"Dangerous Habits (Part V of VI) - The Sting": With Satan himself watching the blood drain from his body, John Constantine is dying. Whether it's by the cancer in his lungs or the slits in his wrist, he doesn't know, but
- The most dangerous moment of the most dangerous game I've ever played. If they fall for this bit, it'll all be plain sailing.
Appearing in "Dangerous Habits (Part V of VI) - The Sting"
Synopsis for "Dangerous Habits (Part V of VI) - The Sting"
With Satan himself watching the blood drain from his body, John Constantine is dying. Whether it's by the cancer in his lungs or the slits in his wrist, he doesn't know, but all he can do is wait for Satan to claim his soul.
That is until Azazel appears to make his own claim on the soul. He is soon followed by Beelzebub. Satan soon realizes that Constantine has duped them, somehow. Satan states that he has claim to the soul by way of insult, while the other two believe they have claim via contract. The other demons become curious as to what insult could be so great as to give Satan sole claim to John Constantine's soul, but Satan is evasive. As gleefully as he can muster, John explains how he tricked the devil into drinking holy water.
Through the other demons' jeers, John reminds that they too were duped. He signed a contract with both Beelzebub and Azazel, knowing already that Satan had laid claim. Now, all three have a legitimate claim, and with only five minutes or less remaining in John's life, they will have to decide who gets the soul soon.
John reminds that if they war over the soul, God will inevitably become involved, and then none of them will get the soul. Naturally, none of the three demons is willing to give up the soul to the others. Likewise, the contracts were all binding, and each says that Constantine's soul is due to the bearer. They must collect it. Their options are few. They cannot allow his soul to pass into limbo, and they cannot war over it, lest God take it from them and make them all slaves.
After some deliberation, the demons realize they have only one option. John knows that their last option is to keep him alive, and in order to spur them to make that choice, he slices his wrist even deeper with the razor blade. He has a mere 15 seconds to live, and as is blood drains out, he begins to lose consciousness.
John wakes when Satan raises him up off the floor. The demon explains that while he does intend to heal John's wrists and remove his cancer, he also intends for that process to be as painful as possible. He rips apart John's ribs, and shoves his heart out of the way so that he can dig his claws deep into the blackened lungs and tear the cancer out. This is not good enough, though. Satan burns away John's ragged body, and returns it anew.Though his rebirth was excruciating, John takes pride in the fact that he has wounded Satan's own pride. He puts on his clothes, preparing to leave. Satan warns that even though he lives now, he will have that soul. And once he has it, he will kill John over and over, in an infinite number of painful ways.
Smirking, John warns that Satan must not kill him. In fact, he will have to do his best to keep John alive. As soon as John dies, the conflict between the three demons begins again, and they will have to war over it. And in that war, all three demons will lose to God. He lights a cigarette and cannot resist the urge to give the demons the finger as he leaves.
- This issue is reprinted in the Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits trade paperback.
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