- ...I've tried every containment spell I know-- and it just keeps getting worse! Thaumaton is finished! We're all going to DIE here!
Appearing in "Forever Evil: Blight, Part 14: Unholy Trinity"
- Justice League Dark
Synopsis for "Forever Evil: Blight, Part 14: Unholy Trinity"
Though she managed to teleport the Phantom Stranger and Cassandra Craft from the Crime Syndicate's mystical weapons base in Nanda Parbat, Pandora failed to account for the magical barrier that prevented her from pulling all of the other mystics who were trapped there and tortured as part of Project Thaumaton. While Pandora and the Stranger are aware of why they could escape, Cassandra's accompanying them is a mystery. Unfortunately, it is a mystery to her as well. The Stranger is particularly suspicious, but when he tries to lay a hand on her, she blasts him back, revealing that she has powers stronger than even she was aware of. Pandora warns that they have little time to solve the mysteries surrounding Cassandra in any case. The other mystics are in danger, as the complex at Nanda Parbat is soon to meltdown in a magical implosion that will destroy them all.
Felix Faust has come to the same realization, desperately trying to contain the energy with spells while Nick Necro bickers with him abotu how to respond. Necro suggests that rather than use their own magic, they should draw on the energies of Nanda Parbat itself to save their hides. Unfortunately, dark magicians such as they can't manipulate energies so pure as that - which leads them to turn to their prisoner, the angel Zauriel. Thrusting a spear into his side, they channel their magics into the angel, and through the earth to draw Nanda Parbat's magic up and out. After a blinding mystic burst of light, they are pleased to find that they have successfully sealed the breach, averting meltdown. What's better is that Zauriel is still alive - which means they can put him back on the Thaumaton Wheel, and resume the project. Angrily, Zauriel resists them, opening a gateway to Heaven. Unfortunately, he lacks the power to maintain it, and Faust preys on his weakness, tearing the wings from his body.
Meanwhile, John Constantine manages to connect in an astral plane called The Between with Zatanna, for whom he came all this way, and went through hell to rescue. He explains that it means a lot to him to finally see her again, but she changes the subject, warning that they should form a plan. This gives him pause, and he points it out, wondering why she's suppressing her feelings for him. He explains that all this risk he took wasn't for the 'world's sake, but for hers. As much as he cares about the other people being tortured as part of Project Thaumaton, or the billions of people whose lives have been destroyed by the syndicate, if it came down to a choice between the world and Zatanna Zatara, he'd choose her, every time. In his life, there is nothing but blackness, and she is the one spark of light.
Zatanna turns away, choosing instead to try to drag the rest of the old Justice League Dark into The Between, so they can take down Faust and Necro together. John warns that the only reason the two of them can exist in The Between is because of the deep connection between them. He had already tried connecting with them, and she can't hope to do it herself. She responds that her connection with the others is strong enough, and soon, the others are with them, albeit trapped somewhere between the real world and The Between. John warns that if she can't pull them all the way through, they'll be torn apart, and cease to exist. Sadly, Zatanna is forced to let them all go, but someone else begins to materialize with them. Nick Necro grins as he explains that only those close to her heart can enter The Between with her - and that means John and him.
Angrily, John rushes at him, but finds that he has no physical presence to hit Nick with, and Nick has none to be hit. The real John and Zatanna are still strapped to the Thaumaton Wheels. Annoyed, Zatanna demands to know what Nick wants. He responds that he is only there to open their eyes, and show them what they refuse to acknowledge. The three of them are bound together by destiny; one soul in three bodies. He wants them to join him. He explains that the Thaumaton Project serves a higher purpose. Something exists beyond this world that even the Crime Syndicate fears, and the project is the first line of defence against it. Zatanna suggests that there must be another way, than this torture. Nick begs her to show him that other way. Together, they can send the Syndicate back and remake the world in their image. John and Zatanna take each others' hands, and sternly warn that that ship has sailed. Angered, Nick agrees, and sends them back into their bodies on the Thaumaton Wheels.
Soon, they are strapped together, and Nick explains that his visit to The Between had only been a diversion while their bodies were fitted with psionic crowns which can ensure that they never escape again - not even in their minds. He laughs that all he had said about friendship before was just a lie, as he hates them both more than anyone. To prove this point, he activates the testing device which turns them both into a bio-mystical explosive which renders their bodies into ash before slowly regenerating them, preparing them for another detonation, and another, and another.
Annoyed, Felix Faust intervenes, warning that the Syndicate would not allow them to risk their two most precious assets for Nick's amusement. As he blasts Nick into submission, he warns that only love can spawn such a specific kind of hate. Even as an unbidden tear wells in his eye, Nick swears that he never loved John Constantine or Zatanna.
Sensing that the meltdown was averted, Pandora, Craft, and the Stranger head instead to Valley Stream, New York. First, the Stranger suggests, they need allies, before they head back to Tibet. The first of these allies must be Christopher Esperanza, who recently underwent a transformation of great power that could serve them well. Though Cassandra is doubtful, Pandora vouches for Chris' abilities. However, before they can even approach Chris, they are visited by the Spectre, who warns them to leave Chris alone, or face his wrath.
- This book was first published on February 26, 2014.
- Story Continued from Trinity of Sin: Pandora #8 and Continues in Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger Vol. 4 #17
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