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With This Ring (Young Justice SI) (Thread Fourteen)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Mr Zoat, Jan 27, 2019.

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  1. Vaermina

    Vaermina Versed in the lewd.

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    Or she doesn't want Paul to know about it for some reason.
     
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  2. Threadmarks: A Week in the Life of (part 11)
    Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    15th April
    06:14 GMT -5


    John Quinn looks at the three of us through the entrance to the Tower of Fate.

    "Is there a punch line..?"

    Zagreus takes a moment to regard his right fist before lifting his eyes to John.

    "There can be."

    "Melinoë was taking a look at the Mother Star at my request and she disappeared. I would very much appreciate your help in working out what happened."

    "Melinoë… You lost the Goddess of Nightmares and Madness?"

    "I lost the Goddess of Nightmares and Madness in an incident related to a giant telepathic starfish god. As I'm sure that you can understand-."

    "Yes, we should get on this right away." He steps out, closing the door behind him. Then he turns back to the Tower and opens it again. "Follow me."

    We troupe through, and rather than the stony entryway that was on the other side of the door a moment ago, now we're wandering through his library's reading area. Koriand'r's head jerks around, her eyes open wide as she tries to take in everything with clear fascination. Zagreus just ignores it, marching ahead of John and sitting down hard on a leather upholstered bench.

    "What do you need to find my sister?"

    John walks over to a reading table and picks up a small… Ring box? Snuff box?

    "Orange Lantern wanted Melinoë to take a look at the Mother Star. His mission report said that it had two different sets of memories relating to a species the Star Conquerors enslaved." He looks at me. "You thought it came from the Dreaming."

    I nod. "It's a possibility I want to eliminate."

    "So you went to the person you know who understands dreams the best and it blew up in your face." He smiles. "Very Constantine."

    "No, no one's died yet."

    "Early days. So you think she's in the Dreaming, and you want me to help find her."

    "There's a portal to the Dreaming in Erebos, but we have no way to track her."

    "A piece of the starfish would probably do it. You're the God of Hunting, aren't you?"

    "I can't track through the Dreaming. Not reliably. The terrain isn't stable enough. I need someone who can impose order on it. And don't think for a moment I don't know what's in that box."

    Koriand'r's head snaps around, staring at the box John pointedly isn't trying to conceal.

    "What is in the box?"

    "A little something John Constantine stole from under Morpheus's nose. Just a pinch of his powder." He looks at me. "Do you know the story? John said that you knew a lot he didn't think you should…"

    "Morpheus has three tools of power: his gem, his helmet and his powder bag. I'm not sure exactly what they all do, but at… Some point John Constantine came into contact with the bag. When Morpheus got free of his prison, he got John's help tracking it down in exchange for getting rid of his nightmares. Somehow I'm not surprised that John kept a pinch."

    "Risky. Even for him."

    "The way he told me, it wasn't so much him taking it from the bag as realising that a dream-addled addict probably spilled a lot while she was using it."

    That makes sense.

    "Does it help us? If you want something in exchange-."

    "I'm not sure I want to take the risk of receiving payment." He smiles, taking the box in his right hand and tapping it against the table. "We might be able to get Morpheus's attention with this, and he might be willing to help us. Or we could use it ourselves and try and find her without his help. Or we could enter the Dreaming physically through Erebos."

    "Which do you recommend?"

    "Does Morpheus have a grudge against any of you?"

    I shake my head, and Zagreus and Koriand'r do the same.

    "Does he have any reason to want to help?"

    "I've never met Death, and I'm not sure that my dreams relate to the Dreaming. He might find that interesting enough to indulge me. Plus, I doubt that he wants the Goddess of Nightmares and Madness in residence long-term." I turn my head to the other two. "Any ideas?"

    Koriand'r frowns. "What is 'Dreaming'?"

    "The collective universal unconsciousness made of raw magic twisted into shapes by material concepts. Just about every being partially enters it when they dream, but there are other ways to access it and a lot of ways to use it."

    John thinks for a moment, then nods. "That's a pretty good summary, actually. Skips a few pertinent points, but if we're not going there it doesn't really matter."

    "Actually… Using the Dreaming might let us build magic-based interplanetary vessels. It would be far safer and simpler than flying through Hell." John bows his head slightly. "What?"

    "So are we calling up Morpheus, then?"

    "I don't have a glass jar full of demons… Zagreus?"

    "Why would I have a glass jar full of demons?"

    "No, I mean: do you have an opinion?"

    "I have an opinion on a glass jar of demons, yes."

    "Oh, some total prat of a caliph once talked Morpheus into taking everything that made his country great into the Dreaming by threatening to break open a glass orb full of demons. Morpheus turning up in person might have been coincidental but even if it wasn't I'm not going to try and find out."

    "Good." He thinks for a moment. "I've only met Morpheus very briefly; he doesn't owe me anything and I don't owe him. But if the alternatives are trying to dream of nightmares and madness ourselves or trying to track him through that insanity, I favour politely asking for his help."

    "Koriand'r?"

    "I do not think I know enough for my view to be meaningful."

    "John?"

    He regards me thoughtfully. "You know the spells that bound him, don't you?"

    Ah. Yes, he would work that out, wouldn't he?

    "I… Might. That's the sort of spell you want to get right the first time, and I didn't understand the theory enough to know if what I saw was everything."

    He nods.

    "Don't tell him you know. Don't even refer to it. I'll set up a nice, friendly non-binding ritual space and we can ask him politely." I nod, and he makes eye contact with Zagreus and Koriand'r. "And that goes for you. Do not, under any circumstances, attack Dream of the Endless. Am I clear?"

    They nod, and he walks over to the ritual space.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  3. Khettien

    Khettien Perpetually confused

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    Just to be clear - Is this before Morpheus's death by Fury, or is this his replacement?
     
  4. BlueMangoAdea

    BlueMangoAdea Alive. For now.

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    Summoning an Endless? Bold move.
     
  5. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    'lifting'

    'it'

    Before that.

    In the Wings and Dagger episode we saw Daniel, his replacement in the comics, is still human.
     
  6. Prognostic Hannya

    Prognostic Hannya Getting sticky.

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    Ahhhhhh it's finally happening!!! We're gonna finally figure out if the Endless know Paul's name.
     
  7. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    Maybe add 'this' or 'the'

    "What is the 'Dreaming'?"

    ''What is this 'Dreaming'?"
     
  8. Handlewithcare

    Handlewithcare I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Yes! Endless time, baby!

    And the way I understand the Dream: isn't it kinda unclear what the linear relationship between the Dream and material existence is? Which one came first? Or rather, if there is such a relationship at all and the Dream is instead infinite, timeless potential-reality?
     
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  9. Kalem_Lee

    Kalem_Lee Versed in the lewd.

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    Oh god its happening.

    We getting more Endless Interaction. I'm jiggling in terror.
     
  10. Vaermina

    Vaermina Versed in the lewd.

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    He's embarrassed to even know you Paul.

    Paul... It was a comic and you don't have an edict memory... Just admit you don't know it and move on...
     
  11. transhumansage

    transhumansage Not too sore, are you?

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    oh boy here we go!:sneaky::D
     
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  12. Citizen

    Citizen Experienced.

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    As I understand it they are emphatically not summoning him, but rather politely inviting him to stop by to chat.
     
  13. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
    No, that's Koriand'r's linguistic awkwardness.
     
  14. cereal_lurker

    cereal_lurker Getting out there.

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    It seems like full disclosure would have the SI mention to the group that he's been touched by Desire, which may impact Dream's willingness to help/holding a misplaced grudge. Did he forget that arcane beings (like the demon twins) can detect the contact lingering on him? I don't think he had his rings when the demon twins mentioned it to him.
     
  15. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    I'd say it's more along being exasperated rather than embarrassment.

    He does have a perfect memory.

    Power rings are awesome.

    He also had Hinon expect the site to figure out what happened.

    So chances are extremely high that he does know how the spell works, but is just worried that he may not know everything, and it's not him lying to try and make himself seem smarter, or whatever other messed up headcanon you believe this story has.
     
  16. Kalem_Lee

    Kalem_Lee Versed in the lewd.

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    Paul doesn't remember that. Like full on memory block.
     
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  17. moralrelativity

    moralrelativity Not too sore, are you?

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    I read all of Sandman for the first time about a year ago, so I'm fascinated by where this chapter might head. This will be THE VERY FIRST TIME I've ever had more than passing familiarity with the canon associated with WTR. (All of the original Batman TV shows, and a few original animated Wonder Woman episodes don't really count, right?)
     
  18. Yog

    Yog Know what you're doing yet?

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    Morpheus actually does owe Paul a little bit. Paul saved the muse, who was Morpheus's past lover (and also is a being connected to the Dreaming through her nature), so Morpheus himself didn't have to.

    On the other hand, Paul is the creature of Desire, in the same way, I wager, as Norton was the Dream's, so there might be a bit of animosity there.

    On the third appendage Paul's relationship with the Endless in general should be a hellishly convoluted mess.
     
  19. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    He actually does remember it.

    He remembers that it happened, but may just find it difficult to remember all the specifics.

    I also don't think he was paying all that much attention to Desire then.
     
  20. Tzeentch

    Tzeentch Know what you're doing yet?

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    The Three prefer to be called "The Kindly Ones" when they're in their most vicious and vengeful aspect, dearie.

    In fact, they INSIST on it....
     
  21. cereal_lurker

    cereal_lurker Getting out there.

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    He certainly may not remember the twins mentioning that they felt it on him, but he explicitly was told of the contact when Hinon visited Earth. He did have his rings then, so his memory of that conversation should be full and complete. And he confirmed with Hinon the Sandman event where Dream's lover cheated on him after Desire's nudging and Dream subsequently punished the entire Maltusian race for it.

    EDIT: Checked the part with the Twins (Agony and Ecstasy, had to find the names). They could have been referring to The Ophidian rather than Desire, but it was never confirmed. So the contact with Desire may not be immediately detectable. Still seems like something he should mention to this group before going in.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
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  22. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker, Rookie Proofreader

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    Calling in a professional consultant, eh? And Doctor Mist isn't suitable, being a Justice League member. because OL doesn't want them hearing about this, does he? :rolleyes:

    The deity has style. And a surprising sense of comedic timing.

    Yes, he's stepped in it deep this time. Considering her mother has it out for him already...

    Switching the entry location? Appropriate.

    This is her first time in an eldritch location, isn't it? Must be quite the eye-opener.

    Oh-ho, some dream sand? How typical of a Constantine.

    He's learned from the best, after all. And he has plenty of practice with blowback.

    That's better than the most obvious alternative, that the remnants of the Mother Star ate her.

    Even a god of the hunt has trouble with the Dreaming? How pedestrian. But it really highlights the instability of the place.

    For those wondering, it's a callback to the first arc of the Sandman comic from Vertigo. After Morpheus got out of a century of confinement, he went on a walkabout to track down his three treasures of office.

    Morpheus went to Constantine on the trail of his Bag of Sand, a powder that can cause sleep and dreams in any mortal. But he'd already lost it, after an ex-girlfriend stole it.

    By the time they found her, she'd been using to get high on dreams for months. In true Constantine form, it didn't end well for her, though quite peacefully. One last, dying dream...

    Magic has its price, after all. Something like this could be expensive.

    How about you start with the polite option? Morpheus doesn't take too kindly to meddling, as seen when he reclaimed his gem from Doctor Destiny (who'd been using it as his Materioptikon.) Or when he went into hell to reclaim his Helm. He intimidated the Kings of Hell into releasing him by threatening to remove the dreams of their prisoners. Because what good is hell, if those within cannot dream of heaven?

    And believe me, you'd know if he did. He condemned one old girlfriend to an eternity of torture in Hell for the crime of... Dumping him. He later relented...

    Cross your fingers and hope he's not in a particularly bad mood. Or that he's dating, that usually puts him in a good mood, until things sour...

    And not all of them are fun, pleasant or easy.

    Do you really think Morpheus would take kindly to you using the Dreaming as a stopover for mass transit? Then again, still safer than using Hell, or the Warp. Or would the Dreaming be the Warp? Very definite similarities to the Immaterium...

    You aren't going to take The Caliph of Bahgdad's route, are you?

    Let me guess: "Don't even think about it."

    I doubt he'd take kindly to uninvited guests, either. The being is the very definition of mercurial.

    She's in way over her pay grade here. She's just a sector lantern, this is Illustres-grade.

    Just don't say as much. Or be very polite about pointing out that you won't ever use them, even if you could use magic properly.

    It's definitely one of those 'bad consequences for failure' works.

    If he's feeling nice, he'd just dump you into years of nightmares. Take note of the former girlfriend's fate I mentioned above for a moderate level of peeved. Do not piss off one of the Endless. It never ends well.

    Oooh, this promises to get esoteric. Let's hope they can actually get his attention, or even pique his curiosity. Or this might prove to be a waste, and it turns out Melinoë is simply having tea in his castle, safe and sound. With any luck, we'll see tomorrow.
     
  23. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    I think it's because Quinn has access to the Tower of Fate, which has one of the largest libraries of magical lore in the universe.

    Quinn also can use the Helm of Nabu, so he is most likely able to perform magic that an ordinary magician can't.

    Dr Mist, while highly intelligent and knowledgeable, probably doesn't have a giant library, and while he's powerful he may still be weaker than a Lord of Order.

    I think it was more because she wouldn't go out with him and not because she dumped him.

    I don't think they dated, but Dream definitely wanted to date her.
     
  24. Me. Joka-r

    Me. Joka-r Getting out there.

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    Does it make any difference?
     
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  25. Vaermina

    Vaermina Versed in the lewd.

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    He has a perfect memory now.

    But that very specifically doesn't extend to things from before he got his power ring.

    Or did you forget about the books he couldn't reproduce?
     
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  26. Agent Orange

    Agent Orange I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    ...

    ... Someone's gonna attack Dream, aren't they?
     
  27. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    Even if it true that he doesn't perfectly remember everything before he got his ring, there is still the possibility that he remembers what was done to Dream in the comics.

    There is also the possibility that he figured out the spell after he got to Earth 16.

    Remember that time he brought Hinon to examine the place where he was imprisoned, and he worked with Constantine, who you can bet your ass went to that place to see what happened and probably told Paul.
     
  28. Xelloss

    Xelloss Getting sticky.

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    Who is John Quinn again ?
    My google-fu failed me.
     
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  29. Darko

    Darko Experienced.

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    He's the new Dr Fate.

    After OL and John killed Nabu, John gave the helmet to Quinn.

    A lot of people, including me, think that he's the Golden Boy from the Hellblazer comics.

    Basically an alternate universe version of Johns twin brother who he strangled in the womb.

    He made his world into something of a paradise, but also made Johns life a living hell for some reason.

    Johns mothers maiden name was Quinn if I remember correctly, so there is a chance that he could be the Golden Boy.
     
  30. Ngamer11

    Ngamer11 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Only Paul would suggest using the Dreaming as a pathway for interstellar travel. Exactly what was John Quinn reacting to? The fact that Paul thought of something like that, or the fact that Paul offhandedly mentioned the possibility of using Hell as an interstellar pathway if needed?

    There is honestly a 50/50 chance of something in this meeting going wrong thanks to Murphy's Law. Either something will provoke Dream or they are attacked or interrupted in the middle of negotiations.

    I think that the two are on par in terms of raw magical might. It's just that as the owner of the Tower of Fate, John Quinn has a lot of objects lying around that could help. Especially since Dr. Mist spent most of his time meditating instead of travelling and gathering artifacts of various degrees of power.

    That is one theory. Another is that he is Arrowverse Constantine, or some other kind of expy. I am honestly just expecting him to be what he says at this point, some guy that John Constantine thought would make a halfway decent Lord of Order for whatever reason.
     
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