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

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"Oh. Still an asshole then."

You were the one to bother me.

He thought about saying it aloud, but it seemed, somehow, like Remus had been disappointed, or at least expected something else. When the Italian decided to increase his pace, Andrew shrugged. He wasn't trying to become someone's friend, and this meant that Remus wouldn't snap, at least. It was the best possible outcome, yet he wondered if he should have tried to word himself a bit better.

He got it, there is no need.

Of course.

"If people ask, we've been on a forest hike. Let's get some food while we're around."

They approached a restaurant called the Phoenix Grill, an odd place considering the decorations inside, but it was food, and he hadn't eaten a thing since they left to investigate that one place, and ended up in Hades. He had seen the remains of a deer in the clearing in the forest they had spent the night in, but the others had obviously finished it. Andrew sat down, and started looking at the menu.

Grilled beef, grilled ribs, hamburgers.

Normally, he would have ordered a small burger and salad, and be done with it. However, he was really hungry now, and his appetite seemed to have increased these last few days, probably because of his use of powers. In the end, he decided to order a large burger, a salad, and some grilled ribs. When he had ordered, he turned to Nicole, who had heard him out before.

"I need to get a bow when we get to mainland Italy," he said, not very loudly. She, and perhaps the person next to her, was the only one who could hear it. What he wanted to do, was to ask her if she could help him find a place, going alone seemed like a bad idea, but he didn't want to ask anyone any favors without having to.

"You should probably get something there yourself," he continued.

Nicole looked over the menu eventually deciding on a large burger, after everything that had happened in the underworld she was feeling rather hungry. Having some of the deer last night had helped but mostly it had just taken the edge off of her hunger. Plus this will probably be the last decent meal we get for a while.

"If you were to take a guess, who would be aligned with Loki? We should steer clear of them."

"Hmmm," Nicole thought about this for a moment, most of her knowledge was of the Greek gods so she wouldn't be able to speak for very many deities but she had a few suspicions "Hermes maybe, he was a trickster god along with a messenger god... probably Eris, she definitely seems the sort to get in on this, I'm not sure who else though."

"You should probably get something there yourself,"

Nicole turned to Andrew, surprised to hear him echoing one of her thoughts from earlier. Still he had proven handy with a bow in the underworld, if nothing else he could give her a few pointers if she got one.

"Yeah I was just thinking about that actually, probably get myself a bow or something," she replied "I've had a little practice with one before, though I think I'd need a bit more before being able to use one in combat, never tried firing one while flying either."

"If you were to take a guess, who would be aligned with Loki? We should steer clear of them."

Able scratched at his cheek absentmindedly. He'd never really thought of his extended family in terms of politics. but besides Vidarr he'd never really thought of any of them as family and even then it was hard to think of his dad as his dad. It had always been hard to put a real character to Vidarr. Most of the others seemed to have met and spent time with their parents, though most of them sounded like they wished they hadn't. Except for Remus who apparently had never met Mars at all.

In a way Able equally jealous of both paths. He may have only met Vidarr for a few minutes but it was enough to put the thought in his mind that they could meet again. It wasn't something he could really describe but that meeting had served had set his mind with finding out everything he could about his father and now this journey, despite the downsides, ad given him a real chance. He could get some answers. Able had no idea what his questions were but he knew he just needed to find Vidarr or the others and he'd know what to do from there, he was sure of it.

[His daughter, Hel would be the biggest deal. She's another god of death. She's supposed to rule over the dead that don't make into Valhalla. Maybe she hangs around the same underworld as Hades?] The fact that parts of the mythologies crossed over and that the gods fought over turf had thrown a lot of what Able thought he knew threw a loop, who knew how much of his information was right anymore.

[Then there's Fenrir/Fenris the giant wolf. The one we think Dio is after, or his bindings. Plus there's Jormungandr, the giant snake but it's supposed to live in the ocean.] Able always forgot to add the accent over the 'O'. [His wife could be a wild card. Sig] he had to think, crap he always forgot her name. Sigin- No, no think Y there's always a Y or a J where you don't expect them.

[Sigyn. I don't know much about her but the stories always show her like some kind of domestic abuse victim. Loki is supposed to hate her but she loves him anyway, at least that's what it says. After what we've seen I have to admit that this is all second hand information.] And Nicole lent her expertise on the matter. Able hadn't even thought that Loki might be looking for help outside of his own pantheon.

Except Loki isn't the brains behind this. Able reminded himself. He did his writing openly so anyone in the group could see it if they craned their head a little.

"Yeah I was just thinking about that actually, probably get myself a bow or something. I've had a little practice with one before, though I think I'd need a bit more before being able to use one in combat, never tried firing one while flying either."

When Andrew had mentioned it, he had thought of something like a hunting knife. He hadn't really considered that Nicole would think of a bow. His mind filled with different questions, which of her eyes was the dominant one, did she use a bow sight, and had she ever used a hunting bow? What bow had she used before, how far had the target been from where she stood, and had she ever tried to hit a moving one? However, right now the others were discussing who the possible enemy was, which was a smart move, surprisingly enough for them. Andrew didn't know enough about mythology to speak, if you weren't sure of something, speaking up was idiotic and a waste of time.

I suppose I can ask her later. She might not even get a bow.

He wasn't particularly opposed to her using a bow, unless she was awful with it, or underestimated the amount of skill needed.That was a common mistake, people thought they could hit bullseye because they had watched people do it in the movies, and thought it looked simple. One of the first things people often noticed was that they lacked the arm-strength to use the bow, their aim getting ruined by their shaking arms. That wouldn't be much of a problem for Nicole at least, she was well trained from the looks of it.

I don't doubt she'll need a few pointers, though.

Even he had, in the beginning. But then again, she might just choose to go with a different tool, or even a gun. Not that waving a gun around in Europe sounded like a good idea, especially not the Scandinavian countries. Firing it would easily cause chaos.

"I'll help you out if you decide to get a bow," he finally muttered, again only for her ears.

The food he had ordered then arrived, and although he felt like he was starving, he started eating politely, although rather fast.

Aria ordered a steak medium rare, potato and salad. Those where pretty hard to 'fuck up' in her mind, not like ribs. She never ate those in a restaurant, at best she found restaurant ribs 'tolerable', at worse, she's yelled at cooks for heresy against the art of cooking good ribs.

While she waited she poked her head across the table to read Able's notes, everything seemed pretty reasonable, the Aria had a thought "What about the Frost Giants? Are they still around? I remember when I was reading up on Freya they where mentioned as an enemy to Odin and basically every god the follows his rule, 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend' and all that." she added, uncertain if it even applied anymore, but figured if they where compiling a list of Northern threats they should be mentioned.

After sitting down at a table with the others, Remus was eager to look through the menu. Normally he might have felt offended to see the names of awful, yankee garbage foods like cheeseburgers scrawled on the same paper as fine Italian cuisine...but he was too hungry to care. He ordered some spaghettini with shrimp after deciding he was in the mood for something Calabrese.

Remus listened to the conversations of the others as he waited for his meal. Prometheus was trying to get the group to brainstorm what sort of foes might be allied with Loki. Norse mythology was a subject that Remus knew damned all about, so he had nothing to contribute and refrained from butting in.

Then he overheard Nicole discussing weapons with Andrew. Bows specifically. "Yeah I was just thinking about that actually, probably get myself a bow or something. I've had a little practice with one before, though I think I'd need a bit more before being able to use one in combat, never tried firing one while flying either."

Remus found the idea silly. Anyone with a brain knew a gun was the best weapon to have. There was as reason they had replaced bows the main tools of hunting and warfare long ago. As his food arrived, Remus restrained his urge to chow down and instead threw in his two cents.

"I'd think a firearm would be a better choice. More powerful. More accurate. Better rate of fire." he said to Nicole. He looked over her briefly. "You seem like the sort who'd be good with a rifle. Or maybe a lighter carbine, since you have weak girly arms after all." he said with a teasing smirk.

Steven sat down with the others, deciding to just order the ribs as well.

"What about the Frost Giants? Are they still around? I remember when I was reading up on Freya they where mentioned as an enemy to Odin and basically every god the follows his rule, 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend' and all that."

"They could be our ally," Steven said, "Or they may try just try to eat us. We don't have much to offer the Giants to make sure they don't betray us as soon as we find the wolf. From what I vaguely remember from high school European History, the gods of Odin and the giants were bitter enemies, imagine how they feel about gods of other pantheons, or their children? I also remember many a conflict where their more than two sides. Look up the Chinese Civil War when you have a chance."

"I'd think a firearm would be a better choice. More powerful. More accurate. Better rate of fire. You seem like the sort who'd be good with a rifle. Or maybe a lighter carbine, since you have weak girly arms after all."

Steven rolled his eyes at that. "I would suggest you talk quieter about guns around here," Steven said in a near whisper, "I bet many of the locals have English as a second language. This isn't the US, guns are much more regulated around here, they may think we are criminals or something. I do agree that a gun would be better than a bow. I am surprised how effective my pistol has been against everything we have faced. As a general rule of thumb, for both men and women, you should start with something like a .22."

"I'll help you out if you decide to get a bow,"

Nicole was a bit surprised by this offer, well if he wants to help there isn't any point in turning him down, besides I will need training and a coach wouldn't hurt. She was about to reply to him when Remus interrupted with his take on the matter.

"I'd think a firearm would be a better choice. More powerful. More accurate. Better rate of fire." he said to Nicole. He looked over her briefly. "You seem like the sort who'd be good with a rifle. Or maybe a lighter carbine, since you have weak girly arms after all."

"Ha," Nicole replied, punching Remus playfully in the shoulder "I've had practice with bows and guns before, shotguns and rifles on a shooting range, my 'girly arms' are more than capable of using whatever. My main concern is that a gun would be harder to acquire than a bow, especially out here in Europe."

She paused and considered things for a moment, assuming they could get their hands on a gun and a bow which would be better... Bow would be silent, reusable ammo, and easier to carry around in public, transporting the gun with Prommy's bag isn't too big of an issue but then I have to get it from him each time we get into a fight and I'd rather not use a pistol they aren't as accurate as larger guns. Remus does have a point about guns being more powerful, and they are a bit easier to use, I wouldn't mind having both of course but I think for right now a bow would be the safer choice, especially since we get so few opportunities to stock up, the guns we do have have got to be getting close to being out of rounds by now.

"I wouldn't mind getting both of course," she continued "But I think for travelling a bow would be a safer choice for right now, easier to carry in public and the arrows could be reused, less concern about running out of rounds, also means I could practice without fear of wasting ammo. Besides a good compound bow can hit pretty hard too, some of those things don't fire arrows they fire mini-javelins."

"I'd think a firearm would be a better choice. More powerful. More accurate. Better rate of fire."

Andrew stopped eating upon hearing that, and swallowed what he had in his mouth.

"A gun is only more accurate if you suck with the bow." he muttered, somewhat arrogantly. "And I would be inclined to agree with you, had this been America. However, guns? In Europe? You of all people should know the downsides of that."

He was about to say something else, but Steven then spoke.

"I would suggest you talk quieter about guns around here. I bet many of the locals have English as a second language. This isn't the US, guns are much more regulated around here, they may think we are criminals or something. I do agree that a gun would be better than a bow. I am surprised how effective my pistol has been against everything we have faced. As a general rule of thumb, for both men and women, you should start with something like a .22."

Yes, like the harpies in Hades.

Both Steven and Remus had attacked them with guns, yet he had been able to take out two of three with a bow and arrow. True, his skills with it were unique, and he had been able to poison the arrows, but the fact that he could poison the arrows, due to their size, added to list of advantages with arrows. Sure, he wasn't opposed to using guns, but he found this comparison idiotic and, quite frankly, done by someone who seemed to enjoy the use of guns way too much.

"Ha. I've had practice with bows and guns before, shotguns and rifles on a shooting range, my 'girly arms' are more than capable of using whatever. My main concern is that a gun would be harder to acquire than a bow, especially out here in Europe."

A good point. At least she has been thinking this through, then.

"I wouldn't mind getting both of course. But I think for traveling a bow would be a safer choice for right now, easier to carry in public and the arrows could be reused, less concern about running out of rounds, also means I could practice without fear of wasting ammo. Besides a good compound bow can hit pretty hard too, some of those things don't fire arrows they fire mini-javelins."

"There is also the fact that a bow is a lot quieter to fire, and that a gunshot in most of Europe would cause a lot more panic than it would in the States." He didn't really speak any lower than he had, despite what Steven said. The others were talking louder than that, and they were discussing mythological creatures and people. They didn't even sound like they were discussing it as a hobby, just like a bunch of crazy people.

"Besides, you can argue as much as you want, I don't care. I'll help her if she wants my help, but I'm not going to force her to pick up a bow, that's ridiculous."

"As a general rule of thumb, for both men and women, you should start with something like a .22."

Aria rolled her eyes at Steven comment, and stayed out of that conversation. She, ironically, didn't really like guns that much for one, two, they haven't really fought anything with real power, or the ability to use said power they had wisely in the case of the drugged Titan, and three, she was actually less dangerous with a gun then with out one.

Etna sighed and continued to push the pasta around her plate.

It wasn't the restaurant's fault - the food had been cooked well and the dish, while simple, was filling. The fault lay at Nicole's feet, the topic of weapons being an uncomfortable one for her. Then again, she wasn't from a country where guns were a common sigh or where shooting was a common hobby. She had been born in Ireland; apart from the fact that Etna was Badb's daughter, it had been a relatively normal existence. No guns, no random acts of violence... Well, at least the first one was true. Certain incidents had happened during P.E. classes, after all, back when she had stuck to the proud notion of fighting back. Etna didn't want to think about it. Hell, she just didn't want to be reminded of her school days anymore. Still, school had taken up the majority of her life.

She left that conundrum for later and thought about the whole weapons thing. Did it really matter? A weapon was a weapon - a tool designed to inflict injury on another. Why not just bash 'em with big stick? However, from the amount of chatter from Remus, Steven, and Andrew, it was probably a case of boys and their toys. Regardless, she really didn't see any need to add something to the conversation, leaving it to the ones more experienced or educated about the topic at hand; just like she had done before with the topic of Norse Gods. Etna ate a mouthful just to keep up the appearance of being too busy to talk. As if she had anything nice to say, anyway. If it wasn't the chatter about weapons, it was their choice of food...

Their last meal had been venison, did they wish to stuff their stomachs with meat or something?

"What about the Frost Giants? Are they still around? I remember when I was reading up on Freya they where mentioned as an enemy to Odin and basically every god the follows his rule, 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend' and all that."

Able perked up, nodding enthusiastically at Aria's point. How could I forget the frost giants?

[That's true.] He scribbled down. [Butt there are a few different kinds of giants and Vidarr is half giant so we might be able to call in others as allies. I wouldn't count on that too much though.]

Of course if they were counting on logical genetic links then that would mean Able admitting that he was a quarter giant. A thought that had crossed his mind when he was first finding out about Vidarr. Though as far as he could see it hadn't had any major effect on him. He wasn't overly tall and he didn't have their famous apatite, not that anyone would have believed that the way his eyes lit up once his pizza arrived at the table. Maybe it was where he got his durability from? His dad was only famous for his strength.

Guess those are some of the questions I'll have to ask when I get there. He took a bite of the pizza. Oh god that's good!

The waitress finished bringing everyone's food over; varieties of pasta, pizza and steak crowded the table. Prometheus himself had ordered two rounds of pasta, and ate heartily while listening to the others. The choice between gun and bow was interesting; though he personally would rather not be stopped at a crossing point and be arrested. That would not be an efficient way to find Dionysus.

Setting his fork down, he wiped his mouth and spoke, careful not to speak too loudly.

"I think we should try not to acquire too many guns. Bows or other alternatives do sound good. As to frost giants, I think we should avoid anyone we can't converse civilly with."

This got Prometheus thinking about weapons. Surely they could find someone to properly arm them. Someone had already sent them a spear; probably Mars, which Able had passed off as an ornament, leaving it under the table.

"I don't know if Nike will have any weapons for us; Maybe Artemis or Vulcan - Hephaestus to you, Steven. Or one of the Norse Gods; Thor or even Vidarr. We should probably arm up before finding Dionysus. Especially if there have been more sacrifices."

The door to the restaurant opened, and a deeply-tanned man with jet black hair stepped in, dressed in a sharp suit. After speaking to the waitress, she pointed over at the group. He flashed her an official looking badge and walked over. He spoke with an incredibly odd accent; impossible to place.

"Afternoon. My name is Jack Roce, I'm with AISI."

He flashed his badge to the group, confirming his authority.

"You were all seen walking from the forest, do you have a moment to answer a few question regarding the death of two women."

It was not a question, and he stared at each person sternly, his eyes searching for any tremor or movement.

"A gun is only more accurate if you suck with the bow."

You've got to be kidding me." Remus assumed that Andrew was just being arrogant, because only someone completely thick in the head would believe a bow to be more accurate than a firearm. He decide not to comment on that remark though. The rest of Andrew's points about the difficulty of acquiring and using guns in Europe were sadly right though. They could carry around hunting weapons like non-automatic rifles or shotguns with general ease, or smuggle concealed guns like a small pistol or sawed-off. But ultimately the smartest option would be to avoid the complication of travelling with too many guns in the first place.

"I wouldn't mind getting both of course. But I think for traveling a bow would be a safer choice for right now, easier to carry in public and the arrows could be reused, less concern about running out of rounds, also means I could practice without fear of wasting ammo. Besides a good compound bow can hit pretty hard too, some of those things don't fire arrows they fire mini-javelins."

Remus nodded his head. "Whatever you'd prefer. But if you are interested more in guns, I'd be happy to give you some training." he said with a smile.

As Prometheus continued to discuss the topic of weapons, Remus decided to dig into his meal. It was delicious. Even more so that it would normally taste, considering it had felt like forever since he had eaten genuine Italian. Not long after he begun his meal was it suddenly interrupted.

"Afternoon. My name is Jack Roce, I'm with AISI."

Remus observed the man as he showed off his badge. He had dark skin, common in Sicily, and wore a suit similar to Remus'. Somehow though he doubted the agent's shirt underneath had any hidden blood or wine stains. His accent was bizarre, and his name sounded more American than anything.

"You were all seen walking from the forest, do you have a moment to answer a few question regarding the death of two women."

Remus' expression became a bit more grim. He had a rotten suspicion that he, and the others, already knew what this would be about. "Chi?" he asked in Italian.

Steven had to admit that getting their hands on a bow would be easier, although he was not familiar with EU or Italian regulations on bows. Maybe he could get a crossbow, that would be more comfortable to use. Now, bows being more accurate was beyond stupid...

"Afternoon. My name is Jack Roce, I'm with AISI."

Steven's thought was interrupted by... Jack? That wasn't very Italian. He didn't sound Italian... although come to think of it he really didn't distinctly sound like anything.

"You were all seen walking from the forest, do you have a moment to answer a few question regarding the death of two women."

Steven became very aware of the firearm in his conceal holster, and how screwed they would be if the police found him with it. Come to think of it, their passports never got properly stamped either, so they are screwed if the policeman even asks for basic ID. If this was the US, Steven knew he they could refuse to answer anything and just go... but this was another area of European law Steven wasn't sure about. Best to act like some dumb tourist...

"Umm... what is the AISI?" Steven asked.

Aria swallowed the piece of steak she was chewing on, her meal having been delivered shortly before this 'agent' showed up, then stuffed a bit of salad into her mouth. She was starving, not having eaten for least a day and having burned up all that energy left her with the kind of hungry that made her perfectly willing to ignore an officer of the law until directly addressed. She did however, have enough sense to acknowledge his presence by looking at him between forkfuls of food.

"Afternoon. My name is Jack Roce, I'm with AISI."

Andrew finished the last of his meal before looking towards the man. From the look of it, AISI was some sort of agency or group connected to the police in Italy, that was all the sense of it he could make at least. Or just a fancy name for the police. If not for the recent events, Andrew would have been more inclined to even believe what the man said. After all, the people who approached them like this all had turned out to be gods.

"You were all seen walking from the forest, do you have a moment to answer a few question regarding the death of two women."

It was clearly not a question. Did this guy even have the authority to hold them, based on that little? They walked out of the forest, and two women died somewhere connected to that. Andrew never had feared or let authority stop him from doing anything, of course he followed the law, but the law held a greater meaning to him than an officer with a few questions. Heck, even if it was a god, approaching them like this, attempting to fool them, should mean that this person wasn't on their side.

"Do you have the authorization to hold us?" he asked, tone somewhat friendly, and eyes kept on the man who called himself Jack.

Would asking about it sound suspicious? Perhaps. However, they had done nothing wrong, and they were not connected to the women. Andrew knew his rights and all that, but he wasn't from around here, so that didn't mean a thing right now. Still, Italy couldn't be that different, right? He didn't add anything else, the man would answer if he felt like it, it was a legitimate question, but he struck Andrew as the easily offended type.

If something should happen, we could easily over-power him if he's a normal human. If he's a god, we'll have a bigger problem. I'd rather just avoid confrontation, though, it's a waste of time.

Vera - now in her normal form - ate far more than she should have in an attempt to offset her lack of sleep using calories. She was fairly sure she'd consumed an entire pot of coffee by herself, despite her general dislike for the substance, all for the precious precious caffeine. Also due to her sleep deprivation, she avoided speaking too much. She was in general agreement with what Prometheus had to say, though she was inclined to agree with Steven on the matter of a gun. Though she wasn't sure how to use one, for the moment she was limited to her sword for fights which - despite its power - lacked the ranger of other weapons. Then again, she had more experience with a bow...

She shook her head free of the thoughts. "Less thinking, more coffee".

As she was reaching for another pot of the glorious brew, a man came over to the table. "Afternoon. My name is Jack Roce, I'm with AISI.". First, she had no idea who AISI was, but someone had said just that not long ago. In this particular case, she WAS just another dumb American in a foreign country, so she decided to do what any dumb American would do: she paused to stare at him for a moment before continuing her quest for the coffee pot.

"You were all seen walking from the forest, do you have a moment to answer a few question regarding the death of two women." the man said as a question while making it anything but. "I'm not sure what the connection is between the forest and two deaths but I don't know anything about it. Can you be a little more..." she said, searching for the right word before finishing with "... specific?"

"Whatever you'd prefer. But if you are interested more in guns, I'd be happy to give you some training."

Nicole smiled "Yeah of course," she said before turning to start eating. The burger wasn't the best she'd had but after everything they'd been through it might as well have been ambrosia, who knows when we'll get to stop and eat like this again. So of course the meal was interrupted by an official of some sort.

"You were all seen walking from the forest, do you have a moment to answer a few question regarding the death of two women."

Apparently some sort of cop, his demeanor felt like he was the local equivalent of the FBI, then again she only knew how they acted on TV shows. She decided to stay silent and keep eating, saying the wrong thing would be worse than saying nothing at all especially if it conflicted with what everyone else said. Besides she was very hungry.

Roce looked at Remus in surprise. Clearly he had not expected to hear Italian. Composing himself, he addressed several questions at once.

"Two women; a teenager and an old woman. That's all I can say. And yes; I can detain you if you don't wish to answer my questions; emerging from the crime scene bloodied, bruised and with ruined clothes is suspicion enough."

Flexing his fingers, he spoke again.

"AISI is the Internal Information and Security Agency of Italy. Now. Could I please see your passports or some identification?"

Prometheus started breathing deeply; he had no idea how much of their credentials were going to be okay. Unzipping his bag, he found that the passports and credit cards were okay, if a little soaked. All else was soaked, including his spare clothes.

Handing over his own passport, Prometheus watched as the agent thumbed through it. Making a face of approval, he handed it back, before relaxing his face, approaching the group with more questions.

"What were you all doing in the forest anyway? Did you see or hear anything out of the norm? Birds, by chance?"

Remus watched the agent's expression carefully. He seemed surprised that Remus spoke Italian, a fact that...should not have been surprising at all, considering they were in the Sicilian old country. In fact it was odd that Mr. Roce had decided to speak to them in English at first, rather than Italian.

"Two women; a teenager and an old woman. That's all I can say. And yes; I can detain you if you don't wish to answer my questions; emerging from the crime scene bloodied, bruised and with ruined clothes is suspicion enough."

His expression soured further at the mention of one of the casualties being an elderly woman. "Maybe my mother. But what would she be doing this far from the Northern shore?"

"What were you all doing in the forest anyway? Did you see or hear anything out of the norm? Birds, by chance?"

Remus decided to respond in Italian again. "Eravamo a caccia di cervi. Ecco perché abbiamo macchie di sangue e lividi. Qual era il nome della donna più anziana che è morto?" The boy was getting suspicious. If this supposed agent showed any sign of not understanding what Remus just said, then he knew something was wrong.

Two women; a teenager and an old woman. That's all I can say. And yes; I can detain you if you don't wish to answer my questions; emerging from the crime scene bloodied, bruised and with ruined clothes is suspicion enough."

I suppose he does have a point of some sorts. Still, this is a waste of time.

Andrew didn't take his eyes off the agent, attempting to read the man, to see if he could notice anything. Something felt wrong, but he had no idea what. He guessed they had no choice but to answer the man, whatever his questions were.

"What were you all doing in the forest anyway? Did you see or hear anything out of the norm? Birds, by chance?"

Birds. Why would that be out of the norm in a forest? He's talking about the crows, isn't he? Does this mean it's connected to Etna's bitch mother?

Andrew was about to reply, simply using the excuse Prometheus had told them to before, about them camping. However, then Remus spoke in Italian.

"Eravamo a caccia di cervi. Ecco perché abbiamo macchie di sangue e lividi. Qual era il nome della donna più anziana che è morto?"

Andrew frowned mentally, although he didn't show any sort of change on the outside. Now he couldn't say a thing, in case it didn't fit in with whatever Remus had said. Of course, he could choose to trust in Remus, believe the other had said things that was according to the whole camping thing, but Andrew didn't trust Remus nor Remus' judgment. Sure, if what they said made sense together, that would probably make it seem more believable, one man speaking in Italian, while another, not capable of understanding Italian, said just about the same thing.

I'm not going to take that chance, though. Remus is an idiot.

Just like everyone else, right?

This is why I don't trust morons. He could at least have had the sense to speak in English, even if we're in Italy. This just makes it impossible for everyone else to say anything.

"Afternoon. My name is Jack Roce, I'm with AISI." The new comer flashed an official looking badge, showing his authority.

Able didn't really think anything in the form of words at that point, it was more like a mixture of instincts and emotions. Though if he were to put it into words it would probably be a long, awkward Oooohhhhhh, all while he nudged the mystical war spear that he'd stowed under the table further out of sight. Hell he was already pushing his luck when he tried to walk through the street covering the tip with his hands like it was a walking stick that he didn't know how to use.

He went on, explaining himself while giving away as little information as possible and to be fair they did look like a pretty weird group. Even on a good day.

"What were you all doing in the forest anyway? Did you see or hear anything out of the norm? Birds, by chance?"

How are birds out of place in a forest?

Remus was trying to talk to the agent in Italian, which made sense, they were in Italy and presumably the agent was Italian. Except he introduced himself in English, what could he just tell we weren't natives by look? I guess he could have just heard us talking as he came in. Of course any answers would have to wait until he could understand what was being said again or until someone was good enough to translate. Until then Able did his best to look relaxed and sneaking a slice of pizza.

"What were you all doing in the forest anyway? Did you see or hear anything out of the norm? Birds, by chance?"

Oh, he is lying. This guy is involved with some god, if he actually isn't a god.

Steven wondered why the guy was bothering with the questions. If Dis wasn't lying, than the crow on his arm should of given them away. Still, best to keep trying to act stupid.

"We heard plenty of birds," Steven said, trying to sound confused that such a thing would even considered out of place, "I even think I saw an owl. Why is that important?"

The agent stared at Remus, before back at the group. He couldn't quite understand why only one of them was speaking Italian; especially seeing it was evident they all spoke English.

"The bodies are covered with feathers. Are you planning on leaving Sicily anytime soon? I might need you for further questioning..."

Turning back to Remus, he looked at him intently. The face looked familiar; though he thought he had seen it somewhere else.

He asked in Italian.

"Sei di queste parti? Hai un aspetto familiare."

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

The agents constant presence put Prometheus on edge. They could knock him out and then leave, but that opens up the avenue of international pursuit. Had others seen them come out of the forest? What would they do about the waitresses? Modern problems like this perplexed him; he nudged Etna with his foot, making eyes towards the agent. A child of Badb would certainly have some influence.

He just hoped she understood his vague motions.

"Sei di queste parti? Hai un aspetto familiare."

Remus' expression softened as his suspicions were denied. The agent was clearly fluent in Italian. Still, there was something about Mr. Roce that just seemed fishy. "Maybe you're not thinking clearly...you're tired as can be, and that swig of whiskey in the morning couldn't have helped." he tried to convince himself. Maybe this fellow really was just an ordinary agent trying to conduct an investigation.

While disappointed that Mr. Roce hadn't answered his own question, Remus decide to answer his. Maybe if played along the agent would be more willing to disclose information. "I'm not from around here. I'm from near Palermo, by the northern coast. Sometimes I work in the city." he said in English. "Who do I remind you of?"

"The bodies are covered with feathers. Are you planning on leaving Sicily anytime soon? I might need you for further questioning..."

"What kind of feathers? Some birds feed on just about everything they can find, like crows and ravens," he said, still sounding friendly. It was a subtle way of asking whether or not he was correct when it came to his suspicions. If Etna's mother was involved with this, there was something more about it, not simply a murder. Of course, nothing ever was simple, only an idiot would underestimate the amount of trouble a situation could cause.

"Obviously, that would depend on the state of the corpses, how long they've been lying, and so on. As for leaving Sicily, we're headed further north, and we are in somewhat of a hurry," he added.

There. Helpful, but clearly unaware of what's going on, and with the intention of leaving soon. Should be enough to make him get the point.

Andrew wondered how long it would take before one of the others spoke. Considering what they could say, he'd rather they didn't. However, one could get lucky, say the right thing, and make it easier for them to leave.

As if. Etna knows how to brainwash people, right? Hopefully, she's working on that.

"Tch."

The nudge irritated her, the agent's words irritated her and the whole situation irritated her. The whole thing had completely changed the atmosphere, and as a result, had ruined the meal. Etna's already foul moody worsened. Here she was, with the group, trying to enjoy a nicely-cooked meal - possibly something she wouldn't have for ages - and the agent had come along and asked awkward questions and stated some awkward facts. Feathers? She sighed, any more trouble from mother dearest and... Well, best not to think about that. After all, it seemed that they needed her. Regardless of whether the agent himself was a god in disguise or not. She doubted it was safe to use her power, or even moral. Even so...

'Fine, I'll do it but don't blame me if something bad happens...' Etna though as she begin her mental assault.

Aria continued eating through the back and forthing with the agent and the others, though she had to force her self to not roll here eyes when he asked about strange birds, seemed a rather stupid thing to ask in lue of the explosion she caused, which struck her highly odd, most local authorities would have been all over the site back home and there's not even been a peep about it from this fed, she didn't like that, and she doubted he didn't know. That told her these 'birds' where a greater threat, and the only way that would be possible is if they where supernatural, the implicstions of that though didn't sit well with her. Aria how ever just finished her meal and took to knocking back glass after glass of water due to the dehydration from her burns.

The agent massaged his temples as Etna began to twist his mind. Remus' and Andrews' questions sounded far away and vague. He felt a pull, away from the group. I'm wasting my time, I need to talk to anyone flying over the area.

"Who do I remind you of?"

"What kind of feathers?"

He blinked a few times and spoke.

"Just a woman we found...earlier this week. Just black feathers. I think I have all I need - thanks...thanks very much..."

Turning around, he began to walk out, loosening his tie as he went. Before he left, he spoke into a transmitter, requesting pickup from outside. Roce felt sick - feverish and exhausted.

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

Prometheus raised his eyebrows as the agent left, finishing his meal and slinging his backpack over his shoulder. It was afternoon, and they needed to move quickly, before more questions caught up with them.

"Remind me not to upset Etna. Now, how do we cross to Europe from here? Should we cross tonight?"

Catching the waitresses eye, he saw her look at the agents, and then back to them; she was deeply concerned, and began chatting to the manager behind the counter; a stern man with greying hair, he eyed them suspiciously.

"I believe we've outstayed our welcome; I'll fix the bill, you guys get ready to leave."

Leaving the table, Prometheus paid the table in silence, all the time being scrutinized by the manager. Under his breath, Prometheus could barely make out some vague Sicilian insult. Screwing up his mouth in resignation, the Titan shrugged and waved the group over, opening the door. As the manager kept staring, Prometheus spoke low, jerking his thumb at the agent who was just stepping into a dark car.

"We had some travelling stuff stolen the other day; turns out they caught the guy."

With a weak smile, he stepped outside, awaiting the others.

Steven was stunned by what he just saw. Etna just mind bending that guy just to end his questioning. He seems to be unaffiliated with any god, and just a real police officer.

That was wrong. That just was deeply, disturbingly wrong.

"I thought we were supposed to be the good guys here," Steven thought grimly. He avoided eye contact with Etna, and followed Prometheus out the door.

"We had some travelling stuff stolen the other day; turns out they caught the guy."

Nicole grabbed what she hadn't finished to take with her, she wasn't sure how she felt about lying to the cops and manipulating them like that. On one hand they'd be safer off not knowing, and they wouldn't believe them if they told the truth, and they could get in the way but on the other hand it felt a bit criminal. They're better off this way, don't worry about it.

Another thought occurred as she followed Prommy outside, he seemed set on getting out of here but she remembered there was one more trip they needed to make. Well one more assuming we skip picking up weapons, so two maybe?

She walked over to Prometheus "Hey were we going to check out the pillar now? Or should we stop by a hunting goods store first?"

We should do both, we need every advantage we can get here, whether its weaponry or divine aid.

"Just a woman we found...earlier this week. Just black feathers. I think I have all I need - thanks...thanks very much..."

"You're welcome, I hope you find what you're looking for."

Finally!

Andrew glanced over at Etna, it was clear that this was her work. He smirked. Yet again, he found himself impressed with someone else there, it was a surprising ordeal. He supposed that there was some sort of moral wrong about this whole thing, but he found the ability to do something like that intriguing. Sure, he had been wary of the ability before, but the more she used it, the more useful it seemed.

As long as it's not used on me, obviously.

While it seemed that the agent was going to leave them alone, the other people inside the diner didn't seem that convinced. Prometheus tried to explain the whole thing to the manager of the restaurant, although he seemed less than successful.

"We had some travelling stuff stolen the other day; turns out they caught the guy."

He finally said, and left, possibly giving up. Andrew followed him, as did several of the others.

Hey were we going to check out the pillar now? Or should we stop by a hunting goods store first?"

"Whether or not we'll be going to the pillar is up to you people, but definitely not the hunting goods store," Andrew murmured, making sure the only ones who could hear it was them. "I don't know how long Etna's trick works, but visiting a hunting store after being questioned as witnesses in a murder case isn't the smartest we could do."

Andrew also remembered the question Prometheus had asked, about how and when to cross Europe. "We should probably aim to take a boat to mainland Italy tonight. Assuming we're actually going with the mini-bus, we'll have to get one, then drive through Italy to France to Germany to Denmark, or whatever countries happens to be the best route." He wasn't bad at geography, but it wasn't really his field of expertise either.

"I do think that talking to a god would be a good idea first, though. Finding out where it's more likely for our target to be would be preferable to searching all of the Nordic countries."

Etna left the restaurant without a word.

She just wanted to get out of there, far away from the crime scene, so to speak. The success only made her feel worse; no one should be subject to brainwashing, divinely powered or otherwise. Sure, it got rid of the agent, but it was clear that Etna and the rest of the group were still suspicious. Not to mention the fact that her manipulation probably had ruffled of feathers; Etna ignored it, she didn't need anymore lectures about it. Life had already taught her a few lessons in that subject. However, part of her wanted to know what exactly was up with a dead body covered in black feathers. Then again, it may just have been a coincidence. Etna dismissed those thoughts, it was too late now. Besides, going to investigate was a bad idea, right?

"Let's just go." Was her contribution to the conversation.

"Just a woman we found...earlier this week. Just black feathers. I think I have all I need - thanks...thanks very much..."

Remus' face soured again when the agent suddenly broke conversation and made his off. Was something wrong? What had sparked him to leave in such a hurry? It him then when Prometheus spoke.

"Remind me not to upset Etna. Now, how do we cross to Europe from here? Should we cross tonight?"

Remus looked at Enta with a frown as she exited the restaurant. Just as he was about to get an answer from the agent, she decided to intervene. Still, he understood the necessity of it. They still needed to get to Norway and couldn't risk being delayed by an investigation.

Following the others, he pulled himself away from the table and the food on it. As Remus did he felt a pang of fatigue hit him. He rubbed his brow and sighed tiredly as he exited the restaurant with the rest of the group. He wondered how long Nicole's boost would keep him going.

"Hey were we going to check out the pillar now? Or should we stop by a hunting goods store first?"

Remus turned to Nicole and spoke. "I think seeing your mother would be a better idea. Likely she'll have something better than hunting gear for us."

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