Journey Through Hell: Part 1

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June 16, 2015:

John, Jesana and Kitty find themselves in Hell. John attempts to warn them of what they will face and makes a plan to get them out.

HELL

It's cold.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: Devil's Backbone - The Civil Wars


Fade In…

IN HELL… it's really nothing like most people envision. Hell isn't hot. Hell is /cold/. At least, this part of the Eternal Blackness is. And it's where John Constantine's spirit, Jesana's human spirit, and Kitty Pryde's entirety landed after Zatanna ripped open a portal to the infernal realms and John lept through, hauling a demon along with him.

"And you two flapping twits had to come along," John mutters, rubbing his face. He looks at Kitty and Jesana, dragging heavily on his notional cigarette. No body, no nicotine addiction, after all. The hellscape around them is dry and barren- dead and withered plants crumble to dust at a touch, and the ground is a strange combination of silt and dust that sucks at Kitty's feet, devouring her footprints in mere moments.

"If there was ever a time I needed you two to listen to me, it's now," John says, staring the two women down firmly. "Zatanna overdid things a bit. She opened a portal to the deepest circle of Hell itself. We're literally within walking distance of the First Lords domains- I'm fairly sure that lake over there is where Satan is chained," he says, gesturing vaguely at a frozen lakebed. "So pay attention. First, Hell is nothing like you've read about. Don't go in with any assumptions about anything you lasses see or hear. Second, everyone you meet here is going to try and hurt you," John explains. "Most of them will see a fresh and juicy soul as a meal ticket. Kitty…" he shakes his head. "You're brimming with spiritual energy because you came in here in a bloody meatsuit. They'll do anything they can to possess you and get a ride back to the surface. Don't trust /anyone/ you meet here."

Jes is just standing there. Or, her spirit is but her face is utterly blank and devoid of any emotion. If she's heard any thing he said since they arrived she hasn't shown any response to it. The pain of her unintentional soul splitting sent her awareness fleeing and she's hiding somewhere safe. It's terrible but makes it more likely she'll be able to leave here with them, half of her is still on the otherside. It takes several minutes for a hint of awareness to flicker in her eyes. She'll do whatever he tells her to so long as it isn't complicated. She's not mentally there enough to follow more than simple commands.

"I've seen Supernatural, I know something of the gist," Kitty tells John huffily. "You can't just give a goodbye and throw yourself into a portal to Hell and think I'm not going to try and help you." It's like he doesn't even know her. In the supernaturally cold weather, she wraps her arms around herself and stamps her feet at bit. Attempting to keep spirits up (maybe only hers) she adds, "Well, can't ever say I've seen Satan chained in a lake before. Think they have 'wish you were here' postcards?"

She looks over, worriedly to Jesana, noticing the normally chatty or otherwise friendly coyote is mostly just staring ahead into space. Her tone becomes far less flippant when she asks, "So, if I can't trust anyone I meet here, how do I know for sure I can trust you? And where did the C'thulhu monster go? Is it still in there with you? Or, is this the part where you start to look scared and he's standing right behind me?"

"Blimey, Kitty, knock off the sass for FIVE BLOODY MINUTES!" John says, trying to control his voice. He gives Jesana a worried look, too, and peering around, starts hustling the half-coyote along, fairly dragging her until she gets the hint. "Look, we're exposed here. And I am /not/ taking you to meet Satan in person. He'll decide you need to spend an endless eternity chained in here in torment just because you and I met once. If he knew you were with me, he'd rip your soul out, devour it, cast you into oblivion, and then /rent your skin/ out to his most powerful demonic servitors so they could systematically devour anyone you ever loved."

He shakes off the literal chains clinging to him with a grimace, making them vanish into the ether. "So first step is we need to find some shelter. I know a bloke who I dealt with a few times. Don't you /dare/ negotiate with him," John warns Kitty. "It's not impossible he's almost as clever as I am, and he's quite capable of tricking you into selling yourself into centuries of servitude to him."

Jes moves along at John's urging. The walk takes time and she needs it to adjust to the constant pain and horror of being seperated from half of herself. Eventually she stumbles, only avoiding landing on her knees in the silt and dust because John has a grip on her arm. When she looks up again she's there, mostly. "That fucker." She growls. "He said I'd thank him some day for the things he taught me..I never believed him." She's quiet for a moment, replaying the past while. Mostly John yelling, and Kitty yelling back. She grins and turns and kisses John. "I told you, I'm not Zee. I understand "the greater good" and all that bullshit but that isn't me. I look after the people I care about. No fucking was I leaving you here alone." Jes is using the concentration it takes to converse to help distract and keep her focused.

The mutant profoundly frowns at John's response, remaining quiet for a few moments. It's not exactly a sulk so much as annoyance. "You didn't answer any of my questions, John," she tells him sharply. "If I'm not supposed to trust anyone here, how can I know I can trust you until you tell me where that demon went?" He's taking care of Jesana, but that could also be a ploy. "If it's still somehow linked to you, it could start controlling you at any moment." While she may be only one of the three of them that actually came here in her whole body, she's not sure there won't be some sort of 'demon pocket' or something in the spirit where it could be hiding. "So, where did it go?"

John grabs his face in both hands, visibly forcing himself to calm down. "Orright. Orright. Here's the breakdown." He grabs Kitty's arm and pulls her close so the three of them can talk relatively quietly. For once, John looks genuinely /worried/ about something.

"It /is/ linked to me still," he tells her. "I've got it under control for the nonce. My meatsuit torn up and me in so much pain, when Zatanna tried to exorcise it, I couldn't keep my will bearing down on it enough. It was going to tear loose." He snorts, despite being mostly etheral. "Blimey, luv, you think a /demon/ could possess me without my permission? I'd have died in this game thirty years ago if that was so. But you're thinking suspicously, and keep doing that," he tells her approvingly.

"Jesana, I need you to dig deep, luv," he tells the shapeshifter, still glancing around. "I know Coyote's not with you and that hurts, but trust me when I say that in Hell, willpower counts for a lot. You need to focus and grit your teeth and start thinking about being Coyote again, whether she's here /or not/. I need a fighter here, not a friend," he says, including Kitty in that glance. "We're not here for some bloody philosophical reason. I aim to survive, and we're going to be fighting out way out."

After he finishes speaking Jes nods and sighs very softly. "Give me just a moment." She leans into his spirit and Kitty's body and closes her eyes, letting their presence bring enough comfort for her to do as he's asked. She doesn't care what happenes to her but she goes care that he and Kitty get free from here so she needs to be ready to fight for them. Instead of hiding her awareness in the little bolt hole she'd ran to when they arrived, she shoves all the agony of her shattered self and her worry and fear for her friends into that little box. When she stands again and steps back, it isn't Jes looking around. It's the monster her step father had been creating. She won't fail them now.

Kitty allows herself to be pulled close so they can talk quietly. She doesn't interrupt as John explains, instead nodding here and there to show that she understands what he's talking about. "So, it's not going to come out and ambush us at any turn," she infers from what she's been told. "Okay." At being told she's thinking suspiciously, she smirks, "I've seen far too many movies where the surprise twist is that the person you weren't supposed to be trusting was the guide the whole time."

She glances at Jesana, worried, before she looks back at her teacher. It may seem like Kitty can be flippant, but she rarely stops being ready for a fight. "Looks like it's time to go see that guy who may be as clever as you are."

"All right. If I remember right, he's on this circle… if the Obscene Lake is /there/ and the Endless Climb is /there/…" John turns in place, considering, and measuring angles. "I think he's over /there/," John declares, pointing at a low line of glaciers. "Yeah. Yeah, there's the bugger. C'mon, luvs," he tells the girls, giving each of their hands a reassuring squeeze, then patting their cheeks. "Stay sharp. No matter what you see or hear, do /not/ hesitate, don't hold your blows back, and if I say run, you /run/ down that mountain," he says jabbing a finger towards the looming feature. "It'll eventually lead you out of here. That's your only exit strategy. C'mon, girls. Let's get walking."

John starts walking across the frozen, blasted hellscape, and for a rare moment, begs a prayer- not for himself, naturally… but for the two girls who heroically followed him into Hell.

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