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"Dreaming of Blood": At Nanda Parbat, is under attack, and the Thaumaton Project, in which the Crime Syndicate has imprisoned the world's mystics and weaponized them, was developed for just this purpose: to destroy the monster whom even the Syndicate fears.


Quote1 One thing I can tell you is this: The only way Zatanna survives is if I kill you or you kill me. It's the sacrifice that does it. Quote2
-- Nick Necro



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Synopsis for "Dreaming of Blood"

At Nanda Parbat, is under attack, and the Thaumaton Project, in which the Crime Syndicate has imprisoned the world's mystics and weaponized them, was developed for just this purpose: to destroy the monster whom even the Syndicate fears. That, at least, is one of the futures that Nick Necro has foreseen.

Nick has been to Hell itself, and as much as his prisoner John Constantine might think it is a slaughterhouse or a hospital of horror, it is far worse. Hell is impersonal. Hell is designed to make you realize that everything you feel - everything you are - is nothing. And nothing is worse than that realization - and that's what awaits John when he dies. From his vantage point, Felix Faust complains that Nick is spending far too much time talking to Constantine - an infantile obsession that makes him doubt Nick's self control when things get hairy. He reminds that it was he who pulled Nick out of Hell, paying the price for it with his youth. Nick owes him.

Six years back, Nick had instructed his pupils, John and Zatanna that magic always has a cost - but nothing will hold them back if they are willing to pay it. Sometimes, he explained, the necessary sacrifice can be frontloaded with pain. As he said so, he burned his palm with his lit cigarette, and had Zatanna close him up in a cabinet. Incredulously, Zatanna reminded, as Nick appeared suddenly behind her, that her father Zatara had taught her the cabinet escape long ago, and that Nick had always told her that her father was a joke. John responded that Zatara was a joke - but on purpose. His goal was to keep people guessing at what was real magic, and what wasn't.

Now, John has escaped the Thaumaton wheel by using Zatara's own escape spell. The irony is not lost on Nick, who is entirely aware of his actions. John is relieved to see Deadman - still trapped within the corpse of Sea King - but is surprised when Boston punches him in the face. Grinning through Sea King's mouth, Nick Necro speaks in Deadman's voice, explaining that he implanted all of John's friends with a control spell that allows him to puppet them, and drive them violently insane. Looming over John - who is weak from all his torture - Nick explains that he has been trying to divine the future, and the one thing he is sure of is that the only way Zatanna will survive this ordeal is if one of the two of them dies. The one who dies will be the sacrifice that pays for the magic to save her - and by the look of John, half the work is already done for him. Defensively, though, John unleashes a magic spell that rips Deadman from Sea King's body, as he points out that Nick's claims don't make sense. In any case, he knows that Nick set him free - so why not just have killed him?

In the past, Nick, John, and Zatanna had intended to create a magical bond that would tie the three of them together forever, regardless of what destiny had had in store for them. They would be tied together for eternity. Each of them kissed another of the three, while the remaining cast the spell, until all three had done their parts, and the magic began its work.

Controlling the Swamp Thing's body, Nick binds John in vines, reminding of the magical bond between them, and how he knew that the upshot would be John's death by his hand. John points out that he knew from the beginning that the only reason Nick had bound them all together in the first place was because Zatanna had more power than the both of them combined. While she and John thought they were in love, Nick had only wanted her power. Nick, though, is still in denial about that, believing that they were all three in love, and that it had been John and Zatanna who shut him out. In order to evade Nick's attacks, John casts a spell to enter The Green, and wood-walks across it, right to the remote location from which Nick is controlling John's friends, and punches him in the jaw. In response, Nick headbutts him in the nose, causing him to stumble backward into the middle of a magic circle.

Immediately, a demonic hand reaches up from Hell to grip John, and before it takes him, Nick reminds that he doesn't care if Zatanna goes free, so long as she suffers. He has seen the future, though, and a big battle is coming, for which there is a best possible outcome for him. John, though, must die right here and now. After all, John's death would be a very potent sacrifice. As the void opens below him, John refuses to lose like this, materializing a magical blade in his hand, and thrusting it into Nick's chest. As Nick bleeds out on the floor, John calls struggles to grab onto some purchase, but he is too late.

Even as he falls, though, John can hear the Swamp Thing going mad, and realizes that without him there to prevent it, Alec will bring down the entire facility, and kill everyone in it. At least he'll have company in Hell...



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