John Constantine: Hellblazer #162 (July 2001)
Somewhere in America , 2001
Continuing his journey into the heart of America, John Constantine walks his way out of a local bus station. He begins to think philosophically about the two schools in life regarding travel whilst preparing to enjoy another cigarette. The first idea is that your destination is your focal point. The place you go and what you see when you arrive. Dismissing this idea in his own fashion he is suddenly confronted by a security officer who informs him this is a nonsmoking building. John brushes him off declaring that a country that holds freedom and equality so dearly hypocritically doesn't allow him the right to smoke freely.
As he continues outside he begins to walk past a brick wall lined with graffiti and adverts. Lighting up another cigarette he thinks of the second school of travel. This being the rush you get from the twists, turns, and "unexpected discoveries" that happen along the way. Naturally John has chosen this school, and takes notice of a specific flyer of the queen's mouth and eyes covered by the name of a band eloquently titled "Napalm Fuckr".
The setting is a local London club, packed with punk rockers. After a slight too few to drink, John has to take the piss literally. With the bathroom already occupied John informs his friend, Les, he'll be ready for another round once he's made room for it. Having said that Les immediately nicks John's chance for the urinal in once swift dive for the door and a frustrated John turns to the window to "air it out". Outside a somewhat recognizable couple have at it down in the alley as John prepares to piss. Angered the man outside rains curses and threatens to kill whoever interrupted his pleasure. Les and John run out of the bathroom in hysterical laughter.
As John enjoys his next round as girl named Angie (not Spatchcock) arrives at the bar informing Constantine's she's got something. Although, irritated that she might ruin his evening with said news he plays along asking what she indeed found. She, excitingly, tells his she's found a book containing any and everyone's future. Amused by her tale John blows her off, telling her that no book can do such a thing. Meanwhile a furious Chas arrives at the bar banging his fists and cursing. John asks him if he's arranged the meeting with the "Yank" as promised. Chas reassures him that he has, but is more interested in getting his hands on the dirty bastard that pour water on him in the middle of his shag. John and Les once again resume their hysterical laughter as Chas remains confused and angered.
As Chas drives Les and John to their arranged meeting he begins to explain to John. It seems the "Yank" is a man named Stanley and acquired information on John through his already growing reputation. Les thinks he's heard their Mucous Membrane album, but Chas dismisses the idea telling them that if he did he wouldn't want to arrange the meeting. Chas explain that Stanley has been turning a few stones for people involved in the weird shit, asking a woman named Hoover Mary ("the bird with no teeth") who John Constantine was. Hoover called Chas who then got in touch with Constantine and then arranged the meeting with the pair. It's about this time the three arrive at Stanley's.
As John approaches he's confronted by a guard asking if he's indeed John Constantine. When John responds in his typical arrogant fashion, the guard becomes hostile, ordering John to identify himself. Finally John cooperated, letting the guard know it is indeed him as he's surprised at the somewhat extreme (if not paranoid) actions of the guard. He is then immediately searched and instructed to go inside.
Inside Stanley is going round for round on his punching bag. The two share and introduction before John is offered some free beer which he happily takes advantage of. John asks how Stanley found him and his only explanation is that the two share "similar interests" (although it appears drinking is not one of them). Stanley makes his motives clear - he wants to know the future. John can't help but find it an odd coincidence and offers Stanley the book that Angie spoke of earlier. Calling him on his own con, Stanley tells John he's no novice and he wants - Rasputin's Clock. John seems quite taken a back and questions whether or not Stanley knows what he's getting into. Stanley believes the clock to be in London and John confirms that it has since the end of World War II, but is more worried about the Arab that is in possession of it. Seems John is actually scared this Arab could do some real damage if he's caught trying to steal the clock. Stanley offers to make it worth Constantine's wild, informing him that if there's one thing certain about his future it's that he'll have more money than he can spend. Hesitantly John agrees and asks him for a couple of days. John leaves to Stanley toasting to the future.
Back at Angie's flat she's already making use of the future. She announces the name "John Constantine" and opens the book. Her eyes widen at what she begins to read.
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