Disclaimer: I don't own Ghost rider or Justice League, get over it.


A Strange Ride

Meetings

Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sunday, May 7th. Downtown.

11:32 AM EST

Adrian stared at the banner in front of him before letting out a wry chuckle.

An acquaintance of his had requested a meeting at a biker bar in downtown Las vegas. Adrian was confused when he was given the address of the bar but no names. Looking at the banner in front of him, he now knew why. The banner said : Hell's Ride Saloon. Las Vegas.

The Son of Satan really had a sense of humor as twisted as his father. Letting out another chuckle, Adrian entered the saloon.

Inside the bar, the young man was almost disappointed to see that it was a typical bar. He was half expecting to encounter a few disguised demons here, but the only person other than the bartender himself was a very familiar redhead sitting at the edge of the bar.

Daimon Hellstrom was waiting for him.

Pushing away Zarathos' attempts to take control -an instinctual reaction to the presence of a powerful half-demon- Adrian made his way towards his friend.

"Hello Adrian, you're late." Daimon greeted him with his trademark cocky smirk.

"Fuck you too, Daimon." Both friends shared a laugh before growing somber almost simultaneously. "So, why did you ask to meet me?"

Daimon wasn't surprised that Adrian cut straight to the chase, it was a quality he admired about the current Rider.

"Satanna recently visited dad, to say that the information she returned with is troubling would be a huge understatement."

Adrian raised an eyebrow at that. Anyone who knew the Hellstrom siblings knew that they didn't go along very well with each other, the fact that Satanna decided to share this info with Daimon must mean that it's really serious. This meant Adrian really wasn't going to like whatever Daimon had to say next, but he still nodded for him to continue.

"She claims Mephisto has passed on the Medallion of Power to someone of this dimension. We don't know who they are but if they are making deals with Mephisto then they aren't likely to be the good guys. No offense." he added the last part after remembering who he was talking to.

"None taken." Adrian assured before sharing his thoughts on the news he just recieved, "So, what you're basically saying is that Mephisto has handed over the prison he uses to keep him in check to another being. We both know that he isn't foolish enough to forget that if somehow we manage to destroy the medallion then…" he trailed off.

"Basically, yes. And that means whoever has the medallion isn't some small fish. Whatever it is that they're planning to do with the medallion is going to be extremely beneficial for Mephisto too."

"Why do I get the feeling that there's more to all this?"

"Perhaps because there is, Adrian. There was another bit of information that Satanna was able to pry out of daddy, apparently The Darkhold has gone missing too."

"The what?"

"Oh, sorry I forgot, you have never heard of The Darkhold have you?"

Knowing that the question was rhetorical, Adrian chose to wisely keep his mouth shut and wait for Daimon's explanation.

"The Darkhold is an ancient book on dark magic written by one of the four elder gods, Chthon. Because of his chaotic nature Chthon was banished from this plane and the only way for his powers to be manifested here is through the book itself. That's why even the existence of the book was kept a secret. You should understand that anyone who is able to utilize The Darkhold to its full potential can call upon the complete power of Chthon. It is possible for someone with that amount of power to be able to take on your spirit at his full power and possibly win."

Hearing these words sent a chill running down Adrian's spine. Zarathos had told him once that even when he takes complete control of the Rider, he can't use his true power and yet he was capable of taking down almost any demon running free on Earth alone. The idea that there was someone capable of possibly defeating Zarathos at his full strength was terrifying.

"...What do we do about it?" Adrian asked after a short pause.

The son of Satan chuckled in response.

"We do nothing, you deal with this how you see fit. I have another mission of my own."

"WHAT?! You call me out of nowhere to tell me about two ancient artifacts which could prove dangerous to the other guy inside me and you're telling me I have to deal with them alone. Tell me you're kidding."

"I am not. Perhaps you haven't heard but Doctor Fate has gone AWOL." Damion informed him. " My mission is to find him. His helmet is home to Nabu, a Lord of Order. We'll need his help if we are to get through this. I am not abandoning you, Adrian, I am just helping you in a different way.

"Besides, you also have Zarathos to help you with this and you can always access a lot of knowledge and weapons in your little 'Sanctum' as you call it."

It's true, Adrian did have a magical retreat where weapons and knowledge from all the previous Ghost Riders was kept to be used by the latest generation.

"Fine, but try to be quick about your little treasure hunting mission," Adrian said with a sigh. "I already have enough on my plate, especially since the Justice league will be after my ass soon."

"The Justice league? What'd you do to them?" Daimon inquired incredulously.

"I was hunting a few demons and a succubus in Star City, and had a run-in with Green Arrow there, you can figure out the rest."

"Did he see your face, your human one?"

"No, I hid it with the collars of the coat before transforming."

"Well that's some relief. As far as I know, only Wonder Woman has abilities based on magic so you shouldn't have much trouble dealing with them. Hopefully, they won't have powerful contacts in the supernatural world."

"Hopefully. Alright, I'll be leaving now, there's a lot I have to deal with thanks to you."

"Haha, you're most welcome buddy."

"Shut up."

San Francisco, California.

Sunday, May 7th. Zatanna's residence.

06:02 PM EST.

An average person when looking at the house will never suspect it to be the residence of a powerful sorceress but as the saying goes, looks can be deceiving.

Inside the house; a petite, raven haired woman was preparing to take a bath. The last week was absolutely tedious for her and she had decided that she had finally earned some time to relax.

Alas, the universe disagreed.

Just as Zatanna started removing her clothes, she heard the sound of throat being cleared behind her.

The sorceress slowly turned around and found herself looking at a pair of narrowed white slits glaring at her from the shadows inside her room.

If she were an ordinary woman, Zatanna would have fainted right this moment. But she was among the most powerful magicians on the face of earth, capable of crushing powerful monsters to dust and turning a man into a rat with just a few backward spoken words.

Hence she just gave a high pitched squeal.

"Goddamnit Bruce! You almost gave me a heart-attack!" Zatanna scolded her friend once she regained her bearings. "Can't you visit someone like a normal person for once? And how did you bypass the wards around my house without alerting me?"

Batman only gave her the tiniest of his smirks before opening his mouth as if to respond but immediately decided against it after hearing Zatanna's next words.

"And don't you dare say, 'Because I'm Batman' otherwise, friend or not I will turn you into an actual bat and send a picture to Alfred and Dick."

Batman patiently waited for her to calm down before announcing the reason for his visit.

"Zatanna, we need your help."

Zatanna raised her eyebrows at that.

"'We' as in…?"

"The Justice League. We need your help on a case."

"Right. Of course. Merlin forbid you should ever ask for help in Gotham." Zatanna went on sarcastically before adding, "Give me ten minutes before I can listen to your case. I need to take a bath. You can hang upside down from the ceiling or go do whatever it is that you do to pass time."

With that she promptly picked up her clothes before disappearing in the bathroom, all the while ignoring the frightening glare sent her way.

Later.

Once Zatanna had finished bathing, she had proceeded to teleport Bruce to her living room -much to his chagrin- where he recounted Oliver's encounter with the Ghost Rider and also informed her about his own knowledge on the subject.

"... and that's all I've been able to learn about him. What are your thoughts?"

"This is bad. Real bad. I will be honest, I don't know much about the Ghost Rider but from what I do know of him, he's bad news."

"What do you mean?" Bruce asked carefully. He had hardly ever seen Zatanna this disturbed when dealing with one of his previous cases, then again he hadn't seen anyone capable of terrifying Oliver that way either.

"Bruce, the Rider is among the most secretive beings in the world of magic. I can count on fingers the number of beings who are aware of his true origins -I am not one of them, I'm afraid. And his origins are guarded for a reason. If the knowledge of his existence were to get out, there will be mass panic, not only among the normal people but the magical community as well. This is not some run-of-the-mill demon we're talking about, this is the guy that hunts demons for a living.

"Your theory about this being a host-power scenario is correct, except that the Rider isn't a power but an entity within itself. From what I know, it's like a demonic possession but much worse."

"Is there a way to deal with him?" Bruce interjected.

"This isn't something I'll be able to handle on my own, unfortunately. If the league wants to take him on then I will have to contact a bunch of people for your little monster hunting mission. Fortunately, I know a few people who can help us…"

"I sense a 'but' coming up."

"Yes," Zatanna sighed "The thing is, Dr. Fate has gone AWOL and it has become impossible to contact him."

"Dr. Fate?" Batman interrupted again, "You mean the Lord of Order?"

"The one and only," Zatanna lightly chuckled before adding, "I sometimes forget that you spent a lot of time under dad learning about these things too. Now stop interrupting me before I jinx your mouth shut. So...where was I?"

"Dr. Fate. AWOL."

"Yeah, right. So, with Fate out of the picture we are short of one very powerful ally. That means we have to go for quantity over quality."

"It seems like you already have a team in your mind."

"I do, you're not going to like some of them though… "

Liverpool, England.

Tuesday, May 9th.

11:22 PM

The street is empty save for a lone figure traveling in the dark. The street lights are flickering on and off, giving an ominous feel to the atmosphere.

The lone figure walking is a fairly tall blonde wearing a brown trench coat and a loose hanging tie. He was smoking a cigarette as he walked, exhaling every now and then.

His peaceful stroll was interrupted by a very familiar voice coming from behind him.

"Hello, John. It's been a while"

"Bollocks."


Author's Note -

So here it is ladies and gentlemen! The third chapter of 'A Strange Ride'. Hope you enjoy it.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Now, let me apologize for not updating sooner. Never had I imagined that it would take more than 2 entire months for an update but here we are.

As for why, well you have a strong case of Writer's block and a hard disk failure to blame. Once again, terribly sorry.

I don't think I have anything else to say.

That's all folks. MK out.

Edit : Thanks a lot to the reader Gerry Caravias for pointing out a spelling mistake in this chapter. I am grateful that you took the time to mention it.