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

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"The only god I'd met before this little adventure was Verathragna, so not much. I looked up some of the stories of the Zoroastrians after I found out who my father was though, so I know some of the myths. Suffice to say, he's not exactly well respected - he's supposed to be the root of all evil; the Zoroastrian version of Satan."

So we have basically Satan, fighting Hades? It's getting harder to take hell seriously.

It was still rather heavy on his mind, though, but it wasn't about to make him worried.

"By Zeus, help me!"

The old man Hades seemed to not like to have to fight in order to be the king of his own place. Understandable, Andrew couldn't help but mentally side with him, although only barely. He didn't trust any of the gods, they all seemed to have their own plans and agendas. Steven readied his gun, the rest seemed to be asking each other what to do. Etna didn't seem to care at all, she just couldn't afford to give a fuck. Andrew sighed, although he didn't want to get involved in this, Steven did have sort of the right idea. Perhaps, he wasn't sure what the man was thinking most of the time.

Shooting either of them is a bit too much though. Wouldn't want the gods of hell to hate me.

He loaded the bow with a normal arrow, and aimed very carefully at a spot between the two, very much closest to Ahriman or whatever his name was. He then waited for a moment where the two weren't moving too much, and fired. He readied another arrow, but smiled, holding the bow up, ready to fire. "Say, would you two stop fighting for a short moment?" he asked, sounding as friendly one could while also sounding rather serious. "We need to ask you a question, and I'd appreciate it if either of you would answer it."

Able stepped forward, but the crowd showed no signs of emotion; they were dead, lost and wandering, and looked on at the fight not with interest, but as if they were flies, attracted to light. He did, however, step into the opening, drawing attention to the group.

As if cementing their place in this realm, Andrew shot an arrow between the two, asking rather politely if they had time to answer a quick question.

Prometheus laid his hand on Vera's shoulder; he didn't know the relations between Persian Gods, but he also didn't like the way Ahriman looked at her.

"Don't do anything just yet; let Andrew handle it. I doubt the demon-god will be very friendly with the God of Victory. Say, are you able to whip up a wind down here? Just in case."

During this time, the Woman moaning Remus' name was getting closer to Aria, realising she was the only one who could hear her. She grasped at her wrists, still cooing gently, only intelligible to Aria.

Prometheus wheeled as Etna spoke, utterly surprised.

"...What did you just say?"

-------------------------------------

The two Gods froze, mid-swing, caught totally off-guard by the young man with the bow. Ahriman laughed, Hades simply ran towards him.

"You! Son of Apollo! Help me throw off this usurper! Help me and I'll find that missing soul!"

Ahriman called out over him, his voice booming.

"Come now young man; clearly you are far wiser as to side with the weak. Give me Dis, and you may have whichever souls you like!"

Both Hades and Ahriman stared intently on Andrew, weapons loose in their hands.

Prometheus laid his hand on Vera's shoulder, keeping an eye on the bickering gods. "Don't do anything just yet; let Andrew handle it. I doubt the demon-god will be very friendly with the God of Victory. Say, are you able to whip up a wind down here? Just in case." he said, trying to keep her back.

for the first and perhaps only time, she was in agreement with the proto-god. Persian-Satan was hardly someone who'd take kindly to her - a descendent of one of his more powerful enemies. She nodded and remained on guard - her blade held in a defensive stance. Then she answered.

"I don't "whip up" wind; I become it. There shouldn't be a problem with wind, but if I transform I'll be stuck in that form for at least an hour; meaning one less magic sword, bull, or hawk on our side."

"You! Son of Apollo! Help me throw off this usurper! Help me and I'll find that missing soul!"

"Come now young man; clearly you are far wiser as to side with the weak. Give me Dis, and you may have whichever souls you like!"

Oh, great. Couldn't they chose someone else?

"You sure this won't be solved peacefully?" he asked, but he stopped smiling, his face turning serious. His tone was a bit colder. "I'm guessing not."

I don't know if either of them are siding with Dionysus, but neither has attacked us. And Hades is the rightful owner of this place. Not to mention, the other guy is evil, and from what I know, Hades is not. Probably.

Andrew pointed at Ahriman. The arrow he had was a normal one, but he would shoot a poisoned one next. He fired, and hit, the arrow hitting the evil god in the neck. He quickly grabbed a poison arrow, and shot again. Not a great hit this time, it hit right above his knee, but good enough to make the plague spread. He readied his bow yet again, but the amount of arrows was starting to get low. Besides, the others should get the idea right around now, one of them were hurt, that was the guy to take care of.

Still... I hope I haven't made the wrong choice here. Neither are the best person to piss off.

Nicole wasn't sure what was going on, she wanted to side with Hades simply because she knew more about him, he wasn't even that bad of a guy in the myths, compared to some of the other gods he was a saint. It seemed the decision was in Andrew's hands though, and she barely even noticed that she was holding her breath as he made up his mind. He chose to help Hades, and she exhaled deeply, though her relief soon turned to worry as she realized that they were now up against yet another god, at least this time they had one on their side too.

She adopted a fighting stance, and her wings unfolded behind her this time visible in their brilliant golden form, she was more than ready to fight, run, or empower the others, but she remained in her stance for the moment, waiting to see how the god reacted to the arrows. Hopefully he'll just bow out gracefully, I mean they were evenly matched before so he's got to see things have tipped against him...

Steven rubbed his temple at this whole insanity

"Oh... somebody help me," Steven said as he holstered the gun, "Have you considered a form of governance and administration of Hell than 'Klingon Promotion?' Even if you kill Ahriman, some other God may try to overthrow you somewhere down the line and one of them will eventually win. Why not create some more stable form of rulership? Why not democracy, or some form of republican form of government? Your less likely to be overthrown by the guy with the bigger stick."

Remus had never seen a duel between Gods before, but he certainly didn't expect it to look anything like the scene before him. It was more reminiscent of a half-drunken club brawl than any epic battle he had imagine from the old antiquity stories. When the group entered the chamber and had gotten the attention of the two deities, soon identified as being Hades and some Persian God of whom Remus had never heard, both of them shouted for the demigods to aid them in battle.

"Things can never go the easy way for us, can they?" Remus though and internally sighed. Still, this seemed like a rather simple problem to handle. And simple to decide upon at that. Hades was the obvious choice to throw their support in with. Anyone who knew their antiquity mythology knew that while the ruler of the Underworld, he was far from the foulest of Gods. This Ahriman on the other hand sounded like quite the devil considering what the others were saying.

Andrew seemed to be on the same train of thought as him, as the doctor loosed an arrow in the direction of Ahriman. When he saw Nicole then join the fray, her wings sprouting out and striking a fighting pose, Remus wasted no time following in turn. He stood next to Nicole, drawing his blade out with one hand and keeping his eyes locked on Ahriman. Perhaps Remus should had felt a bit nervous about going toe-to-toe with a God. But then remembered how not even a day ago he had punched one in the nuts hard enough to draw tears, and any sort of anxiety evaporated.

Aria 'eepped' when the woman grabbed her, more out of surprise from not expecting it then anything else and turned to the woman whom seemed to just keep saying 'Remus'. Since contact was pretty much unavoidable now, she decided 'fuck it, find out what she wants'. "So, who are you? You have a message or something for him?" Aria asked the spirit, giving a quick glance in the direction of the two gods to see they group was apparently picking a side.

The gathered crowd of dead folk were no use, Able couldn't be that suprised but it was worth a shot. Although it seemed that the choice of which god to side with was made for him while he was busy, Andrew having loosed a few arrows into the armoured persian. The others were already taking up fighting positions, ready for all hell to break loose... something that might have a whole other meaning down here. Still Steven and Andrew hadn't given up on the possibility of resolving things without going into an all ot brawl.

With Hades on their side things might at least be easier than they were on the plane. And Able doubted that Ahriman would care for getting shot, no doubt things would kick off in a second. Able quietly manouvered himself into position off to the side of the two gods so that when things did get violent there was a chance he could blindside Ahriman. His head apparently still feeling clear enough to try and think of battle plans in the middle of Dis.

Ahriman staggered, clutching the arrow in his neck, ichor leaking from the wound. The poison began to take hold visibly, arching the veins in his skin, though his body seemed to resist; it would take time to incapacitate him. He pulled the arrow from his neck and dropped it, readying his mace, limping towards Andrew.

"You...are going...to regret that...Greek..."

As he drew nearer, he swiped at Hades, pushing him out of the way, heading straight towards the group. Abandoning the mace, he drew a large scimitar from it's scabbard, addressing Steven.

"Well then, let's try a democracy!"

He rallied the dead around him with a vague, golden aura; their pale eyes filling with golden, red light. They began to swarm over him, and then towards the group; tens and tens of dead, life flowing into their limbs, voices yelling forgotten battle-cries.

Prometheus readied himself, cracking his knuckles. He looked to Aria, and to Remus mother. She was still speaking in a strange dialect that only Aria could understand, speaking only Remus, and nothing else, unaffected by the Gods magic.

"Do something with her!"

He hissed, keeping his voice low, though not low enough that Able's keen ears couldn't hear. Yet before long, the dead had encircled the group, Ahriman stooping low in their ranks not 40 meters away.

Prometheus spoke, his titan voice booming through the grey landscape.

"Ahriman; we have both daughters of victory with us; we will find you."

Turning to the group, he spoke.

"We can fight through them; they'll just pass from this realm at their death. What do you say?"

"...What did you just say?"

Etna was surprised that the Titan had heard her mutterings, she made a mental note of his good hearing. What surprised her even more was the fact that Prometheus immediately jumped at those words. She repeated them again, with a shrug, "'Oath by word'; from the that token. Mean anything?"

"We can fight through them; they'll just pass from this realm at their death. What do you say?"

Nevertheless, the stand-off between Hades and Persian Satan had erupted even further. No doubt because of Steven's snarks and Andrew's arrows. Then again, it appeared that fights were inevitable on this journey. Out of all of the gods they had met, Badb was the only one who seemed content to duel with a sharp tongue. At least fighting was a little more direct.

"Can't Mr. King of the Underworld help?" She quipped.

"You...are going...to regret that...Greek..."

Seems I might. If he tries to kill me...

The evil god started running towards them, pushing Hades out of the way. However, then Steven said something about democracy, and Ahriman rallied some of the people there against them, before trying to run away. Or hide, Andrew wasn't completely sure, nor did he care a lot.

"We can fight through them; they'll just pass from this realm at their death. What do you say?"

Andrew looked at the crowd. There were a lot of them, and him shooting a few of them with arrows wouldn't be much help.

"I say that I have a limited amount of arrows. Where are they going to end up if we do kill them?"

If they end up going somewhere worse, I'd say it would be better to try something else. Besides, we might just kill the wrong one.

"And how do we know we won't kill the guy we need to talk to?"

If they were cutting their way through, knowing that they weren't getting rid of the one person they needed would probably be a good idea.

"Can't Mr. King of the Underworld help?"

Etna asked. It was a good question, surprisingly enough.

So she can use her brain to think, I was wondering if it was stuck on "overly hostile". I'm giving her a break, but that doesn't stop me from thinking negative things.

It made everything so much easier. And the same could be said if Hades could do something.

"Hey, Hades, could you calm down the souls?" He sounded a bit more persuasive. "Or at least tell us if the soul we need is here? We have the tongue of that person with us."

"Do something with her!"

Prmetheus whispered to Able, his usual booming bass hissing over the chaos. The titan's head jerked towards Aria and one of the countless corpeses that was crowding around them.

At the time, in the heat of the moment, Able thought he meant to take care of Aria. the old fashioned part of his brain taking over as it tried to save the damsel in distress and play at being the white knight. Completly forgetting that with all her powers Aria could reduce them all to dust within minutes. Able stormed through the crowd of grey undead, swatting the shambling forms aside, even throwing one into the others like human shaped bowling pins.

It was only when he got there that he saw that this particular dead person didn't have the funky glowing eyes that the others had. She was just a sad, desperate looking woman. She seemed to be any kind of threat to Aria, she was just making her uncomfortable. Just who was he supposed to be taking care of?

Something of that light he'd seen was still left and it was enough for him to at least try and make sense of the situation. He ushered Aria away, trying to communicate that he could handle it in the limited ways available to him. She could easily be of more use to the group than he could be right now. He couldn't understand the dead woman, her mouth opened and closed silently as if she was trying to say something but couldn't summon the sound to do it, something he could relate to.

She She certainly didn't seem threatening, she seemed pathetic. Able pitited the very sight of her. She wasn't trying to rip anyone's face off, a rarity for the people they met, so maybe he could be nice to a supernatural person for once. He gripped her shoulders as he tried to communicate with her purly through facial expression, his regular stand by. He tried to turn her away from the violence, gently but firmly in the hope that she would leave soon and he could get back to where he was needed.

Aria was in the process of prying the woman's hand off her wrist when Able came over to help, sort shooing her away to deal with the latest asshole god, "Don't hurt her" she said, as she turned and headed over to Nicole. Aria had a simple, but utterly brilliant idea. "Those wings of yours? can you give a pair to some one else?" she asked after tapping her on the shoulder. "Cause I'm thinking an 'eye in the sky' would be a good idea, even better if said eye can shoot"

"Goats, Loki, harpies, and now ZOMBIES?" Steven yelled, as he pulled out the colt.

However, Steven remembered he was on the last clip, and was really unsure how much effect bullets would have on these... corpses? Steven quickly flipped the gun, smashing the hard metal butt of the gun into the side of the nearest corpses skull.

Prometheus eyes went wide at Etna's words, though he hadn't time to respond, as the dead quickly swarmed over them. He quickly scooped her up and strode back into the center of the group, placing her down next to the others. She raised a good question though, and as Andrew's question cut clear over the shambling voices, Dis rounded the corner of a building, his staff in tow.

"He never was much for fighting..."

Aria returned to the group to question Nicole, leaving Able surrounded by dead, nursing the rambling woman. Prometheus called out to him, shoving away the dead as they grasped at him.

"Leave her! She's just another dead!"

A lie, and his face told it, but he hoped Able would understand anyway.

A break in the dead revealed Ahriman, nursing his wound, the poison clearly causing him pain. Steven had begun to fight his way to the God, yet was quickly being overcome; the dead too many, and the group distracted. He encouraged the others.

"I for one like Steven, and don't fancy seeing him trapped here forever. Stop thinking and help!"

He strode next to Steven and kicked full-force into the crown, sending the men and women sprawling into their own ranks. The few that caught the brunt of it simply lay still and lifeless; a second death, and now free from the fight.

At the furthest limit of the mist, high in the sky, a brilliant flame burst into view, hurtling towards the city, striking a stone tower, and crashing into the rubble within.

Hades ran away, although Andrew was sure he had heard his question. The greek god of the underworld seemed more than a bit cowardly by now.

"He never was much for fighting..."

At least he is sort of sensible, then... It still annoys me, we'd need his help. Is there even any dangers for him? He's a god.

Not that he wouldn't have gotten himself to safety if he could, but that was mostly because right now, he was of little use there. Arrows could he shot from a distance, an it would quickly tire him out to attempt to give a plague to all of these people. Well. Actually---

"I for one like Steven, and don't fancy seeing him trapped here forever. Stop thinking and help!"

Prometheus ruined his current train of thoughts. Andrew sighed, before going into the middle, and taking an aim at a few people. He shot, noticing that something struck a stone tower in the corner of his eye, but he chose to ignore it for now. If it was danger, then it would be better dealt with when they weren't surrounded by a bunch of dead people. Souls. Whatever was going on here. Andrew continued to fire arrows, taking out a number of people, but the quiver was getting emptier. He could see the still usable arrows underneath the people surrounding them, but as he couldn't grab them yet, that was little use.

"Leave her! She's just another dead!"

Then why are you giving me a funny look like you're - OH HELL!!

Able didn't have time to question anything for very long as before he could do anything the swarm of dead/undead were on him. clawing and pawing at him like drunken monsters. Their fingernails tried and failed to get any grip on him or rip at his skin, instead they stung like bug bites. He thrashed and lashed out wildly, knocking the closest ones back. Once he'd freed up some space Able managed to take up a proper stance, a little bit of his basic training coming to the surface during all the chaos.

But this wasn't the time for a proper fight, the dead may not have been up to much but there were enough of them gathering to drown him in bodies. The strange woman had gone, lost in the crowd and Able set out to follow her example, he couldn't afford to stay surrounded for much longer. He made to break the circle forming around him, tackling his way through their ranks in an attempt to reach the others. The gathered dead didn't put up much resistence, they'd have made a terrible rugby team.

Abe gritted his teeth and pushed on though, flooring his fair share of dead folks as he went. And then a meteor struck.

It's just one damn thing anfter another isn't it? He sighed internally, he wasn't even suprised anymore. That had to be a good thing right? He was finally taking it in stride. Just as he strode through the vanquished dead. There's probably a joke in there somewhere.

They could handle that later though, they'd handled everything else. Able sent the nearest corpse sprawling with a right hook allowing him to rejoin the 'vanguard' of the group as he stepped up beside Prometheus and Steven. It looked like they were fighting their way towards Ahriman. Makes sense, he's the source of it all. The faster they took him out the faster the horde would leave them alone.... he hoped.

"Leave her! She's just another dead!" Vera heard Prometheus yell as she held her ground against the spirits of the dead.

When the swarm of undead came down upon them, she'd immediately ran into the swarm to close some of the gap between them and the Ahriman. Despite what Prometheus said, they had little hope against the controlled souls. It wasn't that they were particularly touch compared to everything else they'd fought, there were just countless billions of them he could call upon. The only real hope they had of surviving was stopping Ahriman or Hades getting his act together to take control of the dead. Given how little she could do about Hades (and her distrust of the god), she'd rushed ahead. And so, fighting defensively, she waited for a chance.

A chance that came when - for just a moment - the lines of the undead broke long enough to see the god nursing his wounds in the back. She took the chance, bolting into the breech with all the speed her warrior body could muster and all the skill her years of sports allowed; brandishing her sword as she closed the gap.

Prometheus helped - she grudgingly admitted - when he kicked the crowd, further widening the hole in their lines. In the warrior state of mind, she hardly registered the blue flames and the collapsing building, only using the chaos they created to further her goal, bringing her closer to Ahriman.

Close enough to strike hard with her golden blade.

Thankfully, the corpses seemed to be completely mindless, and was easy to dispatch. However, there was just so many of them, and the butt of a gun was only a little better than a fist. Thankfully Prometheus was able to smash most of the group of zombies.

"Thanks!" Steven said, as he smashed a straggler's skull, "I for one like you as well.

Steven yelled to the group, "We need to get to Ahriman! There must be billions of dead people down here, they will just keep coming."

Another corpse ran at Steven, only for it to trip and have it's head stomped in.

"Today is a good day to die again!"

"Cause I'm thinking an 'eye in the sky' would be a good idea, even better if said eye can shoot"

"What? No, of course not, I could carry you I guess," Nicole said, she wasn't sure why Aria would think granting blessings would equate to being able to give all of her powers, but at the moment running or fighting seemed like a better idea than thinking. She kicked out at an approaching undead, knocking it back, and struck another with a wing sending it sprawling, though she was somewhat lacking in anything that could truly damage the things.

Vera and Steven were not so lacking in weaponry though, although whereas Steven seemed content to spout rather awful one liners and smack things with the butt of his gun Vera was trying to charge at Ahriman, and possibly put an end to this quickly. She cast a blessing towards Vera, she had no idea how it might impact her though, after all Vera already had some of the same power, with luck it would enhance that.

"Bummer, well, Plan B it is then" Aria said, then, opened fire on the incoming dead around Vera, since she seemed to have an idea where this 'Ahriman' was between dealing with the ones coming at her, her shots burning through two at a time. As Aria blasted the undead away, she noticed her blasts felt a bit different, they even looked different, less like a fire ball and more like a small sphere with a tail, a bout the size of a billiard ball verses the cantaloupe sized ones she was shooting before, whats more these 'new' bolts felt much more natural, less forced then before.

This interested her, she'd never seen her powers change like this before, usually she just got a new ability not an upgrade to an existing one, and unlike before when such a change would have bothered her, it excited her a little, though wondered what this 'change' meant besides 'smoother lines' for her attacks

Vera's blade swung in a downwards arc, clashing with golden sparks against Ahriman's scimitar, raised to parry. The sparks scorched the ground where they fell, and amidst the grey-and-pink scene, the pair made an impressive sight. Gold and Silver warriors.

Ahriman spoke, drawing himself up, back to his full height. The dead enclosed the two, linking arms, forming an arena, struggling to keep the rest of the group out.

"Let's see what Verathragna has to offer then, shall we?"

Though injured, Ahriman carried far more stronger, at least physically, than Vera; his blows were forever fighting her back, her agility allowing her to parry just in time. However, his swings were long and wide, staggered by his leg, and he occasionally swiped one of his own, dead, soldiers.

Pushed against the boundary of the dead, Vera felt a familiar blessing, that of Nicole, lift her spirits. At that moment, Ahriman swung diagonally, full-force, towards Vera.

------------------------------------------------

Prometheus yelled above the tumult of the crowd towards Andrew, struggling under the weight of several dead.

"Do you have any more arrows? Could you get a clear shot at Ahriman if you did?!"

He launched the clinging dead towards Aria, whose bolts seared them to a crisp.

The dead were slowly circling the rest of the group, in a similar fashion to Vera and Ahriman; for every two that fell, five more seemed to crop up. Prometheus decided that things were not looking decidedly good.

Remus' mother had been lost in the crowd, though he wasn't sure if Aria knew it. Still, he thought, this was his chance to eradicate any distractions she might cause. He turned to Aria.

"Just burn as many as you can; we'll keep them off you. Nicole, can you fly her up so she doesn't fry us?"

A few dead broke rank and charged at Etna, who stood distracted in the melee.

Steven saw the gold and silver golems forming up. The dead just kept COMING. Fighting through the horde wasn't working.

"Do you have any more arrows? Could you get a clear shot at Ahriman if you did?!"

"Somebody lift me and Andrew up!" Steven yelled, "Just give us a boost so we can get a clear shot on Ahriman, we are not going to be able to fight through this crowd!"

Parry Left

Vera threw her blade up to block an attack. The attack smashed into the sword with a resounding, ringing noise. The attack was heavy. They were all heavy.

Dodge Right

The next attack came down o top of her, she rolled out of the way, just in time for the scimitar to crash into the ground, splitting the stone. She tried to strike back, but to no avail. Ahriman knew his way around a blade, that much was certain.

And so the dance of thrusts, swings, feints, parries, dodges, hits, and misses continued. Though Vera wished it were the case, the fight was unbalanced. Ahriman had far more experience in real battle than she, and his divine power made him even harder to fight. She could hardly consider it a surprise Hades hadn't been fairing well; he wasn't know for his martial prowess after all.

Despite all of that, it was fun. One on one, against a god, in a fight to the death. It was exhilarating. Despite all the dead around her, she'd never felt more alive. Even as the fatigue of the prolonged battle began to show itself, her powers and her adrenalin compensated. Victory would be hers!

However, regardless of how alive and confident she felt, Vera slowly gave ground - inch by inch - until she had no more inches to give. Pushed against the wall of dead, she knew she needed to make a more aggressive move if she wanted to win. It was at that moment she felt Nicole's power. Ahriman seemed to slow by half as her agility skyrocketed. She felt lucky and confident and strong and fast. What more, she wanted to win more then ever. "Sacrifice the Bishop, Take the King" she said to herself as she slipped her right hand so it was around the middle of her blade and made her move.

Tired of giving inches, she decided to take some. As Ahriman struck diagonally toward her, Vera stepped int o the strike, grasping his scimitar just above the hilt with her left hand and pushed. The metal gauntlets covering her hands absorbed some of the force, though the scimitar was sharp enough to cut through them and into her hand. She felt her wrist give way and heard the snap as multiple somethings inside her broke. Despite this, with all the adrenalin flowing in her veins, she hardly felt it.

Using the opening she'd forcefully made, she brought her now effectively shortened blade up and around with all the force she could summon, hoping to slam the blade into the evil god's brain by way of ear canal.

"Do you have any more arrows? Could you get a clear shot at Ahriman if you did?!"

Andrew took a look around. Although Ahriman wasn't the smallest of men/gods, some of the people were holding up their hands, or just tall enough to interrupt his view. "I have some arrows left, but I can't promise I will hit." This was not a situation where acting tough would help anyone. He fired a shot towards Ahriman, but it hit the shoulder of a random dead instead.

"Somebody lift me and Andrew up! Just give us a boost so we can get a clear shot on Ahriman, we are not going to be able to fight through this crowd!"

Andrew had considered something similar before, but he knew that the balance wouldn't be enough to actually aim correcting. It might work, but chances were, he wouldn't be able to fire a decent shot, even if he had managed to aim. "It might work with a gun," he said. "But it won't be good with a bow." And he was running low on arrows. Besides, Vera, currently some sort of warrior, attacked Ahriman. At that point, he put down his bow, deciding to pull back for now. Keeping a few arrows, especially the poisoned ones, could be vital.

"Also, I wouldn't want to hit Vera with one of my arrows."

As Vera continued her heated duel with the Persian deity, Remus focused on helping the others deal with the droves of ghastly spirits rushing at them. At first he drew Dan's sword and took a few swings, unsure that his fists would do much damage against the undead but hoping that nordic steel might. Yet as the scuffle continued he noticed Prometheus and some of the others dishing out damage through mundane means. Remus then switched to using his fists, which were faster and hit perhaps even harder than a sword.

He couldn't help but feel somewhat miserable about fighting the spirits. These weren't feral beasts or foul monsters that hungered for blood - they were just some helpless souls being controlled like puppets by Ahriman. They didn't deserve getting thrashed on by demigods in the afterlife. Still, they were a danger to the group right now. That fact was enough to push away any thoughts of guilt Remus may have had.

Remus noticed a handful of undead had split off from the main mass and were heading straight for Etna. "The hell they are!" He wasted little time before darting across the chamber, his feet creating small cracks in the grounds with the force he stepped on them with. Remus slammed into the undead, knocking them down and tossing them aside like a raging bull. He even stomped on one for good measure, before turning to Etna and nodding.

Aria hardly needed the Titan telling her to 'keep firing', so her reply was a look of 'What the hell did you think I was doing?!' as she started firing bigger blasts to take out more at once.

"Just burn as many as you can; we'll keep them off you. Nicole, can you fly her up so she doesn't fry us?"

"Just give us a boost so we can get a clear shot on Ahriman, we are not going to be able to fight through this crowd!"

Nicole was a bit confused by this, who do I grab? Prometheus was in charge so it would probably be best to do what he said, and Aria was closer than Steven. Aria it is I guess, she darted over to Aria, kicking away another undead as she arrived.

"You ready to fly?" she asked, ready to grab Aria from behind and take off, she wasn't sure how stable her hovering would be when holding up someone, but hopefully that would be less of an issue with Aria's magic than it would be with a gun.

Aria held onto her hat "Yup" and Nicole took her up ward and waited for her to settle into a holding pattern before resuming fire, but she really didn't want to, it wasn't their will to attack them, they where being manipulated, but from this height she had a clear shot of the silver armored prick that was doing this, though it seemed Vera was already going for the kill so Aria provided covering fire for the others while keeping an eye on Vera in case things went south.

Her height as meant she could use lower energy bolts, since she didn't need to burn through one to get the guy behind it.

Vera's blade slammed hard and fast into Ahriman's head, and stuck fast as her arm gave way to the power of his scimitar, the bones in her wrist compacted and useless. The crack in his head began to glow faintly as he stepped back, dropping his sword and touching the wound with two fingers. The glow subsided, and blood began to flow, bright red.

Bringing his hand forward to his face, he spoke quietly, his eyes beginning to roll.

"Mortal...again..."

With that, he fell back and collapsed on the ground. Dead. The hordes of dead that had surrounded the group stopped in their tracks, confused. They had lost whatever motivation they had received, and quietly resumed mournful wandering. It was as if the fight had never taken place. An eery silence fell over the stone city, broken only by a newly appeared Dis Pater. He paced briskly to the group, grinning, his arms wide.

"Ha-Ha! Nobody usurps the Lord of the Dead! Thank you, friends! You must join me in celebration; come! Kore returns at any moment, sure to bring a bountiful harvest."

Prometheus stood dumbfounded at the scene, and wiped the sweat from his brow. Nicole and Aria were nowhere to be seen, and Vera was collapsed amid the crowd. His mind raced as he tried to process what had happened.

"Where's Nicole and Aria? Able, Vera needs help, can you bring her here? Andrew! No, you don't have enough energy - Where's Remus? No! -"

He spun to scan the crowd for his mother, but she was hidden from sight, at least to him. Hades caught him looking and slinked over to him, his voice a whisper.

"Yes, I saw her looking for the Italian...It would be a shame if he was to be distracted from this task, no? I suggest you come with me to celebrate, Prometheus..."

Dis walked the whisper off casually, and made a magnanimous introduction to the group, complete with sweeping bow. His staff was held loosely in his hand; he appeared to be unscathed from the previous tussle.

"Friends, New Friends! I am Dis Pater; Undisputed Lord of this realm, brother of Zeus and supporter of your task! Won't you join me for drinks?"

On it. Able staggered over to the prone Vera, or rather, the figure he believed to be Vera. He looked around him in disbelief as the horde scattered like drunk cattle, jerking nervously every time one got a little too close. They didn't do anything. To think it had only been a minute ago they'd been trying to rip him limb from limb. If the dead weren't creepy before their acting like radio control zombies only helped to make Abe even more uncomfortable.

Either way he made it to Vera and helped her/him to their feet, looping Vera's arm around his shoulder and letting them lean on him as the two of them made their way back to the group. Hades (Who was going by his fancy name today) had sauntered back in from nowhere and by the sounds of it was trying to claim credit for Vera's hard work.

Well I hate you already.

Able wished more than ever that this all meant that Valhalla and Asgard were real too, or maybe reincarnation. Ao long as he didn't have to call this simpering old dandy king. He gave Vera a nod and rolled his eyes at Hades in an attempt to say "What a jerk, huh?". Either way if they were keeping score of people's kills or heroic deeds then Vera was certainly in the lead.

Able waited near Prometheus after Hades started offering drinks, checking to see what their guide would say.

Hey whatever happened to that commet thing? Maybe they were just a regular thing here in sunny old Dis.

It all had happened very fast, and suddenly, Vera finished off the evil, persian god, and it calmed down. Hades reaction was more than a little too proud, as if he had been the one to do it.

"Ha-Ha! Nobody usurps the Lord of the Dead! Thank you, friends! You must join me in celebration; come! Kore returns at any moment, sure to bring a bountiful harvest."

...Are you kidding me?

It seemed that the "Lord of the Dead" was not only a coward, but also as prideful as every other god. Prometheus didn't seem up for a party, instead he panicked.

"Where's Nicole and Aria? Able, Vera needs help, can you bring her here? Andrew! No, you don't have enough energy - Where's Remus? No! -"

Our leader is not very fit for leading, is he?

The last Andrew had seen of Aria and Nicole had been when Nicole started lifting Aria up, and he quickly located them. "Aria and Nicole is fine," he told Prometheus. "And I'm not too tired, give me a few minutes, and I'll be up for whatever task you have."

Before Prometheus answered, if he would answer at all, Hades spoke again, to all of them.

"Friends, New Friends! I am Dis Pater; Undisputed Lord of this realm, brother of Zeus and supporter of your task! Won't you join me for drinks?"

"If you're a supporter of our cause, help us make sure our people are okay, and then with finding that one soul."

You damn wuss.

"Really, I don't think I'm the only one who think it's more important to stop this as soon as possible."

And I'd really rather not stay here. If the god of the dead don't have control over the dead... And we were told not to drink or eat anything."

Etna nodded back as he knocked back the undead horde that was charging towards her with a counter-charge of his own. Nevertheless, that would be the last time those living corpse would be knocked back as they returned to peaceful wandering as the sound of a sword swipe was heard. Etna regained her composure only to be meet with the sight of Hades swaggering about and muttering stuff about his great victory and feasts. Surely everybody knew what happened when you ate or drank stuff from another realm? Who was he trying to fool here?

Questions... Endless questions. Nevertheless, those would had to wait. She still had the tongue and the tablet in hand. One made her wish she had brought gloves on this particular expedition. But Prometheus hadn't mentioned any corpse tongues. Wait... Drink? Previous events had made Etna weary of alcohol. Probably so much so that she would never touch a drop of the stuff again. Unsure whether this Dis Pater was a supporter of their task or not, she spoke up, "We didn't came to the Land of the Dead just to get wasted. Here's the tongue, you find the soul, and let's get this over with."

Steven was glad the dead had stopped attacking. He looked at his ammo, and found he was only the last magazine of ammo. Seven rounds, that was it.

"Friends, New Friends! I am Dis Pater; Undisputed Lord of this realm, brother of Zeus and supporter of your task! Won't you join me for drinks?"

"How is this guy a supporter of us?" Steven thought, "Yeah right..."

"If you're a supporter of our cause, help us make sure our people are okay, and then with finding that one soul." Really, I don't think I'm the only one who think it's more important to stop this as soon as possible."

"I agree, we really do not have time for feasts nor drink. We need to get this information and get out of here, before the Wine God causes any more destruction. If nothing else, you do not want normal humans to connect the dots and start trying to solve the problem with their attack helicopters."

"Also, with everything that has happened, I don't think I will ever touch any form of boos ever again..."

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