1964-10-23 - Sweet Dreams
Summary: The mystics take care of the dream monster once and for all.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
wanda strange billy constantine lindon 

The facts are these:

There is a dimension occupied by a dream monster.

There's a place in Greenwich Village where the dimensions overlap.

There's an opening between one dimension to the other.

The dream monster has been using that hole to slip into reality to possess people in their dreams, making them sleepwalk and basically do the creature's bidding.

It's accidentally and/or indifferently killing people.

It has to be stopped.

It hates Lamont Cranston with a passion.

Somewhere out there, Lamont and other intrepid souls are keeping it distracted so the hole in reality can be repaired, effectively shutting it out of the real world forever.

That's where the mystics come in.

Nothing like a good distraction to keep the trouble at bay whilst the practitioners do their work. Of course Greenwich Village would be home to such an overlay; the Dragon Ley Line fuels much of the ambient Mystical energy as well as the users who live there. The call by the Sorcerer Supreme went out, with all salient details and warning as to possibility of grave damage and/or death, and those who heeded it attend.

It's off on a side street, by a small shop dedicated to various sundries, and Strange's Gate shines bright on the pavement, newly wetted by a passing rainshower. The sickle moon hangs high in the night sky, with scuttling clouds brushing it away for passing seconds.

"It'll attempt to halt me. I'll need interference," he murmurs, just loud enough for the others to hear. The wrongness of the tear in reality sings in his molars and causes a blip of acid in his gut. This won't do, nope. Already, even as he pauses and settles himself to a balanced stance, he's testing at the strands of the shredded veil mentally, the Sight turning his irises to frosted-violet. The crimson Cloak riffles in a breeze that carries another warning of approaching rain.

Billy likes Greenwich Village. For one thing, its just cool. For another, he lives there. Extradimensional dream monsters overlapping with his neighborhood is not cool as far as he's concerned. Besides, he's against dream monsters eating his dad on principal, so of course he's there to help. He nods to Strange, and rubs his hands together. He's dressed in his Work Clothes, a deep green jumpsuit with a band along the sides and arms that looks like galaxies, and his own dark red cloak. It, sadly, is not in possession of a puppy's mind. As he readies himself mentally, he floats up in the air a foot or two, without really trying. For Wiccan, not floating is sometimes harder then floating. "I got your back." he nods, ernestly.

Witness the presence of the dimension's very heart, observing the profane acts against creation in a stark, midnight habit. Black from throat to toe, the austerity of the witch's presence might bely her true name among the mystic community. Dying sparks flicker off the slick leather boots and vanish into the banked ember-fire of those eyes taking in their vicinity. Let others worry about the finer points of spellcraft. They have the most paranoid of them all honed by lifetimes for this very sort of event, an overpowering force brought to bear in the dark alleys out of sight of the unknown. Her adoptive father — and the real one — is certainly rolling over in his grave knowing she's relying on others.

The only giveaway of identity lies in Wanda's hair, jackfrost on a bloody night caught in fine details as every one of those embedded garnets and pigeon's-blood rubies simmers with mystic fire. She's embedded them with a variety of charms and protections. Martian and Bellatrician aural chords chime against the Sight, ponderous threnodies fed by giant Antares and the full asterism of the Scorpion's vicious tail humming around her. If there's a bad face to karma tonight, she wears it or it wears her. How appropriate on the turn of the classical Zodiac away from the scales.

Constantine showed up in fine form, showered, though there was still blood in his hairline and a shiner by his right eye. There was shit to be done, and in a cloud of two day old cigarette smoke and faint cloud of grave dirt off his cuffs came John Constantine rolling up there like a boss. Was anyone expecting him? No, not really, but he turned up like a bad penny, and that's still one cent more. Seems he caught that and met the pack with one sharp, shrill whistle. "Oi, Strange, I made gris-gris out of some of that shite that got coughed back up from the other side and bound it. Should help you get a thread on that." He didn't come empty handed? Shit, who would ever thought the Knight of Humanity remembered what his worn oaths were to? well saddly up the calvary. He looked to the others with a glance. Mystic soldiers come to answer th call he reconed and- hullo. He greeted Wanda in passing, "Good to see you ain't missin the fun, luvvie."

The edges of the hole are in tatters. That thing has been plucking and tearing at it for months if not years, trying to broaden it enough to slink through. There are places timespace folds in on itself, a forced thing done in an attempt to make holes elsewhere, with limited results. The creature has been busy, doing more damage to the hole, evolving, terrorizing people. There's an innocence to the resonance it has left behind. It doesn't have ill will for the people it takes over. They're just really handy, and if one breaks, there are more.

There are a few tendrils of black unreality twitching not far inside the hole. The entity is distracted, but chances are, yeah, it's going to resist. In the mind's eye, one can see the thing, eyeless and featureless, all tendrils and a beak for tearing. Which is, thankfully, occupied elsewhere.

"John," comes the short greeting to the sauntering practitioner. He's not got the time for anything more than a linger side-glance at the term of endearment used, but there's a good reason that the Sorcerer uses the monicker 'sword-hand' for Wanda. He's not worried overly; they have to survive this encounter for him to even have an issue with it in the first place. "Hold on to the gris-gris for now, it'll come in handy as an augumentation on accuracy if the thing gets slippery on me."

Strange squares his shoulders before choosing his mudras carefully. The air around him pulls in closely. "It might jump — get ready, all of you," he says, including Billy and Wanda with quick glances. Note the subtle shift towards the Witch, for it's his charge above all to defend this reality above all else, including its heart. The rotational gestures wend about a circular point before him and even as the Eye of Agamotto clicks open with a faint ring, the Mystical metaphorical needle jabs its first knot into the frayed edges of reality about the tear.

Billy glances over to Constantine, looking curious at the stranger who appears to know his folks. "Hi." Electricity arcs down along his arm and around him, gathering into his hand as a ball of bright, burning lightning as he focuses and makes ready to zap a thing to death. Assuming dream monsters can be said to be alive.

Wanda has never met a parrot or an octopus she much liked. Years in the Tibetan plateau give few opportunities to discover the docile, mischievous oceanic varieties. Advantage to Strange standing in front of her performing the good work of the Holy Three. Her concerns delve infinitely deeper, skimming through the ley line network feeding Greenwich Village and the greater island of Manhattan. Sifting through impurities in the arcane channel in turn allow the mana to ebb and flow over her pattern, mostly unrestricted. Every wave settles excess into her, a building battery for the Sorcerer Supreme — or frankly anyone else with the means to tap her stores of raw magical energy. The residual flavour is decidedly dark and tempestuous, the rising passions attributed to Scorpio most certainly affecting her.

Dreams are entities of amorphous possibility. Magic realizes the impossible. Bridging that gap makes her hair stand on end at the tips, floating around her shoulders and tugging at her dim coat.

Constantine caught the bag and started to roll up his sleeves. He didn't come empty handed and didn't seem inclined to make this a social call. Index and pinky out he seemed to be tracing the area of disturbance and started to go about with a tin of Morton salt making a seal of Solomon on the ground. Some people pulled forces he was a summoner and preparing ahead of time he went. Besides if anything got lose they could use it as a snare or pit trap. In case couldsave lives.

Indeed it could save lives. The firsts jab Strange makes in the tear causes a spout of tentacles to come gushing out and splutting against the circle of salt like an invisible dome. The scent of them is all ozone and wet earth. They writhe without aim or direction, a mystical equivalent of getting one's foot in the door before it can be closed.

It's distracted, though. Team Agitation is on the case. Still, the roiling abundance of tendrils, even aimless as they are, would not be great to touch. It may not have a capacity for life as humans understand it, but it is chock full of nightmares just waiting for someone to grab hold of, and the salt will only hold so much and for so long.

"Someone shore up the salt circle, please," commands the Sorcerer with impeccable calm in the face of some seriously disturbing swatting in their direction. He continues to manipulate points upon the multi-circled mandala in the air before him; each circular ring in brilliant gold, the esoteric writing itself in a vision-bending shade of bright green that ripples through with ultraviolescence to the time of his heartbeat.

Even as the inky extensions of the creature from beyond curl and seek, Strange is doing his damnedest to keep track of the slick ribbons of veil and sew them shut. It's hard when the patient keeps twitching, y'know — and the other half of his mind is keeping a close track of the others about him, especially mindful of the metaphysical solar glow of his Consort.

Billy moves to obey Strange's instruction, though he isn't entirely sure what it is that salt has to do with anything: but in the deep and mysterious ways, he is one mage of a really awful magical education. Then again, he cheats. But, he can pour more salt in a circle, he can do that!

Writhing ink stains further impart their unwelcome presence in scent and scribbles on the face of reality. Wanda recoils instinctively away from them, all the training in the world no substitute for hard-bitten experience at survival by any means necessary. Her hands start to rise to her sides, forcibly lowered back down to provide a four-point tether for the leyline's abundant energy to race through and discharge back into the soil. Her polarity flips increasingly positive to the dragon line's dominant influences — ambition, attraction, change — all flooding over her. More she drags into a reserve, filling up the crannies, much as Korean pearl divers super-saturate their lungs before a deep dive.

Every passing decade of moments or so, the stellar tones in her mystic aura realign subtly to the chime-peal of their coursing tide. This is all a very fancy way of saying she continues to be the paranoid battery, prepared to leap onto the roof if a shadow says boo. Probably after a hysterical berserk claw-fest and backflip, but still.

Constantine pointed Billy in the right direction to have him work the opposite side of that circle. Truth be told John wasn't above flipping the large circle he was standing on into a hole that went directly to the 6th ring of Hell. Hey at least that was the floor with the 147 Starbucks in a 100 sq. ft. area. Imagine how tight those lines were. It's called Hell for a bloody fine reason. Still making these abyssal things Hell's problem? Nope! Not beneath him to do. he let Strange take point, wanda had one point of the triangle, the kid another… yeah it felt balanced. That meant it wasn' apt to last that way for long. Strange focused on the rift, John focused on charging up that circle of protection, the tattoos along his arms glowing orange as he started chanting in ancient Hebrew.

The tendrils paw around blindly, seeking the irritant so they can scratch it like an itch. The real consciousness is elsewhere. Which probably saves them, to be honest, because where that thing makes contact, a flood of nightmares wash in. Curling around an ankle, holding on, it pumps in a kind of venom that releases one's darkest fears and makes them feel so lucid, so real and realized. Touching a wrist, they whisper into one's mind that everything one loves will come to dust, and the earth will wither and the stars will die, and it's all because of what one has done or not done.

One of the larger tendrils goes for Strange; he's the source of the irritation.

With the extra layering of salt, the smaller tentacles are sure to have some trouble breaking past the basic and yet resilient defiance of the ring. It's that bigger one that's an eyesore and Strange is very much aware of it.

"Someone block that tentacle, please." It's the near-monotone of extreme concentration. His glowing eyes are heavily lidded and even as he weaves his concerto in key of F (for 'flippin' tentacles, GET LOST'), the Sight-bright threads are tested again and again. The beginnings of sweat shade at his silvered temples despite his cyclical breathing.

Nodding, Billy helps Constantine and in double-time they get the circle settled. He's distracted because of this, and a tendril wraps around his leg…
"_What_ do you think you are _doing_." Wanda's voice is cold and her body stiff as Billy blinks in confusion and steps away from the hug he just gave her, "Umm, hugging you?"
"Who do you think you are?" says Wanda, and Billy looks taken back, uncertain. Stephen Strange steps up between them, "Look, I don't know what you think you're doing, but you don't walk up and touch a stranger, let alone my Consort."
Billy looks completely bewildered, "Dad? Mom?"
Its clear from their expression that neither Wanda or Stephen have ever even seen this crazy kid.
Tommy frowns at Billy, reaching out to take Wanda's hand in her own, "Look, you freak, go away."
… and on and on. His key to his other parents house doesn't work. He knocks, they threaten to call the police. Teddy calls him a queer and a freak and beats him up.
Billy remembers them all but none of them remember him. It was only a little spell! What did he do?!
"IwantmylifebackiwantmylifebackIwantmylifeback!" — nothing happens.

Billy's nightmare spills out from him as he's frozen, stuck, held by the tentacle.

|ROLL| Wanda +rolls 1d100 for: 15

All it takes is a moment.

Just one to divert her attention from the Sorcerer Supreme to the nagging epiphany blooming at the corner of her spell-stung vision.

Just one for a black line to bisect a mound of white salt crystals.

Just one for ice-cold fingers to tack a route up her spine and a voice to whisper from the cold abyss contained at the core of every cell.

Just one for the leyline to surge, a palpable twang of snapping laws of physics when the torrential flow turns back.



All it takes is a word.

Just one to break her concentration from the quiet trance holding all that energy in reserve.

Just one for the red-hot fortune to manifest in doubled stars around her outstretched hands, spreading fingers.

Just one for a tremendous amount of raw magic to spiral away from her in a fortunosphere guided by semiconscious volition, hellbent glaze over the core of a profound maternal instinct. Sometimes the universe shouts back.


TL;DR: WTF bad line, leave the kid's leg alone. Great, momming out again.

Constantine was glad that Strange told him to hold onto the gris-gris. The Knight of Humanity was here as that: summoner protector, not hellish fireball invoking the name of the First of the Fallen and fly dresser to take back what is his. When the tentacles started to break lose he turned his will on the tiny bastards and enjoyed giving them a terrific and fine 'fekk off'. But Billy got snagged on one and he didn't care much for the look on his face when he started to go a bit slack-jawed. The mojo bag made with the residue from one of these awful encounters was tuned against it and was in hand when he tried to arrest Billy from its sticky grip using the bag like a grenade. It writhed and snapped onto John's arm. He tried to pull it away but it was wrapping up and up his arm.

He could hear her crying. The 6 year old girl. She was grying. She was only 9 and had seen more brutality from the world than most of the city of Las Vegas. Astra… was being pulled into the rift and trying to crawl out. "John, you said you'd save me. Why did you promise to save me from teh bad men and send me here? Help meeee!"

John's face went ashen and he stood very still and murmured, "Astra… I'm sorry. I'm so… so sorry" His jaw tightened and his cheeks were wet; every breath shaking his ribcage in fury and regret.

He could hear her being torn apart and chewed on by the hounds of Hell pulling meat from bone and never letting that child die. She was an innocent. She was a victim on earth and committed no sins of her own, just those of others. And he was watching her be dragged into Hell because he enabled and allowed it.

He wasn't in a trance though. His throat was dry and he looked to Billy and calmly, with a weariness in what was left of his soul said, "Just blast the bloody thing will you and let's have on with this." He pulled his arm to stretch the tentacle tight to give Billy a good target. He looked to the rift pursing his lips together. "I said I'd com e back for ya, luv. Today is not that day… and you're not Astra." The difference was John's nightmare happened. It wasn't a possible phantom, and it haunted him every night in his sleep.

He'd never put his nightmares down, and he'd never admit them.
Like Astra he stood waiting to be freed.

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