In this scene, ... well. You'll see. It's all Constantine.
Constantine puts his back to a wall, probably opposite the beds, drawing his sword.
Constantine pulls up Tanith's Trump image in his mind, and focuses on it.
Simply the pure cold of Trump, without any sense of communication.
Constantine does a mental riffle, tries Tiffany.
No immediate answer.
Constantine isn't trying to force yet.
Constantine riffles some more. The apartment.
You say "You're there. Typical effects."
Constantine heads downstairs and takes the motorcycle towards the Ramada.
It's 4:30am. Not much happening. You come to the Ramada.
Constantine looks around for signs of battle.
The gargoyles are gone.
Constantine is getting a Trump contact. Can he feel it?
You say "Vaguely. Hmm. Don't take the call, per se. Let me filter the messages through ... y'know. Ask Tanith to page me, I'll page her, and so?"
Constantine nods, that's what he thought.
Constantine takes the Trump call.
You feel a weak Trump contact, but it goes away before you can answer. Like 'someone was fingering your Trump and thinking of you'.
Constantine growls softly, pulls out the actual Tanith Trump, and pushes hard.
Absolutely nothing. However, the Trump call returns again.
Constantine drops into trance, still sitting the motorcycle, and seizes it as hard as he can.
[Tanith Trumps to Constantine: "Where are you?"]
It's Tiffany. She looks slightly taken aback by the intensity. "Where are you?" she wonders.
Constantine says to the Trump, "In front of the Ramada. Where's Tanith? Where are you?"
Yatashi nods. You've got it.
[You paged Tanith with ''In ... where's ... where are you?''.]
[Tanith Trumps to Constantine: "I'm at Tilden Park. Is Yatashi around?"]
Tiffany looks a little worried. "You ... oh .. I'm still in the hall ... with the icky things. I'm at ... well. Is Yatashi with you?"
The image of Tiffany says, "You should probably come here."
Constantine says to the trump, "No, I couldn't find him. Well, I
did, but he vanished with Father Brown."
Constantine adds, "Pull me through?"
[You paged Tanith with 'The image says, "No, I couldn't find him. Well, I did, but he vanished with Father Brown."'.]
[Tanith Trumps Constantine: Let's pull you back and talk about this.]
The image says, "We'll talk about this ..."
The image of Tiffany holds out a hand.
Constantine says, "About what?" and takes Tiffany's hand.
[You paged Tanith with 'The Trump contact wavers and cuts out.'.]
Tanith pages: Where did it look like he was?
You paged Tanith with 'Erm. "It didn't, really. He seemed to be in a void."'.
Further Trumps from Tanith fail completely.
Tiffany pulls you through to the Ramada hallway. Lots of bodies of green slimy things turned black. Lots of collateral damage. An open stairway. Tanith, with a hole in the front where what looks like acid ate much of her away.
Constantine stops. Stark still, no movement for half of one second.
Constantine says "Tanith?"
Tiffany looks over at you, looking ... there isn't a word for her expression. "I ... she's not ... anymore."
Constantine fumbles with his sword, putting it in his scabbard
automatically, as he steps forward.
Constantine's face is a pure blank. He kneels, beside her, one hand shivering as he reaches to touch her cheek.
Tiffany looks really downcast. "I'm sorry ... this is all my fault ..."
Constantine says, simply, an odd hiccup in his voice, "No."
Her cheek is only slightly cooler than normal, a memory of warmth not yet faded.
Constantine says "*No*."
Tiffany wonders, "No? Can you do that?"
Tiffany says, "No!" firmly to Tanith.
Constantine's shoulders slump, as he draws in on himself, his body shaking now.
Tiffany says, "Are you okay?" She moves worriedly closer to you.
Constantine pulls himself up, turning to face you, his expression ever so carefully controlled.
Tiffany says, "I don't think it hurt very much ..."
Constantine says "*Who*."
Tiffany says, "Father Brown, I think. I think they were his." She frowns. "Bleys killed them, but then he left."
Constantine says, voice bent to politeness with an effort, "Where is Father Brown?"
"I think he's gone. I don't know where. He did something ..." She looks down, and shrugs.
Constantine sits down in the middle of the mess, the ichor, the blood.
Constantine removes a sketchpad from his jacket, and three pencils.
Constantine begins to draw, his face still frozen in artifical calm.
Tiffany sits quietly next to Constantine, as the ichor slowly eats its way through his clothing.
Constantine works towards a semblance of Father Brown, quick deft mechanical strokes of his pencils guiding the way.
It doesn't look very good, as far as they go, but passable.
Constantine closes his eyes, and rests his fingers atop the sketch, meditatively.
You are now in Trump Contact with Father Brown. He is leaning casually back in a rocking chair.
Constantine blindly initiates an attack, pouring his rage and fury into it, and his soul.
Father Brown ... maybe the whole world ... seems to go still as you pour your anger into him. But a moment later, it has passed, and wise eyes look unconcernedly out into your own. "If you please?" he asks mildly.
Constantine growls, wordless frustration, and stabs out his hand at Father Brown, not so much to offer as to try and grab.
He studies you thoughtfully. "You are upset."
His eyes scan the room behind you. "Surely you realize that this is merely a testing ground ... a world where we briefly bear fleshy form to determine our worthiness for the Kingdom of Heaven? I am sure she will find her way there in time."
Constantine says, to his sketch, to the room, "You killed her."
Constantine says "I do not care, priest."
Constantine says "I worship the Serpent Itself, and by your tenets I am doomed to Hell, and I do not care."
Constantine says "You killed her."
He shrugs casually. "Anger is good for the soul. But really rather tiring." His eyes focus on yours, and his mind begins to reach out ... pressing like a blanket over you ...
Constantine rips at the pressure with claws of hatred, trying to shred it, trying to reach the mind behind it. His fists clench unwitting, face still a mask of stability.
Father Brown seems to consider, and then the pressure retreats. "You're not worth the trouble."
He turns his chair away. The Trump contact begins to fade.
Constantine growls again, clamping down on the contact. He releases his fists, only to clench them again on the edges of the sketch, crumpling and tearing paper.
Constantine says "Come...*here*."
As the paper crumples, the contact fades, and you are slowly aware of at least the burning pain where you sit and probably other emotions.
Constantine drops the sketch, letting it fall into the ichor.
Constantine stands shakily, his hand moving to loosen his blade in the scabbard.
Tiffany is making soft crying noises, but no tears are emerging.
Constantine looks at Tiffany.
Constantine walks clumsily over, and puts a somewhat wooden arm around her.
Tiffany says bleakly, "I think he could take me any time he wanted, now. He did, before."
Constantine says "I'm going to kill him."
Constantine says, voice grating a bit, "I don't want to be peaceful."
Constantine says "I don't care if he might reform."
Tiffany says, "He wouldn't."
Constantine shrugs, an empty gesture. "He didn't."
Tiffany says hopefully, "He can't have gotten far?"
Constantine says "Where would he go?"
Tiffany says "His home's in Louisiana ... but he'd want something
Tiffany thinks. "A Church."
Constantine says "He was in a rocking chair."
Tiffany frowns. "I know where one local mage place is, but I don't like going there ... they tend to ... you know."
Constantine says "Mark."
Tiffany says "Yah! We should call him."
Constantine starts walking towards 410, stops suddenly, turns, and walks back towards the stairs, heading for the lobby. He still moves like he's on automatic.
Tiffany looks uncertainly after you, and then tags along.
Constantine makes his way to the lobby, slowly, and finds a
Constantine slots in coins, one by one, and presses the buttons of the phone.
The phone rings. After a moment, someone picks it up. "Hello?"
Constantine says, flat, "Mark. This is Constantine. Father Brown killed Tanith. Come help me find him."
"Ahhh ..." There is a long pause, and muffled conversation to someone off the line. "All right. Where are you?"
Constantine says, "Ramada Inn." He gives the address, with precision.
Mark says, "I'll be there soon."
Constantine nods, automatically, says "Goodbye." He hangs up the phone.
Constantine leans against the phone, watching the lobby, scanning back and forth incessantly.
Eventually, Mark drives up.
Constantine walks out to meet Mark.
He gets out, scans the hotel, and spots you in the lobby. He walks up to Constantine briskly.
Constantine meets Mark right outside the door, is what he does.
Constantine nods. "Thank you for coming." Again, he pushes for politeness. "Can you find him?"
"I'll need something good to trace from."
Constantine says "Does it have to be physical?"
Mark says, "Just somewhere he's been long enough or violently enough would do."
Constantine nods again. "Follow me, then." He turns, and heads back upstairs, walk mechanically clean.
Mark follows, at an easy stride.
Constantine gets to 410, and hesitates at the door, not looking in. "Here. In there."
Mark glances inwards, and looks a little pale. After a moment, he says, "This is enough, I think."
Constantine says, "Alright." After a moment's hesitation, he bends, picks up Tanith's body. "I can't...can't leave her here."
Mark nods. "Come on."
Constantine follows Mark, carrying the body cradled carefully in his arms, close to him.
Mark takes you down to his car, and opens the back side door for
Tanith and the front side door for you.
"To Father Brown?"
Constantine says "Yeah."
Constantine places Tanith in the back seat, laying her flat, and gets in the front. He watches, seemingly everything.
Mark lets you close the doors, and then drives off, down the road. He seems to be following some pattern that you can't see. Finally, he pulls up in front of an apartment building.
Mark says, "He's in here, I think." He gets out, a few pebbles crunching under his feet.
Constantine gets out, his eyes hooded. He has, perhaps, regained a bit of steadiness; at the least, the hand on the hilt of his blade does not shake.
Mark leads you and Tiffany up into the building, around several
corners, and finally to a door. (4I)
He says quietly, "Should I come with you or is this something best done alone?"
Constantine shrugs. "It's not a matter of honor. It's not going to
bring her back."
Constantine says "It's something to be done. Help is fine."
Mark nods. "All right, then." He gathers himself, and opens the door.
Constantine positions himself to be first in, blade drawn two inches from the scabbard.
Chotiari's body is dangling from a noose several feet in from the door, neck tilted at an odd angle.
Constantine recoils, whip-quick turn to face Mark. Soft: "What are you doing."
Mark looks aghast. "It's not mine."
Tiffany looks upset. "It's not mine either ..." she says, confused.
Chance sends a Logrus tendril towards Constantine.
Constantine flings up the image of his own Trump in his mind, charging himself with its energy, heedless of Mark for a moment.
Chance drops a blue rose, with a black stem and leaves, silver veins, by wherever Constantine's body is.
Constantine says, dark, "You said Father Brown was here."
Mark flushes a little, dark under his eyes. "He is. He steps forward, and looks in the door. "There's another room to the side."
Constantine relaxes, minutely, and nods before walking in to the other room.
Chance peeks in, and sees Constantine in a black-like void. The tendril withdraws.
Father Brown turns around in his chair as Constantine comes within view. The room is crowded on all sides with shelves of books and odd trinkets.
Constantine stops about six feet away, and studies Father Brown. There's a soft sound of steel as he draws his blade.
"Ah, Constantine. Did you like my present?"
He grins and tosses a head at you. At least this one doesn't seem to be anyone you know.
Constantine takes two unhurried steps forward, batting the head aside with the flat of his blade. Recovering, he points the tip at Father Brown's throat.
Father Brown grins. "You Chaosites are so confusing. Always changing. I don't even know which one that was TIFFANY," he raises his voice, and calls out if he has time, "Take care of this ma--"
Constantine hesitates momentarily, but by the time Father Brown reaches the word "man" his saber touches Father Brown's throat, and in the next instant glides through it, cutting swift and sure.
Father Brown falls back in his chair, a bloody smile etched into his throat. With a puff of air, he vanishes.
Tiffany looks pale and drawn, but not quite compelled.
There is a flicker of a linen-garbed shape at the corner of your eye.
Constantine whirls, turning towards the shape.
Mark says, sounding a bit sick, "Well, that's that, then."
Constantine says without looking, "Is that normal? The vanishing?"
Mark shrugs. "I don't know. Maybe one of his allies took him home."
Chance drops several bucketsful of water on Constantine.
Your skin tingles slightly, as if wet.
Mark shrugs, looks around, and walks uncomfortably out the door.
Constantine brushes his free hand against his arm, trying to wipe something away.
Chance rains rose petals down on him.
Tiffany watches Constantine, waiting to see what to do now.
Constantine looks at his blade. Sighs. Drops it on the chair where Father Brown sat.
Tiffany says, "I guess that wasn't much good, was it? But at least no one else will get hurt."
Tiffany offers Constantine a hug?
Constantine walks over, and hugs Tiffany, his movements stiffening again.
Tiffany says, "Come on. Lets go."
Constantine says "At least no one else will get hurt. Not by him."
Constantine studies Tiffany. "Where?"
"I don't know. Away from the blood and his stuff." Constantine nods. "I'm probably leaving here soon. This world."
"Maybe we can find somewhere peaceful to remember Tanith in or something. Like in the books."
Constantine says "I don't know if you and I ever went to the same places with her. Coffeeshops, maybe."
"Yah. The ice cream place. And stuff.
"We have to tell Ray."
Tiffany walks over near the door, and lingers.
Chance sends music, a sword song in.
A hint of voice at the edge of hearing, faded.
Constantine follows, nodding slowly. "Mmm. I suppose. A lot of
people to tell."
Constantine turns his head abruptly, his expression coloring into a frown, then back.
Tiffany hugs you again and walks out at your side, attempting to cover your eyes as we pass Chotiari.
Constantine moves his head, gently, not letting his eyes be covered. He doesn't dwell on her hanging form; nor does he look away.
The sound again. Sharp, short, fading and echoing.
Constantine says "Tiffany, did you hear that?"
Tiffany frowns. "I guess ... I wasn't paying much attention to my ears. Kind of ... weird? Thrum?"
Constantine says "Yes. Something like that."
Constantine looks around again, frowns, and begins again towards the door.
Chance sends in candy. Chance is probably pretty bored.
As you open the door, the hallway outside is different. Faintly lit in red, boxy and undecorated.
Constantine holds Tiffany back with one arm, or tries to, scanning the corridor warily.
Tiffany peers at it. "That's not right."
Constantine says "No."
"Is there another exit from here?"
(You didn't see one.)
Constantine shakes his head, stepping carefully outside the door.
Tiffany follows you carefully.
Nothing. The hallway turns up ahead.
Constantine tries to keep Tiffany behind him as he walks up the corridor, approaching the turn slowly. When he gets there, he halts just before it.
Chance sends a pitcher of Old Chaos Rot into the blackness. It doesn't like that. Eddy eddy.
Things waver for just a second.
Constantine darts a quick peek around the turn, crouching first.
Another corridor. Another turn.
Constantine straightens, walks warily around the turn. If nothing happens, he proceeds to the next turn.
They're alternating left-right.
Constantine keeps on a while, not letting his vigilance slip at each turn.
It looks like it might continue forever.
Constantine stops about halfway to another turn.
Chance sends a barrel, but Yatashi isn't taken by surprise this time.
Constantine shakes his head, and visualizes the Trump of the Berkeley apartment.
Nothing. As far as you can tell, the Apartment no longer exists.
Constantine flicker-frowns, and tries his studio.
Constantine tries the Cathedral of the Serpent.
The sound again. Slightly louder.
Constantine murmurs, "Not possible."
Barrel of perchlorate comes through.
Constantine tries his Trump of Corwin's Cell, in the dungeons of Castle Amber.
Tiffany looks at you. "What's wrong?"
Constantine says "Trumps aren't working."
You paged Chance with 'Not quite yet. Almost.'.
Chance starts sending Logrus tendrils in again to grab him as the darkness and Constantine eddy away again. Things are moving around and hard to grab.
Tiffany bites her lip. "Have you tried all of them?"
Constantine says "Just places..."
Tiffany frowns. "Oh."
Constantine tries TamLin's Trump.
[I'm not bracketing the Trump conversation, because everyone here is a trick of Yatashi's, except Constantine.]
Tam Lin connects, but the connection is very weak and distant. His eyes seem to glare about for a moment before finding you ...
Constantine says to the Trump, "Thomas, I need your help."
Tam Lin says, hoarsely, his voice trying to carry through all the distance by sheer will and rage and passion, "Where were you?"
The sound comes again. Louder. It drifts into comprehension, a "No!"
And Yatashi stands there.
Yatashi instantly focuses on you. "Constantine. Are you all right?"
Constantine ignores the sounds, focused on the Trump. "I'm in Berkeley. Tanith's *dead*."
Tam Lin says, "She can join the crowd." You catch glimpses of desolation about him.
Yatashi says, insistently, "CONSTANTINE. This is important."
Constantine says to the Trump, flat, "What happened?"
Yatashi's voice is filled with all the presence a 50 psyche can put into it.
Constantine takes a breath, says to the Trump, "Wait," turns his attention on Yatashi. His eyes are very dark.
Constantine says "What."
Yatashi says quietly, "Constantine, this isn't real."
Constantine says, almost dismissively, "Don't."
Yatashi says firmly, "This is the place of my father's brother. I
should not be here."
Yatashi says "You know it isn't real. Too many deaths. Nothing but death and failure. This isn't your life."
Constantine holds his pose for a moment, caught between Trump and Yatashi.
Tam Lin says quietly, "Finndo had prepared for being a coatrack, I guess. Aspnes shouldn't have gotten involved, but you were gone and Liebe was sick, and Fun ... damn it, you're not supposed to be the one to vanish for a year and a day ..."
Yatashi says "Open your mind. Open your body. I'll take you out of here."
Constantine says, to Yatashi, "My life isn't about guarantees."
Chance starts shaping tendrils like a fishing net. Closing in, closing in.
Yatashi trembles, erratically, "Please. Give yourself to me. Step
into my form and I will take us out through Father. He thinks you'll be
useful and I don't want you to die."
Yatashi says simply, "Please." He adds, after a moment, "Quickly."
Constantine says, very quietly, "I am not 'useful.'"
Yatashi says quietly, "It is my father or this. But it is not mine that is invading your world."
Constantine says "And whether or not this is real, I would rather suffer it than be chosen as a tool."
Yatashi says "I can remain only a few moments longer. I am a Voice. I am not expendable. Not this expendable."
Chance has an anchor or two on the blackness and is moving in on Constantine fast.
Constantine says "If your father saves me, I will owe him a debt."
Constantine says "And you know I will pay it."
Yatashi says "Forgive me for trying to save you. Forgive me that my father feels you would be better alive. I will tell Tanith you ... ended well."
Yatashi closes his eyes as if with concentration.
Constantine says "Take me, then."
Constantine pages: Right button.
Yatashi opens his eyes.
Yatashi says "Then Hurry. Step into me. Open your mind. I will part before your touch."
Constantine takes the step, into Yatashi, letting his mind open.
Yatashi wraps around you and there is an infinite moment in the void, and you are in a Berkeley park. There is a Logrus tendril that has you half-grabbed.
Constantine instinctively flares up with Trump energy, too late ...