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"Burn The Stage": Doctor Fate has appeared to John Constantine and his Earth 2 counterpart offering help - but John can easily see that the one who is really pulling the strings there is the Helmet of Fate, and not its


Quote1 You could do that if you like, John. You could do anything. You're a clever lad. Quote2
-- Thomas Constantine



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Synopsis for "Burn The Stage"

Doctor Fate has appeared to John Constantine and his Earth 2 counterpart offering help - but John can easily see that the one who is really pulling the strings there is the Helmet of Fate, and not its wearer. Seeing the runes John and his companions had drawn as part of a spell to get them to his world, Dr. Fate warns that they had better hurry with the spell, because the Parademons of Apokolips have arrived. John delays, to his counterpart's annoyance, and he sees the other John and his family arming themselves in preparation for a fight, knowing they don't trust him. And well they shouldn't, because the only way the spell will work is if one of the two Constantines dies.

Fate senses the problem and suggests that John put the Helm of Fate on, and with Nabu's help, they can reconfigure his spirit so that there will be no conflict. John, of course, knows that this is merely a ploy by the Helm to get a new host. He knows that if he wears it, he will become its slave. He also knows that it's the other John who deserves to live. He has friends and family where John only has himself.

John calls his counterpart to his side, but can't bring himself to either kill him or ask to be killed himself. He watches as his other father fights the incoming Parademons, and knows he'll never get to say a proper goodbye to him. Angrily, his counterpart wants that they won't last much longer, and deduces at last that he is what is preventing the spell from working. John freezes, and Fate warns that there is no value in saving anyone else. Only John is worth saving - even if only to become his host. Finally, John admits to himself that he is what he is - a cad, a bastard, a killer. He takes his counterpart in an embrace, and thrusts a knife into his chest.

The other John's death gives him more power than he needs for the spell, and he uses the remainder to shield himself and the others from the Parademons and Doctor Fate. With John gone, Fate will be abandoned without a host, having bet on the wrong horse and given up on his people. Fate leaves in a rage, allowing John to complete the spell - though his counterpart's family and friends are enraged at him for his betrayal. Angrily, the deceased's girlfriend Maureen wraps her hands around John's neck, calling him a murderer and exclaiming that she would rather die a thousand times with her lost John than survive with this one. John must admit to himself that he had wanted his counterpart's life. But he had warned them. Everything comes at a cost.

Maureen's grip tightens, and John begins to lose consciousness, just aware of the spell's beginning to work.



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  • This book was first published on January 14, 2015.
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