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

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Aria pondered the words of the man for a moment "The bindings of a wolf? Only bound wolf that I know of is ..." Aria paused, though, trying to remember the name, and failing. "Well, I forget the name, but he's one of Loki's sons, the one that is destined to slay Odin in Ragnarok, where ever that mut is, is where we should be going." she said "Unless some one else has a bound wolf in their 'family tree' some where."

"Unless some one else has a bound wolf in their 'family tree' some where."

Steven thought about it, trying to think all the mythology he vaguely remembers.

"Well, thee are many other wolf gods or gods related to wolves, like the Japanese Sun Goddess," Steven scratched his head, trying to remember, "Assumi... akami... something starting with an A. Or what about Artemis, although I think she is closer related with deer come to think of it..."

"Still, Loki's son sounds like the most likely culprit, since we did run into Loki and he seems to be working for the Wine God..."

Steven turned to Dis, since he was the only source of information they had at the moment.

"You have any idea where we can find this son of Loki or the home to the Norse Gods?"

Remus didn't react to the kind words of those trying to comfort him. He seemed to have drifted off, ignorant of what was going on around him. Everything else was a haze compared to the thought that was burning away inside his head. The more he lingered on his realization the more intense the feeling of shock was becoming. Remus began to breathe heavily, though he put his hand over his mouth to futilely try and hide it.

"My mother's dead." The realization stung worse than any pain he had ever felt. The woman who had birthed him, raised him through almost his entire life was dead. He felt like crying. He felt like letting his legs give in, fall to the ground and scream. But he couldn't do that. Not in front of everyone else. "Calm down...just calm down. Don't make a scene." he told himself. It was difficult to reign his hurt back though. He continued to take heaving breathes as his eyes swelled red.

It took all he had as Able gritted his teeth in frustration, the damn thing didn't want to budge until he wore it down and out of nowere it gave up the ghost. The spear, as he could clearly see it was now, was almost feather light and he stumbled as it gave up its grip on the ground like some jerky kid playing tug of war that just wanted to make you fall in the mud. Abe regained his footing, hoping he hadn't looked like a complete burk and held the thing out flat in his hands.

It was a beautiful thing. Able wasn't what you'd call a weapon nut but even he could see the love and care that had gone into it. It was a pity Dan wasn't here, what with him being the proper spear connoisseur. It even had a ribbon around it like a present. How nice! It was kind of funny though, Ribbons and spears, which mythology do I know that has famous people with those?... No. It couldn't be... then again.

"What is it? What have you found?"

Able remembered Prometheus was there and shook himself out of his own world, showing the titan the spear. After looking at it closer the two of them could see the writing on the ribbon. Being and englishman Able has seen enough unnecessary latin in his young life to recognise it when he saw it, he had idea what any of it meant though. Maybe once they were back in the world of the living. He doubted his phone could get any wifi here but once it could he could always google it.

Able did his best to nod in the direction the others had gone in and set off to follow them, the spear resting on his shoulder. If it is the spear I'm thinking of... then... well damn! If nothing else then pulling it from the rocks migh have at least made him the future king of England.

Able drew free the spear, and brought it forth for inspection. Prometheus smiled, and laughed heartily; perhaps from exhaustion, or just the peculiarity of the event.

"Looks like a present for us. I hope. Let's go find the others before Dis feeds them to his pup."

Prometheus motioned for Able to carry the spear, finding it fitting, seeing that it was him that had pulled it from the wreck. The occurence tugged at the strings in the Titans mind; what was it? Who sent it? Was it for them?

Questions without answers, he thought, running his hand through his hair as he walked.

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Steven's question brought Dis out of deep thought. He looked at him with curiousity; sensing a powerful mark somewhere about his person. He eased it into his answer.

"I don't know where you'd find Loki, whatever wolf you talk of, but I believe the Northern ones live in the...North, if I'm not mistaken."

He spoke sarcastically; was this truly the best that Zeus could find?

"Though, they'll feel you in particular from a mile away. What mark do you bear, and how did you come upon it?"

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Prometheus and Able rounded the corner to find the rest of the group, in conversation with both the stranger and Dis. Remus seemed shell-shocked. Worried, Prometheus looked at Aria, and then back at Remus. Assuming his most neutral tone, he asked him.

"You alright? Have you got any information from the stranger?"

"I don't know where you'd find Loki, whatever wolf you talk of, but I believe the Northern ones live in the...North, if I'm not mistaken."

Steven gripped his eyebrows at that statement. The sarcasm didn't escape him.

"Though, they'll feel you in particular from a mile away. What mark do you bear, and how did you come upon it?"

Steven froze for a bit.

"One of us had to make a... certain deal... to get that tongue," Steven said, "I was not aware of the signal it was broadcasting."

"You alright? Have you got any information from the stranger?" Aria heard Promethus say as he and Able walked up to them, spear in hand "Nice poker, and yes, Dio is after 'the binding of a wolf', so our best guess is Loki's mut of a son, so North we go." Aria said, cutting in and effectively answering for Remus, save what was bothering him "Though as to how we getta hold of some one who'd know where we'd need to go is lost on me, Freya didn't leave me any contact info" she added with a shrug.

I thought so. Able grinned smuggly at Aria's comment on his fancy new spear - yes he saw it as his now - as he rejoined the group. Everyone was seeming kind of dower and grim, which wasn't suprising considering where they were or what was going on, but it seemed closer to the surface that it had been earlier. What had they missed?

Remus wasn't looking so great either, though he was doing a good job of keeping a stiff upper lip whatever was bothering him. It was probably something Dis had said or done. The god was currently standing off to the side and the expression on his face was looking very punchable right now.

[b]"...Dio is after 'the binding of a wolf', so our best guess is Loki's mut of a son, so North we go."[b]

Wait, what? It did make some sense, there was only one kind of famous myth wolf that Able knew of. One that had been bound anyway. His free hand reached for the ribbon tied across the spear shaft and the wheels in his brain began turning. Things seemed to be fitting together and so far they were proving his first theory right. Abe wondered if he should tell the others about it.

No. He still didn't have enough evidence and this wasn't the place to start waving his arms around like an idiot. Besides Dis would probably try and make Abe sell his soul id he asked for a pen and paper. It would have to wait for now. As things went on Able took up his usual position by Nicole's side, it now slowly turning into a habit.

Dis laughed as Steven froze. Smirking, he walked over and turned his hand upwards, revealing the mark of Badb. His laugh faltered, and his face took on a far more concerned expression.

"Well. I was not expecting that. Ah well; at least you won't be seeing me again when you fall."

Dropping Steven's hand, he made as if he was to greet Able and Prometheus, before seeing the Spear, held loosely in Able's hands. Gripping his staff, he spoke directly to Able, though his words were for the group.

"This has been lovely, really, and I'm happy I could be of help to your merry band. But the hour grows late, and I fear Dionysus grows ever more powerful. You should really be going."

Prometheus spoke up.

"What's the hurry? Not that I'd be happy to leave."

The air grew heavy and muffling, and Dis took on a far more menacing air.

"Now."

Tapping his staff into the ground, the group felt the air grip them, and their vision fading. It grew heavier, heavier, until finally it was no longer air, but water. Confused, Prometheus tried to breathe, only sucking in water. Following the dappled sunlight above him, his head broke the water, coughing and spluttering. Without thinking, he took a deep breath and went back under, dragging Nicole and Andrew to the surface, reaching sunlight at the same time as the others.

They were back at the lake, where the Morrigan had seen them of. Around the banks, where they once stood, was ichor-stained feathers, and strips of purple cloth.

Hauling himself to the bank, his clothes soaked, Prometheus cursed, realizing his passport and credentials were soaked. Sitting with arms around his knees, he waited for the others to emerge.

Etna's fingers had been tracing the inscription on the token, it was slightly irritating not being able to look at it again, but Prometheus had basically ordered her to hide it from Hades. Still, the image of it had been burned into her mind. She had figured out the first part, now it was just a matter of moving on to the middle part, and then figuring out whether the symbols were phonetic or syllabic. That meant going through different combinations until she hit one that made sense. Ugh. 'Oath by word' - What did it mean anyway?

Well, there was time for that later. Any more fussing and Dis Pater would grow suspicious. From the outside, it would appear that she was feeling around in her bag for something, at least. She faked a smile and pulled out her mobile - it was dead. Etna quickly put it back inside and gave a slight nod to Able as he rejoined the group with a new fancy spear. Even so, the smile quickly dead and she sighed. Etna - to put it bluntly - wanted to leave Hades and its ruler soon. At least now they had a reason to: to start the trek north.

But things quickly changed once Dis Pater tapped his staff and sent them back in quite a rough manner. Etna immediately began swimming upwards, following the Titan's example apart from the fact that she probably wasn't strong enough to take two people with her. Etna rushed to the surface, and as soon as her head was above water she spat out a feather that had been sucked into Etna's mouth as she had taken a deep breath in, recovering lost air. It still beat travelling by storm though.

Still trying to cope with his shock, Remus hardly noticed when he was being teleported away. It was only after he realized he was suddenly breathing water instead of air that he was snapped out of his numb state. Remus immediately closed his mouth to stop any more water from flooding in, then swung his gaze around looking for the surface. After seeing it he began swimming upwards. Normally it would have been little trouble for the demigod, but his mind was still in a haze so his movements were slower and clumsier.

After finally surfacing, Remus coughed up a mouthful of water and took great heaving breathes. Once done with that he looked around to make sure everyone else was fine. Prometheus had thankfully dragged Nicole and Andrew up, and Etna had resurfaced as well. Remus's back fell flat against the bank as he continued to breath out and rubbed his forehead.

"Well. I was not expecting that. Ah well; at least you won't be seeing me again when you fall."

"Well, that is one good thing this brand has brought me..." Steven pushed his sleeve over the "tattoo."

Steven saw Dis look behind him to Prometheus and Able. Dis' whole demeanor change abruptly. Steven turned, and saw the spear. He had no idea what it was, but guessed Dis knew and didn't like it.

"This has been lovely, really, and I'm happy I could be of help to your merry band. But the hour grows late, and I fear Dionysus grows ever more powerful. You should really be going."

Steven felt himself being teleported away, again. His body didn't notice it was suddenly underwater several breaths too late. If it wasn't Steven's fit body of a child of a god, he would have drowned. Still, when Steven managed to crawl on to the shore,he coughed up both water and vomit.

Aria coughed a bit after she made land, having breathed in a bit of water due to just being dumped in a lake. After she caught her breath she to look for wood for a fire, or a shelter they could use to dry off. She, naturally didn't say what she was doing, but she figured they where smart enough to figure it out on they're own

Vera burst through the lake's surface gasping for air and coughing up some water. She'd been in the middle of a deep breath when the portal opened beneath them. Worst of all, Vera could only really blame herself. She'd been thinking about "the wolf" and the Norse gods and all that and not paying anywhere near enough attention.

Upon expelling the water from her lungs, she looked around to the others to see if any needed help. She might have been back in mortal form for another half-hour or so but she was still a trained athlete and more than capable of dragging a water logged demi-god in need to shore.

Andrew was done. Through. He had been dragged to Australia to help save the world with a group of morons. Then, his ribs had been broken for a couple of days, him being too tired from saving everyone else to fix it. After that, he had been dragged to hell by the idiots, risked the wrath of an evil god, and now he was wet. All this time, he hadn't gotten a moment's rest from the eyes of the other demigods, even when going to sleep he couldn't really relax. And now? á

"Screw them. I'm done with these imbeciles and our retard guide. I'm done acting like the nice guy just because of these people," he groaned when he got to the shore. It was meant as a thought, but he said it aloud, not realizing himself. His voice was cold and lacked the friendliness that he had faked before. Andrew didn't release his mask just yet, he wasn't aware of what he had said. However, with as loud as he had said it, everyone else probably was.

Prometheus watched as Aria walked off, confused. Lying down, he groaned out loudly.

"Aria...what are you doing...?"

The others emerged, some more battered than others, all throwing themselves among the bank. The sun was just setting; Prometheus had no idea how long they had been gone for.

Then Andrew emerged. After spouting his tirade against the group, Prometheus simply propped himself up on his elbows and watched him. Silence fell on the group, before he spoke generally, keeping an eye on him.

"Alright, lets find somewhere to rest. We need to recover after that. Then we'll figure out our next move. I think we're a few hours walk from the city..."

Standing up, he spoke directly to Andrew.

"If you wish to leave, then by all means, go. You'll be hunted by other Gods. You'll be putting anyone you cared about, if you do, at death's door. You'll....you..."

The Titan didn't have the steam for this.

"You selfish asshole."

"Please, don't energize us again..." Steven said as he got to his feet.

"Screw them. I'm done with these imbeciles and our retard guide. I'm done acting like the nice guy just because of these people."

"If you wish to leave, then by all means, go. You'll be hunted by other Gods. You'll be putting anyone you cared about, if you do, at death's door. You'll....you... You selfish asshole."

"Great... just what this team needs..." Steven thought as he walked to Andrew.

"You think the rest of us are having a joyful time chasing after Dios?" Steven said, "None of us like this, none of us asked for this. However, if we fail, one of two things are going to happen. Dios is going to kill a bunch of people, power himself up with their belief, and take over this planet. Or he will fail, but make everyone aware of the existence of the gods, and make them start hunting people like us. We just killed a god with some slashes and a BOW, how do you think they will fair against Apaches? You think you can take on a tank?"

And then there was water... lots of water.

Able had no idea where it came from or how they got there, though he wasn't thinking about the logistics too much. He was busy focusig on the crushing weight of the water that was quickly trying to dill up his lungs and the looming dark that came with it. The lad comprtly lost his cool and kicked and thrashed with all he had until he broke the surface and gulped up air by the gallon. He had to scramble for the spear on the way up as it was washed out of his hands, though it didn't get far.

Soaking wet - yet again - Able dragged himself to land, scraping a line in the ground with the spear shaft before keeling down and collapsing spread eagled onto his back. Yeah his eyes and lungs were burning and his clothes were weighing him down like bricks but who cared? He was back in the world of the living, the sun was on his face and the wind was rustling the trees.

The others were bitching at each other about various thing, not that Able couldn't get it, the whole thing was a load of crap anyway.

"...how do you think they will fair against Apaches? You think you can take on a tank?"

Really well, DUH! One of them sent a spear by comet post! Plus Able was pretty sure the swords and bows were magic or something, come on the gods clearly plaid by different rules. Not that he could be bothered to try and express any of that to Steven, too much hassle and frankly Abe just didn't care right now.

"Screw them. I'm done with these imbeciles and our retard guide. I'm done acting like the nice guy just because of these people,"

Nicole turned to Andrew shocked by his cold tone and dismissive remarks, she had hauled herself onto the shore after Prometheus's help and was standing rather close to Andrew. Prometheus replied telling Andrew he was free to leave, and what the consequences of doing so would be, Steven spouted an idiotic speech that sounded like it was out of an action movie. She ignored them and looked at Andrew fighting a desire to slap him.

"I'm sorry we don't meet your standards you ass, but we've been struggling and fighting alongside you as best we can with just as little guidance as you, so if you've got some brilliant idea how to end this that we've been missing feel free to share it" she began trying to find the right words to admonish him, "we never asked you to be nice to us you know, but you could at least respect us for suffering through all this alongside you."

She paused for a moment before continuing "Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to see if anyone else needs help, since you're clearly too important to be bothered with stuff like that, Doctor."

With that she turned and walked back to the edge of the shore looking to see if anyone needed help making their way out of the water. Able looked to be having some trouble, though he had made it to the beach, so she went to help him up.

"If you wish to leave, then by all means, go. You'll be hunted by other Gods. You'll be putting anyone you cared about, if you do, at death's door. You'll....you..."

Wait, what?

Andrew's smile lessened slightly, what was Prometheus talking about? Why was he saying this to him?

"You selfish asshole."

Oh.

His smile faded a bit more, as he realized what had happened.

I said it aloud.

All this time, and he had never made a mistake like this. However, he was exhausted and annoyed, and now people had heard him. In about the middle of Steven's speech, he had stopped smiling completely, and coldness and arrogance surfaced in his eyes. Nicole was the next to speak, these people never knew when to shut up.

"I'm sorry we don't meet your standards you ass, but we've been struggling and fighting alongside you as best we can with just as little guidance as you, so if you've got some brilliant idea how to end this that we've been missing feel free to share it. We never asked you to be nice to us you know, but you could at least respect us for suffering through all this alongside you."

"Are you done now?" he asked, sounding uninterested by her. "If you want respect, stop being worthless." It seemed she didn't stop there, because she continued.

"Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to see if anyone else needs help, since you're clearly too important to be bothered with stuff like that, Doctor."

With that, she left. Andrew shrugged, he had done enough already, and no one seemed to be dying, so he looked towards Steven and Prometheus.

"I'm not going to leave, because you clearly need my help, and I have reasons to stop the wine god myself. I just can't stand you, and I detest acting like I do." It felt good talking about it like this, not having to lie or pretend anymore, although it also felt a bit odd. He lacked the emotional depth to feel embarrassed about it, though. And he was still tired, and still too proud to show them how exhausted he really was.

I need a break.

"Now, leave me alone for a couple of minutes. Anyone else want to lecture me? Don't. I can't hear myself think with all this bitching." With that, he walked a bit away from them, and sat down, sitting so that he could hide his face in his arms. As he did, he allowed himself to relax without his pride being in the way.

It seemed something else had broken the surface, specifically the true Andrew. Etna couldn't help but feel a bit amused about the whole thing. Or maybe that was just the smug satisfaction about being right, or maybe it was just the fact that she had even more material for her paper. Or even it was because she didn't even have to use her powers for this to happen. After all, all people need is a nudge in the right direction in order to lower their barriers. The sheer exhaustion of struggling through Hades and of this whole ordeal properly ground Andrew's barriers to a halt. Sure, he wanted to be alone, but in all honesty, Etna couldn't help herself. Rather than bitching or gloating, she simply clapped her hands, "Well done for admitting that to yourself." Afterwards, she turned towards Prometheus, finally able to ask that question, "'Oath by blood' - what's so important about that phrase?"

Able kind of just squirmed on the flor for a moment before accepting Nicole's help and using his free arm to grab up his spear and using it to pull himself up. His body language grumbling, five more minutes. But those minutes would have to come later! He gave Nicole a thankful nod, she looked pretty pissed off. Though Nearly drowning could have that effect on a person.

Or maybe it was Andrew's outburst. Able had been busy breathing and enjoying not being dead before so he kind of zoned out for the first half but it was easy to see that nerves were wearing thin and people were starting get snappy. It wasn't suprising really. He shrugged his shoulders at Nicole and waved off Andrew's comments in a forget about it fashion. He was too tired to feel awkward about stuff right now.

Of course that was before he noticed how the water had soaked Nicole's clothes and caused them to cling to her in such a way that made every awkward part of his being spring to life and bring all their combined might to bare on his less than perfect socail skills. There was even some stereotypical jewish guilt mixed in there, because who cares if he never embraced his grandparent's religion that didn't mean it couldn't mess with his head.

Suddenly remembering himself, Able stood as straight as the spear by his side and practically marched over to Prometheus and Etna. They were already discussing weird phrases and languages so he may as well join in. Abe untied the sodden ribbon from around the spear shaft and displayed it to them, the writing had survived the transit somehow. In fact the water was just running off the wooden shaft like... well like water off a duck's back.

"Now, leave me alone for a couple of minutes. Anyone else want to lecture me? Don't. I can't hear myself think with all this bitching."

Remus hadn't paid attention to Andrew's original outburst, still in a mental haze. But as he continued to speak, trash-talking Nicole and the others, he heard it all full well. At first he gave a confused look, which warped into a scowl as he absorbed the gravity of the doctor's words. Remus was disgusted. He had thought Andrew was a friend, and a loyal companion to the group. But apparently his true colours were yellow.

"What a fucking wonderful day. First my mother dies, and now this bullshit." Remus groaned and continued to rub his brow. He was going to get a headache from all this stress As his eyes wandering about, he spied Able walking over to Prometheus and Etna. They were probably gathering to discuss what had just gone on. Although he would have liked nothing more than to run off and cry some place where nobody would see or hear him, Remus realized he should probably do the same.

He got up off the bank and walked over to the three of them. His face looked completely flustered, despite his best efforts to hide it. As he got closer Remus opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. This was because he saw what Able was holding in his hands. His eyes went deer-like before he spoke. "Where the hell did you get that?"

"Where the hell did you get that?"

From hell! Able couldn't help but quip in his head.

He spun the spear upsidedown and jabbed the point at the earth a few times to try and bring it across. Remus wasn't looking too good, but then none of them were, something about his body language and expression seemed different to the fatigue and stress of the others though. Able convinced himself that Remus must have just had an extra bumpy rentry, besides he wasn't the type to want people to make a fuss of him right?

Nicole nodded at Able's gesture, yeah he's probably right, best to forget about it for now. Still she was going to have trouble letting this go, but she pushed that aside for now trying to focus on what was next. Everyone seemed to be out of the water now so there wasn't much point to standing around on the shore, besides she was cold wet and tired the sooner they figured out where to go next the better. This in mind she followed Able over to Prometheus and Etna, with Remus soon joining them.

"Where the hell did you get that?"

Nicole hadn't paid much attention to the spear before, having had other things on her mind, but Remus's question got her thinking. What was it and where did it come from? Able pointed downwards which really only could mean one thing. So that was that thing streaking through the sky down there, what is it though? I think Odin had a magic spear or something, goon-gear? Glug-ear? something like that I think, can't think of any others though...

"That was in the underworld? What is it?" she said somewhat quietly, I wonder how it can help us...

Prometheus turned to Etna, his brow furrowed. This memory was from a long, long time ago...

"It's the first line from a pact made, many many years ago. When Zeus overthrew Kronos. It was his way of knowing who was on his side. The Pact of the Usurper, if I remember correctly. Though I don't know why it's on that token..."

Turning to Remus and Nicole, Prometheus started talking in an effort to communicate for Able.

"Able dug it up in the underworld; it crash-landed in a tower. Reduced the thing to rubble, and left it smouldering."

Running his fingers under the edge of the ribbon, he tried to remember any Latin he knew. PAX AUT BELLUM. It meant nothing to him.

"I don't know what it says, but it looks like Latin; very, very old Latin. I'm sure we'll find someone who can read it, if we go looking."

Doing a quick survey, he found that Andrew had gone to sulk further away. Aria was still missing. He hoped she'd come back.

"Alright. Are we staying here for the night, or do you want to try and make it back to Syracuse?."

The sun had begin to set, and darkness rapidly began to descend upon them. Stretching, he heard several bones crackle, and every muscle in his being ached. Exhausted, he lit a flame at his fingertip, swirling it between his fingers.

"I don't know what it says, but it looks like Latin; very, very old Latin. I'm sure we'll find someone who can read it, if we go looking."

Remus shook his head. "There's no need. Give it here." Despite asking, instead of waiting for Able to hand it over he simply snatched the ribbon out of his hand. He stretched it to its length and read the words on it. He wasn't fluent in Latin, few except linguists and catholic priests were, but he knew plenty of words and phrases. His mother had taught him. He tried hard not to think about her as he read the text.

"One word means war, and the other means peace. Peace and war." he said before tossing the ribbon aside. He took another long look at the spear in Able's hands. His face was still flustered, although seemingly less so. "Most likely then this is the spear of Mars."

Andrew used a few minutes to rest, and he felt himself drift towards sleep. At that moment, it was comfortable, very much so, and he had no reason to not attempt getting a little shut-eye while the others were acting like the morons they were. However, suddenly Etna clapped her hands, startling him slightly.

"Well done for admitting that to yourself."

He needed a quarter of a second to get the meaning of what she had said. It seemed off, she sounded almost as if she was congratulating him. Obviously, she wasn't, the woman loathed him, that he had made sure of himself. Was it sarcasm then? Etna hadn't sounded particularly sarcastic, but she might just have relied on the words themselves to be rude.

Probably. I won't retort though, she's just baiting me. And I don't want to waste my time talking to her.

Besides, he had decided not to bother her anymore, and even if he hadn't, he had no reason to anymore. They all knew he had fooled them, and he didn't regret telling them off. If he was lucky, they would decide that he was not worth the trouble of yelling at. Probably not yet, but as long as they eventually left him alone, he would be happy. He attempted to go back to that relaxing state of almost asleep, but found himself unable to do so.

Damn, Etna's remark woke me up too much. Why couldn't she just leave me alone like I told people do to? What an annoying woman.

Andrew was still exhausted, but he started brushing what sand he had gotten on him -although still being wet made that difficult to do- and stood up, stretching slightly. He glanced over at the group that had gathered around Prometheus, they were discussing unimportant things, it seemed. Of course they were. It was starting to get dark, he noticed. If they didn't start moving soon, they would have to walk in the dark, or stay, neither seemed like a good idea at the moment.

Clearly, some insignificant spear is more important than actually getting somewhere safe.

He didn't have the bow and arrows anymore, not a surprise considering that it had belonged to one of the furies. Most of the others didn't seem like they were much in a fighting condition either.

"Alright. Are we staying here for the night, or do you want to try and make it back to Syracuse?."

Andrew decided to speak up. "Staying here is a bad idea, it's pretty much abandoned at this time. The cities have been the safest so far," he simply stated. His tone was cold, but it didn't harbor any other sort of emotion, even though the fact that Prometheus even had to ask made Andrew want to sigh.

"Most likely then this is the spear of Mars."

"That is very interesting," he said sarcastically. "This isn't the time to stand around like retards. I assume you can speak and walk at the same time, right?"

Steven walked over to the spear.

"One word means war, and the other means peace. Peace and war. Most likely then this is the spear of Mars."

"Or it could be Athena's, or Min... Mis... what ever her Roman name is," Steven said as he walked over, "If I remember correctly, she was both the god of strategy and wisdom, while Mars was only the God of War. As far as I remember, Mars did not like peace."

Steven turned to Prometheus.

"According to Dis, my brand on my arm can be sensed by gods for miles, did you know about that?" Steven tired to ask as neutrally as possible, "I rather not be a beacon that warns Dio or anyone else we need to find of our location."

"This isn't the time to stand around like retards. I assume you can speak and walk at the same time, right?"

Remus felt a throb of rage at Andrew's words. He slowly craned his head around, soon looking at the doctor with an hateful expression on his face. His eyes glared almost violently as he stared and Andrew for several seconds. No words escaped Remus' mouth, only a feral grumble that was muffled behind his teeth. Reigning himself back, he turned his head back to the others just as Steven spoke.

"Or it could be Athena's, or Min... Mis... what ever her Roman name is. If I remember correctly, she was both the god of strategy and wisdom, while Mars was only the God of War. As far as I remember, Mars did not like peace."

He frowned at Steven's words. Less angrily like he had at Andrew, but more sadly so. "Oh." he said, a disappointed tone still tinged with anger. "I suppose...that could be true." At the mention of Latin text, Remus had been hopeful that it was Mars' spear that he had simply jumped to the conclusion without thinking. In truth it could have been sent by any number of Roman Gods or otherwise. Remus then thought on the rest of Steven's remark shook his head. "But no, that's wrong. Mars was a protector of peace."

"It's the first line from a pact made, many many years ago. When Zeus overthrew Kronos. It was his way of knowing who was on his side. The Pact of the Usurper, if I remember correctly. Though I don't know why it's on that token..."

Etna had her answer, but the answer just led to more questions, and of course in the mist of it was Andrew being... Andrew. Even though from a therapist's standpoint, she should have been glad that he finally stripped off that stickily sweet fašade, Etna couldn't help but sigh. The whole thing had taken a lot out of her too. Masked or unmasked, it was all the same, just that the venom wasn't buried in pretenses of kindness. At least she didn't have to put up with any of that passive-aggressive crap anyway, if Andrew stayed like that. Ironically enough, just as he broke out of that mask, she had watered-down her own venom with kindness. Burying and watering-down are different things, anyway. At least, that was what she told herself.

Etna resisted the urge to tell off Andrew for expecting the clearly exhausted group to march on and replied to Prometheus, unleashing some of the questions, "Why is the token and that Pact even important in the first place? Why did you want to hide it from Hades?"

"I suppose...that could be true. But no, that's wrong. Mars was a protector of peace."

Steven was surprised by how sad Remus sounded about that. He wasn't sure if Remus was somehow insulted, thinking of the women down below, or something else, but Steven suddenly felt guilty.

"Sorry, I never really studied the difference between Greek and Roman gods, even after I learned of my origins," Steven said, remembering the denial over the situation he had, "I wasn't aware that Mars was the protector of peace."

"Why is the token and that Pact even important in the first place? Why did you want to hide it from Hades?"

"When Hades saw the spear, he immediately changed his attitude," Steven said, turning to Etna, "That is when he so rudely threw us into the lake. I am assuming he feared it. I wonder if that spear has some special god killing powers..."

"Staying here is a bad idea..."

Prometheus turned with an expression of curious humour.

"Oh you're back! Glad to have you on board sir. Didn't want to interrupt your day-spa routine."

Prometheus was tired, and as such prone to childish anger. It came with the package of being primitive, and he decided to roll with it for now. Turning back to the group, he addressed Etna first.

"The token? I don't know, but if Hades had read the line, he would have assumed it was our pact. And not Loki's. It does make you wonder though..."

Prometheus heard something crunch underfoot. A black feather. He picked it up, inspecting it's broken form, before looking at Etna.

"I truly hope this was a bird."

The sun had set, and it was truly dark now. Prometheus figured it was too late to be travelling. They were exhausted, and he thought it best to set up a somewhat defendable position; just in case. And he hoped the task would bring Remus out of his malaise.

"Remus! I think we'll be staying here tonight; don't want to risk an ambush. Can you find a clearing nearby you think is best defended?"

Turning to the group, he paused. They needed warmth, and food, but he didn't want to risk their safety.

"Errm. Nicole, Vera, Able, Etna; Can you gather firewood? Able, can you go with Remus; you can both share the spear."

He chuckled, before noticing the emotional tie Remus had to anything that could be from Mars. He stopped.

"Oh. And take Andrew with you; don't want him running off and getting himself killed."

Doing a head count, he wheeled. It was dark. Not risking the groups safety, he swore with a whisper.

"Where in hell is Aria!"

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

A pair of sunken, pale eyes watched as the girl trekked through the bush. It had grown dark, and she had begun to shiver; the skin on her bones rippling. As Aria rounded a tree, the figure flitted silently, like the wind, always getting closer.

Nicole ignored Andrew as best she could, although the way Remus was acting if Andrew kept this up it wouldn't be long before he got torn in half. Or at least punched, she couldn't deny that she wanted to slap him still, but she wasn't going to. The others debated what the spear could be, no one seemed to think of Odin's spear, she couldn't remember if the spear of Mars or Athena was particularly notable although she did remember that Athena had the Aegis, a shield with medusa's head on it.

"Errm. Nicole, Vera, Able, Etna; Can you gather firewood? Able, can you go with Remus; you can both share the spear."

She nodded, given how exhausted everyone was after being thrown out of hell into the ocean walking didn't seem a terribly good idea to her, but they would need to find some shelter for the night. She turned to look for Able, Vera and Etna to head out to look for the wood.

"Where in hell is Aria!"

She glanced around, a look of slight concern appearing on her face "I don't see her... maybe she wandered off? I'll keep an eye out for her when getting the firewood," she said, "I'd try flying but its getting too dark to spot her from the sky very well."

When Remus glared at him, clearly pissed off for some reason, Andrew had to ignore the urge to take a step back. It was self-preservation, rather than fear, although he had to admit that he had no desire to get close to the Italian. Andrew hadn't really realized in how bad a mood Remus was in before now. Not that he cared why, though.

There were some muttering in Hades, but I didn't pay attention.

Some of the ones there, Steven, Etna and probably others, either ignored what he had said, or decided to waste more time on those artifacts just for the purpose of spiting him. He did consider speaking his mind, calling them out on the obvious stupidity, but he kept quiet.

People don't react well to honesty, and I don't feel like getting lectured again. Besides, it's not like they are going to listen to what I say either way.

And, of course, his decision to leave Etna alone. She wasn't that interesting a person, after all. He glanced over at her for a slight moment.

Her only winning point is that she's not as stupid as the rest. But that's hardly an achievement.

As he was thinking, keeping quiet, Prometheus spoke, having decided to act like the leader again. Firstly, he addressed Andrew mockingly.

"Oh you're back! Glad to have you on board sir. Didn't want to interrupt your day-spa routine."

Andrew shrugged, keeping his mouth shut. Prometheus already sounded sulky enough.

If you're going to insult me, at least be decent at it.

Not that insults mattered to him, whatever people tried to say, he was confident enough to ignore it. Prometheus continued with that they had to stay, because it was gotten dark -as someone had wasted all the time on chit-chatting about sticks- and told people to group up and do stuff. Apparently, he feared that Andrew would leave or something, despite him having specifically said he wouldn't. Andrew glanced over at Remus, before smirking, albeit it being an annoyed smirk.

"No thank you sir, I'll manage to be on my own just fine."

He wasn't sure whether or not to attempt to sound polite, or have his normal arrogant tone, and the mix was a rather strange one, sounding not as rude as simply confused.

"After all, I'd rather not get stabbed."

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