Lucifer Morningstar was a man that made deals. To get what one wanted, it was necessary to offer something of value to others. At this point, he had no deals left to make with otherworldly beings of his own pantheon, and he needed to find new connections. He'd already investigated all of the ancient artifacts that The Presence had left behind on Earth, and the angels would doubtless notice that Lucifer was stealing them if he decided to try that. He needed objects of power from outside Yahweh's circle of influence, and so he started researching ancient magical tools from other pantheons. Fascinatingly, some old heathen traditions held items of particular magical strength, and Lucifer decided to focus his first deal on obtaining one such item. The old beliefs of the Korean people mentioned the dokkaebi in many of their legends - spirits or goblins with particular codes of behavior. They possessed some instruments called bangmangi, similar to a club or a wand, capable of summoning and casting magic. It would be a good place to start, at least.
Two lovely first class flights and one lovely nightclub later, Lucifer was exploring the Sobaek mountain range. His searches were fruitless, at least in finding dokkaebi, and he decided to follow the river. Over a few weeks Lucifer followed the Geum river to the Western coast of South Korea. While he had no trouble finding places to stay, he was growing tired of replacing his shoes and suits after soiling them on his hikes. His last stop would be at the mouth of the river, where it met the China sea, and hopefully he would find the owner of one bangmangi there. Some dokkaebi he found along the way assured him that he would find one such goblin at the end of the river (and Lucifer assured them that he would repay them in kind if they had tricked him). It had been a frustrating journey so far, not dissimilar to one that his father might have sent him on. The thought only served to further ruin his mood.
At the beach, Lucifer spent some hours waiting for the sun to go down. It seemed that the best time to meet the strongest dokkaebi was after dark, so he'd have to wait until one revealed itself to him. To pass his time, Lucifer had brought a folding chair and a cooler of alcohol. Some locals had been kind enough to provide him with a hearty lunch, in exchange for his promise that he would put them up if ever they came to America. It was unlikely that they'd ever make the trip, but Lucifer made sure to keep an eye on them. In particular, he'd be pleased to meet their lovely daughter again, when he was a bit less busy.
While he lounged, Lucifer composed a text to his assistant, Mazikeen, who kept things running at Lux in his absence.
Maze, Korea is just delightful but the dokkaebi are far less attractive than my favorite demon. ❤ We should have jjigae when I return, you'll love it. Hot enough to boil your teeth.
Slowly, the unfamiliar pain of exhausted, cramping muscles caught up with Kara before she was even awake. While still in the snares of dreamless sleep, some part of her could tell that she was exhausted and in pain. She began to stir, and the first thing she noticed was that she was face down in sand. Looking up, she saw an endless jungle, and grass that ventured out from it to meet the sand. There were no people, no nearby islands, and no boats—it was a sight she'd been familiar with for weeks now. "No, no no no, fucking Lian Yu again..."Kara shouted with super-human volume. She saw the force of her voice frighten far-off birds from the perch, sending a flock flying into the jungle.
She tried to push herself up, but found it to be a struggle. Her arms were exhausted and cold. Still, she managed to sit upright with an effort. She rocked forward, managing to stand but warily. Her outfit was of Kryptonian design, and despite having gotten dirty and torn holes in a few places, it was holding up remarkably. She'd been trapped in this jungle for weeks now, and prior to that had spent decades in a cryopod. In fact, this was the only thing that Kara had worn in at least twenty years.
"For the love of KRYPTON," she shouted, her voice getting pouty at the end, "Is there anywhere on this forsaken planet that isn't Lian Yu?"
The silver lining in all of this was that Oliver Queen likely drowned in their escape. Kara had been forced to put up with he and his friend for weeks, cracking jokes and doing archery shit while she felt poisoned. She'd thought it was the air on Earth, but she noticed now that she didn't feel it now. Was this a fresh part of the island that she hadn't visited?. Perhaps Kal-El had survived all these years after all. She tried to fly up into the air to get a look at the island, but made it only twenty feet into the air before she fell like a stone. Her body bounced off the sand and rolled a few feet, causing her to cough and spit up the sand that had gotten in her nose and mouth.
Once again she managed to an upright sitting position, but this time it was just to let out a hopeless scream. Yet again, her voice hit superhuman levels and scared local fauna back into the woods. She also suddenly felt a hot flash from her eyes, and a several second beam of energy accidentally shot out into the jungle. It cut a dozen trees down at the base, causing them to collapse and bring others down too. At the base of one, she could see that a fire was starting. "Well, at least fucking Lian Yu has to burn..."
My name is Oliver Queen. For five years, I've been stranded on an island with only one goal: survive. I've spent my time on Lian Yu training, becoming stronger with the help of Slade Wilson and Jason Todd. I found them there and they took me in as one of their own, as we then did for the Kryptonian Kara who crash landed on our island just a few weeks ago. I hope that cunt drowned I escaped after an epic battle, though not before losing the others in a violent storm. Now I will fulfill my father's dying wish - to use the list of names he left me and bring down those who are poisoning my city. To do this, I must become someone else. I must become something else... And I have to figure out where the fuck I am.
"Perfect. Getting better with each iteration!" Oliver Queen nodded happily to himself, the haggard looking man pocketing his father's notebook safely after continuing his memoir. He was sitting on a beach, the sun beaming down on him with very little protection from the elements other than his green hood and tattered pants. He didn't like it here off the China Sea, the man properly identifying where he was thanks to context clues in the environment, though his guess was as good as anyone's where he truly was. Queen had spent most of his summers on beaches much like this one, then he spent over half a decade stranded on a place nearly identical to this. He had washed ashore a few hours ago, the man pilfering for fish and fresh water as he had done thousands of times before. He had unfortunately come up empty and his stomach began to growl relentlessly, prompting him to go search for civilization. "Gotta stay low and keep quiet... I hear people in North Korea don't like people like me. Worth a shot though."
Oliver continued along the beach until he spotted a group of beach goers, all of them wearing bathing suits and roasting meat out on a grill. The smell was heavenly, the scent of something other than fish brought literal tears to his eyes as his dry mouth began to salivate. At first he was taken back by the sight, the group of people bizarre looking with their modern clothing and clean cooking utensils. His first instinct was to scope them out, his thoughts drifted back to Slade's training only for his stomach to take over for him, it causing Oliver to step out of the brush and stroll directly towards the Korean locals. He looked absolutely disgusting, from his water logged clothes, to his tangled up beard, to his lack of foot wear. They most likely could smell him before they spotted him, the group turning to see what appeared to be a homeless man armed with a bow and a quiver of arrows trudging out of the brush after them.
"Naneun... pyeonghwaloun... jilnae sajeong-eul gajigo ... Kim John Un?" Oliver stammered, his Korean rusty from how long ago he used it... which was in a club in Seoul with a face full of cocaine. Being in North Korea felt different though, especially as the beach goers turned and fled after Oliver's horrific introduction without warning. "Well shit..."
Time passed by rather quickly on the beach, Oliver had a full belly and was resting a ways down the coast from where he had scared those people. It was night time now and he kept telling himself that he could avoid the North Korean patrols, he simply had to keep to himself and find his way to the DMZ and somehow cross it. A live minefield sounded a lot more tolerable than Lian Yu so he was going to approach it as optimistically as he could.
"The DMZ should be south of here... but why is there all this fucking water here?" Oliver questioned, looking puzzled out at the sea from his resting place. He didn't have long to ponder on it however, the forest abruptly began to shake followed by a blinding flash of red that toppled down a series of trees nearby. It was chaotic and violent, the scene reminding him of a certain Kryptonian's arrival. Oliver was far away enough not to see what was causing all the commotion but he knew one thing for sure: North Koreans fucking hated noise. I gotta check that out... let's hope I don't regret this. He thought as he began rushing towards the source of the destruction with his bow drawn.
Lucifer was on his fourth or fifth bottle of soju when the sun went down. As the light waned, he became aware of more spirits revealing themselves around him. He turned in his seat, looking for the dokkaebi that he was searching for. Still no sign of it. Lucifer groaned and slumped in his chair, swapping his empty bottle for another full one from the cooler. At the same moment that he cracked this bottle open, a piercing shriek shook the air above him. He paused, studying the bottle and cap, then put the cap back on. He looked around, and the spirits seemed anxious.
"Was that me? I don't think so, but was it?" They didn't answer, unhelpful lot. Lucifer cracked the bottle open again, and another, louder scream shocked all the spirits gathered around him. He threw his hands up in the air, trying to look innocent. "Really, truly, this can't be me!" He poured a little alcohol out on the beach to demonstrate that no more screams were coming out, holding his arms out to the spirits. It didn't matter what he did, they were already shrinking back toward the trees. Damn it.
Lucifer stood up from his chair, looking down the beach for the source of the noise. Whatever is was, it wasn't anywhere close to him. Grabbing his last full bottle, Lucifer started marching down the beach in the approximate direction of the sound, soju in each hand. In the next moment, he heard the crashing of trees and saw a small blaze of light quite far down the coast from him. That certainly couldn't be good. He took off at nearly full speed, being mindful of his drinks, and closed the distance to the growing forest fire in under thirty seconds.
At the scene, the small, yet hungry, fire that had suddenly appeared was threatening the safety of all the creatures in this landscape, supernatural and otherwise. In the sand, Lucifer noticed a figure... perhaps some kind of sexy goblin, forced from their home to kneel on the beach in horror? Although he wasn't certain that they tended to wear clothes, strange and tattered as they were on the goblin in question.
"What's happened here?!" Lucifer shouted, dropping his bottles into the sand and hurrying over to the trees. "Who's started this? The entire fucking forest could burn down, and I need this area intact!" He started grabbing handfuls of fire, which covered the trunks of a couple of the downed trees. He used his pyromancy to separate the fire from the material that it burned, and threw it onto the sand to die out. "Do something, would you?!" Lucifer called over his shoulder at the figure in the sand, then started huffing and blowing on the fire, flapping his arms at it to force the flames off of the trees and toward the shoreline. "Some water would be brilliant!"
By the time that she first realized someone was approaching her from further down the shore, Kara had already settled into a comfortable position. She was reclining in the beach, some leaves and sand packed under her head to cushion her head, and legs comfortably crossed. Her super hearing clued her into the new arrival first, and so she focused on where she heard them approaching from. Staggering along, looking haggard and homeless, was Oliver fucking Queen. "You survived?! This day keeps doubling up on me!" Kara shouted, hopefully loud enough that Oliver could hear. Even from this distance, she could hear him muttering on in some garbled language she didn't recognize, occasionally mentioning 'Kim Jung Un' 'Big asian tiddies' and 'the DMZ'. Kara slowly shook her head, sure that the castaway had finally gone mad—moreso than he had been already.
While Kara was staggering to her feet to greet Oliver, a third person emerged. "To be an island of castaways, Lian-piece-of-shit has so many people on it." She quipped before he started shouting. He dropped two expensive looking bottles into the sand and charged forward. Suddenly this angry liquor-carrying man started performing pyromancy, sending bouts of flame to where Kara's makeshift chair had been.
"Hey, hey," she butted in, "there's a line. You have to have been on this shithole long enough to complain about the others here. For instance, Oliver Queer over there," she pointed at Ollie, "can complain about all of us, because he's been here since he was like twelve, not to say I won't blast him for it though." She rolled her eyes. "Jason can complain about whatever he wants to, but I mean he's Jason I'm not going to tell him to stop, and Slade could complain about me. Up until now I couldn't legitimately complain about anyone. Now, I can complain about you, but you deeeefinitely can't complain about me. It's the rules." She meandered towards his bottles, picking one up and taking a swig of this. "Oh this is good, this is really good. Did you crash on a booze boat?" She turned her head towards Ollie, "Hey Ollie, the new guy landed on a booze boat, he's got good stuff!!"
She saw that he was still frantically trying to put out the flames, but she just laughed a little and shook her head. "This is Lian Yu dude, what's worth saving?"
"I wonder if there are many big asian tiddies in North Korea? Can't really look for 'North Korean tiddies' online... or can you? I haven't used a computer in 5 years fuck... Or is all that only south of the DMZ? Seoul was wonderful... Hmm... Hard to tell, I'm still trying to figure out if it's Kim John or Jahn Un. Jon Oon? Fuck." He grunted to himself, unfortunately thinking aloud as he had grown accustomed to on Lian Yu. Still, Oliver Queen had his bow drawn and raised as he crossed the tree line. The smoke from the burning wood was blowing right in his face as he crossed over, the future Emerald Archer sputtering and coughing as he walked through the smokescreen in a clumsy and hilarious fashion. It was as if he had walked right into a massive cobweb, Oliver blinded and flailing through the smoke. As his eyes stopped watering once he was clear of the smoke he found a man literally picking up the flames and throwing them aside! "Did I walk through a burning ayahuasca plant again? Because I am fucking TRIPPING! WOAH! What's up bro?! We throwing fire and shit? Sick!"
Oliver looked hazy eyed at the strange man throwing fire into the sand... and eventually his eyes found their way to the source of the voice he loathed the most. One he had managed to tune out thus far miraculously, but one he wished he could continue to tune out.
"No trip would start off this bad this quickly... fuck. Hi Kara..." Oliver groaned, disappointed by the sight of Kara and the revelation he wasn't actually on drugs. Naturally she had already insulted not only Oliver but the suspicious looking man throwing fire into the sand... which felt like a bad idea to piss off someone capable of such a thing. The stranger asked for help, that some water would be brilliant and he needed to keep this area intact. North Koreans look way different than what I imagined... Ollie thought to himself, puzzled with the whole situation as he completely lowered his bow and stashed his drawn arrow back into his quiver.
While Kara gave the stranger an earful, Oliver decided to help him instead. He raced to the ocean only to find that he didn't have anything to carry the water in, causing the playboy to panic. Sweat dripped down his forehead and down his face as his eyes darted around for something, anything to help put the fire out with.
"Hey Ollie, the new guy landed on a booze boat, he's got good stuff!!"
"Jackpot." Oliver Queen grinned, racing over to Kara and grabbing the other bottle from the sand. With one mighty swig Oliver began to down the bottle, the feat only possible thanks to his extensive history with alcohol in the past but the burn of it felt painfully unfamiliar now. I can't... stop... drinking... I gotta stop this fire! He fought internally, slamming back the last of the Soju furiously until he was left with an empty bottle. He couldn't read the alcohol percentage but it felt high, especially as the warmth of the liquor raced down to his stomach and lit a fire inside him. "THANKS!" Oliver blurted out, racing to the ocean and filling the now empty bottle up with sea water. He turned around and with a mighty throw slammed the bottle filled with water against a nearby burning tree, the glass shattering and the water spraying out to little or no effect. In fact the fire seemed to taunt Ollie, the flames growing higher against his efforts.
"....fuck." He groaned, already feeling a buzz racing in. It was an unfamiliar feeling, though it was one he missed. What he didn't miss however was Kara, who just blurted out that this place wasn't worth saving because it was Lian Yu. "This ain't Lian Yu you fucking dumbass. It's North Korea!"
As Lucifer hurried to try to put out the fire threatening to burn down the entire dokkaebi habitat, the sexy goblin started talking nonsense. Probably not a goblin, then. She blabbed on and on about some people he didn't know, and some hierarchy he didn't care about. What kind of society was she from, where a man in a good suit couldn't get some daddamned respect?
"Excuse me!!" Lucifer yelled, when he looked back again to see that the girl had taken one of his bottles of soju. Not only that, but some horrifically bedraggled man, uglier even than the dokkaebi, had stumbled onto the beach and was chugging the other one. "Those are mine, you arseholes, have you no manners at all?!" The man ran down the beach, apparently trying to help by filling the bottle with water and flinging it at the trees. "That's a fucking waste of good drink, are you both idiots?!"
Finally, having had enough of the nonsense, Lucifer took off his jacket and unfurled his wings, which tore through his perfectly good shirt. With two mighty flaps, he pushed the flames off of the trees in a massive gust of wind, sending licks of fire up into the air to dissipate and die. Several trunks remained broken and charred, but at least it wouldn't spread any further. A waste of his power, just because of these imbeciles.
Turning back to the oafs on the beach, Lucifer folded his wings and put his jacket back on. "Now that we've avoided an environmental crisis, I'll ask again, are you both idiots? Lian Yu?" He pointed to the girl. "Do you honestly think you're stranded here on this beach? Have you even bothered to walk a few minutes inland? And the same for you!" He pointed at the man. "North Korea? Are you fucking kidding me? That -" He pointed back where he had come from, "is the Geum River. In South Korea. You're both lucky that I turned up, before you started a national emergency."
Lucifer bent down and picked up the pitiful, broken bottle neck that remained from his soju. "And don't get me started on this injustice!" He tossed the broken glass down the beach toward the two stupid castaways. "Stealing a man's alcohol - especially stealing from Lucifer Morningstar - is nothing short of international crime. You'd both better come up with some way to replace my soju, because the pecking order here starts with me, not you two shipwrecked morons." Lucifer took out his phone again, tapping a message to Maze.
Vacation ruined, btw!! Prepare the hookers and blow.