Children of the Gods: Arc 2 [Game/Closed]

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The room grew dark as flocks of birds gathered at the windows. The goddess seemed to grow taller, stepping forward to face Remus, looking down at him. She spoke with biting contempt.

Do not think me so foolish to side with a Mad God..

She then flicked her wrist at Steven, causing deep uncertainty and doubt within him; his hands trembled and he dropped the gun. She had no reason to converse with coarse violence.

I am here to help you. But only if you will help me; he has poisoned the spirit of Cu'Chulain. Danu needs her champion, and I my...corpse-maker...So why not step to the challenge, Son of Mars? You are lord of War, are you not?

She cackled and pushed him aside. Spotting Able, she spoke.

Or you, silent Son of Vengeance? Yes, they speak of your strength. You would do well tied to a rock...

Spinning on her heel, the room grew darker still, until only vague shadows could be made out. Prometheus cast small lights at the feet of each member to ease the darkness. He had been oddly silent.

Will no-one answer the call of the Morrigan? Are you all cowards? What is your answer!?

Vera - in warrior form due to the expectant fight - watched silently from the sidelines as Etna's parent spoke. While she had a particular distaste for gods, she wasn't gong to attack one who just appeared in front of them. She much preferred ignoring them and/or insulting them to using her sword.

That said, she was thankful she had it. Who knew what the god-parent might do. As to the divine offer, well as far as Vera was concerned it was just another deal with the devil - like most-every covenant with a god was.

So with all of the questions asked - several multiple times - she waited; not making a move until the Badb made violent move of her own. Well; unless it was against Prometheus. Vera doubted she'd lift a finger for him.

I am here to help you. But only if you will help me; he has poisoned the spirit of Cu'Chulain. Danu needs her champion, and I my...corpse-maker...So why not step to the challenge, Son of Mars? You are lord of War, are you not? Remus felt a surge of rage when Badb pushed him aside. It seemed the goddess was responding to his antagonizing behavior with in kind with her mockery. He was tempted to draw his blade and take a swing, but restrained himself from doing so. Remus might have been mad, but he wasn't going to do something so foolish as to turn this situation bloody. That would put his friends at risk. "Besides it's not likely I'd even be able to hurt her."

Remus still stubbornly maintained his antagonistic stance however, glaring at Badb fiercely and gripping his hilt. Will no-one answer the call of the Morrigan? Are you all cowards? What is your answer!? Remus made an almost grow-like grunt. The goddess' taunts were getting to him. "I'll not stand about and get called coward by some irish witch." Remus stepped forward once against, placing himself within spitting-distance of Badb. "What would you have done, specifically?"

Will no-one answer the call of the Morrigan? Are you all cowards? What is your answer!?

"What exactly happens to whoever takes the deal? And what do we get out of it?" Nicole asked, managing to keep any trace of trembling from her voice. I am not a coward, and we need help, but I'm not about to rush into something like this. The whole idea of the deal still left her with a bad feeling, something she doubted would fade. She gave a nervous glance to Prometheus, what does he know about this? Why isn't he saying anything?

Aria just kinda rolled her eyes "Wonderful, none of that actually answers the question of 'what we'd need to do' given you just handed out two different answers for two different people" she said, her under lying irritation with not just Badb's question dodging, but this whole quest in general.

Steven sudden felt confusion. Suddenly beyond reason, barely containing himself from forgetting how to control his bowls. As the gun clattered to the floor, clarity returned.

Will no-one answer the call of the Morrigan? Are you all cowards? What is your answer!?

"What exactly happens to whoever takes the deal? And what do we get out of it?"

Why isn't this woman telling them anything? Really, why is Prometheus standing in silence? He knows something why would he...

"She can't," Steven said, getting back up, "She can't tell us. If it some rule of the gods, something about this call that can't be shared. She might be poisoned, she may be lying, but Prometheus should of said SOMETHING about this. Whatever this is... one of us will have to go in the dark."

Steven moved forward.

"I will accept the call."

It seemed it was Etna's mother. And she wanted someone to fight for her, a champion. Someone who was good at killing, which obviously meant he could refuse without seeming selfish. Perfect.

Will no-one answer the call of the Morrigan? Are you all cowards? What is your answer!?

No way. Besides, only an idiot would accept only knowing what we currently know.

Most of the others still seemed to be hesitant, asking for more information. However, it seemed Steven, who had been the one to yell at her before like a moron, was the one to offer himself up. Odd, considering what he had said before. Andrew decided that at this point, he had no reason to talk, so he kept quiet.

"I will accept the call."

"You sure about that?" Aria asked Steven "Seems to me that if your going to spring a potential trap, you send in the one with the least to lose, and in this group, that'd be me." she said then stepped forward her self "So I'll go in instead, if it does go sour and something bad happen, eh ... not like anyone will miss me" she said with a shrug and waited for the goddess to reply

"I will accept the call." Remus snapped his head around with a look of surprise as he faced Steven. He was half-tempted to offer himself up after Badb told specifics, yet it seemed he had been beaten to the punch. Before he could react however, he heard another voice speak up. "So I'll go in instead, if it does go sour and something bad happen, eh ... not like anyone will miss me" Aria offering herself was even more of a surprise. She hardly seemed like someone to suited to the business "corpsemaker" implied.

Remus turned himself around and frowned at both of them. "The hell you are. If anyone ought to go, it should be me. Neither of you should risk your lives for whatever this witch entails."

Aria turned toward Remus "Do you have any family waiting for you? Friends maybe? Anything at all of value waiting for you? If you can answer yes to that, then you have no reason to throw that away, best to leave this to the people that had nothing going into this." she said with a shrug and turned back to Badb

"Well what about you?" Steven said to Aria, "I have a mechanic shop to go back to. Who will ever miss Mr. Potatohead? You have a chance of finding someone in your life."

"The hell you are. If anyone ought to go, it should be me. Neither of you should risk your lives for whatever this witch entails."

"Do you have any family waiting for you? Friends maybe? Anything at all of value waiting for you? If you can answer yes to that, then you have no reason to throw that away, best to leave this to the people that had nothing going into this.

"Well what about you? have a mechanic shop to go back to. Who will ever miss Mr. Potatohead? You have a chance of finding someone in your life."

Are you serious? Are you goddamn serious? Not one, but three people.

Remus was trying to be the hero, and offer himself up, should they have to. He was the type to do that, after all. However, Andrew wasn't sure what the other two were trying to do.

Deciding who has the worst life, from the sound of it. And they are both complaining so much, even though they are both in good health and far from old. They are both exaggerating, sounding like sulky teenagers.

He had seen cancer patients who weren't going to make it, talk to their families, operations failing and ending up doing more harm than good, and little children with terrible injuries and diseases, crying because of the pain. Andrew had never had a strong sense of empathy, but even before he had started his internship, he had seen stuff like that on close hold, dulling his sense even more. And yet this room made him feel off. Terrible. And they were fighting about who had the most sucky life?

"Is this really the time?" he said. He didn't sound outright cold, but serious rather than friendly. "Or place? Look around you, if you haven't noticed it, these people have it a lot worse than you, since they are very much dead." He sounded sad, although that was more of an added effect. "So please, let's just think this through and look at the facts, rather than deciding on whim like this." He looked towards Badb.

"Could we please take this outside? You must agree as well that it's not a decision to be made in a hurry like this, since it's a lifetime commitment. It can't benefit you to have a suicidal, unprepared and unwilling corpse-maker, can it?"

Aria looked and Steven and sighed "I doubt I'll find anyone interested any anything past a one night stand, or some ass hole thinking I'd make a fine 'trophy wife', and how long do you think some one will hang around when they find out I can teleport and shoot energy?" She said, sharing a bit more then she wanted to "Only way I'll be able to be happy, is if I shed the 'human' or 'divine' part of me, and I really don't care which goes. Being both has proven to be nothing more then a constant stream of problems" Adding the bit at the end with a bitter tone.

She spoke to Andrew, bitterly.

The terms of agreement are mine to make, Mortal. He has offered, so I shall claim him.

Badb smiled as they began arguing over who would go; to fight over something none of them wanted brought her great satisfaction. She began staring at Prometheus, tuning out the bickering, flashing him a grin. He didn't move, seemingly frozen in contemplation.

Turning back to the group, she gripped Stevens wrists, her hands like icy steel. He offered first, so he would be the first to be sworn.

Do you swear by blood to fight for me? Until you breathe your last? Do you swear to relinquish your spirit to my realm, to harvest souls until I release you?

As she spoke the oath to Steven, Prometheus rounded to the back of the group unseen. He pulled Remus and Aria away quickly. He kept his voice low as he spoke.

"Do not offer yourself again. She will claim more than one of you; we can figure this out later. Right now we need her help; she knows the door into Hades. We can question them; find out what happened and where he's going. Are you with me or not?"

Light crept back into the room as the birds abandoned their posts; a strange wind filled the room, filling Nicole and Vera with anxious excitement; feelings of victorious competition and physical prowess. Though the wind passed and the birds returned, Nicole and Vera remained charged and fidgety.

Aria rolled her shoulder and batted Prometheus's hand away "Not by choice" she said bitterly to the Titan and started for the door

Before being able to argue with Remus, the woman had already pulled Steven forward. He grit his teeth at her steel cold hands. Just because the son of the forge god can resist the flame of a furnace, does not mean cold doesn't hurt.

Do you swear by blood to fight for me? Until you breathe your last? Do you swear to relinquish your spirit to my realm, to harvest souls until I release you?

Steven did not like where this was going, particularly the "harvest souls" bit, knowing by movie logic his chance of survival was between "sex crazed teen in haunted house" and "red shirt." Still, looks like not something to turn back on.

"I swear by blood," Steven said, trying to ignore the iron cold grip, "Until I breath my last, to relinquish my spirit to your realm... until you release me."

"Do you have any family waiting for you? Friends maybe? Anything at all of value waiting for you? If you can answer yes to that, then you have no reason to throw that away, best to leave this to the people that had nothing going into this." Remus scowled at Aria's words. There was something about her pessimistic attitude that bothered him. "Why is she acting so distraught? Is it because Dan left her? That must be the reason." He had heard heartbreak was a hurtful experience, but it seemed childish to desire risking one's own life because of it.

Before he could react though, Remus was pulled back along with Aria by Prometheus. "Do not offer yourself again. She will claim more than one of you; we can figure this out later. Right now we need her help; she knows the door into Hades. We can question them; find out what happened and where he's going. Are you with me or not?"

"Not by choice" Remus nodded. "I'll second that." he said with a similar sour tone. He then turned his attention to Steve, frowning intensely as Badb made him swear his blood and soul. Everything had been frustrating Remus off today. The bloody rumours, the obscurity of their goal, the sight of ritual carnage, the attitude of others, but now this witch had especially frustrated him. If the demigod hadn't been forced to learn self-control as a child, he would have snapped and tried to drive his fist through Badb's skull. But as that wasn't the case, he remained glaring silently.

Badb relished in the oath, savoring each word, her grip tightening on Stevens hands. As he finished speaking, she let go, letting his hands fall neatly at his sides. In his left palm, a small tattoo blossomed; that of a small, black crow. She licked her lips and looked at Steven, seeing past his mortal frame and speaking directly to his being.

When you die, know that I will come and claim you. Forever. My little champion...And now for my end of the bargain!

Light flushed into the room as the birds dissipated. Turning with a swish of her skirt, she started inspecting each body, looking for something in particular. With a small murmur of triumph, she picked out the tongue of a young man; severing it with her nail. She held it casually in her hand as she returned to the group.

This is the tongue of the last to be killed; you'll need to give it to him when you find his spirit. He can't speak otherwise. I assume one of you can communicate with the dead, no?

Without waiting for an answer, she addressed Etna.

I want you by my side as we approach the door, so you can learn the incantation. This is a useful spell, one that you should have learned long ago, if you hadn't engrossed yourself in trivial academics!

Flinging the doors open with naught but a raised eyebrow, she began walking slowly outside, speaking with each step, her thick irish accent reminiscent of Etnas.

The door is not too far...Just out over open water. My sisters and I have...secured...a vessel that will take you there. Chiron owes us many favours. I will open the door, and you'll be on your way. Simple?

Prometheus ignored their bitter comments. What did he care if they liked being here. They were assigned a task, and if they failed, thousands would die. The Titan would not have that blood on his hands; not if he could help it. He knew of dozens of heroes that would have relished the opportunity to embark on something like this. Too bad they were all dead.

"Does the walker choose the path...or the path the walker..."

He mumbled as he followed Badb into sunlight, his mind at unease. Speaking softly to Andrew, he kept his voice low.

"You're good with people. If it came to it, do you think Etna is with us, or with...her..."

He motioned to Badb. Having one Irish goddess around was uncomfortable enough, but to meet up with her sisters; he shuddered. The Morrigan was not a deity he could contend with, and the Celtic trio certainly have their own ambitions amidst all this turmoil.

Far away, atop a small mountain, two figures gathered under the Pillar of Nike. A small winged woman, with a spry and athletic body. The other, a stout man, wrapped in oriental garments, wielding a mighty Golden sword. With keen eyes they watched the group depart. The woman spoke.

"How long will we wait? How long can we put it off?"

"Soon, soon. Patience, young one. When they have a moment."

"If they come out alive."

"They will have victory."

They both chuckled at the joke, before vanishing as mysteriously as they had appeared.

The terms of agreement are mine to make, Mortal. He has offered, so I shall claim him.

Be my guest then, I'm not the one who is making a pact with the desperate and foolish guy.

Steven had acted... well, he never seemed to think stuff through. And now he was forever bound to Etna's mother, who seemed as temperamental as her daughter. Actually, scratch that. Etna was as sweet as honey compared to the Irish goddess. With someone like this as a mother, Andrew thought he might give Etna some rest. Yeah, definitely.

I think I'll leave her alone.

He could always choose someone else, or just simply let it be. Either was easy to do.

The pact between Steven and Badb was made, and the goddess without a hairbrush gave them instructions on what to do next. She also spoke harshly to Etna, yet again proving she was far from mother of the year. Andrew had no care for Apollo, but at least he had the possibility not to care. Etna seemed to have gotten her mother stuffed down her throat.

"You're good with people. If it came to it, do you think Etna is with us, or with...her..."

Prometheus asked him, pointing towards Badb as they followed her. Andrew shrugged.

That's a no-brainer.

"Us," Andrew whispered back, making sure only Prometheus could hear it. "She's with us."

She had to be, right? When all came to all, even if Etna hadn't interacted a lot with the others, and only badly with him, anything had to be better than her mother. Probably.

She might hate me more. But her dislike of me shouldn't make the decision for her. Besides, even with as little Prometheus has given us, this woman has been even worse. At least she'd know she's saving the world travelling with us. Her mother could be after anything. Then again... do we know that Etna wants to save the world?

He looked at Etna, deep in thought. Andrew didn't trust anyone. But he had so easily decided that Etna was on their side, answered Prometheus without even considering it.

She obviously dislikes her mother, though. Anyone would assume she'd rather save the world. Even if it is Etna.

But Andrew rarely assumed like that. It had to be the atmosphere, the corpses, the goddess, everything. Deals, weird magic, gods trying to destroy the world. Some part of him must have hoped there was something he could be sure of there. And he had chosen Etna, of all people.

Ridiculous.

It really was.

Steven stared down at the Raven on his hand. He turned to Prometheus as they walked out.

"Please tell me her "realm" is only sunshine, beer, and happiness, because I may be staying there for some time..."

Etna's mum didn't seemed bothered by the torrent of questions, in fact they seemed to encourage her as she strolled through the group, sizeing each of them up.

Or you, silent Son of Vengeance? Yes, they speak of your strength. You would do well tied to a rock...

What the hell is that suppoed to mean? Is she going to try and do a Prometheus on me?

That was when the group broke down into a 'Who's got the crappier life.' contest. If Abe was feeling cynical he'd make some snide thought about how juvenille it made them sound... and he did think that. But really it just sounded kind of sad and was the lastt hing they wanted to do right now.

Don't do it, you're playing right into her hands. But they did it anyway and Badb lorded it over them like she'd just won the lottery. She claimed Steven as her own, clutching at him greedily, the malicious glint in her eye sending shivers down Able's spine.

Still she seemed to be holding up her end of the deal, crappy though it was.

Able filed in with the rest as they shuffled out of the blood stained vinyard. Able's guard was up high, no way was this going to end well, nothing they'd done over the pst few days had. He tensed up, ready for the inevitable outbreak of violence. Abe found his way next to Remus.

'This isn't right.' Said the the grim look on Abe's face.

Steven took the deal, rushed into it really although Aria seemed to want to compete with him for the 'honor' of being Babd's slave forever. Their debate beforehand seemed incredibly immature, what are they a bunch of teenagers? Aria's kind of become bitchy since Dan left, not like he chose to get teleported out it just happened. She had no intention of saying this though, it wouldn't do any good. Andrew was the only one who did speak about that, telling them off for their squabble, though it seemed that most people just ignored him.

During the whole discussion she had felt a tingling sensation, not unlike when she activated her wings, mom? Was that you? It lingered and did not seem to be simply her nerves or imagination, a blessing maybe? Would certainly be nice, might help since we're apparently taking a trip to the underworld now.

She followed the others out, trying to keep from bouncing in her steps as she did so, it felt like the newfound energy wanted out but she knew she might need it for later. Save some for the last lap of the race. The others seemed rather grim, she felt similar, Steven in particular seemed to be questioning the deal he had just made, oh I don't know maybe it would have been good to get those answers beforehand? She thought sarcastically, though in truth she wasn't angry with him his deal might prove necessary to stop Dio after all, she just didn't see why they had to keep rushing into things without figuring the situation out beforehand.

Sighing she moved to walk behind Able and Remus, like everyone else they both looked rather grim, though she wasn't sure what if anything to say to them. Prometheus seemed to be asking Andrew about something, though she couldn't hear what, well hopefully his healing will come in handy in the land of the dead.

Prometheus nodded in approval at Andrew's answer; he only hoped he was right. He caught up with Steven, just behind Badb, and spoke loud enough for her to hear. He wanted her to know what she was doing.

"Well, from what I hear, there are endless battles, bitter winters, and endless freezing rain. And it seems you'll be there for quite some time. Don't think about that too much; you still have a good fifty or so years."

He spoke with light-hearted levity, but he looked at Steven seriously. He wanted to tell him that he would figure a way out of this, but he couldn't let on just yet. Not till they were far away from the goddess.

And he didn't know if he could.

As they rounded the vineyard, they spotted two similarly dressed women, standing on the banks of a small river. One was far younger; barely a maiden, and looked almost the double of Etna. The other was far older, with wisps of white hair in between tell-tale dark locks. They all bore the same terrifying eyes.

Rocking gently in the river was a small wooden boat; not unlike a large canoe, made of a deep, dark wood. Standing at it's helm was an old man, dressed in a white toga, holding a paddle. He was an impressive figure; almost heroic, though he looked weather-worn and fatigued.

Badb turned and gestured to the boat.

Your vessel awaits you, friends. I suggest you all make your way in so we may open the door. Except you two.

She pointed to Etna and Steven.

I want words with you both.

The other two Goddesses flanked her, presenting the Morrigan trio in it's completion. Though unassuming, they exuded an awesome air about them; sheer overwhelming, tribal power seemed to brim in each of them. To disobey them here and now would be folly, so Prometheus made his way down to the boat, stopping just shy, ankle deep in water. He spoke to the old man.

"By what measure have they enslaved you, old friend? Surely you should be paddlying Styx, ferrying souls as is your duty?"

The man sighed, and looked sheepishly behind him.

"They have controlled Styx for some time...them and the rest of...I..."

His throat seized up, and he gave a small shrug. Markings of a ritual spell glowed faintly on his neck. Prometheus nodded in acknowledgement, before boarding the boat. Something strange was going on, but he trusted Chiron, even enslaved, and didn't wish to fight the goddesses.

"Well, from what I hear, there are endless battles, bitter winters, and endless freezing rain. And it seems you'll be there for quite some time. Don't think about that too much; you still have a good fifty or so years."

"Aw, so she lives in Cleveland," Steven said, making a sad smile, "This is going to be fun."

Your vessel awaits you, friends. I suggest you all make your way in so we may open the door. Except you two. I want words with you both.

Steven looked at the maidens. Without breaking eye contact, he held out the shotgun to Remus.

"If I don't come back, make sure they go down with me," Steven said, "I will need company in Cleveland."

Remus noticed Able walk up next to him, with a grim expressed that displayed what he was most likely thinking. "I don't like this either, but its not like we have a choice. We need to stop Dio and if this is going to help us, then we have to go through with it." he said with jagged tone that suited the infuriated look on his face.

He followed Prometheus' lead, spying two two young women and a small boat by a river as they turned the corner. Your vessel awaits you, friends. I suggest you all make your way in so we may open the door. Except you two. Remus shot another scowl in Badb's direction as she gestured towards Steven and Etna. Although the likelihood of her doing something sinister to them was minuscule now that they had made a deal, he wasn't going to trust the witch further than he could kick her.

"If I don't come back, make sure they go down with me. I will need company in Cleveland." Remus turned to face Steven, then nodded somberly as he accepted the shotgun. He then took a seat on the ferry of the being who, judging from the conversation Prometheus was having with him, was the Greek Charon. All the while he kept his gaze fixed on Badb, watching her like a hawk.

Aria just followed them to this big canoe looking thing, then, climbed in, sat down and waited for departure, though she wasn't really sure if where they where going, was better then where they just left.

Able took his seat in the boat as he took in the full on rogues gallery of mythological beings. It didn't take him long to work out who each of them was, his myth nerd days once again paying for themselves in ways he had never imagined. The collected Morrigan arranged themselves like a series of before and after photos while Chiron and Prometheus exchanged words. Abe might have been star struck if it wasn't for the mixture of murder and faustian bargains he'd just witnessed.

Steven and Etna being forced to stay behind in the care of the mad Irish trio didn't help his mood either. Abe got even further on edge as his eyes darted around as if some horrific monster might jump out from behind the nearest rock.

We're going to the underworld... It should have hit him sooner. Oh dear god!

What followed was an internal struggle between panic, fear and excitment as Able decided whether he wanted the boat to sit there forever or get moving and get it over with... or get right to the adventure.

He couldn't quite explain it but there was a part of Able that wanted to dive right in, to go on some great quest or challenge. To test and prove himself. The same feeling had been lurking in the back of his head since the satyr encounter. It was as if something had gotten his blood up.

What's wrong with me? He couldn't remember ever being like this. He gotten competative at the sparring matches at the gym but that was nowhere close to all this.

The way Nicole had described her wings had stayed with him through out all of this. Of Divine blood rising to the surface. Was that what it was? He'd thought it before but after seeing how some of the others had acted he felt so much more sure of it. That maybe their parents had left them more than just their powers, that they'd imprinted pieces of their own nature on them. Of course there's always nurture versus that nature. What did that mak him if he did take after his dad though? The stories, and Abe's mum had always been kind of vague on Vidarr's personality.

Guess this is one way we could get to know each other, hey Dad. Able thought, his eyes glancing up at the sky. Even if it is by proxy.

Andrew didn't want to enter the boat. Not because he was afraid, but because this whole ordeal was shady. Why did the two other women, Badb's sisters, just arrive? Why were they helping them, when they clearly had no reason apart from having obtained... Steven, as a "champion. And now Steven and Etna were staying behind, so they can have a chat with them. Steven told Remus to shoot the three goddesses if he was harmed, a beyond ridiculous idea.

Why would they harm you now? And Babd's daughter? No, if anyone is getting killed, it would be us others.

Finally, Andrew entered the boat, but he had no desire to be there, nor did he think they had any reason to anymore. So, they were looking for Dionysus? The guy who caused suicides?

We could just take a look at the internet or the news, if he's somewhere else, people would soon realize. But no, we're risking our life, to go down to the underworld, to talk to someone who might know something.

Andrew gave up, trying to find the logic in the situation. Either, there was something he didn't know going on, or the gods were honestly this retarded.

Etna didn't mind being asked to stay behind.

Of course, she didn't mind abandoning 'trivial academics' to go off on an adventure to save the world from an evil god. She didn't mind putting with annoying Andrew or any of the others with their somewhat annoying antics. Steven particularly; that man needed to get over his bad looks. He needed to stop acting like such a martyr over it. Then again, the Texan had now turned to pining over the disappeared Dan. Most people are jerks, anyway. Something that could be seen in the group, or in the gods they had met so far. Nevertheless, if it meant not having to visit the land of the dead, she didn't mind having to stay behind to have some sort of pep talk with her dear mum. Regardless, she wanted to ask Badb something:

"What is this all for? The Morrigan had gathered here for something, right?" Etna enquired.

Vera maintained her quiet watch; not liking the actions of the Irish goddess in the slightest, but making no action. Little good would come from attacking the goddess.

As the ritual came to an end, Vera noticed an odd feeling. It was a sort of nervous energy and she felt fidgety. It reminded her of Nicole's powers so she turned to her fellow demigoddess. Nicole's wings were still retracted so it couldn't be her. In addition; Nicole seemed similarly affected; though no one else showed any symptoms.

"Nike" she muttered under her breath; making a guess. Though Vera didn't like the interference, Nicole hadn't spoken poorly of her mother so Vera tried not to judge. She wondered briefly why she was affected, but tried not to think about it too much; chocking it up to the shared dominion over victory.

Vera's thoughts were further cut off by Charon. "They have controlled Styx for some time...them and the rest of...I..." he said, in reference to the Irish goddess and, obviously, someone else. Vera drew her sword closer, glancing around for any sign of danger. She didn't like any part of this.

Eventually Vera got into the small boat - though she remained standing in a low crouch - fully expecting something to go terribly, terribly wrong.

"What is this all for?"

Badb turned and laid hands on her daughters shoulders. Her sisters watched them from the corners of their eyes, as the rest of the group piled onto the boat. Steven was just out of earshot.

"Things are changing, Etna. Though your leader does not know it, there is more at hand than just a Mad God. I need you to know that my sisters and I are on your side, and your side alone. It is you that must pick allegiance...when the time comes. You'll understand soon enough. It was...lovely seeing you again, albeit the circumstances..."

Kissing her softly on the cheek, she whispered a Celtic good luck, placing the severed tongue in her hand, before turning to Steven.

"Don't fear, I am not claiming you just yet. The mark on your hand is not simply superficial; it is a token. To mark you as mine to the Valkyries."

Pulling Steven closer, she again gripped his wrists, whispering harshly in his ear.

"Do not try to escape me, mortal. Or I will send you somewhere far, far worse."

Releasing him, she stepped forward to meet her sisters that lined the river. They spoke in eery unison.

"Luck be with you all!"

Chiron began to paddle slowly as the last member stepped onto the boat. As they pulled away, quiet chanting could be heard from the Morrigan, and the rivers waters began to darken, turning near black. The chanting grew louder, even as they drew further away from the Trio, rounding a bend to a small lake.

Chiron turned to the group.

"Whatever you do, don't leave the boat. For your sake."

Prometheus gripped the side of the boat, his knuckles turning white. He spoke loudly, as light began to fade from the world, and the river grew darker still.

"If any of you see people you know, for god's sake, don't try to speak with them. You'll get us all killed. Also -"

The boat rocked violently as mist crept in. Scraping sounds could be heard beneath them.

"Don't eat anything."

"Do not try to escape me, mortal. Or I will send you somewhere far, far worse."

That iron grip, the voice, and most of all those eyes cut any chance for Steven to respond.

Steven looked back at the Badb as he stepped onto the boat, then grabbed his head.

"What the @#$^ have I got my self into," Steven wondered aloud, "How much longer will I go on the insanity train?"

The world started to turn black.

"Please tell me there just happens to be a solar eclipse today."

Scrapping sounds came from the bottom of the boat.

"Please tell me that is a log."

"Why would they try to kill us and why aren't we eating anything?" Aria asked, with out really looking back, fully ignoring the scrapping sound coming from under the boat, as the lights went out. She could 'feel' the dead around her, it was oddly calming to her, though she figured it had to do with Freya's dominion over death.

Nicole carefully approached the boat and stepped in, sitting near the edge some amount of morbid curiosity made her want to peer over the edge at the waters, although she figured any more than that was probably a bad idea. Trailing one's fingers in the river Styx, probably not wise. Although... if I remember right my grandmother on mom's side is the goddess Styx, of the river of the same name, geez this trip is setting up all kinds of family reunions especially if that was mom earlier.

"Why would they try to kill us and why aren't we eating anything?"

"If you eat something here you're stuck here," she replied remembering the myth of Persephone, "And it is the land of the dead, we aren't exactly meant to be here," she fidgeted in her seat both out of worry and from the energy she was keeping bottled up.

She looked out at the waters around them, weren't there a few rivers? Styx, Lethe, and one other I think. Styx made Achilles a badass, Lethe makes you forget, and the other one brings past memories from past lives if I remember right, two out of those three could be useful if they still work like that.

She turned to Chiron, "Which river is this?" she asked, it was likely Styx, but perhaps they were taking a back route into Hades.

This is insane. This is all just... pants on head crazy. The whole thing was like a hyper realistic ghost train, boat, even. Everytime Able thought he was getting a handle on this 'quest' of theirs and all the supernatural stuff it threw at them, BAM!, something else sprang up to throw him through a loop. Maybe one dy he'd get used to it. One day... One day implied this would go on for a long time. And that was just a little depressing.

Well Abe could at least rest easy that he wouldn't be seeing anyone he knew, at least no names popped into his head. The whole group seemed to jump a little as a the boat bumped and something scrapped along the bottom before bobbing and splashing along behind them. the sound alone was enough to make Able's skin crawl. What were they doing here?

Sure the celtic trio told them that they were going to meet the victims and drill them for information. But how much could they tell them? Surely they died before things got good? Unless Dio suffered from Bond villain syndrome and felt compelled to tell people his plans to people before they killed them.

Then he remembered just how much the other gods they'd met so far liked the sound of their own voice and the hobby they made of bragging. Oh I bet he told them everything! For a moment Able could have grinned in satisfaction... then something bumped the boat again and he tensed up. Able crossed his arms and adopted the impassive mask he usually fell back on when he was feeling tense.

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