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II-2 - Another Betrayal

written by Collin J.H. Chang

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About this story

Published: 1997 | Size: 28 KB (4776 words) | Language: english | Rating: R

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Abstract:
A MSCL and "John Constantine, Hellblazer" crossover

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman

THE STORY THUS FAR:

As Jordan lies dying from critical gunshot wounds, and Angela valiantly tries to nurse him back to health, the Three Fallen Brothers of Hell formulate a contest of wills to determine Satan's successor. He who drags the former Lord of Hell's most hated nemesis, Rayanne Graff, to the Abyss, shall also rule it. The shit's about to fly!



FADE IN
INT. ALLEY - NIGHT

A MAN WITH A BLACK SKI MASK
stands in a dirty puddle of water while he saws away a padlock to a steel door.

INT. RESTAURANT HOLOGRAM - NIGHT

A SAWING sound
CLOSE ON GRAHAM CHASE
He bites his lower lip, his face straining. Whatever he's doing, it's taking some effort.

GRAHAM
"Let's keep her in the freezer, Graham. At least til the heat's off."
(deep breath)
Tell me Hallie, why in the world do I listen to you?
He lifts his hand, wipes his sweating brow. And that's when we notice something strange. His hand is slick with THICK, RED BLOOD.
HALLIE LOWENTHAL
is also SAWING hard at the same object, though we can't see what it is. She stops sawing, takes a breather. CLOSE ON HALLIE'S HANDS They're also slick with blood.

HALLIE
You got a better idea, buster?

GRAHAM
No...but in the restaurant, of all places? Isn't that, sort of, pushing it a bit? There's got to be a better place than this!

HALLIE
(laughs)
Like your backyard, for instance?
(rolls her eyes)
You obviously don't watch CNN. See, I have this theory...

GRAHAM
Oh, no

HALLIE
Okay, trust me on this. The first place they search is the backyard. Every two months there's a new report on another, even more terrifying serial killer, and they're always digging up the poor guy's backyard.

GRAHAM
CNN, Hallie? We're stealing our modus operandi from CNN?

HALLIE
Did Patti take, like, calcium supplements, or something?

GRAHAM
Calcium supplements?

HALLIE
Mmm hmmm. I mean, she's a slender woman, I just didn't expect, you know, her bones to be so--

GRAHAM
She was a big milk drinker.

HALLIE
Ahh.

GRAHAM
Mmm hmmm. "Milk. It does a body good."

Hallie begins laughing, at first softly, then uncontrollably.
GRAHAM
What--?

HALLLIE
(still laughing)
You know, Brad was right about you. I mean, his theory about you.

GRAHAM
His theory about me?

HALLIE
That you're a lot smarter than you let on.

Graham smiles, shakes his head. Hallie wipes a finger just above her upper lip, gives herself a "blood moustache." She turns to Graham, preens for him.
HALLIE
"Got blood?"
A beat. They both burst into laughter, then slowly get it under control. Graham pauses, long and silent.
GRAHAM
Have I done the right thing, Hallie?
(a beat)
I mean, I have two beautiful daughters to think about.
It's barely noticeable, but Hallie flinches, just a bit. She composes herself.
HALLIE
You know, I have this theory about you... You see, I think you let the women in your life control you, because--

GRAHAM
Hallie, she breast fed them. Both of them.

You can hear a pin drop.
HALLIE
What am I? Chopped liver?

GRAHAM
No--! That's not what I mean, Hallie.

HALLIE
But it's just not the same, is what you're saying.

Graham begins to respond, but Hallie cuts him off.
HALLIE
Angela and Danielle will thank you for this. They will thank _me_ for this. What we did, needed to be done.
She gestures around the dim, empty restaurant.
HALLIE
To be successful, at anything, takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Remember, we want to make the best damn pate in--!
Suddenly, the door BURSTS open, and the SKI MASK MAN rushes in, holding out a .38 Special.
THIEF
Into the fridge, both of youse! On the freakin' double!! Wanna get shot?!

GRAHAM
Oh my God...

THIEF
God can't help youse here. Move it!!!

Hallie and Graham slowly move towards the walk-in refrigerator, when Hallie suddenly whips her hand, and a flesh-colored object flies at the Thief, hits him right on the chin! He falls to the floor, dazed.
THIEF
Owwwww!!! GRAHAM
Hallie--!!!
The Thief shakes his head, then looks at Hallie angrilly, cocks the .38.
THIEF
I oughta--!
And that's when he notices what she hit him with.
A HALF FROZEN HUMAN LEG
cut off from the knee down, still wearing its pump, sits halfway in his lap.

THIEF
Yaaaahhhhhhh--!!!!!
And he's outta there, like a shocked pig. Hallie and Graham watch the empty door for several beats.
GRAHAM
How did you--?
She turns to him proudly.
HALLIE
Chopped liver, huh?

GRAHAM
Whoa! Pass me a spoon, he said...as he ate his humble pie.

Graham smiles, moves close, embraces her. They kiss long and slow.

INT. EXT. HELL - DAY?/NIGHT?

THE FIRST OF THE BROTHERS
of Hell descends into a dark chamber at the heart of the Abyss. He pushes through the ancient iron door that seals The Most Sacred Of All Places. The First goes to The Rack, upon which lies THE ORACLE.

THE FIRST
Tortured flesh on the wall, who shall be victorious amongst us all?

THE ORACLE
That is not for even you to know, 'O Lord of Hell.

THE FIRST
But, from whom must The First amongst those who now rule The Abyss shirk in fear?

THE ORACLE
Neither The Second, nor The Third, nor that which is from a woman's loins born, need you live in fear, for none can harm The First.

The First smiles.
THE FIRST
Nothing to fear has The First, then, neither from below, nor from amongst man. To ensure my rightful place, how shall I go about?

THE ORACLE
Learn your enemy's fears, desires and needs, and you shall secure the position upon which fate has decreed you.

EXT. WALKWAY - DAY

RICKIE VASQUEZ
sneaks along the walkway, stays close to a row of bushes. He suddenly dives, rolls on the ground. Bullets BLAST the ground where he was a split second ago! He leaps up, and barrels through a glass door marked PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF PITTSBURGH.
RAYANNE GRAFF
sits in the waiting room, amazed to see Rickie leap in through the door.

RAYANNE
Vasquez, what the hell are you doing here--?!

RICKIE
(catches his breath)
Boy, are they unfriendly.

RAYANNE
Yeah. I forgot to tell ya, you gotta know how not to be seen. It's an art.

Rickie scrambles over to a chair next to Rayanne. Suddenly, another BULLET BLASTS through the window, shattering it, and lodging in the far wall. Rickie cringes. Rayanne doesn't flinch.
RICKIE
Rayanne, listen to me. That's--she's a living person--inside of you. RAYANNE
What?
(she touches her stomach)
You mean 'little Raynie Jr.?' here?

RICKIE
How can you, like, just toss her away? I mean, she's, like, a living, growing part of you.

RAYANNE
Thanks for the biology lesson, Mr. Science. But, you know, it's like, happening in my body, not yours? Big difference.

RICKIE
But...if it was my body, I'd...
(Rickie reflects on this)
I'd be, just, so happy...

A SMOKE GRENADE
is LAUNCHED through the shattered window, hits the far wall, and begins fogging up the waiting room. Rayanne, as casually as lifting a telephone receiver, picks up the GRENADE, and whips it back out through the shattered window.

RAYANNE
(a beat)
Yeah, cause you'd be stuffing your face full of pizza and cheeseburgers. I keep this up, I'm gonna burst.

RICKIE
No, Rayanne, I'm serious. She--she's your own flesh and blood.
(a beat)
How could you live knowing that...you threw your own child away? How can _anyone_ throw their children away?

They're both silent for a beat.
RAYANNE
I--I'd want her to have everything, Rickie. But there are some things... I just wouldn't be able to, like, give her.

RICKIE
But, Rayanne...doesn't she at least... deserve a chance?

RAYANNE
It's better if she never knows what she's missin', than if she, like, sees what she's missin' every day.
(a beat)
It'd be really, like, horrible, if she always, you know, felt...inferior to her friends, because she doesn't...have what they have.

Rickie thinks about this a moment. Suddenly,
BRIAN KRAKOW
bursts through the clinic door, breathing hard and fast. BULLETS WHIZ past his head.

BRIAN
Oh, man, you would not believe what happened last night, while I was, like, at my Chess Club meeting--you know, between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.?
Brian just stares at them, mouth agape.
RAYANNE
Spit it out, Krakow--!
CUT TO:
A BLACK SCREEN

ANGELA (VO)
Sometimes, something has to happen... before you know how you feel about someone. Like, I never knew before, how much I...liked him.

SLOW FADE IN
INT. LAKEVIEW HOSPITAL, PITTSBURGH - INTENSIVE CARE UNIT - DAY

JORDAN CATALANO
lies comatose, ANGELA CHASE sits beside his bed. RICKIE and RAYANNE race in, followed, more slowly, by BRIAN.

RAYANNE
Angelika...
Angela hardly notices Rayanne, goes directly to Rickie. He hugs Angela, and she collapses in his arms, begins softly crying.
RICKIE
It's okay. It's okay.
Rayanne stands off to the side, watching as they hug. She tries to pretend it doesn't bother her. Rayanne walks up to Jordan's bedside, leans over him. That's when she hears the VOICE in the corridor.
VOICE (O.S.)
Graff...pssst...Graff...
She turns quickly, looks for the voice. No one else in the room heard it. Rayanne slowly walks out of the room. Rickie watches as she leaves.
RICKIE
Rayanne--?

INT. CORRIDOR - DAY

Rayanne walks into the corridor, where she sees a deceased patient lying on a transport under a sheet. The Voice comes again, from under the sheet. It should be apparent the voice belongs to THE THIRD of the Fallen Brothers.
VOICE (O.S.)
Hurts, doesn't it? Hurts to watch while she agonizes.
Rayanne rips off the sheet. A DEAD YOUNG WOMAN lies on the transport. She's tiny, with light brown hair, and finely chisseled features. There's an orange bow that holds her hair in a bun. And a large, jagged wedge of a broken windshield protrudes grotesquely from her chest. Suddenly, her eyes flip open. Rayanne gasps.
THE THIRD
It can end. It can all end.

RAYANNE
(composes herself)
What the hell are you talking about?

THE THIRD
I can make the pain go away.

RAYANNE
I--I don't know what you're talkin' about.

THE THIRD
The guilt, the shame, the whole nine yards. Just say the word, and it shall be done.

INT. ICU - SAME TIME

Angela begins her lip quivering thing.
ANGELA
Rickie, what am I going to do? I NEED him...to live.

BRIAN
You mean, there's a chance he might... pull through this?

ANGELA
The doctors won't say. I--I don't think they know anything. If he comes out of his coma...Oh, Rickie, please, he can't die--!

RICKIE
(a beat)
He won't, Angela. He's strong. He's really fit.

BRIAN
But his wounds, they're like, serious, aren't they? I mean, I heard a bullet, like, lodged near his heart. So, he's in critical condition, isn't he?

RICKIE
He's strong, Brian. He--he can bench press a hundred eighty pounds, and he runs the hundred in, like, twelve seconds. Flat.

Angela and Brian both look at Rickie, mildly surprised that he knows this.
RICKIE
I--I was the timekeeper when we had track in September. And, I mean, he _probably_ can bench that much.

INT. CORRIDOR - SAME TIME

Rayanne looks at the Dead Young Woman with disdain.
RAYANNE
I don't know who you are, some third rate demon--!

THE THIRD
Things are moving and shaking, Graff. And when all's said and done, you'll be dragged kicking and screaming to Hell.

The Young, Dead Woman licks her lips.
THE THIRD
And moi will be in charge.
A puzzled look crosses Rayanne's face, followed by one of recognition.
RAYANNE
Jesus.

THE THIRD
Not exactly.

RAYANNE
Get thee behind me--! Get the Hell outta here!

The Young Woman's corpse smiles, wide.
THE THIRD
(a beat)
I'm ready to go back...
Angrilly, Rayanne whips the white sheet back over the corpse, then turns and quickly walks towards the elevator. Just before she steps into an open car,
GRAHAM, HALLIE and DANIELLE
step out of another one.

GRAHAM
Rayanne--! It--it's Angela's dad.

RAYANNE
Yeah, I know.

GRAHAM
How's Angela? How's Jordan?

RAYANNE
Angela? Angela could be better. And, uh, Jordan's...still in a coma.

DANIELLE
Duh, he just came out of surgery.

RAYANNE
(stepping into an elevator)
I--I gotta go...I have an appointment, with an old...friend.

As the elevator door closes, Rayanne sees Angela step out of the ICU into the corridor, where she's greeted with a long, sincere hug by her father. She watches this longingly until the doors shut.

INT. ICU - DAY

Rickie stands at Jordan's bedside, watching the family as they enter.
GRAHAM
How's Jordan, sweetheart?

ANGELA
Daddy, he's still in a coma...

RICKIE
I--I'm going to look for Rayanne. I think she's...taking this pretty hard.

He leaves. Danielle goes up to Jordan's bedside, looks at his sleeping, bandaged face. There's a patch where he was shot in the eye.
DANIELLE
So, he was shot in the eye, too?
(a beat, no one answers her)
Tracy Yamamoto says her grandfather lost his eye, like, in the war, and now he can pop his fake eye out whenever he wants to.
Everyone ignores her.
HALLIE
What are the doctors saying, honey?

ANGELA
(to Graham, ignoring Hallie)
Have you called mom? I mean, she'd want to know, she always...liked Jordan.

GRAHAM
(a beat)
I--tried to, but, uh, she--wasn't in.

ANGELA (VO)
It's odd how shock can make you suddenly suspicious. You start hearing undertones in everything everybody says; you analyze every word and gesture.

Angela pauses a beat.
ANGELA
Do you know...when we'll be able to reach her?

HALLIE
Angela, these conventions are a zoo. It could be days before we track your mother down. And, there really isn't anything she could do--to help Jordan.

Danielle climbs atop Jordan's comatose body.
DANIELLE
Look, dad--!

BRIAN
There isn't anything anyone can do for him. I mean, he's in critical condition, right? And, he's been placed in, like, the intensive care unit.

ANGELA
Shut up--! Why do you have to say things like that?! Why do you always have to be negative?!

Danielle begins doing a handstand on Jordan.
BRIAN
Me? Negative?! _I'm_ being negative?!

DANIELLE
Dad, look--! Are you looking? I can do a handstand on Jordan's head!

GRAHAM
(ignoring her)
Sometimes, Angela, it's necessary to accept--what is.

ANGELA
How can you say that?! How can any of you even think that?

GRAHAM
You have to realize, you can't win every battle. You have to learn--to compromise.

ANGELA
Learn?! To compromise?! Jordan is dying, and you're talking about learning how to compromise? What's wrong with you?! All of you?!

HALLIE
Angela, honey, people die. Sometimes, you just have to...let them die.

ANGELA
(her face turns into a prune)
I don't believe you! There must be something someone can do. Somewhere!

She storms out of the ICU, leaving them all in stunned silence.
DANIELLE (O.S.)
Watch me do a cartwheel over Jordan's body. Dad--! Are you watching--?!

INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - DAY

Angela cries as she walks down the long, empty corridor.
ANGELA (VO)
My parents once told me I'd have to choose my battles, because every one was not worth fighting. That night I determined to battle for Jordan--to win him back from the brink of death...no matter what the cost.

EXT. BELLEVUE STATE HOSPITAL - PITTSBURGH - NIGHT

The hospital is like a huge vault. Barb wire fence lines the outside, and giant slabs of thick concrete make up the wings of the hospital.
LIGHTNING FLASHES
through the night sky, licking at the stone gargoyles guarding the perimeter of the roof. Great THUNDER CLAPS follow on the heels of this uncanny display.
RAYANNE
stands behind the reception counter in the darkened, empty lobby, illuminated by LIGHTNING flashes with each clap of THUNDER. She leans over a COMPUTER MONITOR, scrolling through a PATIENT LIST. Finally, she comes across the name she's searching for: OTIS JEFFERSON

INT. LAKEVIEW HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - SAME TIME

ANGELA
walks morosely through the corridor, drops a couple quarters into a CANDY MACHINE, pulls out a BUTTERFINGER. That's when she sees a CHAPLAIN walk out from THE CHAPEL across the corridor.

INT. CHAPEL - NIGHT

Angela walks into the chapel, goes to the front and kneels at the altar.
ANGELA
Oh, Lord...Oh, God, please...I--I know I've never completely believed in you, and I only come to you when I'm, like, in trouble, or I have a huge algebra midterm...but please, God, please...see that Jordan will be all right. Please.
Suddenly, A RUMBLING sound. The marble of the altar begins to crack, as the altar splits in half. Angela gasps.
A BLACK PILLAR OF FLAME
rises from the split in the altar. A FAT, ELDERLY WOMAN crosses herself, and races out of the chapel. A VOICE booms out of the flame.

VOICE
I have been given permission to tempt, Angela Chase.
Angela trembles as she kneels, mesmerized, before the obsidian pillar.
ANGELA
(trembling) What--what do you want. Who are you?

VOICE
Among those who now reign in Hell, I am the First.
(a beat)
An offer have I come to tender before you.

ANGELA
(the prune face, again)
What?

THE FIRST
I'm here to make you a deal.

INT. BELLEVUE STATE HOSPITAL - PITTSBURGH - SAME TIME

Rayanne walks into one of the padded cells. OTIS JEFFERSON sits in there, still trussed up in a strait jacket. It's dark, except for the moonlight.
RAYANNE
(as if to a child)
Otis. Otis.

OTIS
Who--who's there?

RAYANNE
Someone who can do you a favor.

OTIS
How--how did you get in here?

RAYANNE
You just have ta sort of pretend there are no barriers. Trust me, it works. And it doesn't hurt that the Night Watch's an old flame of mine.

OTIS
Kill me. Please. Kill me.

RAYANNE
No can do, Otis. Not yet. But I can make the pain, like, disappear.

OTIS
Please. Please take the pain away.

RAYANNE
Close your eyes.

OTIS
What?

RAYANNE
Close your eyes.

Jefferson does as she asks. She takes out her dark lipstick, gently sketches something on his forehead, as he trembles. The light from the moon reveals it to be an UPSIDE DOWN CROSS. After a beat, it begins glowing.
RAYANNE
Yup. The arrogant son of a bitch was here, all right.

OTIS
(scared)
Who--who was here?

RAYANNE
The Third of the bigshots down under.

OTIS
"Bigshots?"

RAYANNE
Demons, Otis. Nasty, slimy scum. The Third of that Old Boys Network crashed here. Sure know how to pick 'em, don't you?

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE CHAPEL DOOR - NIGHT

We hear Angela screaming at The First Of The Fallen Brothers.
ANGELA (O.S.)
I can't believe you can even ask that--! How can you think, even for one second, that I'd tell you?!
Angela bursts out the chapel doors, walks away in a huff.

INT. ICU - NIGHT - LATER

Angela is half asleep in a chair in the ICU. Suddenly, a BEEPING sound awakes her. At first, she's disoriented. Then, there's movement. Suddenly, THREE NURSES come scrambling around Jordan's bedside, stick IVs in his arms, etc. They're trying to keep him alive. Angela sits bolt upright when she realizes what's happening: Jordan is dying.

INT. BELLEVUE STATE HOSPITAL PITTSBURGH - NIGHT - LATER

Rayanne kneels next to Otis, who's still trussed up in the strait jacket.
RAYANNE
Okay, Otis. Here's what you gotta do. Empty your mind.

OTIS
What? Why?

RAYANNE
Look, you want the pain go away, for a little while?

OTIS
Yes--! God, yes...

RAYANNE
Then do what I ask. Empty your mind.

He does so. Rayanne shuts her eyes, concentrates.
RAYANNE
I know you can hear me, Nergung...

OTIS
"Nergung?" Who's Nergung?

RAYANNE
A Lesser Demon. Easier to control.

OTIS
A Lesser Demon--?! Easier to--?!

And that's when Otis' head suddenly snaps bolt upright, and his eyes spread wide, as if seeing the world around him for the first time.
OTIS/NERGUNG
Ahhhh....it's been soooo loooonggggg...

RAYANNE
Quick. What's happening down there? What's happening in Hell. And what's it got to do with moi?

OTIS/NERGUNG
(laughs) I wouldn't want to be in _your_ shoes, Graff...

RAYANNE
Can the small talk, Nergung. I asked you a question.

OTIS/NERGUNG
Your mother's here. Along with her real live, sex maniac boyfriend.

RAYANNE
Don't f*ck with me...Tell me the truth...

OTIS/NERGUNG
You're no fun. Okay, she's not here. Yet.
(a beat)
But I can tell you what your mother thinks of you. Thoughts even she isn't aware of. Would you like to know, Graff?

Rayanne ignores the question.
RAYANNE
Tell me, Nergung! This isn't, like, a request. More like an order. What's happening in Hell, and what's it got to do with me?

OTIS/NERGUNG
(grudgingly)
A battle rages, and he amongst the Three Brothers to win your soul, wins the rulership over the Abyss, as well. In other words, Graff...you're toast!

The Demon begins laughing.
RAYANNE
Negative, Nergung. I now know who they are, and what they desire.
(a beat)
All _they_ know about me is who I am. And I'm not in the habit of giving up any more trade secrets than that. Meaning I've totally, completely got the drop on _them_.
Rayanne smiles, brashly, confidently.

INT. CHAPEL - MIDNIGHT

Angela kneels before the split marble altar in the shadowed darkness. It's barely noticeable, but she's trembling. Suddenly, the OBSIDIAN FLAME rises once more, with the sound of screaming flesh.
THE FIRST
That you would be back, I knew.

ANGELA
And in exchange, you'll heal him, completely? His eye? His heart?

THE FIRST
My word you have.

A long, pregnant pause.
ANGELA (VO)
What's really weird, is when you know you're doing something wrong, something, like, really bad, yet it _feels_ like the right thing to do. It's sort of like when you're on a car date, and the guy starts trying to...feel you up. And you know you shouldn't, but somehow, you just sort of...let him.

THE FIRST
Tell me what I wish to know, and your request shall be granted.

She takes a deep breath.
ANGELA
Her greatest weakness? You know, where she's, like, most vulnerable? That's easy. Her--her father. Rayanne Graff wants--she NEEDS, her father's love.
Hot tears stream down Angela's cheeks as she betrays her closest friend.


NEXT! EPISODE #3
Graham cooks a meal, Rayanne confronts her AWOL father and Angela gets advice--from her mother!!!

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II-3 - Braided Horses by Collin J.H. Chang and Sandra Schimmel
Published: 1997 | Size: 49 KB (8545 words) | Language: english english | Rating: R
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A MSCL and "John Constantine, Hellblazer" crossover

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“School is a battlefield for your heart.”

Angela Chase, Episode 1: "My So-Called Life (Pilot)"