4987/Out of the Frying Pan

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Out of the Frying Pan
Date of Scene: 02 February 2021
Location: Medical Ward: Triskelion
Synopsis: No description
Cast of Characters: John Constantine, Peggy Carter

John Constantine has posed:
It had taken a few days for Peggy to gather the ingredients Constantine had requested. Some of them were bizarrely prosaic, others were rare occult items that required more than a little work to run down. With the urgency of the request, Peggy had been able to put the screws to the right people to make things happen.

"I think we've got everything we need," John says. Flora's eyes look up at Peggy, the body of a young Latina woman being temporarily possessed by the magus. Complex runes and artwork are drawn around Constantine's inert body, lain out on the floor of the showers. It was the one place with no cameras where it wouldn't be suspect for him to disappear. An 'Out of Service' sign guaranteed more security than a locked door would.

Flora's hands cup the most significant part of the ritual, an ochre-red dreamstone. It's placed on Constantine's forehead. The woman sits crosslegged at the head of the body and starts taking slow, meditative breaths. "This is going to take some focus. I need peace and quiet. Don't let anyone interrupt me," Constantine says, and cracks one eye at Peggy. "Got it?"

Peggy Carter has posed:
"You know, I am rather good for more than playing body guard. But yes...I won't let anyone disturb us. I've got a warning on the outer door to ring before anyone gets near to being in here." And probably at least one more set of eyes out there, an intern gently paid off in both social capital and some bonus money, to make certain no one comes this way for a while. Peggy's not above bribery to get things done when needed. So, she doesn't look too worried about them being disturbed.

She's dressed in long, wide legged, dark red and black tartan pallazo pants and a tucked in black sweater, the look hovering between ver 40s or very 60s, but her let her hover climbing through a bathroom, around unconscious bodies, crouching or moving to help as she needs, without flashing anyone. "So, if you need my hands. Just...ask. I'm here. I got your things. Let's... let's just do this."

John Constantine has posed:
"Good. Sooner this is done, the better," Constantine says. Another moment of stillness and then Flora's hands go to work. First, the possession charm tattooed into Constantine's chest is carefully marred to disrupt it. Then a series of quiet spells and utterances are added. Periodically a grimace crosses Flora's face and those hands shake or pull back. Some internal debate's going on but clearly John's ironclad will is at the helm for the moment.

"Right, this is where it gets tricky," Constantine mutters. Hands rest on the body's temples and Flora's lips move in careful mutterings. Energy starts to curl and coil around the slight woman's frame. It brushes past Peggy's cheeks and sets her hair into motion.

Lights flicker. An oppressive feeling weight fills the room. It's hard to breath. Hard to think. Like descending into a pool and feeling the weight of water compressing the ribs.

Flora's lips keep moving steadily and without hesitation. Sweat beads on her brow and pain mars those fine features. On Constantine's bare chest, thousands of tiny blood-red marks start to appear out of nowhere. They're incredibly detailed for how small they are, but every one of them reeks of *wrongness*. Something that should not be seen-- something that should not be awakened.

Constantine keeps uttering the ritual and the red marks start to swirl and climb up Flora's arms.

Peggy Carter has posed:
When the room gets heavy like that, something screams in Peggy that she hopes this isn't happening again. The minor episodes, passing... Temporary, but worriesome as of late, haven't been bad enough to affect her job. But this one doesn't seem to be going away. She stumbles back just a bit against the walls of the shower, forcing herself to breath in deeper, slower against it, and then looks up to the others. It's not just her this time, but everyone in the room. That's almost a relief.

Then the tiny, bloodied marks start appearing on his chest and her eyes go wider. She brings herself closer now, not daring to touch him, but clearly wanting to, her hands hovering but inches from his chest. "John? Is this...right? John? Can you...hear me? Is this a part of it? Something feels....very wrong..." And it's nothing she can shoot.

John Constantine has posed:
Constantine shakes Flora's head, eyes shut, but doesn't interrupt those flowing chants. The red marks crawl up Constantine's naked torso, flow up Flora's arms. Like little ants marching in a row, except for how profoundly unnatural they are. Flora's body shakes and tosses as they worm up her sleeves and start a slow scroll over her body, visible on her collarbone and sternum.

The incantation shifts then, smoothly transitioning from one language to another. That sense of oppressive darkness fades, as do the runes. Bound to Flora's body now, it seems. There's a firm punctuation on the final words, accompanied by a flash from lit candles and a sparking of blood and sulfur from a chalice near Constantine's head.

Flora's body falls backwards. She groans and sits partially upright on one hand, looking around. The fingers and palms of her hand are examined and she struggles forward to reach for the dreamstone balanced on Constantine's forehead. It glows with an inner light all its own, flickering softly. Fingers tremble and she looks up at Peg, reaching one hand out for help. "Peggy?" she inquires in a raspy voice.

Peggy Carter has posed:
The moment the woman is falling backwards, Peggy's actually there. She hates having nothing to do and has been more on guard for threats within the room than threats outside of it. She catches her gently, stretching one arm around behind Flora and trying to hold her there, against Peggy's own warm, steady frame. Especially now that it it's easier to breathe the room again, Peggy can be the strong, steady one for the other two.

She reaches her hand forward as well, as Flora grasps for her, and Peggy laces her warm fingertips around the slighter woman's fingertips. "Yes? I'm here...it's alright. Just...take a few deep breaths. Do you know if...If that worked? Is that you, Flora?" She asks the woman gently, all the while holding her in that protective, close grasp.

John Constantine has posed:
Flora looks around, dazed. She slips an arm around Peggy's shoulders for balance and squeezes those fingers back. "Yeah... yeah, it worked just fine."

Flora looks up at Peggy and a familiar, lopsided smile tugs down the corner of her mouth. "Sorry luv," John says, and puts Flora's palm to the amulet Peggy's got around her neck.

There's a brilliant flash of light and a sensation of falling backwards. Gravity does a 180, reorients itself, and the two of them land with a thump inside a place Peggy might recognize. Old wood, old decor, old everything-- a home that has existed since the dawn of not just humanity, but mortality.

The House of Mystery groans in protest at the intruders on the floor of the living room, torches darkening and the walls somehow becoming oppressively close.

"Stop! Oye! It's me!" John says. The House freezes momentarily. With what can be best expressed as a 'glower', the oppressive aggression subsides, leaving behind a lingering unease and irritation at this turn of affairs.

Peggy Carter has posed:
There was the smallest part of Peggy that suspected this would be the case. The moment Flora reached for her -- when the woman doesn't really know Peggy from Adam, Peggy had a feeling. It's just confirmed the moment she sees that smile and the apology out of him with Flora's lips. "John!" She hisses, almost about to toss him away, but then he's reaching for that amulet and there's no time to do anything.

She's falling. That very strange, Alice-in-Wonderland type of backwards fall that makes her stomach turn for a moment before she stumbles back onto rich victorian carpeting and the groaning house around them. She curses beneath her breath, sitting up slowly. "House...I am...quite sorry. He's an awful bastard of a man and I'd have...warned you...if I knew we were coming. But it *is* him. For good or for ill." Peggy's gently staring daggers at John as she starts to unfold from the rug. She shows the House far more respect than she does the man who has decieved her. Again.

"Alright, Constantine. The truth. FAST."

John Constantine has posed:
John gets to Flora's feet and swipes irritably at the scrubs that he was given. "The truth's complicated," Constantine says to Peggy. "And dangerous. I don't mean in the abstract sort of 'I don't want you involved in this' sort of way. I mean literally possessing the knowledge in your skull makes you vulnerable. I'd just as soon you not end up with your soul ripped from your body and cast into some void for all eternity."

Constantine moves to a door and tries to open it. It remains stuck fast. Its' given a rattle, then punched. Constantine yelps in pain while Flora dances around, shaking out her hand. "Bollocks," he says, and glares at the door. "Now's not the time for shenanigans," he scolds the House. "I'm on a deadline."

There's a sense of grudging relent as the door *clicks* and opens on its own.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Then I'll fight against it. I'm rather more tough than you give me any sort of credit for and after running around like your personal shopper for the last three days, I'd like to know what the hell is on the line here. And how we get you OUT of that poor woman's body!" Peggy sighs deeply, but the implication that she's too weak to actually know the truth quite seems to bother her, the anger she's feeling at him only increasing by the minute. She follows him through the house, stuck in this place with him now and she's not going to sit politely, waiting for him to free her.

John Constantine has posed:
Constantine moves into the laboratory Peggy had seen earlier and starts going through drawers. Periodically one gets stuck-- House is cooperating, it seems, but is determined to irritate John as long as he's in the place. It's a little colder than is comfortable, too.

"This isn't a problem you can shoot or punch, Peg," Constantine says. "It's ancient. Primeval. /I/ barely understand what's going on, I just know it's bloody dangerous. Apocalyptic."

"And I needed Flora's body for a while," Constantine explains. He digs in Flora's pocket for that shimmering dreamstone and puts it on an empty cubby shelf along with a wide array of books and knicknacks. The shelving shimmers minutely once his hand withdraws. "She'll be fine. Living a dream about puppies or randy cabana boys, whatever floats her boat. No place safer than the House."

Peggy Carter has posed:
As he sets that dreamstone on the shelf, Peggy's eyes go a bit wider and she reaches up to grab his shoulder. She's got some muscle and even a bit of height on the slight woman, even if it's John in her, Peggy is using that command of form to drag the body to face her. She's got a tight, firm hand on the possessed shoulder and her dark eyes are practically on fire as she stares at him. She will try to physically hold him in place with both hands to shoulders, if he stries to pull away.

"No. Jonathan Constantine, NO. You stop RIGHT NOW, and you explain why you are hijacking a woman's body LONGER than she ever gave permission. And fully understand it or not, you TELL ME what you know because I am IN THIS with you. I am capable. I've put my life on this line already and I'll be doing it again so you fucking better lay it out for me or we're not leaving this house because you've clearly already pissed off this old lady and I'm certain that my making a rukus is NOT helping."

John Constantine has posed:
Constantine struggles briefly against Peggy but there's just not the ability to fight off someone with more weight and experience. And Flora is a petite thing with a moderate workout routine, unlike Peggy's years of hard-earned muscular fitness.

"Cor, blimey, orright! I'll tell you! Getoff!" Constantine slaps weakly at Peggy's hands until she backs off, managing an indignant huff.

"Christ. Fine. There's a ... a book, for lack of a better word," Constantine says. Fingers itch towards a pocket, looking for a missing cigarette and lighter. Finding neither he grimaces heavily and Flora starts rooting around in a desk. "It's old. Older than civilization. Maybe older than humans," he allows. Cigarettes are produced, slapped loose, and Constantine lights one up. He starts coughing immediately and shakes Flora's head with a grimace.

"Christ," he splutters. "Umhmhm. Anyway. There are pages to the book. Chapters, too. They're magical. Pop up periodically. When they show up, disaster follows. The Chicago fire? Jakarta tidal waves? Wanggongchang explosion?" He takes a much more mild puff on the cigarette and sighs in relief at the feeling of nicotine entering Flora's system. "Those were individual pages that ended up in the wrong hand."

Fingers roll over Flora's exposed forearm. Red runes rise briefly, then disappear again. "I'm collecting them."