Daniel - Daniel Jack Investigates: The Devil's Hornpipe

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Description: Our ace detective has descended into the pits of hell itself, escaping the wicked clutches of the devouring femme fatale Morrigan Aensland. But no sooner as he plumbed the depths of the abyss, did he stumble upon the music of Old Nick himself: Heavy Metal. Trapped in the 'Satanpalooza' rock show in 'Underworld Woodstock', he must battle against the hippies and outcasts as he flees the wretched music of the damned. Can Daniel Jack escape Mephistopheles wretched grip upon his soul, or will he be damned into playing... The Devil's Hornpipe? (The cover shows Daniel Jack reaching out from the midst of a hellish mosh pit. The hordes of undead in quincy punk garb are clawing at him, ripping away his shirt as he writhes. The other half of the cover is the stage, where the hellish musicians are playing. Lord Raptor is playing bass; a stumpy short grey gargoyle is on the drums; a witchy woman in a red hat and a strapless red gown is on the keyboards; and Asmodeus himself playing lead guiter. The lead singer's mic is open, and waiting for Daniel to take point.) (45 cents)

So Daniel was in Makai.

It wasn't Majigen. ANd it wasn't Earth. But Daniel got the invitation, handed by Oswald, to take a deep dive into Morrigan's realm. While it might have been a euphemism, it wasn't. Daniel was greeted, questioned, and let loose into Makai. And he and Morrigan had a great big journey exploring the life and attractions of the strange demon realm.

At first.

But as Daniel Jack wades in the pools of blood like fluids, and has questionable encounters with soul bees, the shade begins to feel it settle in. The ennui, the banalty. Yes, it was different. But when Morrigan disappeared out of bored while Daniel was neck deep in the jello-like slime pits of Morloch, the detective realized that no, this was kind of crappy. And unlike Majigen, the 'human' culture impressions were far and fewer in between, with some truly alien landscapes built around the strongest personalities.

And worst of all was the -music-.

The cacophony of sound rumbles through the 'outdoor' auditorium, crafted from bone and viscreal. Lumpy shapes of monstrous creatures throng around the center stage, as the music shudders through the endless void that was Makai. Daniel didn't understand -why- there was music here. But it was an endless rock show, where musicians were heaped like cordwood to fill the stage, only to be torn apart either by the zeal of the music... or by the throngs of mindless essence of undead 'rock stars' in a mosh pit that was more pit than mosh. There was even a bar set up, for the more 'civilized' and 'sane' denizens. It was the most hellish rock concert, an endless show.

And Daniel.

Daniel was -sulking-.

"Are you not enjoying the show, sir?" The gargoyle-like servant suggests, the small creature dressed in a butler uniform. Daniel stand in the back, clutching a mug of soulbeer (which was like a more watered down style of Budweiser), watching the hordes of the damned with displeased disinterest from the bar. He was dressed in Zoot Suit Purples, the three piece suit formed for his own shadow stuff. He wasn't putting on his fanged face, though even in hell his colors were muted. "Well, no. See, Lucien, I had this all working out different in my head. Like you know, Makai culture is borrowed, with it's own macabre twist. Oh, it's a jazz club from a singer from the 20s, who was tragically shot down by her ex-lover, dressed in a strapless red gown. Or a dark and sullen cat-eared lady who croons in a strapless red gown. Maybe a whole bunch of singers who died in a car crash, who still play the same improve set while some demon ladies hang in an opium haze. You get me, right."

"Is that not what you have here, sir?"

"Wh- no, this is kind of shitty metal instead? ANd the dames, uh." Daniel gestures over at the pile of animated flesh. It is partially on top of the bar, and it's only features visible on the chunky heap of meat is a pair of eyelashes and some light blush makeup. "LIke is Morr- Is Lady Aenseland kind of one of a kind in the whole 'humanlike' category? I was expecting more... well, I kinda imagined more of a cute thing with short red hair and a little leather, like you have grey skin but would be a kind of punk rock thing at least? I mean I got standards, and I got dreams, and we're falling short of both right now."

"But you have her number, sir."

"I know, Lucien , I got to cover my bases in case I have to save the night."

"And you bought her drinks, sir."

"I KNOW , I HAVE TO COVER MY BASES. I still got hope. But man." Daniel sniffs the beer, and pours it out. "The beer's shit, the music's shit, and the crowd's shit. No wonder Mor- Lady Aensland is so bored here. I hate to talk good about the man, uh, vampire dude- the demon- thing, but jesus." Daniel shakes his head, as small insectile creatures swarm underfoot at the spilled beer.

"Even Majigen was better than this dump."

"And that is why you make your own fun, mate."

The accented voice perhaps familiar as a boney finger wiggles into Daniel's ear for a moment before being pulled away. For Daniel this may be hell, but for Zabel Zarock? Well.....it is hell too, but the kind of hell he can get behind. "You come to a place that obviously isn't your bag and you do nothing but complain." The Aussie comments while thumping down onto the bartop sitting Indian style. For now he is in his more human looking form and those pure white eyes just gaze at Daniel.

"What you need is some motivation or maybe some goals, mate. Or better yet." He gives a bit of a wide grin as he leans in closer to look towards Daniel. "How about we go cause some chaos? Sure that is common round here, but nothing like going out to Earth and harassing the humans for a bit. Got to keep them on their toes." He plucks the beer from Daniel's hands and idle tosses it into the crowd where it hits some poor sod in the head. "Or you can just sit here and moan about and be miserable. No skin off my nose. Not like a have a nose most of the time! HAH!"

Daniel freezes up the moment he hears the voice.

Daniel remembered that voice. He heard it at Mortal Kombat. He -fought- it in Mortal Kombat. Zabel Za Rock. Or was it Lord Raptor. At the time, the man was knocked for tax evasion by INterpol. Oh, and murdering all those people. But mainly tax evasion. As the beer glass comes flying from his hand, the detective continues to stay locked. Last time, he lost a hand. Last time, he needed Dr. Tessitore.

Instinctively, he wriggles his fingers.

"Y-you?!" Daniel sputters. "Oh jesus." "Are you working for J- Lord Dohma still? I dunno- I'm not with Interpol!" Daniel hastily adds, as Lucien raises an eyebrow. Daniel felt so many eyes on him. The towering heap of flesh spasms, leaking fluids as it approaches Zabel. Was that... giggling? "I- chaos? I mean, I guess this is your thing." DAniel gestures at the rock show. "But... but..."

And Daniel takes a deep breath.

"Lets... lets take a step back here. I'm just visiting here. Lady Aensland wanted me to check it out here. She's ditched me, and yeah, maybe I wanna go back. Not to dick around with humans- wait." Daniel pauses a moment, losing his composure for a flicker. "'Humans.' What, you don't see yourself as a human anymore. I mean, yeah, you're dead. And..." Daniel gestures over Zabel. "But you're not like... well..." Lucien looks up calmly. The pillar of flesh sides up next to Zabel, gurgling as it spurts fluid. Daniel gestures around. ANd yet, it all goes back to the same question hammering Daniel in this world of Makai.

"I mean, what is all this?"

Zabel leans back as he just gives a smirk. "In theory." he replies when asked about working for Jedah. "He has been busy with other things which means I am allowed to do what I feel like." His gaze idly flits to the pile of flesh making moves for him. There is an amused look at first then it turns into an evil grin.


It was already grotesque and squirting fluid out in places, but now it is impaled on four giant spikey bones that are extended out of Zabel's torso and it just got all sorts of god knows what all over the general vicinity. "We're all monsters here, mate. Just some are better looking than others." The bones retract and the lump of moving flesh slumps over.

He frowns and idly wipes at some of the gunk that got at him and lets out a sigh. "Fangirls. Some of them just don't take a hint. You ever have lady problems? Nah, guess not. Don't look like the type." He says and slips off the bar. He drapes an arm around the shoulders of Daniel and gives a grin. "Look, we got off to a wrong start before I guess, but was all for good fun, right? You look bored and I know how to find trouble. I mean what could possibly go wrong?"

Motivation, goals.

Zabel might be kind of an asshole, but he had a point. Daniel's purpose and motivation was scattered into the winds. Yeah, he was no longer being a monster, at least by his own definition. But what was he doing. Wandering in Makai? Complaining about the local culture? He could go back to the other world. And yet, 'make chaos?' He wasn't exactly embracing the full chaotic or even neutral lifestyle, per say. And when murder was involved... well, maybe he could stop Zabel from murdering. Daniel touches on a small, glowing lantern around his neck. "I'm taking a break from killing; got a patch, so to speak, to handle the whole soul thin-" Daniel is cut short as suddenly, Zabel tears apart the piece of meat that was flirting with anybody. Daniel looks disgusted, but... "I'm sorry did you just- was that- did you... bone..."

The pile spasms vigorously.
%Daniel winces, his shape retracting a bit. He felt uncomfortable, more so than ever. And yet, the mention of lady trouble, Daniel scowls.

Yellow eyes flaring up, the scowl comes with a maw full of teeth. "Yeah, you know, maybe there is... something. There is one lady trouble, and there is a certain kind of fun I'm into. Dr. Tessistore. Remember the scientist spider lady?" Daniel considers the choice of language with a rock star. He does not get out from the arm over the shoulder. "The one with the badonkadonk and the chest to die for? And I did? LIke twice? She worked for Jedah too, ended up getting iced. Jedah wants her back, right? So I'm trying to find out where her soul ended up" "You... get this more than I do. Yeah, yeah, bridge under the water. You said you are working independent right now? Maybe you can help me out." Daniel halts a moment, and circles his fingers a bit.

"Is there a... place where lost souls end up, where Jedah wouldn't be able to get near, or not be aware of?

Zabel never did say murder, but given what he just did to the pile of flesh that was looking to hit on them that could very much be included in the whole 'make chaos' deal. "Ugly chicks even get a boning sometimes, mate." She just didn't get the kind she wanted obviously.

The arm pulls away as Daniel mentions Tessistore and rock zombie folds his arms while listening intently. "Vaguely remember her. Funny how a lot of people that work for Jedah end up eating it. There is a reason why I am not going out of my way to remind him I am around." He idly scratches at a cheek. "And you want to find her for Jedah? Or are you wanting to find her for more personal reasons?"

It is true. Zabel has been around long enough he knows how things around here work. He mulls thinks things over. "I don't know, mate, but I might know some people who do." he finally says while grinning slightly. "The more important question is this. What's in it for me?"

Why did he want to find her?

Daniel's guard was lowering piece by piece. Zabel might be working for Jedah, but he was more out for himself, more mercenary, more 'fun.' NOt unlike Lotus in some regards. But Lotus was insane. And Zabel... Zabel at least had a rationale Daniel could follow. "I..." Daniel sputters. Not for Jedah, for him. All for him. But... but....

What did Daniel really want?

"I think my business is my own. As for what's in it for you..." Daniel mulls. "Well, you have it made. Women... dying at your feet." HE stares at the quivering flesh heap. "You don't need moeny, right? You just want fun." Fun was the problem. Daniel Jack didn't want to kick off another mass murder. And yet... There is a flicker of cunning. Genius. "Hey, hey. You want to really mess things up, right? You really wanna start a little wildfire, make people run in the streets with their heads off, right?"

"Have you heard of a Scarlet Dahlia, like from the Mortal Kombat tournament?"

The flesh heap gets a nice few kicks for extra measure. Not like it can probably feel it at this point. "What I got is often an insatiable boredom, mate. If the price is right I'll help you find the spider lady with the donkey or whatever you said she had." Badonkadonk is probably past his time and Zabel doesn't look like the type that would be having out with the youth of today aside from maybe when he is enjoying some souls to feast on.

"Heard of her. Don't know much other than she ended up being some hot shit right?" he asks and idly scratches at his head. "What's she got to do with anything? She linked to the lady you are looking for or something?"

He waves a hand after a moments thought. "Whatever, yeah. I somewhat know. And what makes you think I want to really mess things up? I like chaos mate, but you cause too much trouble and draw too much attention without getting hunters up your ass these days. I got to be innovative and all that now. Guess I am glad I have always been a creative type."

"Well hear me out on this, scuzzy. She's not just Scarlet Dahlia."

"She's also called Honoka Kata... wata.... moto?" Daniel squints, his yellow eyes burning. "Basically, she has a completely different alias. She pretends to be a bunch of people, you dig me? A dragon lady criminal mastermind type, while also being some cute face who is a clown or something at the circus? You get what I'm saying, she's a woman with a lot of faces. As for my past, uh."

"She killed me."

"A lot."

Daniel shrugs. "What I'm saying is that she's kind of an asshole, and one with a lot of deep pockets, and a lot of different goods. You wanna have some fun? I think we could crash her circus, and really give them the greatest show on earth, you dig me? I mean, in both lives, let me ask you the big question."

"You ever performed at a circus?"

The zombie listens intently and as Daniel starts to get to the point that is when Zabel begins to grin a bit.

"Well why didn't you just say that to begin with?" He laughs while slapping Daniel on the back. "If you wanted to put on a show with me you didn't need to draw it out like that. Sure, I don't mind causing some trouble with ya and messing up one of her sweet gigs." He leans away and motions towards the bartender which he whispers an exchange with before his gaze shifts back to the former detective. "I will see about getting word out about information on that lady you want. Though I got to wonder...."

He trails off for a few moments as he glances around and mulls something over before finally deciding to speak up again. "Why didn't you just ask Morri about that sort of thing? I mean she could probably find things easier than I could around here."

"It's a deal!"

Daniel can barely contain his grin. Though the mention of 'smarter' help, well, Daniel was thinking about that too. "Yeah, uh, Morrigan-" Daniel looks over at Lucien. Lucien pointingly averts his gaze. "Lady Aensland is... well, so there is a gap. She definitely is talented. She also has... attention span issues. I'm sure she can get around to helping me out with my girl troubles sometime within this century. Maybe. She's an old soul, Zabel. A very old soul." Daniel mouths a word as Lucien averts his gaze.


"You, Zabel, you are salt of the earth, you -get- it. Yeah, you are a monster, but you were a monster before you were a monster, you were a metalhead. That's like Metallica. Enter Sandman." Daniel does a restrained jig. "This is the painkiller, thunderstruck, holy diver. I get it. But we get back, we cause a little trouble for the Scarlet Dahlia, and best of all, we put on a show. And if you are worried about too much attention? Just make sure I take the blame, scuzzy. You got your dignity, you got your, uh, fans to take care of." Daniel glances at the sizzling bones. "Besides, I think a few monster hunters are out for my blood; it'll be good to network with a few genocidal psychopaths. Just one question though, uh...."

"Who are you roadies then, if you aren't working for the blue man?"

Zabel raises a brow at Daniel's words about Morrigan. He gives a helpless shrug. "Suit yourself. I don't really know her other than she is a right dangerous individual if you get on her bad side. Needless to say I don't draw attention form her."

"You know you don't have to pretend, mate. I know you are a bit daft when it comes to my line of music and you like the fancy jazz hand stuff." he replies with a smirk. "I am not working for Jedah if I can help it and that is all you got to worry about. I got my connections around here. It might take time but if I hear anything about your girl I'll let you know soon enough."

"As for now." he adjusts his leather jacket and pulls out a pack of smokes. Lighting one up he grins. "You just tell me when you want to give that circus girl a good time. We'll make sure it is a performance she and her audience will never forget." He lightly punches Daniel on the shoulder and turns about to saunter off. Did he even mention how Daniel will get ahold of him? The guy used to be a detective. He'll figure out a way.

It was all in the cards.

"It sounds like a plan." Daniel nods along again, grinning. Making friends with the most evil people in existence; what else was new with Daniel Jack. Of course, cutting his tour short MIGHT be a problem for Morrigan. As Zabel adjusts himself, the detective turns back over to his little gargoyle buddy. "I am sure you can tell LAdy Aensland that I am going to excusing myself from-" But Lucien?

He wasn't there.

Daniel mulls if this was going to be a problem. After all, Zabel did point it out. If he got on her bad side, it would be real trouble. Daniel didn't quite know what her wraith was like; but he knew what women were like. And nothing was more dangerous than a wrathful angry woman. Daniel looks back over where Zabel was... and he is gone too. Both were gone, -and- he was still at a shitty bar, now with fewer friends. And no beer. Daniel frowns, in only the way that Ayame could appreciate. He was all alone now.

Except for the heap of flesh.

Slowly, it was slithering up Daniel's leg. Briefly, the detective looks, partially grateful that he was alive, partially concerned about having seconds after Zabel. Looking up the rock band, as Zabel leaves, he notices that the empathetic presence shifts. The detective notices, to his horror, that his deepest desires reveal itself: in a flash, the drone of the rock and roll mingles with the wail of a saxaphone. In a flash, jazz and metal combine together. Daniel wrenches his face in horror.

"Oh, god no."

Log created on 12:22:59 01/02/2019 by Daniel, and last modified on 11:00:42 01/04/2019.