"Justified": As news of Jonah Hex's successful attempt to rescue a crowd of civilians by shooting an armed madman dead reaches the public, so too does the fact that he believes himself to be a time-travelling bounty-hunter from the 19th Century, who has since esca
- Ya don't know me, Gina. Things ah seen and done. The people ah've killed in and out of war. Ah ain't one ta dwell on things an' ah know this life is unfair to all, but them people didn't deserve ta die like that.
- -- Jonah Hex
Appearing in "Justified"
- Burning Man Festival
Synopsis for "Justified"
As news of Jonah Hex's successful attempt to rescue a crowd of civilians by shooting an armed madman dead reaches the public, so too does the fact that he believes himself to be a time-travelling bounty-hunter from the 19th Century, who has since escaped from Arkham Asylum, kidnapping its chief psychologist. What is most unusual about the case is that both the kidnapped Jeremiah Arkham and billionaire Bruce Wayne seem to believe his story, and have agreed to defend him in court.
The judge, however, makes it clear that he will not entertain the idea that Hex has travelled through time, though it is possible he is a distant relative. Wayne's lawyers, though, report that the clothing and accoutrements that Hex arrived at the asylum in were authentic, dating back to the 19th Century. Meanwhile, no record - physical or otherwise - of Jonah Hex exists in any database. In any case, Hex is on trial for murder, not time travelling. While Gotham may condone vigilantism, this small community does not. However, the townspeople have gathered outside, calling Hex a hero. Annoyed by the judge's apparent axe to grind against gun control, Wayne's lawyers approach the bench to warn that no jury will find against Jonah - and the Mayor himself is on his way to thank the bounty hunter for his heroism.
After Hex is declared innocent, Bruce Wayne attempts to congratulate him, though he is still unsure of the truth about his client. Hex shares further information that only he could know about the Wayne and Arkham families, providing more proof for Bruce to verify, despite Jeremiah's assertions that Hex is really who he says he is. Disinterested, Jonah reject's Wayne's offer of money, and decides to take his leave on his own. Though they allow it, Arkham admits that there is little chance a man from the 19th Century will be able to psychologically acclimatize to the 21st.
For the next month, Jonah Hex and Gina ride cross-country on a motorcycle. One night, they stop at a motel looking for a place to stay and some food, but the grumpy man behind the desk is put off by their appearance, assuming they're going to some kind of sex festival that happens every year. This piques Gina's interest, but in the mean time, the old man gives them directions to a bar and grill down the road. With their funds low, Jonah has promised Gina that they will be able to find a cache of gold that he buried long ago - and after they get it, maybe they will go to this sex festival.
At the bar, word of Jonah's exploits in the present have already reached the patrons, and they are impressed, to say the least. After a night of fun and drinking, Gina leads Hex back to their room, warning that he'll pay if he can't perform once they get back. Nearby, and unseen by them, John Constantine watches with some chagrin.
The next day, Gina and Hex search around his old stomping grounds, looking for his treasure, though they know it may not be there anymore. As they search, Gina wonders what it was like to live in the real old west. He responds that she would probably rather not know. What she calls cowboys were often practically slaves, who would be raped by cattle drivers. They would have to kill their way out of that life. He was fortunate enough - if fortunate is the word - to be sold to the Apache at a young age. While they didn't treat him well, they were kind enough not to violate him.
As they reach their destination, Hex begins digging, explaining that he can't seem to get the poor people who were attacked out of his mind. The things he did in his past were cruel, to be sure, but those people didn't deserve to die like that. After a while, Hex retrieves the box, and Gina remarks that it's still quite heavy - which means they can get out of there. Later, she has the money appraised, and realizes that even a small amount of the treasure they recovered will make them rich. If he has any more buried somewhere, they won't have to want for anything.
With that knowledge, Gina encourages Jonah to spend some of his savings on guns. Even without a license, the huge amount of money he has means that the vendor agrees to sell pistols to Jonah under the table. Though he is used to the single-action Colt, a Desert Eagle turns out to meet his needs, and he orders two.
Next, the pair arrive at the festival, where a massive crowd has gathered. That night, they watch the strange goings on, and Hex admits that he has stopped trying to understand how things work these days. Gina wonders if there is anyone he left behind who might miss him, and he supposes that there isn't - but there is someone he misses, though he doesn't want to talk about her. Suddenly, though, Jonah spots some strange figures in the crowd, and realizes that something isn't right about them - beyond the weirdness of the festival. They're not people. From nearby, Constantine appears, admitting that Hex is right. They are the Ki'yathe - the krill of the demon world. They siphon life from others for sustenance. What disturbs him is that Jonah can see them. What disturbs him more is that the Ki'yathe are symbiotic with a larger and more dangerous demon that is hiding somewhere at the festival, which is itself one of the biggest sin buffets in the world.
- This book was first published on October 23, 2013.
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