Part 3

venus over london







A select crowd had gathered in a deep, dark cavern of Hell.
They all had one thing in common:  they'd been screwed over
by John Constantine.

Heading the gathering was the First of the Fallen, seated
upon a throne of bones and looking over the impromptu
convention.

"Ladies, gentlemen, please!" he yelled.  "The show's about
to start!  Settle down, now... OR ELSE."

The room immediately fell silent.

"Now then, someone fix the damned reception!  The image is
all fuzzy!"

A minor demon scrabbled up to the front room and quickly
fiddled with some runic symbols.  A gigantic image at the
end of the room slowly sharpened into the image of a taxi
cab racing into the night, pursued by a pack of hellhounds.

And within the cab was the star of the show, John
Constantine.

A female John Constantine.


- - -


The small cab blazed through the streets of London, nearly
mowing down several pedestrians in the process.

"Chas, they're GAINING!  Get this piece of shite moving a
little FASTER!"

"I'm going as fast as I can, dammit!" yelled Chas.

"It isn't enough!"

"If you've any suggestions, I'd LOVE to hear 'em now!"

"Shite, I dunno!  Turn or something!"

"Turn?  Right!"

They turned, right into a dead end.  The alley was flanked
by tall buildings, and the end had an impossibly high
concrete wall blocking the way. 

"REAL good going, Chas!"

"Shut up!  It was your bloody idea!"

The car shook violently, jarring the two from their
argument.  They turned around to see the large pack of
hellhounds standing quietly behind them, blocking the way
out. 

One of them had a tire in its maw.

Chas' eyes bulged.  "Oh shit!  John, do something!"

"Like what?!"

"You've got them super hero powers now!  Go out there and do
something super-heroic!"

"Are you mad?!"

"You got any other suggestions?!"

They glared at each other for a moment longer.

The car shook again.  This time, a hound yanked off the rear
bumper.

"Shite.  I hate it when you're right," grumbled John.

Very nervously, John got out of the car and faced the
hellhounds.  They, in turn, seemed quite relaxed.  Two of
them were busy chewing on the tire and fender. 

"Right then, shoo!" 

The dogs continued staring at her.

"Go on now, get!  Move along!  Shoo!"

One of the dogs took a step forward, sniffing the air.

"Hey!  Back!"  John raised the mysterious pen up in a
menacing gesture.

The lead dog blinked, looked at it, then with amazing speed
leaped up in the air and bit down on it, yanking it away from
John's grasp.

"Oh, this just keeps on getting better," snarled John.

In the back of her mind, she could feel those instincts,
that voice, all trying to come to the surface.

'Not now!' she yelled in her mind.

'Got any better ideas, wiseass?' the voice whispered.

She had to admit she didn't.

"I really hope I don't regret this," she muttered angrily to
herself.

And then she let the instincts run free. 

"NEMESIS SHADOW WHIP!"

With a brief flash of light, an ebony coiled whip that
seemed to be made of pure shadows materialized in her hand.

Ah, a weapon.  Now this was progress.  But 'Shadow Whip'?
Ech.  This was starting to get tacky again.

The downside of this was that it seemed to upset the dogs,
who were now looking far more menacing than before.  They
were all growling and drooling, and the drool was melting
the pavement.

John rushed forward (and didn't stumble, despite the
high heels) and lashed out with her whip.  

"Back! Back, ya mutts! Back!" 

The pack of hounds retreated quickly, except for an
unfortunate pair that didn't move fast enough.  The whip
sliced through them several times, reducing the dogs to
black lumps and splatters of blood.

Two down.

Lots to go.

No problem.

The whip was tossed away, disappearing into nothing as it
flew in the air.  The dogs seemed confused, and a few took a
step forward to attack.  They all hesitated when streaks of
darkness began flying by them and toward John from
everywhere. 

She held her hands out to her sides, the dark energies
swirling into large spheres, each surrounding her
outstretched fists.  With a fairly dramatic sweep of her
arms, John sent the dark spheres to the ground, where they
quickly formed two enormous pools of absolute black. 

"NEMESIS ARMY OF DARKNESS!"

Oh no, thought John.  That really sounded stupid.

Out of the darkness, dozens of inhumanoid shapes arose.  Some
were skeletal, others were bestial, and all were absolute
in their darkness.  They crawled out with a sickly and
slurping noise, spooking the hellhounds enough to make them
take a few more steps away.

'What the Hell are they?' John wondered.  Instantly, the
part of his mind that wasn't his gave an answer.

Mindless creatures they were, formed from the primordial
soup of a dark dimension and given a form and purpose from
_her_ command.

His, apologized the voice in his head.  It was so confusing 
keeping track of genders.

Ah, thought John.  Conjuring.  This was familiar ground.

The hellhounds and the dark beings stared at each other
blankly for a moment, right before the dark creatures sprung
forward with surprising speed.  The sounds of dogs yelping
and whining carried into the night as the unknown horrors
tore into them.

Sidekick Chas took this moment to peek out from the car and
stare at the scene in shock.  "Jesus, John, what are they?"

John took this moment to pull out a cigarette and admire her
handiwork.  "Dunno, but they're vicious little bastards,
eh?"


- - -


People running and screaming in terror was the sort of thing
Minako was used to seeing, primarily accompanied by some
sort of monster attacking.

She stopped one of the people running by and asked, "What's
everyone running from?"

"Devil beasts!" replied the man.  "Running through the
streets!  You'd best run too!"

Minako scratched her head, puzzled by it all.  This was the
sort of cheesy line she thought she'd hear of only in old
monster movies. 

She smiled and pulled out her transformation wand.  Looked
like it was time for Sailor V to make her return to London. 


- - -


*ARF*

-crack-

"That was nasty," grumbled Chas.

"No kidding. I gotta dig through that pile of bloody muts
and get that damned magic dildo back.  Stay in the car,
s'no telling what those nasties might do."

John approached the bits and pieces of hellhound parts, very
carefully stepping around the odd monstrosities that she'd
summoned.  For the most part, the many-shaped monstrosities
were just standing there.  More than half had already
disappeared, gone back to wherever it was they were from. 
Of the few left, some were merely standing there while
others seemed stuck in redundant actions, mostly pounding on
the remains of the hellhounds even though what was left was
rather pulpy.

At last, he made his way to a dismembered hellhound head,
its jaws clenched around the mysterious rod that had caused
John so much misery in the first place.

"This is disgusting."

John pried the animal's jaws open, keeping his nose as far
away from the rancid odor of dead hellhound as possible, and
pulled out the transformation rod.

"Now then, let's-"

"Hold it right there!"


- - -


The sight that met Sailor Venus was one of total carnage. 
Bits and chunks of flesh were scattered across the dead end
alley.  A half dozen obsidian, shambling, mindless
monstrosities were standing amongst the carnage, some still
tearing away at the carcasses.

And at the center of it all was a woman.

In a trenchcoat.

And a decidedly menacing sailor uniform of all black
underneath.

If she had any doubts as to what side the woman was on, they
were immediately put to rest when the stranger tore a dog's
head open and pulled out what appeared to be a
transformation rod of some sort.

"Hold it right there!"

The girl dropped the bloody severed dog's head and looked up
with irritation.

"Bloody hell, what NOW?"

"Slaughtering innocent pets with a demon horde is pretty
low!  I'm Sailor Venus, and on behalf of pet owners
everywhere, I'll punish you!"

The woman's jaw dropped, the cigarette in her mouth almost
falling out.  "You've gotta be kiddin' m-"

**WHAM**


- - -


Chas sighed as he watched the newcomer slam into John with a
lightning fast kick, sending John through the air and hard
into a brick wall.

This wasn't good.

John Constantine was almost notoriously miserable as a brawler.
The only reason John had fared well in the bar fight was her
newfound super strength and speed.

With a sigh, Chas settled back into the car and laid low.
This was no situation for a mere mortal like him.  Besides,
the new girl didn't look like the type that killed, and John
was bound to win one sooner or later.


- - -


"Ow."  John shook her head to clear the cobwebs, then glared
at the minions she'd summoned up earlier.  "Well don't just
stand there!  Gimmie a bloody hand!"

The creatures silently shifted their attention towards
Sailor Venus.  Too late, John realized that those creatures
knew no restraint.  They wouldn't just defend John, they'd
be trying to kill the other girl.

She scrambled to her feet in a panic.  "No!  Don't!"

The creatures sprang forward.

And with a dazzling array of kicks and punches, Sailor Venus
decimated the monsters.

"Oh.  Wow."

And then she set her sights on John.

"VENUS CRESCENT BEAM!"

A massive beam of power slammed into John, sending her
through the the brick wall.

Again.

"Ow, dammit."  John glared at the girl and felt ancient
emotions of her other half bubble to the surface.
Irritation.  Anger.

Not coincidentally, that's how the rest of her felt too.

"Right then, that's it!  NEMESIS SHADOW WAVE!"

With a sweep of her arm, John sent a dark wave of energy
flying towards Sailor Venus.  

"Shite, do I have to bloody scream out every time I do
something?"

The Sailor Scout rolled under the attack, then zoomed
towards John and attacked with a series of punches and kicks
that John didn't dodge with skill. 

The part of John's mind that knew what it was doing seemed
jarred by the assault, fading further into the subconscious
until it was barely audible.

John was on her own.

She retreated as quick as she could, springing up to a
nearby rooftop.  John tried to repeat what she'd done
before, focusing on gathering energies from beyond.  This
time, instead of spheres of pure obsidian energy surrounding
her fists, these seemed to be tainted with the occasional
red flicker.

"Bloody Hell I hope I do this right- ARMY OF DARKNESS!"

The spheres zoomed down to the ground, turning the pavement
it struck into large pools of darkness, though flickering
with some flames.  Venus jumped back and watched the ground
carefully, and so did John.


- - -


M'hoe, Lar-eeee, and Kha'Re were denizens of Hell.

They weren't especially nasty looking demons, being rather
simple in design.  They were hairless, fat, with two small
horns, and armed with a pitchfork.

They weren't especially high ranking denizens of Hell.
Theirs was to go about sticking a pitchfork wherever it was
needed, the rough equivalent of Hell's janitors.

It was a mundane job, but someone had to do it.

At the moment, they were wishing they had a mundane duty to
do.  Instead they were helping out the demon lord Blathoxi.

He was not a very pleasant demon to be around, especially
when he was in the sauna.

"My towel!  Where is my towel!  And my drink!  And the
flesh for the fire!"

"C-coming, m-my lord!"

"Right away, my lord!"

"Flaming flesh, on its way!"

A funny thing happened right about then.

The trio of demons, and their lord, were unexpectedly, and
unwillingly, summoned and bound to task.

*POOF*


- - -


Sailor Venus watched the shadow-stained ground warily, ready
for any attack that might arise from it.  Probably more of
those dark gross things, she thought.

"So, bringing in more youma to do your dirtywoEEEEWWW WHAT'S
THAT SMELL?!" 

With a brief and tall flare of flame, four creatures stood
before her.  Three of them were hairless, bald, and rather
fat.  One was carrying a glass, another had a towel, and a
third had something blubbery that was ... on fire? 

The fourth demon, however, was different.  It was huge,
towering over the other three, easily three times the height
of Sailor Venus and four times as wide.  Its face was
covered in blisters and boils, a few oozing.  The demon was
also barely clothed, with only a small towel stolen from the
Hilton covering its nether regions.

All of these features were not the reason it stood out.

Blathoxi was, by duty, title, and talent, the Demon Lord of
Flatulence.

"What is the MEANING of this!" roared Blathoxi.   His breath
drove the air quality down severely by the mere act of
talking.

"Aaaagh!  The smell!" wailed Sailor Venus.

Up above, at a semi-safe distance, John sighed.  "Oh
bugger."

Blathoxi blinked.  He and the three other demons turned
around slowly but angrily.

"Madame," blubbered Blathoxi, "how DARE you summon me in
such an uncivilized mann... er... have we met?"  The demon
lord peered at John, taking into account the cigarette, the
trenchcoat, and the tell-tale irritable mood.  "Are you
perhaps related to John Consta-*AAACK*"

Blathoxi didn't have enough time to discern the identity of
his summoner.  Sailor Venus had gotten her second wind
(actually, a fresh wind) and dove into the four demons with
a barrage of kicks and punches and keeping them off balance.

"Pfargh!  You imbeciles!" roared Blathoxi, ruining the air
quality further with his bellows.  "Dispose of her!"

"Wid wot?  Foul language?" asked M'hoe.  "We din't 'ave our
pitchforks wid us when we got zapped 'ere, ey?" 

Blathoxi whapped M'hoe on the forehead.  "Just stop the bi-"

"LOVE AND BEAUTY SHOCK!"

The four bickering demons looked up just in time to see a
gigantic glowing gold heart slam into them, utterly
destroying their physical shells and sending their essences
spiraling and tumbling back to... 


- - -


*THUD* *THUD* *THUD*

"Aaaaow.  Shit, 'at wos fuckin' oomiliating."

"No kiddin'.  Wossat that zapped us?  A big gold friggin
heart?"

"Ain'been so embarrassed in all my damned life, I say.  A
big gold bloody 'art.  Ooever 'eard of such bollocks?"

"Oi, where's Blathoxi?"

****TTTHHHUUUDDDPFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTT****

"Aaow.  Shite."

"Phew."

"Where's the air freshener?"


- - -


"An' I thought my stuff was silly," marveled John.

"What're you calling silly?!" yelled Sailor Venus.

"Love and Beauty Shock?  C'mon, luv, innit just a bit daft?"

To say Sailor Venus was insulted would be entirely accurate.

"Why you... you... VENUS LOVE ME CHAIN!"

A chain of small golden hearts swirled around Sailor Venus,
which suddenly snaked out.  John jumped away, narrowly
avoiding the mighty chains of love.

"That was not an improvement," quipped John.  "Bugger, I'd
hate to see the hate chain."

"Oh yeah!?" yelled Sailor Venus.  "At least I'm not...
not... a smoker!"

There was a moment of silence.  Sailor Venus trembled with
rage.  John blinked.

"Was that supposed to be an insult?"

"Right!  That's it!  CRESCENT BEAM SHO-"

At this moment, a certain dark green haired woman
stepped out of the shadows and tapped Sailor Venus on 
the shoulder.

"Stop."

"YOW!"


- - -


There exists, in the life of every person, that ONE person
that knows everything. 

These people always have the answers, and never, ever tell
how they know.  They seem like the sort that should be able
to solve a lot of problems, yet don't do that much at all
(much to the annoyance of others). 

Being rather mysterious and cryptic seemed to be the main
thing.

In one form or another, every person had someone like this
in their lives.

King Arthur had Merlin the Magician.

John Constantine had the Phantom Stranger, though he wished
he hadn't.

The Sailor Scouts had Sailor Pluto.


- - -


The blond sailor senshi whirled around, half-scared and
half-annoyed.

"Pluto?!  Jeez, don't sneak up on me like that!" 

"Sorry."

Oh, great, thought John.  Two of them.  She didn't know who
the other one was either, but something about Sailor Pluto
irritated her to the core.

"Now that you're here," said Sailor Venus enthusiastically,
"help me beat this-" 

Sailor Pluto shook her head.  "We should leave.  Now."

"What?!  But.... but..."

Pluto stared into Venus' eyes seriously.  "Trust me," she
said.


- - -


Atop his rooftop perch, John watched the two ridiculously
dressed magical powered school-girl vigilantes chat between
themselves briefly, then jump away into the night, leaving
John once more alone, and peacefully so. 

This day was just getting more and more... well... stupid.

"Oi!  John!"

Ah.  Chas.  Almost forgot about Chas.

"Yeah?  What?"

"You've just reached an all-time low, John!  Got kicked
around by a school girl!"

John scowled.  "Oi!  In case you haven't noticed, that was a
bloody super-powered school girl!" 

"Still got yer arse kicked!  Now get down here, eh?"

"Be right down, Chas!"

"And fix my bloody car!"

John landed from the rooftop easily, then turned with an
irritated (it seemed to be irritated almost constantly now)
look at Chas.

"What d'ya mean fix your bloody car?"

Chas pointed to the bumper and tire that were once attached
to his cab, now strewn on the alley floor.  "I'm not fixing
that, and you're the one with super-bloody-woman powers,
eh?"

"Aw, c'mon!  I don't know shite about car repair!"

"You owe me for this, mate!"  After thinking about it, Chas
was amazed he finally got to say THOSE words to John.

John roled her eyes and stomped towards the wreckage, then
looked at the magic wand.  "Don't suppose if I yell 'nemesis
car repair' you'd do anything, eh?"

Nothing happened.

"Didn't think so."

With much annoyance, John went to the back of Chas' cab and
pulled out the spare tire.  It wasn't as if it was hard
work,  with her newfound super strength.

It was just that John despised manual labor.


- - -


Meanwhile, in Hell...


The legions of Hell, while greatly amused, had reason to be
glum once more.  The show was over.

For now.

"Okay!  Show's over!"  yelled the First of the Fallen. 
"Back to torturing and maiming the damned!  Go on, bugger
off!" 

The demons, devils, and other denizens of hell gave a
collective groan and shuffled off back to the daily grind.
A few many-tentacled things had a few ideas about John that
they hoped to test out soon.

All in all, just another day in Hell.

The First of the Fallen tapped his chin in thought, then
leaned towards one of his minions.  "Get me the demoness
Mara.  I've got a job for her."


- - -


A few minutes later, the not-quite-dynamic duo were once
more on the road, traveling not-quite-as-fast-as-before
through the dark London night.

"So, who's this we're seeing, then?" asked Chas.

"Hm?"

"At St. David's, eh?"

"Oh, that.  A bunch of blokes who... how t'describe it... 
they keep track of the odd buggery of the world in general. 
Started in the 50's as a UFO watch sorta thing, but with a
few cuts in funding here and a few decades of membership
changes there, an'what you got now is a... er... cult, I
guess would be the term."

Chas scowled.  "Wot, we're gonna go meet a bunch of cloaked
wankers that mope around chanting?"

"Nothing like that, Chas," said John.  "Actually, something
worse."

They arrived at the campus of St. David's without any
further incident, which reminded John of the line 'it's
quiet, too quiet'.  Nevertheless, it was, indeed, quiet,
which was a step up from being kicked around by school
girls.

Their drive eventually lead to a particularly archaic,
square, squat, yet rather solid looking building made of
stone.  The design was rather medieval in appearance, and it
gave Chas a slightly foreboding feeling.

"Welcome to The Keep, Chas," said John.  "Park it here, this
is our stop."

With the wind beginning to howl and lightning flashing in
the distance, John and Chas made their way to the large
double-doors of the structure and knocked.

Chas didn't like it, not one bit.

"What're we here for?"

"Answers, Chas.  Answers."

"Worse, you said," grumbled Chas.

"Wot?"

"You said they was worse the buggers that mope about with
hoods and cloaks and chant odd shite."

John thought it over, taking a long drag from her cigarette.
"Yeah, they are."

The ancient doors creeked open, revealing darkness from
within.  John arched an eyebrow while Chas tensed up and
made himself ready to punch someone.

Suddenly, a skinny, pale, bespectacled head popped out of the
darkness, staring at John with lust-filled eyes.

"Whoa!  A babe!"                


- - -


There was a secret cult at St. David's University.  It was a
cult because very few people would have listened to them,
and even fewer would have joined them, unless they had a
hook. 

It was a secret because, well, it was devoted to clannish
worship of magical girls. 

No, really, they would have protested, it was a cult of
occultists who studied magic.  They just happened to
specialize in magical girls. 

It was, technically, occult, they reasoned. 

Every Sunday night, they would meet at "The Keep," a
building whose age was possibly medieval or older,
resembling a small section of a bigger fortress.  It once
was, but was now the archaeology college of the university. 

This band of occultists, made of students, professors,
faculty, and staff, were known as 'The Keep Rats'.  It was
meant to be a derogatory term, many years ago, but the Keep
Rats rather liked it.  It struck them as something quite
nifty, almost like Pack Rats or Wolf Pack, or some other
impressive gathering of large animals. 

Like any secret organization, they had a purpose, a goal, a
mission to strive for.

To sneak a peek up a Magical Girl's skirt. 

No no, wait, to STUDY Magical Girls.  

And other supernatural phenomenons.

Really. 


- - -


"Whoa!  A babe!"

John promptly grabbed the person by the throat and pulled
him out from the doorway. 

"Look at me like that again and I'll rip yer balls out.
Understand?"

"Ack...ack...yes...righto."

"Now, is The Prof in?" 

With John's hand still crushing his neck, the man weakly
nodded.  John shoved the man back into the doorway, letting
him breathe at last.

"Lead us to'em," said John.  "And turn on the bloody
lights."

"Thought you said these were worse'n those monk-types?"
asked Chas.

"They are," said John.  "The monks would be far better
organized than this motly crew, and they'd be less likely to
pinch me arse."


- - -


Sailor Venus and Sailor Pluto sprang from rooftop to
rooftop across the city of London, Pluto looking as serious
as usual and Venus looking a bit irritated.

"Hey, Pluto, why didn't you help me trash that witch back
there?"

"There is something odd going on," said Pluto.  "And that
woman is more than she appears to be.  This situation, as a
whole, might be very dangerous."

"Why's that?" asked Venus.

"That woman you were fighting is really a man," said Pluto.
"His name is John Constantine, and his reputation is that of
a master magus with not entirely noble motivations.  He has
betrayed angel and devil alike."

"Huh, sounds evil," said Minako, "like a bearded Spock."

Setsuna blinked, mulling that phrase over.  Minako said the
strangest things sometimes...

"So why's he a she at the moment?  Is this like those Sailor
Starlight guys... er... girls?" asked Venus. 

"Something like that," said Setsuna.  "John Constantine has
somehow taken the mantle of Sailor Nemesis."

"Nemesis?" asked Venus.  Her eyes widened in surprise.  "As
in the Black Moon?" 

The Black Moon Crisis was something they'd dealt with some
time back.  A thousand years into the future, a new kingdom
would be formed from the reborn survivors of the Silver
Millenium, beginning with the utopia city of Crystal Tokyo.

There were those that opposed this new reign, and they lead
a rebellion against the Queen.  The rebels were defeated by
the guardians of Crystal Tokyo and fled from the Earth,
chosing instead to live on a far-away planet, which they
christened as Nemesis, the Dark Moon.

The rebels of the Dark Moon would return, lead by Prince
Demando and the mysterious being known as Wiseman.  Their
strike against Crystal Tokyo was nearly successful.  The day
was saved, however, when Minako and the other Senshi
traveled to the future and defeated them.

"There was another Nemesis before the Black Moon.  Wiseman
and his followers named the Black Moon after it." 

"But where's planet Nemesis, then?"

Pluto frowned.  "It is no longer a planet, though parts of
it remain.  Today it is commonly called the asteroid belt."

"It was destroyed?  But... by who?"

"Sailor Nemesis."


-  e n d  p a r t  3  -