"Like a Bullet": After the Crime Syndicate's attack offset the balance between good and evil in the world, the evil within humanity's collective unconscious took physical form and the name of Blight. With the only person he cares about besid
- Are you really going to make me threaten to kill her? You know I hate a cliché.
Synopsis for "Like a Bullet"
After the Crime Syndicate's attack offset the balance between good and evil in the world, the evil within humanity's collective unconscious took physical form and the name of Blight. With the only person he cares about besides himself missing since the attack, John Constantine collected a band of substitutes for his Justice League Dark to find Zatanna and the rest of the old team. After putting the boots to Blight, it became clear that Zatanna and the rest of the world's mystics were captured and kept on Nanda Parbat, for reasons yet to be seen.
Within seconds of stepping inside the temple, they are bombarded with magic that causes them severe agony. John quickly recognizes the spell as one of his old friend-turned-nemeses, Nick Necro's. Soon, John loses consciousness, and finds himself in the world of a dream, tormented by Nick Necro and Blight, who taunt him by forcing him to relive the death he cheated by using the Dun-Kon-Wen spell. Eventually, he wakes from the dream, as Nightmare Nurse herself wakes from her own similar dream. The others are missing, though. John suggests that the two of them abandon their companions in favour of finding Zatanna, and he isn't inclined to entertain any alternative plans.
Together, the pair face additional defences, and John senses the involvement of other sorcerers, like Felix Faust. He wonders why Nick Necro would allow Faust to take the lead - unless he isn't in charge. Side-stepping all of the magical barriers and deterrents, John and Asa enter into a grand chamber, where they discover mystics from all over the world, attached to some great machine. Asa determines that they have all endured a terrible mystic surgery. They have been made into part of a weapon to fight a force that even the Syndicate fears.
Scanning the room, John notes that Zatanna is not among those strapped into the machine. Sargon the Sorceress is, though, and this tips John off that his suspicions are correct - the woman who guided him here is not the real Nightmare Nurse. He placed tracking spells on his entire team - Nightmare Nurse had even helped - and she is not with him. Grinning, the imposter reveals his identity as Nick Necro. Teeming with magic energy, he complains of having been stuck in an A.R.G.U.S. prison, and promises to stick John in the machine. When he turns to John to see his reaction, though, the con-man is missing.
Annoyed, Nick stands in front of Zatanna, hoping to lure John out. He offers that he saved John a spot across from her, so he could look at her while she undergoes all of this pain. Out of Nick's sight, John calls out that he will offer a deal: if Nick lets the others go, he won't humiliate him again. Angrily, Nick fires a blast of magic at the location he thinks John is hiding, but there is nothing there. John takes this as a rejection and offers an alternative: he, Nick, and Zatanna will join together, and run the operation for the Syndicate together.
From his vantage point, far from where he is projecting his voice, John watches Nick and ties a mustic knot with a golden thread. As the knot tightens, Nick begins to choke and struggle to breathe. As he buckles over, John rushes up and kicks him in the face, knocking him out. Hurrying over to rescue Zatanna, he is suddenly rendered immobile by a blast of magic from Felix Faust. Once again, John loses consciousness, and relives his death as the Dun-Kon-Wen spell's price is paid again.
When John wakes, he realizes that he too has been strapped into one of the machines. He regrets his cavalier attitude, having eschewed caution in favour of bravery, and that was a losing bet. Thanks to his tracking spell, John is aware that his friends are close by, and hopes that they will come to his aid. Unfortunately, from his position, he can't see that they were captured as well.
Appearing in "Like a Bullet"
- Black Orchid
- Cassandra Craft
- Shade, the Changing Man
- Enchantress (June Moone)
- Blackbriar Thorn
- Blue Devil
- Papa Midnite
- Story Continued from Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #16 and Continues in Trinity of Sin: Pandora #8