church…and Heaven help anyone, or anything, that interrupts her journey. Yankees supporters especially.

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