Spawn and the Coven
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the members of the Coven, nor do I own the Coven’s allies, or the various members of the Gathering
Feedback: I’d appreciate that, trust me
AN: Bentlar demons originate from the Angel novel ‘Endangered Species’ by Nancy Holder and Jeff Marriotte; I needed something to give Spawn an action-packed introduction to the Coven, and this was the only thing that I could think ofThe Gathering of Supernatural Psychopaths
“DAMNIT!” Hellboy roared, as he punched his way through yet another of the golems that fought alongside the bizarre banana-like demons that seemed to be congregating around the members of the Coven.
Quite frankly, the weeks that had passed since their group had officially come together had been anything but
quiet. Blade, Leo, Hellboy and Constantine often left to spend time with their allies outside the Coven- and, in Blade and Constantine’s case, tackle the latest threat to their dimension that might have tried to take advantage of their absences to strike- and to tackle the latest demonic incursion in their area- always with the understanding that they’d call the Coven if he needed help-, but otherwise the group spent most of their time these days in the pocket dimension headquarters that Gideon had provided for them, working on improving their abilities as a team and dealing with the occasional supernatural ‘crisis’ that came up. An ‘alert orb’ that some of their spellcasters had created alerted them in the event of a supernatural-related catastrophe taking place that would require their intervention, although Leo and Hellboy had also been known to provide them with information about something that seemed to be a ‘Coven-level’ crisis; the orb was mainly a ‘last-resort’ warning system that was only activated when the situation reached a certain point after which the Coven might not have been able to stop it.
At the moment, the Coven were dealing with reports Leo had received of a Chaos demon attempting to destabilise reality around New York Central Park; always eager for a chance to stretch their legs, the Coven had naturally eagerly accepted the chance to kick some ass.
So far, however, it was all up in the air as far as their attempts to reach the Chaos demon in question were concerned. They’d reached the park easily enough, but the problem now lay in getting through the Bentlar demons, which traditionally congregated around chaos demons as they were the only species that could survive in the destabilisation of reality that was caused by the chaos demons, and the additions of a few golems, who, since they were essentially stones, weren’t particularly affected by the fabric of time being slightly destabilised around them.It’s official; I really,
really hate golems
… Hellboy mused to himself, as he launched a powerful kick at a nearby Bentlar, nodding in approval as Blade lashed out with his sword and decapitated the demon in question.
Glancing around at the others during the momentary lapse in the fighting, Hellboy was pleased to see that most of them appeared to be coping well with the situation. Angel and Spike were working like a well-oiled machine, ducking the blows of the surrounding demons as they retaliated with strikes of their own; even as Hellboy watched, Angel ducked to allow Spike to make a 360-degree spin with a massive battle-axe that knocked a couple of advancing golems back.
Checking in another direction, he was relieved to see that Illyria and Constantine were holding their own against another group of Bentlars; the two had formed a close friendship in their time on the team, for reasons that nobody could quite work out, and often fought side-by-side in combat situations. Hellboy sometimes teased Spike about being jealous of the close relationship between the blue-skinned former God King and the redeemed exorcist, but Spike always brushed it off; either Hellboy was barking up the wrong tree, or Spike was always rather angry when someone worked out how he felt about something when they’d only met recently.
Hellboy shrugged; either way, it wasn’t his business.
Looking over in Leo’s direction, Hellboy winced as he saw the Whitelighter trying desperately to fend off a couple of Bentlars with his daggers. The Whitelighter was a very committed fighter when the situation called for it, but his drive to win didn’t make up for his general inexperience at one-on-one combat. If one of the others didn’t get over there soon, Leo would be in trouble…
And then, as one of the Bentlars got under Leo’s defences and hit him in the ribs with the lance it was using, it happened.
“NO!” Hellboy yelled, hoping that one of the other Coven members would reach Leo in time; a golem was advancing on Hellboy that prevented him intervening to help his friend, but if one of the others could throw off their opponents for long enough, they might manage to reach Leo…
Then, to Hellboy’s surprise, someone did
intervene, but it wasn’t one of the Coven. As Hellboy watched, a well-built figure in a black costume that looked like some combination of leather and flesh, with large white ‘eyes’ and a white M on its chest, as well as a long red cloak streaming behind it, charged at the nearest Bentlar demon, lashing out with a massive punch that sent it flying. Even as Hellboy washed, two long chains flew from the figure’s chest to strike at the second Bentlar, sending it flying back.
“You OK?” the figure said as it turned to look at Leo; the gruff voice sounded male, which tied in with everything else about the figure’s appearance, but Hellboy was prepared to wait and see before he decided anything for certain. As Leo accepted the figure’s help to get back onto his feet, Hellboy turned back to the golems and Bentlars that were gathering around him, drew the Samaritan, and began to fire.With that new guy helping him, Leo should manage for the moment
, Hellboy decided; after all, if this guy wanted to fight
the Coven, he probably wouldn’t have saved their only contact with the side of good just then (Leo might not be much of a fighter, but the info he could provide them with was always
Of course, they’d question him once the chaos demon had been shut down, but for the moment Hellboy was going to go with his gut and trust the sucker…
“Stay focused!” Angel called out, as the last immediate member of the Bentlar faction of the attack force fell. “Hellboy, Illyria, keep the golems occupied; everyone else, you’re with…” He stopped briefly as his eyes fell on the black, red, and white figure standing beside Leo. “Who are you
“Call me Spawn,” the figure said briefly. “I’d like to say I’m just here to help, but the truth is that I’ll be needing your
help once this is over.”
“Look, whatever the reason is for you being here, let’s just get this over with before we start discussing it, OK, mate?” Spike grunted, jerking his thumb towards the ever-increasing vortex around the chaos demon’s location. “We’ve got demon ass to kick; we can worry about anything else later.”
“Sure,” Spawn said, as he turned to look at the vortex. “The plan is?”
“Stay close to someone, focus on walking straight ahead, and then just kill the thing,” Blade put in, his sword clutched in his right hand. “Let’s just get this over with before something else shows up.”
Nodding, Angel and the others dived into the swirling vortex before them, each of them focusing on their intended objective…
And then they were through, looking at the roaring ten-foot-tall drooling, clawed monster in front of them.
Glancing over at their new ‘ally’, Angel was pleased to note that Spawn didn’t seem that disturbed by the creature; whatever his history was, this guy was evidently used to dealing with some of the bigger guns in the supernatural world. If he was genuinely on their side, he could be a useful ally…
A few moments later, the Coven was looking around in approval at their fellows as the chaos demon lay on the ground, already rapidly dissolving into various differently coloured piles of slime. Hellboy and Illyria had already disposed of the golems by the time the others rejoined them, leaving the group with only one concern; to find out more about their new ‘acquaintance’ in the bizarre costume who called himself ‘Spawn’.
“So,” ‘Spawn’ said, his head still covered by that bizarre ‘mask’ that seemed just as leathery/organic as the rest of his costume, “guess I’d better introduce myself?”
Angel nodded. “That would
be appreciated,” he said, as the rest of the Coven joined him in looking at Spawn. The former assassin took the opportunity to take a quick assessment of their attitude towards him, and was pleased to note that it was what he’d expected of a team with their reputation; willing to listen to what he had to say, but ready to fight if need be. Their faces were all neutral, but Spawn had been an expert at reading body language even before
he died, and it had only become better thanks to his new powers.
Then again, these guys weren’t hard to read; even a moron could tell that all seven of the various Reformed Supernaturals before him were tense and ready to attack him if he tried to get in a blow towards them, regardless of the fact that he’d just helped them kill the chaos demon.
Spawn shrugged as he forced his attention back to the matter at hand and looked at the Coven.
“This’ll take a while; you got anywhere private that we can go to while we talk?” he asked the vampire.
Glancing over at Leo, Angel nodded at the Whitelighter in acceptance, and all seven of the Coven instantly reached out to grab the wrist of one of the others, Spike and Blade grabbing Spawn’s wrists as he looked at them in confusion. Closing his eyes, Leo focused briefly, and then the Coven found themselves once again in the large white room that had been where they had all first come together to battle the evil Cole and his army.
Fortunately for the Coven, it was a lot more interesting now than the basic white it had been at first. With the Coven having decided to become a permanent group, Leo had managed to convince the Elders that they needed an effective ‘base’, for lack of a better term. The room now not only had several comfortable chairs in it, where the Coven could sit while discussing possible problems that they were currently dealing with, but even came equipped with a library containing every demonology book ever written in a few basic volumes (Much like Wesley had possessed back at Wolfram & Hart), as well as a training room that had access to several weapons that the Coven could use either for training or on the field.
“Whoa…” Spawn muttered to himself, as he glanced around the room before turning his attention back to Angel. “This is your base?”
“The equivalent of it, anyway,” Angel said, shrugging casually as the rest of the Coven sat down in some of the available seats to listen to Spawn’s tale. Only Angel and Spawn remained standing looking at each other as they talked. “We mainly use this place for planning attack strategies and practicing fighting moves, that kind of thing. Anyway, we’re here to talk about you
right now, remember?”
Spawn nodded. “You’re right; I apologise,” he said casually, before turning to address the others. “I’ll start at the beginning. I started off as Al Simmons, an assassin for a secret branch of the American Secret Service, but I turned against my bosses when I learned that they didn’t seem to care about whether anyone else got caught in the crossfire. I tried to get out of the game, but Jason Wynne- my old boss in the group- had me killed and I got sent down to Hell for the murders I’d committed- even the ones I hadn’t wanted
“Ouch,” Angel said, wincing as he looked sympathetically at Spawn. “Sorry about that; can’t have been a picnic.”
“It wasn’t,” Spawn said, shaking his head briefly. “Only remember the first few minutes, but that’s more than enough for me.”
“So, what happened?” Hellboy asked, indicating Spawn’s costume. “How’d you end up with the nifty outfit?”
“Basically, this demon called the Malebogia let me come back to Earth if I agreed to lead his army against Heaven,” Spawn explained. “I accepted at first, mainly because I just wanted to see my fiancé Wanda again, but when I got back up to Earth, five years had passed, Wanda had married my friend Terry- she’d even had a daughter with him-, and I looked like something you’d find in an oven.”
Blade opened his mouth as though to say something, but stopped when Spawn’s head covering suddenly seemed to… retract, for lack of a better term… into the rest of the costume, leaving Spawn with brown skin that almost resembled a charred sausage, the skin stretched tightly around his skull and not a speck of hair on him- not even so much as an eyelash.
“Ouch,” Spike said, as he indicated Spawn’s face. “Result of your means of death?”
“Yep; got set on fire by my boss shortly before he blew up the chemical weapons factory I was in,” Spawn explained, as he looked around at the others; a few of them were slightly surprised at how green his eyes were, but quickly dismissed it to focus on his story. “Anyway, I had a few confrontations with some demon called ‘the Violator’- demon form’s pretty impressive, but his default human form resembles an overweight clown, so I just generally call him ‘Clown’. I tried to kill Wynne a few times at first, but then I learned that Clown was using him to develop a lethal virus, with a detonator wired to Wynne’s heart; if Wynne’s heart stopped, everyone in the world was dead. Took the detonator out using some of my extras, and then tackled Clown.”
He chuckled slightly at the memory. “Was a fairly one-sided fight, really; the guy tried to bite my head off, but I used my chains to decapitate him, and send him crying back to his boss…”
His grin faded and he shrugged as he looked back at the Coven. “Since then I’ve been hanging out in the alley where I came back into the world, practicing my powers with the aid of Cogliostro-”
“You know Cogliostro?” Leo asked, leaning forward and looking at Cole eagerly. “I haven’t heard from him in ages; how’s he doing?”
“He’s well, Leo; he’s actually the guy who recommended I come to see you,” he said to the Whitelighter reassuringly.
“Who’s Cogliostro?” Constantine asked, looking at Leo and Spawn curiously.
“Former assassin for the kingdom of Saxony in the fifteenth century, who came back to Earth as a Hellspawn but rebelled against his dark masters to fight on our side after forsaking most of his demon-based powers,” Leo explained, as he glanced over at the detective. “We met once while one of my charges was trying to vanquish a low-grade demon sent by the Malebolgia, and we got along fairly well; I was never entirely sure about working with demons or similar beings back then, but we still keep in touch now and again.”
Looking around at the rest of the Coven, who were now looking at their teammate with various inquiring expressions, Leo smiled at them reassuringly. “Trust me; if Cogliostro trusts this guy, we can trust him.”
Angel nodded briefly at his old friend, and then turned back to look at Spawn.
“So, why have you contacted us, if you don’t mind my asking?” the vampire asked, looking curiously at the ex-assassin.
“Wish I could say it was a social call, but unfortunately I’ve got a problem that I need your help with,” he said, looking apologetically at the others. “Clown’s come back, and he seems to have acquired some back-up; don’t know them personally myself, but they’re dangerous. Nearly killed me tonight, and would have probably pulled it off if Cogliostro hadn’t intervened.”
He looked around at the others. “Cogliostro told me that he’d heard rumours about some team being formed; consists of some of the worst serial killers we’ve got to offer in recent history. I’ve only encountered four of them- Clown included- but trust me; they’re good.”
He groaned as he sat back in his chair. “Even the fucking doll’s
a tough nut to crack…”
“Doll?” Hellboy said, looking at Spawn incredulously. “One of them is a doll
? How tough could a doll
“If it’s the one I’m thinking of, it’s bad,” Constantine said, as he looked over at Spawn. “It wouldn’t happen to be ‘Chucky’, would it?”
“Yep,” Spawn nodded at Constantine. “You know him?”
“Not personally, but I came close to encountering him once or twice,” Constantine replied. “Sensed his presence once or twice and tried to track him down to exorcise him, but it never worked; he always got away at the last minute.”
“Uh… hello?” Spike said, waving a hand impatiently. “Guy with no clue what you’re talking about over here; care to fill us in?”
“Oh, sorry,” Constantine said, looking over apologetically at the vampire. “The doll’s possessed by the spirit of Charles Lee Ray, known as ‘Chucky’ while he’s in the doll’s body; he was a serial killer who transferred his soul into a doll by mistake after he was shot by a policeman, and he spends most of his time active trying to find a new host.”
Spike opened his mouth to say something, but Blade raised a hand in a warning gesture to stop the vampire; he could guess that Spike was about to make some biting comment about the doll, and he doubted Spawn would take it well.
“So,” Blade said, deciding he might as well get a word in before anyone else could, “who else is on the team?”
Spawn shrugged. “Caught the names of two of them, but don’t know much else about the membership. One’s some kind of spindly bat/human thing that’s apparently called the Creeper, and the other’s some basket-case with superhuman strength and long black hair… calls herself ‘Drusilla’, I think…”
!” Spike and Angel said, sitting up sharply and looking over at each other in concern, before both turned to look resolutely at Spawn.
“We’re in,” Angel said simply.
“That quickly?” Hellboy said, looking at Angel in confusion. “What’s so special about this ‘Drusilla’ chick?”
“Well, there is
the fact that she’s one of the main living reminders of what we did when we were soulless; would that count for explaining why we don’t like her?” Spike asked, glancing over critically at Hellboy.
Hellboy could only nod slightly in agreement, and then the two vampires turned back to look at the rest of the Coven.
“OK, we need to find out the names and powers of the rest of the members of this ‘team’ Clown mentioned; I somehow doubt that they’d limit it to four people, particularly when one of them’s a doll,” Angel said, looking around the room at the others as he indicated a seat to Spawn, who gratefully took it. “Anyone have any contacts we could use?”
Constantine raised a hand. “I know a guy who runs a bar for the supernatural,” he said, as the rest of the Coven turned to look at him. “He’s only interested in staying neutral, but he’s given me some information in the past; doesn’t regard it as choosing sides. After all, if I didn’t ask him I’d probably find it somewhere else; he figures it’s easiest to avoid aggravating anyone else by just telling me what I need.”
“Sounds good,” Angel said, nodding in approval at the detective’s suggestion. “Should someone come with you?”
“Yeah; Leo and Illyria would be the best bet,” Constantine said, indicating the Whitelighter and ex-God King respectively. “If they’re coming along as well, my contact might be more willing to listen to me; I used up an old favour he owed me to stop the rise of the Antichrist, but he should be prepared to at least give me information if he knows I’ve got some allies.”
Angel nodded as he glanced over at the other two enquiringly. “That OK with you?”
Leo nodded, and Illyria just shrugged casually.
“Right then,” Constantine said, as he looked over at his two allies. “Let’s get going; we’ve got some information that needs to be found.”