Money - Part 2 ...So it's around this time I should probably get to explaining the good ol' Synchronicity highway. Followed by that time where the person I'm explaining it to accuses me of taking the piss and that I should sod off or some profane equivalent. First of all, let me give you a crash course in the way the world works, magick, the physical world, whatever... "Nothing comes free." Crash course over. You learn that one and you're ahead of the game over about 95 percent of the people in my line of work. Incredibly simple rule, but you'd be surprised how many get tripped up over it. A charm, an amulet, curses, just basic ancient mystic disciplines... any and all of it. There's a cost for all of it. In physics - action / equal and opposite reaction. Just how things go. And just like financial investments the bigger the reward... generally the risk is a hefty kick in the bollocks. Then you have smaller magick, tends to have a lesser price or cost. It's part of the reason I take the airliner and the 8 hour hit of Silk cut deprivation over... other means. Doesn't mean I don't question my decision to do so each and every time. My lungs are bastards and don't deserve fresh air. If you knew me better you wouldn't disagree. But anyway, synchronicity... Imagine the whole universe is attuned to a frequency. Actions, consequences, the lot. There are certain people in this world - and many of them aren't even consciously aware of it - who have a subconscious attachment to that frequency. And as such, their subconscious (many of whom mistake with their "instincts" or "gut", but a rose by any other name I guess...) will occasionally kick in and steer them out of horrible situations and towards better outcomes. Know that one lucky guy who seems to just always land on his feet and tends to unexplainably have good things happen to him. Then you have me. I can tap into that consciously. Comes in handy for a guy like me without a steady job, also comes in handy for being in the right place at the right time to meet the right person. Lot of people call me a lucky bastard, but frankly it ceases to be luck when you have a say in the matter... ...what was that? "Well how does that tie in to what you just said about 'Nothing comes free' if you can just make your own luck?" Oh mate, out of every kind of magick out there that one's about the least free that you could imagine. The biggest tragedy of 'em all. For that one, you gotta be me. But I digress... * * * * * The cab rolls out of the traffic in the Novick Tunnel to the relatively light traffic of inner city Gotham as we rumble through the City Hall District. Long time ago this whole city was rocked to the core by an earthquake, reportedly the whole city descended into anarchy. Frankly, to someone who'd never visited this city before, you might suspect it never improved. John Constantine was not one such person. This city had it's share of masked protectors, and while it may not have a Superman or even a Green Lantern, when night fell most of the more questionable citizens got off the streets pretty quick, particularly when the police commissioner liked to play with his torch on the top of Gotham P.D. headquarters. The one with the cracked lens which they had just never seemed to get repaired. The cab crept on and finally hit the park. "This'll do." John called from the back. The man in the tan trenchcoat handed over the readies and the "extra twenty" in the form of a folded over ten and stepped out into the balmy Gotham air. Simple con, not really necessary but it never hurts to keep your hand in. He started his leisurely stroll through the park, and it wasn't long before... "Hold it there, f*****!" John slowly turned around and came face to face with three muggers, a man with a small handgun, another with a switchblade and a third with a hand inside his jacket pocket. "Oh, wonderful. The local colour. No idea you were such fans of the three stooges. Clearly we have Moe here with the gun. Larry; and your fetching switchblade. And Curly... what've you got in there, Curly? Not saying? Well aren't you just the wild card?" "Shut the f*** up! Put your wallet on the ground and walk away old man." A dark smirk crossed John's face. "Not until Curly tells me what he's got under there." "Enough of this 'Curly' ****. Put your wallet on the ground or bleed out." 'Larry' growled, thrusting his switchblade through the air. "Hey, Chief. No need for rudeness. I just asked politely. I just want to know what Curly's got under there." "Who gives a f***." 'Moe growled. "I've got a piece, and he's got a blade and you're about to have a bunch of holes..." "See, now I was asking politely for my benefit, but something tells me she's more assertive with her interrogation techniques..." "Wha--" Just then a woman in black tie, jacket and fedora burst out of the shadows of greenery and kicked the gun clear from 'Moe's hand. A clenched fist dropped 'Larry' like a bag of potatoes, before a spinning kick sent 'Curly' into the bushes. With the gun out of the picture, she now had time to take care of 'Moe' more thoroughly. John Constantine took the opportunity to sort out 'Curly' on the ground. "Huh. So, a steel bar. Next time you should probably just come out with it. You're lucky she popped you one instead. Me... I'm a nasty piece of work, chief, ask anybody." He knocked Curly out himself with a solid punch and then stretched his fingers out and shook his fist, wincing from the pain. "Is that so?" the woman said, having rendered 'Moe' unconscious on the park lane. "Bloody hell!" John stepped back, shocked. "What happened to your face?" Renee Montoya, smirked back from behind her pseudoderm mask. "I didn't feel like making it up today." With a chuckle, John clarified himself. "I wasn't talking about what's not on your face. I'm more interested in that bloody great scar. And now I'm wondering what you went and did to get yourself branded with the Mark of Cain." This time it was The Question's turn to be shocked. He felt her face, unable to believe that the mark had somehow shone through. It shouldn't be, she'd long learned a technique from Richard Dragon himself to ward the mark's visual effect off. While it took concentration, she'd long since mastered it to a point where she could hide the mark with little effort. Which meant the reason why this man could see the mark - and the fact that he recognized what it was - was something else entirely... "Good question..."