Calling Shadow Fae

October 17, 2018:

Constantine summons the Queen's Blade to strike a deal.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: pepper-potts

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's a little bit unbelievable that Pepper Potts' mystical ally is who he clearly appears to be, once John Constantine stumbles on the likely answer from a combination of clues and that peculiar resonance of the twin gemstones on the Stark exec's office desk. He couldn't get to them, but John could certainly suss them out, and the dark currents that resonate with ancient Fae arts.

Great. Just when things couldn't get -any- better.

It's both a signal flare and a little joke John's making when he sets up in a park amidst the besieged hellscape of New York City, heedless of both defensive barricades and the roving marauders most risk wandering. The warlock's little glade is peaceful, all but invisible to beings that mean him harm, warded with one of the simplest of rituals familiar to Faekind: a stone circle, shielding the surrounding copse of trees.

The carefully selected increments of that circle are etched with marks of those Realms and grounded, already sprouting toadstool and mushroom in the cool night air. The ritual master is slouched against the thick trunk of an adjacent maple, his disheveled garments an unheeded bunch about him as he sits in a pile of his own trenchcoat, drinking deeply of a bottle of cheap whiskey, and smoking a Silk Cut.

John belches loudly into the night air. "Good incantation, innit." He'll get around to invoking the Blade's aspects if just going I'm-a-little-faerie-short-and-stout doesn't get results. Soon.

The hellish landscape has kept the elf busy. Each portal, each tear and rend in reality needed to be investigated. Darkedge had his orders, namely to be the Fae Realm's first line of defense and ensure that he Veil between this world and that still held even as demons poured forth and ravaged the landscape.

The magical signal slams across Darkedge's mind, pulling him from his most recent investigation. Silver eyes widened, the elf slips from his vantage point and through the shadows until he arrives at the edge of the circle's protection.

A fae-song of the incantation singing about his sense, the elf creeps forward. He's wary and cautious, concerned that this could be a fae, trapped in this nightmare of demons, and calling out for help, for a way Home.

Still, he knows he spooks the fae. He is also aware that perhaps this is a trap. Either case require him to be careful and on guard as he steps through the circle's edge and into the enchantment.

"Curious and curiouser." Constantine murmurs with a smirk as, indeed, Darkedge does show up on the edge of his circle. The warlock makes only a cursory attempt to prop himself up more properly, eyeballing the vague direction of the shadowy figure. He can sense the presence a -lot- better than he can see, just now. "Come on, pull up a chair…" the moss is quite nice this time of year. "Want a drink?"

Even John can be cordial to strangers. At least, deadly ancient assassins that he needs something from. The whiskey sloshes invitingly. Constantine takes a moment to draw a deep drag of cigarette, blowing out a languid plume towards the night sky.

"You gotta tell me how a bloke like you befriends /Pepper Potts/. I'm dyin' from the mystery. Steam pouring out the ears, mate." It's both cutting right to the chase, and not. John is a man of contradictions.

Spoken to, Darkedge steps just far enough in to spot the human. Yes, a human. Calling forth this circle, summoning him in such a fashion. The Queen's Blade presses his lips together faintly at the invitation. Silence is the elf's reply. Silence and the temptation to jus tleave. It's a temptation that fades the moment Pepper's name is dropped.

Darkedge frowns and his silver eyes narrow sharply.

"Speak ill of the lady, or hint you have done her harm… and I will not hestitate in parting you heart from your chest," the assassin seems almost to hiss. This words are tight, rigid, and lack the melody of a fae's speaking voice. His tones are dischordant, chromatic, dissonant.

"Way too late for that mate." The Laughing Magician asserts, smoothly and readily enough to have been rehearsed just this way. He's affable, despite the threat— too affable, given it. "John Constantine's been heartless a long time, ask anybody." Almost anybody. "You got the wrong idea though. Lady's caught right at the dark heart of this bullshit, only reason she's still alive and unpossessed, I imagine, is the Queen of this particular Hell has a long list of higher priorities."

John draws once more from his cigarette, eyeing the shadowy killer over the burning cherry. This human has no fear, and just the hint of wary analysis slipping through the conversational ease to bely that Constantine is much, much cagier than first appearances suggest. He knew the risks going into it; when does that ever stop him?

"I agreed to get her outta there before anyone gets around to either. She seemed to think you'd want to help with that. I reckon based on the murderous impulse, she had the right idea." The roll of John's eyes is only audible, his expression more or less static, even as his tone carries undercurrents of that exasperation. It's always got to be -so- dramatic, doesn't it?

That this John Constantine laughs in the face of the threat is irritating. It shows only in how the elf's lips twitch with the want to sneer. A want that falls away at the mere hint that Lady Pepper is in danger. Darkedge had assumed that when all this happened, her Liege would have spirited her away. To hear that she's been taken by the demons, is held captive at the heart of this growing calamity, has the elf frown-sneering much more openly.

"Indeed she did. I will work with you to see to Lady Pepper's safety. What do you need of me?"

The sneering of dangerous beings is part and parcel to the game John plays, and he seems to brush it off as just that much routine. While instincts may drive the /totally/ occasional bout of pettiness, Constantine is keenly aware he has proverbial bigger fish to fry. Delicious.

"It's simple." It's not that simple. "I'm gonna make a big ol' hullabaloo with that aforementioned Queen of One-Particular-Hell and you're going to make sure Pepper doesn't die getting out of the Tower while I do it." Broken down, it's perfect honesty, but far from complete clarity. There's many reasons John isn't inclined to spell it out step by step.

"All you gotta do is be there when I call, and do your oh-so-legendary thing." Which Constantine absolutely holds in the utmost of reverence. He hits the whiskey bottle smoothly.

It's simple. It's really never that simple. No plan survives contact with the enemy, and so the best infiltration plans are the ones with a general goal, so that it's flexible enough to allow whatever changes need to be made in order to handle whatever teh siruation throws his way. John's plan is met with a curt nod.

"So be it," states the elf, arms coming up to fold over his chest.

"Will you create another very loud, very obvious, circle of protection again? Or do you need something to summon me by?" Please don't say a name. Please don't say a name!

Of course John wants a name. There's power in names, especially over such creatures as Darkedge, and this particular such creature has already intimated an impulse towards hostility if all this goes worse than Constantine might hope. Let's face it, that's a pretty common occurance, too.

They both know that reality, they both know the advantage in play in those scant moments of exchange, of consideration. John's eyes narrow on the Queen's Blade— it's a shared moment of unspoken acknowledgement. The easiest way is obviously a name. "Keep your eyes on Stark Tower, and you'll get your beacon a few times over before I need you." Prep is important in surviving such a plan.

"I don't need your name." The simple dismissal, the foolish shirking of potential leverage— it speaks volumes, doesn't it? For the moment, perhaps it speaks of trust, or a pre-emptive boon acknowledging the aid. Perhaps John is just sure he can figure it out without bargaining or imploring for knowledge.

That silent stare down over a Name drags on. He has the name he gives freely, that which he is called. He has the name of his childhood, given by his mother at his birth. And then he has the name of his soul, that which makes him what he is. As unwilling as the elf is to part with his birthname, it would take so much to wrest the name of his soul from his heart, his mind, his lips.

And in that silence, Darkedge knows that the human knows the power of Names to the fae. Darkedge knows that this human would not be placated with his Given Name, nor will the Birthname long suffice.

This human is dangerous.

This human dismisses the chance at gaining such leverage over the Queen's Blade. The flicker of surprise is perhaps visible upon the elf's face.

Darkedge nods, the motion a little like a bow. Relief and acknowledgement all rolled into one.
-— New Activity ---

John, in contrast, has lots of names. Most of the things people call him, one shouldn't repeat in mixed company. Thankfully, none of those have any particular pull over his soul; John can spoil that broth all by himself. "Yea, yea. Don't mention it. I'm a saint, kind to all creatures great and small, especially murderous shadow-faeries."

It's not really true, and John doesn't really bother to hide it. That fact does little to fully illuminate the motivations, either way. "Suppose I don't have to tell you to come loaded for Demon." It's a little obvious, at the moment. "I should be able to set 'em all up for you, but some'll still need knocking down."

Stark Tower. The highest concentration of portals, and the attention of godlike entities upon it. Countless hordes roam its corrupted halls. And John calmly asserts he's going to one-up the whole shebang long enough to get someone out. The human is indeed dangerous— and he knows it. The question is: does he overestimate it?

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